Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dedicated to a character who SHAW (sic) made my life under communism very colourful ...
The man who put a price on my head back in 1980 is nicely captured by Yuri Felshtinsky and Vladimir Pribylovsky who make it clear, it's the KGB that rules the roost in Putin's Russia A land fit only for crooks and killers

A new look in Putin's eyes Exclusive: Vlad the Impaler - What Is the World to Do with Putin
The intelligence community has its share of suck-ups, political assassins, incompetents and outright traitors.

A few months after he was sworn into office, President Bush flew to Slovenia where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The meeting was closely watched around the world because Bush had talked tough about missile defense plans and relations with Russia during his presidential campaign.
Coming out of their first meeting, Bush embarrassingly told the world, "I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul."

Smiling assassin: No friend of freedom ; [Putin; The Age of Assassins: The Rise and Rise of Vladimir Putin: How Scary Are Russia's New Rulers? ]
• · The future of Russia now looks even gloomier, and The Age of Assassins provides an admirable background to what we should expect in the years ahead. SSS Assassins; In The New Cold War, Edward Lucas says the fate of Politkovskaya and Litvinenko symbolises the Kremlin's plans for the rest of the world in a new Cold War that the West is already losing, "having barely noticed that it has started". Vladimir Putin and his corporate gangsters
• · We delve into the world of corporate recruitment of the best and brightest students in Australia. In a new book journalist and former law student Lisa Pryor asks why so many of our achievers end up studying law when they mean to pursue other careers? She argues this represents a brain drain away from jobs that potentially have greater value for the public good. The pinstriped prison; Booked in
• · · Australian journalist and blogger Antony Loewenstein explains that blogging is not the sole domain of pornographers or Hollywood gossips and that a previously voiceless Saudi Arabian female can now, by blogging, explain the realities of her life and culture with readers in Sydney. The Blogging Revolution, ; Bloggers of the world, let's shop!; Internet mapping is wiping the rich geography and history of Britain off the map, Britain’s most senior cartographer warned yesterday. Web
• · · · Dangerously Addictive Addiction Memoir Thanks for the memoirs: Costello sells his story An extensive author tour; Biden's memoirs suddenly becomes a best-seller
• · · · · With the contemporary serious novel in such a mess, travel writing, like biography, offers many of the traditional pleasures of the novel: story, character, good dialogue, development, resolution. Memoirs are made of this; The crackdown on memoirs came after the publication of Sir Christopher Meyer’s book DC Confidential book. The former British ambassador to the US used his . A ban on civil servants writing 'warts and all' accounts about their time in Government is "unduly restrictive", a committee of MPs have warned. Gagging order on civil servants' 'warts and all' memoirs is too strict, MPs warn

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I don't care what anybody says, there is nothing, and I mean nothing, to come close to our dreams and dreams we have for our loved ones … The Olympics are in full swing, and we can once again marvel at dedicated people from all parts of the world aspiring to achieve the very pinnacle of human transformation. My girls Sasha and Gabbie spent four years at Redcliffe swimming with Kylie Palmer (aka Kyles) and Jessicah Schipper as well as Liesel Jones
… I reckoned we need more memory today because Olympic memories and songs have so many more images and words in them ;-)
Kevin Roberts noted last week that it could not have been easy for a New Zealand television reporter to get a word with Michael Phelps, the Olympic superstar, but through good luck, good management or sheer grit, she did it: What advice would you give young people at home in New Zealand who are just starting out in the pool? Now I watched a lot of sport on television and most athletes talk about the hard work involved and the commitment needed. All very true. However, Michael Phelps didn’t reach for train harder, faster, longer or any of the other 'er' words. He didn’t even hesitate. He simply looked her in the eye and said, Dreaming. That’s right, dreaming. He went on to say Go for Gold: When I first got into the pool…I dreamt I would be at the Olympics…anything is possible
PS She ran not for just a medal - Cathy Freeman had to run for her life = The dark side of the Olympic spirit

Hot, Hotter, Hottest: One World, One Dream Trust

An interview with Stephen MR Covey, (son of Stephen R Covey), whose latest book 'The Speed of Trust' argues that trust is an economic measure, enabling organisations to move faster and at lower cost.

• Why does corporate decision making largely take place in what could be called the men's room? The economics of trust; [Ben Stein is also a true believer in the power of love. His extended piece on love in the The New York Times is well worth reading An economist by trade, ; - According to AFR research, The Australian Public Service Commissions website includes a list of speeches, mostly by agency heads, of special interest to senior executives (at But only four out of 40 were made this year, which might say something about life under Kevin 24/7. I say, I say, I say ]
• · The rape of the Olympic spirit: For the rest of China's netizens, the China's Great Firewall and monitoring will remain firmly in place Emotional heat: One World, One Dream; Protest rallies and online blogging are increasingly popular outlets for young Australians seeking a political voice, a new study shows. Study shows young Aussies not apathetic
• · Italian Film Festival is in Sydney - Filippo Costa (Michele Lastella), a young tax officer of modest social origins has enormous ambition that isolates him from his colleagues and his background. Initially aspiring to climb the career ladder, once he has come face to face with corruption he realises that he can set his sights much higher. In his unstoppable social climbing, he is helped by Caterina (Fanny Ardant), a beautiful, cultured and well-connected gallery owner. Before long, Fillipo is mingling in high society and rubbing shoulders with the mighty. But will his reach exceed his grasp? Rush Hour: Tax evasion is a national pastime ; Mal and I love this movie shown in Sydney in June at the French Film Festival – Like As it is in Heaven it deserves to be seen by one and all of us ;-) Only Titanic has taken more money at the French box office than this comedy and it is poised to become the most successful French film ever released in France. This is a comedy that is directed at exposing French prejudices among communities that live in separate regions of France. North is magnetic as French flick sinks ship
• · · One of the experiences I love in Italy (one of the many experiences) is eating alfresco. There is something about the open air and food that brings a whole new dimension to flavor and good company. It’s a kind of paradoxical intimacy – the outdoor space seems to draw you closer to your fellow diners. A bread roll on a park bench does it. So do sandwiches at the beach or a barbecue in the backyard. But for a truly great alfresco experience, nothing beats a long table punctuated with bottles of wine and platters of food, good friends, perhaps some vines overhead and a light breeze. Alfresco ; Never underestimate an intimate gesture. In today's digital world of email and texting, the traditional postcard seems to be holding its own and indeed experiencing something of a revival... The Power of Postcards
• · · · Educational Advancement (IDEA) is a non profit organisation working to improve the ways people interact with technology. Finding information: factors that improve online experiences; For reasons of accountability and integrity, I start from the position that as much information as possible about government decisions and actions should be in the public domain. In other words, the more transparent the actions of governments are: the cleaner they tend to be-the higher their ethical and administrative standards; and the more comfortable the public will be that they are getting value for money, that policy challenges are being dealt with effectively, and that their personal information is open to scrutiny by them Climate of disclosure: the public service and the right to know ; This book examines the changes in the culture of the Australian Public Service including the purported loss of traditional public service values of impartiality, intellectual rigour and the willingness of public servants at all levels to offer frank and fearless advice to their superiors and their ministers Whatever happened to frank and fearless? the impact of new public management on the Australian Public Sector
• · · · · Companies and governments around the world are spending more and more on management consultants - but are they getting what they want? More bang for your buck ; FEDERAL public servants are systematically sanitising the Wikipedia entries for federal politicians and have shown MPs how to change their entries Politicians' Wiki entries altered

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sydney is a modern city but many of its traditional values remain, including some of the best restaurants in the world all of which have been around for 20 years or so. Master chef Tetsuya has now moved into new beautiful premises and is still cooking up incredible contemporary Japanese seafood. Loving Sydney
Let the love flow at Clareville Kiosk Dining Remembering the past in images

August is a month peppered with swims at the Iceberg, slow dinners at Dial's or June's. Three weddings to celebrate on a certain busy weekends, but slow enough to drive from Revesby to Manly but stop halfway at Coogee to watch the whales, mother and the baby play 75 meters from the sand where Mal's eyes could not get enough of the scene. Amazing to watch them from our balcony during the week spraying salt water in the distance yet ... soo soooo close. It makes the routine dictated by lecturer who calls herself a bitch at work rather bearable ... The month is filled with great movies - The Square - as good as Lantana; The Bank Job - almost as good as smuggling inside Cold River; the Married Life, the Edge of Love; The Visitor - Amerika can do sensitive movies these days.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The death of Russian Nobel Prize-winning author Alexander I. Solzhenitsyn clearly marks the end of an era Cold War River; Like my father Jozef, Alexander (Sasha) survived Civil War, World War and Cold War. However, only few suffered as much as Alexander who suffered Stalin's camps and Brezhnev's repressions; he fought cancer when exiled without possessions in remote Kazakhstan, and resisted Western materialism to concentrate on his writing as a rich exile in his Vermont estate. As he himself had predicted, he lived to see the sorry collapse of Soviet Communism, and returned to his homeland in triumph. As a youth, he believed in the promises of Marxism-Leninism, but was brutally disillusioned when arrested as a young officer fighting Nazi Germany, turned to Christianity, and roundly defeated the legions of Soviet stool pigeons, security police and censors who tried to suppress the revelations which poured from his acerbic pen. Solzhenitsyn's truth outweighed the world; Without individual conscience, argues Solzhenitsyn, both Communist and capitalist societies have repulsive aspects. ALEXANDER Solzhenitsyn took millions of readers inside the horrors of Stalin’s prison system – and by extension, ripped the mask off the brutal regime which I escaped in 1980 A soul in exile

Literary Giant, Solzhenitsyn inspired many Chinese who will tear the wall down just like the Ztmbabweans will … Alexander Solzhenitsyn is the man who put the writing on the wall for Leninist totalitarianism. In a country that employs a vast bureaucracy to monitor all types of internet activity and where posting a comment critical of the authorities can land you in re-education camp, people have to choose their words very carefully Chinese netizens rail against Great Firewall

The face of 'human rights The Great Writer Who Buried Communism: The wealth manifesto
Ehrenreich's skill, apart from the sheer quality of her writing, is to illustrate her opinions with wave after wave of examples of unglamorous labour disputes and everyday injustices that don't get much of a look-in elsewhere.

There's this powerful myth that America doesn't have classes; that they're an ancient English or European thing that we abolished. And that if you're not rich, it's your own damn fault

• Warren Buffett recently said that he thought the effects of the financial crisis were far from over… A hunger for anything except more of the same in Sydney Society; [They came in a trickle rather than a flood, but raw emotions were never far from the surface To Russians, 'a ray of light' is now dimmed ; 'SOUL-DESTROYING" has become a cliche for life in a Soviet prison camp. He lived not by lies. Solzhenitsyn: exiled then exalted in Russia Of Good and Evil - One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich]
• · Read SPIEGEL's final interview with Alexander Solzhenitsyn, my teenage hero, the last given to the Western media. I Am Not Afraid of Death: SPIEGEL INTERVIEW WITH ALEXANDER SOLZHENITSYN; Solzhenitsyn -- a prophet the West must prove wrong
• · Evil is all too real and had to be confronted – why be afraid of death? One Day in the Life of Jozef Imrich; Solzhenitsyn and piercing pens
• · · There is this belief that all those other worlds are only being temporarily prevented by wicked governments or by heavy crises or by their own barbarity or incomprehension from taking the way of Western pluralistic democracy and from adopting the Western way of life. Countries are judged on the merit of their progress in this direction. However, it is a conception which developed out of Western incomprehension of the essence of other worlds, out of the mistake of measuring them all with a Western yardstick. The real picture of our planet's development is quite different. Other worlds are only being temporarily prevented by wicked governments or by heavy crises ; Harvard Class Day Afternoon Exercises: Without any censorship, in the West fashionable trends of thought and ideas are carefully separated from those which are not fashionable; nothing is forbidden, but what is not fashionable will hardly ever find its way into periodicals or books or be heard in colleges. Legally your researchers are free, but they are conditioned by the fashion of the day. There is no open violence such as in the East; however, a selection dictated by fashion and the need to match mass standards frequently prevent independent-minded people from giving their contribution to public life. There is a dangerous tendency to form a herd, shutting off successful development. I have received letters in America from highly intelligent persons, maybe a teacher in a faraway small college who could do much for the renewal and salvation of his country, but his country cannot hear him because the media are not interested in him. This gives birth to strong mass prejudices, blindness, which is most dangerous in our dynamic era. There is, for instance, a self-deluding interpretation of the contemporary world situation. It works as a sort of petrified armor around people's minds. Human voices from 17 countries of Eastern Europe and Eastern Asia cannot pierce it. It will only be broken by the pitiless crowbar of events. A World Split Apart

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Some wonders of the world are just that. Wonderful. See it by moonlight or during the day, the magic is always there. A friend saw the Australian Taj Mahal the Iceberg lit by lightning recently. You and I should be so lucky...

What fate for Tim Porter. I hope he is successful as another Tim - Tim Russert who in 2004 wrote a memoir BIG RUSS AND ME and the 2006 followup WISDOM OF OUR FATHERS was in serious demand after the Meet the Press host died of a heart attack last Friday. "We sold out in an hour," Richard Klein, co-owner of the Book Revue in Huntington, told Newsday's Tom Beer. "We probably could have sold 100 if we'd had them." Random House started shipping an extra 100,000 paperback copies of WISDOM while Hyperion has gone back to press for an additional 100,000 copies of BIG RUSS.
High Demand for Organic Stories

Friday, August 01, 2008

What can you buy for $100 billion in Zimbabwe? Not quite one loaf of bread ...

With the amount of violence that has gone on, with the total denial of access to the media, with the fact that we have not had an opportunity to look at the voter rolls yet, there is just no way that a free and fair election can be held.
- David Coltart quote

This week I had the strange dejavu when I touched a 25 billion banknote which came from the wallet of David Coltart. John, Gina and Richard and I found David's stories from the cold face very disturbing. Like under communism the theatre of the absurd under totalitarianism in Africa does make my blood boil. Wherever one goes there seem to be some ironic central european connection or disconnection. The Mugabe regime’s final lifeline is a small Vienna-based software company that helps it to keep printing the money it relies on for its survival Blood Diamonds - Blood Democracy with licence to print Mugabe's money ; Gideon Gono - Zimbabwe’s equivalent of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke - issued a $100 billion note Hyperinflation: The Inevitable Result of Government-Manged Money

David with Jennifer and their four children

David Coltart: Human Rights Making a Difference Cry for freedom in Zimbabwe: Movement for Democratic Change
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change says Mr Mugabe is on a much tighter timetable than it to find a resolution because of the economic freefall.

Today, with annual inflation officially at 2.2 million per cent, Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank will introduce a currency that wipes 10 zeros off the previous notes - $Z10 billion will be worth $Z1 in the new currency. But as the regime has done nothing to improve economic fundamentals, the inflation will continue. "We would like to see the speedy conclusion of the talks … and a successful outcome so that we can focus in the future our attention around our economy," Mr Mugabe said this week in Harare. He voiced his "total commitment" to a successful conclusion to the negotiations in South Africa between his ZANU-PF party and the two factions of the MDC.
David Coltart, a senator-elect for the smaller MDC faction, said the speed of the talks was being driven by what was happening in the economy. "I think Mugabe understands he has no solution to hyperinflation and the looming problem of him not being able to pay the military and police has put enormous pressure on him to reach a settlement," Mr Coltart said in Sydney in July 2008.
A lot of cold water flowed under the bridge of injustice since David came to Australia back in 2005 Interviews, speeches and papers: New Africa

The Shadow Minister for Justice from Zimbabwe, Mr David Coltart briefed Law Council President John North and Secretariat staff on the current situation in Zimbabwe. He reported on the ongoing settlement demolitions which resulted in more than 700,000 people being displaced over the last 7 months. Mr Coltart advised that the displacement of the people is a retribution and intimidation tactic by the Mugabe Government to secure its power. There have also been more than 300 political murders in the past 5 years but no one has been convicted to date. The reason for this is that the judiciary in Zimbabwe has collapsed and is not working at all. Mr Coltart himself was the subject of an assassination attempt but was able to escape against all odds.
Mr Coltart further noted that the Law Society of Zimbabwe has about 400 members. The Law Society is still strong and is opposing the Mugabe Government together with the Zimbabwean Lawyers for Human Rights, which made a submission to the UN that was included in the —Report of the Fact-Finding Mission to Zimbabwe to assess the Scope and Impact of Operation Murambatsvina“. This report and more background information regarding the situation in Zimbabwe can be downloaded at Report of the Fact-Finding Mission to Zimbabwe

Pressure on Mugabe to pay troops; [David and his stories about lack of food and real money; But a lack of food isn't the only danger: More and more people are getting killed and beaten up in both rural and urban areas. The culprits are members of the ruling ZANU-PF party; the victims are mostly supporters of the Tsvangirai-led Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). The general population has become hopelessly fearful. This terror campaign by ZANU-PF is already estimated to have claimed 500 lives. David Coltart, the opposition senator and a human-rights lawyer, has described this as a deliberate and systematic attempt to wipe out an entire political group in order to permanently cripple the MDC. We're hungry, angry, and depending on a sovereign God; David Coltart, the legal affairs secretary of the Mutambara-led MDC, said a GNU would be viewed with extreme scepticism by most Zimbabweans who fear that it would draw in unscrupulous political leaders.The fear is that those leaders are then compromised and that they will fail to deal with the fundamental problems facing Zimbabwe, Coltart argued. It is for this reason that a transitional authority should be agreed to. Coltart is of the view that civil society should play a crucial role in some aspects of the TG. During the transition, civil society will have to play a major role in certain aspects of the transitional authority’s mandate, especially regarding the process which should culminate in a new democratic constitution, he suggested GNU, TG Which Way For Zim? Losing billions in Zimbabwe; Senator tells: Why the fight is still ahead for Zimbabweans ]
• · The phrase Tear Down This Wall was as powerful in Cold War era as David’s headline is now in the context of Africa - That vision reaches out to gather in the desires and hopes most ordinary Zimbabweans carry for peace, freedom and justice in their country. The coming weeks are not a time for empty leadership, nor is it time for a process of arranging the chairs of power to comfort the padded fundaments of power-brokers. Zimbabwe has seen enough of this. We need leaders who listen to human-scale policies Ditch this old dictator; David Coltart, in a very thought-provoking article, has described the long history of state sponsored violence in Zimbabwe and the resulting idealisation of violence, ‘kragdadigheid’ and the gun. It’s time it ended - in Zimbabwe and in South Africa too. Until we are brave enough ; Question what has happened to all our patriots? It seems to me that our nation has been blighted by a succession of leaders who are more concerned with their personal interests or the narrow interests of their own political parties and supporters than they are in the great nation state of Zimbabwe Towards A Negotiated Settlement In Zimbabwe ; Obama In Berlin, U.S. Mideast Policy, and Zimbabwe's National Unity
• · HOPES for a breakthrough in talks to establish a unity government in strife-torn Zimbabwe … UN troubleshooter Haile Menkerios ; Under a gracious exit plan, Robert Mugabe will become Zimbabwe's ceremonial president during the forthcoming transition, after which he will retire as the Founding President and father of the beleaguered nation, protected under a blanket amnesty. Amnesty plan for Mugabe
• · · A few years ago, the United Nations published a list of Zimbabwean politicians and businessmen that it accused of plundering the riches of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Mugabe cronies reportedly stashing US dollars into foreign accounts; Attempts to tame Zimbabwe’s multimillion percent inflation rate is beginning to have a negative effect on banks in that country.
Zimbabwean banks cash strappe
• · · · For money, one can safely substitute might. RBZ Currency Reforms Futile, Say Economists; Zimbabwe Rolls Out New Bank Notes
• · · · · Stolen crude oil Vs blood diamonds ; Diamonds have scripted a typical rags to riches story for Bonny, 35, who spent most of his life on the streets before the discovery of the gems three years ago, near the eastern Zimbabwe town of Mutare, transformed his life. I have, over the last two years, acquired a fleet of 12 cars and several houses in Mutare and in the capital, Harare - Bonny told IRIN. ZIMBABWE: Diamonds are Mutare's best friends ; It is the fact that Mr. Mugabe has been quietly doing business, a lot of it, with the one country which has virtually unlimited need of strategic raw materials Zimbabwe can provide -- China. Mugabe’s Zimbabwe is, along with Sudan, on the central stage of the new war over control of strategic minerals of Africa between Washington and Beijing, with Moscow playing a supporting role in the drama. The stakes are huge. Mugabe’s biggest sin ; The Austrian firm, Jura JSP, provided the Mugabe's Zanu PF party with software that allows the regime to print forgery-proof bank notes back in 2001. As it is Zimbabwe’s economy is being propped up by foreign investors who are taking advantage of cheap resources. Mugabe’s man unmasked: Arms ship exposes Robert Mugabe’s link to Chinese firm
• · · · · · Tanyaradzwa Mutola is now losing hope that life will change for the better and give her a well-deserved rest after years of “hard” labour. Cry for freedom in Zimbabwe; They are pouring money into the pockets of the cronies of Mugabe, Mahmoud Ahma-dinejad and the Burmese generals. The recent drift from general sanctions Sanctions are a war waged by cowards; US looks at more sanctions against Zimbabwe

Guevara had a charismatic attraction in real life, long before he became a Mantegna icon in death and a hypnotic image on a pop art poster in the age of Andy Warhole.
Richard Gott

Kieber's action has now triggered tax probes across 14 countries relating to 1400 individuals. This is looking familiar to followers in Australia of the Offset Alpine Printing saga that came to light in 2003. That involved broker Rene Rivkin explaining to a Swiss district attorney in 2002 details of how he had been operating Swiss bank accounts for decades, which more recently had involved Kennedy and Richardson. Tax haven secrecy tests staff loyalty and ethics … In many cases, holding money in an offshore tax haven is perfectly legal. [ UK -New deal offered on tax haven cash ]

Can we change the heartbeat of death and taxes? RICH PICKINGS: Nothing New Under the Sun and Cold River
Frank Lowy spent 10 years on the Reserve Bank board, from 1995 until 2005. Precisely the period during which we are now told according to allegations

Experience has shown that many taxpayers who use these tailored financial structures in tax havens are engaging in tax evasion." There had been "difficulties" in applying Australian taxation laws to non-common law entities such as Liechtenstein foundations, it said. Bank accounts, corporations, trusts, and foundations in tax havens are shrouded in secrecy because they can’t stand the light of day. It’s long past time to shine the light on tax haven abuses and stop the tax dodgers from offloading their tax burden onto the backs of honest citizens …

Lowy and tax havens; [; Silo Breaker ; Sydney Stories; The tax affairs of the Lowy family are again being investigated. In the mid-1990s, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) audited the Lowys' Westfield Group. Lowy, a turncoat and mystery $48m ; Google line up ]
• · Lowy is actually the second Aussie billionaire to be investigated by the Australian government in recent years. In October, Richard Pratt, worth $2.1 billion, apologized for his role in a price-fixing cartel between his Visy corrugated box company and its main competitor, Amcor. In that case, Visy paid the Australian government a $33 million fine. In the latest update of that saga, Pratt is now facing charges he lied during the price-fixing probe. His lawyers' reported retort: The Australian government regulator is abusing power Visy Forbes ; Many of the world's richest people have been suspected of tax evasion, but only a few have actually been convicted of cheating the government out of revenue--and nearly all have involved U.S. taxpayers. That could be changing, particularly in Europe, where the German government is going after clients of a bank in the tax haven of Lichtenstein. Here's a list of some of the world's richest tax dodgers in recent years. In Pictures: The World's Wealthiest Tax Cheats ; Wealthy Americans are hiding about 1.5 trillion dollars in overseas tax havens in a "deceptive" partnership with top foreign banks …The U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has long had an investigative interest in U.S. taxpayers who use offshore tax havens to hide assets and evade taxes. Tax Professor; I broke the story of Frank Lowy’s first costly punch-up with the Australian Taxation Office, writes Alex Mitchell. Frank Lowy, my part in his tax bill
• · beSpacific is in great company along with the Wall Street Journal Law Blog, The Volokh Conspiracy, and the International Economic Law and Policy Blog among a wide range of outstanding topical blogs well worth your review. Media Dragon: Top 100 Law and Lawyer Blogs Law blogs; A big target with another battle to fight. Australian Financial Review, 24/07/2008 Last year the Howard government passed what some called the Lowy amendment. As part of the new tax treaty with the US, Australian real estate investment trusts gained the ability to offer capital gains tax rollover relief to potential targets across the Pacific Money Race Widget Empowers Bloggers
• · · A survey of U.S. journalists by Brodeur, a unit of Omnicom Group suggests that blogs are not only having an impact on the speed and availability of news, but also influence the tone and editorial direction of reporting. (pdf) Brodeur Journalists Survey Identifies Blogs’ Influence on Traditional News Coverage; Science 2.0: Great New Tool, or Great Risk?
• · · · Heather A. Phillips reviews a new book whose main focus is on uses on six major criminal cases of the 1990s, as well as one that concentrates on the details of what really happens when the media circus invades the courthouse, and the effect it has on both the trial participants and the verdict. Like many others who watched the news in the 1990s, the authors were dismayed by the thousands of hours devoted to “infotainment” stories such as the O.J. Simpson trial, the JonBenet Ramsey case, and the Lorena Bobbit trial. They coined the phrase ‘tabloid justice’ to describe these cases and their impact on journalism. The move away from descriptive reporting toward journalistic practices that focus on the sensational, marginal and personalized aspects high-profile legal cases, the authors contend, has done the viewing public no favors Tabloid Justice: Criminal Justice in an Age of Media Frenzy and The Star Chamber: How Celebrities Go Free and their Lawyers Become Famous ; Staying current on the latest cases and news in the area of class actions can be challenging, but Scott Russell's guide to reliable subscription based publications, free legal sites and blogs that offer timely news, analysis and selected copies of court filings, is a valuable resource Keeping Up with Class Actions: Reports, Legal Sites and Blogs of Note
• · · · · Meet the American daily newspaper of 2008. It has fewer pages than three years ago, the paper stock is thinner, and the stories are shorter. There is less foreign and national news, less space devoted to science, the arts, features and a range of specialized subjects. Business coverage is either packaged in an increasingly thin stand-alone section or collapsed into another part of the paper. The crossword puzzle has shrunk, the TV listings and stock tables may have disappeared, but coverage of some local issues has strengthened and investigative reporting remains highly valued The Changing Newsroom: What is Being Gained and What is Being Lost in America's Daily Newspapers? ; Project for Excellence in Journalism, Sydney Journalists Food Authority Penalty Notices issued: the outlets you should know about
• · · · · · There is an element hypocrisy in Western society when it comes to polygamy Polygamy: lust or love ; Crikey can exclusively reveal that the secretive Christian sect, the Exclusive Brethren, has gone to great lengths to obtain parliamentary lobbying status for two of its leading Sydney members. Because parliament was in recess pending the March 24 election, it is unclear whether they co-signed authority for the passes or it was processed by the clerks, Russell Grove (Legislative Assembly) and Lynn Lovelock (Legislative Council). Love of Lobbying; Politicians toing -and- throwing overseas ; Russell Grove has been Clerk of the Legislative Assembly since 1990, having entered Parliamentary Service in 1971. As CEO of the Legislative Assembly he is the principle adviser on parliamentary law, practice and procedure to the Speaker, the Hon. Richard Torbay. He was awarded the Public Service Medal (PSM) for services to the NSW Parliament in 2000, and made a Paul Harris Fellow in 1997 for service to the international community particularly in the area of developing countries. Russell has been a member of the Parliament’s Artworks Committee since its inception. Controversy Erupts in the Public Service Association