Australia to create world’s biggest marine reserves

Updated 15 June 2012
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Australia to create world’s biggest marine reserves

CANBERRA: Australia will create the largest network of marine parks in the world, protecting waters covering an area as large as India while banning oil and gas exploration and limiting commercial fishing in some of the most sensitive areas.
Australia’s marine reserves will increase from 27 to 60 under the new scheme, covering more than 3 million sq km, or one third of the island nation’s waters.
The announcement of the network was made a week before more than 130 heads of state and government will gather in Rio de Janeiro for the United Nations’ sustainable development conference as part of global efforts to curb climate change, one of the biggest conferences in UN history.
New reserves will be established from the Perth Canyon in the southwest to Kangaroo Island off the southern coast, but the “jewel in the crown” will be the protection of the Coral Sea area which surrounds the Great Barrier Reef in the northeast, Environment Minister Tony Burke said on Thursday.
“The Coral Sea marine national park ... combined with the Great Barrier Reef area, becomes the largest marine protected area in the world,” Burke said.
The protection plan will ban oil and gas exploration in all marine national parks, including across the Coral Sea and off Margaret River, a popular tourist area in the southwest.
Burke acknowledged the plan would also have an impact on the fishing industry. The plan attracted immediate criticism from some environmental groups, as well as independent and opposition politicians and lobby groups.
“This is devastating and those that will suffer most will be coastal communities,” Dean Logan, chief executive of the Australian Marine Alliance, which represents commercial and recreational fishers, told Australian television.

 


‘Kim Jong Un’ poses for selfies in Singapore ahead of Trump summit

Updated 6 min 26 sec ago
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‘Kim Jong Un’ poses for selfies in Singapore ahead of Trump summit

SINGAPORE: Surprised Singaporeans pursued North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sunday before realizing the portly man with slick black hair near the Marina Bay Sands hotel was an impersonator.
“It looked like the real Kim Jong Un, but later I realized it’s not the real one,” said Sagar Admuthe who was visiting from Mumbai, India, after several selfies with the doppleganger against a backdrop of the city’s bay.
“When you see him, it’s very difficult to make out.”
The Australian-Chinese man posing as the North Korean leader calls himself only Howard X and said he was appearing to wish success for a summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump to negotiate an end to the North’s nuclear program.
Howard X also made an appearance as Kim at the Winter Olympics in Gangneung in South Korea in February, bewildering North Korean cheerleaders who initially thought their leader had walked into a hockey stadium.
“I think the two leaders will sit down and they’re going to have a great time, because really they have the same personality,” he said on Sunday. “They are going to be best friends right after this meeting.”|
Trump signalled that preparations for a June 12 summit with Kim were going ahead, despite having called it off last week, and a White House team was scheduled to depart for Singapore this weekend to prepare for the possible summit.
Howard X said Kim’s rise as the third leader of North Korea in 2011 has proved lucrative for him, jump starting a new career in films, commercials and private functions, most often in his home town of Hong Kong.
“I said that guy looks a lot like me, and I thought, wow, I need to do something with this and make some money,” Howard X added.
“This is my normal body,” he said, when asked if he had to put on weight to impersonate the North’s leader. “But he’s fatter, and I can’t catch up ... it’ll damage my health.”
Howard X, who is a musician by training and said he still produces Brazilian music sung in Chinese, said his partner known as Dennis Alan impersonates Trump. Although he could not join him this week, both will return before the summit.
“Hey Donald, I’m already in Singapore, waiting for you to turn up,” Howard X said.