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Monday, June 25 2018 @ 02:28 am SAST

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Deaths from bites are rare despite Australia being home to 20 of the world's 25 most venomous snakes
INTERNATIONAL LIFESTYLE NEWS - An Australian nurse has spoken about how he survived a bite from one of the world's deadliest snakes by using medical training to instruct his rescuers as he passed in and out of consciousness.

Christian Wright, 33, was bitten on his foot by a brown snake at the bottom of a gorge in a remote part of Karijini National Park some 1,400 kilometres (870 miles) north of Perth in Western Australia last month.

"I looked at my foot, there was no puncture marks. No blood, no swelling, no nothing," Wright told commercial broadcaster Channel Seven Saturday.

"I started losing my vision. I knew I was going to pass out."

The hospital midwife shouted to his friend Alex Chia, who caught him as he passed out.

"His eyes were rolling back in his head, he was shaking and sweating, and then he went totally limp and heavy," Chia told The West Australian newspaper.

"We were down a deep gorge, 30 metres (100 feet) tall, there was no one in sight. The hardest part was being in front of his lifeless body."

A nearby Austrian couple heard their cries for help and called emergency services with their satellite phone as they tended to Wright's leg using his own instructions.

"I was just coming and going. I started getting really agitated as the neurotoxins started getting to my head, I was writhing all over the place and yelling out from the pain in my head," Wright told The West Australian.

A ranger was the first to arrive at the scene, followed by paramedics and other rescuers.

But Wright's ordeal was not yet over, with the ranger having to enlist the help of 20 nearby tourists to carry the nurse out of the challenging terrain on a stretcher while keeping his head above his legs.

It took more than an hour to carry him to an ambulance before he was driven to a hospital some 75 kilometres away and given anti-venom to counter the poison.

Brown snakes, whose bite is often painless, are known as nervous reptiles that strike with little hesitation.

Deaths from bites are rare despite Australia being home to 20 of the world's 25 most venomous snakes.

According to official estimates there are about 3,000 snakebite cases in Australia every year, with 300-500 needing anti-venom treatment. Only an average of two a year prove fatal.
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Australian stores limit baby formula as China demand hits stocks
Coles says some stores have moved the milk supplement from isles to behind counters
BUSINESS NEWS - One of Australia's biggest supermarket chains said Wednesday some stores were moving baby formula behind counters and restricting sales as it emerged customers were clearing shelves and selling it online in China for more than double the price.

Coles' decision to take the milk product off aisles follows complaints from worried mothers over supplies and after Sydney's Daily Telegraph reported one kilogram tins bought for up to Aus$35 (US$26) were being resold to Chinese parents for around Aus$100.

"Coles is committed to ensuring that our customers with a genuine need for infant formula have access to this product," Coles said in a statement.

"To make sure we have formula available for customers, in some stores we are keeping infant formula behind the service desk or using specially designed electronic article surveillance lids that can only be removed at the register."

The supermarket giant is restricting sales to two tins per customer and working with suppliers to improve availability.

Woolworths said it had no plans to remove the product from shelves but has also tightened restrictions to two units per customer.

In 2015 an Australian company apologised to mothers after its premium organic baby milk formula was wiped off supermarket shelves ahead of China's Singles Day.

Demand for foreign infant milk products has soared following a series of food scares in China, including a 2008 scandal over locally produced tainted formula that left six children dead and made more than 300,000 ill.

Simon Hansford, owner of producer Milk Powder Solutions said the strong Chinese demand reflected the quality of Australian produce, but also welcomed restrictions to protect local supply.
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The Gladiolus sempervirens was found close to where an ecological burn had taken place in the mountains.

GEORGE NEWS - The teams in the Garden Route National Park are excited about the discovery of two threatened plant species in Goudveld and Millwood near Knysna.

They were discovered by SANParks scientist Johan Baard, who consulted Wilderness resident Di Turner of the local Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers (Crew) group. She visited Goudveld and confirmed that the plants belong to species whose existence is threatened.

Discorea burchelli is indicated as threatened by Sanbi (South African National Biodiversity Institute) and as vulnerable by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). IUCN has described this species as endemic to the Eastern and Western Cape provinces of South Africa, occurring from George to the Kareedouw pass.

According to IUCN, the species is threatened by degradation from development and competition from an increase of invasive alien species.

Gladiolus sempervirens is a Sanbi threatened species. According to the Red List of South African plants, this is a "rare species that occurs only in favoured habitats in the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma mountains".

Baard says both plants are located in areas of the park that used to be plantations and are "exit areas" - that is, where commercial forestry is exiting or in negotiations with SANParks to exit to rehabilitate the areas for inclusion into the Garden Route National Park.

Baard found the Discorea burchelli and referred Crew to its GPS location. Crew had been looking for a specimen of the plant for a long time and members were elated that one was eventually tracked down.

The Gladiolus sempervirens was found close to where there had been an ecological burn.

Baard says the plants were found because they are now getting light and not growing in the shade under tall trees.

According to Baard, of the 2 200 plant species recorded in the Garden Route National Park, 240 are invasive alien species and 1 960 are indigenous.

Goudveld is a popular hide-away situated 22km from Knysna. Back in 1876, James Hooper discovered gold along the Karatara River. In 1887, more discoveries were made in the nearby Millwood area. Millwood in those days had hotels, a church, a shop, a surgery, a bank, school and a post office.

Nestled in the lower slopes of the Outeniqua mountains, the area has a magnificent variety of fynbos, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammal species.
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London to host new World Cup

Sebastian Coe. Photo: Twitter
ATHLETICS NEWS - London will host a new World Cup event this summer featuring eight top nations including the United States and Jamaica, British Athletics announced on Monday.

Britain, the United States, Poland, China, Germany, France, Jamaica and South Africa will compete at the London Stadium on July 14-15.

The tournament follows last year's world athletics championships in the British capital, which also hosted the Olympics in 2012.

The competition format will feature all field events and track events up to and including the 1500m, with just one man and one woman from each nation in each event.

Each nation will be competing for a $2 million prize pot over two evening sessions of athletics under the lights.

"It's great to see such an exciting head-to-head event confirmed to be taking place in London this summer – the concept is one that will excite everyone in athletics and is sure to attract new fans to the sport," said Olympic and world 400m champion Wayde van Niekerk.

Sebastian Coe, president of athletics' world governing body the IAAF, hailed the "innovative" event.

"We have eight lanes, eight top nations, eight teams and a host of world-class athletes lining up in each event to win the trophy and prize pot. This will be a fast-paced and exhilarating experience for athletes and fans."

UK Athletics chief executive Niels de Vos told AFP he was confident the event would capture the attention of the sporting world, even though it clashes with the World Cup final in Russia and the Wimbledon finals.
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Zuma's fate now lies with ANC NEC

Jacob Zuma.
The party’s national working committee, which met on Monday, has resolved to convene a special NEC meeting to discuss Zuma’s future on the eve of the State of the Nation Address (Sona).
NATIONAL NEWS - President Jacob Zuma’s fate now lies with the African National Congress (ANC)’s national executive committee (NEC).

The party’s national working committee, which met on Monday, has resolved to convene a special NEC meeting to discuss Zuma’s future on the eve of the State of the Nation Address (Sona).

This after the party’s top six leaders failed to convince him to step down.

Wednesday could be the day of reckoning for President Zuma.

As expected, the national working committee, which has no power to make decisions on the president’s future, has resolved to refer the matter to the NEC, which is the highest decision making body between conferences.

The NEC can then decide to recall the president.
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