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Ancient marsupial discovered in Australia

An excavation team from the University of New South Wales recently uncovered the remains of a prehistoric marsupial that they believe could be anywhere between 50,000 and two million years old. The first complete skeleton of the diprotodon, which is sometimes referred to as a Giant Wombat or the Rhinoceros Wombat, will provide scientists with more accurate information concerning the creature’s appearance.

After the scientists study the skeleton, it will be put on display at the Queensland Museum. Many Australian people who are living outside of the country will wire money to their families so they can visit the museum to see what scientists believe was the largest marsupial to ever exist.

The herbivore is thought to have been 14 feet long and weighed roughly three tons. Other partial remains of diprotodons have previously been unearthed in Australia, and the first remains were discovered in a cave in New South Wales in the 1830s.

Last year, the team dug up a leg bone near the northwest Queensland Gulf, unaware that the rest of the skeleton was nearby until they returned this year to conduct further investigations. They hope that this discovery will lead to more ancient mammalian finds in the area.


Australia mourns rugby legends

A pair of Australian rugby legends have passed away within a day of each other, leaving fans of the sport in mourning in the Land Down Under.

David Brockhoff and Rex Mossop were two of the more memorable players on the 1949 Bledisloe Cup winning side. The Bledisloe Cup is an annual competition contested between the New Zealand All Blacks international team and the Australian Wallabies.

Historically, New Zealand has dominated the competition. The 1949 was just the second win for Australia since the cup’s inception in 1932. The win, against the heavily-favored New Zealand team, was considered huge for Australia not just because they won the cup, but because New Zealand didn’t win one game and they did it on their home turf.

Both legends stayed involved with the game after their playing days were over. Brockhoff went on to become a coach, while Mossop became a commentator.

Australia will be heading to New Zealand this fall to compete in the Rugby World Cup, a time that will likely be one of celebration for fans of the Wallabies. Many Australians living abroad will be sending moneyonline via international wire transfers during this time period to assist with the festivities.


Cricket team performance review panel enlists three former captains

Three former captains of Australia’s cricket team, Allan Border, Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh, have been enlisted to join a performance review panel which is being chaired by entrepreneur Don Argus. The panel will be responsible for making recommendations on ways to improve Australia’s performance during and after the ICC Cricket World Cup.

The panel was called into formation because the Aussie team has been struggling in their past few games. These three professionals are known for their talents in the sport, and it is hoped that their insight may help correct the team in time for their international season, according to the ICC Cricket World Cup official website.

The next few games will be crucial, and many people will send money online to encourage fans to root for Australia. Those who can’t make it to the actual games should be sure to catch all the action by watching every cricket game online.

“I am delighted a person of Don Argus’ stature has agreed to chair this expert review group and the Board and I are also pleased that three such successful former captains, supported by a person of Malcom Speed’s international cricket experience, will be working on this review,” said Jack Clarke, the Cricket Administration Chairman, according to the website.


Aussie coach says his team is taking their time this year

Ricky Ponting, coach of the Australian cricket team competing in the ICC Cricket World Cup, recently stated that he and his team weren’t going to rush to the title champions this year, if they could avoid it, according to an article posted on the event’s official website.

“We know the areas that we have to improve from the last game,” Ponting said in the report. “What we are striving to do is get better and better with every passing game.”

He added that The ICC Cricket World Cup doesn’t boil down to just one game, like some sports tournaments, but instead is comprised of a series of events, much like the recent FIFA World Cup that took place in South Africa.

Ponting’s words may be in response to his team’s recent match against Zimbabwe on February 21. Though the Aussie group won with a 91-run, the event did not reflect the massive clobbering the team has doled out in past World Cups. The Australian team won the title in the 1987, 1999, 2003 and 2007, according to the website.

Many people will be traveling from Australia to India to catch the next big game for the Australian players, which will take place at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur. The team will take on New Zealand, and traveling fans will be sure to have someone at home who can send money online to help supplement their funds, if needed.

Those who can’t make it to the big games but want to tune in can catch all the action by watching Cricket World Cup matches online.

According to The New Zealand Herald, Australia and New Zealand have a long-standing rivalry in the popular sport of cricket. Fans may remember the April 20, 2007 game between the two teams, when Australia beat the New Zealand team by 215 runs. One of Australia’s most prized players, Matthew Hayden, helped accomplish that task by scoring 103 on his own.

New Zealand defeated Australia on May 20, 1999, in a game played in Cardiff, Wales. In that match, New Zealand won by 5 wickets. Australia only had a good showing during that match from Ponting and Darren Lehmann, according to the news source.

One of the oldest games between the two teams happened on October 18, 1987. During that match, Australia was victorious by three runs, an outcome that was affected by rain that set in late in the game.


Australia’s multiculturalism a model for other nations

Australia’s federal Immigration Minister Chris Bowen announced the launch of The People of Australia, a new multicultural strategy for the nation, on February 17. He hopes that the initiative will influence European nations to follow his country’s lead, according to The Australian.

The People of Australia initiative will implement a new advisory board within Australia’s government that will help build and grow the country’s immigration policy. Kate Lundy, who was recently named Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, will help focus on implementation of the program.

The nation down under has been developing its multiculturalism for the past 30 years, and the efforts have had a positive impact on the country on both the federal and state levels. It has made Australia one of the most tolerant and diverse countries in the world, according to the news source.

The policy will respect every Australian’s “right to express and share their individual cultural heritage,” as well as receive equal opportunity and treatment. It will aim to remove obstacles caused by discrimination, and will focus not only on race but gender, free speech and law as well.

Australian officials also came forward to call their new multicultural system “the best in the world” and encouraged European countries to model their own policies after the Aussie strategy.

According to the Associated Free Press, Australia has seen many different types of immigration over the years. During the 1800s, Chinese immigrants came to the nation as part of the gold rush. In later years, Vietnamese, Italians, Greeks, Eastern Europeans and Indian students have come to the country to seek new opportunities.

Australia has a large community of foreign-born citizens, many of whom have family members send money online to help them pay for living expenses in the nation.

According to the CIA world factbook, aboriginal people first landed on the continent of Australia approximately 40,000 years before the arrival of Europeans in the 17th century. According to 2010 statistics, the country now has approximately 21,515,754 residents.


Will Hastings or Krejza lead in upcoming ICC World cup?

Following the injuries of two prominent players, Nathan Hauritz and Xavier Doherty, the Australian cricket team is debating which players to use as substitutes in its opening game of the ICC Cricket World Cup, which begins on February 19. The Aussie team will play their first match against Zimbabwe on February 21 in India, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

While some have argued that spinner Jason Krejza would be the best player to tap as a substitute, former captain of Australian team, Allan Border, recently voiced his support for John Hastings.

“Initially they’ll be trying to get the quick bowlers in their best form,” Border said in an interview on Fox Sports, according to the news source. “I’d probably go Johnny Hastings initially, with [Doug] Bollinger as cover if one of the three quicks aren’t going at their best. …Dave Hussey can bowl some spin, [Shane] Watson can bowl some medium pace and Clarkey [Michael Clarke] can bowl some spin.”

He added that Krejza could be “the odd man out” amongst those other players. However, he also gave plaudits to Krezja, who made his debut on the international field on February 6.

The Australian team may be feeling a little shaky with the loss of their important players, particularly in the light of the recent warm-up game against South Africa on Tuesday, February 15. The team also lost to India on Sunday, February 13, according to a separate article from the news source.

However, both Hastings and Krejza showed promise during the most recent match. Hastings scored 15, while Krejza managed to pull a 10. Along with Mitchell Johnson, who scored 15 points during the match, the team managed to score more than 200 points during the event.

All of the ICC Cricket World Cup matches will take place in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Those who can’t make it to the games will send money to family and friends to help them celebrate the big tournament.

People living far from the tournament venues can catch the action on the web and watch every Cricket World Cup game online.

Australia’s first match will be played at the Gujarat Stadium, which is situated near the Sabarmati River. The facility can set 48,000 people, and hosted its first game in 1983.


Today is Australia Day

Today, January 26, is Australia Day, a holiday celebrating the first day that pioneer Captain Arthur Phillip first arrived at Sydney Cove in 1788, commanding a fleet of eleven convict ships from Great Britain, according to The Australia Day National Network.

Australia Day only became an official holiday in 1932, but descendants of several of the passengers on those first ships began to celebrate the nation’s anniversary in the late 1700s. In 1826, residents of the newly colonized continent began to use the title Australia for their land, furthering patriotic sentiment on the date.

Over time, the holiday grew in popularity, culminating in Australia’s bicentennial celebration in 1988. Approximately two million visitors came to the country that year to view the spectacle of the momentous anniversary. A large Bicentennial Exhibit traveled to 34 cities and towns showcasing the strides Australia had made since 1788.

Since then, Australia Day has been widely celebrated every year. Traditional festivities often involve the swearing-in of new citizens. Many people proudly display the Union Jack flags of the country to show their patriotism.

This year, many people living outside of Australia will transfer money to help their loved ones celebrate the holiday. Those who choose to wire money should be sure to find an organization that will allow them to send the gift securely and in a timely fashion.

It appears as though the weather for the holiday is going to be ideal. Though conditions were rather foggy in the morning, the clouds cleared and the sun came out, making today the second-hottest Australia Day in history, reports the Canberra Times.

In fact, celebrations are already underway in Australia, according to MSNBC. In Perth, many beach goers took part in the Havaianas Thong Challenge World Record Attempt, while tall ships sailed through Sydney Harbor, passing the famous Opera House.

At the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, performers celebrated with a “woggan-ma-gule” ceremony. This ceremony involves several aboriginal clans and celebrates Australia’s past and future, the news source reports.


Floods in Australia continue to wreak havoc

Flooding in parts of Australia have caused major damage and in some cases fatalities since they began in late December. Most recently, flash floods in Toowoomba, which is west of Brisbane, have caused the death of at least four people, and stranded many others on rooftops, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

“We do have very grave concerns,” said Queensland Premier Anna Bligh, the news source reports. “There are many Queenslanders tonight in critical and dire circumstances.”

Two children were among the four people who died because of the flash flooding, which has inundated an area the size of France and Germany combined. Other citizens may be missing after rising waters overwhelmed pedestrians, sweeping them away.

Many homes and buildings have suffered structural damage as well. Landslides swept away parts of a highway and several bridges, and caused the collapse of a building. Many houses have been torn form their foundations, and cars have been carried away by the waters.

Military units are currently undertaking search and rescue efforts. Bligh told the news source that emergency workers have been unable to reach approximately 30 people in the town of Grantham who have gathered together at a school. Rushing waters have kept the group completely isolated.

In a broader scope, the floods are causing major economic damage as well. Financial forecasters predict that the extensive deluge, which is the worst flooding in the Queensland region in 50 years, has already caused $5.94 million in damages, according to the Christian Science Monitor. However, this number is expected to rise once the government is able to give a full estimate of the extend of the damage.

The flooding is also likely to damage both the mining and tourism industries in the country. High waters have wiped out parts of the largest coal-mining region in Australia, as well as the crops of many farms. Additionally, tourism to the country had already slowed recently, likely as a result of the growing strength of the Australian dollar.

The economic strife may trickle down to workers in Australia. Many people who have family or friends living in the country will wire money online to help loved ones pay for damages from the floods.

Approximately 200,000 people have been affected by the flood, and so far there have been 17 total fatalities. Close 4,000 residents have been evacuated from their homes, coasting the Australian government nearly $7 million so far.