Wednesday, August 26, 2009

England Regains the Ashes in the Oval Sunshine

England regain Ashes in the Oval sunshine
From Wikinews
Monday, August 24, 2009

England has beaten Australia to win the 2009 Ashes series having won the fifth test by 197 runs at The Oval in Kennington, London.

Having previously won in 2005, England and Australia were level going in to the final test—and after a poor start on Friday morning, England looked to be in trouble.

However, England managed to bowl Australia out for 160 in the first innings, and on returning to the crease, Australia needed 542 runs in their second innings to secure victory—an unprecedented total for a final test, which indeed proved to be out of reach.

Celebrations this time round are expected to be lower-key compared to 2005; however, the crowd were in good spirits leaving the ground yesterday afternoon, having seen England's Andrew Flintoff play his final Test for the team.

Captain Andrew Strauss said "It's a special moment for us, we had to dig deep in a very hard series. It has not sunk in yet" in a post-match interview with former England captain Michael Atherton.

The victory is in stark contrast to the previous competition in Australia in 2007, where England were beaten 5–0 in the series.

Australia will next have the opportunity to regain the Ashes in 2011 in Australia.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Australian Receives Bravery Award for Rescues in Indonesian Air Disaster

From Wikinews,
Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Australia has given a bravery award to a Sunshine Coast resident who rescued several people after an air disaster in Indonesia. Kyle Quinlan was a passenger in the March 2007 crash of a Garuda Indonesia jet in Yogyakarta.

The jet overshot the runway and burst into flames. Quinlan received chest injuries but still got up and opened an emergency exit. He extinguished a fire blocking an escape and prevented panicked passengers from trampling a wounded victim. After helping an injured colleague with the Australian air force to safety, he then returned to the wreckage several times to help people before being forced to retreat by the heat.

"There was smoke and fire everywhere," Quinlan said of the accident, which killed 21 people from Indonesia and Australia. "People were screaming and others were dead. It was horrific."

Quinlan is to receive a Bravery Medal, the second-highest bravery award, in a ceremony at the Australian Bravery Decorations early next year. "What I did that day just came naturally. I certainly don’t feel like a hero," the 26-year-old told reporters. "In that situation all I did was help. If I was in trouble I’d like to think another person would do the same for me."

After the crash Quinlan travelled to hospital with his injured friend, and later worked with the Australian Embassy to give details of Australian nationals on the flight and recount his memory of how the disaster unfolded.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Her Majesty Appoints Governor for Turks and Caicos Islands

On 14 August 2009,Her Majesty has reaserted direct rule on the Turks and Caicos Islands after Misick's last legal appeal failed. The Caribbean islands' administration has been suspended for up to two years and power has been transferred to the directly appointed governor, with the Royal Navy also stationing a supply vessel in between Turks and Caicos. Politicians were accused of selling crown land for personal gain and misusing public funds. Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Chris Bryant said of the decision to impose rule, "This is a serious constitutional step which Her Majesty's Government has not taken lightly but these measures are essential in order to restore good governance and sound financial management."

The move was met with vehement opposition by the corrupt and ousted Turks and Caicos government, with Misick's successor Williams calling it a "coup". Despite this, the civilian populace was reported to be largely welcoming of the enforced rule. Her Majesty's government stated that they intended to keep true to their word that the country would regain sovereignty in two years or less, and Foreign Office Minister Chris Bryant said that elections would be held in 2011. Governor Wetherell, stated that he would aim to "make a clean break from the mistakes of the past" and create "a durable path towards good governance, sound financial management and sustainable development". Wetherell continued to say that, "In the meantime we must all learn to foster a quality of public spirit, listen to all those who have the long-term interests of these islands at heart, and safeguard the fundamental assets of the Territory for future generations... Our guiding principles will be those of transparency, accountability and responsibility. I believe that most people in the Turks and Caicos will welcome these changes."

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Jaipur's Queen Gayatri Devi dies at 90

-- From Wikinews
Thursday, July 30, 2009

Maharani Gayatri Devi, formerly the Rajmata of Jaipur and one of the last of India's surviving royalty, died Wednesday, July 29, after a ten-day illness. She was 90 years old.

Born in 1919 into the royal family of Cooch Behar, in 1939 Devi married Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II of Jaipur, becoming his third wife.

After India gained independence in 1947, the popular Devi ran for parliament in 1962 as a member of the Swatantra Party, winning her constituency with a then-record 78% of the vote. Devi won reelection twice, but she ran afoul of tax laws after the abolition of privy purses in 1971 and was jailed for five months.

After her release from prison, she withdrew from politics and published an autobiography, A Princess Remembers, in 1976; the 1997 film Mémoires d'une princesse des Indes (Memoirs of a Hindu Princess) was based around her life.

A funeral planned in Jaipur for today has drawn thousands of attendees. Gayatri Devi is survived by two grandchildren.