Let’s cut the spin. The Gillard Government’s Nauru “solution” has failed. It’s been bungled and has changed nothing:
THE Australian navy has gone to the assistance of a suspected asylum seeker boat carrying up to 200 people.
Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said patrol boats HMAS Bundaberg and HMAS Wollongong, operating under the coordination of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), rendered assistance to the vessel north east of Christmas Island last night.
Initial indications suggest there were 188 people on board, he said.
(Thanks to reader Dani.)
On The Bolt Report tomorrow:
Gillard cries sexism. What the real story is.
Political pollster and campaign genius Mark Textor on the Gillard speech - will it work?
Amanda Vanstone and John Della Bosca debate.
And more, including a whiff of scandal.
On Channel 10 at 10am and 4.30pm.
(Former Senator John Black has had to pull out because of illness. Thanks to John Della Bosca for stepping in at short notice.)
(Note: we yet again asked Julia Gillard, Nicola Roxon, Craig Emerson and Kevin Rudd, but yet again got refusals or no answer at all. We try constantly, but Labor’s ban remains.)
Labor frontbenchers Bill Shorten and Tanya Plibersek follow the Twitter account of the CFMEU-commissioned comedian who told the truly foul “joke” about Tony Abbott’s female chief of staff at a union dinner they attended this week.
As you see at the link, the comedian has sent several abusive and vile sexist tweets against women. These tweets would have been sent on to Shorten and Plibersek.
So did these ministers tell the CFMEU not to have their comedian perform for their dinner? How can the CFMEU now claim it had no idea he’d be that gross?
What the tweets reveal is that sexist abuse of (conservative) women is actually part of this comedian’s act, and sponsored by the union.
(Thanks to reader Peter.)
The publication of a photograph of university students at an official college function dressed up to look like “traditional” Aboriginal people, with their faces and limbs painted brown, has forced an internal investigation and rapid re-education program.
The eight female students from the co-educational Cromwell College within the University of Queensland were depicted in the photo - taken last Tuesday - with wild hair, holding sticks and wearing material fashioned into makeshift loincloths.
The photo made its way on to online social networking sites and quickly raised the ire of a number of indigenous Australians from around the country.
(Thanks to readers Peter, Glenn and O.)
The Diversity Council Australia said the incident showed a deep ignorance of Aboriginal culture and religion in Australian society.
“I think is a societal thing,” chief executive Nareen Young [above] said…
Ms Young, who has an indigenous background herself, said Cromwell College responded appropriately yesterday by promising to bring in cultural awareness training. It also needed a reconciliation action plan, she said.
Bindi Cole is an unlikely provocateur. Polite, bright and witty, the Melbourne photographer has nevertheless waded into the turbulent waters of racial identity. Her photographic project Not Really Aboriginal addressed what it means to be a Victorian Indigenous person in the 21st century, and included portraits of Bindi and various family members posing solemnly in blackface.
There is a very interesting and important discussion to be had about this. But because of legal action taken against me, it is too dangerous for me to comment. I must also prevent you from commenting.
Reader Simon writes:
Gillard cried when she addressed congress, was it congress? Talking about what she remembered as a little girl of the moon landing; very moving and emotional memories.
Today at the Bali memorial when Gillard spoke there did not seem to be the level of emotion in her voice as there was recalling the heyday of the American space program.If the situation were reversed it would make sense.
Therefore I don’t ask why she didn’t cry today but why she cried in Washington.
Total Commonwealth Government Securities on Issue as at 30 June 2007 - $58.2 Billion
Federal Election 24 November 2007. Kevin Rudd becomes PM and Wayne Swan Treasurer.Total Commonwealth Government Securities on Issue as at 30 June 2008 - $26.1 BillionTotal Commonwealth Government Securities on Issue as at 30 June 2009 - $101.1 BillionTotal Commonwealth Government Securities on Issue as at 30 June 2010 - $147.1 BillionTotal Commonwealth Government Securities on Issue as at 30 June 2011 - $191.2 Billion
Total Commonwealth Government Securities on Issue as at 5 August 2011- $196.9 Billion
(Thanks to reader Alex.)
Mark Steyn on a president more concerned to defend a seven-foot millionaire puppet than avenge an American ambassador murdered in an al-Qaeda terrorist attack:
“The entire reason that this has become the political topic it is, is because of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.”Thus, Stephanie Cutter, President Obama’s deputy campaign manager, speaking on CNN about an armed attack on the 9/11 anniversary that left a U.S. consulate a smoking ruin and killed four diplomatic staff, including the first American ambassador to be murdered in a third of a century. To discuss this event is apparently to “politicize” it and to distract from the real issues the American people are concerned about. For example, Obama spokesperson Jen Psaki, speaking on board Air Force One on Thursday:“There’s only one candidate in this race who is going to continue to fight for Big Bird and Elmo, and he is riding on this plane.”
She’s right! The United States is the first nation in history whose democracy has evolved to the point where its leader is provided with a wide-body transatlantic jet in order to campaign on the vital issue of public funding for sock puppets.
(Thanks to reader Terry.)
The trends aren’t good for Barack Obama:
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Florida Voters finds Romney with 51% support to President Obama’s 47%. ...Obama carried Florida over John McCain in 2008 by a 51% to 49% margin.
And Joe Biden may have shaded Paul Ryan in the vice presidential debate, in my opinion, but he did so by telling a few porkies that might now bite Obama’s campaign:
It sure looks like Vice President Joe Biden put the blame on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, his potential 2016 rival, for the security failings Benghazi. “We weren’t told they wanted more security,” Biden declared. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney backed Biden up, saying it’s a State Department (i.e. Hillary) issue.
Will Hillary now retaliate and protect herself by leaking word that the White House did too know?
The Wall Street Journal sums up the debate:
So now we know what Team Obama’s comeback plan was following last week’s defeat in the Presidential debate. Unleash Joe Biden to interrupt, filibuster, snarl, smirk and otherwise show contempt for Paul Ryan…
By unofficial media counts, Mr. Biden interrupted the Republican some 80 to 100 times. Mr. Ryan let the bully get away with too much for our tastes…No doubt the performance cheered Democrats who needed cheering after last week, but we wonder how well it played with independents or undecided voters who tuned in to learn something....Mr. Biden had his strongest notes on foreign policy. He too glibly rolled past the murders of four Americans at the Benghazi consulate a month ago, attributing the Administration’s false early explanations to “the intelligence community.” We doubt that’s what the investigation will ultimately show. But on Afghanistan, Syria and to a lesser extent Iran, Mr. Biden was more sure-footed than Mr. Ryan....Mr. Ryan was stronger on domestic issues… Even here, though, the debate devolved into an exchange between Mr. Ryan’s policy details and Mr. Biden’s free-association appeals to emotion and class solidarity—"Who do you trust on this?”
On nearly every specific issue on which Mr. Biden attacked, he was demonstrably wrong...
(Via Instapundit, which has plenty more.)
The White House throws Hillary Clinton under the bus as it “clarifies” Biden’s patently deceptive claim:
The White House throws Hillary Clinton under the bus as it “clarifies” Biden’s patently deceptive claim:
White House spokesman Jay Carney was forced to clarify remarks by Biden which appeared to contradict evidence that US officials refused extra security for US posts in Libya prior to the Benghazi assault.
“The vice president was speaking about himself and the president and the White House. Obviously he wasn’t talking (about) the administration writ large,” Carney said…Carney said the vice president was aware of the testimony by US security officials at a congressional hearing on Wednesday that extra protection for the posts had been requested and then denied.
“Nowhere in those four hours of testimony was it suggested that those requests were made essentially to the White House because that is not how this works,” Carney said.
I’d suggest Biden told a constructive lie in the debate.
Julia Gillard in August played down her role in registering her then boyfriend’s slush fund - deceptively titled the “Australian Workers Union Workplace Reform Association” - which he then used to rip off $400,000:
I was a solicitor at Slater & Gordon. I assisted with the provision of advice regarding the setting up of an association, the workplace reform association that you refer to.
My understanding is that the purpose of the association was to support the re-election of a team of union officials and their pursuit of the policies that they would stand for re-election on…
My role in relation to this was I provided advice as a solicitor. I am not the signatory to the documents that incorporated this association. I was not an office bearer of the association. I had no involvement in the working of the association. I provided advice in relation to its establishment and that was it.
A TRADE union association from which hundreds of thousands of dollars were stolen by a former boyfriend of Prime Minister Julia Gillard was registered only after Ms Gillard vouched for its legitimacy to West Australian authorities.
Ms Gillard - then a salaried partner with law firm Slater & Gordon - wrote to the WA Corporate Affairs Commission in mid-1992 confirming that the Australian Workers Union Workplace Reform Association was a bone fide organisation.The newly confirmed correspondence contradicts claims by Ms Gillard that she did no more than provide limited professional advice about establishing the association at the centre of the corruption scandal involving her former boyfriend, Bruce Wilson, a senior AWU official.Slater & Gordon is now being accused of resisting pressure to open its file on the incorporation of the association. The file is believed to contain a copy of the letter Ms Gillard sent to the Corporate Affairs Commission affirming the association would be devoted to workplace safety.The commission is understood to have written to Slater & Gordon in early 1992 challenging the status of the association, described in registration documents prepared under the advice of Ms Gillard as being dedicated to workplace safety and training.It is believed the commission objected to the registration because the association appeared to be a trade union body and therefore should be registered under the more tightly controlled provisions of the Industrial Relations Act.Including the Australian Workers Union in the name of the association enabled cheques made payable to the AWU to be banked in the association account…WA police later confirmed that Mr Wilson had stolen more than $400,000 from the association, including about $100,000 used to buy a Fitzroy unit in Ralph Blewitt’s name. Mr Blewitt had never seen the property before it was bought at auction by Mr Wilson, in the company of Ms Gillard, using a power of attorney for Mr Blewitt which she prepared.Mr Blewitt claimed this week that he signed the power of attorney in Perth during the week of February 13, 1993, in the presence of Mr Wilson. He said Ms Gillard - whom the document shows as witnessing it on February 4, 1993 - was not present.
The WA Associations Incorporation Act in force in 1992 prohibited associations designed to secure a pecuniary profit for members…
Baker does not seem to have a copy of the letter he sums up. We must assume his information is very good, but should also allow for the possibility that Gillard may have a different story. But if Baker is right, his story is very damning of Gillard’s integrity then and now.
For what my view is worth - and I have tried to avoid expressing my view and just stuck to the facts - but I think at the very minimum she was wilfully blind.
The very minimum.
As for Gillard’s evasions now…
Michael Smith has further documents which raise very serious questions about Gillard and Slater & Gordon.
Michael Smith has further documents which raise very serious questions about Gillard and Slater & Gordon.
Hedley Thomas reports Slater & Gordon says it cannot find the file Mark Baker refers to, allegedly detailing Gillard’s correspondence with the WA Corporate Affairs Commission:
Hedley Thomas reports Slater & Gordon says it cannot find the file Mark Baker refers to, allegedly detailing Gillard’s correspondence with the WA Corporate Affairs Commission:
A SENSITIVE file at the heart of a union fraud scandal that caused top partners in the legal firm of Slater & Gordon to lose trust and confidence in their colleague, Julia Gillard, is the subject of a new tug-of-war over whether its contents can ever be disclosed—if they can even be found.The file’s documents would relate to the legal advice, notes and correspondence produced by Ms Gillard in her role, as a solicitor at the firm, in the 1992 establishment of the controversial Australian Workers Union Workplace Reform Association.This “slush fund”, as Ms Gillard has since termed it, was used by her then boyfriend, AWU official Bruce Wilson, and his friend, union bagman Ralph Blewitt, to allegedly defraud companies of hundreds of thousands of dollars…The Weekend Australian can reveal that Mr Blewitt, who was Ms Gillard’s client at the time and the person authorised to apply to incorporate the association in Western Australia, has been unable to inspect or obtain the file from Slater & Gordon…
Slater & Gordon head Andrew Grech told The Weekend Australian: “We have undertaken a thorough search through our archives and failed to locate a ‘file’ in relation to the AWU Workplace Reform Association. In the event that Mr Blewitt or his lawyers are able to provide us with information which enables us to establish that there are in fact such a file or documentary records to which he is entitled, we will of course, use our best endeavours to assist him in obtaining those documents from third parties, if they exist . . . Any suggestion that we are withholding information from former clients to protect the Office of the Prime Minister is both highly defamatory and demonstrably wrong.”
Teader Peter wonders why Slater & Gordon put the word file in quotation marks. Did Gillard again not open an official file?
Opposition frontbencher Senator Eric Abetz demands answers:
[The Prime Minister] must say whether as a partner at Slater & Gordon she wrote to the WA Corporate Affairs Commission vouching for the legitimacy of the Workers Reform Association after the Commission had questioned the entity’s bona fides, as reported in today’s Sydney Morning Herald....
The Prime Minister must also answer allegations by former AWU official, Ralph Blewitt, that she was not present when he signed a Power of Attorney giving authority to Bruce Wilson to act on his behalf, despite her signature appearing on the document as having witnessed it...
And is that why men tend not to vote for Gillard’s Labor, as Newspoll shows?
After positive comments on websites from New York to London, the Prime Minister’s defence on Tuesday of ex-Speaker Peter Slipper has attracted criticism for double standards, not protecting an alleged victim of sexual harassment and undermining feminist principles…While the Prime Minister’s office claimed a success for Ms Gillard on the international coverage, some Labor MPs believed there was too much emphasis on Twitter and blog sites and not enough on domestic media reaction.
On Thursday, John Chalmers, group communications manager at Buzz-Numbers, warned that while the Australian public had largely lauded the Prime Minister’s attack, on Twitter, Facebook and other sites, “our analysis suggests support for Gillard may change as the public connects Gillard’s contradictory stance”.
THIS is a dangerous moment for Julia Gillard and Labor. The risk is that her defence of former Speaker Peter Slipper by depicting Tony Abbott as a misogynist becomes a defining metaphor for her government.
That metaphor is the blame game. Labor has become the master of blaming other people for its own blunders. Its blame-game politics have now reached an implausible, almost farcical extreme unworthy of our first woman Prime Minister…Labor has played the class card and now it plays the misogynist card. The narrative is entrenched: Labor thinks it can survive only by demonisation, with Abbott as demon-in-chief…This week’s events are likely to have a contradictory impact: projecting passion and authenticity will help Gillard’s personal ratings but her government is reduced to a soap opera with a Prime Minister invoking a gender war sure to diminish Labor and cast more doubt on her judgment…
The ...real story is that Labor exploits misogyny as a tactic for its own self-interest. The real story was Gillard’s hypocrisy. It was on brilliant display.
Gillard has chosen, belatedly, to define her prime ministership through gender....
It appears to be a major mistake - a classic case of political overreach. We have not seen prime ministers previously take to the despatch box and complain about criticism levelled against them…The applause from some quarters is understandable - Gillard’s speech was a powerful admonition of perceived sexism. But in domestic politics it can’t be divorced from the hypocrisy of its purpose or the exaggeration against its target…Labor insiders claim it bolstered her leadership standing, but ... in the end the public see a desperate government deliberately being divisive…Earlier this year we even had the PM’s office involved in fomenting racial divisions around Abbott, leading to a violent protest that backfired on Gillard. Now it is the gender war. Misogyny is an ugly slur to level at anyone…
The gender war is one of the most demeaning political tactics we have seen, and Australians are likely to see through it.
Women do not speak with one voice, even those bound by generational ties. However, there can be no doubting many were moved by Gillard’s raw emotion. She didn’t exactly land on the moon but there was a similar sense this week of people riveted to televisions and consoles to savour every word.
The further Gillard’s audience resided from Canberra, the louder they whooped and the less they were distracted by messy housekeeping matters of principles and pragmatism and Slipper’s rise and fall. Most political commentators bunkered in the capital couldn’t see past the fact this cry from the heart was defending the indefensible, even though she spoke universal truths.
Some believe (I think wrongly) it is totally appropriate to toss Abbott in with the serious misogyny nasties. For some women who have experienced severe sexism, Abbott may have become a surrogate for the men who have treated them badly…
Gillard did the wrong thing in embracing Slipper last year and again in resisting his ditching. She might have made a hero of herself to some feminists by flailing Abbott, but she betrayed feminism in trying to protect Slipper (that she condemned his messages is not enough mitigation). The clarion call that so appealed to those praising her was another confusing message for many who find her hard to read.
Gillard’s speech was not just hypocritical and cynical - defending a true myoginist by attacking someone else completely as one himself.
The true immorality of it is this: to make an innocent person the scapegoat for the sins of others. Abbott as a Christian would know in his bones how profoundly wrong, even evil, that is. Those cheering Gillard are tribalists, refusing to judge others as individuals.
The irony in this case is that these tribalists are sexists - cheering the crucifying of a man not for his own sins, but the alleged sins of all men.
Misandrists would approve.
I’ve noted before that destroythejoint is highly selective in its feminist outrage - Alan Jones, Tony Abbott - which may be explained by the fact that it is actually a front for union officials, Labor candidates and Labor supporters.
Media Watch Dog presents yet more evidence of its hypocrisy:
Media Watch Dog presents yet more evidence of its hypocrisy:
Today’s Daily Telegraph reports that the social media group Destroy the Joint – headed by UTS academic and Canberra Times columnist Jenna Price – has called on Macquarie Radio Network and Alan Jones to commit to challenge “anyone who uses sex, race, religion or sexual orientation to incite hatred or demean or vilify"… Ms Price wants Alan Jones to broadcast on 2GB a pledge which includes the following statement:I want an Australia where girls and women, where men and boys, can take part in our society without enduring discrimination, sexism and violence. And I will challenge anyone who uses sex, race, religion or sexual orientation to incite hatred or demean or vilify any of us. I will not stand by and let others do so without speaking up.
Well, that’s pretty clear then. Or is it? Er, not really.On the Q&A program on April 2011, the Northern Territory indigenous activist Bess Price broadly supported the Commonwealth’s intervention in the Northern Territory which is aimed at protecting Aboriginal women and children from abuse. This led to a tweet from inner-city indigenous lawyer and UTS academic Larissa Behrendt ...:I watched the show where a guy had sex with a horse and I’m sure it was less offensive than Bess Price....Writing in the Canberra Times on 19 April 2011, Jenna Price commented:...Now, I’m getting sick of the hysteria that Twitter generates. People have always been indiscreet and Twitter is just making our offhand comments much more accessible to the universe…. The tweet means that Behrendt finds Price’s politics offensive. Why is that a sacking offence? Behrendt may well be seriously offended by Price’s position on the intervention. Plenty of people use fascist analogies when trying to show how exactly how angry they are. Are we less offended by that?
So there you have it. Ms Price demands that Alan Jones condemn anyone who uses sex to demean or vilify someone else. That’s bad – despite the fact that Alan Jones has never been accused of sexual vilification or discrimination. However, the very same Ms Price publicly supported Larissa Behrendt using sex to demean and vilify Bess Price just last year…
And read much, much more at the link - yet more evidence of ABC group-think, but, alas, of Sky News holding ABC-type “debates” as well as it slides to the Left of even the ABC.
I’ve mentioned a couple of times how surprisingly partisan - and stridently so - new Speaker Anna Burke is in interviews. The Opposition is right to complain, and perhaps should worry that Burke does not merely sound partisan:
THE federal opposition has complained to the new Speaker, Anna Burke, that she has displayed bias after she sided with Julia Gillard’s comments about sexism and misogyny.
The manager of opposition business, Christopher Pyne, told the Herald yesterday that ‘’the Speaker must not only be impartial but be seen to be impartial’’.‘’I have conveyed that view to her on behalf of the opposition today. The role of Speaker does not allow a member to give overtly political interviews,” he said…Ms Burke raised the opposition’s ire yesterday morning when she told ABC radio that Julia Gillard’s speech to Parliament in which she excoriated Tony Abbott as sexist and misogynist was ‘’spot on’’…Mr Pyne rang Ms Burke and left a message expressing his concerns.She later rang him back and apologised, saying her comments were misconstrued.
Interestingly, Burke was much, much more circumspect in the later video interview she did on the link above, saying she actually didn’t agree with parts of Gillard’s speech and wouldn’t call Abbott a misogynist. (Why no headlines: Burke contradicts Gillard: Abbott no misogynist?)
Moreover, Burke said she’s been treated with respect by Abbott and has had no problem with him:
Ms Burke, who acted as Speaker from April, when Mr Slipper first stood aside, said Mr Abbott had always shown her respect ‘’and I’m not getting into that debate’’.
This contradicts the smear spread by Tanya Plibersek, Minister for the Status of Women:
He’s constantly offering unsolicited advice to the Deputy Speaker [then Anna Burke]. He’s been constantly sledging the Prime Minister across the table.
I think he does find it very difficult that he’s dealing with two women in positions of authority.
Tony Abbott in a letter written 25 years ago to National Civic Council leader Bob Santamaria considers his career:
Abbott confessed he was sick of the NCC criticising unwelcome social and political trends from the sidelines. He wanted to change society by working from within. This meant sharing the fears and concerns of the “common herd”. It was crucial to “make the compromises that life requires, be wrong, get blood on one’s hands - but at least be in it”.
For “vigorous, self-starting people” such as himself, the real issue was to secure a direct parliamentary presence…But which of the major parties was the more suitable?Labor’s previous 30 years of hostility to Santamaria weighed against it but Abbott wrote, “our roots and the origins of our political culture are there”. But if the ALP was not “dominated” by Santamaria-style ideas, it would succumb to “the grip of the Left or of soulless pragmatists”. This was intolerable.However, the Liberal Party was just as problematic. It was “without soul, direction or inspiring leadership”, while its members were divided between “surviving trendies and the more or less simple-minded advocates of the free market”.The Liberal Party’s mixture of “hand-wringing indecision or inappropriate economic Ramboism and perhaps their lack of political professionalism” struck Abbott as a fatal combination.
The choice on offer was bleak. “To join either existing party involves holding one’s nose,” he wrote.
It is interesting that Abbott revived the Liberals fortunes when he took over by standing against hand-wringing indecision and surviving trendies - most dramatically by opposing a carbon tax even many of its advocates secretly know is just gesture politics.
The Nobel Peace Prize committee proves yet again it’s not just comprised of the Big State Left, but of people with a tin ear:
SOME Europeans swelled with pride as the European Union won the Nobel Peace Prize, others howled with laughter.
The Norwegian prize committee said the EU was being honoured for six decades of contributions “to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe."…To many in that 27-nation bloc, the EU is an unwieldy and unloved agglomeration overseen by a top-heavy bureaucracy devoted to creating arcane regulations about everything from cheese to fishing quotas. Set up with noble goals the EU to critics now appears impotent amid a debt crisis that has widened north-south divisions, threatened the euro currency and plunged several members, from Greece to Ireland to Spain, into economic turmoil…
“First Al Gore, then Obama, now this. Parody is redundant,” tweeted Daniel Hannan, a euroskeptic European lawmaker - yes, such things exist - from Britain’s Conservative Party. President Barack Obama won the peace prize in 2009, less than a year after he was elected, while Gore, a former US vice president, was the 2007 recipient for his campaign to fight climate change.
Once again, it seems the Nobel Peace Prize has been hijacked by a personal political agenda - a common story of institutional capture by the Left:
Thorbjoern Jagland, the head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee which on Friday awarded its Peace Prize to the EU, is a fervent supporter of the bloc who stands out in a Norway stubbornly opposed to joining the group.
A former leader of Norway’s ruling Labour Party who has served as prime minister, foreign minister and speaker of parliament, Jagland has spent much of his 61 years trying to win over his compatriots to the European cause…The silver-haired Jagland has since 2009 headed and seemingly dominated the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which is made up of five members appointed by parliament, but which claims total independence in its decision making…
The first prize awarded on his watch, in 2009, went to US President Barack Obama only months after he moved into the White House—a choice that was widely criticised and seemed to puzzle the laureate himself.
Jagland’s five-person committee is dominated by the Left, thanks to Berit Reiss-Andersen, another former Labour politician and president of the Norwegian Bar Association. and Gunnar Stålsett, former Bishop of Oslo and leader of the Center Party, which joined the “red/green” coalition ruling Norway, declaring a government which contained the political Right to be the “totally detrimental to the political aims of the Centre Party”..
JILL Meagher's accused murderer was tipped off by a public official that he was under investigation as police closed in.
Adrian Ernest Bayley, 41, was told he was a suspect in a serious crime in the hours before he was arrested and while under surveillance.
Police will allege Ms Meagher was raped and strangled in a Brunswick laneway soon after she was filmed on CCTV.
The CCTV footage shows Ms Meagher walking along Sydney Rd at 1.43am on September 22.
Prosecutors will also allege her killer then left the scene and returned later to dispose of her body in Gisborne South.
As part of routine procedure, Mr Bayley's DNA is being cross-referenced with samples taken from numerous sexual assault victims across the state.
Police considered a review into whether the tip-off by the public official, which had the potential to obstruct the investigation, amounted to a serious breach. But after inquiries they decided not to take the matter further.
The Herald Sun believes a telephone intercept caught the official telling Mr Bayley there was "a serious investigation" being conducted into his activities.
The homicide squad was angry its target was told that he was under suspicion.
It is not known how the public officer, who has access to sensitive information, became aware that Mr Bayley was a suspect.
A police source told the Herald Sun consideration had initially been given into investigating the leak to establish whether there had been any attempt to pervert the course of justice.
At the time of the alleged phone call from the public official, the case of Ms Meagher was still a missing persons case, though there were grave fears held for the Irish national, who had vanished after a night out with ABC colleagues.
A spokesman for the State Government said it would not comment on any police operation.
Revelations of the latest details follow a hearing in Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Thursday during which a magistrate heard legal arguments about publications in all forms of media relating to Mr Bayley.
Deputy Chief Magistrate Felicity Broughton banned the publication of any damaging material about Mr Bayley.
Social media sites have been awash with potentially prejudicial material about Mr Bayley.
This led to Ms Broughton's order to remove damaging material from the internet.
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay has criticised social media, in particular Facebook, for hosting web pages about Mr Bayley that were inciting hatred and undermining the legal system.
Mr Lay described some of those pages as "offensive garbage".
The killing of Ms Meagher has generated widespread international media coverage.
Her death prompted 30,000 people to march along Sydney Rd on September 30.
A funeral was held for her at Fawkner Memorial Park on October 5.
Mr Bayley is being held on remand in a maximum-security protection unit.
He is next due to appear in court in January.
CANADIANS are shocked, angered and saddened after learning the fate of a 15-year-old schoolgirl who has been found dead, five weeks after she uploaded a video to YouTube describing years of bullying that drove her to drugs and alcohol.
Coroner Barb McLintock said on Thursday night the preliminary indications suggest the British Columbia girl, Amanda Todd, killed herself.
In the nine-minute video posted on September 7, the 10th-grader and cheerleader didn't speak but told her story in haunting detail in a series of handwritten notes that she held up to the camera.
She said she was lured by a stranger to expose her breasts on a webcam and the picture ended up on a Facebook page made by the stranger, to which her friends were added.
She wrote of being plunged into anxiety, depression, drugs and alcohol. She said she changed schools but an encounter with another girl's boyfriend started the bullying again, which this time escalated into a physical attack in which she said she was beaten.
When she got home, she wrote, she drank bleach.
"It killed me inside and I thought I actually was going to die."
She was rushed to a hospital to flush out the bleach. More anxiety, cutting and overdosing followed, her struggles with anxiety and cutting herself got worse, and despite counselling and antidepressants, she was rushed to hospital again after an overdose.
The last cards said simply: "I have nobody. I need someone. My name is Amanda Todd."
Beneath the video, Todd posted a note saying she produced it not for attention, but "to be an inspiration and to show that I can be strong.
"Everyone's future will be bright one day, you just gotta pull through. I'm still here, aren't I?"
The coroner said Amanda died in her home on Wednesday.
The girl's death was headline news nationally on Friday, with (hash)RIPAmanda trending across Twitter and the Amanda Michelle Todd memorial Facebook page garnering more than 30,000 "likes".
Cyber-bullying experts and criminologists suggested laws be strengthened to allow police to trace cyber bullies through the internet.
British Columbia Premier Christy Clark posted a video on YouTube deploring the tragedy. Bullying "isn't a rite of passage", she said. "Bullying has to stop."
The British Columbia gym where Amanda was a cheerleader posted a statement on its Facebook page.
"I ask that we all watch her video and share her story so that her loss is not in vain," the statement read. "Allow this to be her legacy. Allow us to all look around and find the next Amanda before another precious spunky teenager is lost."
Shock, sadness and recriminations poured out on a Facebook page devoted to her, with one signatory accusing others of having participated in the bullying.
* Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.
Hajnal Ban (also known as Hajnal Black) is an Australian author, right wing politician and convicted of charges that prevent her being elected to public office for four years.She was elected 15 March 2008 a councillor for Logan City but was disqualified from 27 March 2012. Previously she was a councillor for the (now defunct) Beaudesert ShireCouncil from 27 March 2004. She was an unsuccessful National Party candidate for the federal seat of Forde, south of Brisbane, at the 2007 federal election. She won Liberal National Party selection for the newly-created federal seat of Wright in November 2009 but subsequently lost endorsement following allegations that she mismanaged the funds of a 65-year-old man. She had meantime openly acknowledged that she was backed by the Australian TEA Party (and Australian Defence League, ADL, group) with David Goodridge
In 2002 she underwent surgery to increase the length of each leg by 8 cm. She published her experiences in the book God Made Me Small, Surgery Made Me Tall under thepseudonym Sara Vornamen. She also released a book called Her Secret.l Ba(also known as Hajnal Black) is an Australian author, right wing politician and convicted of charges that prevent her being elected to public office for four years.She was elected 15 March 2008 a councillor for Logan City but was disqualified from 27 March 2012. Previously she was a councillor for the (now defunct) Beaudesert ShireCouncil from 27 March 2004. She was an unsuccessful National Party candidate for the federal seat of Forde, south of Brisbane, at the 2007 federal election. She won Liberal National Party selection for the newly-created federal seat of Wright in November 2009 but subsequently lost endorsement following allegations that she mismanaged the funds of a 65-year-old man. She had meantime openly acknowledged that she was backed by the Australian TEA Party (and Australian Defence League, ADL, group) with David Goodridge
In 2002 she underwent surgery to increase the length of each leg by 8 cm. She published her experiences in the book God Made Me Small, Surgery Made Me Tall under thepseudonym Sara Vornamen. She also released a book called Her Secret.
Pakistani police arrest suspects over shooting of fourteen year old education activist Malala Yousufzai
PAKISTANI police have arrested a number of suspects in the case of a 14-year-old girl shot and wounded by the Taliban for promoting education for girls and criticising the fundamentalist Islamic movement, officials say.
The shooting of Malala Yousufzai along with two classmates while they were on their way home from school on Tuesday horrified people in Pakistan and internationally.The shooting has been followed by an outpouring of support for a girl who earned the enmity of the Taliban for publicising their acts and speaking about the importance of education for girls.
The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the shooting, saying the girl was promoting "Western thinking".
Providing more details, a Taliban spokesman said the top leadership of the Taliban's Swat Valley chapter decided two months ago to kill Yousufzai in a carefully planned attack after her family ignored repeated warnings.
Police have been questioning people in the town of Mingora, where the shooting took place.
Mingora police chief Afzal Khan Afridi said arrests had been made, but he declined to give any details about the number of people detained or what role they're suspected in having in the shooting.
He said he did not want to imperil the ongoing investigation.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik told reporters on Friday the two gunmen who staged the attack were not among those arrested, but he said investigators had identified the masterminds and efforts were under way to capture all those involved.
The Taliban spokesman, Sirajuddin Ahmad, said her family had been warned three times - the most recent warning coming last week - before the decision was made to execute her.
Ahmad said the local Taliban leader, Maulana Fazlullah, and his deputies selected three attackers, including two trained sharpshooters, who carefully studied the girl's route home from school.
Even before the Taliban took over the Swat Valley, Fazlullah's radio broadcasts spread fear among residents in the area.
The group first started to exert its influence in 2007 and quickly extended its reach to much of the valley by the next year. They set about imposing their will on residents by forcing men to grow beards, preventing women from going to the market and blowing up many schools - the majority for girls.
Malala wrote about these practices in a journal for the BBC under a pseudonym when she was just 11. After the Taliban were pushed out of the valley in 2009 by the Pakistani military, she became even more outspoken in advocating for girls' education.
She appeared frequently in the media and was given one of the country's highest honours for civilians for her bravery.
Fazlullah, along with much of the Swat Taliban's top leadership, escaped the offensive and is believed to be operating from a base in eastern Afghanistan and sending fighters back across the border to attack northwest Pakistan.
Pakistanis across the country held services to pray for her recovery on Friday. Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf visited the hospital in Rawalpindi where she's being treated to pay his respects and check on her condition.
The school she attended in the town of Mingora in the Swat Valley also reopened. The atmosphere was grim as children and teachers tried to come to terms with what happened to their star pupil who was shot in a bus roughly 300 metres from the school.
Police were deployed around the school, but many students still stayed away.
"We have decided to open the school after two days to overcome the fear among our students that gripped them due to the attack," said one of the teachers, Zafar Ali Khan.
The school is owned and operated by the teenage activist's father, who takes great pride in his daughter's accomplishments and is a champion of education for girls.
The girl was initially airlifted from Mingora to a military hospital in the frontier city of Peshawar, where doctors removed a bullet from her neck. On Thursday, she was transferred to a hospital in Rawalpindi, where the Pakistani army is headquartered near the capital, Islamabad.
Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa said she is being kept on a ventilator and is in stable condition. Bajwa said the bullet entered her head and went into her neck toward her spine, but it was too soon to say whether she had any significant head injury.
"Her blood pressure is normal. Heartbeat is normal, and thanks to God, her condition is satisfactory," Bajwa said.
A panel at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism comparing the Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party movements was stacked with liberal journalists who offered one-sided conclusions, according to one alumnus who attended the event.
Panelists at the event, which was held on Oct. 1 in the prestigious school’s Pulitzer Hall, made “little attempt to hide their sympathies” to the Occupy movement, author Harry Stein wrote in City Journal, a quarterly magazine published by the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank.
“Indeed, the only participant who seemed not to have come to his subject with an agenda was a New York Times Magazine contributor, Jonathan Mahler, included on the basis of a single piece he’d done on Oakland’s over-the-top-radical Occupy movement,” Stein wrote. “Little wonder that the event went exactly as expected.”
Stein told FoxNews.com he’s well aware of the “liberal, left-leaning” slant at the iconic journalism school, but said he was surprised that the panelists presented such “uniformity of opinion” given the controversial topics.
“I live in the real world,” Stein said Thursday. “I know about the orientation of the Columbia J-school.”
Todd Gitlin, a journalism professor and chair of Columbia's Ph.D. program, moderated the panel, which also included a writer for the Boston Phoenix, a reporter for NBCNews.com, a Ph.D. candidate from Harvard’s School of Government and a New York Times reporter.
Gitlin, who also wrote “Occupy Nation: The Roots, the Spirit, and the Promise of Occupy Wall Street,” declined to comment when reached Thursday by FoxNews.com.
“You have nothing to do with news,” Gitlin said. “And you’re wasting my time.”
Chris Faraone, a Boston Phoenix staff writer who has written "99 Nights with the 99 Percent," told FoxNews.com Gitlin assembled an “incredibly competent” panel.
“The Tea Party and Occupy are complex and amorphous topics, and the range of new and interesting information shared by those of us who spoke that evening was astounding — even for me, and I've visited Occupy camps and groups in more than 25 cities, and even covered the Tea Party quite a bit (though I was not specifically brought to discuss the latter),” Faraone wrote in an email.
Faraone said he believes he was selected for the panel because his work at the alternative newspaper is “about as far from so-called mainstream reporting” as possible.
“While conservative imbeciles online and on the radio were inventing story lines about Occupiers — that they're ALL sporting iPhones and designer jeans, that every one of them is really rich and suburban — I was traveling across the country, meeting people, and actually listening to their stories,” Faraone’s email continued. “I covered a wide range of topics — from the good and hopeful to the extremely bad and ugly. As a result, I exchanged as many angry letters with Occupiers as I did with right-wing trolls.”
Faraone acknowledged Stein's right to criticize the panel, but said he doubted Stein could have found any other journalists “who did a fraction of the deep reporting” on either movement than any of the other panelists.
“My guess is that such a person doesn’t exist,” Faraone wrote.
Stein, meanwhile, recalled an email he sent to Gitlin prior to the panel suggesting that he include conservative historian Victor Davis Hanson or economist Thomas Sowell.
Miranda Leitsinger, a reporter at NBCNews.com who participated in the panel, declined to comment through a spokeswoman. Attempts to reach the other panelists, including Harvard’s Vanessa Williamson and Michael Greenberg of the New York Review of Books, were not successful.
Kate Zernike, a national correspondent for the New York Times and author of "Boiling Mad: Inside Tea Party America," denied being subjective about either group and suggested Stein was practicing "guilt by association." Zernike told FoxNews.com on Friday she tried to be fair to both movements and that she has always expressed respect for the Tea Party's methods.
"In fact, I think people would come away inspired by the Tea Partiers, because as I clearly said, they are dedicated and assiduous in their political activism, they truly mastered the art of door to door canvassing, following up by email and notes, in short, good old fashioned political grassroots activism,” Zernike wrote in an email. “I have said this over and over in every talk I have given; whether you agree with them or not, you have to respect their organizing skills."
LOS ANGELES – "Special Forces," starring Diane Kruger and Djimon Hounsou, centers on a war correspondent Elsa Cassanova (Kruger) being taken hostage by the Taliban in Afghanistan. After learning she faces execution, a Special Forces unit is dispatched to bring her home.
French filmmaker Stéphane Rybojad told FOX411's Pop Tarts column he was going for an accurate depiction of a war zone while capturing the essence of the comradery among the Special Forces soldiers.
“Through war, what stands out, and it may be a cliché but it is true – is love amongst men, a sense of brotherhood beyond skin color, nationality, religion or gender,” Rybojad said. “Courage and a sense of sacrifice are always good to show in cinema, because these men and women exist in real life. This is a story of men who don’t do politics, just their job.”
Having directed his first documentary centered on the command and structure of the Special Forces in 2005, Rybojad sought to incorporate that precise detail into “Special Forces,” and even surprised himself with a change of heart along the way.
“When I was young, I wasn’t exactly a military enthusiast – on the contrary. But then I discovered an amazing universe, little known and misunderstood: interesting people who certainly like action but are men with real values, who operate in a universe which is not based on individualism but on the group,” he continued. “The main job of Special Forces isn’t of course going to rescue hostages or prisoners, but they have the best experience, the best knowledge, the best preparation to do it. They have both the skills and the means.”
Drawing inspiration from some of the soldiers he had met, Rybojad sat down to write the script three years ago with Hounsou in mind to play the lead. Before flying them to the film set in Tajikistan, a small country bordering Afghanistan, the director sent his actors off to learn some serious skills.
“They followed a week-long commando course for Marines at Lorient in Brittany… The actors felt as if they were arriving on another planet,” he said. “But soon they were all getting along. Right away they got into the spirit of the thing; they understood all the mechanisms of solidarity and teamwork. They were curious and attentive and soaked it up like sponges.”
Rybojad hopes American audiences are entertained by his action film, and also develop a greater appreciation for our nation’s Armed Services in the process.
“French and American soldiers worked together in Afghanistan for 12 years. Through this film, not only will American audiences see that they have but perhaps it will show another side of the war in this land,” he added. “The relationship the American people have to their army is very different of ours with our own army. French soldiers are greeted back home with indifference. I think that the audience will leave the theater with a true eagerness for life.”
“Special Forces” will be released in select cinemas on Friday (also is available on VOD and iTunes).
This month’s debates between President Obama and Mitt Romney are focusing on the central position of the presidency in our political system.The president is the leader of his political party, his views on the issues of the day come first, even in areas where he has little power, and he is the center of the 24-hour news cycle.
But what is equally important is the role of the president set out in the Constitution. Although it might not come up in the debates, Obama has pursued a dangerous change in the powers of his office that disregards the Constitution’s careful separation of power between the branches of the federal government. The Constitution imposes on the president two clear duties – to protect the national security and to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” Obama is the first chief executive since Richard Nixon to ignore a duly-enacted law simply because he disagrees with it, in clear defiance of his constitutional duty.
Obama put his radical vision of executive power clearly on display this summer when he announced that he would refuse to deport up to a million illegal aliens, as required by the immigration laws. According to the Department of Homeland Security, they will not be deported if they came to the United States under age 16 and are currently under 30, and have not committed any major crimes. Even though Congress has failed to pass the DREAM Act, which would create such a program, Obama has commanded DHS to grant these aliens work permits for periods of up to two years.
“It makes no sense to expel talented young people who for all intents and purposes are Americans,” the president said at a Rose Garden press conference.
According to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, “these young people do not present a risk to safety or security.”
Obama’s order has pushed the executive power beyond all constitutional limits. I have long been an academic defender of a vigorous presidency. As a Justice Department lawyer in the Bush administration, I took the view that the White House could refuse to carry out an unconstitutional law that infringed on the president’s commander-in-chief authority to manage war and defend the national security. I agree that our immigration system demands fundamental reform, particularly in how it treats those brought here as infants.
But the president cannot refuse to enforce a law simply because he disagrees with it. In limited circumstances, a chief executive can refuse to follow a law that is itself unconstitutional. But Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress, not the president, the authority “to establish a uniform rule of naturalization.” Although the Constitution is silent on border control and immigration, the Supreme Court declared long ago that these authorities reside with Congress. Congress has passed an extensive Immigration and Naturalization Act, which specifies the limited cases where the executive branch can suspend the removal of illegal aliens. The act does not give the president the authority to interrupt the deportation of whole classes of illegal aliens, and certainly nothing approaching one million.
Worried about Hispanic support for his re-election, however, Obama simply decided to unilaterally enact his own legislation. But under Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution, the president has the duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” Since the days of Machiavelli, through Hobbes, Locke, and Montesquieu to the Framers, execution of the laws has formed the very core of the executive power. As Alexander Hamilton explained in Federalist 75: “The execution of the laws and the employment of the common strength, either for this purpose or for the common defense, seem to comprise all the functions of the executive magistrate.”
The only exception, other than an unconstitutional law, to the president’s duty to carry out federal laws is prosecutorial discretion. Discretion recognizes that limited time and resources prevent prosecutors from pursuing every violation of federal law. The Justice Department must choose priorities and prosecute cases that caused the most harm, have the greatest impact, and deter the most dangerous criminals. But Obama cannot deploy discretion to rewrite a federal law, especially when he is enforcing the rest of immigration law. Otherwise, President Mitt Romney will repeal ObamaCare by refusing to fine or prosecute health insurers and consumers who disobey federal regulations. He will lower tax rates simply by declining to prosecute anyone who doesn’t pay his full taxes. Allowing presidents to pick-and-choose which laws to enforce effectively gives him, and not Congress, the legislative power granted by the Constitution to the federal government.
Obama’s supporters, of course, may well argue that Obama’s immigration proclamation is no worse than President Bush’s claim that Congress cannot limit the executive’s efforts to intercept Al Qaeda communications during wartime. But there is a constitutional world of difference in refusing to enforce laws that violate the president’s own constitutional powers, and ignoring laws that a president simply dislikes. There is a world of difference between putting aside laws that interfere with an executive response to an attack on the country, as in Sept. 11, 2001, and ignoring laws to appeal to a constituency vital to re-election. The former recognizes the president’s primary duty to protect the national security. The latter, unfortunately, represents a twisting of the Constitution’s fabric for partisan ends.
John Yoo, who served in the Bush Justice Department from 2001-03, is a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley and a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. He is the author most recently of Taming Globalization: International Law, the U.S. Constitution, and the New World Order (Oxford 2012).
Part of the job of a military trainer entails an unprecedented amount of research. Research never consists of just a specific subject but it also involves historical events and the study of key leaders. I do not know of any military trainer who hasn’t come across the name of Command Sergeant Major Basil L. Plumley--one of our nation's most treasured enlisted military men.
Beyond achieving the second highest enlisted rank any service member can achieve, which is more than impressive, there is something much greater about CSM Plumley’s call of duty -- it comes from the stories that followed him long after his retirement.
Stories of CSM Plumley were easy to find, especially after 2002 when his strength of character was revealed in the movie “We Were Soldiers.” Actor Sam Elliot played the role of the infamous non-commissioned officer, Command Sergeant Major Plumley.
As a military man, records reveal incredible heroism displayed by the enlisted legend--far beyond what the movie revealed. Few realize that he was a three time recipient of the US Army’s Combat Infantry Badge—something only a couple hundred Americans were ever awarded. He earned such award through his willingness to serve America in three wars—World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.
He also earned a chest plate of awards and decorations which could be seen as he wore his Class A uniform. The Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, twenty-seven awards and decorations in all, none of which comes from a career simply sitting back in garrison. You have to venture off to war to be awarded the types of accommodations that CSM Plumley earned.
Joe Galloway, the notorious wartime correspondent, also a key leading figure in “We Were Soldiers,” has written numerous accounts reflecting CSM Plumley’s character. The excerpt below is just one of many showing how brave and demanding CSM Plumley truly was:
“The sergeant major bent at the waist and shouted over the incredible din of battle----'You can't take no pictures laying down there on the ground, Sonny.' I thought to myself he's right. I also thought fleetingly that we might all die here in this place---and if I am going to die I would just as soon take mine standing up beside a man like this. Like a fool, I got up. I followed the sergeant major over to the makeshift aid station where Doc Carrera and Sgt. Tommie Keeton were tending the wounded. Plumley hollered at them: Gentlemen, prepare to defend yourselves! As he pulled out his .45 pistol and jacked a round into the chamber.”
The Command Sergeant Major was ferocious. During the incident described by Galloway, and while the majority of the men were armed with M-16 assault rifles, Plumley pulled out an old .45 pistol. Some would call this insanity but for “Old Iron Jaws,” it was a motivational display of pure confidence.
We shouldn’t think for a second though that Vietnam was necessarily where the senior enlisted man was truly seasoned. He fought in the Battle of D-Day and that is where many believe he witnessed his first call to action, but they would be wrong.
Historical accounts show that Basil Plumley participated in military operations dating back to 1943 during the Sicily Campaign—surely a frightening experience for any eighteen or nineteen year old.
Few know whether CSM Plumley ever truly feared the enemy but what we do know is the fact that he welcomed the fight. According to Guardianofvalor.com, he operated in more than twenty different military operations. Of note, this was all fulfilled through his willingness to volunteer—he was never drafted.
CSM Plumley was America’s Soldier, the kind who watched the world around him turn into chaos. He was the kind who heard the call for battle and laced his boots tightly to trek into danger. Whether he agreed or not with policy mattered little, his men were going to be sent off into harm’s way and he simply could never leave them behind by staying in the rear.
It’s difficult to teach anyone such ideology of love, passion, and courage. It’s something you cannot teach in a classroom. It’s all about doing—and by doing, others observe. It is the student’s observation to lead from the front that serves as the greatest of lessons--and leading in the front is exactly what CSM Plumley did time and again.
No, I never had the honor or the privilege to observe CSM Plumley in action. In fact, I never personally knew the man. But reading so much about him, I feel like I have known him for a very long time. His heroism, patriotism, and love for what he did has become a part of me. I believe it has become a part of many—in fact, I know it is a part of many.
I have been honored to observe the heroic actions of many of today’s warriors. America is filled with warriors willing to take up arms and rally to the battle cry. They come in multiple forms and from multiple walks of life. Some serve in our military, others our intelligence community, many in the civilian government, and equally, many are private contractors.
For every American warrior still voluntarily willing to sacrifice everything for this great nation, there is a piece of Command Sergeant Major Basil Plumley in us. We do our best to motivate the troops, we bend over backward to pick up a fallen brother, and we cherish the fruits of this great nation. I believe that history tells us that is exactly what CSM Plumley wanted us to become--fearless leaders.
Kerry Patton has served in the U.S. Defense and Justice departments, and as a contractor within the Homeland Security and State departments. He has worked in South America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe, focusing on intelligence and security interviewing current and former terrorists, including members of the Taliban. He is the author of “Sociocultural Intelligence: The New Discipline of Intelligence Studies.”