WEDNESDAY, October 9.
The future course of Australia’s Rugby World Cup campaign could be subject to the ferocity of typhoon threatening Japan if it continues on its current course.
A “Super Typhoon”, threatening to wreak havoc across Japan, could potentially result in the cancellation of crucial games that could see the Wallabies avoid England in a quarter-final and have major implications for other tier-one nations.
World Rugby released a statement earlier this week warning that Typhoon Hagibis was on course to bring high winds and heavy rain to southern parts of Japan on Saturday and Sunday, which could force a number of important matches to be moved or cancelled completely.3
However, as the week progressed the typhoon’s severity increased rapidly. It has gone from a tropical storm to a category five typhoon in the space of 24 hours and according to The Weather Network website is the “strongest storm anywhere in the world” and could be the most destructive anywhere on earth this year.
The storm was initially set to hit southern Japan on Saturday, meaning the Wallabies’ upcoming game against Georgia in Shizuoka would not be affected. However meteorologists now believe the typhoon is more likely to hit further north in Yokohama and Tokyo where there are important, pool-defining matches this weekend.
While winds between 250km/h and 300km/h have been forecast at this early stage experts say there is a chance the storm won’t hit despite the numerous warnings.
In Australia’s pool, Wales could be the big losers and possibly miss out on the top spot they have eyed off since beating the Wallabies in Tokyo.
Wales’ match on Wednesday against Fiji will not be affected, but a clash on Sunday with Uruguay, who they are expected to beat with a bonus point, may be cancelled or possibly moved due to the weather.
Rugby World Cup rules state that in abandoned matches both teams split the four points, taking two each.
There are dozens of possible outcomes but the Wallabies will be crossing their fingers they can take the field against Georgia and Wales do not agains
The impeachment inquiry into US President Donald Trump has taken yet another red hot twist with the White House outlining in a defiant eight-page letter why it will not participate in their “illegitimate and unconstitutional” probe.
The letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and top Democrats on Tuesday said that the proceedings had run roughshod over congressional norms and the president’s due-process rights.
Trump administration officials called the letter, which was written by White House counsel Pat Cipollone and obtained by Fox News, perhaps the most historic letter the White House has sent.
The document sets up a head-on collision with Democrats in Congress, who have fired off a slew of subpoenas in recent days concerning the president’s apparent efforts to get Ukraine to investigate political foe Joe Biden.
“President Trump and his administration reject your baseless, unconstitutional efforts to overturn the democratic process,” the letter stated.
“Your unprecedented actions have left the president with no choice. In order to fulfil his duties to the American people, the Constitution, the Executive Branch, and all future occupants of the Office of the Presidency, President Trump and his administration cannot participate in your partisan and unconstitutional inquiry under these circumstances.”
The document concluded, “The president has a country to lead. The American people elected him to do this job, and he remains focused on fulfilling his promises to the American people.”
Substantively, the White House first noted in the letter that there has not been a formal vote in the House to open an impeachment inquiry — and that the news conference held by Pelosi last month was insufficient to commence the proceedings.
“In the history of our nation, the House of Representatives has never attempted to launch an impeachment inquiry against the president without a majority of the House taking political accountability for that decision by voting to authorise such a dramatic constitutional step,” the letter stated.
Up to 11 elephants have died trying to save a baby elephant from drowning in a national park, according to Thai authorities quoted by the Washington Post.
The authorities initially said six elephants had died after a young elephant, believed to be about three-years-old, fell into a waterfall at Khao Yai National Park, about 135 kilometres north-east of Bangkok.
Thailand’s Department of National Parks released this photo showing two live elephants stuck on the edge of the Haew Narok waterfall.
Five other elephants were thought to have jumped into Haew Narok Waterfall to try to save the baby.
A drone has since located another five dead elephants near Haew Narok, the park’s highest waterfall, the Associated Press reported.
Officials on Saturday also found two live elephants on the waterfall’s cliff, attempting to go down to help the other elephants. A veterinarian is caring for them.
This is the worst such episode for the park’s wild elephants in recent memory. A similar disaster killed eight elephants in 1992.
Elephants are sympathetic animals that have been known to help each other when they are distressed.
They also show something resembling grief when one of their own dies.
Khao Yai is Thailand’s third-largest national park. Haew Narok has three tiers that total about 492 feet. Elephants are common nearby.
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