Science • Animals
Tasmanian devils are reintroduced to Australia after 3,000-year-absence
Tasmanian devils are reintroduced to Australia after 3,000-year-absence
Credit: Mathias Appel / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons CC0 Waiver)

Tasmanian devils are returning back to Australia after a 3,000-year-absence. Eleven of the carnivorous marsupials have been released into a 400-hectare wildlife sanctuary north of Sydney, New South Wales, Australian, the conservation group Aussie Ark that aided in the reintroduction program said in a statement.

"In 100 years, we are going to be looking back at this day as the day that set in motion the ecological restoration of an entire country. Not only is this the reintroduction of one of Australia's beloved animals, but of an animal that will engineer the entire environment around it, restoring and rebalancing our forest ecology after centuries of devastation from introduced foxes and cats and other invasive predators," so Aussie Ark president Tim Faulkner.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Cartoonist and production designer Ron Cobb dies aged 83

Ron Cobb has died of Lewy body dementia in Sydney at the age of 83, his wife Robin Love reports.

Cobb influenced the making of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and was a part in building the worlds of Back to the Future, Conan the Barbarian and Alien.

Climate & Environment
Australia: Sydney switches to 100% renewable electricity
Australia: Sydney switches to 100% renewable electricity
Credit: Azri (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The city of Sydney has announced that it has begun switching 100% of the electricity for the city to energy from renewable sources. According to the official announcement on the cities website they struck a deal to purchase energy from three different generators in New South Wales that is equivalent to 100% of the city's usage. The electricity comes in 3/4 from wind generation and 1/4 from solar generation and will be added to the electricity grid of the city.

Since the 1st of July, the city has started getting electricity from these generators with the aim of completing the switch to getting 100% of the cities electricity from these sources in 2021.

Business • Economy
Microsoft is permanently closing almost all of its stores
Microsoft Store in Sydney
Microsoft Store in Sydney Credit: Wpcpey / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Microsoft announced its plan to permanently close all its retail stores worldwide, with staff being relocated to Microsoft's corporate facilities. Four stores in London, Sydney, New York and Redmond are to remain open but will be "reimagined".

"Our sales have grown online as our product portfolio has evolved to largely digital offerings, and our talented team has proven success serving customers beyond any physical location," so David Porter, Microsoft Corporate Vice President.

Regional News • Oceania
Black Lives Matter protests held in cities across Australia
Black Lives Matter protests held in cities across Australia
Credit: Twitter Miss_vee_bee (Reproduction) (Creative Commons Attribution 1.0)

Thousands of people have taken part in Black Lives Matter protests across Australia. Health officials and leaders in Australia have warned that mass gatherings in support of racial equality risk inadvertently re-sparking the virus. A protester who attended a Black Lives Matter rally in Melbourne last weekend tested positive for the coronavirus, according to state authorities.

A separate series of protests were held in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne against the treatment of refugees being held in detention centres. The Sydney event -- organized by the Refugee Action Coalition -- took place despite a court ban.

Science • Animals
After Australian wildfires: first koalas released back into nature

After being rescued from the wildfires that destroyed large parts of nature in Australia, 12 koalas have been released back into nature, their natural habitat in the Blue Mountains. The Taronga Zoo in Sydney had taken care of the animals and "while they have coped well in care, we are delighted to finally send our koalas home", said Dr. Kellie Leigh the executive director of the Science for Wildlife organization.