Christian summarises Bible on Twitter

A DEVOUT Christian is gathering a flock of followers over Twitter thanks to an ambitious plan to summarise the whole Bible - in daily tweets.  Chris Juby, a Christian evangelist from Durham, in northern England, plans to spend the next three and a half years on the project.  He will use one 140-character tweet to summarize a whole chapter in the bible and send out a tweet a day.  The freelance web developer said: “Will I really be able to do justice to all 176 verses of Psalm 119 in 140 characters? Probably not.

ALP fights back in key marginals

LABOR is facing the loss of a clutch of seats in the pivotal states of Queensland and NSW.  But the Gillard government is positioned to hold power by winning back Coalition seats in Victoria.  With only a week to go until the election, Labor appears to be holding on to a narrow lead as it prepares for a last frenetic few days of campaigning, starting with Julia Gillard's official campaign launch in Brisbane on Monday.  The latest Newspoll survey, conducted exclusively for The Weekend Australian, reveals that Queensland remains Labor's weak spot, with swings in marginal electorates since the 2007 election putting up to seven seats at risk on a statewide basis.

Greens preferences unlikely to help Libs

THE Coalition cannot bank on attracting a higher share of Greens preferences than the 20 per cent it secured at the 2007 election.  Pollsters, analysts and the Greens themselves say that although the Greens are set to grab a higher primary vote than the 7.8 per cent in 2007, their preferences will again run about 80-20 in Labor's favour.  Greens preferences could be critical in a tight election race, with a 10-percentage-point movement in the preferences split equivalent to a one-percentage-point change for each party in the two-party-preferred result. For example, if the preferences flowed 70-30, instead of 80-20, it would be expected to cut a Labor two-party-preferred lead of, say, 52-48 per cent to 51-49.

Nauru an option for refugees: Smith

THE government has had "preliminary discussions" with Nauru on the possibility of setting up a regional refugee-processing centre there.  The government has consistently said it would not consider Nauru as a site for its proposed refugee centre because the island nation had not joined the United Nations Refugee Convention.   It favoured establishing the centre in East Timor, which is a signatory to the convention, but that plan has bogged down in East Timor, where it has run into strong opposition.   In an interview with the ABC's Australia Network this week, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith was asked if the centre could be built in Nauru once it signed up to the convention.

Rudd muses on dumping in TV interview

IN his first interview since being axed as prime minister, Kevin Rudd has described his toppling as brutal.  " I don't want to mislead people," Mr Rudd said. "The recent events in public politics have been tough. Tough on Therese, and tough on our children. It's a very brutal business."  The interview was conducted with the Seven Network, days after he was dumped, for its Sunday Night program. It screens tomorrow night. Mr Rudd agreed to the interview to discuss an issue that is literally close to his heart: organ replacement. He has a transplanted aortic valve.  Mr Rudd said he would be "six feet under" without the transplant he had, years ago.

Surge for Labor, Coalition vote falls

LABOR has surged to a strong 53-47 per cent two-party lead a week from the election, with a new poll also showing a sharp fall in Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's approval.  As Prime Minister Julia Gillard had a much better fourth week, Labor's two-party vote in the Age/Nielsen poll rose 4 percentage points. Its primary vote was also up 4 points to 40 per cent - about the level it needs to be confident of hanging on.  The Coalition has lost 3 points in a week from its primary vote - on 41 per cent, it is only slightly ahead of Labor.

GetUp! wins again in online vote case

Australians will be able to enrol online after the Federal Court ruled in favour of activist group GetUp! in its action against the Australian Electoral Commission.  The group took the commission to court after concern was expressed about an online voting enrolment site it created in July.  But today Federal Court Justice Nye Perram ruled the test case of 19-year-old Sophie Trevitt, who enrolled on the GetUp! website OzEnrol, was legal.