More people left Sydney than any other capital last year


Sydneysiders fled the city in greater numbers than any other Australian capital last year, latest figures reveal.

A net 31,600 Sydneysiders farewelled the Harbour City for other parts of the country in 2020, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics internal migration statistics.

Melbourne wasn’t far behind, losing a net 26,100 people – the capital’s biggest annual net loss on record during a year which included months of COVID lockdown.

Overall, Victoria lost 12,700 people last year in what was the southern state’s first net interstate loss for a calendar year since 2008.

The only capitals to record net gains over 2020 were Brisbane, which gained 13,000 people, Perth, which added 3500, and Canberra, with 300.

South Australia recorded a boost in interstate migrants for the first time in almost 30 years, with a net gain of 100 people.

Meanwhile, 1400 opted for a move out west to Western Australia, the mining state’s first annual net gain since 2013.

Queensland had its highest net gain since 2004, with 30,000 people deciding to call the Sunshine State home.

Australia’s regional areas experienced the largest net inflows of capital city residents since records began 20 years ago.

In recent decades, more people moved from Australia’s capital cities to the regions than from the regions to the capitals, resulting in a net internal migration gain for regional areas, ABS demography director Phil Browning said.

During the pandemic, many people were still opting to make a move to other parts of the country, he said.

Last year, a net 43,000 Australians upped stumps in capital cities to try regional life, up from 18,900 in 2019.

It was the largest net inflow to the regions since records began 20 years ago.

Regional Queensland had the biggest net inflow of all the states last year, with 17,000 people moving in.

The regional areas of Victoria and NSW had the next largest net gains, with 13,400 and 12,700 newcomers, respectively.

The ABS figures do not reflect overall population change because internal migration is only one measure alongside overseas migration, births and deaths.

melissa.iaria1@news.com.au



Source link

Boy, 2, tests positive for COVID-19 in Northern Territory after trip to India


A young child has tested positive for COVID-19 after returning to Australia from coronavirus-ravaged India.

The Northern Territory Government announced in a statement on Sunday the boy, 2, has returned a positive result for the virus after flying in from New Delhi earlier this month.

He is currently in the territory’s quarantine facility at Howard Springs, and has been since his arrival in the country.

“A two-year-old male who arrived on the repatriation flight from New Delhi on 17 April 2021 has tested positive for COVID-19,” the government’s statement said.

“The child is asymptomatic and in the care of the AUSMAT team at the NT Centre for National Resilience.”

India was last week declared a “high-risk” location as the Australian government slashed arrivals from the subcontinental country in the grips of a devastating outbreak.

India recorded 346,786 new infections on Saturday, setting a world record for the third consecutive day.

It is not yet known if the outbreak is being fuelled by a strain first identified in the country in October known officially as B. 1.616 – but referred to as the “double mutant” strain.

Flights from India to Australia have been slashed by 30 per cent.

Last week Prime Minister Scott Morrison declared Australians will only be permitted to travel to a high-risk country under “very urgent circumstances”.

“An arrangement where if you have been in a high-risk country in the previous 14 days, before getting on your last point of embarkation to Australia, then you would need to have had a PCR test 72 hours before leaving that last point of embarkation,” he said.

“This would apply to India.”

A man who returned to Western Australia from India has been identified as the source of an outbreak in Perth, which saw the capital city and Peel region placed into a snap three-day lockdown.

The total number of cases diagnosed in the Northern Territory now stands at 161.

All cases have been linked to international or interstate travel, with no community transmission.



Source link

Australia suburbs suffer higher temperatures due to lack of vegetation


Certain suburbs in Australia’s major cities are being left to swelter under higher temperatures – which could be reduced through one simple measure.

Monash University researchers have released a report today commissioned by the Australian Conservation Foundation that says Australia’s major cities need more trees and vegetation to reduce serious heatwave impacts.

The report notes there can be a “heat gap” or large differences in temperature between suburbs due to the amount of vegetation and built infrastructure.

For example, temperatures in the Sydney council area of Blacktown, which only has 22 per cent vegetation cover, are 5.8C higher due to extra heat from its built infrastructure.

This compares to Mosman, which has a moderately high level of vegetation (43 per cent) and which only experiences an extra 2.2C in temperature from its built environment.

The report says the variation between different areas of Sydney, is much higher than in Melbourne and Brisbane.

Experts say temperatures are forecast to soar during summer thanks to climate change, with hot summer days in Melbourne and Brisbane expected to regularly top 40C by 2060-2080, and up to 50C in Sydney.

Cities in particular will feel the brunt of increasing heatwaves thanks to a phenomenon known as the urban heat island effect (UHI).

The microclimate around cities is generally warmer due to a number of factors, including that high rise buildings and narrow streets create canyons where heat gets trapped. Materials such as concrete, asphalt, steel and glass also retain more heat than natural materials, and a lower proportion of tree cover or vegetation means there is less moisture to cool the air or to create shade.

RELATED: What 2C of warming actually looks like

Areas where there are more people also tend to be warmer because of heat waste from the increased use of things like cars, factories and cooling systems.

“When temperatures go up, we strive to make ourselves more comfortable and rely on more airconditioning and refrigeration. This increases electricity usage and creates more waste heat, further contributing to the UHI effect,” the report states.

There are several ways to reduce the UHI effect including the use of reflective or super-cool materials, devices for solar control and shading, natural temperature sinks, or cooling systems that involve evaporation and transpiration.

However, one simple and cost-effective method is increasing the amount of trees, shrubs and even grass. These plants will help absorb sunlight, release water vapour that evaporates and cools the air, and provide shading.

This could be achieved through creating more open space, parks, wetlands, vertical greenery on building facades and vegetated roofs.

Sadly, the amount of vegetation has declined in all major cities except for Hobart, which is the only capital city to have more tree cover in 2020 than it did in 2013.

In Sydney, there was a 0.8 per cent decline in vegetation cover during this period, and while this may seem small, it is equal to 12.2sq km – or about 570 AFL football fields.

RELATED: Troubling detail in Aussie weather data

“Heatwaves kill more Australians than any other natural disaster and these will get more severe as our climate continues to change,” report co-author Dr Lucy Richardson of Monash University said.

“Our research shows increasing urban vegetation will become essential for our three largest cities – Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane – to reduce serious heatwave impacts by 2060-2080.

“Natural infrastructure takes time to establish to its maximum effectiveness, so acting early is critical for meeting future needs.”

ACF campaigns director Paul Sinclair said Australia’s national environmental law had not been effective in preventing the destruction of native trees.

“In the first 17 years that Australia had a national environment law, 20,212 hectares of urban threatened species habitat – that’s 11,400 MCG footy grounds – was destroyed,” he said.

“Decisions made by Australian governments in the coming months will either lock in permanent and escalating damage to the ecological systems that sustain human health and livelihoods, or they will promote a healthier, fairer and greener world.”

The Monash research is the first study to examine the cumulative effects of future climate change and the UHI effect at local government level across Australia’s three largest cities.

SYDNEY

It may come as a surprise but this city, considered one of the most beautiful in the world, is one of Australia’s least green capitals.

It has an overall 34 per cent vegetation cover and experiences an extra 5.5C in hotter temperatures due to heat trapped by the city’s infrastructure.

The extra heat in some areas can reach as high as 13.5C.

RELATED: The climate detail worrying scientists

Improving the city’s vegetation cover is especially important as the hottest summer days are expected to increase to between 41.7C and 50C for 2060-2080 under a business-as-usual scenario.

In comparison, the summer’s hottest days over the last 50 years at Sydney’s Observatory Hill station averaged 39.1°C.

Sydney can expect around 56 of its average days to reach over 30C each year by 2060–2080, with around 15 average days over 35C and two average days over 40C.

Mosman and North Sydney are expected to have the highest predicted temperature peak, at 50C. The lowest peak was expected to be Burwood at 47.9C.

However, when looking at average temperatures, Blacktown was expected to have the highest mean summer temperature of 31.3C.

BRISBANE

Brisbane is one of Australia’s greenest capital cities with 54 per cent overall vegetation cover.

On average the city experiences an extra 1C temperature due to heat being trapped by the city’s built infrastructure.

However, this can be as high as 6.1C extra in some areas.

Predictions suggest the city’s hottest summer days will sit between 38.3C and 41.8C by 2060–2080, under a business-as-usual scenario.

In comparison, summer’s hottest days over the last 50 years at the Brisbane Airport station averaged 35°C.

There will be around 137 average days over 30C each year and around 14 average days over 35C each year.

This is considerably hotter than the long-term average of 30C and the average for the 2019–2020 summer, which was 30.9C.

MELBOURNE

Melbourne is one of Australia’s least green capital cities with 23 per cent overall vegetation cover.

The city’s temperatures are typically 5.5C higher due to heat being trapped by the city’s built infrastructure.

This can climb to as much as 13.5C of extra heat in some areas.

Predictions suggest the city’s hottest summer days will sit between 42.9C and 49.4C by 2060-2080, under a business-as-usual scenario.

Casey would have the coolest maximum hottest summer days at 47C, compared with the highest hottest days predicted for Maribyrnong and Brimbank, both reaching 49.4C.

At the moment, summer’s hottest days over the last 50 years at Melbourne’s Olympic Park station averaged 41.9C.

Melbourne should expect around 48 average days to reach over 30C each year, with 17 average days over 35C and three average days over 40C.

charis.chang@news.com.au | @charischang2





Source link

Hamish and Zoe Foster Blake encourage big city escapes in Tourism Australia campaign


From beach-hopping to bush-bashing, Australians have been enjoying our new-found travel freedom since border restrictions relaxed, but there’s one area we’re criminally overlooking – our big cities.

So travel-loving couple Hamish Blake and Zoe Foster Blake have teamed up again with Tourism Australia for a new campaign that urges Aussies to plan a city escape to bring some love back to the big smoke.

In their new ad campaign, which is part of Tourism Australia’s Holiday Here This Year campaign, the popular couple showcases what our cities have to offer for your next domestic getaway.

Speaking to news.com.au about the City Escapes campaign and their upcoming travel plans, the pair explained how Australia’s excellent cities leave us spoiled for choice.

“No offence to other countries, but let’s say if you go to America, you’ve got some good capital cities in America but you’ve got some duds. In Australia, we’ve got no duds. If it was up to me, the campaign would be called Australia: No Dud Cities,” Blake said.

“Every capital city is awesome in its own unique way. I do love that so much about Australia. Cities that are smaller, population-wise, are kind of even cooler because they’ve got their own art, culture, food, geography, cool hotels. The cities have boomed.”

“And also whether you’re going with children, or just your partner, or you’re going for nature, or you’re going for shopping – you’ve got all of it,” Foster Blake added. “Art galleries, museums – they’re smashing it.”

The couple said they already had a hit list of cities they planned to go to next with kids Sonny, 6, and Rudy, 3.

“We were just saying we feel embarrassed we haven’t been to MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) in Hobart,” Foster Blake said.

“Our kids like to be a bit free-range and barefooted and feral, so we’ll definitely head to somewhere that affords that sort of environment as well. That might be Perth, or Brissie.”

Blake agreed he was “dying to get back to Perth”.

“I haven’t been for a couple of years and again, I think one of my favourite things about Perth is that it’s that perfect mix between big and small,” he said.

“It’s obviously a big city but it’s spacious, there’s lots of little great pockets and there are amazing beaches.”

Tourism Australia has found domestic travellers have been shunning cities in favour of regional areas due to health and safety concerns.

Spending on overnight trips across Australia fell by $27.1 billion, or 34 per cent, in the year ending September 2020, compared to the previous year.

It has especially been felt in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Perth.

Hotel occupancy has also taken a dive, with Melbourne, Sydney and Hobart the hardest hit – their occupancy rates have plunged to 33 per cent, 40 per cent and 49 per cent respectively.

Tourism Australia managing director Phillipa Harrison said tourism operators in Australia’s cities were still struggling almost a year after the country’s international borders snapped shut and lockdown restrictions inhibited domestic travel.

“Our cities are the key international gateways to Australia and transit hubs for travellers, so it’s no surprise that they’ve been hit the hardest in terms of tourism spend, hotel occupancy and aviation capacity over the past year,” Ms Harrison said.

“While our international borders remain closed and travel restrictions continue to fluctuate around the country, our cities run the risk of continuing to bear the brunt of this pandemic despite offering so many incredible, safe experiences and being more affordable than ever.

“As part of this campaign we are calling on Australians to help support their fellow Australians by booking a city escape, which in turn will help to support the thousands of city-based hotels, restaurants, bars, cultural attractions and experiences that rely on tourism for their livelihoods.”

As Hamish and Zoe look forward to their next city escape, they admitted there was one thing they’d have to contend with – their very opposing approaches to packing.

“He doesn’t pack until the night before, which gives me hives the morning of,” Foster Blake told news.com.au.

“I pack a week out, constantly curating, editing … and I do the kids’ suitcases as well. That will be our point of tension the night before.”

Blake admitted his packing habits were somewhat chaotic.

“For some reason, even though I know where we’re going and I know the temperature, as soon as I open my wardrobe my brain is filled with wild, 1 per cent contingencies,” he said.

“I’m packing wet weather gear on a whim, maybe three woolly jumpers for a beach holiday.

“Then when I get to the destination … it’s like a theatre sports game where I open up a bag and have no idea what’s in there.”

“But he’ll live in the same pair of shorts for seven days,” Foster Blake laughed.



Source link

Australia’s booming house prices could cause RBA interest rate rise


Australia’s property market is officially booming, with prices now rising at the fastest rate in 17 years.

But while it’s great news for those looking to sell up and line their pockets, there are concerns the market could be on its way to overheating.

And as a result, the Reserve Bank of Australia could potentially be forced to hike up the official cash rate from the current historic low of 0.1 per cent.

While that’s unlikely to happen at this afternoon’s meeting, more and more experts are predicting a rate rise could now be on the horizon far earlier than predicted.

HOUSE MARKET BOOM

According to the latest CoreLogic data, values surged 2.1 per cent higher in February, the largest month-on-month change since 2003.

While some may find that strong result surprising given the current coronavirus pandemic and subsequent economic battering Australia and the world has faced, experts say the house price jump has been caused by a mix of obvious factors.

They include record low mortgage rates, improving economic conditions, government incentives and low supply levels.

RELATED: China’s ultimate revenge on Australia

Sydney and Melbourne were among the strongest performing markets, recording a 2.5 per cent and 2.1 per cent lift in home values over the month respectively.

Some of Australia’s smaller cities were the big winners, with Darwin housing values rising 5.5 per cent over the past three months, Hobart values climbing 4.8 per cent and Perth up 4.2 per cent – and while the trend was seen in every capital city, it was also apparent across state regions.

CoreLogic’s research director Tim Lawless said Australia hadn’t seen a period of growth across all capitals and regions since 2009.

He said that while Sydney and Melbourne were on track to beat their previous 2017 record highs within weeks, those markets could soon become unaffordable enough to turn buyers off, which would wind down the intense acceleration.

At the moment, Sydney’s median property value, including both units and houses, is now a staggering $895,933, with Melbourne hot on its heels at $717,767, followed by Canberra at $706,454.

INTEREST RATE HIKE

While the RBA has previously indicated the official cash rate would likely remain at the current rate until 2024, a growing umber of economists are convinced a hike could come sooner than expected.

AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver told news.com.au while he expected the RBA would hold off on a rate rise for the time being, if the broader economy continued to recover quickly, it could bring forward a hike.

“We’re now thinking (a rise could happen) in 2023, or in two years’ time, but it may rise a bit earlier if things continue to hot up – it could come next year,” he said.

However, Dr Oliver said he believed the RBA would tighten lending practices first before a rate rise was announced.

He said that option would be more attractive to the RBA if the property market remained strong as government home buying incentives such as the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme and HomeBuilder were wound down, with New Zealand already going down that route.

“First home buyers will top out but investors are picking up and in turn that could bring on a tightening of lending standards this year or next year,” he said.

RELATED: New rules for ‘buy now, pay later’

“The RBA could discuss with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority through the Council of Financial Regulators and tap the brakes in terms of lending to slow down the pace, which is probably what they would do initially.”

Dr Oliver said experts would never have expected such a strong performance a year ago, when Australia was in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic and recession and when experts were predicting significant house prices falls.

But he said Australia had been cushioned from the blow due to the success of various government schemes such as JobKeeper, which protected people’s incomes and stopped a widespread default on loans.

“In the meantime, there is a lot of pent-up demand for property, record low interest rates, various incentives driving the boom in demand from first home buyers and people wanting to relocate form the cities to suburbs and regional centres,” he said.

“That is creating a lot of activity, and there’s also a lack of supply with market listings pretty low, and also an element of FOMO creeping in.

“All those factors are driving it … and we have seen nowhere near the negative economic impact we expected.”



Source link

House prices rise at fastest rate in 17 years, how high property values could rise


Australia’s already eye-watering property prices have skyrocketed yet again, with new data revealing values are rising at the highest level since 2003.

According to the latest CoreLogic data, values surged 2.1 per cent higher in February, the largest month-on-month change in 17 years.

Experts say the jump has been caused by a mix of factors including record low mortgage rates, improving economic conditions, government incentives and low supply levels.

Sydney and Melbourne were among the strongest performing markets, recording a 2.5 per cent and 2.1 per cent lift in home values over the month respectively.

Some smaller cities were big winners though, with Darwin housing values rising 5.5 per cent over the past three months, Hobart values climbing 4.8 per cent and Perth up 4.2 per cent.

But while the trend was seen in every capital city, it was also apparent across state regions.

CoreLogic’s research director Tim Lawless said a synchronised growth phase like this hasn’t been seen in Australia for more than a decade.

“The last time we saw a sustained period where every capital city and the rest of state region was rising in value was mid-2009 through to early 2010, as [a result of] post-GFC stimulus-fuelled buyer demand,” he said.

“Whether this new-found growth in Sydney and Melbourne can be sustained is unclear. Both cities are still recording values below their earlier peaks, however at this current rate of appreciation it won’t be long before Australia’s two most expensive capital city markets are moving through new record highs.

“With household incomes expected to remain subdued and stimulus winding down, it is likely affordability will once again become a challenge in these cities.”

RELATED: New rules for ‘buy now, pay later’

At the moment, Sydney’s median property value, including both units and houses, is now a staggering $895,933, with Melbourne hot on its heels at $717,767, followed by Canberra at $706,454.

But Mr Lawless predicted Sydney and Melbourne prices could surpass the record highs set in 2017 within weeks.

“At the moment if you look at the growth rates at face value, the annualised trend looks to be getting up to around the 16 per cent mark nationally,” he said.

“But I don’t think it will rise that much – I think the rate will slow down at least in the second part of this year, simply because of affordability constraints weighing on the market preventing some people [from purchasing].”

In other words, values are unlikely to keep climbing at the same huge rate in our least affordable cities, as it would simply end with people walking away from the market altogether.

However, Mr Lawless said Sydney and Melbourne still had a way to go before that happened.

“Sydney prices are still a bit lower than they were back in 2017 – they are around 1.1 per cent below that previous peak in July 2017,” he said.

“At this rate, it will only be a month or two before we see those markets pressing to new record highs.”

RELATED: One month to economic carnage

He said realistically, prices were likely to end around 10 per cent higher nationally during this calendar year, although smaller markets like Perth, Darwin and Brisbane were likely to perform more strongly.

That’s because those cities don’t face the same affordability problem, are less susceptible to migration flux and are more appealing to investors.

Mr Lawless said while industry insiders were previously predicting dramatic house price falls around a year ago as the pandemic and recession unfolded, the signs had been clear that a boom was coming for some time now.

“We’re seeing economic improvement well beyond what was forecast in terms of the speed of economic recovery, so there has been a gradual change in expectations,” he said.

“What’s most surprising is how pessimistic we were in March and April about how well we would navigate the storm as a country and economy.”

Mr Lawless said current stimulus measures such as HomeBuilder and stamp duty concessions had sparked a surge in first homebuyer activity, but said raising a deposit and covering the transactional costs of buying were the biggest challenges for younger Australians entering the market.

Meanwhile, the January 2021 Lending to Households and Business figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reveal the value of new loan commitments for housing grew for the eighth month in a row and hit another record high, according to the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA).

“The seasonally adjusted value of new loan commitments for owner occupier housing rose 10.5 per cent in January and 44.3 per cent for the 12 months, [with] rises being seen in all states and territories with the exception of the Northern Territory,” REIA president Adrian Kelly said.

“The value of new loan commitments to owner-occupiers rose 10.9 per cent, the largest monthly increase since August 2020.

“Loans to investors also increased for the eighth consecutive month with the value of loan commitments for investor housing increasing by 9.4 per cent for the month, the largest rise since September 2016, and 22.7 per cent for the year on the back of improving rental market conditions.

“The number of owner-occupier first homebuyer loan commitments increased by 9.6 per cent for the month and is 70.8 per cent higher than 12 months earlier. This is the highest level since May 2009, when the Commonwealth Government’s response to the GFC included the temporary increase in the first homeowner grant.”



Source link

TikTok star Mikaela Testa mistakes Sydney for Australia’s capital city


A TikTok star has defended her awkward geography mistake after being called out for naming Sydney as the capital of Australia – telling critics to “move on”.

Mikaela Testa regularly documents her lavish lifestyle on social media with her 1.2 million Instagram followers and 472,000 TikTok fans.

But the Gold Coast model – who earns a small fortune selling raunchy content on OnlyFans – recently made a trip to Sydney and described it as the “capital of Australia” in her daily vlog.

She’s since been being flooded with thousands of messages – many of them cruelly labelling her “dumb” and “embarrassing” – prompting Mikaela to speak out.

The 20-year-old said most people were “super nice” over the slip of her tongue, but some had been incredibly rude.

RELATED: X-rated influencer told to ‘get a real job’

“Guys, I know I f**ked up, I f**ked up okay,” she said in an Instagram Stories video.

“Canberra is the capital of Australia and I knew that, but what makes me think Sydney is the capital is because it’s the biggest.

“Thanks for correcting me, I mean, I look really stupid now. But I’m sure there’s a lot of people in this country who think the same thing, so I’m good.”

Mikaela went on to say she appreciated everyone who was nice about her “mistake” but said some people just “took it an ran”.

She then showed a screenshot of some of the messages she’d received, one of which reads: “Go to school dumb ass.”

The comments section on the video shared to her TikTok account also blew up with people pointing out the mistake, some brutally roasting Mikaela for the error.

“Sydney is nowhere near the capital of Australia,” one person wrote.

“Imagine not knowing the capital of the country you live in,” another said.

While one person declared: “This is embarrassing.”

Another cruelly agreed, saying: ““So stupid, obviously didn’t finish school.”

Mikaela appeared to take the backlash in her stride, cheekily defending her mistake by stating Sydney is better than Canberra and “deserves the hype”.

“There’s literally nothing there [in Canberra] except some boring ass parliament s**t whatever it is, prime minister s**t, no one cares,” she said.

The remark prompted a few comments from angry ACT locals who said she shouldn’t throw their city under the bus.

“Just because you got the capital of your own country wrong doesn’t mean you need to diss Canberra sweetheart,” one said.

“People from Canberra be like,” another said, before leaving two eye emojis.

Another invited Mikaela to Canberra to show her there’s much more than “just Parliament House”.

Others defended Mikaela saying it was an “innocent mistake” and there were “bigger things to be concerned about”.

Some also pointed out another detail in her vlog, that she paid for a stranger’s shopping, and said we should be focusing on that.

“Can we just talk about how bloody generous and kind-hearted you are for paying for the girl’s stuff,” one said.

Mikaela became a well-known face in 2019 after she shared a video of her breaking down in tears over Instagram’s decision to hide “likes” from followers.

She’s since had huge success with TikTok and last year she revealed she spent $1.4 million in 12 months.

Her financial success has seen her move into a Gold Coast mansion with her boyfriend Atis Paul, 19, his sister Anna Paul – who is another hugely successful OnlyFans creator – and the 21-year-old’s boyfriend Glen Thompson.

Anna’s TikTok account has just been “permanently deleted” with a spokesperson for the tech giant telling news.com.au the sex worker’s account “glorifies sexual solicitation”.

But the 21-year-old told news.com.au her X-rated job was never shown on the platform, instead it documented her day-to-day life which included make-up tutorials, feeding her birds and eating out.

In response to the ban, Anna’s 1.2 million followers have erupted in rage, branding the move “a joke”.

Continue the conversation @RebekahScanlan | rebekah.scanlan@news.com.au





Source link

Set to be miserable until May


The defining feature of summer, particularly on the east coast, has been the rain, with La Nina lashing the continent.

Autumn begins on Monday, so you might be hoping for a change. Well, that’s not going to happen.

There could be glimpses of summer like weather in the upcoming season, but what’s more likely is more miserable and soggy conditions. That’s according to the Bureau of Meteorology’s (BOM) autumn weather outlook that’s just been released.

The La Nina climate driver has seen moisture pushed on to east coast states from the Pacific. That situation might not last for all that much longer though.

“La Nina is past its peak with the tropical Pacific likely to return to ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) conditions during the autumn,” said BOM senior meteorologist Dr Andrew Watkins.

But it could take until May for La Nina to finally bid Australia adieu.

The upshot is above average rainfall across New South Wales, Queensland, parts of South Australia and eastern Tasmania in March and April and that lessening in May.

Most of Victoria, as well as Western Australia and the Northern Territory should see average rain.

RELATED: The weather forecast where you live

A HOTTER AUTUMN

It could be hotter this autumn with the mercury rising across Australia’s north, Tasmania, south west Western Australia around Perth and southern Victoria including Melbourne. That’s no change for WA which has seen runs of scorching temperatures this summer.

But parts of NSW close to Sydney and the ACT could actually see a slightly cooler than average autumn.

RELATED: UN calls out Aussie suburb for dire heat record

“La Nina can turn Australian climate on its head,” said Associate Professor David Holmes from the Monash University Climate Change Communications Hub.

“Of all the capital cities, Canberra has shown the strongest autumn daytime warming trend over the past 50 years and Hobart the weakest. However, the autumn outlook suggests Hobart is the capital city with the highest chance of warmer than normal days while Canberra has the highest odds of below average temperatures.

“Compared to averages for the past few decades, we’re seeing temperatures much closer to average in early 2021 because of La Nina – but this is a brief reprieve, and we can expect warming trends to continue into the future.

“Sixteen of the last 20 autumns have been warmer than average over Australia and this is largely a consequence of increasing greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.”

RELATED: Australia’s weird weather baffling scientists

Autumn minimum temperatures are likely to be higher than average across most of Australia except for parts of southern WA and western and central SA.

Chances of warmer nights are greater than 80 per cent for the northern tropics, eastern Queensland, southern Victoria, and Tasmania.

The wet summer may not have led to many beach days but it’s been blessing in other ways.

The seasonal bushfire risk is below normal for northern Queensland and southern and eastern Victoria.

The only place where the bushfire risk has increased above the average is in some areas of central coastal Queensland.

All that water has also helped top up Australia’s water shortages. Most are in a healthier condition than this time last year with big increases in NSW.



Source link

Grandma engaged to Tunisian toyboy


A gran who has been married three times has described sex with her Tunisian toyboy fiance as “wonderful” – but he has no idea she’s not divorced yet.

Rebecca Parrott, 47, from Canton, Georgia, is applying for a fiance visa, known as the K1, for 27-year-old Zied Hakimi so that he can join her in the United States.

If their application is successful the K1 visa will allow Zied to enter the US, but in order to stay he must marry Rebecca within 90 days.

After months of chatting online and with Zied unable to visit America, private investigator Rebecca flew to his native Tunisia to meet her toyboy.

Their nerve-racking first meeting and how their relationship unfolds is being shown on popular US reality series 90 Day Fiance.

RELATED: Grandma, 80, marries 35-year-old toyboy after wild sex confession

After Zied meets Rebecca at the airport, wearing a T-shirt plastered with her face, the couple head back to their hotel for some alone time.

“Tonight I am nervous for sex with Rebecca because she is 20 years older than me and she is a grandmother,” Zied confesses, and he isn’t the only one feeling nervous.

“It has been almost a year since I had sex. It has not been my intention to go this long without sex,” Rebecca says.

“Especially having this sexy man waiting for me. I am of course nervous.”

But the couple had no reason to be worried, with Rebecca describing their first night together as “amazing”.

“He is romantic and passionate, really everything you could want in a man. He and I just seem to be so comfortable together and I love that,” she said.

During their first day together the couple visit Medina, the capital city of Tunisia, where they explore local shops with Rebecca admitting she’s finding it difficult to keep her hands off her new man.

“It’s a very strict culture, and it’s hard not to kiss him every 15 seconds” she says.

“I think he would be OK with that but I think he would end up in jail.”

But while sparks appear to be flying, Rebecca is hiding a huge secret from Zied.

The three-times married gran, is yet to admit that she is still legally wed to her former Moroccan toyboy who was brought to America on a spousal visa.

Rebecca described her two husbands as “average, run-of-the-mill American men” and her third became a disaster after he became “jealous” after moving to the US.

And with Zied admitting to being a ‘jealous’ person, Rebecca is understandably nervous about her confession.

“I’m still keeping a huge secret from Zied. I haven’t told him that I’m still married,” she admits.

“I just filed for divorce right before my trip here.

“I don’t think Zied would like it very much to realise that he just had sex with a married woman.

“I don’t have a plan for when I am going to tell Zied or even how I’m going to tell him.

“I just know I have to find the right time and do it soon.”

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission



Source link

“We’re coming for you”: New videos provide inside look at U.S. Capitol riot


Of the 1,000 people who may have entered the Capitol on January 6, federal investigators are focusing extremist groups that may have scoped out the building and trained for the assault. Now, they’re pouring through new videos to pinpoint extremists who may have been targeting members of Congress.

A video released by The New Yorker magazine shows rioters reaching an empty Senate chamber. There, they rifle through the pages of a binder on a desk and revel in their success.

“There’s gotta be something in here we can f****** use against these scumbags,” one rioter can be heard saying.

The video also shows an interaction with a police officer, which began after the protesters took pictures and kicked their feet up.

“Any chance I could get you guys to leave the Senate wing?” the policeman is heard saying.

“We will. I’m making sure nobody’s disrespecting the place,” a protester replied.

Capitol riot
A pro-Trump mob floods into the Capitol Building after breaking into it on January 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. 

Getty Images


In a video of other areas of the Capitol building released by ProPublica, the rioters chant of a revolution and plow through their outnumbered opposition.

“Can I speak to Pelosi? Yeah, we’re coming b**ch,” one protester said, faking a phone call. “Oh, Mike Pence? We’re coming for you too f**king traitor.”

With less than 48 hours before the inauguration, the nation’s Capitol is on edge. There was a brief scare earlier Monday when the Capitol complex was shut down due to a fire blocks away.

The level of security in Washington is unprecedented. National Guard members are marching through the streets and quickly increasing in number. By the time President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in, there will be more than 25,000 of them in the city. But even the National Guard cannot avoid scrutiny — the FBI is vetting all members of the Guard. 

The chief of the National Guard Bureau told CBS News correspondent David Martin that he was “absolutely not” worried about the reliability of his troops.

Protests Expected In Washington DC Ahead Of Biden Inauguration
Virginia National Guard soldiers on the east front of the U.S. Capitol on January 17, 2021, in Washington, D.C. 

Samuel Corum / Getty Images


The FBI is also investigating the funding of the January 6 assault from both domestic and foreign sources, including mysterious Bitcoin transfers of over $500,000 from overseas to people supporting the original rally.

In all the chaos that day, someone stole a laptop from the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Investigators say they are looking for Riley June Williams, who is now a fugitive.

Court papers show how investigators tracked the Pennsylvania woman’s movements all the way into Pelosi’s office. They also say they got a tip that she “intended to send the computer device to a friend in Russia….who then planned to sell it to Russia’s foreign intelligence service” — but they noted the plan “fell through.”

Emily Hernandez, who allegedly stole Pelosi’s nameplate, has also been charged by federal prosecutors. And Jon Schafer, who is allegedly affiliated with the far-right anti-government group the Oath Keepers, was also charged. The Columbus, Indiana, resident faces six charges after allegedly spraying a Capitol police officer with bear spray. 

Ninety people are facing federal charges, and that number is expected to go up. The FBI is often catching up to suspects because of tip lines — and in some cases, family members are turning on each other.



Source link