Assange: I’m twice as popular as Gillard. Julian Assange has scoffed at suggestions that he’s yesterday’s man, despite the revelation that WikiLeaks is broke and could fold within weeks without an urgent cash injection.

The decision by Visa, PayPal and other financial institutions to refuse to accept any donations for WikiLeaks has destroyed 95% of the whistleblower website’s revenues. It’s been a torrid year for Assange in many ways. — Matthew Knott (read the full story here)

Tim Flannery on the coal seam gas debate. Alan Jones has one more reason to dislike Tim Flannery: yesterday, the Gillard government climate change commissioner gave his tick of approval to coal seam gas.

Less than a week after Jones, one of Australia’s most powerful megaphones, gave a 45-minute long impassioned plea to the National Press Club in Canberra warning of the dangers of coal seam gas, Flannery told a NSW Minerals Council meeting in Wollongong that opposition to CSG could lead to “social dislocation”. — The Power Index (read the full story here)

Sydney set for power cooking duo. International celebrity chefs will continue their quest for local culinary domination with the opening of two new restaurants — Jamie’s Italian and Momofuku Seiobo — in Sydney this week.

Jamie’s Italian, which takes its name from British bon vivant Jamie Oliver, is focusing not so much on top-shelf inner-city investment banker types but middle-of-the-road patrons and fans of Oliver’s cooking shows. Meanwhile, chef of the minute David Chang is set to open his first restaurant outside New York City tomorrow night at Sydney’s The Star casino. — Tom Cowie (read the full story here)

UPDATED: Professor Flannery has released a statement this afternoon on information relevent to the below.

“The Australian (25 October) portrayed me as a ‘backer’ of the coal seam gas industry. This is not only wrong, but a serious misrepresentation of my speech to the New South Wales Minerals Council from which the headline was drawn.

What I in fact said at the meeting of environmental workers in the minerals industry is that serious conflicts exist between the coal seam gas industry and landowners, and that the industry faces enormous challenges as a result.”

A spokesperson told The Power Index that Flannery has been travelling today, but that he believes his speech has been misinterpreted. A copy of the speech was not available. We’ve amended the headline to reflect Flannery’s response.

Peter Fray

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