Sunday, 19 January 2014

Abbott copies the wooden Gillard style and other news and views for 19 January

From this morning’s Australian papers.
  • Tony Abbott becomes a slow-talking PM – “Prime Minister Tony Abbott speaks 100 words a minute slower in media interviews now than in opposition and is also speaking in a more monotone voice, according to a study of his speech patterns. The speech delivery of the nation’s leader resembles that of a puppet and is equal to the wooden communication style ridiculed in former prime minister Julia Gillard, says the director of the Voice Research Laboratory at the University of Sydney’s faculty of health sciences, Cate Madill.” - Fairfax Sundays
  • Battles in the Liberal ranks – “Preselections herald a period of uncertainty as the state Coalition heads into an election year.” – Sunday Age
  • Forestry high on agenda in election lead-up – “Just when you thought we were rid of the interminable debates about Tasmania’s forests, our state politicians have dragged forestry issues back to centre stage.” Hobart Mercury
  • Education authority denies that curriculum pushes Gaia worship – Fairfax Sundays
  • Order out to arrest PNG opposition leader – “The country’s top cop, Tom Kulunga, on Saturday ordered the arrest of Belden Namah on allegations the former deputy prime minister threatened him in a letter. In the letter Mr Namah allegedly demanded Mr Kulunga reinstate four policemen who were suspended after a warrant was issued for the arrest of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill. ‘Failure to accede to my request will result in me taking unprecedented measure to have you arrested and charged under Section 128 of the Criminal Code,’ Mr Namah is alleged to have said in a letter to Mr Kulunga on Friday. Mr Kulunga said the statement amounted to a threat.” – Fairfax
Some links to other things I’ve found interesting today.
19-01-2014 fickleocean

  • Climate change: The case of the missing heat – Sixteen years into the mysterious ‘global-warming hiatus’, scientists are piecing together an explanation. – “Now, as the global-warming hiatus enters its sixteenth year, scientists are at last making headway in the case of the missing heat. Some have pointed to the Sun, volcanoes and even pollution from China as potential culprits, but recent studies suggest that the oceans are key to explaining the anomaly. The latest suspect is the El Niño of 1997–98, which pumped prodigious quantities of heat out of the oceans and into the atmosphere — perhaps enough to tip the equatorial Pacific into a prolonged cold state that has suppressed global temperatures ever since. ‘The 1997 to ’98 El Niño event was a trigger for the changes in the Pacific, and I think that’s very probably the beginning of the hiatus,’ says Kevin Trenberth, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado. According to this theory, the tropical Pacific should snap out of its prolonged cold spell in the coming years.’Eventually,’ Trenberth says, ‘it will switch back in the other direction.’ “19-01-2014 ironore
  • Iron prices take belated fall – “Iron prices have fallen to a six-month low, confounding analysts who are used to a run up in prices before Chinese New Year but had expected prices to tumble in the second half of 2013 when they stayed steady. The drop below the $130 a dry ton level floor that held last year could gather speed. Chinese steel mills are the world’s leading customers for traded ore and their production growth looks set to dip on official resolve to tackle overproduction that has contributed to horrific air pollution in northern China. Adding to the pressure on iron prices, new ore supplies are coming into the market from lower-quality Chinese mines as well as from Australia and India.”
  • You’ve Got Mail: Chinese Communist Party Received Almost Two Million Complaints in 2013 – “In 2013, China’s Communist Party disciplinary organs received an eye-popping 1.95 million citizen complaints about officials. This is a 49.2 percent jump from 2012, according to a Jan. 13 report from state-run website China News Online — but surprisingly, the article did not evince displeasure with the total, calling 2013′s anti-corruption efforts “the strongest in 30 years. Why did China News Online trumpet such a high number of complaints? In September 2013, finding itself on the defensive end of what it called a ‘public opinion struggle,’ the Chinese government began to crack down on social media chatter aimed at Chinese leaders. Around the same time, it rolled out a new website allowing users to report crooked bureaucrats directly to the party. Aggrieved netizens may now feel safer using official avenues of complaint rather than kvetching on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter.”
  • The problem for Christie isn’t what his aides did. It’s what they thought he wanted them to do.
  • Turkey purges regulators, state TV in graft probe backlash – “Turkey has extended a purge of official bodies to the banking and telecoms regulators and state TV, firing dozens of executives in moves that appear to broaden Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s backlash against a corruption investigation. The authorities have already reassigned thousands of police officers and about 20 prosecutors, and fired some state television officials in response to the corruption investigation, the biggest challenge to Erdogan’s 11-year rule.”
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