Greens a party of extemists: PM

Michelle Grattan - The Age

Julia Gillard has promised her carbon-pricing scheme will protect jobs in vulnerable industries, in a feisty speech that sharply distances Labor from the Greens, describing them as one of the ''extremes'' in Australian politics. Ms Gillard also warned that if the country failed to adopt a carbon price this year, ''we probably never will''. While the Prime Minister gave assurances her plan would not threaten jobs, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott insisted Australians would lose jobs to Chinese and Indonesians.

Greens slam parties over religious exemptions


Greens MP Cate Faehrmann has slammed Labor and Coalition MPs who she says are making a "cynical" appeal to LGBTI voters by voicing concerns over religious exemptions from anti-discrimination legislation. Liberal MPs Don Harwin, Adrian Bartels and Bruce Notley-Smith and Labor MPs Carmel Tebbutt, Verity Firth and Penny Sharpe all spoke out after their respective party leaders both said they would not change the law to remove or tighten up religious exemptions. "I'm sure no one is surprised by the timing of these comments from individual MPs and candidates a few weeks out from polling day. This is a cynical appeal to the community which simply won't be followed up in the new Parliament," Faehrmann said. Faehrmann said a handful of MPs speaking out on the subject meant nothing because she believed neither major party would change the law.

Stanhope wants brake on laws

The Australian

ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope has proposed a constitutional brake on the commonwealth's capacity to make laws for the territories, moving a step beyond Greens leader Bob Brown's bill to remove the executive veto over territory legislation. Mr Stanhope floated new "conventions" in a Senate hearing yesterday that would further restrict the commonwealth's ability to intervene in territory affairs. The conventions, developed through consensus, would govern the operation of section 122 of the constitution which preserves the federal government's right to make laws for the territories.

ALP national secretary quits post

Sky News

The man behind the election campaign that very nearly saw federal Labor booted out of government after just one term has announced he's quitting his post as the ALP's national secretary. Karl Bitar on Wednesday revealed he would stand down from the executive body at the beginning of April so his replacement could prepare for the party's national conference in December. Mr Bitar, a member of the ALP for almost 20 years, was severely criticised by some for the way he ran the 2010 federal election as campaign director. After Labor failed to win a majority in its own right, former NSW premier Morris Iemma accused Mr Bitar, who helped oust him, of running 'one of the most inept campaigns in living memory'. Former party pollster Rod Cameron described it as 'the worst federal campaign I have ever seen'. But on Wednesday, Prime Minister Julia Gillard argued Mr Bitar had helped Labor to scrape home in the August 21 poll.

Three killed as troops open fire in Bahrain

The Australian

Bahrain authorities last night imposed a 4pm to 4am curfew on Manama's Pearl Square, where security forces earlier killed three protesters in an attack on their peaceful demonstration. The curfew, also covering the capital's financial district, would apply from last night until further notice, said an army spokesman on Bahrain's state television. Rallies, marches, and sit-ins had also been banned across the Gulf kingdom, after three police were killed in clashes in which dozens of protesters were wounded in Manama yesterday.

International paedophile ring 'the biggest of its kind', say police

The Australian

Police have arrested 31 Australians after they cracked the world's largest internet paedophile ring, which was spread across more than a dozen countries. In total, 670 suspects were identified and 184 arrests made, allowing authorities to identify and assist 230 child victims worldwide. It was "the biggest case of its kind", Europol said today. Investigators identified a Netherlands-based online forum,, that promoted sex between adults and young boys.

Australians are not racist, but…

The Punch

It’s hardly surprising that Johnny Lee Clary’s Australian tour has caused a stir. It’s not every day you get a former KKK Imperial Wizard dropping in and warning us that we’ve got problems with racism. Here’s the story - where he says racism in Australia is reaching the fever pitch he saw in the Deep South- in case you missed it. The story was light on details, so I called Reverend Elder Clary to see what he’s on about. And he makes a lot of sense for a man with such a convoluted back story. After a troubled childhood he joined the Klan and rose through the ranks, before quitting the ‘hood’, becoming a born-again Christian and taking up a new mission – touring the world tackling racism.

Greens support euthanasia issue

Tweed News

Tweed Greens candidate Andrea Vickers has put death by choice front and centre in her campaign for the state election. Her party’s plan to legalise euthanasia faces an uphill battle, with the Christian Democrats strongly opposed and Labor and the Nationals expressing deep concerns about the proposal. Tweed Christian Democrats candidate Corinne Pennay described euthanasia as “suicide”. “It will open Pandora’s box,” she said. “Our party supports life.

Rudd hits out at UN over stalled moves to impose a no-fly zone over Libya

The Australian

Kevin Rudd has questioned the capacity of the United Nations to learn from history and act to constrain Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi through a no-fly zone. The Foreign Affairs Minister has suggested the international community is at risk of losing its resolve to take action on Libya. "Let me tell you the step which lies ahead of us now is for a no-fly zone. And if we're seeing a few people go weak at the knees on this one we may have some problems ahead," he told the ABC's Lateline program last night. With Gaddafi's forces threatening the rebel bastion of Benghazi, opposition from Germany has dealt a new blow to hopes of a UN resolution on a no-fly zone.

Rebel stronghold Benghazi under attack as Gaddafi closes in

The Australian

Muammar Gaddafi's war planes have bombed a military airport in Benghazi, as his forces close in on the rebel stronghold. The airport attack reportedly came as troops looked to consolidate Ajdabiya, 150km south of Benghazi, while rebels armed with rocket-propelled grenades and traveling in speedboats fired on Libyan ships off the Mediterranean coast. Gaddafi said today he would hold no dialogue with the country's rebels, whom he compared to Al-Qaeda agents, in an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro to be published on Thursday.

Jujitsu in South Dakota

Joel Belz - World Mag

A groundbreaking law deterring access to abortion could work in other states too. I've never participated in a jujitsu contest, nor even watched a match up close. But I'm intrigued with what I understand to be the essence of the sport. A really good jujitsu competitor has learned how to use his opponent's superior weight and strength against him. Maybe that's what happened a couple of weeks ago in South Dakota, where the state legislature approved a bill that has the potential for drastically reducing the number of abortions in that state. If it works, it could be a pattern for other states as well.

The Christian life as apologetics

World Mag

In one portion of the apologetics of Tertullian (ca. 160-225) we find a defense of the faith on the basis of how different Christians live from their neighbors. The Christian life is intended to be lived in such a way that it puts on display the glory of God. In the early church, what made Christians stand out were the ways in which they were different from the surrounding culture in pursuing a virtuous and holy life. Being different is a struggle for American Christians who often find it desirous to be as much like our society in every way except for the occasional Sabbath from culture for religious activities. But the Bible is a book describing how and why God’s people are supposed to live differently (Leviticus 20:23, Colossians 3:1-17, 1 Thessalonians 4:5). Tertullian takes this principle even further in his Apology by explaining what happens when people commit their lives to Christ. Following Christ changes everything about one’s life and family. Given the positive consequences of the Christian life, Tertullian wonders why those who attack Christianity spew so much venom:

Coptic Christians attacked by Egyptian military after suspending demonstrations

Chrsitian Today

Dozens of Christian demonstrators have been attacked by Egyptian Armed Forces despite agreeing to suspend a sit-in protest outside the state-run television building that lasted 9 days. The Coptic protestors came under fire on Monday, as the youth cleaned up the site and families from other provinces packed up their belongings, according to the Assyrian International News Agency. Dr Gameel Ebeid of the Coptic hospital in Cairo treated 15 victims of the assault, 14 of which suffered from broken feet and head wounds caused by electrified batons.