173 people have been killed in fires raging through Australia, making this the deadliest bushfire in Australian history. Nearly 815,447 acres (330,000 hectares) have been burned and 750 homes have been burned to the ground.
In 1983, 75 people were killed on what was dubbed the Ash Wednesday fires. 71 people were killed in similar fires in 1939. The country’s prime minister, Kevin Rudd calls the fires “mass murder”.
“This is of a level of horror that few of us anticipated. There are no words to describe it other than mass murder,” said Rudd who also called the situation “numbing”. Read More…
Protest rallies were held in Australian capital cities on Saturday to protest against the Rudd government’s proposed internet filtering scheme.
Under the scheme, a so-called “clean feed” would be provided to all Australians with content on a list kept by the Australian Communications and Media Authority blocked.
A secondary filter, which may be opted out of will block material deemed inappropriate to children.
Hundreds attended the protests in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Perth and Hobart which were organised by the Digital Liberty Coalition.
Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd launched the Australian Subscription Public Affairs Network today.
The channel, a production of Sky News and subscription television providers Foxtel and Austar is modelled on the United States‘ C-SPAN channel. Broadcasts will commence January 20, 2009. Read More…
British Airways, the flag carrier of the United Kingdom, has stated that it is considering a possible merger with the Australian airline Qantas Airways.
In a statement, British Airways said that, if done, the merger will create a dual-listed company in London and Australia. It also added that there was “no guarantee that any transaction will be forthcoming.”
Shares in British Airways rose 14% higher after the news on Tuesday. Qantas shares rose as much as 9.3 percent on Wednesday.
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has told the House of Representatives that the federal budget may need to fall into “temporary deficit” if the global economic crisis impacts upon Australia further. The Prime Minister said it would draw upon it’s budget surplus to stimulate growth and jobs.
The Prime Minister said the Australian economy had changed significantly over the past few months and warned that there were hard times to come for many people. Mr Rudd said the situation will worsen before it gets any better. Read More…
The Rudd Labor government introduced its “fair work” bill into the House of Representatives today, effectively dismantling the former government’s WorkChoices industrial relations platform. The Australian Labor party campaigned heavily on abolishing WorkChoices at the 2007 election.
The bill was presented to parliament by acting Prime Minister and Minister for Industrial Relations, Julia Gillard.
Introducing her government’s bill, Ms Gillard said “Over a century ago at Federation, Australians decided that we would be different to other nations. Democratic, yes. With parliamentary institutions, judicial independence and individual rights similar to those of other great democracies like the United Kingdom and the United States of America, but without their wide social inequalities.” Read More…
Christian Pastor for the Planetshakers youth movement in Australia Michael Guglielmucci has admitted that his cancer is a hoax, one of the churches he preached at has had videos showing his claims of cancer removed from YouTube, claiming copyright infringement. He has also admitted to being addicted to pornography for over 16 years.
For at least two years, Gugliemucci claimed to have leukaemia. Reports say that he received an unknown amount of money through donations for his treatments and even released an compact disc album single titled ‘Healer’.