Labor loses power in Victoria

ABC election analyst Antony Green says the Coalition has seized power in Victoria, ending Labor's 11-year reign. A swing of around 7 per cent is sweeping Premier John Brumby's Government from power, with Ted Baillieu's Liberal/Nationals Coalition on track to form a majority government. The ABC election computer is predicting the Coalition will form government with 48 seats, with Labor on 40. The swing to the Coalition is centred mainly in metropolitan areas of Melbourne.

Finance Minister Penny Wong has laid down a challenge to Julia Gillard and the federal Labor Party over the legalisation of gay marriage
Senator Wong today backed a motion passed at the ALP conference in South Australia for a federal policy change in favour of gay marriage, The Australian said. The openly gay senator from South Australia seconded an amended motion by the Florey sub-branch at today's conference. In doing so, she broke her silence over the national debate on equal marriage rights with a deeply personal speech about the need for the Labor Party to respect the principles of equality.

Iran Court: ‘Pastor to be executed by hanging’

Stefan J. Bos - Worthy News
A detained pastor of a major network of Christian house churches in Iran will be executed by hanging for "apostasy", or abandoning Islam, according to translated court documents seen by Worthy News Wednesday, November 24. The 11th Chamber of The Assize Court of the province of Gilan said Iranian pastor Yousef Nadarkhani had proved his "apostasy" by "organizing evangelistic meetings and inviting others to Christianity, establishing a house church, baptizing people, expressing his faith to others and, denying Islamic values." Nadarkhani is "an apostate [and] will be executed by being hung...Somehow his soul is taken from him," the court wrote.

Late surge to Liberals

Paul Austin - The Age
John Brumby’s Labor government could be swept from office today, with a late Age/Nielsen poll showing Ted Baillieu’s Coalition has surged to the lead in the final days of the election campaign. The poll, taken on Wednesday and Thursday, shows the Coalition with a potentially election-winning lead of 52 per cent of the vote after distribution of preferences, with Labor on 48 per cent. This is a swing against the government of 4 per cent over the past two weeks and an anti-Labor swing of 6.5 per cent since the last state election in 2006.

Hung parliament looms as Ted Baillieu gets his nose in front on Victorian election eve

Milanda Rout -The Australian
Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu heads into today's Victorian election leading in the polls for the first time. Voters seem prepared to deliver a substantial swing against the Labor government and Premier John Brumby. The latest Newspoll, conducted exclusively for The Weekend Australian, shows the most likely outcome of the state election is a hung parliament, with the 11-year-old Brumby government facing a loss of up to 12 seats to the Coalition and one inner-city seat to the Greens.

Early customers test NBN's capacity limits

Stuart Kennedy and Mitchell Bingemann - The Australian
NBN customers in Tasmania who have bought high-speed connections are stretching their ISP's bandwidth capacity. Customers in the NBN's early rollout areas can buy plans rated at up to 100Mbps, but won't initially get those speeds across all internet activities, due to factors such as lack of ISP backhaul capacity over Bass Strait and to the US. The fibre-based NBN is a fast local freeway but can get choked once it hits the shoreline. This week The Australian reported on Tasmania's Circular Head Christian school, used by Julia Gillard in the election campaign to show off 100Mbps broadband. The Prime Minister's launch was fine, but the school has since experienced much slower connection speeds. The school said it was now getting average download speeds of about 30Mbps.

Funding fight brews over data

Anna Patty - Moonee Valley Weekly
The federal government last night refused to rule out the use of student enrolment data in a new schools funding model. The chief executive officer of Christian Schools Australia, Stephen O'Doherty, yesterday called on the government for an assurance that the measure of social disadvantage used on the My School website would not be used as the basis of a new schools funding system. ''It was not designed for funding, and it is not fit for that purpose,'' Mr O'Doherty said.

Christian woman sentenced to 25 years on defiling Koran waiting appeal, husband bailed out

Pakistan Christian Post
A court in Pakistan has freed a Christian man who was wrongly jailed for 25 years for blasphemy after he allegedly defiled the Koran, the Muslim holy book, by touching it with unwashed hands. Munir Masih, had consistently denied the allegations against him, arguing that they were false and made maliciously by a Muslim neighbour whose child had been involved in a quarrel with his 10-year-old son. He has been freed on bail but his wife, Ruqqiya Bibbi,who was also given a 25-year sentence for the offence, is still in jail awaiting the outcome of her application for bail.

- Also in Pakistan -    Pakistan's President faces mounting pressure to intervene in the case of a Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy.