News: Bob Brown resigns as Greens leader and from Senate

Bob Brown


The longest serving leader of any political party in Australia’s history has resigned from the Senate and, as such, from leader of the Greens. His term in the Senate will end in June. Bob Brown will be replaced as leader by the Party’s Deputy Christine Milne. A new Deputy will be chosen at 2pm today.

Senator Brown made the shock announcement to his Greens Party colleagues this morning.

“I am sad to leave but happy to go. It is good knowing that the Greens have such a depth of talent and experience lined up for leadership – I could only dream about that a decade ago,” Senator Brown said in a statement.

“It is prime time to hand over the reins.

“I offer a huge ‘thank you’ to the 1.7 million Australian voters who elected our Green team, and to my 9 colleagues: they have made each Green year in this parliament better than the year before – though the best is yet to come. For example, our policies for fairly taxing the resources boom and  carbon polluters, uniquely enable the Greens to fund a national disabilities insurance scheme, the Gonski education reforms, Denticare, renewable energy businesses, as well as progress on High Speed Rail linking our major cities.”

In a press conference at 12pm, Mr Brown said:

“I will be a Green until the day I die, if not for a long time after that!

“I’m 67. And I’m aware that one should always make room for renewal in politics. Our democracy is the healthier for the turnover.

“I remember being in this Parliament as the only Green a  decade ago. Here we are now with 10.”


Anne Romney hasn’t ‘worked a day in her life’. That’s the claim from Democrat campaign strategist Hillary Rosen who launched the attack against Ms Romney whose husband Mitt is the likely Republican contender to take on Barack Obama for the role as President of the United States of America.

The Romney family is very wealthy, you see. Rosen was trying to say Ann had had it easy despite raising five kids and battling cancer and MS. First Lady Michelle Obama wasn’t having a bar of it and tweeted: “Every mother works hard, and every woman deserves to be respected – mo.”

Michelle Obama

Ms Rosen tried to clarify her remarks by saying Ms Romney didn’t have a clue about the financial struggles of most women as they tried to work and raise a family.

“This is not about Ann Romney,” Ms. Rosen said on CNN Thursday morning. “This is about the waitress at a diner someplace in Nevada who has two kids whose day-care funding is being cut off because of the Romney-Ryan budget and she doesn’t know what to do.”


Ms Romney retaliated.

“Maybe I haven’t struggled as much financially as some people have,” she said. “I can tell you and promise you that I’ve had struggles in my life.”

What do you make of the comments?



Chinese medicine seized at Australian customs has been analysed with results showing some disturbing ingredients.

Fairfax reported:

Researchers from Western Australian checked the ingredients in 15 Chinese medicines and found three-quarters contained undeclared animal products, including the critically endangered Asiatic black bear.

The lead author of the study, Mike Bunce, said some tested medicines contained material from up to 30 plant families, including some known to be highly allergenic, many of which were not labelled.

”People have got to be aware of what they are ingesting,” said Dr Bunce, a research fellow and geneticist at Murdoch University.

Some of the ingredients included trace amounts of cancer causing chemicals, water buffalo and deer DNA. Not surprisingly, most of the surprising ingredients were not listed on the packet.

Australia has recently allowed for Chinese medical practitioners to be registered, a move which critics say adds legitimacy to alternative medicine but which supporters say allows for more security regarding shonky practitioners.


It’s definitely not Harry Potter. But publishing house Little, Brown Book Group has declared the Potter author’s new book to be a black comedy about a town divided during a surprise council election caused by the death of councillor Barry Fairweather.

“Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils … Pagford is not what it first seems,” Little, Brown Book Group said on its website.

“And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?”

The book will be published worldwide on September 27 and yes, we’ll be first in line too.

Anna with One Direction


The boy band who caught the world’s attention decided the receptionist at Nova Radio had ‘beautiful eyes’. Harmless enough, right? Then a member of the band’s entourage got Anna Crotti’s phone number for singer Zayn. And the fans didn’t like that at all. reports:

“We were communicating (via text) through the whole day pretty much (and Zayn) asked if I would like to catch up. I said I was free a bit later,” Anna said.

It didn’t take long for fans to track down Anna on Facebook and bombard her with intimidating messages.

One read: “Why would they choose you?” Dozens of others were more sinister.

Anna said: “By the end of the day it got a bit too scary. I didn’t even want to walk home. It was so intense.”

And the Week in Pics this week is a brilliant mash-up of Photoshop fails, hilarious Internet memes and downright weird, er, hair sculptures. Check it:


Or so shows one Australian study. Researchers from the University of New South Wales used data from 1500 women, first collected in the late 1980s when they were aged over 60, to examine longevity rates and there appears to be a correlation between the number of children and reaching the later years.

“They were having kids in the ’40s and ’50s, pre-oral contraceptive pill,” Associate Professor Leon Simons said. ”In this age group large numbers of children were quite common.” Compared with women who had no children, those with two had a 17 per cent decreased risk of death. For women with three children there was a 20 per cent decreased risk, and this pattern largely continued with additional children.

Associate Professor Simons said it was not known exactly why childbirth might protect women in later life, but similar findings were seen overseas. His study also indicated children protected men from earlier death, but the results were not definitive.



Generation Z. You may or may not have heard of them but according to IBISworld they are born from the early to mid 1990s and will make up more than 13 per cent of the Australian population by 2015. And they’re more than keen for a little bit of parental support.

Research released ahead of International Youth Week showed Gen Z-ers are living at home in larger numbers. Most young Aussies are city dwellers, and nearly half (48.1 per cent) of 20- to 24-year-olds were still living with their parents last year, compared with 45.2 per cent a decade earlier. They’re pre-GFC boomtime babies when double income families produced one of our wealthiest generations.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures show that among young adults who receive financial assistance from their parents, about 45 per cent get help paying their rent and just over 49 per cent get help paying bills.

The ABS figures also show 27.1 per cent of young adults are involved in volunteer work.

A shot of the strip campaign


Innovative or demeaning? Menswear company Stussy has kick-started a social media campaign for its Amsterdam branch by asking fans to ‘Like’ the page. The more likes, the more clothes the featured model strips off.

The campaign’s creative director, Colin Lamberton, has given this cheeky explanation.

“As you can imagine the model must be suffocating under that many layers of clothing,” he said.

“It is almost a public duty to free her out of this misery so we are expecting Facebook fans to help out here.”


The follow-up to the hit ABC mini-series Paper Giants will focus on the 1990s rivalry between magazine editors Nene King (Woman’s Day) and Dulcie Boling (New Idea).

Fairfax reported:

The two magazines spent the best part of a decade trying to out-scoop and out-sleaze each other. The feud between King and Boling became the stuff of legend.

When King retired in 1999, Woman’s Day was still dominant. Headlines at the time branded her a ”trash and cash queen”, referring to the magazine’s chequebook. ”I put in a lot more celebrities – and guess what? Circulation went from 500,000 to over a million,” King said. ”You want me to apologise for that?”

– Check out Mia Freedman’s chat with Nene King here.