Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Headlines Wednesday 27th May 2009

Aussie swine flu cases soar after cruise ship outbreak
The national total of swine flu cases has topped 50, with the number doubling in just one day.

NSW cabinet caught in swine flu scare
The NSW cabinet has been caught up in the swine flu scare, with revelations Tourism Minister Jodi McKay was on a flight with infected passengers.

Mike Tyson's four-year-old daughter dies
The four-year-old daughter of former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson has died a day after what police are calling a "tragic accident" in her US home.

Tourists watch tiger kill NZ zoo keeper
A Kiwi zoo keeper has been mauled to death by a tiger at the controversial New Zealand wildlife park home to the world-famous Lion Man.

Toddler wakes from coma singing Abba
A toddler, who wasn’t expected to survive after being struck down with meningitis, has woken from a coma singing the Abba song Mamma Mia.

Alleged people smuggler extradited from Indonesia to Australia
Alleged people smuggler Hadi Ahmadi has been arrested by Australian Federal Police in Perth following his extradition from Indonesia.

Ivan Milat doesn't regret self-mutilation
Serial killer Ivan Milat admits in letters to his family that severing his finger in a bid for attention was a "ridiculous" act, but he doesn't regret it.

Syd teen missing since mother’s death
A 13-year-old girl is missing after her mother's decomposing body was found by police in their......

'Govt should accept ETS olive branch'
The coalition has offered the Rudd government an olive branch on emissions trading, a key......

Sharks set to sack Gallen as skipper
Paul Gallen is set to lose his captaincy role at Cronulla over the racial vilification incident that has cost the Kangaroos star $10,000.

Australia voted No. 1 place to ride out recession: global survey
Australia is an island of calm amid the global economic storm despite pessimistic government and media responses, an international global business confidence survey shows.

Turnbull downplays rich list appearance
Malcolm Turnbull isn't impressed to be crowned Australia's richest politician.
=== Journalist Corner ===
Word of Caution
by Greta Van Susteren
I have very little information about President Obama's nominee (I am busy studying and reading about her), but I do know ONE THING and I urge all of you to likewise pay attention to this: watch out for all the anonymous sources talking about her. In these situations, anonymous sources are giant cowards seeking to smear. If they have something to say about her that shows she is not a good choice, they should speak up. We need all the information for or against.

I am not endorsing her or anyone else (like I wrote above, I have not fully studied her and frankly this is not my job to pick the replacement for the Court but that of the President and the Senate) but I do know that she should have a decent and thorough investigation but not gratuitous smears.
From Piers Akerman online
Scotty - I should have realised that your memories are with you every day of your life. Trying to get justice for innocent victims....seems a deliberately impossible task with government departments in denial of corrupted practices.
They don’t want to know or even care?
Does this explain why DoC,s are always underfunded? - Scotty, it is worse than you know (probably). Professional indemnity means that once an investigation has been bungled (probably as nothing is ever as it looks, prima facie) then unless it is in a minister’s interest, it is buried. No successive minister will reopen a case that is closed due to parliamentary procedure (hence the Mallard case had an ex gratia payment). So a case like Hamidur Rahman, where a coroner has made a ruling on evidence that was apparently hidden by the Dept. of Ed. will not be reopened .. even though an open finding was given. It would require political will, but the current government are apparently corruptly involved and, as with the Heiner affair, not even a few good men can fix it.
I’m not accusing anyone of murder, but that might be a possible finding were the case re examined. - ed.

- child molestation is not restricted to English churches. I can’t tell you all about my issue, even though it has been covered up, I can tell you some things. I saw a public high school PE teacher touching up students over a decade ago, before the Woods Royal Commission branched off into teaching from policing. I am a Christian and as circumstances had it, he was ‘compelled’ to justify himself to me, and claimed he was a Christian too. He said that when he felt holiest, like being baptized, he felt most like sinning. I didn’t bother explaining to him that I was Anglican and didn’t hold his charismatic thoughts on worship. I can’t tell you much more, except that there was an investigation (bungled) and he was given a pay rise and I was transferred from the school for no reason .. but a new school’s principal assured me it was because I am fat and lazy. - ed.
=== Comments ===
Tim Blair
A vice-regal solidarity demonstration:
Canada’s governor general ate a slaughtered seal’s raw heart in a show of support to the country’s seal hunters, a display that a European Union spokeswoman on Tuesday called “too bizarre to acknowledge” …

Asked Tuesday whether her actions were a message to Europe, [Governor General Michaelle] Jean replied, “Take from that what you will.”
Says Newfie sealer Jack Troake: “That’s great stuff.”
Tim Blair
Melbourne leftoid Jeff Sparrow tells his Crikey pals:
Clare Werbeloff is Australian for Sarah Palin.

Well, not quite. Palin’s still talked about as a Republican candidate for the next presidential poll whereas the Werbeloff express will probably come to a screeching stop at a station called Celebrity Big Brother or Ralph magazine.

But there are definite parallels. Contemporary conservatism demands only two things from its heroes: they must be photogenic and they must enrage liberals.

Think back to how right-wing pundits reacted to Sarah Palin’s initial speech at the Republican National Convention, and compare to the conservative blogs that launched the Werbeloff clip.
But as powerful as we conservative blogs are, we can’t claim all the credit (perhaps only 90 per cent of it). Lesser sites were also enthralled by Clare’s charming chk-chkness, and it would be unfair to deny their contribution. Here’s Crikey on May 18, when Nine’s clip was first made available:
You have to watch the footage to fully appreciate the voxpopping beauty of Sydney nighclubbers when confronted with what appears to be some Kiwi street violence …

Particularly wonderful is “Clare” and her description of a shooting in Kings Cross over the weekend:

“There were these two wogs fighting, and the fatter wog said to the skinnier wog, ‘Oi bro, you slept with my cousin, eh?’. And the other one said ‘Nah man, I didn’t do shit eh?’. And the other one goes, ‘I’ll call all my fully sick boys’ and then they pulled out a gun…”
On the same day, unaware of Crikey‘s piece, I ran this:
A witness describes a Sydney shooting. She also does accents.
Although similarly apolitical, Crikey‘s launch seems rather more gushing. Who knew they were so conservative?
Tim Blair
Congratulations, Adelaide:
The Centennial Park cemetery has been named a finalist in the United Nations Association of Australia’s World Environment Day Awards …

Centennial Park chief executive Bryan Elliott said the cemetery was the first in Australia, and possibly the world, to offset its entire greenhouse gas emissions.
South Australia has long been a leader in minimising post mortem emissions, pioneering the use of carbon-capture technology in 1999.
Tim Blair
They gather:
In a meeting in London hosted by the Prince of Wales, the world’s greatest minds will discuss the “urgency” of doing more to curb global warming.
The world’s greatest minds haven’t worked out how to discuss urgent things without being in the same room as Prince Charles.
The Nobel laureate Symposium will bring together 60 leading scientists from various disciplines, including more than 20 Nobel Laureates at the beginning of this week. At the end of the three-day event in London the group will come up with an unprecedented “memorandum” on climate change.
Let ‘em run for office if they think this is such a big deal. The world’s greatest minds apparently haven’t worked out the concept of representative democracy.
Nobel Prize Laureate Professor Steven Chu, who advices President Obama on energy policy, has already said he believes something must be done …
The world’s greatest minds sound like old people complaining about bus timetables.
Tim Blair
“I realise ’Arctic Circle‘ is the lamest comic strip ever,” emails reader Cuckoo. “It’s a kind of warming alarmist’s ‘Kathy’ or ‘Love Is’. But today’s installment in the Age hits new lows.” Having never seen the strip before, I’ll take his word for it:

According to Arctic Circle cartoonist Alex Hallatt:
“This has been something that’s been important to me since I was like seven.”
Hallatt’s been into this for more than 30 years and the best sceptic-debunking line she can muster is … “FUNDING!”

UPDATE. More from the Age‘s latest artistic genius:
Stimulating the economy through green jobs is great, but getting people to go out and buy stuff willy-nilly does not make long-term sense. Fortunately, Treehugger reports that, because of the faltering economy, predictions were correct and 2008 US carbon emissions were the lowest in years.
The faltering economy is “fortunate”. Tell that to someone who is out of work, Hallett. Hey, you can even tell some of your Fairfax friends.
Tim Blair
Quite by accident, greenist commenter Janine I devises a brilliant new phrase:
Oh, he is an intellectual coward… as is anyone who refuses to consider the balance of evidence coming from the peer-refused science.

UPDATE. Janine fires back:
“Peer-refused science” is not originally my term, not even accidentally. Peer-refused science is defined as that body of the literature which Lord Christopher Monkton won’t countenance. It’s, er, a greenist in-joke …
Apparently it’s one of the most closely guarded in-jokes of all time.
Rudd spins out
Andrew Bolt
KEVIN Rudd’s rise to power has been built almost entirely on spin. But now his trick is almost over.

People are now laughing at the Prime Minister as he models endless hard hats to suggest he’s building, rather than merely squandering the billions whose name he’s refused to even pronounce.

And even the journalists on whom he could once rely are rebelling.

The ABC’s Left-leaning Media Watch devoted most of its show on Monday to detailing how Rudd called press conferences in far-off places with little warning to ensure no senior journalist could get there to ask nasty questions.

It also polled journalists from all five TV networks and the consensus was clear on Rudd’s media manipulation: “They are worse than the previous government . . . It’s disgraceful . . .”

On Sunday, for the first time I can recall on the ABC’s Insiders, in which I’ve appeared from the start as a token conservative, every one of the five journalists on the show mocked Rudd at length, especially for his spinning.

And on Saturday The Australian’s political guru, Paul Kelly, usually kinder to Labor, raged that “this week (Rudd) looked scared, silly and subservient to political spin”. Only this past week?
Sol’s Mexican standoff
Andrew Bolt
LET me get this straight. We import Sol Trujillo and make him boss of one of Australia’s landmark companies.

We then shower him with $31 million dollars - ole! - even though Telstra’s share price under this bloke goes through the floor.

And now that he’s safely out of the country he complains we’re mean to Mexicans?

If this is racism, call me a clogwog.


And “cheese head” and “Dutch bastard”, too. You see, I had no idea racism came in this luxury version.

Mind you, Trujillo, the American-born son of Mexican immigrants, does have a point, if not a sense of humour. He was indeed teased repeatedly in the media for his Mexican heritage. - Maybe I can help you understand this situation, Andrew.
Sol was brought in to rebadge Telstra, set a vision. The transitional phase of Telstra was a dangerous one for it, and there was the possibility of it foundering .. which would have been a terrible thing for the previous government and Australia. So there was the political danger that the ALp would exploit such a tragedy.
The previous government couldn’t abuse Telstra, but they couldn’t rely on it either. The Telstra CEO, Sol, had to be independent and seek and independent future for Telstra from any government. It was even handedness and fairness that Mr Howard wanted from Sol and Mr Howard got that. The result is that even with the change of government, Telstra has been strong and independent. This is an intolerable situation for someone with Rudd’s ego. In that light, Rudd’s wave and adios to Sol can be seen for what it is .. a threat to any other business exec who won’t toe the Rudd line.
No Pm should have the power Rudd currently enjoys. - ed.

Picture this, Sol
Andrew Bolt
Cartoonist Mark Knight explains:

I feel I should take the blame for the cruel and hurtful depictions of Sol that we hear have scarred him for life.

These drawings were influenced by Mr Trujillo’s proud Hispanic background, which led to the cruel caricature of him and his two American business buddies as the Three Amigos. Then there were the oversized sombreros I put on his head, making him look ridiculous…

Why did we do this? Are we a cruel rather than a clever country? Are we a bunch of backward racists, as Sol claims we are?

Or is it maybe Mr Trujillo doesn’t understand the use of metaphor in cartoons and humour, and why we drew him as a Mexican bandit.

The Three Amigos caricature was largely symbolic of his management style. He came through the front doors of Telstra with all guns blazing… He didn’t agree with the telecommunications policies of this country, and he saw himself as an “outlaw” when it came to legislation governing Telstra…

There is nothing about race or creed here. It’s all about performance.
Nevada's Governor Snubs the President
By Bret Baier
Thanks, But No Thanks

Nevada Republican Governor Jim Gibbons is passing on a meet-and-greet photo opportunity with President Obama after Air Force One lands at the Las Vegas airport this evening. He's still mad at the President for making the statement earlier this year that "you can't go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayer's dime."

Gibbons says more than 400 conventions and business meetings have been canceled since then — so he won't be showing up tonight: "While I appreciate the offer, I am not interested in a handshake and a hello from President Obama, I am interested in an apology and plan to undo the damage the President did."

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Gibbons' actions seemed incongruent and that many politicians find an airport greeting a good time to press their case to the president.
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