Saturday February 16, 2019
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Free hugs anyone: Italian couple spreads love to strangers in Australia

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Canberra: A young Italian couple traveling around Australia are surprising strangers across the country by offering impromptu hugs, a media report said on Monday.

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Erica Della Mura, 20, and partner Nicolo Marmiroli, 21, draw crowds by standing in busy areas wearing a blindfold and with their arms outstretched, ABC reported.

A cardboard sign and small coin collection tin alerts passers-by to what the gesture means.

“I trust you. Do you trust me? Hug me. The hugs are free but if you want help us travel this beautiful country. Thanks so much,” the sign reads.

Della Mura and Marmiroli have been travelling the country together for the past seven months on working visas.

A 30-minute hug session barely makes enough in terms of donations to cover lunch – but it is not about the money, they said.

“We like to do this because it’s really, really beautiful,” Della Murra said.

“A lot of people say ‘thanks’. A lot of people say ‘safe travels’. A lot of people say nothing.”

So far they have hugged strangers in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Byron Bay and Brisbane.

Over the weekend they took to Noosa on the Sunshine Coast.

(IANS)

Next Story

Great Barrier Reef Faces Australian Floods Dirty Water

The water has not dispersed due to its size and a recent lack of wind.

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The water has not dispersed due to its size and a recent lack of wind. Pixabay

Dirty water from a flood crisis in north Australia has spread to parts of the Great Barrier Reef, placing it under stress, scientists have said. The floods are the result of weeks of devastating rain in Queensland. Some regions experienced the equivalent of a year’s rainfall in 10 days.

Aerial pictures show that run-off from one river has blanketed some reef areas more than 60 kilometres from shore, the BBC reported on Friday.

The UN calls the Great Barrier Reef, located in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland, the “most biodiverse” of all the World Heritage sites, and of “enormous scientific and intrinsic importance”.

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The floods are the result of weeks of devastating rain in Queensland. Pixabay

Scientists fear the sediment-laden waters may be blocking out light and effectively “smothering” coral.

In recent weeks, run-off from several rivers has coalesced to affect an approximately 600 kilometre stretch of the reef’s outer edges, scientists said. The water has not dispersed due to its size and a recent lack of wind.

The water has not dispersed due to its size and a recent lack of wind.The water has not dispersed due to its size and a recent lack of wind.

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Frederieke Kroon from the Australian Institute of Marine Science said the nutrient-rich water had also sparked algae growth in some areas, turning waters “a thick blanket of green”.

The reef is already facing threats to its survival such as coral bleaching caused by warmer sea temperatures. It has also been damaged by cyclones. (IANS)