The Sydney Morning Herald from Sydney, New South Wales, New South Wales, Australia on March 26, 2001 · Page 20
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The Sydney Morning Herald from Sydney, New South Wales, New South Wales, Australia · Page 20

Sydney, New South Wales, New South Wales, Australia
Issue Date:
Monday, March 26, 2001
Page 20
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Wne jSjjbnqj Pontine rralb 20 Monday, March 26, 2001 rm en e id. v mini WORLD NEWS US lists China as main enemy $1.4bn link runs off the rails A rare sight ... an aerial photograph captures the floodwaters now streaming into the usually dry saltpans that make up Lake Eyre in South Australia. The blue teardrop shape is the headwater running down Warburton Groove into Lake Eyre North towards the saltpan. The f loodwater has yet to reach the empty southern part of the lake, but when it does the flowback will flood either side of the headwater and the lake will be flush with water and life. Photo: Simon O'Dwyer China has replaced Russia as America's primary enemy. In a sign of a return to Cold War politics, the Defence Secretary plans sweeping changes in military policy, convinced that China's growing military and economic strength make it the real threat in the 2ist century. Page 8 Threat to bring down Morauta Fresh attempt will be made today to persuade Papua New Guinea's rebellious soldiers to hand in seized weapons. The move comes as reports circulate of politicians and business backers trying to use the crisis of authority to bring down the 2i-month administration of Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta. Page 8 Red faces over airline 'bomb' The biggest casually in the explosion on a Thai Airways Boeing 737 in Bangkok now seems to be the Government's and the airline's reputations. Flight TG411 burst into flames just before the Prime Minister was to board, and assassination theories followed. But investigators say the fire may have resulted from airline misuse of the air-conditioning. Page 8 Churchill secret revealed Diaries hidden for more than 80 years have revealed that Winston Churchill's wife, Clementine, offered to give their fourth child to family friends who had been unable to conceive. Page 9 EDITORIAL Fairness to aged The Federal Government promised nobody would be worse off under the GST. Pensioners disagree, and they may be right. Pensioners, particularly the oldest ones, not only consume differently to the general population, but tend to use items previously not subject to tax such as bus tickets, and pharmaceuticals. They also tend to spend all their disposable income. The refusal to hand on the full 4 per cent CPI adjustment to pensioners last week has been seen by many pensioners as unfair, increasing their sense of vulnerability. Pensioners received only a 2 per cent rise. That took pensions past the $4oo-a-fortnight mark, but there were no celebrations, only expressions of grievance. So far, Mr Howard has resisted the pensioners' pleas, on reasonable grounds. The fact remains, however, that he promised nearly two years ago that "we would all be winners" with the GST. If pensioners can show that they have not been winners, Mr Howard will have to listen to them or suffer political consequences. Page 12 BUSINESS SPORT METROPOLITAN Carr puts off pokie reforms Pool titans promise records In a win for the gaming industry, the State Government is expected to defer implementing the Liquor Administration Board's most controversial proposals to minimise gambling. It is likely to reserve judgment pending further research on issues including reducing the maximum betfrom$io to $1. Page 35 Ansett begins fleet upgrade Ansett has started its long overdue fleet renewal program, leasing three Boeing 767-200S. It comes as speculation mounts that the airline and its owner, Air New Zealand, are close to finalising major fleet acquisitions after public confidence collapsed over in-flight incidents. Page 35 legal hurdle is facing Supreme Court action from creditors, including Southcorp Wines. The struggling e-tailer may also be brought before the Licensing Court over claims it has been operating without a valid liquor licence. Page 36 The Australian Swimming Championships' highlight will be played out in the men's 800m final tonight. The big questions are, can Ian Thorpe handle the step up from 400m, and will Grant Hackett cope with the step down from 1,500m? Records are predicted. Page 21 Back to the future for league If the rationalised future of rugby league was on display on Friday, the past gave it credibility days later when two old clubs produced a game that resonated in the soul and on the scoreboard. The Roosters-Bulldogs taut stand-off before 15,251 fans was in stark contrast to Friday's embarrassment when only 10,429 watched four merged clubs. Page 23 Pittman's future in doubt Jana Pittman, the teenager most likely to follow in Cathy Freeman's footsteps, is struggling to ward off fatigue despite a victory in the 400m hurdle at the weekend national championships. Page 32 g rx fx. A' o And the award goes to . . . Olympic opening ceremony supremo Ric Birch knocked back a night at the Academy Awards to accept the Best Special Event Performance prize at the inaugural Helpmann Awards in Sydney last night. The opening ceremony beat the big top production of the musical Cats, Robyn Archer's 2000 Adelaide Festival and its regional programPZenry. Bryce Hallett reports, Page 15 The Premier's big fix for Sydney's train system is all but abandoned, with no money or timetable to build the new Parramatta-Chatswood link. Mr Carr yes terday confirmed all the $1.4 billion com mitted would be spent on one section. But the overcrowded Windsor Road will be a four-lane highway by 2006, he said. It is part of a $2 1 .5 billion capital works program specified yesterday. Page 1 Baby bundles of joy turn sour There is growing concern about the possible exploitation of new mothers by companies offering them free sample bags via the hospital they are enrolled to give birth in. The companies also keep the mothers' details on a database. Page 1 PM limits competition The Government is looking at reviewing competition policy so it can be adapted to protect small primary producers and retailers squeezed by big operators. The Prime Minister's concession yesterday follows strong National Party pressure and the general perception within the Government that the backlash against globalisation has become a grassroots electoral issue. Page 2 Truth about the Nile-high club Cleopatra maybe portrayed as the minxlike Queen of ancient Egypt who drove men to distraction before committing suicide in 30BC, but did her lovers have to hold their breath, close their eyes and think of Rome? The British Museum believes that is possible, with 11 freshly identified statues revealing the Queen, once played by actor Elizabeth Taylor, was probably hook-nosed, dumpy and in need of a good dentist. Page 3 Audiences they are a changin' Babyboomers mixed with Generation Xera for a rite of passage last night: Bob Dylan's Things Have Changed Tour concert in Centennial Park. Page 3 1,000 trapped by HIH collapse With 1,000 home owners and building contractors estimated to have been caught m the collapse of insurance giant HIH, a review of the State building insurance scheme has been demanded following claims that the Government failed to keep close enough watch on the progress or2 consumer claims. The Insurance Council of Australia says only two major insurers remain in the scheme. Page 5 ir Bring out the underground mutton, for we re on the road to Roon We can see the signs of economic doom wherever we look . . on the fashion pages where models are clad in rabbit skins. even O T-O I 00 V ) Personalty, I blame the rock choppers. All those interminable lessons with Brother Pat reading yet another piece of verse from Around the Boree Log in a stifling classroom, dozens of kids chafing at the bit for the lunch hour. Even without repeated recitations of John O'Brien's immortal words - We'll all be rooned, said Hanrahan - the whole experience may well have been enough to turn the most optimistic child into a melancholic. As the Jesuits say, give me a child and I'll show you the man. At uni I went out once with a bloke who'd done time with the Christian Brothers, and towards the end of the night, as we were relaxing with a Bundy and Coke in front of a two-bar heater, as you did, he went to his bookcase and whipped out a copy of Around the Boree Log. Not being familiar with the book, I was immediately struck by his charm and intellect. At last, I thought, a man who loves both rugby and poetry. The book fell open at Said Hanrahan and he started reading it aloud. As a seduction technique it left a bit to be desired. I fled. Seriously though, Tony Abbott hit the nail on the head when he identified Roonism, the conviction that life is bad and getting worse, as a deep streak in the Australian character. When the figures came through that we'd had our first quarter of negative growth in 10 , years, it was as though the economy had been involved in a train crash. The headlines were dire -"Australia Hits the Wall"; "In Reverse !" The media's economic journalists, to the '90s what sex therapists were to the '70s, stared grimly from their picture bylines, intoning words like "crisis", and "brutal" and even (We'll all be rooned!) the R word. The rest of us were left shaking our heads. Wasn't it only a couple of months ago we had been suffused with the optimistic glow of the Olympics, new restaurants were opening every week, businesses seemed to be booming? The old barometer of good times, the Porsche index, had risen sharply. Dot com zillionaires were spending their new money on harbourside mansions and private jets. Those of us who had built or renovated our houses in the boom still had fresh memories of being shred ded, unable to find a builder, let alone a brick, for nothing less than extortionate prices. Then things went crook. Whinge radio returned with a when at least one senior member of the Canberra press gallery went back to uni to get an economics degree when the Hawke government was elected. It was a I was immediately struck by his charm and intellect. At last, I thought, a man who loves both rugby and poetry. The book fell open at Said Hanrahan and he started reading it aloud. As a seduction technique it left a bit to be desired. I fled. vengeance. That straight-talking little battler Gerry Harvey said his stores were like scenes from the X-Files. We stopped buying stuff like computers and clothes and prepared for Roonation. It would be wrong to solely blame Hanrahan and a Catholic education for our doomed streak. The fact that we've become a nation of economic literates, or worse, semi-literates, has also helped. It started 15 years ago, necessary part of one's intellectual portfolio for the start of what would be a sustained period of economic policy upheaval. During this time, we've also gone from being one of the world's smallest shareowners to one of the biggest, and we talk about the economy with almost the same conviction and interest as we do about the cricket. The fact that we know only a little about what ails us has, however, contributed to our economic hypochondria. For full confirmation of Roonism, though, you only have to turn to the fashion pages. Forget the old test of bad times, falling skirt lengths. It was the appearance of a model in a rabbit skin vest a fortnight ago that made my spirits plunge lower than Hanrahan's outside the church ere Mass began on that frosty Sunday morn. There she was, a beautiful young woman, draped in this disgusting garment, all shapeless and ragged. Talk about recession dressing. Next we'll be eating underground mutton again, calicivirus and all. PS. Things are starting to look up in the bush, with Ron Boswell beating the Roonists in his own party. The Nats' most committed anti-Hansonite lives to fight for his place in the Senate. Good on him. COLUMN "We've got satellites and fibre optics and gigabuck profits, but our home telecommunications remain critically lacking," says Jonathan Revitt, of Randwick. "Calling England, I entered four numbers for the international carrier, four for an international line, two for the country code, three for the area code and I'm entering another six for the phone number . . . then I make a mistake. Go to Start, do not collect $200, do not kick the cat again. With mobiles you simply erase your mistake but the archaic speakboxes in our homes make us start all over again. Want to fix the dollar, Australia? Invent the correctable home phone." From Another Newspaper on Friday -we can't work out whether there's a mistake in it or not. It purports to be a quote, verbatim, from the Duchess of York: Icouldn 't believe it when I picked up a British newspaper and read that 82 per cent of men would rather sleep with a goat then me. Is that then or than? Marriage celebrant Brian Stewart, of Camden, is required by the Marriage Act to hand two pamphlets to the marrying couple. One is Happily Ever . . .Before and After, the other a list of organisations for counselling. Brian has none of the Happily left. He rang Ausinfo, formerly the Government Publishing Service, to order more.They had none in stock but are considering a reprint. "That's a problem," says Brian. "I have to tick the marriage papers to indicate I have done what the law requires. There must be an election promise for one of the parties in this!" Turning 92 today is the artist Jim Russell, still drawing The Potts after 61 years, and now putting on his hat as a tennis administrator, finishing a history of the 53-year-old White City Tennis Club. Jim took over the Potts strip when Stan Cross left for Melbourne in 1940, and has become, his friends say, more and more like Uncle Dick each day. Happy birthday, Jim. We c a n 't s u g g e s t there's any payment in kind for participants. Khristina Totosa, a film-making student in Syd-. . ney University's Continuing Education program (0414 337 335, khristina') wants to shoot a short documentary, Confessions of a Chocoholic. "The aim is to investigate the lovehate relationship a chocaholic has with chocolate. I need three serious chocahoHcs who need to confess.'" The Japanese have more to vvony about than an outbreak of futon mouse disease (Column 8, Friday), says Stephanie Cook, of Leichhardt. "The Japanese financial crisis shows no signs of letting up. Origami Bank has folded, Sumo Bank has gone belly up and Bonsai Bank plans to cut back its branches. Karaoke Bank is going for a song. Meanwhile, shares in Kamikaze Bank have nose-dived and 500 back-office staff at Karate Bank got the chop. There's something fishy going on at Sushi Bank and staff fear they may get a raw deal." Seattle cinema staff are not alone in their inflexibility (Column 8, Thursday) . David Thurlow, of Birchgrove, says he was driving through Siberia in 1996, passing many berry sellers. "A bucketful cost only a few roubles, but that was much more than we wanted. We offered to pay the full price for half a bucket. Nyet. A bucketful or nothing." Lonely, roly-poly midget. The Area News, of Griffith, ran this ad in the Men Seeking Women personals, says Valerie O'Meara, of Griffith: 32-y-o sales manager, 6", 80 kgs, fit and healthy . . . seeking slim, attractive etc etc. (no attachments, please). Phone 9282 2207 Fax 9282 2772. (Include name, suburb, daytime phone) INSIDE TODAY - v fx? A 5Ks sue Nova tells With its April Fool's Day launch date just under a week away, the new radio station Nova 96.9FM is opening an assault on the Sydney airwaves with a promise of different music and less advertising. In today's Guide, Heather Chapman unveils the station's new logo, and in a revealing interview with Nova's key players, unravels part of DMG's $155 million masterplan. Is DMG sending a strong signal to the radio industry or is it just radio ga-ga? Beyond the vanilla universe It's no accident that the mythical typical Australian woman - blonde and white-skinned - is used over and over again by Australian advertisers to sell products. Dr Mary Zournazi, of Macquarie University, identifies a "Meadow Lea syndrome" in which the blonde mum (such as Lisa Curry-Kenny promoting Uncle Tobys products) is used to sell everything from margarine to shampoo to breakfast cereal. But such advertisers may be doing their clients a disservice. Jacques Nasser, the head of the F ord Motor Company, believes racial stereotyping can cost corporations money and that ignoring cultural differences and the huge emerging minority market is a "huge mistake". Insight, Page 11 WHAT'S ON ABC F our Corners, 8.30 pm. Panorama investigation of terrorist bomb attack in Omagh, Northern Ireland, in August 1998, recently won three British TV awards for journalism. SBS South Park, 8.30 pm. Return of Mr Hankey. When co-creator Trey Parker was three and forgot to flush the loo, his father warned Mr Hankey would come to life, sing a song and kill him. Trey never forgot. Seven Ally McBeal, 8.30 pm. Bizarre invention gives Elaine (Jane Krakowski) a strange case of the wobbles. Nine Academy A wards, 7.30 pm. Russell Crowe, Geoffrey Rush the Aussie hopefuls, Steve Martin the host. Ten Neighbours, 6.30 pm. Lance (Andrew Bibby) develops soapie wanderlust. Robin Oliver ON THE WEB Cool clips Melbourne's fashion fiesta, singer Christine Anu and girl rockers Lash in performance, the Archibald art works. Checkout video, audio and slideshows. Only at SIGN POSTS the jSjjtmfii JRorninjj $r ralb Who Happy birthday to 1858A(lfred) E(dward) Housman, author of The Shropshire Lad (1896), 1877 American poet Robert Frost, 1909 Chips Rafferty, 1911 Tennessee Williams (A Streetcar Named Desire) and 1931 Leonard ("I Am Not Spock, Yes I am. No I'm Not, Yes I am") " Nimoy. What In 1830, Joseph Smith published the Boole of Mormon aged just 24. In 1885 the Eastman Co released the first commercial motion picture film. In 1910 the American Government banned the immigration of criminals, paupers, anarchists and the insane (as if that made a difference). In 1953 Dr Jonas Salk announced his vaccine against polio. In 1989, the USSR had its first free election. Harriet Veitch -1 K - X 'f - '; t. 4 i 1 IS(R l!i(9Wl RflGBY crV k 2 ' !

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