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News: Gillard brings more into the fold in reshuffle

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PM Gillard’s Cabinet reshuffle

The Prime Minister has expanded cabinet from 20 to 22 places, including bringing Mental Health and Aged Care from the outer ministry to cabinet. She has promoted Nicola Roxon, formerly Health Minister, to the role of Attorney-General. Tanya Plibersek, previously in the outer ministry, will takeover the Health portfolio. One of the PM’s key backers Bill Shorten has been promoted to Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations; Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation and Mark Arbib, another backer, has been elevated to Assistant Treasurer; Minister for Small Business; Minister for Sport. Kevin Rudd remains Foreign Affairs Minister.

Amy Winehouse album her highest selling

Just four months after her tragic death – a result of alcohol and not drugs – the singer’s posthumour album Lioness: Hidden Treasures has sold more than 194,000 copies in its first week and topped the UK album charts. It’s the highest selling album of her career. The album was compiled by friends and producers Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi after listening to hours of vocals by Winehouse. The album includes 12 tracks.

Major ‘deal’ struck at global climate talk

Climate talks involving 195 countries, including the powerhouses India, China and the United States, have resulted in an ‘historic’ agreement which would pave the way for binding, legally enforceable climate targets from 2020. But right now it’s more of an agreement to agree with the real terms and conditions on emissions cuts (and what they will cost) to be hammered out in 2015. But many involved in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) said the deal was a massive step forward because the three big polluters had expressed a willingness to work together and eventually be bound under a single treaty.

Australia’s Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said the result was great news for the environment. “They set the world on a path of long-term action to tackle climate change through a regime with wide global coverage and strong environmental effectiveness. If this agreement is concluded it will see developing countries take on obligations, allowing the world to move on from the Kyoto Protocol’s unsustainable divide between developed and developing countries and ensuring all nations do their fair share to cut global emissions.”

Ayen Chol was mauled by a pitbull

Banning dangerous dog breeds won’t work, education will, says doctor

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A pediatric surgeon from Queensland has pointed to the United States where he says education about how to interact with dogs has worked to lower the number of attacks. Professor Roy Kimble wrote in an editorial for the Medical Journal of Australia: “Breed-specific legislation fails to take into account that any breed of dog can be dangerous in the hands of an irresponsible owner who fails to provide good and early training.” Victoria introduced tough new dangerous-dog laws after the death of Ayen Chol, 4, in August. Restricted breeds have to be registered or face seizure and destruction and owners can face up to 10 years in jail.

Coalition to debate same sex marriage today, likely ‘no’ on conscience vote

Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott has almost certainly ruled out allowing his MPs a free vote on same sex marriage when a bill is introduced next year. He said every single member of the Coalition went to the election last year on a platform that defined marriage as being between a man and a woman only. “It’s all very well talking about conscience. Conscience is important. We’ve always respected the rights of conscience within the Coalition,” he said. “But in the end the fundamental duty of a politician is to keep his or her commitment. I don’t see any dramatic change in circumstances, I don’t see any fundamental differences in objective reality today that would justify any change of a fundamental commitment like that.” The former leader Malcolm Turnbull had previously said the party members should be allowed to vote as they see fit, which Labor members are now free to do after a change of heart at the national conference on December 3.

Ruby Kate Forsyth with her proud parents

Ruby Kate, the 11 pound bub

Kate Forsyth was told she was carrying a lot of extra weight during the pregnancy, but that her baby Ruby Kate would probably be about 3.6kg. Not quite. Ruby Kate was born weighing 5.4kg (11 pounds, 14 ounces) and has continued to put on weight at a phenomenal rate. The couple’s firstborn Jack was nine pounds,

Oh, and the Prime Minister will announce a cabinet reshuffle today…

But we’ll post the details when we know for sure what’s what. Watch this space.

Anything else happening in the news that has your attention?

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