Vatican buys soccer club
The players of Italian third division side Ancona will most likely think twice before misbehaving on the pitch after the club was bought by the Vatican.
La Stampa reported on Wednesday that the Centro Sportivo Italiano (CSI) has bought 80% of the club through a group of Milanese Catholic entrepreneurs, leaving 20% to the former president Sergio Schiavoni.
When the Justice Department publicly declared torture "abhorrent" in a legal opinion in December 2004, the Bush administration appeared to have abandoned its assertion of nearly unlimited presidential authority to order brutal interrogations.
But soon after Alberto Gonzales's arrival as attorney general in February 2005, the Justice Department issued another opinion, this one in secret. It was a very different document, according to officials briefed on it, an expansive endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency.
Abbott announces $15m health plan for elderly
Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott has announced the Federal Government will provide Medicare-funded health checks for people aged 65 and over.
Patients can be referred to a geriatrician, who can then develop treatment plans to help patients stay out of aged care homes.
Mr Abbott says the program will cost about $15 million over four years.
Fueling the military junta that has ruled for decades are Burma's natural gas reserves, controlled by the Burmese regime in partnership with the U.S. multinational oil giant Chevron, the French oil company Total and a Thai oil firm. Offshore natural gas facilities deliver their extracted gas to Thailand through Burma's Yadana pipeline. The pipeline was built with slave labor, forced into servitude by the Burmese military.
The original pipeline partner, Unocal, was sued by EarthRights International for the use of slave labor. As soon as the suit was settled out of court, Chevron bought Unocal.
Telstra has accused Communications Minister Helen Coonan of being a failure, but she says the company should end its "King Kong-like antics" and get on with improving services.
Already tense relations between the Federal Government and Telstra soured even further when Telstra wrote to all 1.6 million shareholders, accusing the government of excessive, costly regulation.
That relates to the company's move to close down the CDMA mobile phone network, established in 1999 to supercede the old analog network in regional areas.
The Apprentice Dog Whistler
By Josh Fear, a Research Fellow at the Australia Institute, an independent public policy think tank based in Canberra:
“If I had to use one word to describe the environmental state of the planet right now, I think I would say precarious. It isn’t doomed. It isn’t certainly headed toward disaster. But it’s in a very precarious situation right now.”
The poet Robert Burns, watching a louse crawl around a rich woman's head, was inspired to write a poem that contains a line to the effect that we need to see ourselves as others see us.
I just read a blog by an Arab woman, obviously educated, that is livid with hatred for us for the destruction of Iraq. She dismisses the excuse of those who say they didn't vote for the present administration.
Abbott warns states of hospital revolt
The Federal Government is defending plans to scrap state and territory control of public hospital funding.
If re-elected the Government says it will require hospital budgets to be managed by local boards as part of health funding arrangements.
The idea has received a mixed response.
Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott is warning states and territories they will face a public backlash if they oppose the changes.
Britsh MPs visiting the Pentagon to discuss America's stance on Iran and Iraq were shocked to be told by one of President Bush's senior women officials: "I hate all Iranians."
And she also accused Britain of "dismantling" the Anglo-US-led coalition in Iraq by pulling troops out of Basra too soon.
The all-party group of MPs say Debra Cagan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Coalition Affairs to Defence Secretary Robert Gates, made the comments this month.
Europeans angry after Bush climate speech 'charade'
· US isolated as China and India refuse to back policy
America’s hired guns in Iraq have been called ‘the coalition of the billing’, but Blackwater mercenaries are accused of more than just taking the money.
The company, based near the Great Dismal Swamp in North Carolina, was co-founded by Erik Prince, a billionaire right-wing fundamentalist. At its HQ, Blackwater has trained more than 20,000 mercenaries to operate as freelancers in wars around the world.
Howard announces $1m for Xmas parade
Prime Minister John Howard has announced that the Federal Government will provide $1 million in funding for an inaugural Christmas parade to be held in Sydney.
The parade will be similar to Thanksgiving and Christmas parades held annually in America and will be held on November 25 this year.
In a statement, Mr Howard says that the parade aims to "strengthen a sense of community by encouraging people to join together to celebrate the holiday season."
Because an empire must, by definition, rely on coercion and murder, any given day in the rule of empire is immoral and detestable for those who genuinely value liberty and peace. But certain days are worse than others. In terms of what it bodes for our future - and for the future of the world - yesterday was a particularly awful day in the United States Senate, now controlled and led by the imperial Democrats.
If there are any people who still believed that the Democrats would represent a fundamental shift in U.S. foreign policy, they have no reason to believe it any longer.