Thursday, March 26, 2009

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Updated Thursday, 26 March, 2009
Secret Defence department investigation into own Minister

It's been reported that the Defence department secretly conducted an investigation on the Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon, using Australia's spy agency the Defence Signals Directorate. It's said to have accessed information from within the Minister's office and gathered information about Mr Fitzgibbon's relationship with a wealthy, Chinese-born woman.

Jobs losses in job creation sector
The Federal Government's dramatic and controversial recasting of Australia's job network is in its final stages, and it appears that some well known job providers in Australia will have to sack local staff as the companies are passed over in favour of overseas firms. Critics say the new scheme will lead to hundreds of job losses in the sector.

Prime Minister in Washington
It's been another full day in Washington for the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd. Yesterday it was meetings with the US President, Barack Obama and the Secretary of State. Today, more diplomatic dialogue. Lyndal Curtis tells Tony Eastley the latest talks revolved around Australia's involvement in Afghanistan and various efforts at stimulating the global economy.

EU President not impressed
Yesterday the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and the US President Barack Obama were slapping each other on the back over the success of their respective stimulus packages. But not everyone is enamoured. Certainly not the Czech Prime Minister, Mirek Topolanek whose country holds the revolving European Union Presidency. He has described Barack Obama's economic recovery plans as a way to hell.

Claims phosphorous used illegally in Gaza conflict
A new report accuses Israel of war crimes for using white phosphorus in the recent Gaza Conflict. The report from Human Rights Watch says Israel used the shells indiscriminately; causing needless deaths. The Israeli military has rejected the claims and says its own investigations have so far found it acted within international laws.

Roads reopen in flooded Qld
Roads are now reopening in the flooded areas of north-west Queensland. Many areas have been isolated for two months. AM talks to the man who has to fix the roads in the Diamantina shire.

Indians in the outback
A reality television show shot in regional Australia is doing its bit to expose Australia to tens of millions of young Indians. Australian taxpayer dollars were used to help with the production, and it's hoped it will encourage young Indian backpackers and students to see Australia for themselves.

FBI swamped by financial fraud cases
In the United States the FBI is finding it's under growing pressure to investigate more financial fraud cases. The FBI says there's been a big jump in the number of corporate fraud investigations. There's also been a leap in the number of mortgage fraud cases.

Brighter picture for art market
There was strong demand for fine art at auctions held in Sydney and Melbourne last night.

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