Conciliation and arbitration. So much for the so-called reforms. It’s like old times again on the industrial relations front with one variation. This time it is management keen to return to the traditional Australian way of settling disputes. How wonderful to hear Qantas management talking of the abiding by the umpire’s decision. I wonder what Peter Reith thinks of it all?

No relief in sight. The gloomy headlines about the financial situation just keep coming. This morning’s International Herald Tribune says it all really:

A Chinese view. Wang Qishan, the Chinese vice-premier, describing global economic conditions as remaining “grim” and warning of a prolonged downturn:

“The one thing that we can be certain of, among all the uncertainties, is that the global economic recession caused by the international financial crisis will be chronic.”

And now for some better news. A new report by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) released overnight shows that new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths have fallen to the lowest levels since the peak of the epidemic. New HIV infections were reduced by 21% since 1997, and deaths from AIDS-related illnesses decreased by 21% since 2005.

Of competing conspiracy theories. I hesitate to admit it but there is a chemtrail believer in the family. I fear that this recent offering by xkcd would merely bring forth nodding agreement.

Dennis is back so … No need to read the details this morning. After handing over duties to an underling a fortnight ago when the figures showed Labor improving, (see Missing Dennis) Dennis Shanahan has resumed his duties as interpreter of Newspoll. Clearly Labor is going bad again.

If the book is as good. Laurie Oakes will become the book launcher of choice based on his effort for one time Crikey contributor Alex Mitchell. A gem of a speech that has already sent me to the bookshop to purchase his old flatmate’s Come the Revolution.

A sleeper gem as the song of the day. National Public Radio of the USA has “under-appreciated veteran band” You Am I performing its Song of the Day today. The Aussie band, currently touring with Cold Chisel, is described by NPR as having ” always managed the virtually impossible act of mixing and matching rough-around-the-edges rock ‘n’ roll, biting wit and heartbreaking vulnerability into one powerful, cohesive whole. The band’s self-titled studio album, its ninth, turns the volume down a bit but ups the ante — another sleeper gem for an under-appreciated veteran band.”

You can listen to “Lie and Face the Sun”, the track chosen as the song of the day, here.