Batemans Bay In 'State Of Emergency' After 100K Bats Swarm Town

A coastal town in New South Wales, Australia, has been overrun by over 100,000 bats and has now been declared in a state of emergency, according to Sky News. The small town of Batemans Bay has been overtaken by the swarming bats, and the noise is said to be unbearable. Aside from the noise, locals are also faced with the stress of not being able to open their windows or go outside. Danielle Smith, a local resident, said the swarm of over 100,000 bats is stopping her from doing everyday tasks. “I can’t open the windows, I can’t use the clotheslines, it’s just, I can’t study because the noise just goes constantly. I can’t concentrate. It’s not fun,” she said. ‘The bats came and they are just out of control. We just can’t do anything because of them.” More than 100,000 bats invade Australia's Batemans Bay town — AJE News (@AJENews) May 24, 2016 The is the biggest swarm of bats to descend on Batemans Bay and Russell Schneider of the Flying Fox Task Force said this group of bats is the largest he has ever witnessed. “This is the biggest, this is unprecedented, they’ve never been seen in these numbers,” he said. The bats are in fact flying foxes and are considered a vulnerable species in Australia. This means they are protected from being killed and the swarm can only be removed via non-lethal methods. Animal rights groups are calling for the bats to be left alone, saying the invasion of over 100,000 bats will leave on their own accord. Glenys Oogjes from Animals Australia, a local animal protection group, said, “We have to wait for the bats to move on and they will.” Some non-lethal methods that have been suggested to move the swarm of bats out of town include using smoke, lights, noise, and clearing vegetation. Swarm of bats invade Australian town — Telegraph News (@TelegraphNews) May 24, 2016 The state government said they will commit US$1.8 million, according to itv News, to help the local Batemans Bay council disperse the 100,000 bats, but how they will do so is not yet clear. Lindsay Brown, the Eurobodalla Shire Council Mayor, said they are trying all the safe options they have been given to scare the bats away. “The current method that seems to be the one that’s working the most… is extremely loud industrial noise combined with smoke and combined with bright lights in an effort to make the area where the flying foxes roost to be as uncomfortable as possible,” he said. Some officials have started to chop down trees in an attempt to get rid of the swarm of bats as more and more locals residents complain about the flying foxes. One resident said that the animals are “causing a great deal of stress and distress.” Other townspeople, including New South Wales Environment Minister Mark Speakman, said locals feel isolated, powerless, and many feel like they have become prisoners. “We’ve had many residents complain, they feel they’re prisoners in their own homes, they can’t go out, they have to have air conditioning on the whole time, windows closed,” Speakman said. “[The circumstances] really amount almost to a state of emergency.” Bat invasion: 100,000 bats terrorise Australian town, Batemans Bay ..#NEVERTRUMP — mesatowne (@mesatowne) May 25, 2016 The grey-headed flying foxes have covered every tree, are on every surface, and where there is not a bat, there are droppings. Aside from creating a lot of noise, the swarm of bats is dropping a lot of poop and the odor is also bothering residents. Mayor Lindsay Brown said locals have had enough of the 100k bats and want something done now. Residents cannot open their windows and complain of the noise and odor from the animals, according to Aljazeera. “The community really does want to see some action on this matter. They’ve been living with this circumstance for a considerable period of time and causing a great deal of stress and distress to our community,” he said. Animal rights groups are keeping an eye on how the bats are being treated and ensuring no harm will come to them. [Photo by Julian Smith/AAP]

Worries For PM As Poll Shows Australian Government Headed For Historic First Term Defeat

As Australia approaches election day on July 2, the incumbent government braces itself for what could be an historic first-term defeat for the conservative Coalition party. Polling has tightened to a virtual dead-heat as swinging voters are reportedly disappointed with Malcolm Turnbull’s performance as Prime Minister. Opposition leader for the progressive ALP Bill Shorten was declared the winner of the Facebook debate on Friday, with 17 to 7 swing voters being more convinced of his platform. .@billshortenmp declared winner of first live Facebook leaders' debate with @TurnbullMalcolm. #9News — Nine News Australia (@9NewsAUS) June 17, 2016 The online debate was reportedly plagued with buffering issues for users, an irony not lost on the audience who are still upset with Malcolm Turnbull for hobbling the nation’s broadband network by not only insisting on using slower copper wire instead of high-speed fiber-optic, but also failing to deliver the “faster, cheaper” outcome as promised. When Malcolm Turnbull brought up the issue, Bill Shorten addressed the Facebook audience directly. He asked them to “Press ‘like’ if you prefer fiber to copper,” causing the “likes” on the Facebook stream to climb from about 1400, to 9400. The loss was a surprise to the internet-savvy Turnbull. Bill Shorten is not known for his charisma, with one commentator allowing that although he had won the debate, he was still “only marginally livelier than a dead tree.” Turnbull’s garrulous charm was expected to win over viewers easily. But in 2016, the effect of the internet is stronger than ever. In an increasingly small world, the internet audience would be well aware of the global swing to the left with the rise of Bernie Sanders, who is leading a powerful challenge to the American policies that Malcolm Turnbull is trying to enact here – privatizing healthcare, trickle-down economics, and leaving the market to decide university fees ensuring they will be less affordable to the lower and middle classes – and this charge is being lead almost solely on the internet. Sanders’ campaign has been highly influential on internet citizens and for this reason, the Facebook audience appreciated Bill Shorten’s progressive stance on all these issues, especially his championing of the very successful universal healthcare platform Medicare. Revolution, with @BernieSanders: “Join the rest of the developed world and guarantee healthcare.”#FeelTheBern — ((( Steve Todd ))) (@stevenwtodd) June 17, 2016 If Turnbull’s Coalition loses, they will be the first federal government to be kicked out after only one term. Turnbull replaced Tony Abbott after he led an almost comically disastrous beginning to the Coalition’s first term as government saw the economy plummet within six months of taking over the helm, and Abbott being the center of repeated domestic gaffes and international embarrassments. At the time, a US think-tank named Abbott “the most incompetent leader of any industrialized democracy.” Even despite the cringe factor, the very socially-conservative Abbott turned out to be too conservative for the Australian people, and he wasn’t even delivering on his promised economic outcomes. Turnbull was seen as the savior for the government’s woes and to the electorate, appeared to have all the credentials that Abbott had lacked – economic nous, progressive social views, technological savvy, and a reputation for being outspoken on environmental issues. “Moderate Malcolm” was welcomed and initially enjoyed a high popularity with swing voters because of his more progressive views, but as his term as Prime Minister unfolded, the electorate became increasingly despondent with his performance. Polls indicate that the electorate feel he failed to deliver, and continued to enact Abbott’s unpopular policies on immigration, gay marriage, climate change and energy reform, the TPP, and the NBN. Comment: The great tragedy of Malcolm Turnbull. | @emfarrelly — (@smh) June 18, 2016 Of even more concern to voters is the continuing woeful economic performance, which an Australian Institute study described on Tuesday as “the worst since Menzies”, showing that real income growth for households has fallen significantly under Abbott/Turnbull’s steerage. Despite the government’s hand-waving protestations about the GDP, at the kitchen table, Australian families are really feeling the pinch. However, Australians have been slow to warm to Bill Shorten, who at times hasn’t offered a strong enough opposition. A first-term defeat for the government will be the first time in federal Australian politics that an incumbent party hasn’t been granted a second term by the electorate. [Photo by Mick Tsikas – Pool/Getty Images]

Australia Mosque Attack Leaves Many Terrified, Police Hunt For 3 Suspects

A Western Australia mosque attack has left hundreds of people shocked and terrified as the country prepares for its upcoming federal parliamentary election on July 2. According to The Australian, hundreds of people were praying at Perth’s Thornlie Mosque at about 8 p.m. on Tuesday when an explosion was heard outside. It appears that the attackers poured petrol into a Toyota Prado 4WD parked by the mosque and set it ablaze, Perth Now reported. The fire quickly spread to three other cars parked nearby. However, the police and firefighters were able to douse the flames before it spread further. Suspected petrol bomb lit outside Australian Islamic College & Thornlie Mosque during prayers #wanews @perthnow 1/2 — Dani Le Messurier (@danilemess) June 28, 2016 Anti-Islam slogans were also painted on the walls of a nearby Islamic college during the Australia mosque attack. However, no one was injured in the attack. At the moment, no suspects have been apprehended. However, an investigation has commenced into the incident. The police are searching for three men who were spotted running away near the Australia Islamic College after the explosion. CCTV footage has been released showing the hooded men as they escaped from the crime scene, ABC reported. They were later tracked to Hughenden Drive where a car had reportedly been parked. Yahya Adel Ibrahim, a teacher at the college and leader at the mosque, revealed on Facebook that people stayed to finish their prayers after the explosion. Ibrahim, who described the Australia mosque attack as a “criminal act of hate,” said the local Muslim community would not resort to “hating and playing blame games.” “This, undoubtedly is a criminal act of hate, but it is the act of a person or group not the greater whole,” he wrote. The Principal of the Australia Islamic College, Dr. Abdullah Khan, stated that “people are shocked and disappointed,” Perth Now reported. “The way I see it, it was more targeted at people praying than the school because the school was not in operation at that time,” he said. The Australia mosque attack comes at a time when Muslims across the world are fasting and focusing on religious devotion to mark the holy Ramadan month. Following the attack, on Wednesday, several people returned to the Thornlie Mosque to partake in morning prayers, The Australian reported. This is not the first time that a mosque has been attacked in Australia. Religious tension has been on the rise in the country in recent years. Last month, a mosque in Victoria was set ablaze by unknown attackers. According to the Herald Sun, that was the fifth time a place of worship had been set on fire since October 2015. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has joined other officials in condemning the Australian mosque attack. Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who has expressed assurance that the government will work to keep Australians safe, said the mosque attack might have been politically motivated, Sky News reported. Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop during House of Representatives question time at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia. [Photo by Stefan Postles/Getty Images]“An attack outside a mosque would appear to be motivated by political events,” she said. “We believe that this matter should be thoroughly investigated, and I’m confident that it will be.” Despite several concerns in the wake of the Australia mosque attack, Khan has stated that the college would be open on Wednesday for classes, ABC reported. “We have given them instructions that it is business as usual, and children should come to school as they do every single day,” he said. However, some parents have confessed to the media that they are worried about letting their children go back to the school soon. According to Perth Now, Khan said that the school is being protected by a security company round-the-clock. He also revealed that school authorities have reached out to the police and requested that a patrol car be dispatched to scout the area frequently until the Ramadan month ends to prevent a similar attack. The police have asked anyone with information about the Australia mosque attack to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via

Domino's Pizza Forced To Pay $1,200 For 18-Month Late Pizza

Domino’s Pizza in Australia has been successfully sued for an undelivered order by a New South Wales lawyer. According to a report from The Guardian, Tim Driscoll, 30, a lawyer from Corrimal, New South Wales, ordered a pizza from Domino’s for himself and his friends for Anzac Day in April, 2015. Anzac Day is one of Australia’s largest public holidays, held in honor of fallen soldiers. [Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images] According to Yahoo News Australia, the pizza hadn’t arrived an hour later, and Driscoll called his local Domino’s location. The manager apologized profusely and explained that they had been inundated with orders for the holiday. He promised to refund Driscoll’s money. In spite of Driscoll’s frequent reminders, the refund also never arrived. Driscoll, a shareholder in Domino’s Pizza, attempted repeatedly to contact the corporate board — he was determined to at least get his refund. Those attempts also failed. Finally, on the one-year anniversary of the failed pizza delivery, Driscoll decided that he’d had enough and it was time he had “better go and initiate proceedings.” “They kept saying they were looking into it but after 12 months of fobbing me off with ‘we’ll get back to you’, I thought I had to bring it to a head.” “I took the extreme step of going to court.” Driscoll also requested that a competition watchdog go after Domino’s. Driscoll’s order of three pizzas, two garlic breads, and two 1.25L bottles of Coke ran to $37.35, including a public holiday surcharge. According to a spokesperson for Domino’s, he was provided with a voucher for a free pizza at the time, which just added insult to injury. Driscoll specializes in personal injury and worker’s compensation claims, and he filed suit against Domino’s Pizza for breach of contract. He said it was a matter of principal. “I don’t like to be taken lightly, I suppose, in any of these kinds of matters… It was a bit embarrassing having my friends there and no food to give them, so it was a bit of a personal insult. I just kept fighting. I’ve always been a battler.” When the case went to court, Domino’s refused to either acknowledge or attend the proceedings on Wednesday. In their absence, Driscoll won the case by default, and Domino’s Pizza was ordered to refund the amount of his order, along with $1203.27 to cover his legal costs — about 240 pizzas worth. The court-ordered payment hasn’t shown up either, in spite of his having “sent the order to them a couple of times,” which is rather ironic in context — Domino’s seems to have a bit of trouble fulfilling Driscoll’s orders. And according to Driscoll, the company claims to have had no knowledge of the proceedings whatsoever — a statement he doesn’t buy. “I mean, I’ve kept them apprised at every step.” A spokesperson for Domino’s said that the company was “disappointed and embarrassed to hear that we have let down a pizza-loving customer,” and while he was quick to point out that Driscoll had been given the free voucher at the time, “we clearly could have and should have done more.” And that’s a bit odd, considering that Domino’s has, allegedly, since the case was decided, accused Driscoll of wasting the court’s time and stated that they intend to appeal to overturn the judgment. It is perhaps worth noting at this time that Domino’s Pizza posted a net revenue of $2.22 billion last year. Domino’s Pizza is the second-largest franchise pizza chain in the world, surpassed only by Pizza Hut. [Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images] But the spokesperson said that Domino’s had “let him down” and was “working to make it up to him… and to ensure he is not out of pocket for any expenses incurred.” Meanwhile, Driscoll is still a shareholder in Domino’s — “at the moment.” [Featured photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]

Dreamworld Deaths: Four Killed In Thunder River Rapids Ride Accident

Australia’s Dreamworld confirms four people were killed in a Thunder River Rapids ride accident today. Police said that the Dreamworld accident, which occurred at around 2:20 pm in the Gold Coast metropolitan area in Queensland, caused four adults to die just when the theme park ride was about to end. Telegraph UK reports that six people were seated on the ride when one of the cars tumbled over, resulting to what was described as an “horrific scene.” Dreamworld deaths: Victims aged 42, 38, 35 and 32. @Bianca_Stone @SharynGhidella #7News — 7 News Queensland (@7NewsQueensland) October 25, 2016 The Dreamworld accident left two women and two men dead, aged between 32 and their early 40s, and are believed to belong in the same extended family. Gavin Fuller, a spokesman for the Queensland Ambulance Service, said in a news conference that there was “some sort of malfunction causing two people to be ejected” from the ride. The other two victims were “caught inside the ride,” he said. 4 people killed in ride accident at Dreamworld theme park in Australia, officials say — New York Times World (@nytimesworld) October 25, 2016 Fuller added that members of Dreamworld park’s staff administered first aid to the victims before paramedics arrived at the scene. The Queensland Police Service issued a statement saying that police officers had been called to Dreamworld following reports that “a number of people had been injured by a conveyor belt.” Queensland police inspector Tod Reid said that the Dreamworld accident is currently being investigated and that he could not confirm the victims’ names and whether they are related. Dreamworld chief executive Craig Davidson said in a statement that he was “deeply shocked and saddened by this and our hearts and our thoughts go to the families involved and to their loved ones.” The Dreamworld deaths were so disturbing that the ambulance staff were “deeply affected” by the incident, and were offered counselling as a result, as reported by Standard UK. A woman said that a girl was spotted crying hysterically that her mother had been caught in the gondola ride. “There were just police and lifeguards everywhere. I spoke to a guy and he said he looked behind and the whole thing has flipped over,” she said. US Olympics 1500m gold medallist Matthew Centrowitz tweeted that he was at the Gold Coast theme park at the time and wrote that the tragedy happened 15 minutes after he was on the ride. Shocked Dreamworld visitors are streaming out of the theme park after ride incident. @abcgoldcoast — Tom Forbes (@tomforbesGC) October 25, 2016 A man who requested not to be named told the Brisbane Courier Mail that a girl was pulled from one of the cars just before the Thunder River Rapids ride capsized. Leah Capes, another witness, said that “the kids and people in there were screaming.” “It all happened so quickly. There were heaps of people crying, it all happened so fast.” Australia’s prime minister Malcolm Turnbull issued a statement to offer condolences to the affected families in the wake of the Dreamworld deaths. “This is a very, very sad and tragic event. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who lost their lives. “Theme parks are a place for family fun and happiness, not tragedy. “We trust there will be a very thorough investigation into the causes of this incident in the days that follow.” Goldcoast mayor Tom tate said it was a “very sad day for our city.” “Our thoughts are with the families of those affected – and the emergency staff in attendance,” the Gold Coast mayor said. “I urge everyone to show the respect needed as the relevant authorities undertake investigations in to what has occurred. A truly sad day for all.” Dreamworld is around 35 miles south of Brisbane, and is considered the country’s most popular theme park, according to Australian news media. With more than 40 rides and attractions, the large theme park has the biggest and fastest rides in the country. It is owned by entertainment operator Ardent Leisure Group. [Featured Image by Australian Broadcasting Corporation/AP Images]