CLICK HERE to view a readable enlargement of this image.
Rupert Murdoch’s tweet earlier today and Malcolm Turnbull’s reply tonight need little explanation.
Although you do have to wonder how many other shadow ministers would engage like this. Or ministers.
In his weekly address one day after the murders of young children and their teachers in Connecticut, President Barack Obama says “we’re going to have to take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this from happening, regardless of politics”.
The comment echoed a remark the president made just hours after the shootings.
Newly re-elected and unable to run again, Obama faces a hostile House of Representatives and a Democrat controlled Senate. The president will give his inaugural address to mark his second term swearing-in on January 20. It will be intriguing to see if his two comments in the past twenty-four hours will be developed further in that speech.
“Less than twelve hours after a gunman took the lives of 20 schoolchildren in the tiny, picturesque community of Newtown, Connecticut, locals gathered outside a Methodist Church for a healing vigil. Nearly all were in shock, hardly able to articulate their bewilderment. But many were in agreement on one point: lax gun laws were partly to blame.”
From Mother Jones:
President Barack Obama has spoken about the school shootings in Connecticut, describing them as a “heinous crime”.
The President said: “The majority of those who died today were children — beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. They had their entire lives ahead of them — birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own. Among the fallen were also teachers — men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams.”
“As a country, we have been through this too many times,” the President said. He listed recent shootings and then delivered one sentence that may stand out for its possible future political import: “And we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.”
Obama also issued a proclamation ordering that flags be flown at half-mast at the White House and on all US public buildings and military facilities at home and abroad until December 18.
- Listen to President Obama (4m)
Statement by the President on the School Shooting in Newtown, CT
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
This afternoon, I spoke with Governor Malloy and FBI Director Mueller. I offered Governor Malloy my condolences on behalf of the nation, and made it clear he will have every single resource that he needs to investigate this heinous crime, care for the victims, counsel their families.
We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years. And each time I learn the news I react not as a President, but as anybody else would — as a parent. And that was especially true today. I know there’s not a parent in America who doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do. [Read more…]
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has addressed The Queen’s College, Oxford, on his experience as a Rhodes Scholar at “this enchanted place”.
Abbott remembered his “sense of belonging” as his plane flew low up the Thames Valley and gave him his first adult view of Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London.
Of Oxford’s values, Abbott said its most important tradition is the contestability of ideas. “There are few subjects on which it can ever safely be assumed that we have heard the last word. There are hardly any arguments where right is all on one side. Truth matters – it matters as much as anything – but it is far more likely to be approached than ever finally to be grasped. This insatiable curiosity and ceaseless questioning that Oxford at its best embodies is the hallmark of Western civilisation (especially in its English-speaking versions) and provides our comparative advantage among the cultures of the world.”
On his approach to experts and policy-making, Abbott said: “As those who worked with me as a minister can attest, my style is to consult with the people that a government decision could impact and to work out for myself what are its real pros and cons. The next Coalition government won’t take an “officials know best” approach to the problems of the nation and won’t make decisions that impact on people’s lives without, as far as is possible, taking them into our confidence first.
Abbott acknowledged that “this century will inevitably be more of an Asian one than the last”. He said a coalition government would “swiftly re-establish the Colombo plan as a two-way street student exchange under which Australia’s best and brightest can study in our region’s universities as well as theirs in ours. It’s my hope that this new Colombo plan will become the Rhodes scholarship of our region.”
Transcript of Tony Abbott’s Address to The Queen’s College, Oxford, UK.
Like about a million other Australians, including Prime Minister Gillard, who also came to Australia as a child, I was born in Britain. As well as people, the British Isles have given Australia our language, our system of law and our parliamentary democracy. The conviction that an Englishman’s home is his castle and faith in British justice, no less than the understanding that Jack is as good as his master, have taken strong root in Australia. As my former teacher, Father Ed Campion, used to say of our country: the English made the laws, the Scots made the money, and the Irish made the songs!
So when the plane bringing me back to Britain flew low up the Thames Valley and I saw for the first time as an adult Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, St Paul’s cathedral and the Tower of London, I had a sense of belonging, not because I was born here but because our culture was. Australians shouldn’t be oblivious to our heritage just because we have refined it and improved it and because we also honour the way it has been added to and deepened by the people of many other cultures who have been attracted to it. [Read more…]
The OECD’s latest economic survey says Australia’s 21 years of uninterrupted growth “stands out among OECD countries”.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, an organisation representing 34 of the world’s richest and most developed countries, says Australia’s growth performance “has been sustained by sound policies” and the Asian commodities boom.
The OECD says the main challenge for Australian economic policy is “to manage a sustained recovery, while promoting important structural changes in the economy.”
OECD reports are usually written with input from the Treasury. Amongst the report’s policy recommendations, it says: “The current shift in the policy mix is appropriate. If the cycle weakens, ease monetary policy and let the automatic stabilisers work. Whilst monetary policy should be the first line of defence, if a full-scale global crisis of similar magnitude as in 2008-09 erupts, be ready to adopt prompt fiscal expansion.”
The report also urges a reduction in company tax and a broadening of the mineral resource rent tax (MMRT).
The Secretary General of the OECD, Jose Angel Gurria, described Australia as the “iron man” of the OECD. He was interviewed by ABC News24’s Scott Bevan:
Text of a media release from Treasurer Wayne Swan.
OECD survey shows Australian economy a standout
The OECD’s latest economic survey of Australia released today shows once again that our economy stands tall amongst its peers, with 21 consecutive years of growth, robust economic fundamentals and a positive outlook in the face of acute global challenges.
The OECD finds that, unlike many developed economies, the Australian economy remains resilient, with successful macroeconomic management contributing to solid growth, low unemployment, contained inflation, and strong public finances. [Read more…]