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/ 27 May 2008

Australian troops ‘scorned’ for low-risk missions

Australian soldiers are ashamed of their low-risk missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and are scorned by troops of other nations, two officers charged in comments published on Tuesday. ”The restrictions and policies enforced on infantrymen in Iraq have resulted in the widespread perception that our army is plagued by institutional cowardice,” Major Jim Hammett said.

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/ 7 May 2008

UN: One million homeless in Burma

Aid was trickling in on Wednesday for an estimated one million victims of Cyclone Nargis in military-ruled Burma, with the death toll of more than 22 500 expected to mount. France has suggested invoking a United Nations ”responsibility to protect” clause and delivering aid directly to Burma without waiting for approval from the military in Rangoon.

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/ 23 January 2008

Ledger decided ‘to forge his own way’

Actor Heath Ledger was found dead at a Manhattan apartment, naked in bed with sleeping pills nearby, police said. He was 28. Ledger, who moved to the United States at age 19, quickly turned away from typical teen films and instead started to build a career on more challenging roles.

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/ 12 January 2008

Greenpeace ship tracks Japanese whaling fleet

Environmental group Greenpeace said on Saturday one of its protest ships has located the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean and is pursuing it. ”Our primary objective is to stop the Japanese fleet from whaling in the Southern Ocean whale sanctuary,” said spokesperson Sara Holden, who was on board the ship Esperanza.

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/ 28 November 2007

Billiton says still hopeful of Rio Tinto takeover

Resources giant BHP Billiton said on Wednesday it still hoped rival Rio Tinto would warm to its uninvited takeover bid, despite opposition from customers who fear it will lead to a stranglehold on prices. BHP chief executive Marius Kloppers said that its executives had been arguing the "irresistible logic" of the tie-up with customers and investors around the world for two weeks.

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/ 24 November 2007

Australia’s Labour claims election victory

Australia’s Labour party claimed victory in national elections on Saturday, signalling an end to 11 years of conservative government led by Prime Minister John Howard. "On the numbers we are seeing tonight, Labour is going to form a government," Labour’s deputy leader, Julia Gillard, told Australian television.

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/ 14 November 2007

One dead, one injured in pet rescue

One man was killed and another was then seriously injured when they tried to climb a tree at night to recapture a pet cockatoo in Australia. The bird’s 72-year-old owner fell as he tried to recover the pet in the country town of Bendigo in southern Victoria state. He was taken to hospital for treatment, police said.

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/ 23 October 2007

Australian PM takes walks on the wild side

A looming election has turned Australian Prime Minister John Howard’s traditional morning stroll into a walk on the wild side. Television satirists have popped up in his path dressed as rabbits and worms — both well-known political creatures here — while ordinary passers-by have taken to hurling insults at him.

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/ 5 October 2007

Abattoir beefs up security after gallstone thefts

An Australian abattoir has beefed up security because thieves in its slaughterhouse were stealing cattle gallstones, which are worth almost their weight in gold, a report said on Friday. The Borthwicks Meatworks in Queensland state will cut the pockets off its employees’ overalls and conduct random searches to protect the gallstones.

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/ 2 October 2007

Controversy of Bodyline series endures 75 years on

Seventy-five years ago this month, the England cricket, team led by Douglas Jardine and under the auspices of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), arrived in Australia on the steamship, the SS Orontes. Over the ensuing six months Jardine’s despised tactics not only threatened the future of Test cricket, but even undermined the bonds of the British Empire.

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/ 28 September 2007

Burma crackdown draws outrage, protests

Fuelled by ”revulsion” at Burma’s violent crackdown on popular protests against military rule, South-east Asia rounded on the generals on Friday and critics planned demonstrations at embassies across the region. Burma state media said nine people were killed when soldiers fired on crowds in Yangon on Thursday.