'Mistaken identity': prostitute unsure if she slept with Thomson
June 6, 2012 - 8:11PM/the AGE
The former sex worker at the centre of allegations against federal MP Craig Thomson tonight recanted her story that she had slept with him while he was at the Health Services Union — and accused the Nine Network of misrepresenting her.
The woman tonight apologised to Mr Thomson and his family, and argued it had been a case of mistaken identity. "I feel absolutely terrible for Craig Thomson and his family."
The woman was in negotiations with the Nine Network's A Current Affair program, which had tracked her down, secured a sworn statement, and offered first $50,000, then $60,000, for an on-camera interview.
Tonight she fronted the rival Seven Network Today Tonight program to say she had not slept with Mr Thomson, and would retract her sworn statement to that effect.
The woman said she had told A Current Affair on May 21 via a text message that she was now "totally unsure" that she slept with Mr Thomson, and was therefore "not a credible witness."
She said the program went ahead anyway three days later and broadcast the allegation without her knowledge, permission or consent. "Once (reporter Justin Armsden) aired it, I felt really screwed over." ....<cont>
Economists fail the reality test, again
The nation's economists, commentators and business people got caught with their pants down last week. They'd convinced themselves the economy was weak, but the Bureau of Statistics produced figures showing it was remarkably strong.
It's not the first time they've failed such a reality test. They prefer not to think about such embarrassing, humbling occurrences, but it's important to ask ourselves why we got it so wrong. ....<cont>
Hopes fade in search for asylum boat survivors
Updated June 23, 2012 09:44:38/ABC News
Video: Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare discusses rescue efforts (Lateline)
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Map: Christmas Island
The search to find about 90 asylum seekers missing after their boat capsized in Indonesian waters on Thursday will resume this morning, with rescuers now ordered to recover bodies.
So far, 109 asylum seekers including a 13-year-old boy have been rescued since the stricken boat was spotted north of Christmas Island on Thursday afternoon.
Three people have so far been confirmed dead with up to 90 people are feared dead, but no survivors have been found in over 24 hours and hopes of finding anyone else alive are fading.
All known survivors of the tragedy have now been brought to shore.
Quote:108 adult men and one 13-year-old boy rescued so far
Three people confirmed dead and about 90 more remain missing
Home Affairs Minister says rescuers have been ordered to start retrieving bodies
But Australian Maritime Safety Authority says rescuers still searching for survivors
A Navy ship took 96 survivors to Christmas Island; three were taken to hospital
Up to six ships and several aircraft are on the scene
Australian authorities say they knew the boat was in trouble early on Wednesday and told it to return to Indonesia
HMAS Wollongong ferried most of the survivors to Christmas Island on Friday morning and the remaining 16 were brought to shore overnight.....
Meanwhile backbench MPs from both major parties say they are willing to participate in bi-partisan talks aimed at breaking the political deadlock on border protection.
Liberal backbencher Judi Moylan, a long-time refugee advocate, says she is horrified more people have died trying to flee danger and a political solution must be negotiated.
"Just saying that we're going to stop the boats is simply not enough," she said.
Independent MP Tony Windsor has flagged gathering a group of MPs from across the parliament to try to break the political stalemate.
Ms Moylan says she would be happy to participate as does Labor MP Steve Georganas.
"Of course it would have to be cleared by our caucus but I'm sure that as I said anything that would bring us closer to a solution I would love to be a part of.
The proposal also has the backing of independent MP Rob Oakeshott.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said the sinking of an asylum boat off Western Australia is tragic and not an occasion for political point scoring.
"It shows what a horrible business this whole people smuggling racket is," Mr Abbott told the Nine Network today.
"Obviously it's important we stop it one way or another, but I don't think today is a day for politics.
"It's a day for human sympathy for everyone caught up in this terrible disaster and support and encouragement for the rescue effort."
Editors quit The Age, SMH
Updated June 25, 2012 13:28:43
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The editors-in-chief of Fairfax's The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald newspapers have quit.
The Age editor Paul Ramadge told staff this afternoon he is standing down.
His counterpart at The Sydney Morning Herald and publisher, Peter Fray, has also stepped down, as did Sydney Morning Herald editor Amanda Wilson.
The resignations come after a tumultuous week for the media company, in which it announced a a decision to axe 1,900 staff, close two major printing presses and downsize its flagship newspapers to tabloids.
The massive restructure coincided with the news mining magnate Gina Rinehart has increased her stake in the company to nearly 19 per cent.
Her move sparked speculation she was aiming to exert editorial influence over the companies media outlets.
Ms Rinehart was already the majority Fairfax shareholder before her latest acquisitions, and has previously lobbied unsuccessfully for two seats on the Fairfax board. ...<cont>
Mr Ramadge said he would leave the company with ‘‘divided feelings’’ after a series of talks over the past few weeks. ...
‘‘Clearly I do this with divided feelings...
"‘‘With politics in Australia at the crossroads, with would-be regulators threatening journalistic independence and with the very notion of trust under siege, the Australia of 2012 needs The Age and all it stands for,’’ he said. .....