AN Australian union official will be among the first to test new drug laws now in place in Bali which are even harsher than those that put Schapelle Corby behind bars for 20 years. Robert Paul McJannett, arrested last week in Bali and accused of trying to bring 1.7g of marijuana to the holiday island, will be one of the first people to be dealt with under the new regime
As Australia faces a mild summer, the northern hemisphere struggles under the coldest winter seen in decades
NSW Labor MPs accused of double-dipping on salaries
STATE MPS are pocketing more than $9000 for a single meeting as they double-dip into the public purse.
Police smeared as 'Ku Klux Klan'
INDIAN newspaper likens our police to the Ku Klux Klan following the murder of student Nitin Garg. - the criticism of the ALP compromised police force is valid. - ed.
Joseph Conrad's classic 1897 novel 'The Nigger of the Narcissus' reprinted with a new name that's getting mixed reviews from a new generation.
Stern Warning on Security
Obama demands U.S. agencies work faster, more effectively in foiling terror plots in wake of attempted airline bombing
N.J. Senate Says No to Gay Marriage
Defeat of bill by a vote of 20-14 likely ends any chance of the state legalizing gay marriage anytime soon
Jetstar execs held in Vietnam
TWO senior Jetstar Pacific executives are reportedly being questioned by police in Vietnam.
Rampage at St. Louis Power Plant
Gunman armed with assault rifle, handgun reportedly among four killed
Legendary rock guitarist Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page launches a classic album cover stamp collection in London
Plot thickens over hunger strike farmer
SERIOUS doubts have emerged about the case of a farmer on the 47th day of a hunger strike. - press can finally mobilize in support of the ALP on this issue, they have tried hard for a long time, including ignoring the guy and now inflating the concerns of others. Even if what the brother says is true, the over riding issue is that the land clearing is being denied on the working land of a farmer. Rudd and the ALP are responsible for that, and that fact is not arguable. - ed.
Police anger as backpacker's death filmed
TOURISTS filmed the dying moments of an Irish backpacker killed by an airborne car.
Elderly woman with broken legs left to die
AN elderly woman with broken legs found dead after allegedly being put to bed "to sleep it off".
Hawkins only bared all 'to support charity'
JENNIFER Hawkins has broken her silence on the nude magazine affair she was pilloried for.
Australia urged to protect Japanese whalers
JAPAN is expected to demand Australian helps prevent further "acts of sabotage" by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
A flood or cyclone? No, a busted water pipe
ALMOST 41 billion litres of water - which would fill an Olympic swimming pool every three days - are wasted in Sydney each year due to breaks and leaks.
Woman reports rape in Dubai, but is then arrested for illegal sex
A BRITISH woman on holiday in Dubai reportedly went to police after being raped - but was arrested for having illegal sex. The 23-year-old Londoner says she was attacked by a waiter in a hotel toilet after celebrating her engagement to her boyfriend, But after she admitted drinking alcohol and sharing a hotel room with her fiancé, police in the strict Islamic state arrested her for "illegal drinking" outside licensed premises and having sex outside marriage. Her 44-year-old fiancé, also from London, was charged with the same offences. And both were thrown in police cells by officers who paid little heed to the rape.
Parents' five-year search for dead son
BRITISH parents spent five years searching for their son despite authorities knowing he was dead.
3D TV coming to a home near you in LED, LCD and plasma screens
IT'S an entertainment revolution - 3D TV is coming. Full high-definition LED, LCD and plasma screens which will be released in the second half of this year will be 3D capable and also offer seamless connectivity to the internet. The Consumer Electronics Show, the largest trade show of its type in the world, kicks off today with major companies such as Samsung, Sony and Panasonic all staking a claim for the lucrative 3D TV market, with some models as thin as a pencil. Other devices such as Blu-ray Disc players and complete home theatre systems will also be released in 3D compatible versions.
=== Journalists Corner ===
Ed Koch Exclusive!
He claims Obama's downplaying America's war on terror, and says it could cost Dems big in the upcoming elections!
Did the performer accept big bucks from the Gaddafi family? We break open the controversy of "The Diva & The Dictator's Son!"
As key Democrats abandon bids for re-election, what does it really mean for the party?
Behind Closed Doors
Dems discuss health care in secret! So, do they have something to hide? Greta keeps them honest!
=== Comments ===
Will Al Qaeda Destroy Obama Administration?
By Bill O'Reilly
Some conservatives are saying the president does not take terrorism seriously enough, but that's not the case any longer.
On Tuesday, the president was deadly serious about stopping any more terrorist attacks against Americans. Mr. Obama is a smart guy. He knows that he's got three strikes against him now, but he's not out. He is, however, tottering.
When a Muslim terrorist killed one soldier, wounded another in Arkansas, the press pretty much ignored it. Then came the Fort Hood massacre. The president never called it an act of terrorism. Then the underwear bomber struck on Christmas Day. Initially, the president called him an isolated extremist.
Well, that's three strikes in six months, and now there's trouble in the air.
Most Americans will not stand for poor security. The Obama administration has dismantled so many of the Bush-Cheney anti-terror programs — programs that worked against terrorism — that the president now finds himself in a very precarious situation.
The perception in many quarters is that the Obama administration cares more about the rights of terrorists than protecting the American people. That may not be fair, but the perception is out there.
If Al Qaeda manages another terror strike against the USA in the upcoming months, President Obama will be in serious trouble. He knows it, and that's why he looked so grim Tuesday.
Al Qaeda also knows it. Those killers understand the chaos they're causing, and of course they want to build on that.
Politics is often a very foolish game. Ideologues on both sides try to demean people with opposing points of view. But killing 3,000 people on 9/11 and coming close to blowing up a Northwest airliner on Christmas Day trumps politics. That's life and death.
"Talking Points" has said over and over the president is making a big mistake by trying foreign terrorists in civilian courts, by outlawing coerced interrogation and by giving the world perception that America's War on Terror is not a noble undertaking. We are not the problem; Al Qaeda is.
And by the way, terror thugs, they have no rights. None. If they did, why is President Obama shooting drones at them without a trial? Think about it. The president is dropping bombs on suspected terrorists. No trial. No interrogation. Just death.
But then he turns around and gives Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who admits planning the murder of 3,000 people, lawyers and a civilian trial. Does that make any sense to you?
The issue of terrorism could bring down the Obama administration. One more successful attack on this country and all hell will break loose.
DECLINE ON THE RAMPAGE
Britain is totally snowed:
Michael Dukes, the forecast manager at Meteogroup, says the Nasa satellite image of Britain shows snow over almost the entire country.Indeed it does. But what precise area is the source of this extraordinary coldening?
He says that the swirl of cloud over East Anglia is the cumulus cloud system that caused snow showers today.East Anglia? Oh, my. The massive cold is coming straight from Hide-The-Decline Central! Britain has evidently called upon itself a Gore Effect of terrifying power. Speaking of Al, Lauri B. Regan reports:
This past week, I was having lunch at a restaurant in midtown Manhattan when my colleague noticed Al and Tipper Gore dining across the room with another couple. It was a frigid day, with record-breaking temperatures keeping most people indoors, and we were the last two tables in the restaurant.And then mysterious F-350 fumes filled the room.
As the Gore party started walking out of the room, my colleague called out, “Hey, Al, how’s all that global warming working out for you?” Gore turned around and stared at us with a completely dumbfounded look on his face. He was speechless. With a smile, my colleague repeated the question, again to a hapless look of dismay.
HAPPY 75th, ELVIS
He was born standing up and talking back:
And he remains everywhere. Including Parkes.
Peter Roebuck – the great summer musterer – suggests that Ricky Ponting alter his batting style, and adds:
No shame lies in an experienced batsman changing his ways. Indeed it is folly to act otherwise. Brian Lara shortened his backlift as the years passed …
He did? Let’s check. Here’s Lara in 1993, scoring his first Test century (against Australia at the SCG). And here’s Lara in 2005, just one year prior to his final Test. Other examples of Lara’s batting from 2005 are here and here. Note the backlift, which in some shots still tips beyond the vertical. Or just enjoy watching those clips …
POOR AND WET
The latest peer-reviewed, computer-modelled, decline-hidden climate prediction:
Climate change scepticism is likely to surge in 2010 and could exacerbate “hardship” for the planet’s poorest people, one of the world’s leading authorities on climate change has told the Guardian.The planet’s poorest people likely have bigger problems than climate change scepticism. Like staying alive, for example. But, as Ira Stoll notes, income variations are now a crucial issue among the warmed:
It’s not bad enough that the global warming folks predict we are all going to drown from rising sea levels; even worse, there might be an increase in income inequality!Via Instapundit. Another amusing trend is detected by the NYT’s unamused David Brooks:
The public is not only shifting from left to right. Every single idea associated with the educated class has grown more unpopular over the past year.If the educated class were a little smarter, they’d “support” things that they actually oppose. Item courtesy of Ed Driscoll; further views from Will Collier.
The educated class believes in global warming, so public skepticism about global warming is on the rise. The educated class supports abortion rights, so public opinion is shifting against them. The educated class supports gun control, so opposition to gun control is mounting.
DEFEATED BY A CHILD
The niece is in town. Last night I challenged her to identify the precise function of an obscure tableware item manufactured by a charity workshop in Vietnam. A wager was involved.
I am now $50 poorer. The item, by the way, is a sleek single-bottle wine rack.