Thursday, 14 January 2010

Media wrap - Now it's getting serious: Indian threat to Aussie cricketers


Foreign affairs

US back in Asia to stay: Hillary Clinton - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will discuss Kevin Rudd's East Asia community concept on Sunday in her intensifying efforts to bind the US into key Asian regional groupings – The Australian


Melbourne Sikh temple arson 'an attack on religion' – An elder at a Melbourne Sikh temple suspected to have been torched by arsonists has described the early-morning vandalism as an "attack on religion", placing further strain on diplomatic relations already damaged by a spate of serious assaults on Indian students – The Australian

Indian militant group threatens Australian cricketers after attacks - A militant Hindu group in Mumbai with a history of political violence says it will not let Australian cricketers play in the state of Maharashtra until there is an end to attacks on Indians in AustraliaSydney Morning Herald


Jakarta set to force refugees off boatIndonesia will force 240 Sri Lankan asylum-seekers into immigration detention by the end of next week, at gunpoint if necessary, after admitting it has concerns there are former Tamil Tigers militants among the group – The Australian

Cabinet border security committee meets as more boatpeople arrives – The border security committee of cabinet met today in Canberra amid a deepening row over Kevin Rudd's decision to allow four asylum-seekers who ASIO deemed a security threat to be flown to Christmas IslandThe Australian

Devil of a job to get a visa and now there's hell to pay – The movie is billed as a Christian courtroom drama that will leave audiences breathless and cheering. But Suing the Devil has left authorities asking just how its big-name star, Malcolm McDowell, got into the country last month to film his role of Satan in Sydney – Sydney Morning Herald

Asylum seeker tensions build as Christmas Island gets crowded – The Government has been warned to process illegal entrants on the mainland or risk further riots and disturbances at Christmas Island's detention centre. In a major challenge to the Government's border protection policies, the Immigration Department has given high-level advice that conditions at the frontline centre are close to boiling point – Brisbane Courier Mail


ASIO checks unreliable: former immigration officer - ASIO's security checks are open to political interference and should not form the basis of rejecting refugees from Australia, a former immigration official says – Sydney Morning Herald

Scanners hit by new privacy blip – American privacy advocates say they have obtained documents that show images from body scanners at airports can be sent and stored. The claim contradicts the official line that the scanners can do neither – Melbourne Age


Recruitment blitz fails to boost Defence staff – Defence recruiting plunged over the past year, despite a surge in spending on advertising, rising unemployment and a spike in inquiries and applications from people keen to sign up – The Australian

Australian Defence jobs not for girls – Millions in taxpayer dollars has been wasted trying to lure women to the Australian Defence Force. New figures show that despite a major recruitment drive targeting females, the actual numbers joining dropped for both the navy and air force last year – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Equal rights

Centrelink sympathy for fearful gay couples – The Federal Government has promised to take a compassionate approach to elderly gay couples and same-sex couples living in rural areas who are affected by new social security laws – Sydney Morning Herald

Aboriginal affairs

White grandmother wins custody of Tiwi kids – The Family Court has given a white grandmother custody of her two Aboriginal grandchildren on the grounds that a safe, stable upbringing in her home is more important than their immersion in the hunter-gatherer culture of their people – The Australian

Health and hospitals

Lack of services traps disabled in hospitals – People with disabilities are being forced to stay in hospital up to six months longer than necessary because of delays in accessing support services at home – Adelaide Advertiser


Hard Labour: Brumby staffers resist party's cash call – The staff of State Government ministers has been encouraged to sign direct debit forms to allow up to 5 per cent of their pay to go to party headquarters in King Street. An alternative on offer is a lump sum donation – Melbourne Age

State Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu vows to scrap suspended sentences if elected – Criminals, including arsonists, rapists and armed robbers would no longer escape jail under a Coalition plan to scrap suspended sentences – Melbourne Herald Sun

Police step closer to carrying semi-automatic pistols after State Government launches tender process for holsters – A Victoria Police spokesperson said the search for new semi-automatics for officers was entering the "final stages" but was unable to say what the weapon of choice would be. Melbourne Herald Sun

No Rann assault trial until after election – The man accused of hitting Premier Mike Rann with a rolled-up magazine will face court again before the State Election - but not to stand trial – Adelaide Advertiser


Safety at Jetstar Pacific slammed – Safety practices at Jetstar Pacific Airlines, the Vietnamese carrier part-owned by Qantas, have been found to be ''very poor and ineffective'' and defects hidden from supervisors, prompting the country's aviation regulator to demand senior management be removed – Sydney Morning Herald

Flying Doctor ditched as state air ambulance – The Victorian Government has awarded the contract for air ambulance services to a Sydney company that is the subject of two investigations by Australia's air safety authorities – Melbourne Age

Political life

Taxpayers lose over Tony Stewart's dumping - Labor Party infighting between the Premier's office and dumped Bankstown MP Tony Stewart cost taxpayers at least $200,000 – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Political blackmail

Fears of lasting harm to body ended hunger strike – As Peter Spencer ended his 52-day hunger strike, a family member last night drew a line under suggestions that the NSW grazier had climbed up his pole over a family debt – Sydney Morning Herald

Broccoli a feast for hungry farmer Peter Spencer – It was hospital food but last night Peter Spencer ate every morsel of his first meal in 52 days - ending his hunger strike with chicken, carrot, mashed potato and broccoli, all smothered in gravy – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Political life

Joyce at loggerheads with colleagues – Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce has again upset colleagues, with the Government seizing on his latest controversial comments – Melbourne Age


Drafting error puts rezonings in jeopardy – A host of local rezoning policies across NSW are under a legal cloud because of a legislative error made while the Premier, Kristina Keneally, was planning minister – Sydney Morning Herald


Rudd the statesman has a loyal friend in Hillary – Greg Sheridan in The Australian says Hillary Clinton has done Kevin Rudd the biggest favour she could possibly do for him on the eve of her visit to Australia for the 25th-anniversary AUSMIN talks in Canberra on Monday.

Reconciliation must come with the republic – Noel Person in The Australian on the renewal and affirmation of our national foundations through the achievement of Reconciliation and an Australian Republic.

By George, this blight has to stop, for Sydney's sake – Miranda Devine in the Sydney Morning Herald says one thing on which Sydneysiders can agree is that the increasingly squalid bits of our city are signs of urban blight that is spreading before our eyes.

Art of the poisoned pen - Samuel Johnson, Charles Dickens, Matthew Parris and Matt Price added to the democratic tradition by lampooning elected representatives of the people. Annabel Crabb in the Sydney Morning Herald explains the dangerous craft of the political sketch writer.

Smokers aren't the same as criminals - Every Australian should have the right to choose how they live their lives, writes Margaret Kelly in the Sydney Morning Herald

Reality check on growth - Projections of 35 million people by 2050 deflate under closer analysis writes Bob Birrell in the Melbourne Age

Time for PM to deliver on whaling pledge – In opposition, Kevin Rudd tried to harpoon John Howard by declaring Labor would throw the law book at Japan over its whaling. It was part of Rudd's attempts to portray Howard as stale and played to Labor's "street cred" on eco issues – Steve Lewis in the Sydney Daily Telegraph

Rudd opens the door for genuine security threats – argues Piers Akerman in the Sydney Daily Telegraph


Banks enjoy rise in personal loans – Personal loans are making a comeback, but it's the banks that are getting the cream – Melbourne Age

Airport blocks mega car-parkSydney Airport has filed objections to the construction of a mega 16-storey carpark that would create competition for its lucrative parking cash cow. The new 1700-space car-park, which could potentially save customers almost $100 for a two-week stay, will be built by independent operator Park & Fly – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Barnaby Joyce rejects Chinese bid for CSR – Opposition finance spokesman Barnaby Joyce has blasted China's tentative tilt at CSR's sugar and renewable energy business – Brisbane Courier Mail


Green group backs Wild Rivers review - The Australian Conservation Foundation called on the Queensland government to give indigenous communities greater opportunities to build up eco-friendly business ventures in the vast tracts of remote northern Queensland protected by the Wild Rivers environmental laws – The Australian

Compost regulations 'unworkable' – Half a million tonnes of household scraps and garden clippings that could be recycled as organic fertiliser may end up as landfill thanks to a stand-off between the waste industry and NSW Government over tiny pieces of plastic and glass – Sydney Morning Herald

Tillegra dam costs could soar to $1b - The cost of building the controversial Tillegra dam could climb to $1 billion because the site has complex geological issues that have been ''ignored'', the State Government has been warned – Sydney Morning Herald

Whaling delegates 'fed up' with Japanese – Marathon diplomatic talks the Rudd Government is relying on to avert legal action over whaling are going nowhere, according to an insider – Melbourne Age


The drink

Police call for Australia Day grog ban - tradition of a few beers or wine at Australia Day barbecues is under threat, with police trying to stop the sale of full-strength alcohol – Sydney Daily Telegraph

The drugs

Shamed Tebbutt has the lock on free needles – The State Government has been shamed into urgently locking syringe dispensers for drug addicts which were readily accessible to children – Sydney Daily Telegraph

The fags

Smoking fines not an idle threat this summer – The  list of rules and regulations at Sydney's most popular beaches has expanded to include volleyball, kite flying and shell collecting in recent years. But one of the more significant by-laws - the ban on smoking - is going virtually unenforced. Waverley Council is taking a two-pronged approach to the problem this summer: enforcing the fines for the first time and stepping up its information campaign with street performers, advertisements and a series of chalk murals – Sydney Morning Herald

Law and order

Swimming penalties ruled out by chief lifeguard – The Gold Coast's chief lifeguard has ruled out fining beachgoers for failing to swim between the red and yellow flags because "people go to the beach to escape rules and regulations". Warren Young was speaking yesterday after the third surf drowning on the Gold Coast in the 13 days since the new year began – Brisbane Courier Mail

ACC critical of anti-bikie laws - WA's proposed anti-bikie laws could become less effective over time as they drove organised crime groups underground in an effort to avoid detection, the Australian Crime Commission has warned – The West Australian


Why we find this prince so charming – There will be much excitement when Prince William arrives in Australia next Tuesday for a whirlwind three-day visit. And it won't be confined to monarchists writes Jilly Singer in the Melbourne Herald Sun

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