Archive for: ‘September 2018’

Ministers could back work on energy target

25/09/2018 Posted by admin

Labor’s energy spokesman, Mark Butler, says there’s no “quick fix” on the National Energy Guarantee.The Turnbull government won’t get the full support it craves for its National Energy Guarantee this week, but there could be a commitment for more detailed work.

Victoria and the ACT won’t sign off on the cornerstone energy policy at a meeting of energy ministers in Melbourne on Friday, but will use it to address concerns about elements of the framework.

The Business Council wants in-principle agreement from all parties so detailed design work can continue.

“The guarantee is the only workable option at the table,” chief executive Jennifer Westacott said on Thursday.

“Supporting the guarantee is about supporting a circuit-breaker for a policy that has dogged this country for a decade.”

That’s a call echoed by New South Wales energy minister Don Harwin who is encouraging his state and territory counterparts to get on board.

The Energy Security Board released high level technical documents, supplemented by a federal government report, last week, but some ministers say the information is not detailed enough to give them the guarantees they need.

The detailed design document is expected in July and Victorian Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said her state won’t sign off on it sight unseen.

She wants confirmation from federal energy minister Josh Frydenberg that state emissions and renewables targets that are more ambitious than the NEG will be honoured and included in future solutions, and for targets to be scalable.

Victoria is aiming for 40 per cent renewables by 2025.

The current guarantee locks in a 26 per cent emissions reduction target for the electricity sector until 2030, the low end of Australia’s Paris Agreement commitment of 26-28 per cent reduction on 2005 emissions levels by 2030.

Ms D’Ambrosio and Western Australia’s energy minister Ben Wyatt have both questioned what that would mean for sectors including transport, agriculture and industry, where abatement is not as cheap and easy as for electricity.

The low ambition emissions reduction target is one of five points of contention for the ACT, while Queensland has also identified a renewables target of 50 per cent by 2030.

Federal Labor’s energy spokesman Mark Butler said the policy framework needs more work before anyone can make a final decision.

Labor wants a target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030 and 45 per cent emissions reduction target by the same deadline.

The current proposal would legislate a 26 per cent energy reduction target for the electricity sector.

Ministers will hold a dinner on Thursday night before formal talks on Friday, which was the original target deadline for the decision.

The federal government is now aiming for sign-off at the next Energy Council meeting in August.

Australian Associated Press

Shot fired at police car at Lake Macquarie

25/09/2018 Posted by admin

Shot fired at police car at Lake Macquarie File image.

One of two northbound lanes have been closed on the Pacific Highway near Jewells.

TweetFacebookLAKE Macquarie police are on the hunt after a rifle was pointed from a car and fired at officers in pursuit of the vehicle.

The dog squad attempted to pull the Holden Commodoreover on the Pacific Highway at Jewells about 3.30am on Thursday for a minor traffic offence.

The car sped off and a pursuit began.

However, a short time later police said a rifle was pointed out the window and a single shot was firedat an officer.

The pursuit was terminated.

The officer was not injured.

Police set up a crime scene and closed a section of the Pacific Highway on Thursday morning while they investigated.

Anyone with information should phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Lake Macquarie detectives on4922 8899.

Engine checks after US plane explosion

25/09/2018 Posted by admin

Investigators examine the engine which exploded midair on a Southwest Airlines flight, killing one.The US Federal Aviation Administration says it will order an inspection of some 220 jet engines after investigators said a broken fan blade touched off an engine explosion on a Southwest Airlines flight, shattering a window and killing a passenger.

The order, called an air-worthiness directive, would require an ultrasonic inspection within the next six months of the fan blades on all CFM56-7B engines that have accrued a certain number of flights.

The CFM56 engine on Southwest flight 1380 blew apart over Pennsylvania on Tuesday, about 20 minutes after the Dallas-bound flight left New York’s LaGuardia Airport with 149 people on board.

The explosion sent shrapnel ripping into the fuselage of the Boeing 737-700 plane and shattered a window.

Bank executive Jennifer Riordan, 43, was killed when she was partially pulled through a gaping hole next to her seat in row 14 as the cabin suffered rapid decompression. Fellow passengers were able to pull her back inside but she died of her injuries later on Tuesday.

Earlier on Wednesday National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt said the incident began when one of the engine’s 24 fan blades snapped off from its hub. Sumwalt said investigators found that the blade had suffered metal fatigue at the site of the break.

Sumwalt said he could not yet say if the incident, the first deadly airline accident in the United States since 2009, pointed to a fleet-wide issue in the Boeing 737-700.

“We want to very carefully understand what was the result of this problem, and as I mentioned a few minutes ago, I’m very concerned about this particular event,” Sumwalt said at the news conference at the Philadelphia airport. “To be able to extrapolate that to the entire fleet, I’m not willing to do that right now.”

Southwest crews were inspecting similar engines the airline had in service, focusing on the 400 to 600 oldest of the CFM56 engines, made by a partnership of France’s Safran and General Electric, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. It was the second time that style of engine had failed on a Southwest jet in the past two years, prompting airlines around the world to step up inspections.

A National Transportation Safety Board inspection crew was also combing over the Boeing 737-700 for signs of what caused the engine to explode.

Australian Associated Press

Five Eyes demand action on Russia hacking

25/09/2018 Posted by admin

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has joined his Five Eyes allies in condemning Russian cyber attacks.Russia’s cyber warfare attacks on the United Kingdom and its links to chemical weapons have prompted four countries in the Five Eyes security alliance to demand action.

The prime ministers of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK met in London to discuss cyber security, and Russia’s attacks in particular.

“The cooperation between our nations allowed us to trace February’s NotPetya hack to Russia,” UK Prime Minister Theresa May said in the meeting on Wednesday local time.

“Russia is using cyber as part of a wider effort to attack and undermine the international system.

“Its interference over the past year has included attacks on the public sector, media, telecommunications and energy sectors.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said illegal conduct from Russia cannot be tolerated.

“Whether it is a chemical attack in Syria, the use of a nerve agent on British soil, or the expanding cyber attacks across the internet … these must be resisted, they must be protected, they must be identified,” Mr Turnbull told the meeting.

Mrs May said Russia is using disinformation campaigns to distort the truth of what happened in chemical weapons attacks in Salisbury and in Syria.

“I have been clear to Russia that we know what it is doing. And we should be in no doubt that such cyber warfare is one of the great challenges of our time,” she said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the four nations, who along with the United States make up the Five Eyes security alliance, stood in solidarity with the UK.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the four countries would work together on security and making sure the system of rules-based international law was maintained.

Mr Turnbull said businesses and governments needed to step up their cyber security, especially as many hacks were the result of sloppy practices.

“The level of cyber attacks is so high, at any given time, that it is always present,” he told reporters.

Labor foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong said the public is increasingly aware of Russia defying international standards, including its use of cyber and chemical weapons attacks.

“I do think it’s important to make clear to Russia that the international community does expect adherence to certain norms,” Senator Wong told Sky News.

Australian Associated Press

Kanye posts ‘philosophy book’ on Twitter

25/09/2018 Posted by admin

Hip hop icon Kanye West says he is posting his new philosophy book ‘in real time’ on Twitter.Kanye West has posted a flurry of philosophical messages on Twitter, saying they form a book he is writing “in real time”.

The rapper recently said he wanted to pen a philosophy book called Break The Simulation.

On Wednesday he posted a series of tweets sharing his musings on life, the internet and originality and told his 7.44 million followers his messages were part of the book.

“No publisher or publicist will tell me what to put where or how many pages to write,” he said.

“This is not a financial opportunity, this is an innate need to be expressive.”

West, father of three children with wife Kim Kardashian West, started with a post advising people not to “hop right on the phone or the internet or even speak to anyone for even up to an hour if possible” after getting up.

He then told his readers to follow their own vision and not the crowd.

He also advised: “I don’t believe in the concept of an enemy.

“We have been conditioned to always be in competition. Stop looking for something to beat and just be.

“You don’t have to do all the work. Once you start moving in love the universe will assist you.”

He went on: “You will be a drop of water with the ocean as your army.

“If you move out of fear than your on your own.

“Then it’s just you and the money and the countless people you have to lie to and manipulate to build a man made path that will never lead to true happiness.”

West said the tweets form part of his book, adding he will work on it whenever he has something to express.

“Oh by the way this is my book that I’m writing in real time,” he said.

“No publisher or publicist will tell me what to put where or how many pages to write.

“This is not a financial opportunity this is an innate need to be expressive.”

Australian Associated Press