Today’s selection from online news sites

Having faith in politics

The beliefs of our new Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, have attracted considerable attention and generated debate. Rather than swear on the Bible, she became the first prime minister to take an affirmation of office. She makes quite a contrast from her two predecessors, John Howard and Kevin Rudd, who were observant Anglicans.

Last words from Rudd

Former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott spoke directly to Christians across Australia by webcast on Monday 21 June, just 64 hours before Julia Gillard became Australia’s first woman Prime Minister.  Organisers, Australian Christian Lobby estimates that at least 60,000 people participated in the event by attending screenings in local churches across the nation.

Julia Gillard's $7.5bn gift to miners

MINERS won $7.5bn in concessions under Julia Gillard's "breakthrough" deal with the industry - five times more than the government has admitted.   This is according to new figures that reveal Treasury massively underestimated takings from the super-profits tax.

Bookies defied, poll pushed back

AN election is highly unlikely to be called this weekend after Julia Gillard's first full election strategy meeting on Tuesday night.  The meeting looked at all the polling options from this weekend until December.

Jenny Macklin rewards indigenous housing coup

INDIGENOUS Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin has rewarded WA's Liberal government with a $4 million bonus for meeting its indigenous housing targets.  But she has fined the Labor states of Queensland and South Australia $4 million for missing theirs.

Nauru returns fire over attacks on asylum centres

NAURU has hit back at claims refugees were treated inhumanely at its detention centres under the Howard government's Pacific Solution.   Speaking to The Australian, Nauru President Marcus Stephen said his tiny island state would be willing to reopen the centres if approached by Australia.  But he was concerned that Nauru could once more come in for criticism over refugees being mistreated on its soil.

Bob Brown plans to be evergreen

GREENS leader Bob Brown has deflected questions over his future, saying he intends to be in his job "for a long time to come".  Senator Brown, 65, is more than twice the age of the youngest member of his team, South Australian Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

Immigration Minister admits asylum seeker issue 'killing Government'

IMMIGRATION Minister Chris Evans was in damage control after admitting the asylum seeker issue was "killing the Government".  And, despite a surge in refugee boats on his watch, Senator Evans said his biggest failure as minister was his inability to control the debate.  The election-eve blunder came amid confusion over the Government's East Timor Solution and the arrival of yet another boat, the 147th since Labor came to office.

Top care for nation's dying

AUSTRALIA has been ranked second out of 40 countries for providing quality end-of-life care - but availability of such care could be improved, a report has found.  Britain topped the list by The Economist, which was commissioned by a Singaporean philanthropic organisation, the Lien Foundation.  It scored countries according to factors including public awareness of palliative care, training, existence of a national palliative care strategy, and access to painkillers.