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News: Bob Hawke skulls one for the country

One for the country Robert!

Bob Hawke was at the SCG for the second test on Wednesday, when some cheerful fans urged him to skull a beer “for the country”.

Here’s what happened.

Aussies and NZ-ers heavy dope smokers


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One a scale of one to munted, how heavy to you think marijuana use in Australia is? You might not have picked we tie for equal first place with New Zealand as the heaviest pot users in the world. A study of users published in The Lancet found between 10 and 15 per cent of Aussies and Kiwis had tried marijuana in the past year compared to something under 2 per cent for people in Asia. Australia and New Zealand also share the highest rate of usage of drugs such as speed and crystal meth, with 2.8 per cent of their populations having ingested, injected or inhaled them over a 12-month period. Interestingly, however, the most harm came from tobacco use. About 1.3 per cent of deaths in Australia are attributed to illicit drugs, compared with 11.7 per cent linked to tobacco use. Alcohol abuse is responsible for 0.8 per cent of deaths, it said. So, have you dabbled? How often and when?

George Clooney on Oscars, women in leading roles

If you thought you couldn’t love the Cloon anymore than you already do, there’s this. He was interviewed in the lead-up to the Oscars with Viola Davis (star of The Help), with whom he is good friends. And he jumped in to smash the myth that women couldn’t lead in film and still be successful. “There’s this strange thing that’s happened over the last 25 or 30 years where there’s this decision being made that women aren’t able to carry the box office. Now, Bridesmaids has proved that to be bullshit, and The Help has proven it to be bullshit. But it’s much harder to get a film with a woman lead made. When a man hits 40 is when roles just begin to happen. And for women it doesn’t happen. I find that to be a very concerning issue.” Clooney is in for a shot at Best Actor for his role in The Descendants.

Tasteless or are they worried about nothing?

Critics lash Cosmo for featuring Dakota Fanning on cover

The actress won the United States Cosmopolitan Magazine ‘Fun, Fearless Female’ award and was featured on the front page opposite headlines like ‘His best sex ever’ and ‘…you have to try this sex trick’. Problem is, she’s 17. But are the critics being over-sensitive? Some think so. Fanning turns 18 at the end of February. Cosmo said: “We’re thrilled to feature Dakota Fanning on the February cover of Cosmopolitan magazine and she looks stunning. Dakota … is a mature, fearless young woman and we are proud to honor her as our Fun Fearless Female of the year.” This controversy comes not long after a perfume ad featuring Dakota Fanning was banned for being too ‘overtly sexual’. What do you make of all this?

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Priest says hot cross buns have lost their religious significance

Christmas was only a couple of weeks ago, but supermarkets around the country are already stocking their shelves with Easter eggs and hot cross buns. And a priest in Tasmania says that’s not right. Father Tony Kennedy says if supermarkets want to sell hot cross buns before Good Friday they should remove the cross. He said hot cross buns were originally eaten on Good Friday to remind people of the day Jesus died.

A spokesman from Coles said it was up to the customers to decide about the religious significance. “A lot of our customers would like them sold all year round,” Jon Church said. “What we are doing is responding to customer demand.”

Have you seen hot cross buns in supermarkets already?

Three soliders injured in Afghanistan

Three Australian soldiers have been wounded after a roadside bomb attack in Afghanistan on Monday.The Mentoring Task Force Three soldiers were given immediate first aid and transported to a medical facility. Their injuries were not considered life threatening and they are expected to make a full recovery. Two hundred and sixteen ADF members have been wounded in Afghanistan since the start of the war in 2001.

Meanwhile, in case you missed them, here’s the week in pics:

Japanese ships stalking anti-whaling activists

A Japanese whalers’ ship has been following Australia’s anti-whaling activists, according to the captain of the Steve Irwin. Captain Paul Watson says his ship and another – the damaged Sea Shepherd’s Brigitte Bardot – were being stalked by The Shonan Maru No. 2, which is now standing off Fremantle in an attempt to keep tabs on the Sea Shepherd fleet. The report comes in the wake Greens leader Bob Brown’s call for the Gillard Government to demand Japan’s whaling fleet stay out of Australia’s EEZ.

A new name for Vegemite?

Vegemite. Now named 'Australia'

Vegemite will change its name to “Australia” for the lead-up to Australia Day. The iconic spread will also rebrand its jars to feature a map of Australia in place of the famous red diamond. Of the move, Vegemite Marketing Director Jenny Nolch said “Changing Vegemite’s name to Australia for a limited time in the lead up to Australia Day is our way of showing some contemporary Australian pride.” The jars will also feature the faces of “everyday Aussies” who have achieved extraordinary things. 

Australia sandwich anyone?

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