Sunday, December 27, 2009

Headlines Sunday 27th December 2009

Nigerian national Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab charged with attempting to blow up Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines jet on Christmas Day.

Communication 'Breakdown'?
Lawmakers say attempted terror attack raises troubling questions, pledge to 'get to the bottom' of incident

Lawmakers to Take On Health Bill Issues
Americans receiving medical coverage — and who will pay for it — will be key issues when Congress returns

'Christmas Miracle' as Missing Girl Found
A 5-year-old girl taken from Phoenix home rescued hours later after police chased down suspect's pickup truck

People across Asia paused today to remember the day five years ago when an undersea earthquake unleashed a devastating wave that killed more than 220,000 people

Man shot by police linked to bikie gang
A MAN shot dead by police on Christmas Day during a heated stand-off has been linked to the Rebels motorcycle gang.

Robert Mugabe 'forward thinking': Aussie MPs
ZIMBABWEAN dictator Robert Mugabe is "forward-thinking", the Islamist paramilitary organisation Hezbollah is "not radical" and chickens in Thailand are scrawny. These are among the startling findings of $4.9 million in taxpayer-funded political study tours. Federal MPs spent the record sum in just six months of globetrotting to June 30 this year, visiting 31 countries to "investigate" everything from the global financial crisis to Mekong River hill tribes and upmarket boutiques in Milan - the ALP have a gift for befriending such dictators, and they are the government supporting this dictator - ed.

Booze ban bottles up New Year spirit
NEW Year's Eve may be one of the soberest on record, with alcohol banned in parks and beaches

'Stupid' men swim in baited crocodile trap
MEN who made faces from inside a croc trap have been criticised for their "absolute stupidity".

Pregnant woman hit by van loses baby
A PREGNANT woman who was struck by a van that mounted a footpath on the NSW Central Coast has lost her baby.

Clogged volcano could erupt explosively
RUMBLING Mayon volcano, which has oozed lava for weeks, is showing signs of a powerful eruption any day now.

Smile for the $1m camera
A LONE red-light camera has collected more than $1 million in fines for the NSW Government, snaring a record 50 drivers every week, official documents show.

Foreign students pay public shools $40m
New government figures, released exclusively to The Sunday Telegraph, show that 3163 international students were enrolled in 240 primary and secondary schools to June this year. The industry has become such a lucrative export sector - foreign students pay as much as $12,820 each in fees - it has bolstered the NSW economy by $40.3 million.
=== Comments ===
The riddle of Rudd’s incredible popularity
Piers Akerman
ONE of the year’s intriguing mysteries remains the source of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s popularity when there is no evidentiary reason for the continuing level of public support he enjoys. - They are not in trouble yet. Nor will they be until they have lost an election. William Connelly has smeared me on wiki a number of times. His latest effort was to remove a question I had asked, repeating the claims of another git. He replaced the question with the statement that he had removed personal abuse. A terrible smear. What his colleague had said was that climate gate was the product of fevered imaginations, and those supporting condemning the scientists involved were probably influenced by aliens, lasers and wore pot pans on their heads. I asked if that was going to be his argument, as he had contributed no other.
I have also contributed articles to wikipedia and I know that it is very difficult if you don’t have the support of fellow editors. I have declared myself a christian and a conservative and whenever I post an article I face some outrageous accusations. I even posted one on my late father and another on his colleague both of whom held significant posts at universities and both of whom contributed much to knowledge. Yet within seconds of my posting them there were calls to cut them down, claiming they weren’t significant. For anyone to have authored 5000 articles suggests substantial editorial patronage.
Rudd benefits from similar media support. Channel 7 Today Tonight promised to support me if I chose to resign over the Hamidur Rahman issue, but following the NSW state election in 07, and prior to the federal election, they withdrew support after I had resigned. I think they did that in order to eliminate anything that might have hurt Rudd. Those same people are still defending Rudd from valid criticism and will do so until he loses .. but he won’t lose for lack of their support. - ed.

Tim Blair
Email awkwardness:

Tim Blair
The NYT reports:
Rebecca Young of Mountain View, Calif., recently opened her mail to find a gift from an old friend in New York City.

“Carbon reduction certificate,” it read. It is good for three tons of carbon emissions that will be “retired” in her name so that no power plant will ever release them into the atmosphere …

Ms. Young, a marketing manager for the environmental Web site, was delighted.
And who wouldn’t be? It’s the gift that keeps on … well, doing nothing at all, which is how your green types prefer things. That’s some enticing future they’re demonstrating for us. Ms. Young may have been delighted, but imagine the reaction from certain kids whose grandparents fell for a radio station’s carbon-certificate fundraiser:
[WAMC president Alan Chartock] said he was “astounded” by the response. “We were inundated with telephone calls,” he said. “Some people wanted one for each grandchild.”
Minimum cost per each of those certificates: $100. At least Chartock is honest about why the oldsters bought them:
“The appeal is fear,” he said.
Tim Blair
Conspiracy goon Charlie Sheen fights the system – and his wife:
Actor Charlie Sheen [shown below in his police mug shot] spent Christmas Day behind bars after being arrested on charges of domestic assault.

The 44-year-old Two And A Half Men actor was allegedly in a fight with wife Brooke Mueller in Aspen, Colorado.
Thus distracted, the celebrity 9/11 wifer was conveniently unable to comment on a certain hot pants incident aboard a US jet. Join the dots, truthers! Sheen’s spokesman is even using a truther-sounding defence:
Rosenfield declined to comment further except to say, “Don’t be misled by appearances. Appearances and reality can be as different as night and day. It would benefit everyone not to jump to any conclusion.”
Tell your client, pal.

UPDATE. Further to that “hot pants” incident mentioned above.
Tim Blair
All of a sudden Australia can’t afford tax cuts. We’ve heard this story before …

UPDATE. Barack Obama promises a great amount, doesn’t deliver, and loses popularity. Kevin Rudd promises a great amount, doesn’t deliver, but maintains popularity. It’s probably something to do with racism.
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