China has defended its sale of weapons to Sudan, amid growing criticism of its alleged failure to help resolve the humanitarian crisis in Darfur.
China's special envoy on Darfur told the BBC that Beijing accounted for just 8% of Sudan's total arms imports.
The first Friday sitting of Federal Parliament has led to such chaos that the speaker suspended the proceedings for a 15 minute cooling off period.
The row erupted when Liberal MP Steve Ciobo moved that there should be a Question Time every Friday, despite the Government's rule that there will be no Question Times and no divisions taken on Fridays.
from Crikey …..
Libs won't touch the Howard inner circle
Christian Kerr writes:
Bushit’s administration has announced its intention to try six alleged al Qaeda members at Guantánamo under the Military Commissions Act. That Act forbids the admission of evidence extracted by torture, although it permits evidence obtained by cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment if it was secured before December 30, 2005.
So, logically the administration would be forbidden from relying on evidence obtained by waterboarding, if waterboarding constitutes torture.
Morris Iemma was battling an escalating corruption scandal last night that threatened to draw in two of his most senior ministers and to bring down one of the state's biggest Labor-controlled councils.
US Stock prices closed substantially higher overnight despite sizeable swings on Wall Street.
The oil price has been to fresh record highs above $US100 a barrel, raising concern about an impact on corporate earnings. New inflation figures also put share prices under pressure early on.
An estimated half a million Optus Mobile customers were affected by a network outage last night, with only one in three calls reaching intended recipients.
A spokesman for Optus customer service said the outage was due to a problem with Optus' "HLR" (Home Locator Register) system, which routes the calls being made.
Americans traditionally thought of their country as a "city upon a hill," a "light unto the world." Today only the deluded think that. Polls show that the rest of the world regards the US and Israel as the two greatest threats to peace.
If there were a prize for the world's sulkiest state, it would surely go to Russia.
Enter the Kremlin, and you get an overwhelming sense of a great power that has been deeply offended.
from Crikey …..
New Attorney-General just like the old one
Greg Barns writes:
The secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) says the Liberals' backflip on Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs) means very little.
The Coalition had said that WorkChoices was dead, but it would fight to keep AWAs in place.
Every year in mid-February, tens of millions of Americans take the Monday off in celebration of the presidency.
And while the average civics teacher will tell you that we do not appreciate our national political heritage nearly enough, the typical American is not only too respectful of the presidency on this day; he is far too enamored of the institution all year round.
Senior federal Liberals "spilling their guts" about the Howard government's downfall is degrading, outspoken former Victorian Liberal premier Jeff Kennett says.
Mr Kennett said he would not watch tonight's ABC television Four Corners program, in which senior Liberals tell of the former Howard government's final weeks.
Kevin Rudd has again been forced to defend his past contact with disgraced former WA premier Brian Burke.
The federal opposition has accused Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of having a 'chatty, intimate' relationship with disgraced former Western Australian premier Brian Burke.
To some extent, I feel for our "Aussie Tony"...