Sunday, August 29, 2010

Headlines Sunday 29th August 2010

=== Todays Toon ===
Sir Isaac Alfred Isaacs GCB GCMG QC (6 August 1855–11 February 1948), Australian judge and politician, was the ninth Governor-General of Australia and the first born in Australia to occupy that post. He is the only person ever to have held both positions of Chief Justice of Australia and Governor-General of Australia.
=== Bible Quote ===
“Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”- John 6:29
=== Headlines ===
No NRA Endorsement for Reid in Nevada Senate Race
Sen. Harry Reid's support for President Obama's Supreme Court nominees has cost him the endorsement of the National Rifle Association in his re-election bid.

Beck, Palin Focus on Honor at D.C. Rally
Glenn Beck supporters pour into the nation's capital for his 'Restoring Honor' event to honor America's military personnel, as civil rights leaders attend separate rally to protest it

After Katrina, a Coast Changed Forever?
5 YEARS AFTER: Hurricane Katrina left the La. coastline bruised and battered — and scientists are still unsure about the region's recovery

Danielle Weakens, but Still Packs a Punch
Hurricane Danielle is downgraded to category 2 storm but could still bring dangerous rip currents to the Atlantic coast as Tropical Storm Earl looms behind

Breaking News
Support for republic slumps
A POLL has revealed that public support for a republic has slumped to a 16-year low, with more Australians in favour of retaining the monarchy for now.

Farmhands find kittens buried alive
STARTLED mushroom pickers in western Sweden found three-month-old kittens buried alive.

Estate agent, client caught naked in house
AN Illinois real-estate agent was caught naked with a client in the master bathroom of a house he was selling, The Chicago Tribune reported.

Doctors fight in Italian delivery room
TWO doctors began throwing punches in the delivery room of an Italian clinic, with the mother and infant in serious condition following complications.

Eighth severed foot washes up on coast
POLICE in Washington State were investigatingy the eighth human foot in two-and-a-half years to have washed ashore along the stretch of waterway between Vancouver and Seattle.

Ten killed in Venezuela helicopter crash
A VENEZUELAN National Guard helicopter crashed while taking off on a counter-drug mission, killing all 10 soldiers on board.

John Lennon's toilet auctioned for $16,000
A TOILET belonging to Beatles legend John Lennon sold at auction in Liverpool at the weekend for $16,500, nearly 10 times its expected price.

Jailed 'Foxy Knoxy' dreams of adopting
AMANADA Knox, the American student convicted in Italy of murdering a British roommate, dreams of a future as a writer and would like to adopt children.

'I was forced to say I killed my mum' - boy
A 15-YEAR-OLD-old boy who confessed to killing his mother while the two were on vacation in India has retracted his confession, claiming authorities forced him to admit the killing.

Why sick smokers are really on the nose
MEMO to Australian smokers: don't expect much sympathy from your compatriots if you develop lung cancer.

NSW/ACT
Radioactive gas leak covered up
POTENTIALLY dangerous gases have been secretly pumped into the atmosphere from Lucas Heights.

Schools hired out for $18m
PUBLIC schools are raking in more than $18 million yearly by leasing out space to businesses.

Selfish Sydney drivers risk life
DRIVERS are failing to pulling over for ambulances, adding minutes to emergency journeys. Video.

Sydney says: 'Shove your bad review'
IS one of Sydney's top restaurants really a rip-off, or is a famous Melbourne critic just "bitter"?

MPs plan their exit strategies
AS many as four NSW Labor MPS are considering quitting, even before the state election in March.

Fraud firestorm looms
ICAC is expected to announce public hearings into widespread fraud within the NSW Fire Brigades.

Welcome to Tony Windsor's world
IT'S been phone calls from 6am with power players and the media, all asking who he will support.

Wilkie gambles it all on pokie reform
INDEPENDENT candidate Andrew Wilkie is pleased with his meeting with Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Bilbies thrive on the night shift
THE Australian bilby population may be on the brink of extinction, but at Taronga Zoo it's thriving. Video.

Man hit in drive-by shooting
A MAN has been shot in the leg in a drive-by shooting in a park in Sydney's west.

Queensland
Backpacker sues for injuries
A FOREIGN backpacker injured after running down a sand dune into a Fraser Island lake is suing the state and tourism operators for failing to warn him of the dangers.

Locked and loaded in the Valley
YOUNG people 'pre-load' before going out in Fortitude Valley, one of the three entertainment precincts singled out by the state for a Drink Safe trial.

Cops warned of Facebook risks
QUEENSLAND police are opening themselves up to threats and intimidation by posting personal details on Facebook, top cops have been warned.

All go for new boy Roy
STEP inside the fast-paced world of the nation's youngest-ever MP, who pulled off one of the biggest election upsets in history when he won Longman for the LNP.

Round two for ring road proposal
TEN years after the State Government rejected calls for a Brisbane ring road, it is proposing an "orbital motorway network'' as a priority project for southeast Queensland.

Qld police reject top soldier
AN Australian Army captain with a high-level security clearance who led troops in Afghanistan and East Timor has been refused a job with Queensland Police.

Schools propped up by parents
PARENTS have donated more than $15 million to state school coffers in voluntary contributions towards funding classroom resources and elective subjects.

Drink Safe zones for partygoers
A MAJOR overhaul of Queensland's drinking culture will be spearheaded by a massive police blitz on new designated pub and club zones across the state.

Correction a boost for Gambaro
TERESA Gambaro has picked up an unexpected 300 extra votes for the LNP, after it was discovered they had been incorrectly recorded as votes for Labor's Arch Bevis

Victoria
Stynes wins Melbourne's top gong
COURAGEOUS Melbourne Football Club president Jim Stynes has been named Melburnian of the Year for 2010.

Secret offer to make Nixon Guv
EXCLUSIVE: CHRISTINE Nixon was approached to become Victoria's first female Governor, according to an explosive new book.

She's an A-grade social networker
CHRISTINE Nixon's husband, John Becquet, would call them, "hairy old coppers".

How could I have been so stupid?
(SIMON) Overland was smart and self assured. Some believed he was cocky and arrogant.

How ministers pressured Nixon
I HAD three Ministers during my time at Victoria Police. Each had their own agendas, nuances and quirks.

Call for Walsh St retrial
SUSPECTED Walsh St killer Peter McEvoy could be reprosecuted if Victoria's double jeopardy law is reformed.

No more easy riding
VICTORIA is set to introduce the toughest motorbike licence testing conditions in Australia in a bid to bring down the state's road toll.

Footy star's drug spiral
A FORMER AFL footballer has revealed how a six-year drug and alcohol addiction nearly claimed his life.

AFL star tells of struggle
EACH day, Mark Eustice sits in his rented Niddrie shop-front and ticks off a further milestone of staying clean.

Northern Territory
Nothing new

South Australia
It's privates on parade (almost)
THEY'RE no oil paintings, but these war veterans are about to become Port Lincoln's newest poster boys when they bare all for their local RSL.

Student's $27,000 fines waived
A LAW student has racked up more than $34,000 in fines for 160 traffic infringements over the past five years.

Ban on charity lollies
CHARITY fundraiser chocolates, mints and lollies will be banned from all SA Health buildings under a crackdown on "unhealthy" food.

It's such a hard life for sleeping beauties
AFTER a hard night of foraging, burrowing and scratching, all a wombat needs is a good lie down.

P-plater runs car into home
A P-Plate driver has crashed a white Ford Falcon into a residential garage on Reynell St, West Croyden.

Adelaide finally coming home
THE historic City of Adelaide clipper ship is finally coming home.

Old theme park to become housing
THE once popular Puzzle Park in Murray Bridge and all its rides and slides, is all set to become a residential development

Desal months behind schedule
ADELAIDE'S desalination plant is four months behind schedule and won't produce a drop until almost the middle of next year.

Tenants' car crushed by a moving house
MOVING day has ended in disaster for an Unley Park couple, whose rented van knocked a brick garage wall over and on to their new car.

Head-on victim succumbs to injuries
A MORPHETT Vale man has died from injuries suffered in a Yorke Peninsula car crash.

Western Australia
Margaret River coal mine is madness
ALLOWING a coal mine to go ahead in the heart of WA's pristine and world famous wine region is madness, writes Liam Bartlett

Premier backs Skyworks alcohol
PREMIER Colin Barnett is spearheading a plan to remove booze bans on the Swan River foreshore for the 2011 Australia Day Skyworks.

Parents sue over botched birth
A BABY boy could be left with brain damage after a WA obstetrician's bungled attempt to use forceps during his delivery.

Perth's monster storm bill tops $1 billion
DESTRUCTIVE hailstorms and floods that lashed Perth in March rank among the costliest natural disasters in Australia, according to insurance figures.

Delays to Peel Hospital child ward
A NEW hospital ward for sick children, officially opened two months ago by Health Minister Kim Hames, is yet to treat a single patient.

Ads launch Kimberley whale war
IMAGES of humpback whales will be beamed into WA households from today as the war over development in the Kimberley heats up.

Officers quizzed on Taser
A WA police officer has been stood down amid allegations she used two police-issue Taser stun-guns to shock her boyfriend and another man as a party trick.

Asylum seeker boat intercepted
A BOAT carrying 37 suspected asylum seekers has been stopped by a navy patrol boat north of Christmas Island.

School crossing guard attacked
CANNINGTON man charged after alleged road rage attack where a crossing guard was punched in the face.

Suspicious blaze at Big Rock Toyota
ARSON squad detectives have ruled as deliberate a fire that caused $70,000 damage to a Balcatta car dealership on Friday night.

Tasmania
Nothing new
=== Comments ===
Ambush by the Five Amigos
Piers Akerman
THE slow vote count has ensured Australia faces a second week of governmental limbo. - They were put there by a well orchestrated campaign of disinformation. School students still believe that Mr Abbott is a bad person because of the dishonest ALP campaign. Should there be a new election soon for the federal government, I won’t run this time because I made my point last time, and because I will be more effective writing my book about that campaign, showing how the ALP have mislead the public with MSM being a willing accomplice.
Even so, I would point out that under ordinary circumstances, with the primary vote being what it is in favor of the Liberal Party, the Liberal Party should have an overwhelming majority in parliament. This does not mean the electoral process is bad, although clearly it can be improved, what it means is that the case for the Liberals needs to be emphasized before the next election. If the GG corruptly plumps for the ALP, we need to be able to talk about their failed promises. If the GG fairly awards the government to the Libs, we need to point out how the dumb greens and the ALP are foiling decent government. - ed

===
SYDNEY FIXED
Tim Blair
Further to match-fixing claims emerging from London, Pakistani news service SAMAA reports:
Australia’s extraordinary victory in the Second Test in Sydney earlier this year was rigged as cricket insiders admit Pakistan intentionally lost the match.

Thousands of cricket fans watched Australia dramatically come from behind to win the January match held at the SCG.

But an undercover investigation today revealed the Pakistan team made AUS$1.4million from rigging the result.
These allegations are drawn from the News of the World‘s initial reporting, also highlighted here. Strong views from Iqbal Muhammad Ali, head of Pakistan’s National Assembly standing committee on sports: “We and the Senate sports committee had warned that if some players were suspected of having ties with bookies they should be dropped from the team and disciplined. But no one paid heed. If these players are now guilty we will want to see them behind bars because this conduct is unacceptable.”

UPDATE. Former Pakistan bowler Sarfraz Nawaz:
“I have been vocal about Pakistan players’ involvement in match fixing,” Nawaz told AFP from London.

“I have said this before and now I reiterate that all the players involved must be banned for life because they have let the whole nation and the fans down. How often they have done that and we have let them off.”
UPDATE II. Responding to match-fixing allegations last year, ex-Pakistan captain Imran Khan (and his interviewer) played the race card:

Khan is yet to comment on the current allegations.

UPDATE. How the Lord’s fix went down:

===
CASH FOR GAS
Tim Blair
The UK Telegraph’s Christopher Booker on the greatest green scam of them all:
This is a scam so glaringly bizarre that even the UN and the EU have belatedly announced that they are thinking of taking steps to stop it. The essence of the scam is that a handful of Chinese and Indian firms are deliberately producing large quantities of an incredibly powerful “greenhouse gas” which we in the West – including UK taxpayers – then pay them billions of dollars to destroy …

Even greenies have become so outraged by this ridiculous racket that the Environmental Investigation Agency has described it as the “biggest environment scandal in history”. Two weeks ago the UN announced that it is suspending payments to five Chinese firms pending an investigation, with a view to a major reform of the system.
(Via Andrew R.)
===
PREPARE YOUR HANDBAGS
Tim Blair
Finally, a possible solution to the great Victorian unused bicycle crisis:
In a bid to save Melbourne’s troubled bike share scheme, the state government is considering providing collapsible helmets that could fold up and be carried in a briefcase or handbag.
Which is just great … if you want to look like Devo’s version of a Christmas decoration. Meanwhile, the $5.5 million scheme becomes yet more unpopular:
Figures obtained by The Sunday Age show that usage of the new scheme – introduced late May – remains low and declined last month.
Maybe they could add engines. That might work.
===
COLLAPSERS COMPETE
Tim Blair
At one stage of their first innings in the Fourth Test against Pakistan, England had fallen to 5/47. England’s entire middle order scored exactly nothing. Subtract the side’s two highest scorers (and extras) and England would have reached just 51. Cricinfo commentary:
• England in a hole.

• England are in disarray. The batsmen, who are brought up facing the moving ball, just haven’t got a clue.

• What a collapse this is from England.

• England look a long, long way from posting anything competitive.

• England are in a shambles.

• Pakistan smell blood here.
At one stage of their first innings in reply, Pakistan had fallen to 5/53. Bad, but not as bad as England. Pakistan’s middle order – batsmen 4-5-6 – scored only 16. Slightly better than England. Subtract the side’s two highest scorers (and extras) and Pakistan would have reached just 30. A little worse then England. Cricinfo commentary:
• Pakistan are under pressure here.

• Pakistan are folding now.

• Pakistan’s day just got worse.

• It’s all pretty dire for Pakistan.

• Pakistan are staring down the barrel.
Given all the points of similarity, you might imagine that this is a close game. Not so.

UPDATE. This is big:
The News of the World has smashed a multi-million pound cricket match-fixing ring which RIGGED the current Lord’s Test between England and Pakistan.

In the most sensational sporting scandal ever, bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif delivered THREE blatant no-balls to order.
Their London-based fixer Mazhar Majeed, who let us in on the betting scam for £150,000, crowed “this is no coincidence” before the bent duo made duff deliveries at PRECISELY the moments promised to our reporter.

Armed with our damning dossier of video evidence, Scotland Yard launched their own probe into the scandal.
Cricinfo reports:
In a video secretly recorded during the NOTW investigation, a man alleged to be Mazher is clearly heard predicting that Amir would bowl the first over of the England innings, and that he would deliver a no-ball from the first ball of the third over - which as Cricinfo’s ball-by-ball commentary noted: “was an enormous no-ball, good half a metre over the line.” The man also appeared to correctly predict a no-ball from the sixth ball of the tenth over, bowled this time by Asif.
Click for career-ending pictures.
===
Fire in Darwin detention centre
Andrew Bolt
I think voters will be even keener on direct action now:
Rioting detainees at a Darwin immigration detention centre are believed to have started a grassfire during a rooftop protest.
UPDATE

It’s the crews, not the passengers:
A group of Indonesian crewmen Sunday protested against their detention in Australia, setting mattresses and paper on fire and climbing onto the roof of their compound, an official said.

The incident began at the Darwin Immigration Detention Centre in northern Australia at 4:00 am (1800 GMT Saturday) when two men climbed a tree and refused to come down.

Others among the 97 Indonesian crewmen in the compound then joined in, setting mattresses alight and chanting and yelling, prompting officials to call in police and fire officers, a department of immigration spokesman said.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that about a dozen of the men, wearing masks, face-paint and hoods and carrying long poles, had later taken to the roof of their building and were trying to stop anyone climbing up to join them.
UPDATE 2

Reader Spin Baby, Spin notes that this comes after two more boats arrived in two days::
Saturday, 28 August 2010 Border Protection Command intercepts vessel

HMAS Glenelg, operating under the control of Border Protection Command, boarded a suspected irregular entry vessel north of Christmas Island this morning. Initial indications suggest there are 37 passengers and two crew on board.
And:
Friday, 27 August 2010 Border Protection Command intercepts vessel

HMAS Pirie, operating under the control of Border Protection Command, boarded a suspected irregular entry vessel north-west of Scott Reef this morning. Initial indications suggest there are 36 passengers and two crew on board.

===
Blog readers are a week ahead of The Age
Andrew Bolt
Your read it here on August 23:
Until now it’s been assumed that the three ex-Nationals Independents will vote as a bloc, and are most likely to support the Coalition. But on our MTR 1377 show today, one of those independents, Rob Oakeshott, tells us that while the three Independents will deliberate as a group, they won’t vote as one. He tells us that he, for instance, would be able to go for Labor and the other two for the Coalition.
The Age finally catches up on August 29:

The three rural independents have not ruled out splitting from each other and negotiating separately to form government.
===
Bigger than the King, Obama and anti-Vietnam war rallies
Andrew Bolt
The largely Left-learning media is very sniffy:
Conservative commentator Glenn Beck and tea party champion Sarah Palin appealed Saturday to a vast, predominantly white crowd on the National Mall to help restore traditional American values and honor Martin Luther King’s message. Civil rights leaders who accused the group of hijacking King’s legacy held their own rally and march.
So let’s measure their respective support.

Beck and Palin:
The right-wing “Restoring Honour” rally — controversially timed to coincide with the anniversary of civil rights leader Martin Luther King’s famed 1963 “Dream” speech — was scrupulously shorn of all politics. Onstage, at least, where one of King’s own descendants won a standing ovation for her passionate invocation of faith in Jesus Christ as the bedrock upon which the United States must stand again… A more likely figure was at least 300,000 — more than the estimated quarter million who attended the historic King rally 47 years ago and perhaps a third of the million-plus who squeezed into the National Mall for Obama’s inauguration in January 2009.
Race-baiter Al Sharpton:
Thousands of people joined the Rev. Al Sharpton and other leaders Saturday to commemorate the anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington in 1963. The event, billed as “Reclaim the Dream,” included a five-mile march that culminated at the Mall, where conservative talk show host Glenn Beck had organized the simultaneous “Restoring Honor” rally…

To the marchers, Sharpton said: “Let the line stretch. They already are going to say there were only 2,000 or 3,000 of you here.”
But don’t expect Beck’s 300,000 to be memorialised by the media, despite more than fulfilling the first requirement for attention:
(T)he crowd for the anti-Vietnam War rally in late 1968, the one that started at the Lincoln Memorial and was described by Normal Mailer in The Armies of the Night, was estimated at 100,000. So Glenn Beck plays the Lincoln Memorial and draws a crowd at least three times bigger than the big anti-Vietnam War rally held at the same venue?
UPDATE

What Martin Luther King dreamed of:
I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
How AP still judges:

Conservative commentator Glenn Beck and tea party champion Sarah Palin appealed Saturday to a vast, predominantly white crowd on the National Mall to help restore traditional American values and honor Martin Luther King’s message.
===
Labor’s campaign ad runs again
Andrew Bolt

This Labor campaign ad ran on Sky News yesterday. A mistake by Sky? A bid by Labor to put pressure on the independents? A first shot for when new elections are called?

I’m leaning towards option one.
===
Big Nanny kills with laws what it promotes with millions
Andrew Bolt
More proof that a nanny state can’t run a bike program:
IN A bid to save Melbourne’s troubled bike share scheme, the state government is considering providing collapsible helmets that could fold up and be carried in a briefcase or handbag…

The scheme, which is costing taxpayers $5.5 million over four years, has been crippled by Melbourne’s compulsory helmet laws. Bike share schemes are established in 135 cities around the world, but Melbourne’s is the only one operating under such strict laws....

Figures obtained by The Sunday Age show annual subscriptions - which cost $50 - dropped in August, from 135 in July to 108 as of Friday. New casual users of the bikes dropped from 1461 in July to 1070 and the number of rides fell from 4116 to 3775. According to the figures, Melburnians are taking 140 rides a day on the bikes.
When governments can’t even run bike schemes or install pink batts, why do so many people expect them to be about to roll out $43 billion of broadband connectioms without massive blowouts or tiny sales?

UPDATE

Reader Ian:

That $5.5 million over 4 years is $3767 per day so the 140 rides each day cost $26.90 each.
===
Our monarchy: still no need to fix it
Andrew Bolt
The great conservative principle asserts itself against the urgers: If it works, what’s the problem?
An Age/Nielsen poll taken earlier this month shows support for a republic is now running at 44 per cent. This is the lowest level since 1994, and well down from the peak of 57 per cent in 1999, the year the question was tested in a national referendum.

The national poll of 1400 people found almost half (48 per cent) are now against the idea. Such a level of hostility has not been recorded since the late 1970s, when about 61 per cent were against a republic.
Then there’s the active mistrust of the kind of people who tend to get behind the republican push, seeing it as a chance to damn the country and smuggle in their own pet ideologies, almost invariably of the Left. This, for instance, is exactly the kind of arrogant slinging off that’s likely to doom any new republican campaign:

Australian of the Year Patrick McGorry warned last week that the nation should grow up and sever its ties with the monarchy.

‘’Australia’s adolescence has lasted more than 100 years since Federation,’’ he said. ‘’It is time for Australia to pass the test of maturity and finally emerge from its prolonged adolescence into the full flower of independent adulthood as the republic of Australia.’’

===
Dam ironic
Andrew Bolt
The reason the global warmist Victorian Government gave for building not a $1.3 billion dam but a $5.7 billion desalination plant:
Unfortunately, we cannot rely on this kind of rainfall like we used to.
The reason the desalination plant is behind schedule:

VICTORIA’S $5.7 billion desalination plant is as much as three months behind schedule and will struggle to meet a December 2011 deadline as heavy rain and unforeseen environmental problems dog the project.
===
The Three Amigos’ new demand: none shall criticise them
Andrew Bolt
Revelling in their new power, the Three Amigos demand that none of the politicians they attack be allowed to offer free advice in return:
In an outburst that will undermine Tony Abbott’s chances of forming a stable government, Liberal Alby Schultz ... rang two of the independents, telling them to pull their heads in and support the Coalition.

The call to Tony Windsor was so threatening that Mr Abbott had to apologise to the Tamworth-based MP.

Adding to Mr Abbott’s problems, one of the other king- makers, Rob Oakeshott, accused Nationals leader Warren Truss of allowing a smear campaign against him.

Mr Oakeshott issued an ultimatum to Mr Abbott: “It’s time to step up. Does he want to be PM or not?”

He told The Sunday Telegraph Mr Abbott could “forget” forming a government if he was unable to rein in his MPs.
Let’s first remember Oakeshott’s gratuitous smear last week of Liberal backbenchers such as Shultz, demanding they help sort out this mess:
Where are the other local MPs? Are they in their electorate offices? Are they at work?
But now Oakeshott’s complaining when Schultz adopts exactly the hands-on role he recommended and offers a little advice in return:
I don’t have a problem with them extracting some benefits for their electorates, but to hold the rest of the country to ransom simply because they’ve got a lot of power is wrong… I consider these people as friends. I described them as men of principle, honesty and integrity. I still believe that, but they’ve lost their way. They’re getting lost in their own self-importance. I can’t believe what they’re doing. They’re strutting the stage with an arrogance I can’t believe…

Somebody’s got to say something. They have become a law unto themselves.
===
Nixon - when first isn’t best
Andrew Bolt
She always was far too close to the Labor Government, which appointed her as police chief largely for the same poor reason - that she was a woman:
FORMER Chief Police Commissioner Christine Nixon was approached to become Victoria’s first female Governor, according to an explosive new book. The revelation is included in a candid account by Ms Nixon’s former media adviser, Stephen Linnell.
Still, at least as Governor she would have been out of harm’s way. Linnell cits some of her achievements as police commissioner:
THE State Government meddled in operational matters, including requesting the Vicpol insignia be on police cars driven by civilians - to give the impression of more officers on patrol.

VICTORIA Police under Ms Nixon was “mired” in a “booming” bureaucracy and a paralysing “culture of committees and sub-committees”.
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