Asian Century lost in translation. “There’s a view among the Canberra bureaucrats,” says one Canberra bureaucrat, “that if the Prime Minister’s white paper on Asia — about which many are of course sceptical — gets a few more kids learning Asian languages it will have been worth it. Very hard to get anyone in this country to take a long-term view.” That’s certainly a complaint we’ve heard before — many in the field put greater take-up of LOTE in schools at the top of the list for strengthening ties with our Asian neighbours. At a time when, according to one parent we’ve spoken to, there’s little incentive for students to tackle languages for their high school certificate given the difficulty in obtaining high marks. What’s your experience?

More News Limited cuts? Yesterday we reported on job losses at News Limited’s Advertiser Newspapers in Adelaide. Today we hear there might be more cuts at the NT News. A spy reports the Darwin paper’s prepress operations could go, no doubt part of John Hartigan’s drive to strip 15-20% from spending as Crikey revealed last month. We’ve left a message with the editor of the paper.

MD at Reed not such a Catch. Meanwhile, the online division of Reed Business Information — Catch — has apparently lost managing director David Catterall and a director of marketing. We said in August the division was struggling and redundancies were being offered. It’s not clear why the boss has now left — we asked the company for comment but didn’t hear back before deadline.

Aussie aid website hacked. The Australian Council for International Development — the independent peak body for Australian aid and development non-government organisations — has been hacked …

And then less than an hour later …

So what happened there then?

Beans means Vegemite. And in exciting food developments, via this morning’s 3AW Rumour File: “Caller ‘New Beans’ says Heinz is bringing out a new flavour of baked beans. She says the sauce will be Vegemite flavoured.”

Peter Fray

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