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Virgin to axe Australia flights from May

A spokeswoman for Virgin Atlantic told ITV Meridian that the last flight departing Sydney to Hong Kong bringing passengers back to the UK will be on 5th May 2014, The last flight departing Hong Kong to Sydney will be on the day before.

Up to that date, Virgin Atlantic will continue to operate its published schedule and Virgin Atlantic say customers can be confident booking flights for travel prior to then. The move will affect some staff based in Sydney and Hong Kong. A consultation period has commenced with them.

In a statement the airline's Chief Executive explained why they'd make the decision.

Unfortunately we intend to withdraw our services between Sydney and Hong Kong. Despite the best efforts of our employees, external factors such as increasing costs and a weakening Australian dollar have affected our profitability. These are still difficult times for the airline industry and as part of our strategy to operate more efficiently, we need to deploy our aircraft to routes with the right level of demand to be financially viable.”

– Craig Kreeger, Chief Executive at Virgin Atlantic

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England retain Women's Ashes after nine wicket win

England have retained the Women's Ashes after a nine-wicket win over Australia.

Captain Charlotte Edwards holding the Ashes trophy after England's win last year. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Captain Charlotte Edwards hit 92 not out in the first Twenty20 match of the Ashes tour to give England an unassailable lead in the series.

The victory meant England won the multi-format series 10-4 with two Twenty20 games to spare and will lift the trophy for the second time inside six months.

England's success in Australia starkly contrasts the performance of the men's team who were whitewashed 5-0.

Saving sharks in Oz: Planned cull sparked outrage

Staff at the Brighton Sea Life Centre are outraged at plans in Australia to cull sharks, in an attempt to improve safety for beach goers.

The Government of Western Australia has announced the multi-million dollar plan, which includes setting baited hooks off beaches around Perth.

After seven fatal shark attacks in three years, the cull has not gone down well around the world.

The curator at the Sea Life Centre, Carey Duckhouse said:

Apart from the fact that many shark species are already on the brink of extinction due to over fishing and decades of persecution, the proposed solution to Perth's shark-attack problem is more likely to exacerbate than to solve it.

They want to attach lines and baited hooks to drums a mile off-shore and pay commercial fishermen to patrol them and kill any captured shark over three metres long.

That could include Great Whites, which are a protected species and in sharp decline, as well as species like Tiger and Bull sharks.

– Carey Duckhouse, Curator at Brighton Sea Life Centre

Anyone who would like to register their opposition to the proposed cull can do so by clicking here.

Australian Navy birthday 'once in a life time' experience

HMS Daring with the Syndey Harbour Bridge in the background Credit: Royal Navy

Sailors representing the UK on board HMS Daring to celebrate the Royal Australian Navy's 100th birthday have described the experience as a 'once in a life time experience'.

The Portsmouth based, Type 45 destroyer has been open to the public for the past 2 days.

The Portsmouth based ship passes the Sydney Opera House Credit: Royal Navy

No other ship has travelled so far to celebrate the event, with HMS Daring clocking up 17,000 miles to get to Sydney.

Celebrations in the harbour concluded with a stunning fireworks display.

Fireworks in the harbour Credit: Royal Navy

Ships from the South represent UK in Oz

A tall ship and a war ship have been down under helping the Australians celebrate a special anniversary. The Portsmouth based destroyer HMS Daring and the Sail Training Ship Lord Nelson, from Southampton, have been representing the UK at an international fleet review in Sydney Harbour.

Prince Harry also flew in for the event which marked 100 years since the first arrival of the Royal Australian Navy. Richard Jones reports.

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Body recovery operation to begin

Police who believe a body discovered in bushland in Australia is that of a missing British man are expected to begin a recovery operation today.

Gary Tweddle, 23, has not been seen since he disappeared after a work dinner during a conference in the Blue Mountains nearly seven weeks ago.

The computer salesman, who had emigrated to Australia with his family, was last heard from when he rang colleagues also staying at the Fairmont Resort in Leura on 17th July 2013 to say he was lost in the bushland.

Police said a body believed to be Mr Tweddle was spotted by an ambulance rescue helicopter during a training exercise near bushland in Leura at about 4pm local time yesterday.

Reading man's body 'found in Australia'

Gary Tweddle disappeared after a work conference Credit: Meridian

Police, searching for a British man who went missing in bushland in Australia six weeks ago, say a body has been discovered. Gary Tweddle, 23, was attending a conference in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, when he disappeared after a work dinner.

The computer salesman, who had emigrated to Australia with his family, rang colleagues also staying at the Fairmont Resort in Leura in the early hours of July 17 to say he was lost in the bushland. He has not been heard from since then despite extensive search and rescue efforts.

Police say a body, believed to be that of Mr Tweddle, was found by an ambulance rescue helicopter during a training exercise near bushland in Leura.

Best job in the world 'too good to leave'

Looking after koalas, sunbathing with seals - it sounds like a tough assigment, but someone has to do it!

It's billed as the Best Job in the World - looking after a tropical Hamilton Island off the coast of Australia, for six months.

It's part of a campaign that is proving a big success for Tourism Australia, aimed at the young traveller.

One of the first competition 'winners' was Ben Southall, from Hampshire, back in 2009. But, for some reason, he's still there! Fred and Sangeeta have caught up with him.

For details of this year's competition click here.

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British backpacker thought 'pick me up now or do me in'

The British backpacker who went missing in the Australian outback for three days and was "hours away from death" told ITV's Daybreak he reached "a desperate point" where he either wanted to be saved or succumb to the harsh conditions.

Sam Woodhead with his mother being interviewed by ITV's Daybreak. Credit: Daybreak

Sam Woodhead, 18, said rescue helicopters missed an SOS sign he had made from his rugby shorts and thought to himself on the third and final day he was missing, either "pick me up now or do me in."

Speaking from Daybreak's studio in London, Sam's father Peter said it was a "great strategic move of yours not to unpack the contact lens' from your bag two months ago."

The backpacker drank contact lens solution in a bid to stop himself from dehydrating.

His sister, Rebecca, said she expected a "great birthday present" from him and added that her promise of giving her brother a whack "still stands."

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