A new season .. Autumn
Afghan president orders early elections
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has ordered that presidential elections be held by April, months earlier than a date of August 20 set by the voting authority.
Consumers snub Pacific Brands as outrage spills online
Outrage over Pacific Brands decision to relocate its manufacturing offshore has spread online, as furious consumers vent their anger over the company's exorbitant executive pay packets.
Dublin cops arrest 7 over Irish-record bank heist
Irish police have arrested seven suspected robbers and recovered more than two million stolen euros a day after a gang took a bank employee's family hostage and forced him to rob his own branch.
Soldiers continue grim body search as as bushfire threat continues
Fresh teams of soldiers are to join the grim search for the possible remains of at least 37 people still missing three weeks on from the deadly February 7 Victorian bushfires.
Obama declares August 2010 Iraq pullout
President Barack Obama ordered an end to US combat in Iraq within 18 months, after a war which poisoned domestic politics and claimed a heavy toll.
Beginning of the End for Rudd? Governor General Quentin Bryce has ordered private security briefings
GOVERNOR-General Quentin Bryce has raised eyebrows by ordering private security briefings from top public servants - including the head of the armed forces.
Two weeks ago, Ms Bryce summoned the head of the defence forces, Air Chief Marshall, Angus Houston, along with the head of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Michael L'Estrange and the Treasury Secretary, Dr Ken Henry to her official Canberra residence, Yarralumla.
Ms Bryce also asked all state Governors and the Northern Territory Administrator to take part in the private talks, which took place over two days on February 17 and 18.
A spokeswoman confirmed the official briefings by three departmental heads was the first of its kind in the 107-year history of the office. It followed another first for the Governor-General, a televised address to the nation by Ms Bryce following the devastating loss of life in the Victorian bush fires.
Police hunt radioactive fugitive
Kiss of death: Baby died after mum's kiss
Bligh follows Labor’s lost ladies
DESPITE its huge majority, the Queensland Labor Government may follow Western Australian Labor into deserved oblivion at the March 21 election.
SIGN THE WALL
The usual Middle Eastern balance from SBS:
It could turn out to be the world’s longest graffiti space – the massive concrete barrier separating Israel from the Palestinians.
Not separating – protecting. The wall has saved hundreds of lives.
Over the Internet, a group of Palestinian graffiti artists is offering to spray-paint your personal message on Israel’s towering security wall in the occupied West Bank.
I’m going with: “Farfour was a COLLABORATOR!” Because that will make the little children feel happier about him being beaten to death.
HOWDY’S DOWN TO SIX MINUTES!
Adults gather in Berkeley for a mini carbon conference:
Sitting around a mostly homemade, mouthwatering dinner in a Berkeley storefront, nine adults swapped ideas on reducing their carbon footprint into a money-saving, eco-friendly tiptoe.
“How did you make the cheese?” someone asked Alisa Thorp of Oakland …
“It took about 20 minutes,” Thorp said, adding that she started with milk from the local, organic Straus dairy, juice from backyard lemons and homegrown spinach.
“Well," said Sally Nelson of Berkeley, “I would say yours is the best I ever tasted.”
Besides recipes, the Cheese Nine came up with all kinds of inventive ways to, as the report claims, “save the planet”:
They included lifestyle changes such as reusing shower water for the garden or buying locally grown food and taking civic actions such as encouraging your school district to switch to fluorescent lighting or your grocer to eliminate plastic bags in the produce section.
Language continues to evolve in new and unpredictable ways. To keep you in the language loop, here are all the latest key phrases and buzzwords, and their meanings:
In part two of her ongoing conservative diagnosis, here’s Janeane Garafalo:
Any female or person of color in the Republican party is struggling with Stockholm Syndrome.
Oh, I don’t know. Maybe they just have different ideas about tax policies and such
That’s $4500 per head from each of us
Peter Hartcher tots up the bill of the Rudd Government’s astonishing spending spree since just last October:
So in five months, the Rudd Government has created economic and industry support with a measurable value of $90.7 billion. That’s the equivalent of the total annual economic output of Luxembourg or Libya.
Most of these measures go directly onto the taxpayers’ tab. The effect, combined with the natural slump in tax revenues that accompanies a downturn, has been a dramatic reversal in the national budget.
That is $4500 of extra spending for every man, woman and child. How on earth are we going to pay all that back, with unemployment rising and growth falling? And that’s before we even consider the big infrastructure spending, pension rises, paid maternity leave and carbon taxes still to come.
Britain imports a small war
Britain has imported the makings of a small civil war:
By MI5’s own admission, there are 2,000 terrorists suspects in the UK, perhaps twice that number who are susceptible to recruitment. As Jonathan Evans, the director-general, put it in January: ‘We don’t have anything approaching comprehensive coverage.’ MI5 deserves great praise for thwarting numerous attacks but sources say the Security Service can monitor, at most, two live plots at a time.
Attention children: private property isn’t
A modern story for children who are as fed up with wicked “neo-liberals” as our Prime Minister. Not only is the land-owner banned by the mayor from cutting down a tree, but the story ends:
Before long, the mayor turned Mr Pennyfeather’s house into her new office.
Kevin Rudd would approve. Free markets are a menace. Can’t be long before this book becomes compulsory reading in schools, especially in fire zones.