Happy birthday and many happy returns Andrew Cheng,Tony Le, Barney Day and Nathan Nguyen. Born on the same day, across the years. Remember, birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
November 15 is the 319th day of the year (320th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 46 days remaining until the end of the year.
- 1532 – Commanded by Francisco Pizarro, Spanish conquistadors under Hernando de Soto meet Inca Empire leader Atahualpafor the first time outside Cajamarca, arranging a meeting on the city plaza the following day
- 1533 – Francisco Pizarro arrives in Cuzco, the capital of the Inca Empire.
- 1688 – The Glorious Revolution begins: William of Orange lands at Brixham.
- 1777 – American Revolutionary War: After 16 months of debate the Continental Congress approves the Articles of Confederation.
- 1791 – The first U.S Catholic college, Georgetown University, opens its doors.
- 1859 – The first modern revival of the Olympic Games takes place in Athens, Greece.
- 1864 – American Civil War: Union General William Tecumseh Sherman burns Atlanta, Georgia and starts Sherman's March to the Sea.
- 1889 – Brazil is declared a republic by Marshal Deodoro da Fonseca and Emperor Pedro II is deposed in a military coup.
- 1920 – First assembly of the League of Nations is held in Geneva, Switzerland.
- 1923 – The German Rentenmark is introduced in Germany to counter Inflation in the Weimar Republic.
- 1939 – In Washington, D.C., US President Franklin D. Roosevelt lays the cornerstone of the Jefferson Memorial.
- 1942 – World War II: The Battle of Guadalcanal ends in a decisive Allied victory.
- 1943 – Holocaust: German SS leader Heinrich Himmler orders that Gypsies are to be put "on the same level as Jews and placed in concentration camps". (seePorajmos)
- 1945 – Venezuela joins the United Nations.
- 1949 – Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte are executed for assassinating Mahatma Gandhi.
- 1951 – Greek resistance leader Nikos Beloyannis, along with 11 resistance members, is sentenced to death by the court-martial.
- 1959 – Four members of the Herbert Clutter Family are murdered at their farm outside Holcomb, Kansas.
- 1966 – Project Gemini: Gemini 12 completes the program's final mission, when it splashes down safely in the Atlantic Ocean.
- 1969 – Cold War: The Soviet submarine K-19 collides with the American submarine USS Gato in the Barents Sea.
- 1969 – Vietnam War: In Washington, D.C., 250,000-500,000 protesters staged a peaceful demonstration against the war, including a symbolic "March Against Death".
- 1969 – In Columbus, Ohio, Dave Thomas opens the first Wendy's restaurant.
- 1971 – Intel releases world's first commercial single-chip microprocessor, the 4004.
- 1979 – A package from the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski begins smoking in the cargo hold of a flight from Chicago, Illinois to Washington, D.C., forcing the plane to make an emergency landing.
- 1983 – Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is founded. Recognized only by Turkey.
- 1985 – A research assistant is injured when a package from the Unabomber addressed to a University of Michigan professor explodes.
- 1985 – The Anglo-Irish Agreement is signed at Hillsborough Castle by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Irish Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald.
- 1990 – Space Shuttle program: Space Shuttle Atlantis launches with flight STS-38.
- 2003 – The first day of the 2003 Istanbul bombings, in which two car bombs, targeting two synagogues, explode, killing 25 people and wounding about 300. Additional bombings follow on November 20.
- 459 – B'utz Aj Sak Chiik, king of Palenque
- 1316 – John I of France (d. 1316)
- 1397 – Pope Nicholas V (d. 1455)
- 1498 – Eleanor of Austria, Queen of Portugal and France (d. 1558)
- 1511 – Johannes Secundus, Dutch poet (d. 1536)
- 1556 – Jacques-Davy Duperron, French cardinal (d. 1618)
- 1559 – Archduke Albert of Austria, Governor of the Low Countries (d. 1621)
- 1607 – Madeleine de Scudéry, French writer (d. 1701)
- 1660 – Hermann von der Hardt, German historian (d. 1746)
- 1661 – Christoph von Graffenried, Swiss settler in Americas (d. 1743)
- 1688 – Louis Bertrand Castel, French mathematician (d. 1757)
- 1692 – Eusebius Amort, German Catholic theologian (d. 1775)
- 1708 – William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1778)
- 1738 – William Herschel, German-born astronomer (d. 1822)
- 1741 – Johann Kaspar Lavater, German philosopher (d. 1801)
- 1746 – Joseph Quesnel, French Canadian composer and playwright (d. 1809)
- 1757 – Heinrich Christian Friedrich Schumacher, Danish surgeon (d. 1830)
- 1784 – Jerome Bonaparte, King of Westphalia (d. 1860)
- 1791 – Friedrich Ernst Scheller, German jurist and politician (d. 1869)
- 1793 – Michel Chasles, French mathematician (d. 1880)
- 1852 – Tewfik Pasha, Khedive of Egypt (d. 1892)
- 1859 – Christopher Hornsrud, Prime Minister of Norway (d. 1960)
- 1862 – Gerhart Hauptmann, German dramatist, Nobel laureate (d. 1946)
- 1868 – Emil Racovita, Romanian biologist, zoologist, speleologist and explorer of Antarctica (d. 1947)
- 1874 – Dimitrios Golemis, Greek athlete (d. 1941)
- 1874 – August Krogh, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine laureate (d. 1949)
- 1879 – Lewis Stone, American actor (d. 1953)
- 1881 – Franklin Pierce Adams, American newspaper columnist (d. 1960)
- 1882 – Felix Frankfurter, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (d. 1965)
- 1886 – René Guénon, French-Egyptian author (d. 1951)
- 1887 – Marianne Moore, American poet (d. 1972)
- 1887 – Georgia O'Keeffe, American painter (d. 1986)
- 1888 – Artie Matthews, songwriter, pianist, & ragtime composer (d. 1958)
- 1890 – Richmal Crompton, British author (d. 1969)
- 1891 – Averell Harriman, American businessman (d. 1986)
- 1891 – Erwin Rommel, German field marshal, "The Desert Fox" (d. 1944)
- 1895 – Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna of Russia (d. 1918)
- 1895 – Antoni Słonimski, Polish writer (d. 1976)
- 1897 – Aneurin Bevan, British politician (d. 1960)
- 1897 – Sacheverell Sitwell, English writer (d. 1988)
- 1899 – Avdy Andresson, Estonian statesman (d. 1990)
- 1903 – Stewie Dempster, New Zealand cricketer (d. 1974)
- 1905 – Mantovani, Italian-born composer (d. 1980)
- 1906 – Curtis LeMay, U.S. Air Force general (d. 1990)
- 1907 – Claus von Stauffenberg, German, leader of failed plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler (d. 1944)
- 1913 – Guy Green, English film director (d. 2005)
- 1913 – Arthur Haulot, Belgian journalist (d. 2005)
- 1919 – Joseph Wapner, American judge
- 1920 – Vasilis Diamantopoulos, Greek actor (d. 1999)
- 1922 – Francis Brunn, German juggler (d. 2004)
- 1922 – David Sidney Feingold, American biochemist
- 1925 – Howard Baker, American political advisor
- 1925 – Yuli Daniel, Russian writer (d. 1988)
- 1927 – Gregor Mackenzie, British politician (d. 1992)
- 1928 – C. W. McCall, American singer
- 1928 – John Orchard, British actor (d. 1995)
- 1928 – Seldon Powell, American soul jazz, swing and R&B tenor saxophonist and flautist (d. 1997)
- 1929 – Ed Asner, American actor
- 1929 – Joe Hinton, American soul singer (d. 1968)
- 1930 – J. G. Ballard, British author (d. 2009)
- 1931 – Mwai Kibaki, President of Kenya
- 1931 – Pascal Lissouba, President of the Republic of the Congo
- 1932 – Petula Clark, English singer
- 1932 – Clyde McPhatter, American singer (d. 1972)
- 1932 – Alvin Plantinga, American philosopher
- 1933 – Theodore Roszak, American scholar and author (d. 2011)
- 1934 – Joanna Barnes, American actress
- 1934 – Irén Pavlics, Slovene authoress in Hungary
- 1936 – H. B. Bailey, American racecar driver (d. 2003)
- 1936 – Wolf Biermann, German writer and singer-songwriter
- 1936 – Tara Singh Hayer, Canadian journalist (d. 1998)
- 1937 – Little Willie John, American singer (d. 1968)
- 1937 – Yaphet Kotto, American actor
- 1939 – W. C. Clark, blues musician known for his influence on the Austin, Texas blues scene
- 1940 – Roberto Cavalli, Italian fashion designer
- 1940 – Ulf Pilgaard, Danish actor
- 1940 – Sam Waterston, American actor
- 1941 – Rick Kemp, English bass player, songwriter, vocalist and record producer
- 1941 – Daniel Pinkwater, American children's author
- 1942 – Daniel Barenboim, Argentine-born conductor and pianist
- 1945 – Roger Donaldson, Australian producer/director
- 1945 – Bob Gunton, American actor
- 1945 – Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Swedish singer (ABBA)
- 1946 – Vasilis Goumas, Greek basketball player
- 1947 – Bill Richardson, American politician, 9th United States Secretary of Energy, and 30th Governor of New Mexico
- 1950 – Graham Parker, English singer-songwriter
- 1950 – Egon Vaupel, German politician
- 1951 – Beverly D'Angelo, American actress
- 1952 – Zoltán Buday, Hungarian actor
- 1952 – Randy Savage, American professional wrestler (d. 2011)
- 1953 – Alexander O'Neal, American R&B singer
- 1954 – Herbert Heidenreich, German footballer
- 1954 – Aleksander Kwaśniewski, former President of Poland
- 1954 – Randy Thomas, American Christian musician and record producer (Sweet Comfort Band, Allies)
- 1955 – Georgie Born, English academic, anthropologist and musician (Henry Cow)
- 1955 – Henry Corra, American documentarian
- 1956 – Michael Hampton, American guitarist (Funkadelic)
- 1956 – Brian Douglas Wells, American criminal (d. 2003)
- 1957 – Kevin Eubanks, American jazz guitarist
- 1957 – Harold Marcuse, American historian
- 1957 – Ray McKinnon, American actor and director
- 1957 – Michael Woythe, German footballer
- 1958 – Lewis Fitz-Gerald, Australian actor and director
- 1958 – Gu Kailai, Chinese lawyer and businesswoman
- 1960 – Susanne Lothar, German actress (d. 2012)
- 1962 – Mark Acres, American basketball player
- 1962 – Judy Gold, American stand-up comic and actor
- 1963 – Andrew Castle, English television presenter and former tennis player
- 1963 – Benny Elias, Australian rugby league footballer
- 1964 – Stelios Aposporis, Greek footballer
- 1964 – Mikhail Rusyayev, Russian footballer (d. 2011)
- 1965 – Nigel Bond, English snooker player
- 1965 – Stefan Pfeiffer, German swimmer
- 1966 – Rachel True, American actress
- 1967 – Greg Anthony, American basketball player
- 1967 – Pedro Borbón, Jr., Dominican baseball player
- 1967 – E-40, American rapper
- 1967 – Dom Joly, British comedian and journalist
- 1967 – François Ozon, French film director
- 1967 – Gustavo Poyet, Uruguayan footballer
- 1968 – Fausto Brizzi, Italian screenwriter and film director
- 1968 – Jennifer Charles, American singer-songwriter
- 1968 – Uwe Rösler, German footballer
- 1968 – Ol' Dirty Bastard, American rapper (d. 2004)
- 1969 – Shane Mack, American politician
- 1970 – Ilija Aračić, Croatian footballer
- 1970 – Jack Ingram, American singer and songwriter
- 1970 – Patrick Mboma, Cameroonian footballer
- 1971 – Jay Harrington, American actor
- 1971 – Martin Pieckenhagen, German footballer
- 1972 – Ngô Bảo Châu, Vietnamese mathematician, Fields medalist
- 1972 – Jonny Lee Miller, English actor
- 1973 – Jesse Merz, American actor
- 1973 – Sydney Tamiia Poitier, American actress
- 1974 – Chad Kroeger, Canadian singer (Nickelback)
- 1975 – Scott Henshall, British fashion designer
- 1975 – Yannick Tremblay, Canadian ice hockey player
- 1975 – Boris Živković, Croatian footballer
- 1976 – Brandon DiCamillo, American comedian
- 1976 – Virginie Ledoyen, French actress
- 1977 – Sean Murray, American actor
- 1977 – Peter Phillips, grandson of Queen Elizabeth II
- 1977 – Robaire Smith, American football player
- 1977 – Logan Whitehurst, American musician (d. 2006)
- 1978 – Floyd Womack, American football player
- 1979 – Brooks Bollinger, American football player
- 1979 – Josemi, Spanish footballer
- 1979 – Brett Lancaster, Australian cyclist
- 1980 – Ace Young, American singer
- 1981 – Jordan Buckley, American heavy metal guitarist (Every Time I Die)
- 1981 – Drew Hodgdon, American football player
- 1981 – Lorena Ochoa, Mexican golfer
- 1982 – D. J. Fitzpatrick, American Football League kicker
- 1982 – Joe Kowalewski, American football player
- 1982 – Benjamin Krause, German rugby player
- 1982 – Lofa Tatupu, American football player
- 1982 – Kalu Uche, Nigerian footballer
- 1983 – Dominic Carroll, Gibraltarian athlete
- 1983 – Sasha Pavlovic, Serbian basketball player
- 1983 – DJ Skee, American DJ/personality
- 1983 – Laura Smet, French actress
- 1983 – Fernando Verdasco, Spanish tennis player
- 1984 – Gemma Atkinson, English actress
- 1985 – Lily Aldridge, American fashion model
- 1985 – Casnel Bushay, Vincentian sprinter
- 1986 – Coye Francies, American football player
- 1986 – Sania Mirza, Indian tennis player
- 1986 – Jerry Roush, American singer-songwriter (Of Mice & Men, Sky Eats Airplane, Glass Cloud)
- 1987 – Isaiah Osbourne, English footballer
- 1988 – Zena Grey, American actress
- 1988 – Morgan Parra, French rugby player
- 1988 – B.o.B, American rapper and producer
- 1989 – Jonalyn Viray, Filipino singer and actress
- 1990 – Kanata Hongō, Japanese actor
- 1991 – Shailene Woodley, American actress
- 1992 – Minami Minegishi, Japanese actress and singer (AKB48)
- 655 – Penda, King of Mercia
- 1028 – Constantine VIII Byzantine Emperor (b. 960)
- 1136 – Margrave Leopold III of Austria (b. 1073)
- 1280 – Albertus Magnus, German theologian, bishop, and philosopher
- 1463 – Giovanni Antonio del Balzo Orsini, Prince of Taranto and Constable of Naples
- 1544 – King Jungjong of Joseon (b. 1506)
- 1579 – Ferenc Dávid, Hungarian religious reformer (b. 1510)
- 1628 – Roque Gonzales, Paraguayan missionary (b. 1576)
- 1630 – Johannes Kepler, German astronomer and mathematician (b. 1571)
- 1670 – John Amos Comenius, Czech writer (b. 1592)
- 1691 – Aelbert Cuyp, Dutch painter (b. 1620)
- 1706 – Tsangyang Gyatso, 6th Dalai Lama (b. 1683)
- 1712 – James Douglas-Hamilton, 4th Duke of Hamilton, Scottish peer (b. 1658)
- 1712 – Charles Mohun, 4th Baron Mohun, English politician (b. 1675)
- 1787 – Christoph Willibald Gluck, German composer (b. 1714)
- 1794 – John Witherspoon, American signer of the Declaration of Independence (b. 1723)
- 1795 – Charles-Amédée-Philippe van Loo, French painter (b. 1719)
- 1819 – Daniel Rutherford, Scottish chemist and physician (b. 1749)
- 1832 – Jean-Baptiste Say, French economist (b. 1767)
- 1853 – Queen Maria II of Portugal (b. 1819)
- 1908 – Empress Dowager Cixi, Chinese ruler (b. 1835)
- 1910 – Wilhelm Raabe, German writer (b. 1831)
- 1916 – Henryk Sienkiewicz, Polish author, Nobel laureate (b. 1846)
- 1917 – Émile Durkheim, French sociologist (b. 1858)
- 1919 – Mohammad Farid, Egyptian politician (b. 1868)
- 1919 – Alfred Werner, German chemist, Nobel laureate (b. 1866)
- 1922 – Dimitrios Gounaris, Greek politician (b. 1866)
- 1922 – Georgios Hatzianestis, Greek General (b. 1863)
- 1922 – Petros Protopapadakis, Greek politician (b. 1854)
- 1922 – Nikolaos Stratos, Greek politician (b. 1872)
- 1945 – Frank Chapman, American ornithologist (b. 1864)
- 1949 – Narayan Apte, Indian assassin of Mahatma Gandhi (b. 1911)
- 1949 – Nathuram Godse, Indian assassin of Mahatma Gandhi (b. 1910)
- 1954 – Lionel Barrymore, American actor (b. 1878)
- 1958 – Tyrone Power, American actor (b. 1914)
- 1959 – Charles Thomson Rees Wilson, Scottish physicist, Nobel laureate (b. 1869)
- 1961 – Elsie Ferguson, American actress (b. 1883)
- 1963 – Fritz Reiner, Hungarian conductor (b. 1888)
- 1965 – Dawn Powell, American poet (b. 1896)
- 1966 – Dimitrios Tofalos, Greek weightlifter (b. 1877)
- 1967 – Michael J. Adams, American test pilot (b. 1930)
- 1971 – Rudolf Abel, Soviet spy (b. 1903)
- 1976 – Jean Gabin, French actor (b. 1904)
- 1978 – Margaret Mead, American anthropologist (b. 1901)
- 1981 – Enid Markey, American stage and film actress (b. 1894)
- 1981 – Khawar Rizvi, Pakistani Poet and Scholar(b. 1938)
- 1981 – Steve Macko, American baseball player (b. 1954)
- 1982 – Martín de Álzaga, Argentine racing driver (b. 1901)
- 1982 – Vinoba Bhave, Indian human rights advocate (b. 1895)
- 1983 – Charlie Grimm, American baseball player (b. 1898)
- 1983 – John Le Mesurier, English actor (b. 1912)
- 1988 – Billo Frómeta, Dominican orchestra conductor, arranger and composer (b. 1915)
- 1988 – Ieronymos I, Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Athens (b. 1905)
- 1994 – Elizabeth George Speare, American author (b. 1908)
- 1996 – Alger Hiss, American government official and alleged spy (b. 1904)
- 1997 – Saul Chaplin, American composer and musical director (b. 1912)
- 1998 – Stokely Carmichael, American civil rights activist (b. 1941)
- 1998 – Ludvik Danek, Czech discus thrower (b. 1937)
- 2002 – Myra Hindley, English murderess (b. 1942)
- 2003 – Ray Lewis, Canadian athlete (b. 1910)
- 2003 – Dorothy Loudon, American actress (b. 1933)
- 2003 – Laurence Tisch, American businessman (b. 1923)
- 2003 – Speedy West, American musician (b. 1924)
- 2004 – Elmer L. Andersen, American politician (b. 1909)
- 2004 – John Morgan, Canadian comedian (b. 1930)
- 2005 – Adrian Rogers, American pastor and author (b. 1931)
- 2005 – Arto Salminen, Finnish writer (b. 1959)
- 2006 – Ana Carolina Reston, Brazilian model (b. 1985)
- 2006 – David K. Wyatt, American historian (b. 1937)
- 2007 – Joe Nuxhall, American baseball player and sportscaster (b. 1928)
- 2009 – Patriarch Pavle of Serbia, Serbian religious figure (b. 1914)
- 2010 – Larry Evans, American chess grandmaster and journalist (b. 1932)
- 2010 – Ed Kirkpatrick, American baseball player (b. 1944)
- 2010 – William Edwin Self, American actor and television producer (b. 1921)
Holidays and observances
- Christian Feast Day:
- Day of the German-speaking Community of Belgium (German-speaking Community of Belgium)
- Independence Day, unilaterally declared in 1988. (Palestine)
- King's Feast (Belgium)
- Republic Proclamation Day (Brazil)
- Shichi-Go-San (Japan)
- The beginning of Winter Lent (Eastern Orthodox)
Anti-riot police Wednesday clashed with anti-austerity protesters who threw stones at police in Madrid and set a police van ablaze in Barcelona.After engaging in sporadic skirmishes through the day, battles broke out again at the tail end of rallies that drew hundreds of thousands of people in Madrid and cities across Spain.
Greece’s Parliament has passed a crucial austerity bill in a vote so close that it left the coalition government reeling from dissent.The bill, which will further slash pensions and salaries, passed 153-128 in the 300-member Parliament. It came hours after rioters rampaged outside Parliament during an 80,000-strong anti-austerity demonstration, clashing with police who responded with tear gas, stun grenades and water cannons…
The rally eventually turned violent outside Parliament, with hundreds of rioters hurling gasoline bombs and chunks of marble at police. Clouds of tear gas rose from central Syntagma Square as the police fought back.
Tens of thousands of anti-austerity protesters have taken to the streets of Italy as part of a general strike gripping the EU. Injuries, arrests, and violent clashes between protesters and riot police have marred rallies throughout the country.
Rome descended into chaos as thousands of anti-austerity demonstrators violently confronted riot police throughout the city. At least 50 people have been arrested as the city’s central thoroughfares have been choked off, bringing the central Rome to a standstill.
In Lisbon, thousands of demonstrators marched to the parliament building, where deputies were debating the budget. Riot police charged after at least five people were injured by stones and bottles thrown by protesters and several arrests were made.
Marches and protests were held in another 38 cities and towns across the country.
Australia risks losing its AAA credit rating if it is unable to get its federal budget back to surplus by 2014, according to the global director of public finance at Standard & Poor’s Financial Services.The official, Kyran Curry, has been a long-time primary credit analyst for Australia and told The Australian Financial Review that there are similarities between Australia’s relatively indebted banking system and Spain’s position before it began its rapid descent into its debt crisis.
With Steve Price from 8pm. Listen live here.
Last night: more discussion on the royal commission into sexual abuse of children. Stalked by Mark Latham. The AWU scandal. And more. Listen here.
Don’t be fooled by the official platitudes, says Greg Sheridan:
THE Obama administration is appalled at the Gillard government’s cuts to the defence budget. The genial platitudes of the AUSMIN meeting should not disguise reality. Americans have a tendency to lavish praise on allies…But privately they are extremely disappointed and concerned at the Australian action, the infinitely fatuous denials of Defence Minister Stephen Smith notwithstanding… The Americans would like to do more with Australia, but the government is too timid. The Obama administration was deeply shocked that after the marine announcement, which involves an enhanced US commitment to Australian security, the government then slashed the Australian defence budget by a staggering 10 per cent in one year.Anyone familiar with the US-Australia relationship knows the Americans are appalled by this.
Israel launched a major offensive against Palestinian militants in Gaza on Wednesday, killing the military commander of Hamas in an air strike and threatening an invasion of the enclave that the Islamist group vowed would “open the gates of hell”.The onslaught shattered hopes that a truce mediated on Tuesday by Egypt could pull the two sides back from the brink of war after five days of escalating Palestinian rocket attacks and Israeli strikes at militant targets.
But where this goes next…
How could this Government have run out of money in a mining boom?
Australia risks losing its AAA credit rating if it is unable to get its federal budget back to surplus by 2014, according to the global director of public finance at Standard & Poor’s Financial Services.The official, Kyran Curry, has been a long-time primary credit analyst for Australia and told The Australian Financial Review that there are similarities between Australia’s relatively indebted banking system and Spain’s position before it began its rapid descent into its debt crisis.“For Australia, it comes back to the government restoring its fiscal position as conditions allow and there won’t be significant pressure on the ratings unless something cataclysmic happens and the government is unable to return its balance to surplus this year or next,” Mr Curry said, according to the AFR.“If there’s a sustained delay in returning the balance to surplus, as the economy gathers momentum and as people start spending again, as the import demand picks up and current account blows out, we might not see the government’s fiscal position as being strong enough to offset weaknesses on the external side and that’s what worries us.”
Obama sent out Rice, who then deceived the public about Benghazi:
President Barack Obama revealed at his press conference this afternoon that he is responsible for sending U.N. ambassador Susan Rice to speak to the American people a few days after the September 11 Benghazi terror attack.“As I said before, she made an appearance at the request of the White House in which she gave her best understanding of the intelligence that had been provided to her,” Obama said at the press conference, defending the statements the ambassador to the U.N. made regarding the Benghazi attack.Rice has been widely criticized for giving misleading statements about Benghazi. She maintained that the killing of four Americans stemmed for a spontaneous protest that got violent.Later evidence, however, revealed that U.S. officials had real-time updates from Americans on the ground in Benghazi, and that terrorists were immediately suspected.
McCain no longer trusts Obama:
Several Republican senators Wednesday urged a congressional investigation of the Sept. 11 terror attack in Libya, separate from the administration’s.The administration has “no credibility” left to address the issue, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said while calling for a select committee to investigate.The attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi killed U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three members of his staff…McCain said there is “no credibility amongst most of us considering the administration and the numerous controversies and contradictions that have been involved in their handling of this issue.”
Everything, and I do mean everything, that [Climate Change Minister Greg] Combet and indeed prime minister Julia Gillard say on climate change is either a direct lie or a very deliberate constructive lie…The lie from Gillard was that China was closing a coal-fired power station every fortnight or so… What Gillard, of course, didn’t say is that China is opening many more and much bigger, new coal-fired power stations…Similarly Combet keeps claiming ... China is making huge increases in renewables.Yes, they are making huge increases in the production of solar panels to sell to gullible politicians and the public in developed countries.The lie to all this utter Combet crap was give by the latest IEA (International Energy Agency) projections, which showed China, already the world’s biggest emitter of CO2, ... will increase its annual CO2 emissions by something over 2.5 million tonnes… We will cut ours by around 150,000 tonnes. China is going to increase by 16 times what we cut. And India is going to pump as much extra as China.And that’s only what we cut in theory. We are going to buy two-thirds of our CO2 “cuts” from Europe, via pieces of expensive bits of paper. We are only going to cut our real emissions by around 50,000 tonnes a year.That is to say, China and India combined will add to their emissions by around 90 times what we actually cut.
Comments on Aboriginal culture for which I would have risked being sued for had I said them myself in Australia Salem:
A host of mostly Sydney-based tweeters, including indigenous writer Anita Heiss, who sued columnist Andrew Bolt for racial vilification, led a Twitter movement yesterday using the hashtag “I tried to be authentic but . . .”.Ms Heiss tweeted: “#itriedtobeauthenticbut I didn’t know you weren’t supposed to join the dots . . . Just paint them!” and “#itriedtobeauthenticbut I’ve thrown more parties than boomerangs!”.Aboriginal academic Marcia Langton hit out…“Anita Heiss and her followers are at least as off the mark as Abbott with their unwitting denigration of all things traditional in Aboriginal life.”
All this blacker-than-thou offence-taking is a menace to free speech and the old ideal of being judged not by race but character.
Not at work, then?
WHEN he’s not running her bath, fetching the newspaper or blowdrying her hair the Prime Minister’s partner, Tim Mathieson, is often flopped on the couch at The Lodge watching her in parliament.
You can either believe Labor, despite its record of blowouts, or you can believe the independent costings of one of its latest unfunded grand-sounding promises:
THE National Disability Insurance Scheme could cost a whopping $7 billion a year more than expected, meaning governments will have to seriously slash middle-class and corporate welfare to afford it, a new report says.The Productivity Commission had estimated the scheme would cost about $15 billion a year when fully operational in 2018, but a report by the Australian Government Actuary, released under Freedom of Information, said the cost would be $22 billion.Andrew Baker, from the Centre for Independent Studies, who obtained the FoI, said it would force governments to make choices and they should axe welfare such as family tax benefit part B and taxpayer assistance for the car industry.
And this is the case if everything goes to plan - and there is no cost blowout, “scope creep”, mismanagement, incompetence or inefficiency.
There is a real danger the scheme could be even bigger and more expensive than we imagine.
Political pressure is being applied to expand the scheme to those who will not be included. About 500,000 people on the disability services pension will not be eligible for the scheme. Another 600,000 people aged 65 and older with a severe or profound disability will miss out on funded supports as well because the scheme is rightly targeted at those who are of working age or younger.
Together, these groups represent more than one million voters with a vested interest in having the size and scope of the scheme blow out so it can provide services and support to them as well.
Costs are already starting to blow out. The draft eligibility criteria for the scheme have expanded to lock in funding for early intervention therapies and the scheme will provide supports for those with a “psychosocial disability”. It is not clear what impact these decisions will have on the cost of the scheme in the future.
And we still don’t know how we are going to pay for it.
I AGREE, we need a royal commission into the sexual abuse of children. The air must be cleared.
Yet this royal commission called by the Prime Minister already risks going badly off the rails and becoming not a force for good, but of cultural destruction.
Here are the three greatest dangers:
It becomes an anti-Catholic crusade
It becomes an anti-Catholic crusade
Many in the largely anti-clerical media want to use this excuse to smash a church which lectures on modesty, duty, faithfulness and other fun-killers.
On ABC TV, columnist Joe Asten put the main lines of the media attack:
The Australian says it’s time for Julia Gillard to stop screaming conspiracy and start answering questions:
This controversy was not conjured up by nut jobs, conservative politicians or journalists. It has emanated - piece by piece - from senior ALP and union sources. It involves the nation’s largest Labor law firm, oldest and largest blue-collar union, and the woman who went on to become Prime Minister. Despite constant attempts to shut down inquiries and repudiate those asking questions, the revelations have forced Ms Gillard to admit she helped to establish a secret “slush fund” for Wilson that was officially registered as a “reform association”. She did not alert her firm through the normal accountability practice of opening a file. Ms Gillard also attended an auction with Wilson of a property later found to have been paid for with the proceeds of fraud. In the Slater & Gordon interview, she said she could not rule out that slush fund money had been spent on her home renovations. And she has not explained why when she became suspicious of Wilson - ending the relationship and leaving the firm - she did not alert the AWU or the police.While we make no claim - nor is there any evidence - that Ms Gillard had knowledge of Wilson’s fraud, her responses have been inadequate.
But Gillard’s non-answers are good enough for the ABC:
Her plea for incuriosity, however, has been heard at the ABC. It is deeply worrying that a taxpayer-funded media organisation - which did not hesitate to run allegations from three decades ago about Tony Abbott’s alleged behaviour as a teenager at university - is censoring coverage and avoiding legitimate questions about Ms Gillard’s professional behaviour as a 34-year-old partner in a law firm, and her stubborn reluctance to be open about it now.
Nick Leys on the ABC:
Nick Leys on the ABC:
Despite extensive coverage on commercial radio and television, and after several days of coverage across the News Limited and Fairfax press, the ABC chose to ignore yesterday’s fresh allegations reported by The Australian concerning Julia Gillard and claims she received $5000 cash from then boyfriend and union official Bruce Wilson.With the exception of one question from Radio National Breakfast host Fran Kelly to The Age’s political editor Michelle Grattan about whether the revelations were “a problem” for Ms Gillard, the story was one the ABC did not think its listeners were entitled to hear until late in the day when the Prime Minister, who denies wrongdoing, dismissed it as “a smear”....Melbourne 3AW broadcaster Neil Mitchell discussed the issue at length and devoted his online editorial to the issue, calling on Ms Gillard to explain the $5000…[But] the ABC refused to comment on why Maurice Blackburn principal and director Liberty Sanger ignored The Australian’s front page story while discussing the daily newspapers on its News Breakfast program. Sanger is the wife of Labor senator and faction leader David Feeney and her law firm represents the union involved in the allegations, the AWU.
The wife of a Labor faction leader - and herself a Labor Party member - is exactly who the ABC would want to tell its viewers what was news and what was not. No?
The ABC is embarrassing itself and cheating taxpayers. The ABC Radio National breakfast summary this morning (before 7am) of the latest revelations was a joke. Attention ABC: no, this is not a story simply being obsessed over by The Australian - code for “Murdoch plot”. It is also being extensively covered by The Age and Australian Financial Review. Your own lack of interest seems to be driven by little more than considerations of partisan political advantage.
...there is still no satisfactory explanation about why the Prime Minister did not refer the corruption to the police as soon as she knew of it.Yes, some of the events are 20 years old.But on Monday evening, the Prime Minister announced a royal commission into sexual abuse against children inside Australian churches that will investigate incidents dating back much further.
Gillard has twice been able to use relatively minor mistakes to force retractions. She did it last year with Glenn Milne’s column in The Australian, then again on August 23 when she called a press conference and declared it would be the one and only occasion she would answer questions on the matter.
That press conference was prompted by one wrong word in a news story in The Australian written by another journalist. It wrongly reported she had set up a trust fund instead of, as she had admitted in her interview with her law partners, a slush fund.
She used that minor error to vehemently deny any wrongdoing and launch a vigorous defence. The denial formed the basis of the stories that night on the television news and in rival print organisations the next day. The substance of all the other allegations was lost.
Still, it has become the story that will not die, no matter how hard the Prime Minister tries to kill it off, and no matter how much she paints herself as a victim, first of love, then of naivety, then of gender.
Julia Gillard did not speak highly of Bill Telikostoglou, her boyfriend’s tough guy, when her Slater & Gordon partners confronted her in 1995 over the AWU slush fund:
After [boyfriend Bruce Wilson’s] scams in Victoria were exposed in August 1995, Mr Telikostoglou hurriedly quit the union and Australia, leaving a trail of bounced cheques.But it was his work on the renovation of Ms Gillard’s house in Abbotsford in Melbourne that led to her describing, in her Slater & Gordon interview, his “obvious difficulties with the truth"…Ms Gillard replied: “He’s just a big Greek bullshit artist.”Mr Telikostoglou, who says he is now semi-retired in Greece as a life insurance salesman with a bad back, ... expressed surprise and anger at his depiction as a habitual liar.“I lived with Bruce, and Julia was my best friend then,” he said.“I’m not very happy with her. She did not say nice things about me . . . I would cook for her—and she cooked for me.”In what way was I a big Greek bullshit artist to her? She should not speak of her friends like that.“I changed my bloody political party to support her. I said: ‘I like you because you are a very good friend.’ I’m a capitalist and I changed, I joined the Labor Party. She never replies to my emails. I don’t think she is a nice person now....”
Julia Gillard announces a royal commission into child sex abuse in institutions:
“This is a royal commission that would be looking across religious organisations, as well as state-based care and into the not-for-profit sector,” she said.
Maybe not. But it’s been the excuse for a great onslaught of hate in the media directed at the Catholic church - its traditions, its practices and its most effective advocate in this country.
This, for instance, is absurd:
PRIESTS and clergy who refuse to break the seal of confessional before the Royal Commission face being jailed for six months.Cardinal George Pell pledged this week confession was “inviolable” but the sweeping powers of a royal commission into the cover-up of child sexual abuse will compel priests to answer questions.Constitutional lawyer George Williams said he expected clergy to face jail rather than divulge what they have been told inside a confessional.
How many children would truly be saved from child abuse if law-makers destroyed the seal of the confessional? How much better off would anyone be if we started to jail priests for refusing to break their sacred duty not to reveal confessions?
It is a pity that Tony Abbott seems too worried about being trapped politically as Captain Catholic to defend the church:
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott also said priests should tell police when they knew a child was being sexually abused.
Here are just some excerpts from just one episode of one ABC current affairs show yesterday.
TIM PALMER: Bishop Robinson says Sydney archbishop George Pell has been an embarrassment on the sex abuse issue, and that he should be confronted by other bishops for his comments.GEOFFREY ROBINSON: He’s not a team player, he never has been. So he doesn’t work with the other Australian bishops, he does his own thing.When the office of president was vacant some years ago, and they had an election for a new president, I know for a fact that he got six votes out of 42, and that gives you a pretty fair thing.Now on this subject too, he’s not consulting with anyone else, he’s simply doing his own thing. I personally believe he’s doing it very badly indeed and I think the other Australian bishops, it’s one of the very first questions they need to face. They’ve got to confront him and determine who it is who speaks in their name and who doesn’t.TIM PALMER: You seem to be suggesting he’s an embarrassment almost to the other bishops.GEOFFREY ROBINSON: Well, the other bishops would have to speak for themselves. I have to say that on this subject, he’s a great embarrassment to me and to a lot of good Catholic people.
The royal commission on institutions and child abuse will not be able to avoid this question - particularly since Cardinal Pell insisted yesterday on the sanctity of the confessional. If a child abuser confesses and won’t go to the police, is the priest who receives the confession effectively letting the abuser offend again? And how could that be the moral thing to do?Already, federal and state politicians, including practising Catholics, are contradicting Cardinal Pell and asserting that priests are obliged to report crimes to police.
ENDA KENNY [Irish Prime Minister]: Through our government’s action to put children first, those who have been abused might take some small comfort in knowing that they belong to a democracy where humanity, power, rights, and responsibilities are enshrined and enacted always for their good - where the law, their law as citizens of this country, will always supersede canon law that has neither legitimacy nor place in the affairs of this country…NICK XENOPHON: Ireland’s commission of inquiry into child sex abuse recommended that the so-called seal of the confessional be broken in cases of child sex abuse, and that’s very significant, that in Ireland they’re now looking at law reform to abolish this mediaeval law.
ASHLEY HALL: The University of Western Sydney’s criminology lecturer, Dr Michael Salter, says the church has a number of characteristics that make it a haven for abusers.MICHAEL SALTER: A culture that’s very focussed on discipline, control and surveillance and there is a lack of accountability and oversight, then we have a situation in which children are very vulnerable to adult control…ASHLEY HALL: You’ve described the church’s structure as mediaeval - that suggests that what this royal commission needs to do is tear the structure apart and completely rework it. Is that likely to come out of this inquiry?MICHAEL SALTER: All organisations in the 21st century, particularly those that have responsibilities for vulnerable children, must aim for accountability, they must aim for transparency, and that is not facilitated at the moment by the highly centralised processes and structures that we see in the church at the moment.
Yet another warning against treating allegations as fact. Guardian columnist George Monbiot blogs on Saturday:
THE tweets I sent which hinted, as I assumed to be the case, that Lord McAlpine was the person the child abuse victim Steve Messham was talking about were so idiotic that, looking back on them today, I cannot believe that I wrote them. But I did, and they are unforgivable. I helped to stoke an atmosphere of febrile innuendo around an innocent man, and I am desperately sorry for the harm I have done him. I have set out, throughout my adult life, to try to do good; instead I have now played a part in inflicting a terrible hurt upon someone who had done none of the harm of which he was wrongly accused.
The twin Florida socialites at the centre of the David Petraeus affair gained intimate access to America’s military and political elite through their high-rolling lifestyles even as they quietly racked up millions of dollars in debts and credit card bills.Jill Kelley [above], whose complaint over threatening emails prompted the FBI inquiry that has ensnared two generals, is mired in lawsuits from a string of banks totalling $US4 million, court filings obtained by London’s The Daily Telegraph in Florida show.The 37-year-old sisters have emerged as central players in the saga gripping Washington’s national security establishment since Mrs Kelley was named as the “second woman” allegedly harassed by jealous emails from Paula Broadwell, Mr Petraeus’s biographer and mistress....Mrs Kelley was also named as the woman with whom Marine General John Allen, the top US commander in Afghanistan, exchanged more than 20,000 pages of emails, some of which were characterised as “flirtatious”, one senior US official told AP…In a further revelation this morning, the Huffington Post alleged that the Kelleys ran a “questionable charity” - the Doctor Kelley Cancer Foundation - that spent all its money not on research, as it claimed on tax forms, but on entertainment, travel and legal fees.
I suspect the charity was raising money to cure hereditary neck problems of the kind that so tragically affect the twins:
Still no evidence that AWU slush fund money was used to pay for Julia Gillard’s renovations:
THE AWU official who first brought allegations that union money had been spent on renovations to Julia Gillard’s house to the attention of corruption fighter Ian Cambridge has now cast doubt on his recollections.Mr Cambridge, the former national secretary of the AWU who is now a Fair Work commissioner, kept a detailed diary while investigating serious fraud in the union in the mid-1990s....The diary reveals [pictured] that on September 25, 1995, Mr Cambridge received a telephone call from AWU official Helmut Gries, who told him of allegations that union funds, controlled by Ms Gillard’s then boyfriend, union official Bruce Wilson, had been used for Ms Gillard’s renovations - and The Age newspaper was on to the story…However, Mr Gries, 72 and retired, has told The Australian that while he is not infallible he is sure that he did not make such disclosures at the time.He said Mr Cambridge was an honest union leader who was genuinely trying to identify the union’s corruption. But he said he could not explain the diary’s entry quoting him because while he did not believe he said it, he could not believe that Mr Cambridge would have made it up.While he recalled telling Mr Cambridge about dishonesty involving Mr Wilson and fellow union official Bill “the Greek” Telikostoglou - and confirmed that parts of the diary shown to him by The Australian were accurate - he said he would not have known anything about the renovations at Ms Gillard’s house.The Prime Minister has repeatedly and emphatically denied wrongdoing in relation to a union “slush fund” she helped set up for Mr Wilson when she was a salaried partner at law firm Slater & Gordon. The fund was later used to defraud hundreds of thousands of dollars from the AWU. Ms Gillard says she had no knowledge of the operations of the fund.There is no evidence that she received union money, or that anyone other than Ms Gillard paid for the renovations to her Abbotsford home in Melbourne’s inner-east in the mid-1990s.
It’s odd Gries says he did not say what Cambridge records him saying at length. And while I’ve heard the gossip, I’d like more information on why The Age dropped the story.
The Cambridge diary states that in September 1995 Mr Gries revealed to Mr Cambridge that a journalist at The Age newspaper was going to publish a “fairly correct” story about union-funded renovations at Ms Gillard’s house… The diary states that Mr Gries knew the proposed article was the work of Age journalist Joanne Painter.... According to the diary, Mr Gries said he had “specifically requested” Painter drop the article and she had agreed to do so. Painter declined to comment yesterday.The diary entry states that Mr Gries said, “the (spiked) article essentially involved the exposure of Wilson and the Greek (Mr Telikostoglou) using union money to pay for renovations that took place at the house of Julia Gillard”.Mr Cambridge recorded: “I clarified that the Julia Gillard we were talking about was the person who was a solicitor with Slater & Gordon, and Helmut said yes and that she had been recently trying to enter parliament and seeking preselection for a seat in parliament. I asked Helmut if he was certain that this really had occurred and he said yes, and that it was probably only a matter of time before it was all exposed ...”
Telikostoglou says there was no wrong-doing with Gillard’s renovations, which he worked on.
Caucus members publicly backed Ms Gillard, but privately some said a fuller explanation was in her interest and the party’s.“The caucus is getting nervous. They just don’t understand why she’s not answering the questions—they know they are new questions,” one MP said.“The time has come for someone to go forward and just make sure the party’s being protected.”
OAKESHOTT & WINDSOR .. Larry Pickering
... last roll of the dice
There is much gnashing of teeth in New England and the North Coast. Both men, when you scratch the surface, are Labor men but the deal they did with Gillard was against the tide of their electorates’ wishes.
They now need to consider how they want history to view them. They do have an “out”. But will they use it?
The deal Gillard hatched with three
Independents was entirely unnecessary, as was the deal with the Greens. Abbott was beguiled by the possibility of moving into the Lodge and the Independents played him off a break with a view to embarrassing him, and they did that with venomous alacrity.
It became clear that Oakeshott and Windsor had been misleading their electorates all along. They were posing as conservative Independents when they were Labor through and through. It was simply an opportune time to screw Gillard for $1.4 billion and embarrass the hated Catholic, Abbott.
Terms of the signed Agreement with Gillard have not in any way been adhered to. The Agreement was a no more than a publicity stunt to showcase Gillard’s “negotiating skills”.
Condition 2.1 (a) was the pursuit of “transparent and accountable” government and Condition 4.4 Standing Order 100 be altered to ensure answers to Questions are relevant and that an “independent” Speaker ensure the Opposition is not impeded in holding the Government to account.
These and almost all conditions of the Agreement, signed by Swan and Gillard, have either been ignored or varied out of all recognition.
Windsor said he had “opted for stable government”. Australia has been served up anything but stability. So the Independents, including Wilkie, have ample grounds for reneging. But will they?
Windsor has said the AWU/Gillard scandal is all nonsense and, “we should get on with governing”.
The truth is Oakeshott and Windsor would rather go down with the ship than align with a conservative government and that has always been the case.
Gillard has been shown to be a corrupt liar whose word can never be trusted. She has been shown to have been complicit in millions defrauded from union members. She had no compunction in knifing a sitting PM only two days prior she was declaring her loyalty to.
Such a flawed character holds no concern for Oakeshott and Windsor. They are regularly spat on as traitors by those who elected them.
But they will hang on to the bitter end not because they are true Labor men. True Labor men are sickened by Gillard.
They will hang on because of their hatred for the Catholic, Abbott.
History is bound to view them poorly.