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August 29, 2018

Brisbane, Australia Magistrates Court charges two cotton farmers for $31m fraud

Brisbane, Australia Magistrates Court charges two cotton farmers for $31m fraud

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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

On Tuesday, two officers of cotton farming conglomerate Norman Farming in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court for alleged fraud of the government. Queensland Police alleged over the past seven years the farmers submitted fraudulent claims to receive funding from Queensland’s Department of Natural Resources, resulting in an approximately AUD20M dishonest personal financial gain. The Court laid charges and released the defendants on bail.

According to the results of the investigation by Police, the two men allegedly falsified documents, including invoices, misrepresenting work from contractors as earthwork supposedly in aid of improving water irrigation efficiency. The two allegedly presented farming-related work on their property on six projects as aimed at improving the efficiency of water irrigation at their property near Goondiwindi.

Police arrested the chief executive officer (CEO) of the conglomerate, 43-year-old John Norman, and the conglomerate’s chief financial officer, 53-year-old Stephen Evans. They appeared in Court represented by their lawyers. In the Court they were charged, Norman with six and Evans with four counts of aggravated fraud, Norman with six and Evans with four counts of fraudulently producing or using a false record. Police opposed bail, however the Magistrate released the two on bail conditionally, requiring they surrender their passports.

According to reports by Australian Broadcasting Corporation and The Guardian, neighbours of Norman Farming had complained to the authorities about Norman Farming’s work resulting in excessive removal of floodwater from the McIntyre river, leading to reduced availability of water for the farmers downstream.

Queensland’s Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy provided the funding as a part of its Healthy Head Waters scheme. Detective Inspector Mick Dowie said the Department did not have the authority of police to compel provision of documents, leading to difficulty with verifying the invoices which the two submitted in their application.

Dowie said the investigation took over a year to complete, including analysis of accounting reports.



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August 10, 2018

New South Wales, Australia government says entire state in winter 2018 drought

Filed under: Australia,Environment,New South Wales,Weather — admin @ 5:00 am

New South Wales, Australia government says entire state in winter 2018 drought

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  • 10 August 2018: New South Wales, Australia government says entire state in winter 2018 drought
  • 1 July 2018: FIFA World Cup 2018 day 12, 13, 14, 15: Iran, Nigeria, Germany, Senegal out of the tournament
  • 27 June 2018: FIFA World Cup 2018 day eight, nine, ten, eleven: Belgium, England confirm knockout phase qualification; Poland, Costa Rica miss out Last 16
  • 18 June 2018: FIFA World Cup 2018 day three: France, Denmark and Croatia wins three points; Argentina shares the spoils with debutants Iceland
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Friday, August 10, 2018

On Wednesday, the New South Wales, Australia Department of Primary Industries (DPI) reported fifteen percent of New South Wales, Australia (NSW) was in “intense drought”, and the rest of the state “in drought” or “drought-affected”. Farmers were reportedly running out of food for cattle and had to make difficult decisions about the collection times for their crops; food for cattle became harder to get, and more expensive.

The report from DPI indicated “up to 48% of the state as Drought Affected, 37% in Drought and 15% in Intense Drought”. The areas of intense drought included “parts of Western, North West, Central West, Central Tablelands, South East, Hunter, Greater Sydney and Northern Tablelands LLS regions”, according to the report. The drought indicator was based on agronomic data, remote sensing, and field reports, including soil moisture and pasture conditions.

The report from DPI named “the southern alpine zone, the greater Hilltops (Young) region and parts of the south and north coast” as areas with better conditions.

Furthermore, according to ABC (the Australian Broadcasting Corporation), the chair of the Australian Fodder Industry Association, Frank McRae, said many farmers in NSW had barely any food for their cattle. He said, “There’s pretty much virtually nothing in NSW and supplies are rapidly drying up in southern Victoria [state bordering NSW on the south] […] You have to go back to 1981–1982 to see a drought this widespread and so severe.”

The BBC reported Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull saying some farmers bought hay for animal feed for as much as AUP 10,000 per truckload.

NSW Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair remarked many people were hoping for rain to come and farmers were needed to make difficult decisions about the best viable time for crops collection. He said, “This is tough, there isn’t a person in the state that isn’t hoping to see some rain for our farmers and regional communities […] Producers are now faced with some very difficult decisions on whether to graze sown crops or rely on potential rainfall in the next two months in order to increase yield production.”

According to ABC, Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) meteorologist Jane Golding said these conditions were unlike previously observed climatic conditions in NSW with rain in June, July and August. He said, “This year we haven’t really seen either of those and last year as well we didn’t really see too much of the either of those rain-bearing systems making their way into NSW […] It is unusually dry and also unusually warm which exacerbates the problems, so the warm temperatures dry out the soils even more.”

According to BBC, Queensland, north of NSW, was also experiencing dry conditions, as well as parts of South Australia and Victoria. The report from DPI mentioned last autumn’s failed growing season.

About the forecast conditions and risks, the report from DPI said dry and warm conditions were “likely” to continue in the next three months, with an El Niño 50% likely in NSW in spring, which would mean depressed rainfall. The Australian forecasting services have an El Niño Watch on the region according to the report.



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August 9, 2018

Australia, NSW Government says entire state in drought

Australia, NSW Government says entire state in drought

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  • 18 June 2018: FIFA World Cup 2018 day three: France, Denmark and Croatia wins three points; Argentina shares the spoils with debutants Iceland
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Thursday, August 9, 2018

Wednesday, nearly a quarter of New South Wales, Australia (NSW) was classified as being in “intense drought”, the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) reported. The rest of the state was reportedly “in drought” or “drought-affected”. Farmers were running out of food for cattle and had to make difficult decisions about the collection times for their crops. Food for cattle became harder to get, and more expensive.

The report from DPI indicated “up to 48% of the state as Drought Affected, 37% in Drought and 15% in Intense Drought”. The areas of intense drought included “parts of Western, North West, Central West, Central Tablelands, South East, Hunter, Greater Sydney and Northern Tablelands LLS regions”, according to the report. The drought indicator was based on the data about agronomic data, satellite imagery, as well as farmers’ surveys which include reports of soil moisture and pasture conditions.

The report from DPI named “the southern alpine zone, the greater Hilltops (Young) region and parts of the south and north coast” as areas which experienced better conditions.

Furthermore, according to ABC (the Australian Broadcasting Corporation), the Chair of the Australian Fodder Industry Association, Frank McRae, said many farmers in NSW had barely any food for their cattle. He said, “There’s pretty much virtually nothing in NSW and supplies are rapidly drying up in southern Victoria. You have to go back to 1981-1982 to see a drought this widespread and so severe.”

The BBC reported Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull saying that some farmers had spent “up to A$10,000 per truckload of hay” to feed their animals.

According to ABC, NSW Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair remarked that many people were hoping for rain to come and farmers were needed to make difficult decisions about the best viable time for crops collection. He said, “This is tough, there isn’t a person in the state that isn’t hoping to see some rain for our farmers and regional communities. Producers are now faced with some very difficult decisions on whether to graze sown crops or rely on potential rainfall in the next two months in order to increase yield production.”

According to ABC, Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) meteorologist Jane Golding said these conditions unlike previously observed climatic conditions in NSW with rain in June, July and August. He said, “This year we haven’t really seen either of those [rain in June, July and August – WN] and last year as well we didn’t really see too much of the either of those rain-bearing systems making their way into NSW. It is unusually dry and also unusually warm which exacerbates the problems, so the warm temperatures dry out the soils even more.”

According to BBC, Queensland was also experiencing dry conditions, as well as parts of South Australia and Victoria. The report from DPI included a mention of last autumn’s dry conditions, which may have contributed to the current drought. July 30, NSW government had provided AUD 0.5M for emergency drought relief, with the total provided support exceeding AUD 1M.

About the forecast conditions and risks, the report from DPI said dry and warm conditions were “highly likely” to continue in the next three months, with a 50% chance of El Nino developing in NSW in spring, which would increase rainfall. The Australian forecasting services have the region on an El Niño Watch, according to the report.



Sources[]

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

New South Wales, Australia government says entire state in drought

New South Wales, Australia government says entire state in drought

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  • 1 July 2018: FIFA World Cup 2018 day 12, 13, 14, 15: Iran, Nigeria, Germany, Senegal out of the tournament
  • 27 June 2018: FIFA World Cup 2018 day eight, nine, ten, eleven: Belgium, England confirm knockout phase qualification; Poland, Costa Rica miss out Last 16
  • 18 June 2018: FIFA World Cup 2018 day three: France, Denmark and Croatia wins three points; Argentina shares the spoils with debutants Iceland
  • 10 June 2018: New study of endangered whale shark youth shows vital habitat similarities
  • 9 April 2018: Woolworths, Australia moves single-use plastic bags ban date to June 20
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Thursday, August 9, 2018

On Wednesday, the New South Wales, Australia Department of Primary Industries (DPI) reported fifteen percent of New South Wales, Australia (NSW) was in “intense drought”, and the rest of the state “in drought” or “drought-affected”. Farmers were reportedly running out of food for cattle and had to make difficult decisions about the collection times for their crops; food for cattle became harder to get, and more expensive.

The report from DPI indicated “up to 48% of the state as Drought Affected, 37% in Drought and 15% in Intense Drought”. The areas of intense drought included “parts of Western, North West, Central West, Central Tablelands, South East, Hunter, Greater Sydney and Northern Tablelands LLS regions”, according to the report. The drought indicator was based on agronomic data, remote sensing, and field reports, including soil moisture and pasture conditions.

The report from DPI named “the southern alpine zone, the greater Hilltops (Young) region and parts of the south and north coast” as areas with better conditions.

Furthermore, according to ABC (the Australian Broadcasting Corporation), the chair of the Australian Fodder Industry Association, Frank McRae, said many farmers in NSW had barely any food for their cattle. He said, “There’s pretty much virtually nothing in NSW and supplies are rapidly drying up in southern Victoria [state bordering NSW on the south] […] You have to go back to 1981–1982 to see a drought this widespread and so severe.”

The BBC reported Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull saying some farmers bought hay for animal feed for as much as AUP 10,000 per truckload.

NSW Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair remarked many people were hoping for rain to come and farmers were needed to make difficult decisions about the best viable time for crops collection. He said, “This is tough, there isn’t a person in the state that isn’t hoping to see some rain for our farmers and regional communities […] Producers are now faced with some very difficult decisions on whether to graze sown crops or rely on potential rainfall in the next two months in order to increase yield production.”

According to ABC, Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) meteorologist Jane Golding said these conditions were unlike previously observed climatic conditions in NSW with rain in June, July and August. He said, “This year we haven’t really seen either of those and last year as well we didn’t really see too much of the either of those rain-bearing systems making their way into NSW […] It is unusually dry and also unusually warm which exacerbates the problems, so the warm temperatures dry out the soils even more.”

According to BBC, Queensland, north of NSW, was also experiencing dry conditions, as well as parts of South Australia and Victoria. The report from DPI mentioned last autumn’s failed growing season.

About the forecast conditions and risks, the report from DPI said dry and warm conditions were “likely” to continue in the next three months, with an El Niño 50% likely in NSW in spring, which would mean depressed rainfall. The Australian forecasting services have an El Niño Watch on the region according to the report.



Sources[]

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

August 2, 2018

Australia experiences dry July in 2018

Filed under: Australia,Weather — admin @ 5:00 am

Australia experiences dry July in 2018 – Wikinews, the free news source

Australia experiences dry July in 2018

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Thursday, August 2, 2018

More detail needed

  1. photos
  2. statistics for July in particular
    • in what places it is the record
    • more

“QLD record heat”

“Nationally, it was the driest July since 2002 and below average for most of southern Australia.”

“Rainfall was the lowest on record for July in parts of northern inland and west slopes of New South Wales, across the border into the eastern Pastoral region of South Australia and patches in the Goldfields of Western Australia.”

“Despite the month overall being very dry, there were areas that received above average rainfall in southwest Western Australia, the northeast coast of the Top End, far north coast of Queensland and most of Tasmania.”



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August 19, 2016

Australia\’s offshore processing facility on Manus Island to be shut down

Australia’s offshore processing facility on Manus Island to be shut down

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Friday, August 19, 2016

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After meeting with Papau New Guinea‘s Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill in Port Moseby, Australia’s Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton confirmed on Wednesday, that the Manus Island Processing Centre will be shut down. There was no mention of where the 854 men currently detained will be resettled to, except that Australia refuses to accept them.

Map of Nauru Island
Image: IU.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

In an interview with the ABC, Dutton gave no time frame for the closure of the facility and said, the process can’t be rushed. Dutton also said he was currently talking to third countries to discuss options for resettlement.

O’Neill also released a statement confirming the closure of the Manus Island Processing Centre, which he has called for since April, when Papau New Guinea’s Supreme Council ruled that Australia’s detention of asylum seekers on the Pacific Island was illegal.

News of the closure came shortly after {{w:The Guardian}} published over 2,000 leaked incident reports (the Nauru Files) from the Nauru Regional Processing Centre, last Wednesday, which revealed the poor treatment and living conditions endured by asylum seekers, some of which have been detained for three years.

Last Thursday, Dutton dismissed and downplayed the asylum seeker’s reports of sexual assault, child abuse and self harm; which were exposed in the Nauru Files. Dutton accused asylum seekers of fabricating sexual abuse reports; and setting themselves on fire in an attempt to seek asylum in Australia. He even insinuated that the claims were false since the asylum seekers payed people smugglers to gain access to Australia.

Chris Lougheed, The Deputy Education Manager with Save the Children, who reviewed and submitted some of the incident reports within the Nauru Files, rebuked Dutton’s comments and said the reports were accurate and “written by experienced professionals.”

Nauru’s detention camp had previously been shrouded in secrecy, as local journalists are rarely granted permission to film or interview asylum seekers, and foreign journalists are required to pay an $8,000 application fee to visit and report from the remote island.

In response to the Nauru files; 103 current and previous employees from Australia‘s offshore processing facilities on Nauru and Manus Island signed and released a letter, urging for the detained refugees to be granted asylum in Australia instantly. Human rights, legal, religious, and medical groups have also demanded for the Australian government to end what they consider inhumane treatment of asylum seekers in the offshore processing centres.


Sources[]

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Employees from the Nauru and Manus Island Processing Centres speak out

Employees from the Nauru and Manus Island Processing Centres speak out

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Friday, August 19, 2016

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After meeting with Papau New Guinea‘s Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill in Port Moseby, Australia’s Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton confirmed on Wednesday, that the Manus Island Processing Centre will be shut down. There was no mention of where the 854 men currently detained will be resettled to, except that Australia refuses to accept them.

Map of Nauru Island
Image: IU.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

In an interview with the ABC, Dutton gave no time frame for the closure of the facility and said, the process can’t be rushed. Dutton also said he was currently talking to third countries to discuss options for resettlement.

O’Neill also released a statement confirming the closure of the Manus Island Processing Centre, which he has called for since April, when Papau New Guinea’s Supreme Council ruled that Australia’s detention of asylum seekers on the Pacific Island was illegal.

News of the closure came shortly after {{w:The Guardian}} published over 2,000 leaked incident reports (the Nauru Files from the Nauru Regional Processing Centre, last Wednesday, which revealed the poor treatment and living conditions endured by asylum seekers, some of which have been detained for three years.

Last Thursday, Dutton, dismissed and downplayed the asylum seeker’s reports of sexual assault, child abuse and self harm; which were exposed in the Nauru Files. Dutton accused asylum seekers of fabricating sexual abuse reports; and setting themselves on fire in an attempt to seek asylum in Australia. He even insinuated that the claims were false since the asylum seekers payed people smugglers to gain access to Australia.

Chris Lougheed, The Deputy Education Manager with Save the Children, who reviewed and submitted some of the incident reports within the Nauru Files, rebuked Dutton’s comments and said the reports were accurate and “written by experienced professionals.”

Nauru’s detention camp had previously been shrouded in secrecy, as local journalists are rarely granted permission to film or interview asylum seekers, and foreign journalists are required to pay an $8,000 application fee to visit and report from the remote island.

In response to the Nauru files; 103 current and previous employees from Australia‘s offshore processing facilities on Nauru and Manus Island signed and released a letter, urging for the detained refugees to be granted asylum in Australia instantly. Human rights, legal, religious, and medical groups have also demanded for the Australian government to end what they consider inhumane treatment of asylum seekers in the offshore processing centres.


Sources[]

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

August 17, 2016

Australia\’s Immigration Minister responds to leaked incident reports from the Nauru Regional Processing Centre

Australia’s Immigration Minister responds to leaked incident reports from the Nauru Regional Processing Centre

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

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Today, 103 current and previous employees from Australia‘s offshore processing facilities on Nauru and Manus Island signed and released a letter, urging for the detained refugees to be granted asylum in Australia instantly, in order to assure their safety. Those supporting the letter include: case workers, teachers, doctors, social workers from Broadspectrum (previously Transfield), Save the Children and other contracted workers for the Nauru and Manus Regional Processing Centres.

Map of Nauru Island
Image: IU.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

The letter comes in response to {{w:The Guardian}} publishing over 2,000 leaked incident reports (the Nauru Files), which totalled over 8,000 pages from the Nauru Regional Processing Centre, last Wednesday. The Nauru files revealed the poor treatment and living conditions endured by asylum seekers, some of which have been detained for three years.

The Guardian’s analysis shows children are involved in 51.3% of the incident reports, despite only consisting of 18% of people in the detention facility during the time of reports, between May 2013 to October 2015. The leaked files were published by the Guardian, who claimed the Australian public has a right to know.

A Senate Inquiry has since been proposed by the Australian Labor Party, but the current and former employees involved in the letter believe it to be an inadequate move. In the letter, former child protection officer from Save the Children, Toby O’Brien said the evidence brought forth from the Nauru Files is “overwhelmingly clear” and action was required immediately. The Nauru and Manus staff also said many had given evidence at the last Senate Inquiry, which was ignored as conditions didn’t improve and the mental health of the detained asylum seekers continued to deteriorate on both Nauru and for the males held on the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre.

Last Thursday, Australia’s immigration minister, Peter Dutton, dismissed the asylum seeker’s reports of sexual assault, child abuse and self harm; which were exposed in the Nauru Files. Dutton disregarded the seriousness of the abuse, claiming it had been already reported. He said he was aware of some of the incidents reported, but accused asylum seekers of fabricating sexual abuse reports; and setting themselves on fire in an attempt to seek asylum in Australia. He has also insinuated that the claims are fabricated due to asylum seekers paying people smugglers to gain access to Australia.

Chris Lougheed, The Deputy Education Manager with Save the Children, who reviewed and submitted some of the incident reports within the Nauru Files, rebuked Dutton’s comments and said “these reports are accurate observations written by experienced professionals.” Lougheed also demanded for the Australian government to take immediate responsibility and release the asylum seekers to Australia.

Nauru’s detention camp had previously been shrouded in secrecy, as local journalists are rarely granted permission to film or interview asylum seekers, and foreign journalists are required to pay an $8,000 application fee to visit and report from the remote island. Yesterday, the Nauruan government’s official Twitter account tweeted that the reports were false and being used for a political agenda.

In response to the Nauru files; human rights, legal, religious, and medical groups have also demanded for the Australian government to end what they consider inhumane treatment of asylum seekers in the offshore processing centres. Over 1800 academics have pressured Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnball, to call a summit to consider ways Australia can help these asylum seekers and put an end to the ordeal endured in the facilities.


Sources[]

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August 6, 2016

Australian swim team pulled from Rio training pool when water turns \’soupy\’

Australian swim team pulled from Rio training pool when water turns ‘soupy’

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Saturday, August 6, 2016

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Concerns about water quality at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games have expanded to include the inside training pool: top Australian swimming coach Michael Bohl moved his Olympic athletes from the main training pool on Thursday citing fear of infection.

The team had a pre-booked session in the training pool where they would have practiced uninterrupted. However, during the session the water in the pool turned, as Bohl described, “cloudy” and “soupy looking”. Concerned about his athletes’ health, he moved them from the training pool to the busier, but cleaner, main competition pool.

Bohl took his concerns to officials and was told the matter would be looked into.

This comes off the back of other water concerns in Rio, particularly in the Guanabara Bay venue for outdoor water events. An Associated Press-commissioned study found Rio’s Olympic waterways contained as much as 1.7 million times worse viral levels than the emergency threshold in Europe or the US. As a result, athletes were advised to keep their mouths closed and avoid putting their heads underwater or risk falling ill.

Swimming events at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games are to begin today.



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August 3, 2016

Olympics \”Day -2\” includes six women\’s football matches

Olympics “Day -2” includes six women’s football matches

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Canada versus Australia. Agência Brasil Fotografias

American swimmers Allison Schmitt and Michael Phelps are seen here in the restaurant of the Athletes Village. At the event’s peak, the venue will prepare 60,000 meals each day. Phelps’ diet has received headlines in the past, clocking in at 12,000 calories a day in 2008.

It’s two days to go until the opening ceremonies, but the football competitions for the 2016 Summer Olympics have begun in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Meanwhile, athletes are arriving to the Olympic Village, which has been one of the many lightning rods of controversy for the event.

Wednesday includes six women’s football match-ups, between Sweden and South Africa, Canada and Australia, Brazil and China, Zimbabwe and Germany, United States and New Zealand, France and Colombia. Canada’s forward Janine Beckie scored a goal just 20 seconds into the game, the quickest in Olympic history. The team beat Australia 2-0.

The men face off Thursday with Iraq vs Denmark, Honduras vs Algeria, Brazil vs South Africa, Mexico vs Germany, Portugal vs Argentina, Sweden vs Colombia, Fiji vs South Korea, and Nigeria vs Japan.

Canada vs. Australia

Zimbabwe vs. Germany

Many athletes are arriving in Rio, for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Teams are welcomed with ceremonies, the India, Bahama, Burkina Faso, Gambia and Norway delegations receiving their a 45-minute welcome Wednesday. While members of the US swim team have been photographed in the Athletes Village restaurant, recent reports suggest that Team USA men’s basketball will be staying in a luxury cruise ship, docked off the Port of Rio. Canadian tennis player Daniel Nestor has suggested the village lacks hot water. Members of the Australian team had their three laptops stolen last week, during a building evacuation due to a nearby fire.



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