World News - part 9

Australia to Crack Down on Spot Betting at Sports Events

Australia to Crack Down on Spot Betting at Sports Events

WORLD

  • Australia tightens restrictions on live odds betting and promotion during sports broadcasts
  • Betting industry will have to conform to new restrictions by end June 2012
  • Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports has submitted sports betting legislation suggestions to federal sports minister

The Australian government is set to tighten laws on spot betting during sports broadcasts amid concerns that live odds betting is encouraging unhealthy gambling habits among young and impressionable sports fans.

Worth around US$3 billion in 2008, the sports betting industry has skyrocketed in recent years. Bookmaker sponsors have become a prominent feature of sports broadcasters’ coverage as well as on scoreboards within venues.

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Australia’s Coastal Cities at Risk from Rising Ocean Levels

Australia’s Coastal Cities at Risk from Rising Ocean Levels

WORLD

  • Ocean levels may rise to 1 meter by 2100, causing floods and destruction to major cities
  • Nearly 85% of Australians live along the nation's coast
  • Australia’s Climate Commission claims carbon emissions must be eliminated to help cease harmful impact

Coastal areas in Australia are at risk due to a rise in ocean levels near Sydney and Melbourne. Global warming could cause water levels to reach close to 1 meter by 2100, up from the current 0.5 meter level, which could flood populated and developing areas.

The impact could be high, considering nearly 85% of Australians live along the coast, according to local online coastal information source OzCoasts.

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Google Launches its New Mobile Wallet

Google Launches its New Mobile Wallet

WORLD

  • Google mobile wallet lets users buy merchandise with a swipe of their phone
  • Discounts and deals are usage benefits
  • Paypal launches suit against Google alleging trade secrets were divulged

Google announced its new mobile wallet yesterday: the technology will allow consumers to pay for items at store checkouts directly using their phones.

Customers can use their smartphones in a method similar to the way they scan a credit card or a debit card at check-out counters. The technology will be available on Google's Android cell phone, the Nexus S, according to The Telegraph.

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Australia's 'Airport of the Future' Trials Begins

Australia's 'Airport of the Future' Trials Begins

WORLD

  • Australia’s ‘Airport of the Future’: faster check-in, smoother security checkpoints and airport cost-savings
  • Siemens invested over $1 million for R&D
  • Frequent fliers to receive RFID-chipped permanent boarding passes and luggage tags to simplify check-in

In Brisbane Australia, new airport technology, called the Airport Navigation and Information Engine (ANIE), is being tried out for the first time. Siemens invested over $1 million in research and development to get the ball rolling, and Queensland University of Technology, in charge of the Airport Data Repository, also participated in the effort.

The new “Airport of the Future” supports a fully integrated control system that will keep passengers safe while ensuring shorter lines. The system aims to speedily resolve problems between security officers and passengers, and balance commercial interests with government requirements and passenger safety.

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Sony Reboots PlayStation Network after Cyber Attack

Sony Reboots PlayStation Network after Cyber Attack

WORLD

  • Sony begins reopening PlayStation Network after being forced to shut down due to security breaches
  • Gamers remain wary after the attacks and are shifting to rival consoles
  • Sony offered gifts, including a month’s free access, to win back gamers

Sony began restoring access Saturday to its online PlayStation Network, which has been down for almost a month after being attacked by hackers.

The Japanese hi-tech reopened its network first in the Americas, with Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East following. In Japan and other Asian countries, the network will take longer to restore.

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Winners: 2011 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards

Winners: 2011 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards

WORLD

  • Singita Pamushana, a Zimbabwean wild-life lodge, won for Conservation
  • Intrepid Travel, a tour operator from Australia, won for Global Tourism Business
  • Alpine Pearls, an Austrian non-profit association, won for Destination Stewardship
  • Mozambique’s Guludo Beach Lodge took first place for Community Benefits

Recognized for excellence in eco-friendly practices and sustainable development strategies, the 2011 winners of the Tourism for Tomorrow contest were revealed at a recent industry conference, the 11th Global Travel and Tourism Summit, held in Las Vegas.

Singita Pamushana’s Wildlife Preservation Efforts

African wild-life lodge Singita Pamushana in Zimbabwe earned the top award in the conservation division for actively participating, in partnership with the Malilangwe Trust, in the regeneration of over 122,000 acres of wildlife habitat harmed by over-poaching. Hosting nearly 40 different habitats, the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve is home to many endangered animals and 4% of all the world’s bird species. Together, the Malilangwe Trust and Singita Pamushana supply jobs for 200 locals, and provide both clean water and food for over 10,000 people in nearby villages.

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Namibia Increases Stake in DeBeers Diamonds

Namibia Increases Stake in DeBeers Diamonds

WORLD

  • Namibia increases stake in DeBeers to 50% from 15%
  • Namibia Government using money from debt to pay for stake
  • DeBeers names Phillippe Mellier as new CEO

The government of Namibia will increase its stake in diamond giant DeBeers through the purchase of $53.3 million in shares in the diamond mining company, according to Mining Review.

Debeers mines the largest area globally containing diamond deposits. This area is located off of Namibia's shores.

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Scientists Question Safety of Full-Body Airport X-Ray Systems

Scientists Question Safety of Full-Body Airport X-Ray Systems

WORLD

  • Scientists are uncertain that data and test results for radiation connected to airport scanners is accurate; TSA says that machine radiation is negligible and safe
  • Children, pregnant women and individuals sensitive to X-rays could be at risk
  • Scientists insist further testing is needed to protect passengers

It is possible that the X-ray systems used for airport security scanning are not safe, according to scientists who specialize in imaging research. Data provided and claims made by the US Transportation Security Commission (TSA) that the machines are safe are being questioned.

The scanners in question allow TSA officials to search passengers for illegal items. Scientists fear that these scanners may be dangerously exposing people to radiation. About 5% of the population is extremely sensitive to X-rays, though those individuals are not readily identified.

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NASA Announces Launching of Ocean-Monitoring Satellite

NASA Announces Launching of Ocean-Monitoring Satellite

WORLD

  • NASA will launch Aquarius satellite on June 9 to monitor oceans
  • Ocean salinity will be recorded to determine water cycle and climate changes
  • Aquarius will orbit 408 miles above Earth, producing monthly estimates based on seven-day maps
  • European and American data from separate missions will be compared and shared among global scientific community

Three months after the failed launching of NASA's satellite Glory, NASA has announced plans to launch an ocean-monitoring satellite from a Delta 2 rocket at the Vandenberg Air Force Base located off the coast of California on June 9.

Appropriately named Aquarius, meaning “water bearer”, the satellite will be the very first satellite to measure the salt levels of every body of water in the world.

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What Are Hotels Doing to Increase Security?

What Are Hotels Doing to Increase Security?

WORLD

  • Hotel association establishes online security training program for hotel employees
  • Israel leads for hotel security best practice
  • Metal detectors, mirrors, barriers and other devices useful for improved security

In more innocent times, hotel security was simpler: Prevent fire and theft. How the world has changed since 9-11.

In recent years, terrorist attacks have regularly involved what are known as “soft targets.” The phrase refers to easier targets for terrorists such as hotels that often have less security than government or major public centers. So what is the hotel industry doing about it?

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