“Estar solteira nesse momento da minha vida é maravilhoso . Eu posso me dedicar ao Trabalho de Conclusão de Curso aos sábados , trabalhar na Clínica de Fisioterapia de segunda á sexta e posar nua quando quiser . Se eu tivesse um namorado , provavelmente eu encomendaria o TCC e não posaria nua . Então eu não tenho pressa para arrumar um novo namorado.”
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March 28, 2015 – 3:41PM
Environment Minister Greg Hunt says Australia is committed to action on climate change “because it’s real and significant and important”.
The Abbott government says it will be a constructive player in global climate talks, but environment groups have warned it is laying out a path that puts Australia at risk of failing the most important climate test in a decade.
The government has published an issues paper ahead of public consultation on Australia’s post-2020 emissions reduction targets ahead of a new global climate deal in Paris at the end of this year.
Australia’s targets are under review and the government has promised it will announce new targets mid-year.
The paper commits Australia to the next international climate pact and states “a strong and effective global agreement, that addresses carbon leakage and delivers environmental benefit, is in Australia’s national interest”.
At its launch in Melbourne on Saturday, Environment Minister Greg Hunt said “we are committed to action on climate change because it’s real and significant and important”.
But the Greens said the paper puts Australia on track for a repeat of 1997 Kyoto talks, where then environment minister Robert Hill argued Australia should be made an exception because of the economy’s high dependence on coal.
“We are one of the few countries in the world to have met and beaten our first round of Kyoto targets and to be on target to meet and beat our second round of Kyoto targets,” Mr Hunt said.
“So we want to be part of the post 2020 period.”
Mr Hunt said the government would do this without carbon pricing and “without making families pay for higher electricity prices and gas prices”.
Critics have attacked the seven-page document for failing to mention the internationally agreed goal of avoiding 2 degrees of global warming.
The wording of the discussion paper raises the possibility the government may argue that Australia’s heavily resource-based economy should qualify it for special treatment in international talks.
Mr Hunt said: “Australia will play its part in a very constructive way. Each country will be making commitments based on its own economic profile”.
The paper says: “Compared with other developed countries, Australia has stronger economic and population growth, and our economic structure is different.
“Our resource and agricultural industries represent a significantly larger share of national economic output. These factors affect the emissions intensity of our exports and economy”.
It says that 60 per cent of Australia’s primary energy supply comes from coal, compared to the average in developed countries of 20 per cent.
“For the foreseeable future, Australia will continue to be a major supplier of crucial energy and raw materials to the rest of the world, especially Asian countries.”
The Climate Institute said that while the government’s intergenerational report made reference to the 2 degree goal, its discussion paper used a global energy scenario that would put the world on track for nearly 4 degrees of warming.
“The Issues Paper states ‘by 2040, it is estimated that 74 per cent [of the world’s primary energy needs] will still be met by carbon-based sources because of growing demand in emerging economies’,” chief executive John Connor said.
He said this scenario was based on modelling by the International Energy Agency that assumed countries would only implement existing policies and proposals to cut greenhouse gases.
“This assumes that no countries will take any further action for the next 25 years,” Mr Connor said.
“The IEA admits this scenario would witness warming of at least 3.6 degrees. A world of four degrees warming would be disastrous for Australia’s economy, security and environment.”
Mr Connor said other major emitting economies were moving to “increase not decrease credible climate action”.
In a landmark announcement with China last year, United States President Barack Obama foreshadowed targets that would reduce emissions by 26 to 28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2025.
This is expected to be formalised in an announcement next week.
The EU has also announced its target: to achieve carbon emissions 40 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030.
China has made a projection that its emissions will increase until 2030 and then fall, but Beijing has made no formal commitment yet.
Greens leader Christine Milne said on Saturday “nothing has changed since 1997”.
“In 1997, Robert Hill argued that Australia was an exception, that our economy was disproportionately dependent on coal and therefore we were a special case and needed an increase in greenhouse gas emissions.
“Fast forward to 2015 and we have a repeat performance from Greg Hunt and Tony Abbott: Australia is set to argue again that 60 per cent of our energy comes from coal.”
The paper, Setting Australia’s Post-2020 Target for Greenhouse Gas Emissions, says the government is open to new policy measures to cut emissions, beyond its existing Direct Action Plan.
It invites public suggestions on what Australia’s next target should be.
It acknowledges that countries will be expected to justify well in advance of Paris how their targets are “fair and ambitious in light of their national circumstances” and “how it contributes to achieving the [United Nation’s] objective of stabilising emissions at a level that would avoid dangerous climate change”.
The Sydney Morning Herald
March 28, 2015 – 6:18PM
Bill Chaffey Photo: Supplied
Rio Australia’s paralympic hopefuls had their first glimpse of the Rio Paralympics this week, with uniform fittings and briefings on the logistics of the journey. Suddenly, some long-help personal goals are coming into focus.
Bill Chaffey will be competing in an entirely new discipline in the 2016 Paralympics, the paratriathlon. Chaffey is part of the Queensland Academy of Sport triathlon squad that includes most of the state’s elite triathletes. Chaffey was left a paraplegic after being hit by a truck while riding his bicycle as part of triathlon training in 2005. Three years later, he competed in his first paratriathlon. Rio is in his mind in every race and every training session but it’s not what keeps him motivated. The world champion says he’d do it, even if it was just in his own backyard. “I’d compete in triathlon if it was just my local club, so to compete on the world stage and I’ve been able to say the best in the world, that’s a pretty special feeling.” The shift to the QAS squad has shaved minutes off his personal bests under head coach Stephen Moss.
Carlee Beattie Photo: Supplied
Carlee Beattie is a T46 paralympic athlete who holds the world record for her class in long jump. A London silver medallist, she has a burning desire to grab the gold in 2016. Beattie is a congenital arm amputee and competes with a prosthetic arm. The nutrition graduate has competed alongside able-bodied athletes regularly through her career, making national finals. The 32-year-old said that experience has helped her continually improve. “I always compete really well at those competitions,” she said. “Because a lot of the girls can jump further than me, that pushes me and I really valued being bale to compete with them. They’re also very supportive. They’re the times I’ve broken my world record, when I’ve been competing on the national circuit.”
Kurt Fearnley Photo: John Cowpland
Fearnley is surely among the most high profile of the squad, heading into his fifth Paralympic campaign. He’s also managed to squeeze in 58 marathons through his career and complete Kokoda on his hands. Back at the Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre for the team processing, Fearnley is as pumped as any about the 2016 Rio games. With a commercial broadcaster signed for the first time, Fearnley said the move would be a massive one for the paralympic movement. “First-time paralympians are going to get to do what they on such a massive stage for the very first time and hopefully it might mean more opportunities for more athletes,” he said. “This is a first and unprecedented for our movement in our country.”
Chelsea Higgins is one of the youngest in the initial Paralympics squad and is cherishing the chance to vie for a Paralympic spot. The initial team processing day left her with goosebumps as she was shown the venues and landscape of the Rio 2016 games and fitted for uniforms. After a serious horse riding accident as a teenager left her with brain damage and right side paralysis, Higgins was determined not to let her equestrian dream slip away. In fact, she says it has been the only constant in her life since the accident. “It’s amazing because my life has changed in so many ways,” she said. “At the moment I can’t study like a normal person because I can’t sit exams so for me to be able to go horse riding, to be able to still do that every day and do what I love is the best thing.”
The Brisbane Times
March 28, 2015 – 12:30PM
The team at Whale Hammer Games, from left, Peter Castle, Peter Simpson and Tom Cox, raised more than $68,000 in five weeks by crowd-finding. Photo: Photo by Melissa Adams
Three Canberra men can forget about second jobs after celebrating the city’s largest online crowd-funding success for their debut video game.
The team behind Whale Hammer Games – which operates out of a Downer home – passed their $68,000 funding target with three hours to spare earlier this month.
A frantic final week of campaigning by Peter Castle, Tom Cox and Peter Simpson paid off, with $28,000 raised through 1283 backers.
“There was a little bit of stunned silence and then some very tired celebrating,” Mr Castle said.
“It’s pretty special, it validates deciding to go down that path.”
The successful fundraising for their Tahira – Echoes of the Astral Empire turn-based tactics game was the highest amount raised by a Canberra team using the popular Kickstarter all-or-nothing funding model, and the sixth highest by any Australian gaming team on the platform.
Mr Castle said the money, due to be received within days, meant they could focus on releasing the first episode by January as planned.
“Apart from financially being more stable and not having to work a second job, it gives us a group of people to make it for,” he said.
International Game Developers Association Canberra branch chairman Matt Stimson said the funding success was the third independent ACT game funded through Kickstarter since July.
“Of course the community is absolutely buzzing with this, it’s a capstone for an absolutely fantastic year for games in Canberra,” he said.
While the majority of backers came from overseas, the single most generous supporter – whose $5000 gift entitled them to an executive producer credit – came from Mr Cox’s mother, Kerry Sargent.
March 29, 2015 – 1:33AM
The Abbott government’s national security committee of cabinet has yet to decide if Australia will join other countries by requiring airlines to have two people in the cockpit of aeroplanes at all times. The committee met to canvass options to improve air safety regulations following the Germanwings crash that killed 150 people in the French Alps on Tuesday.Flight 4U 9525, which was travelling between Barcelona and Dusseldorf, crashed into a French mountainside on Tuesday, killing 144 passengers and six crew. Two Australians – 68-year-old Carol Friday and her son Greig, 29 – died in the crash.
French prosecutors have accused the plane’s co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, of deliberately crashing the plane when the senior pilot was locked out of the cockpit
Prosecutors have alleged that that Lubitz had been declared unwell in the days before the fatal flight, but that he had hidden the information from his employer.
It has been revealed that Lubitz, 27, tore up a sick note signing him off work on the day of the crash and had received treatment at a hospital in Duesseldorf only two weeks before the tragedy.
It is understood Lubitz broke up with his girlfriend in the days leading up to the crash, with some reports suggesting they were engaged to be married.
In other developments on Saturday, an ex-girlfriend of Lubitz said he had told her he planned to do something “that would change the system” and “make everyone remember” him.
She told reporters: “It didn’t make sense at the time but now it all does.”
Cabinet’s National Security Committee – which includes Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop and Transport Minister Warren Truss – met in Melbourne on Saturday morning to discuss the implications of the crash. Mr Truss updated his fellow cabinet ministers on the latest developments and discussed options to change Australian regulations.
Unlike Australia, the United States requires two crew members to be in the cabin at all times. On Saturday the Lufthansa Group, whose subsiduaries include Germanwings, agreed to follow new European Union rules requiring airlines to replace a pilot who temporarily leaves the cockpit. Only a day before, Lufthansa’s chief executive had said that such a change was unnecessary.
Government sources said that there would not be a “knee-jerk reaction” to the crash and the government would carefully consider the consequences of any changes to regulations.
Qantas and Virgin were conducting their own safety and security risk assessments of cockpit procedures.
Relatives of Carol and Greig Friday are travelling to Europe to visit the area of the crash.
Ms Friday’s niece Georgie Coram told Fairfax Media that she and her father would travel to Germany before making the journey to the crash site near the Italian border.
“We feel this is an important part of our grief process,” Ms Coram said.
March 29, 2015 – 12:15AM
ACCC watchdog accused of spending taxpayer money on extravagant events: The commission is set to hold a global gathering with $47,000 worth of catering. Photo: Supplied
The cash-strapped competition watchdog has been accused of behaving extravagantly by spending half a million dollars of taxpayer money at a four-day gathering of global regulators in Sydney next month.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission officials told a parliamentary inquiry that it was scaling back its corporate surveillance activities as a result of $171 million in federal government budget cuts over four years.
At the end of April, the ACCC will host the International Competition Network, an annual meeting of 500 competition regulators, lawyers and academics from around the world.
Illustration: Matt Golding.
Expenses for the event include $47,000 spent on catering for a “cocktail and canape style welcome event” at the Opera House. Food and drink for delegates and their guests will be provided by celebrity chef Matt Moran’s exclusive Aria restaurant. Attendees at the soiree will enjoy lamb filo cigars, Petuna ocean trout tacos and “gentleman’s handshake” cocktails.
The ACCC has taken out a $260,000 contract with the Sheraton on the Park, which will host the conference.
Another $32,000 will be spent on a luxury cruise of Sydney harbour for delegates and their spouses. Taxpayers will also foot the bill for a networking dinner at the Museum of Modern Art at Circular Quay.
A spokeswoman for the ACCC said the event will cost an estimated $500,000 in total, with the final cost to depend on number of guests who attend, audio visual requirements and catering requirements.
Pat Conroy, the chair of Labor’s Waste Watch Committee, said the ACCC needed to justify the “extravagant” spending on the International Competition Network meeting.
“How is spending $80,000 on harbour cruises and canapes at the Opera House helping to protect consumers from unscrupulous big businesses?” Mr Conroy asked.
“If you want to show off our beautiful harbour to foreign bureaucrats, why not put them on the return ferry to Manly for $15?”
The federal government should investigate whether the event could have been run more cheaply, Mr Conroy said.
An ACCC spokeswoman said the event, now in its 14th year, was an important way for competition agencies learn from each other and develop approaches on issues such as mergers and cartel behaviour that are effective across jurisdictions.
The spokeswoman said activities such as harbour cruises are standard for the conference, which has been held previously in Morocco, Brazil and Japan but not in Australia.
“The ACCC will not be selected as the host of the event in the foreseeable future so it is worth noting that these expenses will not be incurred again within the next decade or two,” the spokeswoman said. “Our expenditure is also less that most previous hosts.”