Friday, July 29, 2011

News Items and Comments

MIKE CARELESS

Tim Blair – Friday, July 29, 11 (01:25 am)

Former SBS Dateline executive producer Mike Carey reviews the 2004 capture and release in Baghdad of antiwar journalist John Martinkus, and decides that News Ltd has questions to answer …

… but they’re not principally about ethics in journalism. For many of Murdoch’s heaviest hitters journalism isn’t their stock in trade but rather lobbying and propaganda. Sometimes this is to protect the interests of News and on other occasions it’s barracking for political friends and ideological family …

In 2004, when I was executive producer of SBS Television’s Dateline program, I took a call from Mike Ware. Mike was Time Magazine’s correspondent in Baghdad and he feared his good friend and our video-journalist, John Martinkus, had been kidnapped. It proved to be nauseatingly true …

On his way home, still in shock, John told part of his story to the ABC’s Mark Willacy at Aman airport in Jordan. He was met by a wall of cameras at Sydney Airport where he asked [then foreign minister Alexander] Downer for an apology, explaining he’d been released because he wasn’t a legitimate target in the eyes of his captors — unlike those who were part of the occupation force.

So far, much as you’d expect from a senior SBS type. But then Carey writes:

What followed was an orchestrated campaign to undermine John Martinkus. Leading the charge were Rupert Murdoch’s warriors, Andrew Bolt and Tim Blair. They both consistently and deliberately misquoted what John had said about why he had been released by his captors.

A few points. There was no “orchestrated campaign”; no emails, phone calls, faxes, no conspiracy at all. Just me and a laptop.

Carey also claims that I “consistently and deliberately misquoted” John Martinkus. These links will take you toeverything I wrote about him, including a piece that gave Martinkus his say. If Carey can find any examples in these items of consistent and (more seriously) deliberate misquoting, I’d like him to point them out. If he can’t – and by now the possible significance of the word “deliberate” should be dawning on Carey and his publishers at New Matilda – then we’ve got to work on a remedy. A donation to charity might do it.

Oh, and one more thing.

In 2004, when Carey says I was among “Rupert Murdoch’s warriors” and “Murdoch’s heaviest hitters” in the “Liberal Party/News Ltd nexus” leading the “vilification” of Martinkus for “the Murdoch press”, I wasn’t employed by Murdoch or News Ltd. In fact, by then it had been four years since I’d left the Daily Telegraph to freelance. At the time, I had a column at The Bulletin. The blog was private. I returned to News Ltd in late 2006.

Let the corrections begin.

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BUSINESS MODEL REVISED

Tim Blair – Friday, July 29, 11 (01:02 am)

Another success looms for Australia’s official hopeless mate:

Refugees in Malaysia are threatening to pay people smugglers to take them to Australia, saying they’ll be treated better when they’re sent back under the asylum seeker swap deal.

Human-rights organisations have criticised the deal, saying it could actually act as a pull factor for boat people and creates a two-tier refugee system.

Truly, we are blessed to be ruled by this Hennimore of governments.

(Via Waxing Gibberish)

UPDATE. It never stops, it just goes on and on:

The ghost of the $2.45 billion pink batts fiasco has come back to haunt the federal government, with revelations that 4000 installers for the scheme have either cheated on their tax returns or failed in their tax obligations.

Documents obtained by The Daily Telegraph also confirm the Australian Tax Office is targeting the government’s controversial Building the Education Revolution program to search for further tax dodgers.

The carbon tax scams will be magnificent.

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POLEYGATE

Tim Blair – Thursday, July 28, 11 (11:55 pm)

This could be something:

A federal wildlife biologist whose observation in 2004 of presumably drowned polar bears in the Arctic helped to galvanize the global warming movement has been placed on administrative leave and is being investigated for scientific misconduct, possibly over the veracity of that article.

Charles Monnett, an Anchorage-based scientist with the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, or BOEMRE, was told July 18 that he was being put on leave, pending results of an investigation into “integrity issues.”

It was my understanding that all at-risk poleys had already been rescued by John Kerry. An investigation will sort things out.

(Via Brat)

UPDATE. Also interesting:

NASA satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011 show the Earth’s atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than alarmist computer models have predicted, reports a new study in the peer-reviewed science journal Remote Sensing. The study indicates far less future global warming will occur than United Nations computer models have predicted, and supports prior studies indicating increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide trap far less heat than alarmists have claimed.

(Via Larry T.)

UPDATE II. Naturally, there’s a Big Green Al angle:

Monnett and a colleague published an article in the science journal Polar Biology, writing: “Drowning-related deaths of polar bears may increase in the future if the observed trend of regression of pack ice and/or longer open water periods continues.”

The paper quickly heightened public concern for the polar bear. Al Gore, citing the paper, used polar bear footage in his film Inconvenient Truth.

This clip would be brilliant with an Al Gore voiceover.

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WATER ACCESS ONLY

Tim Blair – Thursday, July 28, 11 (07:53 pm)

Professor Tim Flannery prepares for Australia’s flooded future.

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Here’s a letter to the New York Times:

Union president Joseph Hansen accuses Wal-Mart of unleashing economic destruction because its innovative retail methods make available at lower prices a wider range of goods – goods that, to be brought to retail markets in the past, required greater numbers of higher-skilled (and, hence, higher paid) workers (Letters, July 28).

In short, Mr. Hansen criticizes innovation that enables us to enjoy more and better outputs from fewer and less-valuable inputs.

To be consistent, Mr. Hansen should also criticize those innovations that, say, improved the quality of televisions and, as a result, destroyed the jobs of t.v. repairmen. Likewise he ought to condemn advances in digital photography that enable amateur photographers today to produce high-quality photographs that once required the skills of professional photographers. And of course Mr. Hansen should protest the polio vaccine for enabling people to survive and move about without the help of workers who produce iron-lung machines, wheel-chairs, and crutches.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux

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Don’t assume they may be Norwegian

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 29, 11 (10:15 am)

The names do not sound Norwegian, which is puzzling:

ONE of NSW’s most notorious inmates and a self-proclaimed jihadist, Bassam Hamzy, has contacted ASIO to say he knows the location of Australian army rocket launchers stolen almost a decade ago.

Hamzy, a convicted murderer who was recently charged with running a drug syndicate from his maximum security prison cell, also made the offer to the federal and NSW police and has asked for indemnities, rewards or reductions in sentence for him and his associates in return.

And in the US:

An Army private who had been absent without leave since earlier this month was arrested this week near Fort Hood with a gun and suspicious materials, in what local law enforcement officials described on Thursday as a “terror plot” to kill other soldiers.

The police in Killeen, Tex., arrested the soldier, Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo, in a motel room near the southern edge of the base on Wednesday… According to a law enforcement official, among the items found in Private Abdo’s room at the time of his arrest were a military uniform with Fort Hood patches, a pistol, shotgun shells and an article on “how to make a bomb in your kitchen” from the English-language Qaeda magazine Inspire…

The announcement of his arrest renewed a sense of vulnerability at Fort Hood, where on Nov. 5, 2009, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an army psychiatrist, went on a shooting rampage that killed 13 people and wounded 32 at a medical facility on the base…

Private Abdo, who joined the Army in April 2009, gained national attention last summer when he refused to deploy with his unit to Afghanistan, insisting that his Muslim faith prevented him from serving…

Army officials said that Private Abdo was granted conscientious objector status in May, but his discharge was put on hold after the Army said it had discovered at least 34 images of child pornography on his computer.

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Warmist scientist investigated over Gore’s polar bear scare

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 29, 11 (07:05 am)

We all know now that early warmist claims that polar bears were severely endangered by global warming were severely exaggerated. So this is interesting:

A US Federal wildlife biologist whose observation that polar bears likely drowned in the Arctic helped galvanise the global warming movement seven years ago was placed on administrative leave asofficials investigate scientific misconduct allegations.

Although it wasn’t clear what the exact allegations are, a government watchdog group representing Anchorage-based scientist Charles Monnett said investigators have focused on his 2004 journal article about the bears that garnered worldwide attention.

Sure did. Here’s an example of the poley panic Monnett unleashed:

SCIENTISTS have for the first time found evidence that polar bears are drowning because climate change is melting the Arctic ice shelf.

The researchers were startled to find bears having to swim up to 60 miles across open sea to find food. They are being forced into the long voyages because the ice floes from which they feed are melting, becoming smaller and drifting farther apart....

According to the new research, four bear carcases were found floating in one month in a single patch of sea off the north coast of Alaska, where average summer temperatures have increased by 2-3C degrees since 1950s.

The scientists believe such drownings are becoming widespread across the Arctic, an inevitable consequence of the doubling in the past 20 years of the proportion of polar bears having to swim in open seas.

“Mortalities due to offshore swimming may be a relatively important and unaccounted source of natural mortality given the energetic demands placed on individual bears engaged in long-distance swimming,” says the research led by Dr Charles Monnett, marine ecologist at the American government’s Minerals Management Service. “Drowning-related deaths of polar bears may increase in the future if the observed trend of regression of pack ice continues.”

But the fame! The money! The influence!


Charles Monnett, a wildlife biologist, oversaw much of the scientific work for the government agency that has been examining drilling in the Arctic. He managed about $50m in research projects....

Monnett and a colleague published an article in the science journal Polar Biology, writing: “Drowning-related deaths of polar bears may increase in the future if the observed trend of regression of pack ice and/or longer open water periods continues.”

The paper quickly heightened public concern for the polar bear. Al Gore, citing the paper, used polar bear footage in his film Inconvenient Truth. Campaigners focused on the bears to push George Bush to act on climate change, and in 2008, the government designated the animal a threatened species.

It was the first animal to be classed as a victim of climate change.

From an Inspector General investigator’s interview of Monnett, this glimpse of the issues and the integrity of “peer review”:

CHARLES MONNETT: – that right after we saw these bears swimming, this storm came in and caught them offshore, all right? And so if, um, if you assume that the, the, the 36 all were exposed to the storm, and then we went back and we saw tentially 27 of them, that gives you your 25 percent survival rate. Now that’s, um, statistically, um, irrelevant. I mean, it, it’s not statistical. It?s just an argument. It’s for, it’s for the sake of discussion. See, right here, “Discussion.”

ERIC MAY: Um-hm [yes].

CHARLES MONNETT: That’s what you do in discussions is you throw things out, um, for people to think about. And so what we said is, look, uh, we saw four. We saw a whole bunch swimming, but if you want to compare them, then let’s do this little ratio estimator and correct for the percentage of the area surveyed. And just doing that, then there might have been as many as 27 bears out there that were dead. There might have been as many as 36, plus or minus. There could have been 50. I don’t know. But the way we were posing it was that it’s serious, because it’s not just four. It’s probably a lot more. And then we said that with the further assumption, you know, that the bears were exposed or, you know, the ones we’re measuring later that are carcasses out there, it looks like a lot of them, you know, didn’t survive, so – but it’s, it’s discussion, guys. I mean, it’s not in the results. ...

ERIC MAY: So combining the three dead polar bears and the four alive bears is a mistake?

CHARLES MONNETT: No, it’s not a mistake. It’s just not a, a, a real, uh, rigorous analysis. And a whole bunch of peer reviewers and a journal, you know –

ERIC MAY: Did they go through – I mean, did they do the calculations as you just did with us?

CHARLES MONNETT: Well, I assume they did. That’s their purpose.

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A scam of an idea attracts those with an idea of a scam

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 29, 11 (06:46 am)

Everything about the scheme seems dodgy - its purpose, its execution and its consequences”

THE ghost of the $2.45 billion pink batts fiasco has come back to haunt the federal government, with revelations that 4000 installers for the scheme have either cheated on their tax returns or failed in their tax obligations

“Analysis suggested that approximately 40 per cent who received rebate payments may have omitted income and/or have overdue tax returns and activity statements,” Mr Richardson told a June 9 meeting.

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Just how much power over us do warmists want?

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 29, 11 (06:41 am)

Attacks on free speech, threats to censor sceptical newspapers, laws to regulate your behaviour… It’s increasingly clear that the even more dangerous than the carbon dioxide tax are the authoritarian measures taken to crush resistance against it and force you to comply:

A NEW carbon cop will be given sweeping powers to enter company premises, compel individuals to give self-incriminating evidence and copy sensitive records under a carbon tax package that will force about 60,000 businesses to pay 6c a litre extra for fuel.

The tough new powers of the Clean Energy Regulator were included in the fine detail of the carbon tax package released yesterday, which enshrines national emissions cuts of 12 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year after 2016, if the government of the day rejects targets proposed by its Climate Change Authority.

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Another anti-Murdoch hysteric

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 29, 11 (06:23 am)

In 2004, An SBS reporter, John Martinkus, said he’d been kidnapped briefly by terrorists in Iraq who’d let him go after checking his reporting the Internet:

“These guys, they’re not stupid. They are fighting a war but they are not savages - they’re not actually killing people willy-nilly. There was no reason for them to kill me,” he told reporters on his arrival at Sydney airport last night.

There was a reason to kill (British hostage Kenneth) Bigley, there was a reason to kill the (two) Americans (kidnapped with Bigley). There was not a reason to kill me.”

Which is one reason I wrote this:

AUSTRALIAN journalist John Martinkus said he was going to be killed by the Iraqi terrorists who grabbed him on Sunday – until he convinced them he was on their side.

“I was not hurt and treated with respect once they established my credentials as an independent journalist who did not support the occupation,” the SBS filmmaker told Reuters.

An SBS producer, Mike Carey, confirmed on 3AW yesterday that Martinkus told the terrorists he sympathised with them – “as you would” to save your life. As I sure would, too.

And then, added Carey, his captors got onto the internet to check him out.

Did they? I guess they liked what they saw, then, or Martinkus would be as dead as the two Macedonian brickies who were beheaded in Iraq that very weekend.

In fact, it would have been easy for the terrorists to think Martinkus, brave as he is, was more useful to them as a sympathetic reporter than a dead infidel.

What’s more, his release on Monday, 20 hours after being kidnapped in Baghdad, while great news, is just the latest warning that the terrorists trying to kill democracy in Iraq think Western journalists are useful idiots, if not friends.

You might consider that, the next time you read Iraq is going to hell, the terrorists there are really “the resistance”, and the American “occupiers” are hated and should pull out.

Martinkus was in Iraq to film another documentary for SBS, which has run an undeclared jihad against the United States and the liberation of Iraq.

Not so undeclared, actually. Just before the war to topple Saddam Hussein, the then SBS deputy chairman, Neville Roach, publicly begged “journalists . . . in every article, every editorial, every report, (to) highlight the murder and mayhem that our nation is about to release”.

So frenzied has its demonisation of this war since become that SBS this year twice showed a French “documentary” – The World According to Bush – that claimed US President George W. Bush was a religious crazy, “idiot” and “political whore”, who was conned into attacking Iraq by a handful of “calculating” Jews, even while secretly pocketing pay-offs from their Muslim enemies.

The terrorists who snatched Martinkus would have loved it.

Of course, the work of Martinkus himself is far more honest and responsible. But it’s also clear his sympathies follow the SBS line and are not, it seems, primarily with the Americans and Iraqis trying to make Iraq democratic.

In fact, Martinkus has appeared recently at rallies and film evenings organised by anti-war groups and the far-Left Socialist Alliance.

He also spoke at this year’s Melbourne Writers Festival, arguing Iraq was worse off for having been freed and his book, Travels in American Iraq, makes Iraq’s liberation seem an occupation instead – and one heading for civil war.

But worse, in a Bulletin article Martinkus described even Ansar Al Sunna, an al-Qaida-linked terrorist group responsible for suicide bombings and on-video beheadings of both Iraqis and foreigners, as merely “one of Iraq’s many resistance groups”, breezily claiming its members were just “ordinary Iraqis frustrated and humiliated by the occupation”.

Resistance? An al-Qaida ally that blows up scores of Iraqis and beheads even Nepalese cooks and Turkish drivers is a resistance, like those brave men and women who fought the Nazis?

Martinkus’s captors would have loved that best of all. No wonder they let him go.

It seems almost incredible, even just seven years later, just how viciously skewed SBS’s coverage of Bush and the war was. But now former SBS Dateline executive producer Mike Carey sezies on the News of the World scandal to indulge in a smear of News Ltd journalists:

… but they’re not principally about ethics in journalism. For many of Murdoch’s heaviest hittersjournalism isn’t their stock in trade but rather lobbying and propaganda.

Sometimes this is to protect the interests of News and on other occasions it’s barracking for political friends and ideological family …

His particular example? The Martinkus case:

What followed was an orchestrated campaign to undermine John Martinkus. Leading the charge were Rupert Murdoch’s warriors, Andrew Bolt and Tim Blair. They both consistently and deliberately misquoted what John had said about why he had been released by his captors.

Tim Blair’s response echoes my own:

Carey also claims that I “consistently and deliberately misquoted” John Martinkus...If Carey can find any examples in these items of consistent and (more seriously) deliberate misquoting, I’d like him to point them out. If he can’t – and by now the possible significance of the word “deliberate” should be dawning on Carey and his publishers at New Matilda – then we’ve got to work on a remedy. A donation to charity might do it.

It seems that an anti-Murdoch hysteric considers himself licenced to do precisely what he accuses Murdoch’s satanic imps of doing,

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Bang, he was gone. NATO’s Libyan allies strike again

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 29, 11 (06:19 am)

Interesting, the ways of this new government that the NATO allies are trying to impose in Libya:

LIBYA’S rebel leadership council says its military commander has been killed.

The National Transitional Council announced the death of Abdel Fattah Younes today hours after he was arrested by the rebels for questioning about suspicions his family still had ties to Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.

Council head Mustafa Abdul-Jalil did not explain the circumstances of his death.

More:

Libyan rebel leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil said on on Thursday that Abdel Fattah Younes was killed by assailants after he had been summoned before a judicial committee that was looking into the military operations…

There were reports of gunfire outside the hotel in Benghazi following the press conference.

Three days ago, reports of his death were merely premature:

Major General Abdel Fattah Younes, Chief of Staff of rebel forces in Libya has dismissed recent rumors about his injury or death. The former Muammar Gaddafi aide mocked these rumors and accused Gaddafi regime of distributing this false information in order to influence the morale of the rebels.

It’s been more than four months since NATO started to bomb Libya to allegedly stop the killing of civilians. Its true agenda, to replace Muammar Gaddafi, seems not to be going well, and the replacements it has in mind do not inspire confidence.

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I just worked out why Nat was gone for three months ..
unsourcedhumor.blogspot.com/20​11/07/community-channel-was-go​ne-for-three.html
Source: www.youtube.com
Throwing out process at home: my bin to my mum. Do you guys get the same thing? Everything is a waste. Poor mum. New Vid in 4 Days, keep up to date: Twitter http://www.twitter.com/natalie​tran Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/​community-chan...

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This is all Obama's fault.
REPUBLICANS are ignoring White House warnings to press ahead with their own plan to avert a calamitous US debt default.
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Nixon wasn't police commissioner. She was acting ALP minister.
ONE of the difficulties in maintaining a conspiracy theory is accommodating facts that don't fit in.
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Bligh caused the floods
WATER released from Brisbane's Wivenhoe Dam during the devastating January floods comprised more than half of the total flow in the lower Brisbane River, according to a report by the floods commission...
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Maple flavored?
THE Victorian Alps will be dressed like a winter wonderland this weekend when about 300 snow hounds form 40 dog-sled teams for competitions at Falls Creek.
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He gives. He takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord
RAMPED-UP mobile speed camera operations could make at least $20 million a year for the state government - double the revenue it sacrificed after ditching 38 fixed speed cameras.


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I still want Zaya as mayor.
MANY councils have lost the plot and amalgamations are the best way to force local authorities to grow up and stop wasting time on international politics, Sydney's business leaders said.
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Epidemic increases without breakthrough.
IT affects one in three Australians and is one of the nation's most costly health problems - yet chronic pain has been tagged the forgotten epidemic.
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Lock em up and throw away the key.
TWO middle-aged women who allegedly sold drugs to children from their homes in the same street as a high school were arrested yesterday.
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Disaster under ALP is no accident.
MORE people are being tested for the Hendra virus after a fifth horse died on a far north coast property.

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Smith is dispensable.
DEFENCE Minister Stephen Smith has stressed the importance of the increasing contribution Australia makes to the the security of the US, in a key speech in Washington.
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Her incompetence served their purpose
LABOR has ended its decade-long public support of former police chief commissioner Christine Nixon after her savage attack on the integrity of the Victorian bushfires royal commission.
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A cover up of rule 303
MORE than 109 years after they were convicted of murdering Boer prisoners, the descendants of Harry "Breaker" Morant, Peter Handcock and George Witton have urged Attorney-General Robert McClelland to ...
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Gillard is losing the war she wanted.
AS Afghans in Malaysia plan to formally plead for sympathy from Julia Gillard, the founder of an Afghan human rights group warned that increasing lawlessness in Afghanistan could prompt a flood of asy...
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Bad policy causes this.
THE commonwealth ombudsman has launched an inquiry into suicide and self-harm in Australia's immigration detention centres.
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A vote for anyone other than Liberal or Nationals is a vote for ALP
FRUIT growers in the Victorian town of Shepparton have set trees alight over fears the importation of New Zealand apples could lead to the introduction of fire blight disease and threaten the $100 mil...
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Gun safety?
A LITTLE girl photographed with a loaded gun on her bikie father's Facebook page has shocked police.



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It is easy to understand her concern
FIFTEEN years after the murder of her husband, Mary Cusumano "spoke with her husband's voice" when she warned his soon-to-be-released killer yesterday.
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Imagine what they could achieve with nuclear power.
NEWS Limited's carbon reduction team has responded to an ad placed in The Daily Telegraph by millionaire businessman Dick Smith, claiming it has forced up prices. In fact the opposite is true.
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Congrats. I won't be handing back the key.
HELLS Angels bike boss, Samir Jouayde, was arrested today two weeks after walking down the aisle to get married.
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Corruption rolls on.
THE ghost of the $2.45 billion pink batts fiasco has come back to haunt the federal government, with revelations that 4000 installers for the scheme have either cheated on their tax returns or failed ...
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Greens like power
HE is set to be the first fly-in, fly-out deputy mayor - refusing to stand down from his council position despite moving overseas.
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A new tax on working families
WORKERS struggling with a carbon tax are about to be hit with a second wave of Greens-inspired tax pain.

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He swims it faster than I walk it.
A SUPERSTAR is born. James Magnussen is Australia's first world championships gold medallist in the men's 100m freestyle and the 20-year-old has already set a goal to break the world record.
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Outrageous hyperbole from White.
fairfield-advance.whereilive.c​om.au
PARKLANDS in Fairfield once dubbed the "lungs of Western Sydney" are in line to be penetrated by factories under a state government plan that will see 33 ha used for commercial purposes.
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Sounds like White was asleep when he should have been participating
fairfield-advance.whereilive.c​om.au
FAIRFIELD councillors have been left red-faced after the wording on a controversial plaque was changed without their knowledge.
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The tree is a treasure of Carramar, well picked Maria
www.fairfieldchampion.com.au
IT looks like a tree. It feels like a tree. And has all the typical characteristic of a regular tree.

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This one didn't die because of Bligh.
www.news.com.au
A MAN who lost his parents but saved his younger sister in the Queensland floods has been killed in a fire.

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They all agree it was drinks and drugs, they just don't know how.
www.news.com.au
SINGER Amy Winehouse's family believes she was killed by quitting alcohol, The Sun reported today.

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