John Howard rebukes Tony Abbott over fairness

Former prime minister Bob Hawke and former prime minister John Howard
Former prime minister John Howard has delivered a guarded rebuke to Tony Abbott, saying today's politicians rely too heavily on slogans and declaring Australians will support change and reform so long as they are satisfied it is ''fundamentally fair''.

Describing politics today as less ideological than in his time, the country's second longest-serving prime minister has observed: ''We sometimes lose the capacity to argue the case - we think that it's sufficient that we utter slogans.'

Although Mr Howard, 74, avoided any reference to Mr Abbott or the federal budget, his remarks were seized upon by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. ''John Howard must be beside himself watching Tony Abbott botch his first budget like this,'' he said.

Mr Howard also bemoaned the ''disease of factionalism'' on both sides of politics and the trend towards politicians ''whose only life experience has been politics''.

The critique came after his predecessor, Bob Hawke, expressed alarm at the quality of debate in the national Parliament and proposed a compact on issues on which there was a broad consensus.

Mr Howard supported the concept, telling both major parties: ''If you're worried about the influence of minor parties, one way of eliminating their influence is for the two major parties to get together on sensible change.''

Chief warns of bushfire complacency

December 8, 2012, 15:09

Pilots Andy Thomas (left) and Paul Kearns at Essendon airport for the arrival of the firefighting helicopter Elvis.

COUNTRY Fire Authority boss Euan Ferguson has warned of a ''troubling level of complacency'' among residents in at-risk communities, at the beginning of a summer when the state can expect ''lots of fires''.

For the first time since the late 1990s, Mr Ferguson said Victoria was facing a fire season that could be considered ''normal'', after years of drought were followed by two wet summers. But historically, in ''normal'' Victorian fire seasons, homes could be destroyed by bushfires, he warned.

Mr Ferguson's warning comes with the state facing on Saturday temperatures in the high 30s and winds later in the day of up to 40km/h.

A severe fire danger rating and a total fire ban has been declared for the Mallee, Wimmera, north central and northern country districts. While for the rest of the state the fire danger rating is ''very high'' or ''high''.

In an interview with Fairfax Media, Mr Ferguson expressed concern that recent wet summers had dimmed

Facebook Lets You Send One Last Video from Beyond The Grave

Sunday, 15 January 2012 | 09:19

Your final words are stored remotely in a computer server that the Israeli app company promises is secure
A new Facebook app gives users the chance for one last message after they pass away - sending a final video or text message as a wall posting.  The free app, 'If I Die', asks the question, 'What will you leave behind?'

Its makers suggest that you could share a life story - or even a secret you have never shared before, which might come as something as a surprise to the 130 or so friends average people have on Facebook.

The app doesn't automatically post your 'last words' - instead, you appoint three trustees from your Facebook friends list, who will be messaged when you pass away.

Only when those three have confirmed your death will your final message be passed on, either as a video or a

Australia Says Bali Tattoo Likely Gave Patient HIV

Sunday, 25 December 2011 | 10:09

SYDNEY - Australian health authorities have said a patient diagnosed with HIV likely caught the virus while having a tattoo done on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.

They recommended that people who had recently been tattooed on the island, known for its white, sandy beaches, partying and nightlife, should consider being tested for HIV and other blood-borne viruses.

Authorities did not reveal any details of the patient concerned. “All the evidence points to a tattoo received recently in Bali as being the source of the infection,” Western Australia’s Department of Health said in a statement dated Friday.

“This case demonstrates the very real health risk in having this type of procedure done overseas,” said Paul Armstrong, the department’s director of communicable disease control.

The department highlighted the risk not only of tattoos but also of body piercings, saying that besides HIV, patients were also potentially exposing themselves to Hepatitis B and C as well as bacterial infections.

Indonesian officials said last year that the number of known HIV/AIDS cases on Bali was soaring, with one in four prostitutes reported to be HIV-positive and the number of infections jumping almost 19 percent from the

Another Suspect over Papua Police Officer's Attack Arrested

Thursday, 8 December 2011 | 11:59

JAKARTA - Police have arrested another suspect in the attack case of second brigadier Ridwan Napitupulu in Jayapura, Papua, last Thursday.

"JT, the suspect, was arrested yesterday in Jayapura," National Police head of public relations division Inspector General Saud Usman Nasution said here on Wednesday.

Police are still chasing another suspect involved in the case that has been put in the wanted list. "The three other suspects who have been arrested have been detained," he said.

The three suspects who have been detained are Thomas Tarko, Yonathan Tarko and Jhon Calvin Tarko. They are charged against Articel 214 paragraph 2 and 2e of the Criminal Code.

JT is a group member in Nimbokrang and their motive for attacking two police officers has not been known
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