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MELBOURNE — A pre-sentence hearing began on February 2 for three Tamil men who have pleaded guilty to providing money to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a group that fought for three decades for self-determination for the oppressed Tamil people of Sri Lanka.

When, after destroying Malcolm Turnbull, the Liberal Party took a surprise turn and embraced Tony Abbott as leader, there were those on the left who greeted the news with combined incredulity and glee.

James and Erica Packer have just had a baby. Luckily this time it's a boy.

This will come as little surprise to most workers, but their workplace superannuation is being systematically rorted and they are on the losing end of the “bargain”.

Morning commuters at Laverton and Seaholme stations may have thought they had gone back in time on February 3. Usually the only staff are roving squads of ticket inspectors. Instead, commuters found a uniformed tram conductor riding the trains with them — giving out information on how the public transport system can be improved and made free.

Optimistic about Cuba

Cuba is supposed to be a dangerous communist country. I spent January in this Caribbean island about the size of Victoria and suffering a trade embargo. My mobile phone stopped working at the US border. What about climate

An historic gathering took place in Faisalabad, the third largest city in Pakistan, on January 29.

There can be no National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy tests in 2010. The Australian Education Union’s national conference in January reaffirmed that, if NAPLAN data was used by the media to publish league tables, teachers would not co-operate in implementing the tests this year.

A February 4 Daily Dispatch Online article said soil fertility expert Xolobeni said the proposed heavy minerals mining project at Xolobeni is located in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province in one of the “most environmentally sensitive habitats” ever investigated for mining in the country.

The New Way Summit on Aboriginal rights was held at the Australian National University, Canberra from January 30 to February 1. It was attended by 150 people, plus around 600 who hooked in via phone and internet links.

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