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Japanese,US, German, Australian team targets big battery projects in Asia-Pacific

MELBOURNE: Japan’s JERA, a U.S.-German joint venture, and an Australian firm have teamed up to develop battery projects in the Asia-Pacific, including the world’s biggest, targeting a market expected to be worth several billion dollars by 2022. The move marks a big green push for JERA, a joint venture between Tokyo Electric Power Co and Chubu Electric Power Co that is the world’s top buyer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and one of the world’s biggest coal traders. The plan is for JERA to fund energy storage projects…

104-yr-old Australian commits assisted suicide in Switzerland

GENEVA: A 104-year-old Australian scientist who travelled to Switzerland to end his life committed assisted suicide on Thursday, a Swiss foundation said. David Goodall, who had been barred from seeking help to end his life in his home country, did not have a terminal illness but said his quality of life had deteriorated significantly and that he wanted to die. Goodall "died peacefully" in Basel, tweeted Philip Nitschke, founder of Exit International, the organisation which helped Goodall make the journey from…

Australian cricket in ‘good hands’ with Langer: Lehmann

SYDNEY: Australian cricket must move on from the damaging ball tampering scandal and the team could not have found a better coach to help them achieve that than Justin Langer, his predecessor Darren Lehmann has said. Langer was named on Thursday as the replacement for Lehmann, who resigned in the wake of the Cape Town scandal even though he was cleared of wrongdoing by Cricket Australia. Former captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner are serving year-long bans while Cameron Bancroft has been suspended for nine…

Ninth Australian lawmaker quits as citizenship crisis widens

SYDNEY: A ninth Australian lawmaker quit parliament on Wednesday after discovering she was a dual national, the latest casualty in a widening constitutional crisis that has already cost the government its majority. The resignation of Skye Kakoschke-Moore, one of three senators in the center-right Nick Xenophon Team, over the surprise revelation that she was a British citizen by descent, does not affect the government’s position in the upper house. “Their advice was extremely surprising to me,” Kakoschke-Moore told…

Australian police search killer of giant crocodile

SYDNEY: A manhunt has begun for the killer of a giant saltwater crocodile in Australia, as authorities warned its death would trigger more aggressive behaviour among younger crocs in the area. The carcass of a 5.2-metre (17-foot) adult male was found in the Fitzroy River in central Queensland on Thursday with a single gunshot wound to the head, the environment department said. "It is illegal to 'take' and kill a crocodile without authority and police will work closely with (the environment department) to locate the…

COAS Bajwa arrives in Australia on two-day visit

CANBERRA: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa has reached Australia on two days official visit on the invitation of Australian Army Chief. Upon arrival at the Defence Forces Headquarters in Canberra, the COAS was given a tri-service Guard of Honour. The Army chief called on Australian Army Chief Lieutenant General Angus J. Campbell and Naval Chief Vice Admiral Timothy Barrett. Later, he also met Australian Foreign Minister Ms Julie Bishop and Defence Minister Ms Marise Payne AR at Australian…

Shark-detecting drones to patrol Australian beaches

SYDNEY: Drones equipped with a shark detection system powered by artificial intelligence will start patrolling some Australian beaches from next month in a bid to improve safety. The battery-powered drones will provide a live-video feed to a drone operator who then uses the shark-spotting software to identify sharks in real time and with more accuracy than the human eye. Studies have shown that people have a 20-30 percent accuracy rate when interpreting data from aerial images to detect shark activity. Detection…

Scientists make breakthrough in peanut allergy treatment

MELBOURNE: Australian researchers have reported a major breakthrough in the relief of deadly peanut allergy with the discovery of a long-lasting treatment they say offers hope that a cure will soon be possible. In clinical trials conducted by scientists at Melbourne's Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, children with peanut allergies were given a probiotic along with small doses of a peanut protein over an 18-month period. When the experiment ended in 2013 some 80 percent of the kids were able to tolerate peanuts.…