Miranda Devine – Friday, June 17, 11 (04:29 pm)
The other side of the story:
I must introduce myself. My name is Scot Braithwaite and my life has basically revolved around live export since I was 10 years old. I was unloading cattle boats in Malaysia at the age of 13. I have worked for all the major cattle companies including as a Head Stockman in the Northern Territory. I have a degree in economics from the Queensland University and I personally have sold more than 1.5 million head of cattle into Indonesia since 1991. I am presently employed as the marketing manager for Wellard rural exports.
I am writing to you after the Monday program to say that although I abhor the treatment of the animals shown in the video, your one sided approach to the subject and the possible effect of that of a ban on live exports is too big a price to pay for a report based on the evidence of an organization that’s charter is to shut us down. I have the following points to make. I would like to have the same time as those who denigrated my life to show you the other side of our industry. To show you what is really going on. In Australia there used to be thing about “A fair Go”. You have gone with images provided by one person followed up by your investigative journalist who spent a week in Indonesia. Your report makes out that close to 100% of Australian cattle are treated as was shown on TV.
Tim Blair – Saturday, June 18, 11 (07:44 am)
At the Sydney Morning Herald, 41 per cent is greater than 59 per cent:
(Via Milton G.)
9.00am UPDATE. When will it be fixed? Place your bets in comments.
Tim Blair – Saturday, June 18, 11 (06:45 am)
The SMH’s Phil Coorey leads with some Labor positives scraped from the latest Fairfax/Nielsen survey:
Support for the government’s plan to put a price on carbon has increased in the past month, and Julia Gillard has been given the thumbs-up for her handling of the war in Afghanistan and of education …
But he can’t dodge the bigger story for long:
… in a poll that is otherwise horrific for Labor.
You bet it is. Labor’s primary support is down to 27 per cent, the lowest result for either major party since the Nielsen poll first ran 39 years ago.
Four percentage points have been lost in just one month. And it’s primarily thanks to the wonderful carbon tax:
Ms Gillard’s announcement in February that Labor would introduce a carbon tax as part of a hybrid mechanism to price carbon sent her fortunes and those of Labor plummeting. She had promised before the election that there would be no carbon tax.
Until then, support for and against a price on carbon had been relatively equal, but support fell from 46 per cent to 35 per cent after the announcement. Last month it was at 34 per cent.
It’s lately crept back up to 38 per cent. Yay for them. Kevni is way more popular:
Kevin Rudd has a two-to-one lead as preferred Labor leader over the woman who deposed him …
Judging by his latest comments, The Boy Who Grew Up In A Car™ might be waiting until Gillard loses the next election before making his move:
‘’I believe that we will be under Prime Minister Gillard’s leadership through until we contest the next election.’’
That’s one mighty vote of confidence. Interestingly, Gillard polls highest in areas where her policies are perceived as being to the right:
On her handling of issues, Ms Gillard’s best ratings are on education and the war in Afghanistan.
Those categories don’t help much overall. Why is Gillard so unpopular? Michelle Grattan quotes an unnamed Labor man:
“I think she lies.’’
Tim Blair – Friday, June 17, 11 (12:16 pm)
Tim Blair – Friday, June 17, 11 (11:54 am)
This site is blessed by the frequent presence of Lyle, earth’s finest comment-area verseman (his most recent work, inspired by online combat squirrel John Birmingham and featuring the line “I have survived the Storms of Phlegm!”, may be found here). Now Sydney is searching for its own official poet:
The New South Wales Government has announced applications have opened for the role of city poet.
The successful poet will be paid $20,000 to write six poems about the city over a year, and be provided an office at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS).
Hit the link for application details. An anonymous contributor – possibly from the Sydney Morning Herald, but I can’t say more – sends this entry:
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, June 18, 11 (08:27 am)
Kevin Rudd tells he’s colleagues he’d be better next time:
In an important step towards reconciliation with the Labor caucus, the former leader said some ‘’painful’’ conversations with colleagues and ‘’soul-searching’’ had led him to realise three key mistakes…
‘’I made the wrong call on deferring the emissions trading scheme for two years,’’ the decision which first fractured public support for Labor…
Mr Rudd said that since being deposed by Julia Gillard on June 24 he had spoken to colleagues about his managerial style as prime minister, and those conversations were ‘’sometimes painful’’.
He volunteered two errors. One was in response to the near-universal charge that he ran the government as an isolated and high-handed leader who ignored, or even disdained, colleagues: ‘’Somehow, you have to find time to have open and consultative dialogue with members of the party, which I didn’t....’’
Second, he conceded the validity of the criticism that he had surrounded himself with whiz-kids but no experienced staff in the inner sanctum of the prime minister’s office.
Thing is, deferring the ETS was and remains the sanest decision after Copenhagen. And trusting Rudd not to be high-handed next time is like trusting the night not to turn to dawn.
Still, it’s a job application.
The Sydney Morning Herald’s Peter Hartcher has always been a starry-eyed Rudd believer, and sells his hero again as some kind of saviour, and not just of Labor:
Religious voters and atheists alike found in Rudd a moral leader.
The earthier end of Rudd’s reform agenda was also transformational in the sense that it was hugely ambitious and sweepingly broad. Rudd offered, in a moral sense, to lead Australia in rightness, and, in a very practical sense, to transform Australia as well.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, June 18, 11 (08:05 am)
There’s already a fevered end-of-era feel to a Prime Ministership not one year old:
In a catastrophic result for the government, the latest Age-Nielsen poll shows the Coalition leading Labor by a massive 59-41 per cent on a two-party basis.
In every way, that poll is an utter disaster:
...the ALP’s primary vote has plummeted to a historical low of 27 per cent,… Tony Abbott has also tied with Ms Gillard for the first time as preferred prime minister. Ms Gillard’s approval rating has slumped 6 points to 37 per cent and her disapproval has increased by 7 points to 59 per cent in a month. This is her lowest approval and highest disapproval since she became PM....
Six in 10 voters ... said they would prefer Mr Rudd to be leader...
MINISTERS in the Gillard government are starting to complain of a “dysfunctional” cabinet process, lack of consultation with MPs, knee-jerk policy announcements and disastrous polling, a year after removing Kevin Rudd as prime minister for the same failures....
As Ms Gillard prepares to mark her first year as leader with a series of media appearances, the focus has shifted to her success in addressing the problems of the Rudd government, tensions between ministers, and the possibility Mr Rudd is plotting a comeback.
Ministers told The Weekend Australian yesterday that cabinet had not been given a written submission on the contentious decision to suspend live cattle exports to Indonesia, nor were any other options put to the meeting.
“It was clear it was a political conclusion worked out in advance, designed to manage the caucus and the media,” one Labor MP said yesterday…
Another Labor MP said the rushed Indonesian cattle decision and drawn-out negotiations on the Malaysian deal to swap 800 asylum-seekers for 4000 refugees were “part of the dysfunctional nature of the cabinet”.
Among her Labor MPs Gillard harps, above all, on this idea: she has a plan. “I know what I stand for,” she says. The “plan” is Gillard’s final hope. It is the last ray of optimism that binds Labor MPs together around the notion that Gillard, somehow, someway, must stay leader because she can find the path to recovery.
So, what is this great plan?:
She believes once the (carbon dioxide tax) is legislated the policy issue changes. It then becomes a test of economic, financial and investment certainty. She asserts that business and stakeholders will reject Abbott’s repeal policy, indeed, that his policy will be seen as a threat to economic stability.
The desire for stability will save her? Well, that’s a hope built on some huge assumptions. First, where’s the stability in a tax that everyone knows must go up - but by how much? Second, where’s the stability in the implementation of a huge new economy-altering tax by a government of this proven incompetence? Third, who says this tax is the only beef the voters have with a government that has deceived them, squandered billions, bungled boat people policy, and presides over the greatest gamble of public money in generations with its NBN?
Gillard doesn’t have a plan. She has only this:
George Megalogenis sees hidden genius in Gillard:
The tragedy of Gillard is she is probably the best politician of her generation, but may never get to prove it.
In the same article, he concedes that those working with her do not:
THE whispered criticism of Julia Gillard from within Labor ranks is that she lacks judgment, and belief.
Labor is being blackmailed into accepting a leader who is taking them to disaster, but is giving independents a carpet ride in the meantime:
INDEPENDENT Andrew Wilkie has warned he has a personal contract with Julia Gillard, and the Labor party would be “hard pressed” to retain his support if anyone acted to topple the Prime Minister.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, June 18, 11 (08:00 am)
The Sydney Morning Herald’s Phillip Coorey is a glass-half-full kind of Labor guy.
So, present him with a poll that shows Labor recording its lowest-ever primary vote, and trailing the Coalition by a catastrophic 41 per cent to 59, and he’ll still start his report with the silver lining:
SUPPORT for the government’s plan to put a price on carbon has increased in the past month, and Julia Gillard has been given the thumbs-up for her handling of the war in Afghanistan and of education, in a poll that is otherwise horrific for Labor.
Never seen anything like it.
Not surprising in this Coorey world, that his report comes with a graphic illustrating a huge lead for Labor:
Coorey explains how fantastically Labor is doing:
(Via Tim Blair.)
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, June 18, 11 (07:59 am)
THIS is not just the end of Simon Overland, but of the whole disastrous Christine Nixon revolution.
It’s the end of a decade-long struggle to turn Victoria Police into a feminised, political force that only the Left could love.
Nixon herself said it on Thursday, just hours after the man who succeeded her as chief commissioner quit over his release of misleading crime statistics.
“He continued the path that I had been on,” she said of her former deputy and protege.
What a dead end that path has been.
Nixon’s appointment by a zealous Labor government in 2001 was a surprise. She’d done little hands-on policing, and had been sidelined in the NSW force. But she appealed strongly to Labor’s Left as a woman, a feminist and an ideologue.
And so she came to Victoria vowing not to Uphold the Right, as is the police motto, but to “keep the peace”, she said.
To be value-driven rather than rule-driven. To be “non-deferential, anti-authoritarian and collegiate”.
The force was subjected to an almost Maoist program of re-education.
Physical entry standards were dropped so more women could be hired. Dress standards were relaxed. Nixon led officers in a Gay Pride march.
Portraits of former chief commissioners were removed from the walls at a police college and replaced with contemporary artworks, to further break down traditions.
Police were urged to not uphold the law if it meant using force, which meant police stood by during the G20 riots in Melbourne while protesters hosed them and smashed a police van. A girl in a tutu was even filmed wresting a baton from a riot officer too polite to use it himself.
Nixon’s rewritten guidelines for police wanting promotion to sergeant told the story. Applicants were told the new force demanded empathy and cultural awareness and the ability to be inclusive, sensitive, polite, considerate, genuine, supportive and co-operative.
Questions they were asked included: “Can you give examples when you have enabled (a) diverse community group with differing views to unify for the common good?”
Not once in the six-page guide were they asked to tell of arrests they’d made.
The new gods of this force were no longer crime busters. In a police profile, Nixon said the person she’d most love to meet was Nelson Mandela, the lama of the pacifist Left.
A coincidence! Mandela was exactly the guy that three of Nixon’s leadership team said they wanted to meet, too, although another said he’d prefer philosopher Raimond Gaita because of his views about the laws of love.
None said he wanted to meet a great crime fighter, although at least Commander Stephen Fontana said he’d love to meet child killer Mr Cruel to send him away for a long break from society.
It was later Fontana, not coincidentally, who on Black Saturday rostered himself on duty while Nixon went to the hairdresser, talked to her biographer, and then knocked off early for a dinner. Behold the basic clash of policing values, right there.
Nor was that the only damage done by Nixon and her acolytes. Perhaps worse was the political advocacy, and suppression of information that might lead the public to demand more effective policing.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, June 18, 11 (07:57 am)
KEVIN Rudd this week turned from an irritant into a deadly threat to Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Rumours of two screaming matches this week between Gillard and her foreign minister have been denied by Rudd.
But what couldn’t be denied were photographs of the two walking in Parliament House together this week after a rare meeting in apparent anger and mutual loathing.
A festering sore has been opened since a front-page story in the Canberra Times this week alleged Rudd was plotting a takeover.
In a way, that’s hardly news. Rudd clearly dreams of snatching back his job from the woman who took it from him a year ago.
He does not rate Gillard on brains or learning. He will also have seen what a dog’s breakfast she has made of the job since she took over, driving down Labor’s support in Newspoll from 52 per cent of the two-party preferred vote to a humiliating 45 per cent.
Only this panic can explain the preposterous announcement by Climate Change Minister Greg Combet that the Government would spend $12 million of taxpayers’ money to sell its carbon dioxide tax, even though there is no tax in place to sell.
That is not just unprincipled and against Government guidelines.
It is also almost suicidal, drawing a furious rebuke from the two independents propping up the Government, Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor.
No wonder former Labor powerbroker Graham Richardson this week admitted voters had stopped listening to Gillard and “I doubt that Labor can win the next election now”.
But Labor’s tragedy is that it has no obvious alternative to Gillard, which leaves Rudd, now rated in polls as the people’s choice to run the party that doesn’t want him.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, June 18, 11 (07:37 am)
There is not much talent in describing merely what’s already happened - and happened so spectacularly that it can no longer be ignored.
JULIA Gillard is finished. It seems she’s lied too brazenly and nothing in her erratic performance suggests she can recover.
… it is hard to see any way back for Gillard Labor… To many voters Gillard doesn’t seem legitimate because of how she came to the job… Gillard has compounded the distrust arising from the coup by breaking her election promise, made in the last desperate stages of the campaign, not to bring in a carbon tax.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, June 18, 11 (07:23 am)
This is very serious, in geo-political as much as financial terms:
The International Monetary Fund cut its forecast for U.S. economic growth on Friday and warned Washington and debt-ridden European countries that they are “playing with fire” unless they take immediate steps to reduce their budget deficits…
The Washington-based global lender forecast that U.S. gross domestic product would grow a tepid 2.5 percent this year and 2.7 percent in 2012. In its forecast just two months ago, it had expected 2.8 percent and 2.9 percent growth, respectively.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, June 18, 11 (07:13 am)
This is turning into a disaster ... and where is the Foreign Minister?
AGRICULTURE Minister Joe Ludwig is likely to visit Jakarta next week to confront worsening beef industry and political problems caused by his suspension of live exports to Indonesia…
If he goes, Senator Ludwig will meet his Indonesian counterpart Suswono, who has registered anger at the lack of Australian consultation by refusing to allow a joint veterinary inspection team to visit abattoirs this week.
According to Indonesian industry sources, Mr Suswono said inspections would not be allowed until Canberra clarified what standards it required from the Indonesian slaughterhouses.
With those standards still at the early stage of discussion between Australian and Indonesian agriculture officials, hopes of even a limited resumption of cattle exports within weeks are fading.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, June 18, 11 (07:03 am)
I’m not gloating at all. Indeed, it’s a tragedy… Terry McCrann:
The Hywood strategy can be captured in a few broad-brush dot points.- Monetise some high-value peripheral assets. Two of the seven Fairfax businesses—the New Zealand Trade Me online business and the Australian broadcasting network—would be sold.
- Use the proceeds to pay down some, hopefully most, of the $1.3 billion net debt.
- Focus on the core business—the two metropolitan “tabsheet” dailies, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in Melbourne. The focus would be both in their print form—slowing revenue loss and cutting costs—while trying to build online and electronic futures.
- At the same time move as fast as possible, horizontally out into other online businesses, leveraging off their franchises and audiences while they still had them.
So it all comes back to the two mastheads. They are still where the—revenue—dollars and audiences are. The “metro media” division generated 36 per cent of group revenue in the latest half. The next biggest was regional media at 20 per cent.
But they are not where the profits are. Metro media generated just 17 per cent of group EBITDA in the first half. And it is a profit obviously sitting on a knife-edge. Just $67 million of that $467m of revenue came from circulation—the cover price… But whereas in the past, the “rivers of classified advertising gold” fed booming profits in good times and adequate ones in poor, now they only wash the faces of the mastheads.
True, on these numbers the Fairfax duo would have a survivable, if hardly prosperous future. They would not be covering their cost of capital. But it might be justified if you could build a profitable online digital extension. And then leverage new digital businesses off them…
All the experience in the digital world is that there is no leverage off existing franchises. From Amazon, Google and Facebook globally, to the local classified such as Carsales and Seek, they grew separately…
On the other side, the costs in the mastheads can be only marginally pruned without hastening the destruction of the franchise. So that the “jaws”, to use the banking term, of revenue and costs inexorably close.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, June 18, 11 (06:53 am)
What is the difference? “We have proper cabinet decision-making. I think we have a collegiate sense about the government. Of course, as Prime Minister I’m first among equals and drive the government’s agenda. But I want proper methodical work practices and that’s what we do.” Decoded, she means unlike Rudd.
This is clearly a new tactical line - driven by a realisation that she still needs to explain the knifing of Kevin Rudd to a mystified and suspicious public.
But I’m not sure it’s much better than the old formula, that under Rudd a “good government had lost its way”. Here’s the new version, as repeated to the Herald Sun:
“We didn’t have a clear plan as to how we were going to deal with a set of difficult questions or a clear plan generally about where the Government was driving towards.
“What I’ve done as Prime Minister is inject that sense of clarity of purpose.”
Is that how her colleagues see it? Michelle Grattan:
In Labor circles, the Prime Minister’s judgment and policy skills are questioned, and the woman who used to communicate so well is constantly criticised for failing to sell the message. She consults colleagues more than Rudd did, but she can also, some allege, hijack cabinet on crucial and controversial decisions…
Another ministerial source regards her as a ‘’bigger control freak than Kevin‘’, with a dysfunctional office: ‘’She manages cabinet to suit her own circumstances. Decisions are expected often without proper paperwork and time to consult.’’ The source lists the levy to help finance the flood reconstruction, the Malaysia solution and even the suspension of live cattle exports to Indonesia. And before the election, said the source, when cabinet discussed the possibility of a refugee processing centre in East Timor, ‘’no one walked out thinking we were going to do Timor - a number said, ‘Don’t do Timor, it’s too hard’.’’ Gillard announced the East Timor plan, and it duly proved too hard, to the government’s deep embarrassment.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, June 18, 11 (03:36 am)
The Gillard Government’s plans for a carbon dioxide tax seem in strife, with the Greens demanding an insane price - more wasted billions on the kind of green schemes that the Productivity Commission says make no sense:
THE Greens are demanding billions of dollars of carbon tax revenue be dedicated to a renewable energy financing corporation to push technological change faster than can be achieved by the low carbon price proposed as part of the multi-party climate deal.
The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and the Greens leader, Bob Brown, met yesterday along with the Climate Change Minister, Greg Combet, the Treasurer, Wayne Swan, and a Greens senator, Christine Milne, as the climate talks hit political ‘’lines in the sand’’ for Labor and the Greens.
Senator Brown issued a statement saying only ‘’talks are continuing’’… Negotiations over assistance to electricity generators, coal mining and other industries have reached a point where the Greens believe they are being asked to sign up to a scheme with the same ‘’flaws’’ as the Rudd government’s carbon pollution reduction scheme, which they voted down. Labor insists that a reduction in compensation would cause unacceptable job losses or threats to the security of power supplies.
Sources said the talks had reached ‘’a difficult place’’ but had not broken down entirely…
The three biggest sticking points in the talks are the government’s ‘’starting point’’ that ‘’gassy’’ coal mines should get $1.5 billion in compensation; whether coal-fired electricity generators need free permit compensation and loan guarantees on top of government funding for the early closure of one of the highest-emitting brown-coal fired plants; and how the ‘’default’’ emissions reduction target should be set if the Greens and Labor continue to disagree when the carbon tax shifts to an emissions trading scheme in three to five years.
God knows what a desperate government will spend just to say it’s got a deal.
There will be a rally against the carbon dioxide tax tomorrow outside Melbourne’s Parliament House at 12.30pm. Advertised speakers include the Nationals’ Barnaby Joyce and the Liberals’ Sophie Mirabella.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, June 18, 11 (12:17 am)
Here’s yet another example of global warming guru Ross Garnaut exaggerating in his messianic zeal - and the examples now amount to a very serious indictment.
This time the criticism comes from Professor Ronald Ripple, director or the Centre for Research in Energy and Minerals Economics at Curtin University of Technology:
Professor Ross Garnaut recently compared Australia and Norway in the context of climate change policy and a carbon tax. It is both curious that he should choose this comparison and that no journalist, as far as I am aware, has thought to question it.
In his report, Prof Garnaut states that Norway is the “only other developed country with endowments of fossil fuels that are in any way comparable to Australia’s” (The Garnaut Review 2011, p. 52).
He also set the stage during his speech in Perth at the John Curtin Institute of Public Policy breakfast meeting, 2 June 2011, by stating that Norway has a larger endowment of hydrocarbons per capita than does Australia, and yet exhibits lower per capita emission.
The argument then led to the fact that Norway has had a carbon tax since 1991, with the clear implication being that the lower emissions were due to the tax.
Is this point of comparison relevant to the debate? ...
While Norway may be comparable in terms of fossil fuel endowment, it uses virtually none of this endowment to generate its electricity. It primarily exports its produced hydrocarbons…
Norway produces nearly all of its electricity from hydroelectricity projects. In 2008, 98.5% of Norway’s electricity production came from hydro, and less than 0.05% came from fossil fuels of any form…
Finally, an article published in the peer-reviewed journal Energy Policy in 2004 (Greenhouse gas emissions in Norway: do carbon taxes work?”, A. Bruvoll and B.M. Larsen) shows that total CO2 emissions in Norway continued to increase after the imposition of the tax.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, June 18, 11 (12:07 am)
On May 9, 2011, the IPCC announced:Close to 80 percent of the world‘s energy supply could be met by renewables by mid-century if backed by the right enabling public policies a new report shows.
In accompanying interviews, IPCC officials said that the obstacles were not scientific or technological, but merely a matter of political will.
Now, anyone with sense would think that IPCC claim a very big one. So what was its source?
The report was based on 164 ‘scenarios’ and the ‘up to 80%” scenario in the lead sentence of their press release was not representative of their scenarios, but the absolute top end. This sort of press release is not permitted in mining promotions and it remains a mystery to me why it is tolerated in academic press releases or press releases by international institutions.
The underlying report was scheduled for release on June 14 and was released today on schedule. Naturally, I was interested in the provenance of the 80% scenario and in determining precisely what due diligence had been carried out by IPCC to determine the realism of this scenario prior to endorsing it in their press release.
And having dug and dug - the link gives McIntyre’s account - here’s the true author of this claim by the United Nations’ highest body on global warming - a claim based on a Greenpeace paper:
The Lead Author of the IPCC assessment of the Greenpeace scenario was the same Greenpeace employee who had prepared the Greenpeace scenarios, the introduction to which was written by IPCC chair Pachauri… It is totally unacceptable that IPCC should have had a Greenpeace employee as a Lead Author of the critical Chapter 10, that the Greenpeace employee, as an IPCC Lead Author, should (like Michael Mann and Keith Briffa in comparable situations) have been responsible for assessing his own work and that, with such inadequate and non-independent ‘due diligence’, IPCC should have featured the Greenpeace scenario in its press release on renewables.
Sack them all. Start again.
(Thanks to reader Dave and many others.)
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, June 18, 11 (12:01 am)
Gerard Henderson catches out Robert Manne after a furious correspondence:
So, obviously, I could not have sent an “unpleasant dossier” to Paul Austin in 1993 seeking your sacking as an Age columnist – since he was not working for The Age. Moreover, according to your account, you were not a regular Age columnist at the time. Some confusion, surely.
So, every so-called “fact” in your email last Friday is false. Wilfully false.
Read it all here.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, June 18, 11 (12:01 am)
“Nauru president Marcus Stephen today signed the instruments of accession to the 1951 convention relating to the status of refugees and its 1967 protocols,” the statement said…
The Gillard government had ruled out reopening an asylum-seeker processing centre on Nauru, operated by the Howard government, because Nauru was not a signatory to the UN refugee convention.
But it is close to doing a deal with Malaysia, which has not signed the convention, to swap 800 asylum-seekers for 4000 certified refugees.
The government’s excuses are so childishly deceitful and stupid. You’d laugh if some 200 people hadn’t drowned as a consequence of its miscalculations.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, June 18, 11 (12:01 am)
Anything could now happen, even some limited form of democracy - after yet more killing:
SYRIAN security forces killed at least 16 people yesterday, including a teenage boy, as thousands of people poured into the streets across the country calling for the downfall of President Bashar Assad’s autocratic regime, activists said…
Since the protests erupted in mid-March, Assad has unleashed the military to crush street demonstrations. Human rights activists say more than 1400 Syrians have been killed and 10,000 detained.
Andrew Bolt – Friday, June 17, 11 (04:38 pm)
My God, the waste:
TWENTY schools targeted for closure by the Tasmanian government in yesterday’s state budget received more than $10 million in combined Building the Education Revolution funds to build new halls, libraries and classrooms…
The biggest one-off grant of $2m went to Warrane Primary School for a new library, while seven other primary schools received $850,000 grants, many of which were used to build multi-purpose halls.
(Thanks to reader Peter.)