The Sudanese Government is supporting the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia with training of its military and logistic support, including uniforms and ammunition. Sudanese Govt aircraft landed and unloaded uniforms 11 Nov 09 and took off with 120 military personnel for training in the Sudan. Interesting association to have the TFG with the Sudanese and for the UN to be coming in to underpin the African Union Peacekeeping Force (AMISOM which is currently funded by the US Dept of State).

The esteemed Gareth Evans might be trying to defuse nuclear ambition as chief of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament but it seems his steely resolve doesn’t extend to matters of personal fidelity.

After a few wines at last week’s “In the Zone” gabfest of business and politco powerbrokers in Perth, Evans reacted angrily to a query over whether he enjoyed his portrayal in Keating: the Musical, which famously included a song-and-dance take on the former foreign minister’s dalliance with Cheryl Kernot.

“No!” Evans stammered, waving an angry index finger in the face of his inquisitor, before setting off in the opposite direction.

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DMG have been speaking to a number of Austereo staff to replace Merrick and Rosso on Nova. Representatives of Rove’s management have been in as well. The likely short list is:

  • 1st choice: ROVE McMANUS and PETER HELLIAR (Rove management deny this emphatically).
  • 2nd choice: PAUL and RACH from 2MMM Sydney to join Merrick Watts — they recently showed up in so-called “Listener Advisory Panels” which surprised a few people around the place.
  • 3rd choice: Current Drivetime team at Nova Sydney — not researching well at the moment.

Merry go round at next AJC board elections? After being rejected by AJC members in the board elections only seven months ago Mr Ken Shepherd and Mr Benedict Chan, are back in the saddle having another go. The two nominees, previously in the April elections, are chasing directorships this time in context of the AJC Chairman’s appeal to members to give serious consideration to re-electing the current board.

Now the two nominees have got their whips out, striking with leaflets instructing members to scratch a particular director. The business woman singled out is one of two experienced and talented female board members. At a time when Australian boards lack female representation why on earth would the AJC want to lose top quality female directors? The AJC needs a diverse range of people and experience to best represent member’s views and interests. If the nominees succeed there is a real possibility of an AJC board made up of ten old men. Progress at the AJC? A merry go round more like it.

As reported in Crikey by the excellent Mr Schwab, Melbourne University’s student preferences have been appalling. Perhaps you should also let Mr Schwab know that they are now also artificially inflating those numbers by forcing students transferring between courses (e.g. Science to Arts) to apply through VTAC, as if they were external students. This allows them to count already enrolled students as new preferences.

Dear Lawyers, is there a piece of Victorian Legislation you don’t like or is thwarting your success in litigation? Well if it was assented to by the lieutenant-governor (while the governor was away, sick etc.) between 1986 and 2006 it is invalid, so you might want to challenge it. The Constitution (Appointments) Bill 2009 will be passed by Parliament on 24 November and rectify this situation – so get your writs in quick!

The battle lines have been drawn. A meeting was held last week with the Mayor of Woollahra. A frank and open discussion, where the tree lovers put forward reasonable alternatives to council’s planned tree kill. Most of the suggestions were lifted straight out of the councils own report. The park area surrounded by the trees has now been barricaded with a notice from Council: “The four large liquidambar trees in this area have been found to have extensive decay and are scheduled for removal. This area is closed for public safety until further notice.”

There was no mention of this extensive decay in the council report. It seems that Council is determined one way or another to achieve its ends of tree removal of these “non-native trees” The barricade is an interesting development from last week, when Council advertised its biodiversity walk for children, with the meeting place cited as the playground area under the trees.

In fact, the sign for this activity was strategically placed side by side in plain view of the “dangerous tree sign!”

Hartigan loves Burrowes? Sometime in the distant past (last year), John “Occupation Journalist” Hartigan described media blogger Tim Burrowes and his online-only publication mUmBRELLA with, well, the sort of words that should stay in the newsroom. Then two months ago, in an action one can only describe as “rapprochement”, News Corp advertised on the mUmBRELLA website; now, (shock), Burrowes is writing in The Australian! Is there something we should know?

More delays for Qantas last week. The Thursday afternoon flight from Melbourne to Launceston due to depart Melbourne at 15.20 was cancelled with Qantas trying desperately to convince passengers to fly to Devonport and take a bus to Launceston. No updates were given to passengers, with Qantas failing to update the expected boarding time. Guests waiting in Launceston for the incoming flight to arrive for their trip top Melbourne were given even less information from Qantas staff, who assured them they would be flying out on their scheduled flight by 7pm.

A passenger on the Launceston bound flight called friends in the Launceston lounge and kept them updated — ensuring that they could let the other passengers know that in all likelihood, they would not be leaving Launceston that day and should check out Virgin Blue availability instead.

It’s pretty outrageous when the information has to come from passengers in another city, instead of direct from Qantas personnel, but it appears the staff in Launceston are so far down the pecking order that the mainland crew forget to fill them in …

Our media landscape is amongst the most concentrated in the democratic world. Big media businesses are marred by big media interests. If you want the full, untainted picture on important issues — our environment, corruption, political competence, our culture, our economy — Crikey is required reading.

I am a private person that takes online privacy very seriously but I wanted to contribute my words to this campaign as I genuinely believe that we will improve as a country if more people read publications such as Crikey.

Josh
Sydney, NSW

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