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Australia/New Zealand (News/Activism)

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  • Julian Assange: Ecuador grants Wikileaks founder asylum

    08/17/2012 4:46:03 AM PDT · by bjorn14 · 41 replies
    BBC ^ | 16 August 2012 | Staff
    Ecuador has granted asylum to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange two months after he took refuge in its London embassy while fighting extradition from the UK. It said his human rights might be violated if he is sent to Sweden to be questioned over sex assault claims. Foreign Secretary William Hague said the UK would not allow Mr Assange safe passage out of the country and the move was also criticised by Stockholm. Ecuador said it would seek to negotiate arrangements for Mr Assange to leave. "We don't think it is reasonable that, after a sovereign government has made the decision...
  • Is Australia Prohibiting Branding on Packs of Cigarettes?

    08/16/2012 3:31:01 PM PDT · by OneVike · 16 replies
    News Blaze ^ | 8/16/12 | Mina Fabulous
    With the recent Australia's High Court dismissal of the appeal by tobacco companies against a law requiring all cigarettes to be sold in plain packaging, Australia is now on track to become the first country to prohibit branding on packs of cigarettes. Reports say Australia's court has dismissed a legal challenge from the tobacco industry targeting the Country's new restrictive tobacco marketing laws. The ruling means that from December 1 companies will be banned from displaying brand designs on cigarette packets. The packaging will require only olive-green packaging. Today, the World Health Organization strongly welcomed the "landmark" ruling.WHO Director-General...
  • Carbon tax price hike jolts Anglican Church Grammar School electricity bills

    08/12/2012 1:52:51 PM PDT · by hiho hiho · 13 replies
    Herald Sun ^ | August 10, 2012 | Michael Madigan
    THE carbon tax has begun hitting Queensland small businesses, including a Brisbane private school which faces a $70,000-a-year hike in its electricity bill. Six weeks into the carbon tax regime, price hikes are starting to hit hip pockets as power bills drop into letterboxes. Queensland Chamber of Commerce and Industry president David Goodwin said the "weird distortions" were becoming apparent. "We are finding that ordinary supermarkets like the local IGA may be up for up to $15,000 on the carbon tax alone if they have to re-gas their giant refrigeration system," Mr Goodwin said. "Somehow these guys are going to...
  • Islamic preacher on porn and terror charges bailed

    08/10/2012 9:24:50 AM PDT · by Impala64ssa · 2 replies
    A CONTROVERSIAL Islamic preacher charged with child pornography offences and threatening a terrorist attack on Sydney's Mardi Gras parade has been granted bail in a Sydney court. Ibrahim Siddiq-Conlon, 35, is accused of making a hoax terrorist threat on the Facebook page of Today FM's Kyle and Jackie O Show. He allegedly outlined a "terrorist threat" to the annual Sydney parade that celebrates gay lifestyles and diversity, in a post on the show's online chat forum. Siddiq-Conlon is also facing two separate charges relating to use of a laptop to access online child pornography and a charge of possessing child...
  • Australian court rules motel owner can’t ban prostitute from taking clients to her room

    08/08/2012 1:19:23 PM PDT · by markomalley · 23 replies
    Washington Post ^ | 8/8/12 | s
    Prostitutes have the right to work from motel rooms in an Australian state, a court said after finding the owner’s refusal to rent to a sex worker was discriminatory. The ruling in the northeastern state of Queensland has stunned hotel and motel owners, who thought they had a right to decide what sort of businesses were operating from their premises. The prostitute, identified as G.K., had taken her discrimination case against the Drovers Rest Motel in the coal mining town of Moranbah to the Queensland state Civil and Administrative Tribunal after management refused to rent her a room. The 3...
  • Aussie Sports Minister Concedes Defeat to British Counterpart

    08/08/2012 11:34:18 AM PDT · by sinsofsolarempirefan · 19 replies
    BBC ^ | 8 August 2012 | BBC
    Australia's sports minister is set to don a Team GB shirt and take to the water after resigning herself to losing a wager with her UK counterpart about who would win more gold medals.
  • Art critic Robert Hughes dies in New York at 74

    08/07/2012 9:46:07 AM PDT · by EveningStar · 8 replies
    The Australian ^ | August 7, 2012 | Matthew Westwood
    The brilliant and sometimes controversial art critic and historian Robert Hughes has died in New York at the age of 74.
  • 'WE ARE NOT MUSEUM PIECES': Elders blast Greens crusader Bob Brown (the racism of the left)

    08/07/2012 6:17:50 AM PDT · by naturalman1975 · 7 replies ^ | 7th August 2012 | Anthony Sharwood
    An Aboriginal elder in Western Australia's Kimberley region has hand-delivered a stinging letter to Bob Brown, urging the former Greens leader to back off from his protest against a major gas project. The full, unedited letter is reprinted below. In the letter, Jabirr Jabirr elder Rita Augustine tells Mr Brown that "The only thing we need saving from is people who disrespect our decisions and want to see our people locked up in a wilderness and treated as museum pieces". She also says, "what saddens me most is your complete disregard for Aboriginal people. I know you care about the...
  • Fewer men than women support gay marriage: poll (Australia)

    08/06/2012 10:04:29 AM PDT · by scottjewell · 8 replies
    Herald Sun ^ | Aug 6 2012 | Unattributed
    A NEW opinion poll suggests almost two-thirds of Australians support same-sex marriage but there's a clear gender divide with men generally less keen on the idea than women. The survey, released on Monday, comes just days after the Tasmanian government announced plans to legalise gay marriage. The Galaxy poll shows 64 per cent of people believe same-sex couples should be allowed to marry - up two percentage points from February. But only 58 per cent of men back changing the law compared with 70 per cent of women. The poll was commissioned by lobby group Australian Marriage Equality.
  • Homosexuality a personal choice, says New Zealand Conservative Party leader

    08/04/2012 2:40:13 AM PDT · by gareththomasnz · 34 replies
    New Zealand Herald ^ | 4 august 2012 | gareththomasnz
    Conservative Party leader Colin Craig has sparked outrage by saying homosexuality is a choice and gay people are more likely to have been abused as children. The comments on TV3's The Nation this morning came in a discussion with Labour MP Louisa Wall over her bill to legalise same-sex marriage. Asked if he thought the bill might encourage homosexuality, Mr Craig replied people chose to be homosexual and factors other than genetics could determine whether someone was gay. "I think most people recognise that there are other influences such as upbringing, such as events in life," he said. "For homosexuals,...
  • AGT: Australia's LNG Industry Lacks Engineers Over 5-Year Period

    07/26/2012 5:35:51 AM PDT · by thackney · 11 replies
    Rig Zone ^ | July 25, 2012 | Quintella Koh
    Australia will have to grapple with a shortfall of 1,700 engineers and 3,000 geoscientists over the next five years as the country is not producing enough engineering graduates to keep pace with its energy resources projects, GE Australia and New Zealand's industry skills development leader Stuart Manifold said Wednesday. Manifold was speaking at the inaugural Australian Gas Technology Conference & Exhibition, running from July 25 to 27 at the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre. Manifold said that the skilled manpower shortage problem is pressing as other energy resources industries, such as the mining sector, are also vying with the liquefied natural...
  • Romney gets warning from Australian leader

    07/23/2012 12:19:56 AM PDT · by JerseyanExile · 41 replies
    Associated Press ^ | July 23, 2012 | AP
    The Australian foreign minister has privately warned Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney that foreign leaders see "America in decline." That's according to Romney, who says he met with Foreign Minister Bob Carr in a San Francisco hotel Sunday evening shortly before a Republican fundraiser. Romney says Carr suggested that America could improve that international perception "with one budget deal" that helps balance the budget. A Romney spokesman says the foreign minister requested the private meeting. The campaign would not say whether the two discussed foreign policy.
  • Country music star Beccy Cole outs herself on Australian story (patriotic singer is a lesbian)

    07/22/2012 4:30:10 PM PDT · by naturalman1975 · 74 replies
    Daily Telegraphy (Sydney) ^ | 23rd July 2012 | Kathy McCabe
    COUNTRY music sweetheart Beccy Cole has decided to reveal her sexuality to set an example to her son "that to be yourself is the most important thing in the world". Cole said she was inspired to use the opportunity to come out as a lesbian on Australian Story tonight by her 13-year-old son Rikki. "While you can have your privacy and all that, there are certain times and certain issues where I want to set an example to him," she said. "I have never hidden who I am from him. "What started me thinking about revealing this more publicly was...
  • FTA with EU likely by year-end [Free Trade Agreement]

    07/21/2012 6:20:32 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    The Hindu ^ | July 22, 2012 | Special Correspondent
    The Central government is hopeful of concluding the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU) by the end of this year. According to Union Commerce Secretary S.R. Rao, the final leg of negotiations between the two parties is likely to be held in September. The deal was likely to be concluded as "we have closed most of the issues". India was exploring options for widening its engagement with ASEAN countries while negotiations with Pakistan on FTA were well on way. Mr. Rao, who was talking to reporters here on Saturday, said, "They (the EU) want us to take...
  • A hero's stress fracture (pilot who saved hundreds after Airbus explosion)

    07/21/2012 10:50:19 AM PDT · by naturalman1975 · 22 replies
    Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) ^ | 22nd July 2012 | Jennifer Sexton
    The pilot who saved the lives of hundreds on a crippled jet should have felt elated but, as he tells Jennifer Sexton, he descended into grief and self-doubt in the months that followed Richard Champion de Crespigny was about to turn off the Airbus's seatbelt sign on the climb out of Singapore when engine two on QF32 blew up like a cluster bomb. In his hands were the lives of 469 Sydney-bound passengers and crew. The former RAAF pilot of 35 years' experience then captained a four-hour nightmare on board a catastrophically damaged Qantas plane. The 55-year-old not only brought...
  • Tony Abbott’s speech to the Heritage Foundation (Australian opposition leader)

    07/20/2012 4:01:49 AM PDT · by Dundee
    It was the US Information Agency that organised my first trip to America as a member of parliament. I’d just been elected as a Liberal Party MP and had previously been one of the leading opponents of Australia becoming a republic. Something happened in translation, though, because my US hosts had been told that I was very liberal and strongly anti-republican so I spent most of my fortnight in America being introduced to virtual communists. Perhaps this was an illustration of the capacity of government agencies to get things wrong, in this country as well as in my own. In...
  • Proving to Freepers that the Olympics will be worth watching [Video]

    Michelle Jenneke of Australia winning 100m hurdles with finesse and style
  • Traffic signs in New Zealand destroyed by prostitutes performing stunts

    07/17/2012 1:38:42 PM PDT · by Zakeet · 33 replies
    Telegraph (UK) ^ | July 17, 2012 | Paul Chapman
    Dozens of traffic signs have been destroyed by prostitutes performing pole-dances in the street to attract clients, officials in New Zealand's biggest city have revealed. More than 40 poles have been bent, buckled or broken in the past 18 months in one area of south Auckland, New Zealand, it is claimed. The signs, bearing legally required notices such as parking restrictions, are thought to have cost ratepayers thousands of dollars to replace. "Prostitutes use these street sign poles as dancing poles," said Donna Lee, an elected member of the city council's Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board. "The poles are part of their...
  • Husband and wife ban hits the Marks(downunder)

    07/17/2012 4:20:00 AM PDT · by marktwain · 26 replies
    AFP ^ | 16 July, 2012 | NA
    Australia shooter Russell Mark arrived in Britain an angry man after being told he won't be allowed to sleep with his wife during the London Olympics. Mark and his wife Lauryn, a fellow competitor who is also on the Australian shooting team, have been told to room separately during the Games. The 48-year-old Mark, competing at his sixth Olympics, said Australian officials had enforced the ban as a result of Lauryn's contentious appearance in 'lads magazine' Zoo, where she has been photographed holding a shotgun over her back dressed only in a green and gold bikini. Mark said he and...
  • Bungle leads to taxi rape ( Australia )

    07/14/2012 9:52:11 PM PDT · by george76 · 8 replies
    The Sunday Times ^ | July 14, 2012 | Glenn Cordingley
    A TAXI driver who raped his female passenger last weekend should have been banned from driving cabs five months ago, but was allowed to keep driving. The Sunday Times can reveal a 34-year-old woman was subjected to the horrific sex attack following a breakdown in communications between WA Police and the Department of Transport. The department admitted it would have immediately suspended the taxi licence of Sumudu Rangana Bamunu Arachchige, 28, in February when he was charged with stabbing a man twice with a kitchen knife, but claims police did not notify them of that until Monday. ... The bungle...