9th April 03:17
NO, NOT THE OIL! #107 (2/2)
PM refuses to detail Hicks claim
Canberra (AAP). PM John Howard refused to further detail his
allegation that suspected Taliban fighter David Hicks had admitted
training with al-Qaeda.
In defending Hicks' continuing detention in Cuba as an unlawful
combatant, Mr Howard claimed on commercial radio in July that the Adel
man had admitted to terrorist training.
The opp'n had asked in questions on notice in parliament to whom had
Mr Hicks made his admission, when, where and how.
Mr Howard suggested answering the questions could jeopardise Hicks'
chances of a fair trial before a US military commission.
"As the release of further info may prejudice legal proceedings, the
containing the admission.
Nor would he say how the govt learned of the admission.
Hicks and fellow AUS Mamdouh Habib are being held at the US base at
Hicks has been listed for trial although he has not yet been charged.
Govt and Opp'n accused of "obstructionism"
Canberra. The Democrats have accused the Fed Govt and the Opp'n of
obstructionism and cynicism in their treatment of a bill to give
superannuation benefits to low income earners. Labor senators have
refused to support the bill unless it includes amendments for equal
superannuation treatment for homo***ual couples but the Govt says it
will not accept those changes. The Democrats' leader Andrew Bartlett
says it is difficult for Democrat senators to decide whether to force
the issue on equal superannuation for *** couples or to help low
income earners. "What we're seeing is the Labor Party holding up
significant gains for low income earners and using *** and *******
people as the missile to shoot down that package," he said. "We have
the Govt deliberately obstructing their own significant reforms
because they refuse to even acknowledge that there're issues that need
to be fixed."
New helicopters finally delivered to Navy
Sydney. The Navy has taken possession of 11 Super Seasprite
helicopters after delays of up to a y due to software problems. The
helicopters, designed to carry anti-ship missiles and torpedoes, have
been delivered to the Navy base Albatross at Nowra in NSW. Min for
Defence Robert Hill says the 805 Squadron can begin training with the
helicopters almost immediately, despite them not being ready for
operation yet. Mr Hill says the helicopters will be a big bonus for
the Navy. "It'll mean there will be about 300 extra people employed
on the base for the 11 Super Seasprite helicopters, which will serve
with the ANZAC class of frigates," he said. "We're taking provisional
acceptance next Sat, it's been quite awhile in the coming, and I know
the Navy's very excited."
New claims surface regarding wartime naval disaster
Perth. New claims have emerged about the cause of AUS's worst naval
disaster -- the sinking of HMAS SYD, and the fate of her 645 crew off
the WA coast in 1941.
The conventional belief has been that the SYD was sunk and all hands
lost after a fierce battle with German raider Kormoran.
But a group of marine investigators says there was no battle and that
30 sailors survived the SYD's sinking.
The McElhinney Research Group (MRG) says HMAS SYD blew her port bow
when she came across a practice minefield the German raider Kormoran
was laying for another vessel.
MRG chairman John Montagu says the Kormoran's J-Boat fired 2 torpedoes
to finish the SYD off, and the raider then picked up 30 AUS survivors.
He says the Kormoran was sunk by one of its own mines 2 days later off
Carnarvon, and the AUS survivors went with it.
Mr Montagu says the group has 14 y of research and do***ents to
substantiate their theory.
"The do***entation is from the town of Alexander in the USA ... all
the German do***ents were recovered in 1945, after the war, and stored
there," Mr Montagu said.
AUS War Memorial principal historian Peter Stanley says he will be
surprised if the new theory is accurate.
"It seems to me that there's been a massive amount of research done on
the loss of HMAS SYD and I'm astonished that there's further
do***entary evidence that hasn't been seen, and I'm sceptical and I'll
be sceptical until it's proved otherwise that new evidence can
substantially change the interpretation that's persisted now for 62
years," he said.
Historian Glenys McDonald says she has heard of MRG's theory but has
not seen any evidence to support it.
She says with so many theories about what occurred between HMAS SYD
and the Kormoran, people need really good evidence to support them.
Mrs McDonald says the only conclusive evidence would be if a Kormoran
survivor agreed, in which case they should be named.
Study says Govt's indigenous policies failing
Canberra. A study has found Aboriginal health, education and job
prospects declined during the 1st 5 y of the Howard Govt.
The study of census data compared the current govt with the previous
Labor govt's performance.
The Centre for Economic Policy Research at the AUS Nat'l University
found from 1991 to 1996 there were improvements for Aboriginal people
in employment, home ownership, education and health.
But the report's author, Professor Jon Altman, says there was a
negative outcome after the Howard Govt took office and "practical"
"Adult median income declined, full time jobs for Indigenous people
declined, labour force population declined relative to non-Indigenous
people," he said.
He suggests there needs to be a change of emphasis.
"You can't get improvement just by focusing on the practical."
He says Govt policies must take into account the social, cultural and
spiritual needs of Indigenous people.
Labor's Bob McMullan says the Govt's approach is not working.
"Let me give one example. After cuts the Govt made to education
funding, the policies they're proposing now means the number of
Indigenous teachers being trained in AUS has fallen by 33% in the last
5 years," he said.
Solomons deployment "enormously successful": Downer
Canberra. AUS has declared the 3-m deployment to Solomon
Islands an enormous success and says some troops can be withdrawn.
Foreign Affairs Min Alexander Downer says the regional assistance
mission has removed key threats to the Solomons Govt.
Mr Downer told Parliament that harassment of officials in the capital,
Honiara, has ceased and crimes committed in recent y are being investigated.
"This initiative to deploy into the Solomon Islands has so far been
enormously successful and the security situation in particular is
massively better," Mr Downer said.
"Obviously we will have to consider now the gradual draw-down of some
military elements, consistent with the police-led nature of the
regional assistance mission."
Mr Downer says that in the y to next June, AUS will spend $12 mn to
help run the govt of the Solomon Islands.
He says 17 Aussies are now in the Solomons public service to ensure
New systems have been agreed for economic reform and to target
corruption. Mr Downer says a meeting next m should see solid loan
promises to Solomon Islands from internat'l donors.
He says internat'l institutions have re-engaged with the Solomons
after AUS repaid loans owed to the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.
Poor weather blamed for drop in AUS's g**** harvest
Canberra. Poor seasonal conditions have caused a fall in the 2003
g**** harvest. AUS Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures show SA
production was down 10% to 627,000 tonnes. In Vic, there was 24% fall
to just under 400,000 tonnes. NSW produced 374,000 tonnes, 17% less
than last season. The ABS says there were lower yields in wine,
table, and drying g****s.
Telstra sell-off threatens Internet service: ALP
Canberra. The Fed Opp'n has warned Internet users to prepare for
further access problems if Telstra is fully-privatised. Telstra
BigPond subscribers have been experiencing significant delays with the
service for the past few days. The part-privatised utility says it is
fixing the problem. Labor's Communications rep Lindsay Tanner says
Telstra is neglecting its customers in favour of the financial bottom
line, which will only get worse if full privatisation takes place.
"If it's privatised, the pressure that it is under from the share
market for short term returns will only increase," he said. "These
kind of problems will become greater and because Telstra is
predominately a monopoly the ability to do anything about it will be
negligible." Democrats Communications rep John Cherry says the delays
could be indicative of an overall problem with Telstra's services.
"We suspect at the bottom of it is Telstra's failure to invest in its
Speed cameras don't stop crashes: report
Bath (AAP). Most speed cameras should be removed as they do little
more than earn revenue for state govts, a Brit sociologist said.
In his report, Speed Traps: Saving Lives or Raising Revenue, Bath Spa
University sociologist Alan Buckingham said the rate of decline in
road fatalities has slowed since speed cameras were introduced across AUS.
"The whole point of speed cameras was to increase the rate of
reduction in the number of serious and fatal accidents, but the data
shows the reverse," Dr Buckingham said.
Speed was not a major factor in road fatalities, he added.
"The statistics used by AUS and Brit govts which show speeding is
involved in 30% of road accidents is flawed, for they include factors
such as fatigue and alcohol," Dr Buckingham said.
"The Brit Transport Research Laboratory finds that just 7.3% of
accidents were caused primarily by excessive speed."
Those who speed moderately -- 10-20 kph above the posted limit -- were
less likely to have an accident than those who travelled well above
and below the limit, the report stated.
"The law bears down heavily on the safest drivers," Dr Buckingham said.
"Millions of motorists are being convicted each y for a driving
behaviour that is perfectly safe."
Road safety policy should shift from "the obsessive pursuit of
speeders" and return to fostering conscientious driving, he added.
"Most speed cameras should be removed," Mr Buckingham said.
He will present his report at a lecture in SYD, hosted by the Centre
for Independent Studies.
Last Concorde lands at Dulles Internat'l
Chantilly. For the last time, a sleek white Concorde sliced through
the skies over the suburbs of the US capital today. The supersonic
aircraft was greeted with a water-canon salute as it landed at
Washington Dulles Internat'l as part of a BA farewell tour. The
Concorde's last trans-Atlantic flight will be on Oct 24, from NYC
back to London.
NSW govt announces land-clearing plan
Sydney. The NSW govt has announced a plan it says will put an end to
broad scale land-clearing in the state. Prem Bob Carr says the $406
mn plan more than triples the $120 mn funding for the project flagged
in the lead-up to the Mar state election. Mr Carr says land-clearing
will be managed by locally-led committees, which will cut bureaucracy
and free up funding. He says most of the money will go towards
farmers restoring landscapes already damaged by land-clearing.
Fed govt announces research grants
Canberra. The fed govt has announced research grants worth $248 mn
for projects ranging from undersea robots for studying coral to a
lightweight braille machine. Ed Min Brendan Nelson says the grants
cover 965 new research projects at unis and research institutes across
AUS for 3 y, starting next y. They'll be funded through the AUS
Research Council. Dr Nelson says they'll involve more than 1,000
partnerships with O/S unis and AUS and O/S-based industry.
Sydney. Heavy profit taking in resources was offset by a rebound in
banking stocks on the ASX today, with the indexes edging to new 16-m
highs. The All Ords ended almost even at 3,292. In Japan, the Nikkei
closed up 180 pts to 10,966. The Hang Seng lost 106 pts to close at
US Pres George W Bush will stop on the Indonesian island resort of
Bali during his whirlwind Asia trip, roughly one y after devastating
terrorists strikes there.
For the first time in AUS history [at least, according to crikey.com]
a company has backed down on a remuneration measure at its AGM. In
Adel, Rupert Murdoch vetoed the awarding of new share options to his
sons after shareholders objected. Mr Murdoch sr said he didn't know
it had been a sore point with shareholders. Investors also complained
about the low level of News Corp divs. Mr Murdoch told the AGM he and
his sons would be back next y. He also said something about world
standards and remuneration.
Jakarta. One of the last Bali suspects will be sentenced tomorrow.
Mubarok is expected to be sentenced to life in prison by the Denpasar
court. He was the logistics expert for the attack, and allowed his
bank a/c to be used by convicted bomber Amrozi bin Nurhasyim to
transfer money to buy equipment to carry out the bombing. He was also
accused by prosecutors of assisting in scouting possible targets and
sending explosives to Bali.
A Brit war hero, said to have been the inspiration behind Agent 007
James Bond has died, aged 90. Brit newspapers say RN Lt Cmdr Patrick
Dalzel-Job carried out a series of daring exploits behind enemy lines
during WWII -- incl some while serving under Ian Fleming, who created
the 007 character. The Guardian says although he never claimed to
be the "real" James Bond, Fleming had told him he was the model for
the heroic spy.
SYD Uni staff have been given permission to participate in tomorrow's
nation-wide uni strike, provided they do not picket at their own
workplace. Staff at SU have already reached a settlement with their
employer. Students and staff from 5 NSW unis will gather at SU before
marching to Belmore Park, nr C Stn, for a rally at 12.30 pm. The
action will incl students and staff from SYS and Macquarie Unis, and
the Unis of Tech, W SYD, and NSW.
Thu, 16 Oct 2003.
NY. The Dow has broken a run of gains, closing down 10 pts at 9,803.
Gold dived 3.20 to $US372.70/oz. Oil was down slightly to
$US31.78/bbl. In London, the FTSE added 35 pts to close at 4,369.
The German Dax closed up 33 pts to 3,571. The AUD was down
marginally, trading around 68.78 US c.
Dozens of rebels killed in Nepal clashes
Kathmandu. At least 35 Maoist rebels and 2 police guards have been
killed in a series of armed clashes across Nepal. An army official
says at least 20 Maoists were killed in an exchange of fire with army
security forces at Sodasa locality in Achham district, 390 km W of
Kathmandu. Another 7 guerrillas have been killed by the army in SW
Dang district. Another 4 rebels were killed in the W Salyan
district, and 4 in Wadula in the E Khotang district.
14 killed in NY ferry accident
NY. 14 people are dead after a ferry slammed into a pier while
docking just before the city's evening rush hr. At least 34 other
people were injured, and witnesses say the impact tore off people's
limbs and sent passengers jumping for their lives. The 93-m ferry,
which can carry 6,000 passengers, slammed into the enormous wooden
pilings on the Staten Is end of its run from Manhattan. The crash
occurred on a windswept afternoon when the water on NY Harbour was choppy.
Washington passes sanctions on Syria
Washington. The US House of Reps has overwhelmingly voted to sanction
Syria for its alleged ties to terrorist groups and alleged efforts to
obtain WMD. The bill -- the Syria Accountability and Lebanese
Sovereignty Acts -- also calls on Damascus to end its occupation of
Lebanon. The bill was supported by a vote of 398 to 4. Pres Bush Jr
just last wk ended 2 y of opp'n to the legislation, and has vindicated
he will sign the bill.
Chinese astronaut returns to earth
Beijing. China's first astronaut has returned safely to earth. The
spacecraft landed in Inner Mongolia as planned after 14 orbits. 38 yo
Lt Col Yang Liwei blasted off yesterday morning in a modified Soyuz to
propel China into the space age, along with the US and Russia. An
"orbit module" will remain in LEO for 6 m allowing scientists to
perform space experiments.
Cardinals gather in Rome
Vatican City. Cardinals from around the world have gathered in the
Vatican to mark Pope JP2's election 25 ya. Snr prelates have
attempted to banish any notion they're preparing the ground for the
succession of a new pope. LA archbishop Cardinal Roger Mahoney says
it's a time for celebration. The pope, although sounding hoarse, has
appeared in reasonably good shape at his weekly general audience in St
Peter's Square, watched by around 16,000 pilgrims from around the world.
Aussie soldiers may come home from Solomons
Canberra. Def Min Robert Hill says some of the troops serving in the
Solomons could be home before next y. AUS, NZ, and 6 other regional
nations committed some 2,000 military personnel and 200 police to the
Solomon Is after the govt requested regional assistance to counter a
law and order crisis. Sen Hill has told reporters he hopes to make an
announcement on the troop commitment in the nr future.
Aussie Unis close for 24 hr strike
Melbourne. All Aussie unis are closed down today as 40,000 staff
around the country walk off the job in a nationwide full-day strike.
Academic and general staff at AUS's 38 public unis are taking part in
the strike to protest the linking of funding for higher ed to
industrial relations conditions. Unions say the fed govt's move to
tie $404 mn in uni funding to new requirements will undermine
collective bargaining and erode working conditions. Under the leg'n,
unis must agreed to move toward individual work contracts and are not
permitted to offer maternity leave or other benefits to employees.
Farmers and greenies hail NSW land package
Sydney. Farmers and greenies have welcomed the NSW govt's $400 mn
package to help end large scale land clearing in the state. Mr Carr
says the agreement between the 2 traditionally-opposed groups is
"historic" and marks the beginning of an era of co-operation on
environmental issues. Total Environment Centre dir Jeff Angel says
the strategy is one of the greatest environmental achievements of the
Sydney beaches cleanest for 10 y
Sydney. SYD beaches are the cleanest they've been since pollution
testing began, according to the latest environmental report. The
State of the Beaches report found 22 of the 35 ocean beaches tested
complied with Beachwatch criteria for safe bacteria every day they
were measured. 9 more recorded compliance on 8 out of 10 days while
the remaining 4 had an average of 68% compliance. This y's figures
are reportedly the "best" since testing commenced in the late 1980s.
[We always take claims about the "percentage of those complying with
flexible govt requirements" with a grain of salt, don't we children?
****ysts say the beach cleanliness may have more to do with the drought
not pushing debris out of beach outfalls than actions by the US govt].
Expert warns of future SA water shortage
Adelaide. A leading authority says severe water restrictions in
Adelaide will become part of everyday life unless a solution to the
city's supply problems is found. Emeritus Prof Nancy Millis from MEL
Uni says community-wide commitment is "essential" to ensure Adelaide's
water supply does not run dry in the ys ahead. The water quality expert
says it's critical the community understand how serious the challenge is.
Aussies "wealthier than ever"
Sydney. Australians are reportedly wealthier than ever before and the
mood of consumers more buoyant than any time in the past 9 y, despite
the prospect of increasing int rates. The SMH has reported private
wealth in AUS has jumped 14.7% to an all-time high of $4.326 trillion
last FY. This is the fastest ever rate of wealth growth ever.
CommSec ****yst Craig James says the wealth boom is being driven by
surging home prices. [IOW, it isn't real].
Banks call for de-regulation to help poor
Melbourne. Australian Bankers' Assoc chair John McFarlane says banks
can play a role in lifting Aussies out of poverty. Mr McFarlane says
the banks should look at changing their mind-set to give people from
disadvantaged backgrounds a chance to make a start with a small loan.
Mr McFarlane, the ANZ CEO, says reducing tax barriers and easing
regulations may be one way the poor could get better access to
finance. [It might also boost bank profits even more!] However he
says more research needs to be done to reduce the risk of such
strategies to banks.
Sydney. The All Ords closed down 3 pts to 3,295. In Japan, the
Nikkei added 125 pts to end at 11,025. The Hang Seng lost 29 pts to
end at 12,028.
All Americans have been urged to leave Gaza following an attack on a
US convoy. The US amb in Tel Aviv called it a "brutal outrage". He
said the convoy was going into Gaza on an "educational program". The
Palestinian Authority has called the bombing a "disaster". The US
Pres called PM Qurie and said he must put an end to the attacks.
No-one has claimed responsibility. Palestinian militants said they do
not target foreign officials. The Israeli For Min said the attack
proved the Pals were not doing anything to "break up its terrorist
Russia has pushed for amendments to a US-backed Iraqi Res and has
called for a vote on the Res to be delayed. Dep For Min said Russia
appreciates the steps taken by the US to meet its concerns, but
several key issues needed to be addressed, incl the role of the UN in
the transition to Iraqi self-rule.
The EU says it now has proof that beef grown using growth hormones
could result in cancer. It says the research has justified its ban on
Former Pres of Peru, Alberto Fujimori, says he's planning to run in
the 2006 Japanese elections.
A group of US investigators at the scene of the bomb attack in Gaza
had to withdraw after they were stoned by a Palestinian crowd.
Elsewhere, an FBI team has been dispatched to the Middle E to help
hunt down those responsible for the killing of the 3 American victims.
NY. AT least 10 people have been killed in an horrific ferry accident
in NYC. Many others have been injured after a ferry collided with a
jetty, slicing open one side of the ship. Many of those injured
reportedly had arms and legs ripped off in the accident. NBC says
officials are blaming high winds for the disaster. After the ferry's
capt was interviewed by police, he reportedly went home and tried to
commit suicide. Officials say the ferry was carrying about 1,500
people at the time of the collision.
Bris. Supporters of Pauline Hanson are due to rally outside parliament
house in Brit today, to protest her jailing for electoral fraud. 100s
of fan letters each wk are reportedly boosting Ms Hanson's spirits
while in jail.
The US has agreed to delay a vote for a new Iraq Res at the UN after
opp'n from Russia.
Canberra. A shipload of 52,000 Aussie sheep is still stranded in
Kuwait. After 12 days in port equipment failure and a fire have
delayed the re-stocking of feed and water for the animals. The ship
was supposed to leave for AUS last night. Today, a problem with
Kuwait's tides has further delayed departure.
CBR. Survivors and families of the Bali bombings have lit candles in a
3rd memorial service at Parliament House. GG Michael Jeffrey and PM
John Howard are taking part in the service, alongside state prems and
territory chief mins. Earlier, Mr Howard unveiled a permanent
memorial in the Parliament House gardens with the names of the 88
Aussies and 3 residents killed in Bali. About 550 survivors and their
families are in CBR for the memorial service.
The Salvation Army has rejected a $5 mn donation from gambling giant
Tattersals. A rep said the charity didn't want to accept money that
linked to the misery of others.
Officials in NY say the ferry that smashed into a pier was travelling
It's official -- there are foxes in Tasmania. The carcass of a female
fox has been found in the N of prev fox-free Tassie. It was apparently
hit by a vehicle. Investigators are trying to determine whether the
animal has had a litter.
Fri, 17 Oct 2003.
NY. Key profit reports failed to impress, and the Dow has closed down
17 pts to 9,786. The Nasdaq closed up marginally. Gold lost 97 c to
$US371.73/oz. Oil was down 30 c to $US38.45/bbl. In London, the FTSE
lost 29 pts to 4,340. The German Dax closed up 7 pts to 3,578.
Iraqi Res gets unanimous support in UN
NY. In a surprise development, the US-backed Res backing the Iraqi
occupation has received unanimous support in the Security Council. Sec
of State Powell indicated Russia and France came on board yesterday,
and Syria decided to back the Res at the last minute. The 15-0 vote is
a key diplomatic victory for the US just days after Washington
indicated it might abandon the Res if it could not get sufficient
backing for the plan. Mr Powell had indicated a simple majority was
not enough. Syria, the only Arab nation on the Council and a critic
of US policy in Iraq, decided to vote in favour of the measure just
hrs after the European holdouts said they would give it their support.
Bomb attack in N Iraq
Kirkuk. A car has exploded nr the HQ of the US-led coal'n forces in
the N Iraqi city of Kirkuk, but there's no word of casualties. An AFP
corespondent says a car with 3 men on board stopped in front of the
Coal'n HQ in the al-Wassity neighbourhood, in the N sector of Kirkuk.
He says US troops opened fire on the car and it sped off before
stopping about 200 m away. The 3 men then fled the vehicle and it
exploded seconds later.
Palestinians arrest 3 bomb suspects
Gaza City. Palestinian security has made a series of arrests in
connection with the deadly bomb attack on a US convoy that killed 3
security agents. US Pres Bush Jr says Pal Pres Yasser Arafat's
failure to crack down on militants led to the killings. The arrests
come as a team of FBI agents begins a probe into Wed's attack in the N
Gaza Strip in a blast apparently caused a remote control bomb.
Treasury warns of strong AUD
Canberra. The economy have have survived the drought and SARS but the
strong AUD is set to be the next big problem. Treasury gen mgr
domestic economy Jim Hagan is warning that since the May Budget the
problems that could rock AUS have changed. And it's the strengthening
AUD which is the main cause of concern. Dr Hagan says the risk from
the drought, that last y wiped 1 pt off GDP growth, has slipped but
the exchange rate has come to the fore. There is also a danger from
household debt and property prices.
AUS fails poverty score-card
Melbourne. A national score card which rates AUS's efforts at
reducing poverty over the past y has given the country an "F". The
Nat'l Coal'n Against Poverty has produced the score card on the
Internat'l Day for Eradication of Poverty. The Coal'n says the
country's progress at eradicating poverty at 6.5 out of 20. The
coal'n of churches and social services says more than 2 mn Aussies are
living below the poverty line -- incl 680,000 children.
The UNSC has unanimously passed the new US-backed Iraqi resolution.
Anti-war Russia and France have also voted for the Res after key
changes in the wording from the US. The vote comes after criticism of
the Res by Sec-Gen Kofi Annan. Sec of State Powell greeted the
decision, saying the Res was all about the Iraqi people. But ****ysts
say it's still likely the Res won't translate into mor money and
troops to help out the US with managing post-war Iraq. Key Dems
believe the passage of the $87 bn request to fund the Iraq
reconstruction is now even more critical to the Bush Admin, and have
turned up the heat.
Americans are starting to leave Gaza following warnings from the US
Embassy they are likely to be targeted by anti-US attacks.
The Dow ended down 18 pts o'night following disappointing profit
reports from key blue chips. Although above profit levels of last y,
IBM and Caterpillar were marked down heavily by the markets with
lower-than-expected revenues. IBM lost 3% and Caterpillar 4%. The
Nasdaq closed up 8 pts. The AUD is travelling around 68.84 US c. Oil
was 30 c lower at $US38.45/bbl.
Departing Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohammed has created another
firestorm, saying Jews control the world by getting others to fight
their wars for them. He also said a few mn Jews could not defeat the
world's 1.5 bn Muslims. The AUS govt has declined to make any comment
on Dr Mahathir's statements.
Iran has said it will "dicuss" its nuclear program with the UN's
watchdog, the IAEA, and allow rigorous inspections of its facilities.
199 Aussies have been honoured with bravery awards related to the Kuta
beach bomb attacks last Oct. The list incl 2 people awarded the Cross
of Valour -- the top bravery gong. Only 3 other people have been given
the award since its inception in 1975.
It's reported the MV Cormo Express has left port in Kuwait, headed
back to AUS via the Cocos Is. A rep for the Dutch owners says it will
take about 11 days to reach the Cocos. He says the ship could still
be diverted to another port as the AUS govt continues to try to sell
NY port authorities and the NTSB are investigating claims one of the
pilots on board a Staten Is ferry was asleep at the wheel prior to a
fatal crash yesterday.
A pipeline in S Iraq has been set alight.
Brit scientists have issued a warning to parents after a toxic
substance was discovered in some jarred baby foods.
The Anglican Synod has agreed to a 1-y inquiry the ordination of ***
2 people have been killed in rioting after elections in Azerbaijan.
A new study in Brit has shown that GM crops can damage the environment.
In 2/3 crops adverse effects were found on wildlife from GM crops. GM
maize reportedly had a beneficial effect on the environment, promoting
diversity because insecticides were used later in the growth cycle.
Almost as good as organic maize!
Lights in the room noticeably dimmed as US Pres Bush Jr has met with
the new Cal Gov Arnie Schwarzenegger.
Telstra may be forced to pay compensation for ms of delayed emails.
AUS has been named the 4th fattest nation in the developed world,
after the US, Brit and Mexico. On the good side of the ledger, AUS is
the 3rd lowest in terms of smoking rates.
The papers say various social indicators show Aussies have become fat,
non-drinking pill-poppers. According to OECD reports Aussies drink
the equiv of around 9.5 L of alcohol per cap pa, compared with the
Irish at 13 L pc pa. Another OECD report finds AUS has the fastest
growth of OTC drug use in the developed world.
Indian police are hunting 2 men after the **** of a Swiss diplomat.
A new study says the pain relief from marijuana is no better than OTC
codeine tabs. The study is a blow to advocates of medical marijuana.
Bio tech company Monsanto is to get out of its European seed business.
The company has announced a $150 mn loss in its France, Germany and
Czech operation for the last FY. It says it will shed about 9% of its
staff and close down selected European offices.
About 20 Aussies are reportedly stranded in Bolivia. 10s of 1000s of
demonstrators have converged on La Paz in the biggest demo yet in 5
wks of protests. The trouble was sparked earlier this y by US efforts
to end coca growing in one of the poorest S Am nations, as well as a
govt plan to export $bns in natural gas to the US.
Doctors at NY's Montefiore hospital plan to separate Siamese twins
joined at the head from the Philippines. They say the pair have health
problems that will make the separation difficult. In Texas, news of
the Egyptian twins is mixed. One of the pair is progressing well, but
his brother has experienced fitting that has caused doctors to
continue his coma therapy.
Within the past 1 hr the US Senate has voted to convert 1/2 of the
Whitehouse's requested $20 bn Iraq rebuilding money into a
loan. Defying the Bush Admin, the Rep-dominated Senate voted 51 to 47
in favour of the loan measure.
Democrats are complaining about the close relationship between the US
Admin and corporations with big contracts in Iraq. It's been
discovered that a Halliburton subsidiary is charging US taxpayers
$US1.50 a gallon to buy gasoline in Kuwait to sell it for 10 c per
gallon in Iraq. The company says the extra money is for "security".
The ASX remained weaker at midday, following a lacklustre session on
Wall St o'night. At 12.00 was 6 pts lower at 3,289.
(*) Who is responcible for W.A.R.S? A small group of dedicated
sandgrubbers, bannana-lickers and 5th columnists on the run from
support payments and sundry legalese in their home countries. Mention
us at any Uncle Harry's Suburban Bunker and get a 10% discount on cop-killers!
All speling macroizated for correctitood by Mcrosotf Speelchek.
*** Please stand by for further orders from The Leader ***
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