Updated Wednesday, 4 February, 2009
Shoppers plan to spend and save cash bonus
Shoppers in inner Sydney are split between plans to save or spend the extra $950 cash bonus promised by the Federal Government. Retailers hope they'll see an increase in sales, but some are reporting a decrease in spending despite previous government efforts to stimulate the economy.
Sydney builder sceptical about boost to construction
The Federal Government is hoping that pump priming the construction industry with $28.8 billion will help stave off a recession in Australia. But one Sydney builder with a small to medium business believes the package will have no impact on him at all.
Govt demands passage of stimulus package this week
While the Federal Government is pressuring on the Opposition to pass its multi-billion dollar stimulus package within days, the Treasurer Wayne Swan has told AM there's no guarantees it will effectively stave off a recession. But Mr Swan says the economic situation will be worse without the stimulus and he's not ruling out further spending.
Opposition equivocates on support for stimulus
The Federal Opposition's Joe Hockey says the Opposition hasn't made a final decision on whether to support the Government's multi-billion dollar spending, saying the opposition won't be bullied into passing the bills. Independent Senator Nick Xenophon says the Government's push for a quick passage of its stimulus package suggests the Rudd Government is taking the Senate for granted.
Obama struggles to get support for stimulus package
Despite the American economy in recession, the US President Barack Obama is battling to get the necessary support for this economic stimulus package with Republicans refusing to support the plan. The President is also facing some embarrassment with two of his administration nominees having to withdraw.
Fears over North Korean missile activity
New satellite photos are said to show North Korea preparing a fresh launch site and American and South Korean officials say a long-range missile has been photographed as it was transported through the North Korean countryside.
Refugees claim brutal treatment at hands of Thai authorities
Australia has been warned to expect asylum seekers on its shores because of the resurgent violence in Sri Lanka. The warning comes as Indonesia manages the arrival of another boatload of Muslim refugees who say they are being persecuted in Burma. They also accuse Thai security forces of leaving them to die at sea.
Heat damages Victorian crops
Three consecutive days of 40 plus temperatures last week damaged many of Victoria's fruit and vegetable crops. Farmers are asking consumers to support them by buying their product even if it's not the best quality.