Over the weekend some friends kept a group of us entertained with their list of potential names for a soon to be expected bundle of joy.
What people would think of the name, potential nicknames and other couples who’d “baggsed the name” were all key considerations.
But curiously, how that preferred name was spelled did not come into the equation at all.
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Even Julian Assange’s own legal team were scrambling tonight to get on top of the judgement from the UK Supreme Court to reject his appeal against extradition to Sweden, asking for a two-week stay as it rested on a point of law not raised during the hearings.
So it’s best to leave the legal arguments to the Law Lords.
But there’s a principle at play here that is anathema to our system here at home, like it or not Assange’s home. Secrecy.
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Rehabilitation works. Just ask Sally*, who first injected heroin at the of 15.
By 19, she was injecting four times a day and was working as a prostitute to pay for her habit. This continued until she met a social worker who referred her to a drug rehabilitation clinic.
After a tough battle with a few setbacks, Sally is able to live without heroin, and is now completing her second year of a law degree. And this is all thanks to rehabilitation.
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It’s every hack journo’s secret fantasy to pen a novel.
Given that it can only be a matter of months until some upper-management genius develops a business model for the ailing print media industry that involves we human content providers being replaced with 100 monkeys (uncomplaining langurs based in a Mumbai cubicle farm, no doubt) sat in front of 100 typewriters, I’ve decided to start work on a book that will generate me some J.K. Rowlingesque coin.
It’s going to be what we literary types call “allohistory” (aka alternative history). In this genre it’s traditional to write about how things would have turned out if the Nazis won WWII but that particular mule has been whipped to death, so I’m spinning a yarn about would have happened if Sweden, following the economic shocks and stagnation of the ’70s, had lurched to the Left.
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Julian Assange repeatedly said that is the car accidents not the bus accidents of war that have resulted in the massive numbers of civilian casualties revealed by the Afghanistan and Iraq War Diaries in 2010.
Now it’s the media circus around the comparatively pedestrian accident of his legal situation that is drawing global attention away from Wikileaks and the revelations it has made.
Malcolm Turnbull was right when he said that Prime Minister Julia Gillard should not have jumped on what he called a “media frenzy” in describing Assange as a criminal when it had not been established that he broke Australian law.
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Sitting in the Norrkoping campus of the Linkoping University, Sweden, southwest of Stockholm, I am overwhelmed with a sense of wonder that the sun has begun setting at 1 pm. It will be dark by 3.30.
Though a clear, sunny day, snow is forecast for this evening and there is a type of cold that would make most Australians shiver.
In the corridors here, one of the central topics of conversation amongst staff and students is the rise of the far right, anti-immigration party – the Sweden Democrats – that received 5.7 percent of the votes and gained 20 seats in Parliament. Their motto, “responsible immigration policies” for Sweden is, according to one of my colleagues here, a euphemism for limiting Muslim migrants.
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Even if this turns out to be the last piece of cake Swedish Crown Princess Victoria will eat without feeling guilty or having to run 10 kilometres, her marriage to personal trainer Daniel Westling should go down in the history books as one royal fairytale “most likely” to have a happy ending.
Because while their wedding in Stockholm on Saturday had enough pomp and ceremony to rival the “mother of all royal weddings” - Charles and Di circa 1985 - at least the Swedish princess, despite some resistance from her family, was free to choose her own “prince charming”, even if he was just one of the “common folk”. And given his day job, she’s also pretty much guaranteed to keep those toned biceps for life.
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