Sunday, 23 August 2009

A serious message from Asian jokes about Australians

A Muslim was seated next to an Australian on a flight from London to Melbourne and when drink orders were taken, the Aussie asked for a rum and Coke, which was placed before him. The attendant then asked the Muslim if he would like a drink. He replied in disgust, ”I’d rather be savagely raped by a dozen whores than let liquor touch my lips.”T he Aussie handed back his drink and said: ”Me too. I didn’t know we had a choice.”

An example from Josh Gordon’s piece in the Sunday Age on how a common theme of the jokes told by Asians about Australians is that Australians are stupid and morally vacuous people who drink too much.

THIS MORNING’S FRONT PAGES

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POLITICS AND ECONOMICS

Australia

Australia and China

Tension Increases as China and Australia Grow Closer - The New York Times provides an interesting outsiders look at Australia-China relations summarising recent tensions and trade growth.

Leadership

Liberals yearn for leadership - The mood is so bad that a gathering organised by Mr Turnbull’s office at the B Bar in Canberra on Wednesday night to boost morale descended into a discussion about ”saving the furniture” - Melbourne Sunday Age

090823sundayteleMalcolm Turnbull ‘in bid to join Labor’ - Malcolm Turnbull wanted to become Kim Beazley’s shadow finance minister during the second term of the Howard Government, according to senior Labor figures - Sydney Sunday Telegraph

Meet Liberal leader Ted Baillieu … who? Ted Baillieu has led the Liberals for more than three years, but six out of 10 people do not know who he is, a poll of Melburnians reveals - Sunday Sun Herald

Law and order

Gillard to raise case of fugitive Indian - Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard is expected to raise the issue of fugitive Indian student Puneet Puneet with senior Indian Government officials when she visits the country next week - Melbourne Sunday Age

$110,000 for gun fun as courts left short - Twenty of the state’s best prosecutors were learning how to shoot machine guns at a conference costing NSW taxpayers $110,000, yet just two weeks later the courts were left unattended because of a lack of money and staff. Attorney-General John Hatzistergos is so outraged by details of the conference he has ordered an inquiry and levelled a stunning attack on NSW chief prosecutor Nicholas Cowdery - Sydney Sun Herald

Anna Bligh gets tough laws to wipe out bikie gangs - Queensland will match South Australia with some of the toughest anti-bikie laws in the world, cracking down on their fortresses and group gatherings. Premier Anna Bligh will today announce State Government measures to dismantle the dangerous outlaw motorcycle gangs -Brisbane Sunday Mail

Melbourne cops under siege - Police are under orders to patrol Melbourne’s streets in groups of at least three because gangs of thugs have made it too dangerous for them to work in pairs - Melbourne Sunday Herald Sun

Euthanasia

Time to talk of dying - Campaigner Philip Nitschke wants the Northern Territory parliament to again debate legalising euthanasia - Northern Territory News

Economic matters

Property avoids the plunge, at a cost - An increase in government grants for first home buyers as part of last October’s stimulus package has meant assistance to enter the market has never been greater. But, according to the chairman of the Federal Government’s advisory committee on housing affordability, those subsidies have kept prices high - Melbourne Sunday Age

Queensland home buyers lead recovery with 92% jump in July -Brisbane Sunday Mail

Local government

Moreton Bay Council leads call for end to staff sacking moratorium -Brisbane Sunday Mail

Opinions

Have you heard the one about the dumb Australian? Josh Gordon in the Melbourne Sunday Age on how humour is being used to undermine Australia’s reputation in the region.

So little to say, so many people who want to say it - Michelle Grattan goes twittering and explains in the Sydney Sun Herald why she now shops for books on Saturday not Sunday.

Is Malcolm Turnbull falling into Kevin Rudd’s ETS honey trap? asks Glenn Milne in the Sydney Sunday Telegraph

Elsewhere

Lockerbie

Minister Ivan Lewis ‘urged’ Lockerbie release - London Times reports Gordon Brown has been urged to come clean over the British government’s role in the release of the Lockerbie bomber after the Foreign Office was accused of putting pressure on Scotland to set him free.

Qaddafi Praises Lockerbie Release - Already badly shaken by American outrage and opprobrium over the release of the convicted Lockerbie airliner bomber, the British government faced fresh embarrassment on Saturday when the Libyan leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, met with the newly liberated prisoner in Tripoli and thanked Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain, “my friend,” for interceding with the Scottish government to let the man go - New York Times

BUSINESS

Telstra’s old technology makes Sensis - Sensis lifted its revenue by 5.8 per cent in the year, from $2.13 billion to $2.25 billion, and its earnings before interest and tax jumped by 11.3 per cent, from $944 million to $1.05 billion. That was the best profit performance of any of the telco’s big divisions - Melbourne Sunday Age

ENVIRONMENT

Oil spill threatens ocean as driller faces multimillion bill - The Australian Maritime Safety Authority yesterday launched a major clean-up operation as oil and gas continued to seep from a 1200-metre-deep well drilled by the West Atlas - an oil rig located 690 kilometres west of Darwin, 250 kilometres off the far north Kimberley coast and 150 kilometres south-east of Ashmore Reef -Melbourne Sunday Age

Overfishing pushing seas to the end of the line - “Where have all the fish gone?” is the key question asked by new documentary film The End of the Line - Melbourne Sunday Age

Nats go green to freshen up their image - Yhe Nationals have adopted a number of environmental policy changes to help renew the party’s appeal to regional Australia, but remain opposed to the Government’s emissions trading scheme - Sydney Sun Herald

Wind farm for Adelaide fringe - A controversial wind farm on the city’s southern fringe will finally be built seven years after it first received special development approval - Adelaide Sunday Mail

MEDIA

Setting the price of a free press - Tim Rutten in the Los Angeles Times writes that if the 1st Amendment is to mean anything, Congress has to suspend antitrust rules for the newspaper industry so publishers can determine as a group how much to charge for online content.

090823ageThe future is now - Steve Harris writes in theMelbourne Sunday Age on the paper’s 20 year history.

LIFE

Electricity

New meter to crank up power bills - Households face an average $263-a-year leap in electricity bills with the installation of new smart meters that begins in 10 days’ time - Melbourne Sunday Age

Drugs

Student video plugs ‘safe’ use of ecstasy - An internet video made by students at a Melbourne high school that promotes the use of the party drug ecstasy as safe and harmless has been labelled dangerous and misleading by anti-drugs campaigners - Melbourne Sunday Age

Drink

Booze ban at Sydney private school rugby matches - Two of of Australia’s most elite private boys’ schools have taken a stand against “drunken, abusive” behaviour by banning alcohol from sports matches - Sydney Sunday Telegraph

Blues

Canberra backs Princes Park revamp - The Federal Government has thrown its support behind the redevelopment of Carlton Football Club’s Princes Park stadium, kicking in $4.5 million - Melbourne Sunday Age

Dogs

Ugly underbelly of best in show - Australian breeders of pedigree dogs are bracing for a barrage of criticism as a documentary highlighting shocking health problems caused by decades of inbreeding approaches television screens - Sydney Sun Herald

Begging

Sydney homeless man makes $50,000 a year begging - Sydney Sunday Telegraph

MDFs

Meet the MDFs (My Daddy’s Famous): Chloe Madeley is the latest MDF, offspring who believe it is their right to inherit their parents’ fame - London Daily Telegraph

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