DARWIN - The northern Australian city of Darwin marked the 77th anniversary of a Japanese air raid that killed hundreds during World War II on Tuesday. The Bombing of Darwin, which occurred on Feb. 19, 1942, was the first attack by Japanese forces on the Australian mainland and is estimated to have killed about 250 people, as well as destroying 30 aircraft and nine ships. Administrator of the Northern Territory Vicki O'Halloran, the Queen's representative in the territory, said in remarks at a service that the arrival of the war in Darwin was responsible for "fundamentally changing Australia." Darwin's close proximity to present-day Indonesia and its build-up of military infrastructure made the port city a prime target for Japan. In addition to Australian ships, there were a number of U.S. Navy vessels in the harbor at the time of the attack.
MONTREAL - Two homicide victims found in western Canada are the son of a high-ranking Australian police official and the young man's American girlfriend, Canadian police said. The bodies of Lucas Robertson Fowler, a 23-year-old Sydney native, and Chynna Noelle Deese, 24, from North Carolina, were discovered Monday along a remote stretch of highway in northern British Columbia province, the police said in a statement late Friday. A blue Chevrolet minivan registered in neighboring Alberta province was found on the side of the road, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said, without confirming whether the van belonged to the couple. Fowler had settled in British Columbia, local news media said, but the pair had been traveling extensively. Deese's family told U.S. media that the couple had embarked on a road trip through Canada.
There's currently a prison "crisis" in New South Wales, which according to NSW Department of Justice CIO Aaron Liu, is the result of the inmate population exploding and prisons being stretched to the limit. The solution, Liu said, was to put digital technologies at the forefront, while also addressing rehabilitation and working on preventing reoffending. In 12 months, the state government built its first Rapid Build prison in Wellington, 362 kilometres west of Sydney. The second, the Hunter Correctional Centre in Cessnock, officially opened last year after another 12-month build. "These are maximum security facilities and these facilities are a dormitory style, so rather than locking an inmate in an individual cell, they're in an open dorm," Liu told the Australian Information Industry Association NSW Government Briefing in Sydney on Friday.
Somewhere in Western Australia, a government IT employee is probably laughing or crying or pulling their hair out (or maybe all of the above.) A security audit of the Western Australian government released by the state's auditor general this week found that 26 percent of its officials had weak, common passwords -- including more than 5,000 including the word "password" out of 234,000 in 17 government agencies. The legions of lazy passwords were exactly what you -- or a thrilled hacker -- would expect: 1,464 people went for "Password123" and 813 used "password1." Nearly 200 individuals used "password" -- maybe they never changed it to begin with? Almost 13,000 used variations of the date and season, and almost 7,000 included versions of "123."
Several environmental activists have launched a protest outside the parliament of Queensland state, Australia on Monday, criticizing the government's approval to grant three mining leases to India's Adani Enterprises Ltd. The conglomerate received a nod from the state government for the estimated 10 billion Australian dollars ( 7.7 billion) Carmichael coal project Sunday after years of delays over environmental concerns. Environmentalists have been fighting against Adani's project, saying it could lead to loss of habitat for indigenous fauna due to port dredging and shipping, as well as climate change caused by using coal from the mine. The approval also coincides with extensive coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef due to climate change. "This mine means that Pacific islands will be submerged with the amount of carbon emissions produced from it," nonprofit 350 Pacific's Lisa Jameson told SBS, a local news network.