Ruins of an ancient Iraqi temple were off-limits to visitors under Saddam Hussein. Now U.S. soldiers are among the first to be able to tour the historic site.
Obama All 'Wrong' on 9/11?
Bush's AG tells Fox News Obama administration's decision to pursue civil trial for 9/11 suspects could give jihadists forum, compromise intelligence
Obama: Too Soon for Ft. Hood Probe
President urges Congress to hold off on shooting rampage investigation, asking lawmakers to 'resist temptation to turn this tragic event into political theater'
Congress iPhone Cartoons Voted In
Apple reverses decision, accepts 'objectionable' new app with caricatures of members of Congress
Don't hang up the cream, white, off-white, bone, ivory and beige jacket just yet - Richie Benaud is playing for another three years
Parents fined for drunken teens
PARENTS could be slapped with $6000 on-the-spot fines for allowing alcohol at teen parties.
Swearing, tailgating teacher battles ban
A TEACHER banned for swearing at students says he is "abso-friggin-lutely" good at his job.
Mail-order designer drug the new ecstasy
CLUBBERS are buying a new designer drug billed as "a cross between cocaine and ecstasy"
An angry crowd has run amok in Paris, tipping over a vehicle, after a publicity stunt by an internet company to give away thousands of euro was cancelled at the last minute.
Twilight bites into real-life covens craze
VAMPIRE clubs, covens and lairs have sprung up across Australia in the wake of the Twilight craze.
Forget XYZ - bring on Generation Alpha
BABIES born into new Generation Alpha will be better educated, more materialistic and tech-savvy.
Double murder suspect 'took girl hostage'
ANTHONY Waterlow took his two-year-old niece hostage, before murdering her mother and grandfather, police say.
Paulini sings of NRL bad boy's abuse
SINGER Paulini Curuenavuli has recorded an extraordinary new single which reveals for the first time how she was terrorised by her ex-boyfriend, NRL star Wes Naiqama.
APEC drops halving emission cut target
LEADERS will drop a fixed target for halving greenhouse gas emissions in a final APEC statement to be delivered today.
Spray for our top cops
THE State's top detectives have been told in a scathing email sent to officers to "lift their game" and make more arrests.
Rees takes revenge on Labor rats
PREMIER Nathan Rees will use new powers won in a surprise coup at the ALP state conference to dump up to three ministers this week, including Joe Tripodi. - Tripodi smeared one of his constituents, DDBall, when the whistleblower correctly pointed out issues regarding the death of school boy Hamidur Rahman in '02. He is an incompetent minister and no loss to NSW - ed.
Indons fired on boat 'after bribe'
TWO Afghan asylum seekers were shot after they refused to pay a bribe, according to a witness.
=== Comments ===
Rudd’s red carpet to asylum seekers
HAVING held the Rudd Labor Government hostage for a month, 22 Tamil asylum seekers have accepted the extra special deal Australia has offered and come ashore, briefly, in Indonesia. - Rudd’s bungling has cost lives, but I’m sure he won’t apologize for that. One must wonder why so many refugees are not accepting the deal .. is it because their being processed would show that they had already been processed? Or, is it the case that the processing would show those who remain behind will be seen to have been extremist militants and criminals? Regardless, there will be many in refugee camps who will miss out on yet another opportunity of finding freedom. Rudd is cold and heartless and Mr Turnbull is perfectly correct to say Australia needs to reestablish order so as to facilitate better outcomes for all. I note significant members of the press are already attacking Mr Turnbull for not wanting to kill more people. - ed.
'Dangerous and Irresponsible'
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani says trying 9/11 suspects in U.S. is 'absolutely unnecessary'
Rodney asks Rudd for directions: where’s this conspiracy?
Reader Rodney was so relieved to hear there was a global conspiracy against Kevin Rudd’s colossal taxes on emissions that he hand-delivered to the Prime Minister’s electorate office this request that nearly 3000 of you have so far signed, too:
Dear Mr Rudd,If you still haven’t joined Rodney, me, Professor Ian Plimer and so many other readers, then sign my letter here.
I am an Australian who respects reason and evidence, and who wants this nation to prosper - and not squander its wealth.
On Friday I heard you say there is now a group of “opponents of climate change action ... active in every country” that is “powerful enough to threaten a deal on global climate change both in Copenhagen and beyond”.
I would like to join this group. Can you please tell me where I can enrol?
Age deceives: no records set in Melbourne at all
It’s like the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Barack Obama - a celebration of promise, rather than performance. Here’s how the warming alarmists at The Age trumpeted the latest “evidence” that we’re warming to hell - “evidence” also touted by ABC Melbourne’s alarmist Jon Faine:
Hot in the city: Melbourne heads for record November heatRecord heat? As in never seen before in November?
November 11, 2009
Well, no, actually:
By yesterday, it was the longest stretch of November heat in Melbourne since the bureau recorded four days over 30 in 1925.So it was actually warmer 84 years ago. So by this same evidence, does this mean we’re getting ... cooler? Whatever - it sure doesn’t mean Melbourne has set a record.
If tomorrow’s temperature breaks the 30-degree mark, it will equal the six-day record set in 1896.
But how about that last line, that if the following day was above 30 degrees, we’d equal the 1896 record? In fact, actual temperature on November 12:
28.7Another record not broken. And how about the rest of the predictions that the Bureau fed the tell-me-the-worst-oh-yes Age?
“Thursday is still forecast to reach 29, but Friday is expected to hit 30, Saturday 35, Sunday 30 and then finally the cool change coming through overnight Sunday...”Actual temperatures: 29.8, 27.2 and 30.3 so far, with Sunday now tipped to be a balmy 28.
And how unusually hot has this period from last Sunday been, in what The Age insists is a period of catastrophic man-made warming?
Here are the years in which the record maxima were set in Melbourne for each of those dates:
November 8: 1909Melbourne hasn’t set a record high temperature for any of those dates for at least 29 years, and in most cases the records were set more than a century ago. Where, then, is the warming?
November 9: 1882
November 10: 1927
November 11: 1865
November 12: 1902
November 13: 1980
November 14: 1878
Will The Age now run a piece to calm the scare that it had unleashed, and reassure its readers that the weather is much as it ever was - and that not a single record has been set this month?
You want real weather records for this month? Then go to China:
The country was blanketed by heavy snow and pummeled by severe weather yesterday during the third consecutive day of harsh weather. The whiteout left several people dead and caused hundreds of injuries…
Tens of thousands of people and vehicles were stuck along 21 expressways in seven provinces. Power supplies were lost in some parts of the country, the China Highway Information Service said on its website yesterday…
Hebei provincial meteorological bureau issued its top alert three times and officials in Shanxi province declared an emergency the same day. Some places in these two provinces experienced the most severe snowfall in history.
The papers Karoly didn’t see
Leading alarmist Professor David Karoly on Four Corners last week:
Typically there would be one to 2,000 scientific papers published every year in the fields of climate change science contributing to the understanding of climate change science and none of those seriously contradict the conclusions of the IPCC.Karoly should expand his reading. Here is a list of some 450 sceptical papers he seems somehow to have overlooked. Odd that Four Corners didn’t fact-check his claim.
Andrew Norton explains how the Greens rigged their latest poll to get just the alarmist answer they wanted.
Flannery’s wages of fear
So how much is Alarmist of the Year Tim Flannery pulling for this endorsement? Add it to the books, the consultancies, the speeches, the backing of joy rides in space and now a government sinecure.
Liberals get the deal they didn’t actually want
I repeat what I said from the start - that the Liberals should have added to their list of the demands the one that should have been their bottom line: that any deal would be depend on most countries agreeing to similar cuts, too. Call it the shag-on-the-rock clause.
AUSTRALIA is likely to have an emissions trading scheme locked in by the end of next week, with the Government caving in to a key Coalition demand to permanently exclude the farming sector.The inevitable is happening. the Rudd Government is caving in, leaving the Liberals potentially looking like hypocrites by opposing a compromise they actually negotiated. I’ve never seen an Opposition use the gun in its hands to blow out its own brains. (UPDATE: indeed, it’s on this very point that Laurie Oakes on Nine this morning is now attacking Turnbull.)
In a significant concession, and a huge win for the powerful farming lobby, a senior Government source revealed Labor will this week agree to exclude agriculture from the scheme ‘’indefinitely’’ - knocking out a key sticking point in negotiations with the Opposition.
So Australia will commit itself to a colossal tax on emissions that will cost us billions, when countries responsible for most of the world’s emissions will not. And now, with farming excluded, the big polluters compensated, the big exporters excused .... exactly what will Rudd’s huge taxes achieve?
Asian leaders tell Rudd we’ll be alone on his rock:
ASIA Pacific leaders are backing away from a target of halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, pledging instead to “substantially” slash them by that date, the latest draft of their summit statement says.
The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Singapore is the last major gathering of global decision-makers before a UN climate summit in Copenhagen in three weeks meant to ramp up efforts to fight climate change.
“The 50 per cent reduction did appear in the draft, but it was very controversial,” said Yi Xianliang, counsellor at the department of treaty and law at the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who is negotiating in the climate talks.
“If the reduction was in this statement, it might have disrupted negotiations,” Mr Yi told a news conference, adding the decision to remove the target was a collective decision.
Britain doubts, just as the Baroness didn’t say
Tell Baroness Amos to hurry home and wag her finger at the silly British instead:
Less than half the population believes that human activity is to blame for global warming, according to an exclusive poll for The Times.But didn’t the High Commissioner tell us the debate in Britain had “moved on”?
The revelation that ministers have failed in their campaign to persuade the public that the greenhouse effect is a serious threat requiring urgent action will make uncomfortable reading for the Government as it prepares for next month’s climate change summit in Copenhagen.
Only 41 per cent accept as an established scientific fact that global warming is taking place and is largely man-made. Almost a third (32 per cent) believe that the link is not yet proved; 8 per cent say that it is environmentalist propaganda to blame man and 15 per cent say that the world is not warming.
A teacher who should stay sacked
Spot the ways here in which the powers of principals to build a great culture in their schools are weakened:
A “HOON” teacher banned for tailgating a school bus, swearing at children and allowing students to stand on tables says he deserves another chance to front a classroom.Let me count:
Alf Hickey, 36, hopes to overturn a Victorian Institute of Teaching ban through the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal on Tuesday.
Mr Hickey, a woodwork teacher, was deregistered in February over a long list of bizarre behaviour during a six-month stint at Vermont Secondary College in 2007.
A VIT hearing found Mr Hickey turned up 90 minutes late on his first day, left classes unsupervised and said “f---” when yelling at students.
It also found Mr Hickey let students stand on tables in class, did not call in sick when he failed to arrive and tailgated a school bus on a year 9 camp to Phillip Island. Mr Hickey admitted to the Sunday Herald Sun doing “wheelies” in a school car park and that a colleague had called him a “hoon” over his driving on the school camp. But Mr Hickey said he did not do anything wrong...
A principal’s right to sack a clearly delinquent teacher is fight qualified by the right of a teaching tribunal to review his or her decision.This may help to explain some things:
The tribunal’s right to uphold the sacking of a clearly delinquent teacher is then qualified by the right of another tribunal (free to the complainant) to review the decision.
Why the teacher was not sacked after, say, just two of these incidents, rather than a whole string of them.Yet more proof that state school principals need more power to hire and fire - along with more pay and more accountability themselves for school performance. Which is why I back Julia Gillard on this.
Why the teacher even managed, with that attitude, to qualify for his job.
Why the teacher is still so shameless.
Why so many principals may conclude that trying to sack a teacher exposes them to too much trouble and risk of criticism.
Reader Chris Curtis, a teacher if I recall rightly, corrects me and inserts yet another level of review:
The “teaching tribunal” does not review the principal’s decision to “sack” teachers. Firstly, principals in government schools do not have the power to sack teachers in the first place as teachers are employees of the department, not the principal. The principal can initiate disciplinary proceedings against a teacher which may lead to the department sacking the teacher. Given my experience of principals, they should never have the power to sack teachers. Secondly, the Victorian Institute of Teaching neither employs nor dismisses teachers. It registers and deregisters them. If VIT deregisters a teacher, that person may no longer work as a teacher in any school in the state. If it does not deregister a teacher, it does not follow that the school from which the teacher was dismissed must re-employ that teacher. A teacher can be sacked and maintain registration, but a teacher deregistered cannot be employed. The employer and the registration authority have two different functions.
How the warming science was tricked up
Finnish television does the kind of reporting the the ABC won’t touch - exposing the (doubtlessly inadvertent) fabrication of “proof” that the world has never been so warm.
Video with subtitles here. Transcript here.
Finnish scientists have been astonished, for instance, by the latest claims of Michael Mann, who produced this now discredited ”hockey stick”:
Mann has now taken this data from a Finnish study of lake sediment which showed temperatures were once hotter:
And he’s refused to admit that in his work this graphic has been essentially reversed to show the very opposite:
The documentary also describes the recent discovery of a flaw in the alternative “hockey stick” produced by Keith Briffa - that tree rings which showed no warming were excluded in preference for a much smaller group of tree ring samples which allegedly did:
Why does the ABC not report such scientific scandals, involving one the most critical public policy issues before us?
Another boat lured here
But of course:
Yet another boat containing 47 suspected asylum seekers and three crew has been intercepted by Australian authorities on Saturday.And why wouldn’t these Afghans try their luck after the Oceanic Viking boat people proved what a soft touch the Rudd Government is, winning a special deal from Kevin Rudd that the Prime Minister keeps lying about:
In Singapore for the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit yesterday, Mr Rudd continued to deny the 22 asylum seekers who left the Oceanic Viking on Friday had been given a special deal. He declined to specify how the remaining 56 would be wooed off the boat.Meanwhile Rudd tries to heavy Indonesia into stopping the boat people he’sa helped to encourage:
PRIME MINISTER Kevin Rudd will press Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for a better set of protocols surrounding people smuggling to avoid a repeat of the Oceanic Viking debacle when the pair meet this weekend.Is this Rudd’s “tough but humane” policies at work?
Police in southern Indonesia say two Afghans have been shot and wounded when they tried to escape after their boat was intercepted in transit to Australia.We’ll no doubt soon hear from the Left, any day now, protesting against the inhumane consequences of Rudd’s bungling. And the rest of us may wonder at this:
Officials say the boat was carrying 61 Afghans.
DETAINEES on Christmas Island have access to both fast-speed internet services and mobile phones, raising fears they have may have been encouraging the stand-off on the Oceanic Viking.The Department of Immigration confirmed the internet and phone access to The Sunday Telegraph but declined to answer questions relating to detainees having made contact with either those on the Oceanic Viking, people smugglers or other family members encouraging them to make the illegal boat trip to Australia.
Don’t grovel, man
Is Barack Obama a true leader by nature? The man the free world can trust to stand tall?
Now he’s bowing to the Japanese Emperor:
But I guess he’s at least not bowing this time to the leader of an autocratic regime like Saudi Arabia:
But Obama didn’t feel compelled to give more than a cursory nod to the Queen of America’s greatest ally, which - unlike Japan - has not killed hundreds of thousands of Americans: