Sore Russian officials bash Ukraine Eurovision win

JUBILANT: Jamala representing Ukraine won the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 Grand Final in Stockholm, Saturday. (AFP)
Updated 15 May 2016
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Sore Russian officials bash Ukraine Eurovision win

MOSCOW: Russian lawmakers on Sunday lashed out at arch-rival Ukraine’s “political” victory in the Eurovision song contest, as one pro-Kremlin paper insisted Moscow’s entrant was robbed.
Ukrainian performer Jamala won the glitzy contest Saturday with her ballad “1944” about the deportation of the Crimean Tatars by Soviet authorities during World War II in a performance widely seen as a swipe at Moscow over its annexation of the peninsula in 2014.
Russian singer Sergei Lazarev — the clear favorite with bookmakers before the contest — was beaten into third place after losing out on the national jury tallies despite claiming the most points from viewers in the public vote.
“It was not the Ukrainian singer Jamala and her song 1944 that won the Eurovision 2016, it was politics that beat art,” Russian senator Frants Klintsevich told Russian newswires, calling for Russia to possibly skip next year’s tournament in Ukraine.
Russia and Ukraine have been locked in a bitter feud since Moscow annexed Crimea in February 2014 and was then accused of fueling a bloody separatist uprising in the east of the country.
The crisis in Ukraine has pushed ties between Russia and the West to their lowest point since the end of the Cold War.
The head of the foreign affairs committee in Russia’s upper chamber Konstantin Kochachev insisted that “according to the tally of points it was geopolitics that gained the upperhand.”
Kochachev said that the Eurovision victory could embolden Ukraine’s pro-Western leadership and see an already stuttering peace process to end the conflict in the east jeopardized even further.
“For that reason Ukraine lost. And not only its long-suffering budget,” he wrote on Facebook.
“The thing the country needs now as much as air is peace. But war won.”


Boulder-sized sunfish washes ashore in Australia

Updated 33 min 22 sec ago
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Boulder-sized sunfish washes ashore in Australia

  • The enormous creature is distinct for both its size and peculiar shape
  • The fish can weigh up to 2.5 tons (2,200 kilograms)

SYDNEY: A boulder-sized fish of a kind known to “sink yachts” has washed up on an Australian beach.
The 1.8 meter (six feet) specimen — believed to be a Mola Mola, or ocean sunfish — came ashore near the mouth of the Murray River in South Australia at the weekend.
The enormous creature is distinct for both its size and peculiar shape featuring a flattened body and fins.
The fish can weigh up to 2.5 tons (2,200 kilogrammes), according to National Geographic.
A photo circulating on social media showed two people on a beach standing over the giant specimen, which had died.
“The amount of news and media from all over the world wanting to report it has been on another level,” Linette Grzelak, who posted the image to Facebook, told AFP.
“Never expected this.”
South Australian Museum fish collection manager Ralph Foster said the fish was actually at the smaller end of the scale for the species.
It earned its name for basking in the sun near the ocean’s surface, but is also known to dive several hundred meters (feet) into the depths, he said.
“I’ve actually had a good look at it, we get three species here and this is actually the rarest one in South Australian waters,” Foster told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
“They can get a lot bigger... it’s probably an average-sized one, they can get nearly twice as big as that,” he added.
Mola Mola have also been known to damage vessels, Foster added.
“We get a lot of them hit by boats and some of them are so large they actually sink yachts,” he said.
“We know very little about them, it’s only in the last few years that technology has allowed us to start learning about them.
“They are amazing things, they really are.”