Berkeley hires Wikipedian-in-residence

Written by admin on 30/07/2019 Categories: 佛山桑拿网

A 24-year-old geography major is the first Wikipedian-in-residence at the University of California, Berkeley.

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The school announced recently that it had hired Kevin Gorman to advise students and professors on the complex task of editing articles for Wikipedia, the user-generated online encyclopedia that gets 500 million monthly visitors.

Many universities around the United States have classes producing content for Wikipedia, but in-residence Wikipedians have previously been tied only to private institutions such as the United States National Archives.

UC Berkeley would be the first American university to create a position devoted to improving the site and getting its own scholarship out to the public.

The idea is to enhance the quality of the articles on Wikipedia, and provide access to more source material such as academic journals, which are often only accessible through university or public libraries.

Gorman also hopes to help provide more diversity in the people editing Wikipedia. Surveys suggest 90 per cent of the site’s editors are male, and 80 per cent white.

“Providing content not yet found on Wikipedia, in areas that suffer due to our systemic biases, is vital work,” he wrote, according the university.

Editing Wikipedia articles is already part of the curricula in environmental justice and cultural studies courses at Berkeley. The students will tackle existing articles on air pollution, urban agriculture and hydraulic fracturing.

But instead of their research only being read by instructors, the hope is that quality student research can now be accessed by a larger audience on Wikipedia.

“I’m not interested in students writing term papers that only I and the graduate-student instructor read,” associate professor Dara O’Rourke said in a school news release.

“That’s not utilising students’ potential to the fullest.”

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Warriors NRL doctor warns of ‘cocktailing’

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The NRL will this year begin testing for prescription drugs as the Warriors’ club doctor said he believes many players are mixing sleeping pills with alcohol and energy drinks.

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John Mayhew, the doctor for New Zealand’s NRL side the Warriors, told ABC TV’s 7.30 on Tuesday night that having spoken with players and other club medicos, “cocktailing” is widespread.

“Basically they get a high and it doesn’t contravene any of the existing drug testing protocols,” Dr Mayhew told 7.30.

“Widespread is the word I’d use.”

Mayhew also believes the problem exists in other football codes.

His comments came just before the NRL announced on Wednesday they would start testing for prescription drugs, including the controversial sleeping pill Stilnox.

The NRL’s chief operating officer, Jim Doyle, concedes there’s anecdotal evidence that prescription drugs are being abused by players but no sanctions will be imposed in 2014 for those that test positive.

The NRL reached agreement with the Rugby League Players Association to test players for two classes of prescription drugs: benzodiazepines (which include brand names such as Valium, Serepax, Mogadon and Rohypnol) and zolpidems (which include Stilnox, Zolsan and Stilnoct).

“During the 2014 season, we will conduct testing for data-gathering purposes only,” Doyle said in a statement.

“We want to find out if we do have a problem with prescription drugs in rugby league because, at present, there is only anecdotal evidence.”

If a player tests positive this year, the NRL will set up a confidential meeting between the player, his club doctor and the NRL’s chief medical officer to determine why the player is taking the drug and whether he needs counselling or rehabilitation.

However, if the testing regime shows there’s a serious issue with the use of prescription drugs, Doyle said sanctions may be imposed in 2015.

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double standard over baby organ donation should make us rethink the rules

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By Greg Moorlock, University of Birmingham

Organ size is an important criterion for matching donated organs to a recipient, and organs donated from adults are often simply too large for a child.

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They need organs donated from another child. This is rare enough already, but as the authors of a new study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood point out, the strict rules that govern how death is diagnosed in infants between 37 weeks and two months means that these babies can’t be donors. The situation has also created a “double standard” with doctors and parents turning to imported organs from places where the rules are less strict.

The ‘dead donor rule’

For adults who want to donate organs when they die, their death can be diagnosed in two ways: via neurological criteria (sometimes known as donation after brain-stem death) or by circulatory criteria (donation after circulatory death). In adults and older children, the way that death is diagnosed can have a bearing on which organs can be donated, as well as the condition of the organs when they are retrieved. Organs donated after brain-stem death are generally preferable to those donated after circulatory death.

These kinds of donor operations are led by the “dead donor rule”, which dictates that a patient must be dead before their organs are removed. But determining when someone is dead is surprisingly difficult as death is often more of a process than a clearly defined moment or event. The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges guidelines from 1991 suggest that it is “rarely possible to confirm death using neurological criteria in infants under two months of age”, and UK guidance states that since diagnosis of brain-stem death is unreliable under this age it should not be used.

The authors of the new study looked at babies between 37 weeks and two months who had died in neonatal or paediatric intensive care at a large specialist children’s hospital over a six-year period. Between 2006 and 2012, they worked out that more than half (54%) could have been potential organ donors; 34 after circulatory death and 11 after brain-stem death.

The infants in the second group had extensive brain damage, had been in a coma, were not breathing on their own and, the authors said, had evidence of brain-stem impairment. And all of them had died within minutes of their life support being withdrawn. The authors argue that the current guidance fails to recognise that these would have fulfilled the criteria for brain-stem death.

It is, however, considered acceptable in other countries such as Australia and the US to diagnose infants as brain-stem dead. This reluctance to diagnose brain-stem death in young babies prevents many potential organ donations, and the fact that the diagnosis is considered acceptable elsewhere suggests that the UK guidance is in need of revision.

As Richard Kirk, a consultant paediatric cardiologist in Newcastle caring for three babies in urgent need of a transplant, said to the BBC:

There is a crazy double standard operating – it’s forbidden to declare a baby ‘brain-stem dead’ in the UK and yet no-one minds us flying to Europe, where the doctors are allowed to diagnose brain stem death, and bringing the donated organs back to the UK to use. Where is the sense or ethics in that?

While organ donation from newborns is possible after circulatory death has been established, in practice it tends not to happen. Donating organs after circulatory death can require small deviations from the usual end-of-life treatment that a non-donor would receive. This can involve changes to where and when treatment is withdrawn, and minor interventions to ensure that the patient remains sufficiently stable for their organs to be donated.

These variations in treatment are considered acceptable for adults, because they are deemed to be in the patient’s best interests so long as they want to be an organ donor. But if these small interventions are not clearly contrary to their best interests, they may be still be ethically acceptable.

Difficult to contemplate

These concerns, on what can be broadly construed as medical grounds, are clearly not the only ones. The issue of organ donation and talking to families when a loved one dies is hugely sensitive. Many families can refuse consent or override decisions made by individuals once they have died. This is even more acute when it comes to babies. Retrieving organs is necessarily an invasive surgical procedure, and it may be very difficult for a parent to think about their baby undergoing this. Some may consider it unfair to ask a grieving parent to make a difficult decision about donating their baby’s organs.

For adults and older children, guidance emphasises that the possibility of organ donation ought to be part of standard end-of-life care. Staff are encouraged to present organ donation to the next-of-kin positively; as an opportunity to bring about something good from the death of their loved one, rather than as a sacrifice or an additional trauma. A shift to this kind of approach with young babies would provide consistency, but would also provide grieving parents with additional options to find something positive in the death of their baby.

Nobody likes to think about young babies dying, but it does happen. And the outcome is still the same regardless of whether they donate their organs. Provided that the process meets the established ethical framework of organ donation, allowing these babies to have their organs donated would give other young babies and children a better chance at life. And it is this that continues to drive clinicians and advocates into asking loved ones to consider donation at the worst possible time.

Greg Moorlock has previously received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charities to explore ethical issues in organ donation and transplantation.

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Game makers to explore social issues

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The video game industry is taking itself more seriously.

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Besides the usual talk of polygons, virtual worlds and artificial intelligence at this week’s Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, there will also be planned discussions led by game makers about such socially conscious topics as designing for gamers with disabilities, battling depression at game studios and tackling hate speech in online game communities.

The organisers of GDC, which kicks off Monday at the Moscone Centre and continues until Friday, have expanded the conference’s advocacy-themed sessions with panels featuring such titles as “Beyond Graphics: Reaching the Visually Impaired Gamer”, “How to Subversively Queer Your Work” and “Women Don’t Want to Work in Games (and Other Myths)”.

“It’s something that in some way or another has always been part of the conference, but it’s something that we’ve found interest in genuinely continue to grow as the industry has become more diverse and inclusive,” says Simon Carless, executive vice president of UBM Tech Game Network, which organises GDC and several other technology conventions.

This year’s conference is expected to attract about 23,000 game developers and executives from across the globe. Carless and other GDC organisers, which includes an advocacy advisory committee made up of game designers, hope that examinations of racism, misogyny and homophobia in games aid the industry’s continued fight for wider cultural legitimacy.

Rosalind Wiseman, author of the book Queen Bees And Wannabes, which inspired the Lindsay Lohan film Mean Girls, will be part of a Tuesday discussion about gaming and social hierarchies among boys. The panel will examine how the games that young men choose to play effect their popularity, as well as their social competence in moments of conflict.

Other speakers will include Adam Orth, who left Microsoft last year after fiery Twitter exchanges about “always-on” technology; Manveer Heir, a game maker who works on the Mass Effect sci-fi series, which features gay and lesbian characters; and Toshifumi Nakabayashi, who organises an annual game workshop to support Fukushima disaster victims.

Despite the refreshed focus on real-world issues at the convention, how to view and interact with ever-changing virtual worlds will ultimately take centre-stage at GDC. PlayStation 4 creator Sony Corp. is expected to tease its rendition of virtual reality technology during a Tuesday presentation called “Driving the Future of Innovation at Sony Computer Entertainment”.

Meanwhile, a handful of developers will be showing off software using the VR goggles Oculus Rift, which captured attendees’ attention at last year’s conference. The exhibit “ALT.CTRL.GDC” will highlight 14 games that utilise such alternative control schemes, like a piano-powered version of the sidescroller Canabalt and a holographic display called Voxiebox.

This year’s conference, the largest annual gathering of game creators outside the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles in June, is the first since Sony and Microsoft respectively released its PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles last year. Several sessions scheduled this year are dedicated to creating games for those systems, as well as more popular mobile platforms.

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Two dead in Seattle news helicopter crash

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The staff at a TV news station in the US city of Seattle had to cover their colleagues’ deaths minutes after the helicopter the two men were in plunged off their building into the street below.

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The chopper was taking off from a helipad on KOMO-TV’s roof when it went down at a busy downtown intersection and hit three vehicles, starting them on fire and spewing burning fuel down the street.

The two people on board died in the crash while a man in a car was badly injured.

KOMO identified the pilot as Gary Pfitzner, of Issaquah. The other man killed in the crash was Bill Strothman, a former longtime KOMO photographer. Both men were working for Cahokia, Illinois-based Helicopters Inc, the leasing company that owned the Eurocopter AS350 helicopter.

The station is a block from the city’s iconic Space Needle and is surrounded by high-rise office and apartment buildings.

Workers at the station rushed to the window when they heard the crash. KOMO reporters were then in the position of covering their colleagues’ deaths.

The accident sent plumes of black smoke over the Washington state capital during the morning commute on Tuesday.

Kristopher Reynolds, a contractor working nearby, said he saw the helicopter lift about 1.5 metres (5 feet) off the low-rise building before it started to tilt. The chopper looked like it was trying to correct itself when it took a dive.

“Next thing I know, it went into a ball of flames,” Reynolds said.

Witnesses reported hearing unusual noises coming from the helicopter as it took off after refuelling, said Dennis Hogenson, deputy regional chief with the National Transportation Safety Board in Seattle.

They also said the aircraft rotated before it crashed near the Seattle Center campus, which is home to the Space Needle, restaurants and performing arts centres.

Mayor Ed Murray noted the normally bustling Seattle Center was relatively quiet at the time. Had it been a busier day, “this would have been a much larger tragedy”, he said.

Investigators were working to document the scene and clear the wreckage, and will examine all possibilities as they determine what caused the crash, Hogenson said. A preliminary analysis is expected in five days, followed by a fuller report with a probable cause in up to a year.

Firefighters who arrived at the scene before 8am found a “huge black cloud of smoke”, and two cars and a pickup truck engulfed in flames, Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore said.

Fuel running down the street also was on fire, and crews worked to stop it before it entered the sewer, Moore said.

An injured man managed to free himself from a burning car and was taken to Harborview Medical Center, Moore said. The man was on fire, and a police officer helped him to the ground and put out the flames, a police spokeswoman said.

Richard Newman, 38, suffered burns on his lower back and arm, covering up to 20 per cent of his body, the hospital said. He was in serious condition in the intensive care unit and will probably require surgery.

Two others who were in cars that were struck by the helicopter were uninjured.

Only the helicopter’s blue tail end could be identified among the wreckage strewn across the street.

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Today’s birthday, March 23

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For pictures please call AAP Images on 9322 8709 or visit the website at 南宁夜网.

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aapimage广西桑拿, (trans reference number 20140225000897800444).

Today’s Birthday March 23: US actress Keri Russell (1976-).

The demure actress got her Hollywood start as a teen and went on to star in one of the hottest TV series of the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Born in Fountain Valley, California, on March 23, 1976, Keri Lynn Russell spent most of her early childhood living in Texas, before moving to Mesa, Arizona.

Russell took a serious interest in entertainment at an early age and discovered a passion for dancing while at high school.

Russell toured the country as a member of the Mesa Stars Dance and Drill team, eventually receiving a scholarship.

Her career was launched through an appearance on Star Search, where she was discovered by Disney’s talent scouts.

In 1991, Russell made her debut as a Mouseketeer on Disney’s The All-New Mickey Mouse Club. The following year she got her big-screen debut in Honey I Blew Up The Kid.

Her first regular role came in a 1994 CBS sitcom Daddy’s Girl, but the show didn’t last long. That same year, Russell played Jessica in Boy Meets World.

In 1996, Russell landed a lead role in the NBC movie The Babysitter’s Seduction and later that year she starred in Malibu Shores.

In 1998 she scored the role of Felicity Porter in the TV series Felicity, which had its final season in 2002.

In 2006 Russell appeared in Mission: Impossible III. She returned to TV in the one and only series of Running Wilde (2010).

Since 2013 she has worked on the TV series The Americans, a Cold War drama in which she plays undercover KGB agent Elizabeth Jennings.

This year she will appear in the film Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes.

Russell has two childen by her husband Shane Deary, from whom she split in 2013. She lives in Los Angeles and is a keen amateur photographer.

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Heat on Moyes as Man Utd face Olympiakos

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Manchester United manager David Moyes will lead his team into battle against Olympiakos in the Champions League on Wednesday potentially needing to make history in order to save his job.

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The reigning English champions trail 2-0 to their Greek counterparts following the first leg of the last 16 tie and have never previously overturned a two-goal deficit in the competition’s knockout phase.

Sunday’s humbling 3-0 loss at home to Liverpool left United 18 points off the pace in the Premier League and 12 points below the top four, and having already exited both domestic cup competitions.

Wednesday’s game at Old Trafford represents a last opportunity to salvage their season.

British press reports suggest that Moyes may not survive the setback of elimination at the hands of Olympiakos, who have lost on all of their 11 previous visits to England.

The former Everton manager struck a defiant tone in his pre-game press conference, however, declaring that his future “has not changed one bit” and insisting that he still retains the full support of the club’s board.

He also cited a 3-0 victory over Barcelona in the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1984 as reason to believe that United are capable of turning the tie around against the newly recrowned Greek champions.

“We will try and do that,” said Moyes, who succeeded storied former United manager Alex Ferguson at the end of last season.

“It is only twice that Manchester United have done that (overturn a 2-0 deficit in Europe in a home game).

“Nineteen-eighty-four was the recent one, against Barcelona. Robbo (Bryan Robson) I think it was with the two goals.

“It is not something that has happened a lot, but it is something we have to make happen.”

Moyes is also aware of the debt that he owes to United’s supporters, who continued to vocally back the team until the very end of Sunday’s loss to Liverpool.

“The first thing I mentioned to the players was that me, the team, we need to make sure to give them a night to remember,” he said.

“We will leave nothing behind on the night hopefully and give everything to get through to the next round.”

Moyes reported no fresh injuries after the defeat by Liverpool, but centre-backs Chris Smalling (hamstring) and Jonny Evans (calf) remain unavailable and Spanish midfielder Juan Mata is cup-tied.

Olympiakos’s first-leg success unexpectedly proved the catalyst for a downturn in their domestic fortunes, as they slumped to consecutive defeats — their first of the season — against Panathinaikos and PAOK.

They returned to winning ways on Saturday, however, beating Panthrakikos 2-0 at the Karaiskakis Stadium to secure a 41st Greek league title — their fourth in succession.

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Arthur Sinodinos should stand aside during ICAC inquiry

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By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

That would meet the requirements of both propriety and politics.

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It would serve the interests of the government and probably of Sinodinos himself.

As a minister Sinodinos is in a sensitive area which covers a range of financial legislation, making him a bigger political target until his name is cleared.

The opposition is demanding he give the Senate a full explanation of his role in Australian Water Holdings – of which he was a director and then chairman – a company that had financial links with the notorious Obeids.

It is raising questions about the statement he made to the Senate last year on his involvement. Sinodinos declines to make another statement, simply saying he’ll appear at the Independent Commission against Corruption’s inquiry, which is into “allegations of corrupt conduct involving public officials and persons with an interest in Australian Water Holdings”.

“Watch this space,” he told the Senate on Tuesday, using one of his favourite phrases – he declared he would be vindicated in terms of what he’d said previously.

ICAC heard this week from counsel assisting the commission, Geoff Watson, that the true role in AWH of Sinodinos, who also held senior offices in the NSW Liberal organisation, “was to open lines of communication with the Liberal party”.

As an AWH director he received an annual $200,000 for about 100 hours of work a year, and stood to gain an estimated $10 million to $20 million if a deal was reached with Sydney Water (in fact there was no deal in his time).

Watson said that “it’s presently difficult to offer observations on the conduct of Mr Sinodinos”, noting “he has other involvements” which would come under scrutiny in another inquiry.

Those comments left Sinodinos in limbo, as far as the inquiry is concerned.

 

Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos is a political target, until his name is cleared. AAP/Alan Porritt

Abbott is adopting from the start of his administration the stance that John Howard, after sacrificing a number of frontbenchers on the altar of propriety, later took up: sandbag anyone under attack or question.

Abbott has already done this with Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash, in trouble over the behaviour of her (now former) chief of staff. The Nash affair received limited attention.

Sinodinos is another matter. He’s a more important political figure and being caught up substantively in an ICAC investigation is always serious.

From Abbott’s point of view, Sinodinos standing aside would get the matter as much as possible out of the political debate (though not necessarily out of the headlines, as the evidence comes) until the situation becomes clear.

And it would be a protection for Abbott if things did not go as he hopes and Sinodinos confidently predicts. The worst thing for Abbott would be to have to cut Sinodinos loose at some later point during the inquiry.

That Sinodinos is so highly regarded in government and Liberal circles makes it harder for Abbott – loyal by nature – to be tough- minded about what should be done.

From Sinodinos’ own point of view, standing aside would make sense. It would remove him from the immediate political firing line. He could say he did not want the affair to be a distraction, and it would be seen as doing something for the team. (On the other hand, it would have been better done immediately – delay complicates things.)

Standing aside is different from resigning. It is conceding nothing except the proprieties. If and when he got the all clear from ICAC, his ministerial job would be waiting.

Their pasts have put both government and Labor in awkward spots in the debate.

In opposition, the Coalition was quick to demand purity in relation to questions of propriety. Now it’s a different story.

On the other hand, Labor in power excused its own on the ground that due process should play itself out. It’s notable that Bill Shorten has not called for Sinodinos to stand aside. He knows Labor double standards would be made the issue.

Asked whether he retained “full confidence” in the Assistant Treasurer, Abbott told parliament: “The short answer is yes.”

He went on to say it was important to maintain “the highest possible standards in our public life” and stressed that “people should be in public life to serve our country and not themselves”.

Abbott pointed out that the ICAC investigation “is relating to a company, not to any particular individual”.

But this was a company of which Sinodinos was a director and later chairman, a pivotal position.

If he was ignorant of some things, like the Obeid family’s financial connection, surely he should not have been. He ought to have been suspicious of being paid such a large sum for not doing a lot. Given his dual company and party roles, he should have spotted donations to the Liberals on the way out of the company or the way into the party. These donations, now being returned by the NSW Liberals, were extracted by the company’s CEO from Sydney Water as “expenses”.

In the Senate, the opposition on Tuesday ran into brick wall, with several of its questions to Sinodinos ruled out of order. The Liberals gloated – silly Labor, getting caught out under the standing orders. But ordinary people know these matters are issues of substance that must, eventually, be properly and fully explained. So, of course, do the Liberals.

Listen to the latest Politics with Michelle Grattan podcast, with guest Cathy McGowan here.

Michelle Grattan does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

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Unions, treasurer to meet on asset sales

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Queensland unions have agreed to meet with the state’s treasurer to discuss the possibility of asset sales.

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Queensland Council of Unions President John Battams says he has accepted Tim Nicholls’ invitation to discuss privatisation and other budget measures on April 7.

“But we expect that as well as that meeting, there be public meetings to allow ordinary Queenslanders to express their view,” he told reporters in Brisbane on Wednesday.

“Everybody has a right to talk with the treasurer about this sell-off.”

Mr Nicholls has stressed a decision has not been made on asset sales, but listed it as one option, along with higher taxes and reduced services, to help reduce the state’s debt.

The treasurer earlier this week painted a gloomy picture of the state’s budget outlook, saying Queensland was headed for a debt of $121 billion if drastic policy changes were not made.

Mr Battams accused the treasurer of scaremongering to justify unpopular asset sales.

It was the same tactic used to justify sacking thousands of public servants, he said.

“The budget is now in a worse position fiscally than when he took over,” Mr Battams said.

“People of Queensland should not listen to the solutions the treasurer puts forward as the only solutions.”

Mr Battams said the budget’s problem was revenue had dropped by more than $4 billion because of the state of Queensland’s economy and the focus should be on improving that side of the ledger.

He said he expected the Opposition to put forward a different proposal because floating the idea of asset sales cost Labor the last state election.

Mr Nicholls on Tuesday said there needed to be a $25 billion correction in the state’s coffers to restore its AAA credit rating that could involve a combination of asset sales, higher taxes and reducing services.

He cited the Queensland Treasury’s economic and fiscal challenges report, which included forecasts beyond projections made in last year’s budget.

It showed a fiscal surplus would be reached in 2015-16, as planned, and maintained for a couple of years.

But in the longer run, if there was no change in policy, spending would rise as an ageing population put pressure on services, prompting debt to increase to $121 billion.

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Abbott delivers on his red tape bonfire

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He promised a bonfire, this Savonarola of the statutes, and for once a political leader has delivered.

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Tony Abbott on Wednesday put a torch to the bonfire of the bureaucratic vanities and in the process foreshadowed fundamental changes to Australia’s governance culture.

The government introduced a total of 12 bills that will repeal what Abbott described as 9500 unnecessary or counter-productive regulations and 1000 redundant acts of parliament. More than 50,000 pages will disappear from the statute books.

Very broadly, this clean-out – to be passed by the lower house next Wednesday and promoted as the first of many repeal days – falls into two categories.

Firstly, ancient laws that have long since lost any relevance will go. The earliest of these is the Defence Act of 1904, which has been amended and overtaken multiple times. This is a housekeeping job the previous Labor government started.

The second category, and this is where controversy will arise, repeals regulatory laws that aim to protect the people or the environment.

Abbott’s argument, which he presented with relish for he’s a deregulatory true believer, is that these unnecessarily cost time and money and stifle initiative.

He reeled off a string of examples that suggested rampant regulation – a job agency that needed 336 filing cabinets to hold its paper records; a cafe subject to 21 local, 29 state and 25 Commonwealth regulations.

But there will be arguments over some measures, mainly from Labor’s time in government, that face extinction.

These include some of the laws regulating financial advisers, charities and development approvals in environmentally sensitive areas.

Bill Shorten, replying to Abbott in parliament, zeroed in on these. He feared that necessary protections for consumers, workers, investors and the environment would go as ideology trumped common sense.

Certainly there was a touch of zealotry in Abbott and his parliamentary secretary Josh Frydenberg, who’s done most of the deregulatory donkey work.

They want to achieve much more than a statutory clean-up.

Frydenberg, when introducing the oddly titled Omnibus Repeal Day (Autumn 2014) Bill, put it most bluntly: “We are determined to see a cultural shift in Australia’s approach to regulation.”

So determined that bureaucrats are being turned into regulation bounty hunters, Frydenberg saying senior public servants are having their pay directly linked to their performance in reducing red and green tape.

Abbott turned his mission into a philosophy of governance.

“More regulation is not the solution to every corporate, community or personal failing,” he said.

“Sometimes we just have to accept that mistakes are inevitable and that misfortunes are unavoidable.”

And so we’re left with a vision and a fear.

Will these bonfires liberate Australians to soar ever onward and upward? Or will they leave them naked before every spiv with a get-rich-quick patter?

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GM chiefs apologises for car deaths

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The top executive of General Motors has apologised for deaths linked to the delayed recall of 1.

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6 million small cars, saying the company took too long to bring the cars in for repairs.

CEO Mary Barra, who is in her third month leading the company, also named a new global safety director to help prevent further recall problems.

In her first meeting with reporters since last month’s recall, Barra stopped short of saying the company would compensate families of those killed in crashes caused by faulty ignition switches. But she said GM would do what’s right for customers after it completes an internal investigation.

“I am very sorry for the loss of life that occurred, and we will take every step to make sure this never happens again,” she said.

Tuesday’s 50-minute meeting with reporters was part of Barra’s damage control effort as she tries to distance the GM from the pre-bankruptcy company that buried the problem in bureaucracy.

GM has admitted knowing about the problem switches for at least 11 years, yet it failed to recall the cars until last month. The company also has promised an “unvarnished” investigation and a new dedication to safety.

GM has to protect its safety reputation to keep sales from falling and cutting into earnings. The company has been profitable for 16 straight quarters since emerging from bankruptcy protection in 2009.

Barra said no one at GM has been fired or disciplined because of the recall delays, but Mark Reuss, the company’s product development chief who also spoke with reporters, said appointing a safety chief is only the beginning.

“This is the first change of things that need to change,” Reuss said.

During the meeting, Barra and Reuss appeared composed. But they often refused to answer questions, saying they wanted to wait for the results of the investigation by an outside lawyer before giving details.

Barra said GM is looking through its database for more crash deaths that could be tied to the ignition switch problem. That number is likely to rise above the 12 currently cited by the company as GM and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration review accident reports and consumer complaints.

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