090727agetaiwanPolitical life

Corruption claim on man linked with Rudd tripMelbourne Age continues to look at the connection of Kevin Rudd and Taiwanese business and government.

Labor’s China Inc is starting to smell fishy – Glenn Milne in The Australian questions that when  it comes to Kevin Rudd and his government’s relationship with what’s increasingly known as China Inc, it’s really the Gordon Nuttall question that comes to mind. Or more precisely the now famous Rodd Martin question.  “Three hundred and sixty thousand dollars for absolutely nothing?” he asked.

Rudd finds stimulus at a suburban house-warming – The Melbourne Age reports on the Prime Minister of Australia mixing it with the new tenants of a public housing project in Tullamarine, talking footy, kitchen appliances and heating systems, picking up dropped Barbie dolls and acting, well, totally normal.

Kevin Rudd, Quentin Bryce spend $700,000 on flightsBrisbane Courier Mail reports that when t comes to chalking up VIP jet bills, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Governor-General Quentin Bryce leave their predecessors in a $5.8 million wake.

Aldermen earn $1000 an hour – Katherine Town Council – which pays its aldermen $10,370 per year – had 14 meetings in the past financial year that lasted a total of 10 hours and 15 minutes – Northern Territory News


Agent register set up to fight foreign student rorts – A register of overseas education agents working for private vocational colleges is being developed to address concerns that thousands of students are being sucked into a system of economic slavery and corruption – Sydney Morning Herald

Sham lovers exposed Melbourne Herald Sun reports that hundreds of overseas-born spouses are being deported each year after failing Green Card-style intimacy tests.

Economic matters

Kevin Rudd warns homeowners: interest rates to rise fastThe Australian

‘False boom’ a sign of real estate madnessThe Australian reports on Melbourne real estate madness

Food is fastest rising expense – food costs in Sydney are rising seven times faster than everything else – Sydney Daily Telegraph

‘Y’ you have to get real – Prime Minister Kevin Ruddhas urged young people to align their job expectations with the tough times facing Australia –  Melbourne Herald Sun

Shoppers flag change – Positive signs have emerged that the worst of the global economic downturn may have passed. There have been strong rallies on overseas share markets and confirmation by a leading retailer that Australians are again beginning to spend – Melbourne Herald Sun


Push to give 16-year-olds the vote in federal elections – The aAustralian


‘Tough’ talking PM is all spin – Ross Gittins in the Melbourne Age (and the SMH) writes of forcing himself to read every bit of Kevin Rudd’s latest 6100-word diatribe on economic recovery and reckons he now knows what it must be like to sit through one of Fidel Castro’s three-hour speeches. It was a combination of the sensible and the self-serving, marred by its partisanship.

Libs’ deadly clodhopper, Malcolm Turnbull – Alan Howe in the Melbourne Herald Sun says rescued Iraq hostage Douglas Wood is very lucky that the clodhopping attention-seeker Malcolm Turnbull wasn’t Opposition Leader when he was kidnapped.

090727agesingerWe must nurture the humanities – Peter Singer in the Melbourne Age argues Australian universities need to do much more to fulfil their most important role: teaching students to think for themselves.

We are stewing in our own oven – Paul Sheehan in the Sydney Morning Herald thinks locally with a look at the reasons for rising city temperatures

Employment is still the battlefield – Phillip Coorey of the Sydney Morning Herald looks ahead to the big issue of the next election

Corruption we have, but we sure ain’t Noo Joisey – Adam Graycar in the Sydney Morning Herald reckons the arrest of 44 people on corruption charges in the US state of New Jersey a few days ago highlights the sharp contrast between corruption US and Australian style.

At issue for Labor is a boring conference – Malcolm Farr of the Sydney Daily Telegraph looks at this week’s Labor talk fest

Now comes time to pay the piper – Michael Stutchbury writes in The Australian that higher interest rates and rising unemployment. “Increased economic pain” and “unpopular budget cuts”. “Additional financial pressure on many families” and even “sacrifice”.
This is Kevin Rudd’s grim new economic lexicon as he calls on Australia to “tighten our belts”.


Jakarta bombing

Suspected bombing financier detainedSydney Morning Herald

US health care

090727latimeshealthTed Kennedy is making a final press for universal healthcare, from his sickbed – As Congress wrestles with legislation to give Americans access to quality care, which the Democrat worked toward for 46 years, the senator is sidelined with brain cancer, but not out of the gameLos Angeles Times


China ties itself in knots reacting to riots – The Xinjiang conflict raises the prospect of traumatic change, writes John Garnaut in the Melbourne Age

On the stormy seas of carbon reduction – Peter Hartcher in the Sydney Morning Herald sys Barack Obama went into the White House determined to lead the world on climate change, but he is facing a very rough passage as his administration trys to navigate a flimsy vessel through an impossibly narrow channel between two rocky shoals.


Locals caught in Dubai property deal gone bad – The Melbourne Age reports on Geelong Grammar old boys Angus Reed and Matt Joyce who are among four Australians facing a string of charges, including fraud, over a property deal gone bad in Dubai.

$200bn debt bomb ticking for corporationsThe Australian

NBN’s new boss on hunt for staff – In a major coup for the Rudd government, Mike Quigley — Australia’s most broadly and internationally experienced telecommunications networks executive — will oversee the rolling out of the $43 billion national broadband network – The Australian


Act now on climate: Obama – Peter Hartcher of the Sydney Morning Herald interviews the Obama Administration’s climate change negotiator who warns that any country that delays enacting laws will miss out on a huge wave of investment waiting for the regulatory dam to break.


Recovery of Mexican gray wolves remains elusiveLos Angeles Times

Carbon scheme stand-off remains – The Government and Opposition remain in a stand-off over an emissions trading scheme, despite Malcolm Turnbull’s offer to support it if extensive concessions are made – Melbourne Age

Turnbull lashes out at climate sceptics – Sydney Morning Herald

Up where birds nest, nature gets a hand – In the aftermath of the February 7 bushfires, Victorian authorities are giving nature a hand by planting hundreds of millions of mountain ash, alpine ash and messmate seeds in a bid to regenerate vast areas of forest lost in the fires – Melbourne Age

Brigades reveal Black Saturday blundersMelbourne Age says Country Fire Authority brigades have accused the agency of poor leadership, of ignoring years of warnings about communication problems and of supplying inadequate equipment.

Timber body under fire over climate aid claimsMelbourne Age


Google faces property ads warMelbourne Age reports Fairfax Media and News Ltd are independently weighing up whether to pull the millions of dollars they collectively spend on buying key search terms on Google following the latter’s decision to list properties for sale on Google Maps.

Politics comes before lights and camera – Controversies around film festivals may shock, but they are not unexpected reports The Age in a preview of the Melbourne film festival.

Home & A-wasted – soapie’s ‘drug culture’Adelaide Advertiser

Spate of teen suicides challenges reporting taboo – The Australian

Media braces for new data on ad revenue – The Australian


Health care


Hospital botches kill 4500 – Hospital errors claim the lives of 4550 Australians a year, according to a report to the Government that urges sweeping reforms to the health system.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will today release the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission report, which warns that the current health system is unlikely to be sustainable without reform – Melbourne Age

090727dailytelehealthSweeping changes to hospitals in Kevin Rudd’s healthcare revolution – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Health reforms aim to mend ailing systemBrisbane Courier Mail says the Rudd Government is being urged to build stand-alone elective surgery hospitals, as part of an ambitious push to cut waiting lists.

Prime Minister to unveil sweeping $16bn health reformAdelaide Advertiser

Plan to free-up elective surgery and bedsAdelaide Advertiser

Billions ‘wasted’ in health system: report – The Australian

A Case of Getting What You Pay For – With Heart Attack Treatments, as Quality Rises, So Does Cost – In the 1960s, the chance of dying in the days immediately after a heart attack was 30 to 40 percent. In 1975, it was 27 percent. In 1984, it was 19 percent. In 1994, it was about 10 percent. Today, it’s about 6 percent. Over the same period, the charges for treating a heart attack marched steadily upward, from about $5,700 in 1977 to $54,400 in 2007 (without adjusting for inflation) – Washington Post


Police warn on Melbourne heroin smugglers – Police have identified more than 100 Melbourne-based drug couriers smuggling heroin from Vietnam for seven major crime syndicates – Melbourne Age

Nicotine bingeing endangers health – Sydney Daily Telegraph


090727townsvillebulletinStorm collapse takes toll – The human toll of the Storm Financial collapse is beginning to show in Townsville with one in four ruined investors suffering from clinical depressionTownsville Bulletin

Law and order

Bully boot camps to beat school violenceBrisbane Courier Mail

Cars confiscated in Brisbane’s ten hoon hotspots Brisbane Courier Mail

Assault culprits caught on camera escape arrest – Queensland police are calling for ID scanners at all late-night licensed venues, saying it will lead to a significant reduction in violent assaults – Brisbane Courier Mail