Government knew about the boat. The Australian government had detected the sunk vessel lost off Christmas Islands, contrary to statements made by the minister for border protection. The boat was detected by Coast Watch and the vessel’s course confirmed as heading to Christmas Island. Official logs and communications will confirm this.

Strike at Macquarie grows bitter. The strike at Macquarie University has grown increasingly bitter as negotiators for the university have told union representatives that they are going to offer no meaningful compromise but rather a “show of force”. VC Steven Schwartz has been overseas during the strike — what’s he up to? The university offered the National Tertiary Education Union representatives one of the worst packages at any Australian university, refusing to follow the model successfully negotiated now at about 20 universities. Although the VC is now the highest paid in Australia, he does not seem concerned that his university is slipping in the international rankings and falling behind in working conditions.

With a 60% increase in his own salaries and a reinforced, higher paid band of administrators to protect him (increasing the number of the highest level of executives by 250% in less than three years and raising their salaries by a minimum of 30%), Schwartz is apparently more interested in gaining praise from the business press than running a university. So as Christmas approaches, the administrators have taken a hard-ball approach, standing down about a 100 union member who withheld final marks after a year of intransigence. A merry Christmas wish to all the dedicated academics who are otherwise continuing to perform their duties — no income for the holidays!

News missing on cancer breakthrough. We’ve had the biggest breakthrough in lung cancer research ever, it was in Melbourne, and it is barely visible in the Herald Sun or The Australian. Yet The Age has it as a video on the front page and an article. Why would that be …?

More to come on Boeing. Ben Sandilands mentioned Flightblogger in his current posting about the Seattle Times 787 article. Watch for new revelations in the next couple of days. They’ve got a 2000-word piece pending Boeing’s response right now. To use an apt analogy, when it rains it pours.

Peter Fray

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