Tuesday, October 30, 2007
posted by @netwurker at 11:11 am
This is seriously unbelievable. First, The Australian Howard Government sets up The Department of Employment and Workplace Relations which is specifically designed to monitor possible breaches of the Workplace Relations Act. Then, this very government department tramples over its own guidelines by issuing notices [illegal, as it turns out] to its employees denying them leave to attend a union organised rally. This is such a statement on the state of the current Australian Government, not to mention the mainstream Aussie media. Why isn't this the leading story across all networks??

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Sunday, October 28, 2007
posted by @netwurker at 7:51 pm
By Spencer S. Hsu | Washington Post
6:33 PM CDT, October 26, 2007

"WASHINGTON - The Federal Emergency Management Agency's No. 2 official apologized Friday for leading a staged news conference Tuesday in which FEMA employees posed as reporters while real reporters listened on a telephone conference line and were barred from asking questions.

"We are reviewing our press procedures and will make the changes necessary to ensure that all of our communications are straight forward and transparent," Vice Adm. Harvey E. Johnson Jr., FEMA's deputy administrator, said in a four-paragraph statement.

"We can and must do better, and apologize for this error in judgment," Johnson said, a view repeated Friday by press officers at the White House and the Department of Homeland Security, who criticized the event."

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Monday, October 22, 2007
posted by @netwurker at 1:31 pm
"The ABC, in cahoots with the National Press Club, pulled the Nine Network's election debate feed on behalf of the Liberal Party in an "outrageous act of censorship", Nine's news chief John Westacott says.

The network's feed from the televised debate between Prime Minister John Howard and Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd last night was cut after the network broadcast the controversial "worm" with its coverage, he said.

The ABC has denied the allegation and said it had "no role" in the decision to cut the feed, according to a spokeswoman.

"All decisions about the host broadcast feed, including decisions about who it would be provided to, were made by the National Press Club," she said.

Nine was warned its feed was going to be cut and was able to switch to take a feed first from the ABC and then, when that was cut, from Sky News, said Mr Westacott, Nine's director of news and current affairs.

He insists there was "absolutely no agreement" between Nine and the press club over its coverage.

"We were asked not to use the worm, that's correct, and we didn't agree with any of the conditions that were laid down by the Press Club, including charging us for the event," he told ABC Radio this morning.

"We were given warning as they were going to pull it, so we cut to our back-up feed and then they threatened to pull that too," he said."

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Thursday, October 11, 2007
posted by @netwurker at 8:15 am
"JURIST Contributing Editor Marjorie Cohn of Thomas Jefferson School of Law says that the Bush administration's repeated insistence that it has not endorsed the torture of prisoners rings hollow in light of newly-disclosed US Department of Justice memos supporting the harshest techniques the CIA has ever used..."

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Monday, October 08, 2007
posted by @netwurker at 8:43 am
'Craig Venter, the controversial DNA researcher involved in the race to decipher the human genetic code, has built a synthetic chromosome out of laboratory chemicals and is poised to announce the creation of the first new artificial life form on Earth.

The announcement, which is expected within weeks and could come as early as Monday at the annual meeting of his scientific institute in San Diego, California, will herald a giant leap forward in the development of designer genomes. It is certain to provoke heated debate about the ethics of creating new species and could unlock the door to new energy sources and techniques to combat global warming.

Mr Venter told the Guardian he thought this landmark would be "a very important philosophical step in the history of our species. We are going from reading our genetic code to the ability to write it. That gives us the hypothetical ability to do things never contemplated before".'

Ed Pilkington in New York

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007
posted by @netwurker at 7:37 am
by Drew Hemmett

"Hundreds of agencies in the UK will have access to phone records from
today, following new regulations which require telecoms companies to
retain for 1 year and share information on the calls people make
using mobile or landline phones and their location. This has been
quietly introduced by the Home Office under the Regulation of
Investigatory Powers Act 2000, and is justified as a vital tool to
combat terrorism. The government will also be able to require people
to hand over decryption keys under the Regulation of Investigatory
Powers Act 2000 (RIPA).

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