news bits

  • Philippines, Spain reject Aust terror claims. 26/07/2004. ABC News Online: The Philippines has called Australia 'narrow-minded' for suggesting its pullout from Iraq triggered the latest rash of hostage-takings. There's nothing to say it didn't trigger more hostage-taking. It certainly isn't a long bow to draw - terrorists now know how to get what they want from the Phillippines. Why not other countries too? I'm torn on this issue. If it was a member of my family I'd want them back no matter what, but I realise that giving in to terrorists potentially opens the floodgates.
  • Slow on the draw - Spike - In the wake of Mark Latham's admission that he tried marijuana in his youth, the Health Minister, Tony Abbott, and the NSW Premier, Bob Carr, have been sucked into the dope debate. Sounds like both of them smoked it too, but want to keep some sort of moral highground. Personally I'd rather Latham own up than spin that fucking stupid line "I smoked but didn't inhale". That's like saying "I drank but didn't swallow". So what if he tried a spliff when he was younger? So long as he isn't bonging on every day now it really won't make any difference to his performance as a leader. Well, it would preclude a major crackdown on pot smokers, but frankly that's a good thing: concentrate on cracking down on the hard stuff. A few stoned hippies is hardly as bad as OD'ing junkies and psychotic amphetamine freaks.
  • Voters don't care about my age: PM - National - That's true. We don't like him purely on his own merits.
  • Olympic sites give taxpayers rough ride - National - NSW taxpayers are contributing about $46 million a year to keep struggling Olympic venues across Sydney open, four years after the "best ever" Games. Every games gets called the Best Ever, it's traditional. But there's no doubt that Olympics cost massive amounts and leave a bunch of non-viable venues afterwards. Last I knew, the winter Olympics has actually recognised this and no longer requires host cities to build a bobsled run since they just don't pay for themselves in the long term. Bobsled events can be held elsewhere in parallel.
  • Internet release may thwart U2 album thieves. 24/07/2004. ABC News Online: Irish rock band U2 might rush release its upcoming album as a legal download on Apple's iTunes music store [if pirate copies turn up on the net]... Experts say such a move, which is being contemplated as a response to the presumed theft of a U2 compact disc in France last week, would be unprecedented.
  • OK, so I do watch the odd reality show. | Entertainment | Block bids miss mark (July 26, 2004). Two of the four couples on The Block got $0 for their work... that just isn't right. I know they went into it willingly, but those reserve prices seem awfully high ($800k *reserve*?) - they'd have to auction for a phenominal price to win any cash. Surely Channel 9 could have ponied up some cash for a minimum prize. They'll be stuffed getting applicants next time (if there is a next time) - you might be slightly famous at the end, but that's hardly going to make up for winning nothing after working for 102 days while still keeping your day job.


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