ONE of Keith Miller’s sons tells of visiting his father in London while Miller snr was writing cricket for the Daily Express in the 1960s and finding that he spent the day not at the cricket ground but at a restaurant, where they had a long lunch, and at one or two pubs. Miller finally went to the ground late in the afternoon, spoke briefly to a fellow journo there, Richie Benaud, about the day’s play and, on the strength of what Benaud told him, dashed off his column for the next day’s paper.
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The son, Bill Miller, tells the story in the second part of the ABC’s two-part Australian Story about Miller, to be screened at 8pm on Monday. The first part last Monday (it’s repeated on ABC1 at 3pm today) drew an average audience of 1,007,000, which was pretty good, especially since the Miller program was up against the debut of Missing Pieces on Channel Nine, a new show the network had been promoting heavily.

All in all, the viewers’ response to the program was stronger than the ABC could have hoped for, given that it was about a cricketer who last picked up a bat in anger 50 years ago. (In an odd sequel to his career, Miller appeared in 1959 as a guest player for Nottinghamshire against Cambridge, a first-class fixture. Although he was almost 40 and had played hardly any cricket since retiring three years earlier, he hit 13 fours and two sixes while scoring 102 not out.)

The second part on Monday will deal mainly with Miller’s life after he gave up playing, which, one suspects, might have lost a lot of its old purpose. In one sense, this part of Miller’s life is the hardest to track. One puzzling question: with so much going for him, why he didn’t make it big as a TV sports broadcaster?

He certainly had all the credentials. Not only was he a former superstar who happened to be outlandishly handsome, but he was articulate, universally respected, big-spirited by nature and popular with the masses, females included. He enjoyed classical music and spoke with a fruity voice, which everyone who knew him tried to imitate.

So equipped, he should have been a hit on TV but wasn’t. During a patchy TV career, Miller never really clicked with viewers. Why? His long-time friend and fellow broadcaster Norman May, who shared with him the nickname "Nugget", has an interesting explanation for this. May told Square Eyes this week that however debonair Miller might have seemed to cricket fans during his playing days, he was rather introverted by nature.

"He was actually a self-conscious sort of fellow," May said. "When the TV cameras were on him he was a bit shy … he wasn’t able to project his personality. You have to be a bit of a ham to succeed on TV, and Keith wasn’t that. He wasn’t a showman."

May knows of another handsome former superstar who didn’t make it big on TV for much the same reason – rugby league’s great ball runner, Reg Gasnier.

"Reg would talk you blind on the subject of rugby league if you were with him in a pub," May said. "On TV he never had much to say. I think he was a bit overawed by the medium."

Miller, a World War II fighter pilot, might seem an ideal focus for today’s Anzac Day remembrances, but he probably would not have welcomed this himself. May said: "I knew him for the best part of 50 years, but I did not ever hear him say a word about the war. Not one word."

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ANZAC DAY. A day we remember those who fell in wartime and honour those who served and survived. Plenty of eligible men didn’t serve, of course, one of whom was Australia’s longest-serving prime minister, Sir Robert Menzies. When, on the eve of World War II he was attacked for that fact – with the leader of the Country Party, Earle Page, saying in Parliament that Menzies was unfit to lead Australia on those grounds – a very dignified Menzies refused to be drawn on why he had not served in WWI, even though fit. He said only, quietly, that the reasons related "to a man’s intimate, personal and family affairs", and for which no answer could "be made on the public platform". And fair enough, too. All of which leads me, oddly enough, to the Roosters. I repeat: while today is a day when we honour those who served, that does not mean those who didn’t serve were dishonourable. But I just don’t get why the Roosters today don the blue jersey worn by their "1945 wartime premiership heroes", as reported by the Tele . Surely, that team was made up predominantly of men who didn’t go to war, for their own reasons, so what is their connection to Anzac Day? (And, yes, I know that some, like Roosters fullback Dick Dunn, who kicked five goals in the grand final, was given two days’ leave from his Army duties to play the game.) I know I am missing something, and expect blistering emails – which I will duly report – but at the moment I dinkum don’t get it. Walker still kickin’
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How old is Andrew Walker? So old, that TFF once played with him. As a matter of fact, funny you mention it, it was 17 years ago today that I played my last game with him – for NSW against someone or other, from memory – for that night he and Scott Gourley signed to go over to rugby league. And yet, Walker is still out there, still going strong. I received a lovely letter this week detailing how, playing for Easts in the Brisbane rugby union comp against GPS last weekend, Walker was given the potential match-winning kick from the sidelines, right in front of the GPS crowd. As Andrew stood over the ball to begin his steps back there was a fairly respectful silence when out came the comment, "Old Man, you’re an old man," from one of the lads, and heard right down the sideline by a fairly sizeable crowd, who all had small laugh. Andrew slowly raised his head and looked towards the marquee from where the comment came. A slow, lazy, teeth-baring grin came across his face. He again addressed the ball, raised his head again then had a good chuckle to everyone’s delight. What happened next? He calmly took the required steps back, ran in and slotted a perfect conversion from the sideline. Running back for the kick-off, he gave a big grin and a wave back to the marquee, and the whole sideline, in appreciation of the moment, clapped him all the way back. A great moment . . . One out of the box

Love this – from David Lord this week: "The first testicular guard was used in cricket in 1874, and the first helmet was used in 1974. It took 100 years for men to realise that the brain is also important c" Small things amuse c

With thanks to New Zealand’s Martin Devlin: "HA HA HA HA-de-HA HA HA HA HA. Wanna hear a really, really good joke? One that’ll have you laughing over and over again, guffawing each and every time it’s ever brought up? OK then, try this: Australia dropped to third in the world one-day rankings, their lowest spot EVER! Now tell me why that’s not on the Comedy Channel every night from now ’til it changes huh?" Stop it, Martin, you’re killing us! This week’s quiz question

What is the one sport where often neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends? (Answer at the end) Most annoying sounds II

And now, back by popular demand, the Most Annoying Sounds in Sport II, as voted in by readers.

– Announcers and commentators referring to the Qantas Wallabies, after they were previously the bloody Vodafone Wallabies . Are they representing Australia, or a corporation? And we all know the New Zealanders would never have the adidas All Blacks , because they are way too proud for that. The question is, why aren’t we?

– The moron who yells "Get in the hole!" every time a stroke is played.

*Answer: Boxing Team of the week

Brett Kirk. The likeable midfielder – a credit to his parents, if one can say that of a 32-year-old – plays his 200th game for the Swans today.

The Brumbies. Scored an inspirational one-point win over the Bulls and have installed themselves as Australia’s best chance to make the Super 14 finals.

Western Force. Had their first win over NSW and completed the Australian grand slam – defeating all three Australian sides.

Mark Webber. That strangely blue moon you saw this week? It was in honour of Webber’s completing the Chinese Grand Prix and finishing second to boot!!

Scott Strange. Journeyman Australian golfer, right, won the China Open last weekend.

The Manly Savers Rugby Club. Celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. The Savers now play in the Meldrum Cup.

Essendon/Collingwood. Play in the traditional Anzac Day blockbuster today. I’ll be doing the Channel Ten broadcast from 12-2pm – don’t miss it!

Alstonville High School water polo team. Its third successive victory last week in the NSW CHS water polo championships – this one was in the open, after previous wins in the under-15 division – is an extraordinary effort for lads from a small country high school.

The Stampeders. A good bunch of Australian blokes, and an even better Canadian woman, make up as good a team as any to sponsor in the coming Oxfam walk. You can back them by going to www.stockland stampede南京夜網 or sponsor any other team on www.oxfam南京夜網.au . What they said

Chanell Seven AFL commentator Dennis Cometti during the Melbourne v Richmond match: "Richo criticising his forwards is like Michael accusing the rest of the Jackson 5 of being erratic."

Cometti, again, as the camera panned onto the embattled Richmond coach in his box, morosely surveying the carnage: "Terry Wallace is looking through the window of a P76 …" Brilliant. (Younger readers, ask your parents for an explanation.)

Stan Dajka on the funeral of his son Jobie: "Yes, I am bitter, my son. My heart will never forgive them for taking your life’s dreams away from you. They tore out your heart, put you in a heap and closed the door. I hope the guilt torments them forever, as it has done to us. You never fulfilled your lifelong dream of going to the Olympics."

Carlton coach Brett Ratten on their inability to win at the SCG since 1993: "The posts looked similar, the grass looked similar and the ball’s pretty similar, and I know the players brought their boots up."

Arthur Beetson not happy with the powers that be: "What they’re doing to our game is a joke. If they think the game’s healthy, they’re deluding themselves." Does anyone know precisely what the great man is so narky about?

Parramatta star Feleti Mateo on the "commitment" of the Eels players: "I know when I look around I see 16 or 17 other players there that are willing to die for the jersey." Geez, you’d hate to know what the scoreline would be if they weren’t ready to die for it.

Adam MacDougall gets the last laugh on Wendell Sailor: "I saw him sitting on the bench, I thought he might have gone to the kiosk to get a pie. His big backside apparently got some cramps. He’s a great footballer but I’m serious, they should change the colour of his jersey, it’s not doing his backside any favours." I mean it, dinkum. Stop the presses. A footballer with a real personality and creative quotes!

Sailor on MacDougall: "I did go looking for him once or twice just to let him know that the fat boy scored."

Just another day in the life of the Fremantle Dockers – development coach Steve Malaxos said some Fremantle players dressed up as Klan members and raided each other’s houses as a "prank": "There’s a reasonable amount of pranks going on all the time. Sometimes they raid each other’s houses in, sort of, Ku Klux Klan outfits. That’s one of the other pranks." Why are so many footballers such embarrassing juveniles? Discuss.

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan responds to a female journalist, who asked why his side had just lost: "Explaining it to you is impossible. It would be like you explaining childbirth to me." Exactly! And why wasn’t that female journo back in the kitchen, anyway?

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In absolute silence, two men stood beside the Wollondilly River. It was barely light. The grazier touched his distinguished guest's shoulder and pointed. “On the surface of the murky water I saw only a narrow, black, moving line,” wrote the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. With the “greatest joy” he then fulfilled his “burning desire” to shoot a platypus.
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West of Moss Vale with killing on his mind was the man whose assassination was to provoke World War I. Since leaving home in a mighty warship to tour the globe in late 1892, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary had shot his way across India, Ceylon and Java before turning the attention of his guns on New South Wales.

In the cavalcade of royal tours in the late 19th century, this one is forgotten: a 10-day visit by the man who had unexpectedly become heir to an empire on the suicide of his cousin at Mayerling. He was a hunter and collector. As he waited for his one big moment in history, he was living by the gun.

“With an utter absence of all ostentatious display,” reported The Daily Telegraph, “and with the unassuming quietness of a simple gentleman, his Imperial and Royal Highness Franz Ferdinand Charles Louis Joseph Marie d'Este, Archduke of Austria” – there followed a string of titles, ranks, regiments – “landed in Sydney yesterday.”

Not quite without display. His ship had come up the harbour with guns blazing in a ceremonial salute. The Lieutenant-Governor and the Lord Mayor had quickly come on board to grovel. But as no one had a clue what the 30-year-old archduke looked like – dead eyes, upturned moustache – he was able to get ashore unrecognised and tootle round the town with friends in a couple of hansom cabs. He spoke no English.

After a visit to the Australian Museum to inspect the marsupials he was about to slaughter, the archduke left by special train for Narromine. The killing began early. “Immediately after breakfast the party set out with 20 horsemen to drive the game,” this newspaper reported. “At the first drive his Imperial Highness succeeded in shooting, with great rapidity, five kangaroos, so that he very soon established himself in the estimation of those present as being a first class marksman.”

The carnage over the next few days in Narromine and Mullengudgery was terrible: more kangaroo, wallaby, duck, pelican, ibis, cranes, eagles, bush turkey – plentiful but shy – emu and several “lovely” parrots. The archduke was “absolutely delighted” to bag a pair of black swans. Travelling with the party was the royal taxidermist and photographer. “Specimen skins of all the animals and birds shot are preserved,” noted this paper, “with a view to their being ultimately stuffed.”

Franz Ferdinand was planning to publish his diary. The Australian chapters of My Journey Round The World record many pleasures and a few disappointments. Not all the horses were up to scratch. The habit of ringbarking trees was producing “desolate vistas”. His host at Narromine, Frank Mack, scared the pelicans. He deplored the hunting time wasted by the British habit of stopping for lunch.

It wasn't as bad as in India. “There was no Champagne or silver cutlery, nor a set table, but only an open fire on a grate and roasted mutton half raw, half burnt to eat. I used the time these culinary preparations required, to shoot some examples of bird species new to me.”

After touching homage from a poorly dressed young Austrian who appeared out of the crowd at Narromine station, the archduke returned to Sydney, endured a 2½ hour mass at St Mary's, inspected a meat works at Auburn – and found the product delicious – then headed to Moss Vale for more sport. Newspapers were complaining. “The archduke is giving Sydney the cold shoulder,” wrote the Illustrated Sydney News. “He seems to prefer the country and the kangaroos to the metropolis and the maids.”

Along the new front, casualties were high: “About 300 head including bears, rock wallabies, kangaroos, hares, duck, pademelons and platypus etc,” this paper's correspondent telegraphed to Sydney. “His Highness is an excellent shot, having with a bullet potted a magpie at about a hundred yards distance whilst standing in his carriage.”

Unreported was the koala shot on the way down to the river on that dawn platypus hunt. Koalas disappointed the archduke. He thought them like sloths: pathetic and lazy. They didn't flee. He shot several. The shooting went on before breakfast and after dinner. Following a “sumptuous” banquet in the bush to celebrate Queen Victoria's birthday, the archduke led a party to hunt possums for three hours by moonlight.

The killing had to end. After inspecting the Art Gallery of NSW, shopping for skins and specimens, watching demonstrations of shearing and boomerang throwing, holding a most successful afternoon dance on his warship and attending Randwick races and Fitzgerald's circus, the royal visitor steamed out of the harbour and the memory of NSW.

Franz Ferdinand had a long wait. Twenty years after his trip around the world, he was still doing the things heirs do when they're waiting for their mother or father or uncle to die. Shooting and touring. That took him on a goodwill visit to the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo on June 28, 1914.

Seven Serbian suicide terrorists were waiting. But only a single bomb was thrown at the archduke's motorcade, injuring one military aide. After an uneasy reception at the town hall, Franz Ferdinand decided to visit the injured man in hospital.

What followed was the most crucial accident in modern European history. No one had briefed the chauffeurs. After taking a wrong turn into the old city, they were ordered to stop. Standing by chance on the narrow footpath beside the open car was one of the terrorists who had lost his nerve earlier that morning. Gavril Princip leant forward and shot the royal couple with a Browning pistol.

A month later the world was at war. On memorials in Narromine and Moss Vale are recorded those districts' contribution to the 15 million slaughtered in the bloodiest and most pointless conflict in history.

With translations by Geesche Jacobsen

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TODAY, like every Anzac Day for the past 15 years, Ken Pedler will be battling to avoid a return to “the kids, the victims and the rapes”. He will be trying not to recall the smells and the bodies – and his helplessness as he stood by and watched the unfolding of the worst of the world's crimes.
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It is a battle in – and with – his own mind. And it is a battle he almost always loses.

Before his deployment to Rwanda, Pedler, then a 21-year-old private, had never seen a corpse (he saw the casket of a dead uncle, but it was closed). By the end of his six-month tour, he had seen headless bodies, been offered children to rape and stepped inside a church so clogged with corpses that he could not reach the pulpit.

All that time – the worst memory of all – there was nothing he could do to intervene.

“I would just stand around and watch things happen,” he says. “We deployed to Rwanda and within a day or two we were coming across decapitations, bodies piled up. It was straight from the word go. It took a while to get into your head what was happening.

“After a while your brain closes into a knot and you just don't care. I just thought everything was a joke. It was surreal … I just got callous and I turned evil. I was not the only one. We got to a point where we stopped caring for life … If you're surrounded by evil, you become evil.”

For many of the 630 Australians who served in Rwanda from August 1994 to August 1995 – part of a United Nations mission to end genocide of an estimated 800,000 people – the service has left unmendable scars.

“It is the kids, the victims and the rapes,” Pedler says. “That is what keeps popping in your head. I have a four-year-old daughter. I think about how I saw kids over there and I did nothing. The soldiers would rape them and offer to me – that's what gets me now … That is one of the things I have to live with … You just stepped over bodies … Everyone who I know suffers from it or was discharged from it.”

More than 220 of the 630 veterans from Rwanda have made successful disability claims, and 889 separate claims have been lodged, figures from the Department of Veterans' Affairs show.

Twenty-six per cent of Rwanda veterans have been assessed with post-traumatic stress disorder so far, compared with 35 per cent of Vietnam War veterans, 10 per cent of East Timor veterans and 4 per cent Gulf War veterans.

Forty-eight veterans have been assessed with alcohol abuse and 39 with depressive disorder. A Defence official involved in assessing the impact told the Herald up to 85 per cent of the Rwanda veterans suffered mental health problems.

Pedler says a counsellor consulted the soldiers in Rwanda but “we all said we're fine and went back to watching TV”. At home he received a psychological screening form – a “pick-and-flick paper” – in the mail. Otherwise “we got nearly no help”.

The Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Alan Griffin, blames the high rates of trauma on the rules of engagement and exposure to atrocities. A series of reviews has been ordered by the Government to assess the psychological screening and treatment of soldiers and veterans.

“You talk to people who were there and they tell you it was hell on earth,” he says. “There is no doubt it had a significant impact on the people who served there … Now we need to make sure the problems are dealt with.”

Pedler served in the first tour to Rwanda. Arguably, the second Australian tour, in early 1995, was worse. In late April 32 Australian soldiers and medical staff watched as 4000 civilians were hacked and shot to death at a refugee camp. Some soldiers were forced to quit – on medical grounds – within weeks of returning to Australia.

“In Rwanda our hands were tied,” Pedler says. “We knew who the militia were in the refugee camps but we were not allowed to touch them. We were not allowed to do anything. Unless they shot at you, we could not return fire. Sometimes we did what we could to get them to that stage.”

Defence says it reviewed the rules of engagement after the Rwanda mission and was “satisfied” – though the rules were heavily criticised in subsequent UN reviews. The mission was only classified as “warlike” – which has implications for entitlements and medals – in 2006, after a review by Defence and the Federal Government.

Six years after his time in Rwanda, Pedler, who lives in south-eastern Queensland with his wife and daughter, served in East Timor, where he hoped to “do some good” and try to recover from his Rwanda experience. He says the rules there were “nothing like Rwanda”; soldiers were allowed to defend themselves and others.

But in 2004, then a corporal, he was discharged from the army with post-traumatic stress disorder. He was 31 and has not worked since.

“I think about it nearly every day. It is just something you carry with you. At night you can't get to sleep. Thoughts hop into your head. Then it gets in your dreams … A lot of anger comes out of you on Anzac Day. You think about it more. I don't really go out. I go to dawn service and that's that.”

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IN A quiet moment before the start of the inquest into her son's death, Maryanne Iredale leaned in towards her husband and patted him on the shoulder.
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“It will be all right,” she whispered. “It will have to be.”

Those words reveal Mrs Iredale's hope that through the inquest, the loss of their 17-year-old son, David, who died after becoming severely dehydrated during a three-day bushwalk in the Blue Mountains in December 2006, would not be in vain.

It could not be. The couple had already endured so much.

The Iredales were at their home in Pymble on December 19 when they learned that the body of the eldest of their three sons had been found off the Mount Solitary track, close to the Kedumba River and the water he so desperately needed. Mrs Iredale spoke to David just hours before he died, when he called home to wish his younger brother a happy birthday. He asked her if she had any mango ice-cream left. Hours later, he made desperate phone calls to triple-0 before dying alone in the bush.

As David's dentist, Dr Iredale had the heartbreaking task of providing his son's dental records for formal identification.

Added to the couple's grief are admissions of serious misconduct by emergency call operators from the Ambulance Service, who responded to David's cries for help with sarcasm and failed to pass on vital information to police which could have saved his life.

There is also uncertainty about whether a teacher at David's school, Sydney Grammar School, could have prevented David and two of his friends from embarking on the walk, which they believed would count towards their Duke of Edinburgh Award qualifications.

Over the past two weeks at the inquest Dr Iredale, 59, who has a dental practice near the family home in Pymble, has kept his emotions in check, madly scribbling notes from the evidence on a pad marked “things to do”.

In contrast, Mrs Iredale, 45, could not hide her feelings. Her tears flowing freely as four members of the ambulance call centre apologised for their performance while taking David's calls.

She also cried as Phillip Chan and Kostas Brooks, David's two walking companions and the last to see him alive, revealed details of her son's final hours. Their presence at the inquest – Mr Chan is studying science and law at university and Mr Brooks is studying to be a doctor – was undoubtedly a painful reminder of the bright future that David so tragically missed out on.

Mrs Iredale could not endure listening to the heartbreaking tapes of David's phone calls to emergency services.

The parents had already heard two of the calls during the search to confirm that the desperate voice on the other end of the line was in fact their son.

On Thursday Mrs Iredale attended the inquest without her husband, who it is believed had work commitments.

She could not face listening to crucial evidence from a survival expert, Dr Paul Luckin, who calculated that David would not have survived more than one hour after his final phone call to triple-0, having lost about 7.5 litres of water during the summer heat.

Nor could she bear to hear Dr Luckin tell the court David had likely been “at the point of no return” when he made the triple-0 calls, or that he would have been dizzy, confused and light-headed before he lost consciousness for the last time.

She was not in court to hear Dr Luckin's assessment that David's death would have been “relatively peaceful”.

But Mrs Iredale later privately met Dr Luckin, who it is understood repeated those consoling words.

While the inquest is due to conclude soon, no findings will be able to bring David Iredale back. But they may provide some comfort to his family that such a tragedy may not happen again.

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A COALITION of Jewish and Arab human rights groups have criticised as inadequate an Israel Defence Forces investigation into its activities during the battle in Gaza in January.
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The IDF's internal investigation found that no Palestinian civilians were harmed intentionally by its soldiers during the 23-day invasion that killed more than 1300 Palestinians and wounded more than 4000.

Israel's Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, hailed the report as proof once again “that the IDF is one of the most moral armies in the world”. Mr Barak said: “The IDF is not afraid to investigate itself and in that, proves that its operations are ethical.”

When civilians were killed by IDF fire, the report found that the deaths were regrettable, but had resulted from operational mistakes that were “bound to happen during intensive fighting”.

But a coalition of Israeli human rights groups, which includes B'Tselem, Physicians for Human Rights, Yesh Din, The Public Committee Against Torture and Rabbis for Human Rights, described the IDF report as problematic and said the only way to truly investigate alleged war crimes was through an independent external inquiry.

“Military investigation results published today refer to tens of innocent Palestinian civilians killed by 'rare mishaps' in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead,” the groups said in a joint statement.

“However, data collected by Israeli human rights organisations shows that many civilians were killed in Gaza not due to 'mishaps' but as a direct result of the military's chosen policy implemented throughout the fighting.

“If the military claims that there were no major deficiencies in its conduct in Gaza, it is not clear why Israel refuses to co-operate with the UN investigation team, led by the South African judge Richard Goldstone, which requests an investigation of alleged violations of international law by both Israel and Hamas.”

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in Gaza also called on Israel to co-operate with the UN investigation team.

The IDF inquiry was conducted by five senior officers who were not involved in Operation Cast Lead and focused on reports of civilians who been targeted intentionally, and also attacks on civilian infrastructure, UN facilities and the use of white phosphorous.

The chemical is used to create a smoke screen but can cause serious burns and death.

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A HIGH-LEVEL US Senate report published yesterday directly implicates senior members of the Bush administration in the extensive use of harsh interrogation methods against al-Qaeda suspects and other prisoners around the world.
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The 232-page report, the most detailed investigation yet into torture by US military and intelligence personnel, undercuts the claim of Paul Wolfowitz, a former deputy defence secretary, that the abuse of prisoners in Iraq was the work of “a few bad apples”.

The report adds to the debate in the US since President Barack Obama, who regards the techniques as torture, opened the way for possible prosecution of members of Bush's government.

Carl Levin, the Democratic chairman of the Senate armed services committee, which ordered the inquiry, said: “The paper trail on abuse leads to top civilian leaders, and our report connects the dots.”

The report says the paper trail goes from Donald Rumsfeld, who was defence secretary at the time, to Guantanamo and to Afghanistan and Iraq. “The abuse of detainees in US custody cannot simply be attributed to the actions of 'a few bad apples' acting on their own,” the report says. “The fact is that senior officials in the US government solicited information on how to use aggressive techniques, redefined the law to create the appearance of their legality, and authorised their use against detainees.”

Pressure to adopt more aggressive interrogation came from the uppermost reaches of the Bush administration, the report says. Mr Rumsfeld authorised the use of 15 interrogation techniques. A handwritten note from him, attached to a memo of December 2002, says: “I stand for 8-10 hours a day. Why is standing limited to 4 hours?”

The report condemns the techniques adopted: “Those efforts damaged our ability to collect accurate intelligence that could save lives, strengthened the hand of our enemies, and compromised our moral authority.” It says the methods were lifted from a military program called Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape (Sere).

The report says Sere instructors trained CIA and other military personnel early in 2002 in the use of harsher interrogation techniques but warned that information obtained that way might be unreliable.

The internal debate suggests the definition of what was “acceptable” was flexible.

The Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, said yesterday that the former vice-president Dick Cheney, who claimed valuable information was obtained through harsher interrogation techniques, should not be viewed as a “reliable source” on torture.

Guardian News & Media

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AUSTRALIA and New Zealand were engaging in “nasty accusations” against Fiji and were “acting with a heavy hand” in trying to force elections, the US representative for American Samoa, alleged during a committee hearing with the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.
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The accusations were made by Eni Faleomavae, a non-voting member of Congress who represents the Pacific territory of American Samoa.

The accusations came as the Pacific Islands Forum was poised to suspend Fiji on May 1, the deadline forum leaders gave Fiji to set a date for elections.

“Having just returned from Fiji for discussions with the interim prime minister of Fiji and with other community leaders of Fiji, I submit that the situation in Fiji is more complex than it appears,” Mr Faleomavae said.

“For too too long … we've permitted Australia and New Zealand to take the lead even when Canberra and Auckland operate with such a heavy hand that they are counterproductive to our shared goals,” he said.

“I totally disagree with the nasty accusations that the leaders of New Zealand and Australia have made against Fiji … it makes no sense … for the leaders of New Zealand and Australia to demand early elections for the sake of having elections in Fiji when there are fundamental deficiencies in Fiji's electoral process which gave rise to three military takeovers and even a civilian-related takeover within the past 20 years. These people are having to live with three separate constitutions.”

Mrs Clinton neither supported his criticism nor rejected it. “With respect to Fiji, I would welcome your advice about Fiji, because our coverage of what's going on … from Australia, New Zealand in particular, does paint a picture of turmoil and chaos and anti-democratic behaviours by the ruling parties,” Mrs Clinton said. But she added: “What we want is to restore democracy …. and if you have advice as to how we can pursue that, I would welcome it.”

Meanwhile, Toke Talagi, the chairman of the Pacific Islands Forum and Premier of Niue, described Fiji as a “lost cause” in an interview with the Herald. He added: “In my mind Fiji is a lost cause that we must continue to engage but there are limits to what we can do.”

Mr Talagi said the suspension of Fiji from the forum would go ahead. “The leaders have resolved in Papua New Guinea that if on May 1 Fiji does not name a date this year for an election then it will be suspended,” he said.

“The only variation to this that I have sought from leaders is whether given the recent events if we need to act earlier. The answer to this is to wait until the deadline.”

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AMID growing international anger over the plight of Sri Lankan civilians caught up in fighting as government troops close in on the Tamil Tigers, the President has ruled out any pardon for the rebel leader.
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Sri Lankan troops yesterday encountered “dwindling but constant resistance” as they advanced into the small area in the country's north-east still controlled by the rebels.

“They are now in a stretch of only eight kilometres along the coastline,” the army spokesman, Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara, told the Herald in Colombo. The military was confident the Tamil Tiger leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, and commanders were trapped.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have fought for 25 years for a separate Tamil homeland. President Mahinda Rajapaksa said they could “not hold out for much longer” and promised to punish Prabhakaran.

“[He] has spurned the possibility of pardon by us,” his office said. “He must now face the consequences of his acts.”

Brigadier Nanayakkara said more than 103,000 civilians have moved from rebel territory since Monday but there are concerns tens of thousands could still be in the combat zone.

The medical aid group Doctors Without Borders said a growing number of civilians with blast injuries and gunshot wounds were arriving at a hospital near the zone. The 450-bed hospital now had more than 1700 patients, the group said.

In a sign of the growing international concern about the conflict, the United Nations Security Council called on the Tamil Tigers to surrender.

Sri Lanka's influential neighbour, India, demanded an end to the suffering of Tamil civilians. “We are very unhappy at the continued killing of innocent Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka,” said the Foreign Minister, Pranab Mukherjee. “These killings must stop. The Sri Lankan Government has a responsibility to protect its own citizens.”

Mr Mukherjee also demanded that the Tamil Tigers stop the “barbaric” attempt to hold civilians hostage. “There is no military solution to this ongoing humanitarian crisis, and all concerned should recognise this fact,” he said.

In the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, home to more than 60 million Tamils, there is deep concern about the treatment of Sri Lankan Tamils.

Tamil Nadu was paralysed yesterday by a general strike, called by the Chief Minister, Dr Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi, to press the Indian Government to insist on an immediate ceasefire in Sri Lanka.

The US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, also criticised Colombo's handling of the crisis.

“I think that the Sri Lankan Government knows that the entire world is very disappointed that in its efforts to end what it sees as 25 years of conflict, it is causing such untold suffering,” she said.

Emboldened by a recent string of military triumphs, the Government has refused to stop fighting.

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Paul “Fatty” Vautin has a problem.
Nanjing Night Net

The Footy Show host has attracted the ire of Mohammed Tariq, a victim of overcharging by the law firm Keddies, which the Herald has written a string of stories about. Vautin advertises for Keddies on radio 2GB, and Tariq is demanding that he desist.

Tariq suffered head injuries in a car accident in 2007 and Keddies later charged him $60 for sending him a welcome letter and $49 for reading a thank-you card he sent them.

On Wednesday Tariq emailed Vautin to outline his grievance. “Mr Paul Fatty Vatin,” Tariq wrote at 10.20am. “I believe that you are supporting Keddies lawyers to promote their business that means more Mentally ill peoples will be their victims and all will suffer,” it says.

By 1.30pm the gloves had come off in a second email. “Hi Fatty … Shame, shame Fatty … The minute I hear you promoting Kedies on 2GB, See the sign post with your Picture I get agitated, it aggrevates my medical condition … I am sick and tired of hearing your voice, seing your picture.”

When The Diary contacted Vautin late yesterday afternoon, he said he'd never seen the emails sent to The Footy Show, had never read the Herald's stories about Keddies and that he had no intention of ending his relationship with the firm because “the blokes who own it I've got a lot of respect for, they're good people”.

He knows who Tariq is now. Last night the one-man protest movement was marched from Channel Nine's Willoughby site, wearing a sandwich board with Vautin's photograph on it that said, in part, “Shame, Shame, Shame. Fatty Shame”.


His campaign anthem was “Umshini wami, umshini wami”- translated as “bring my machine-gun”- and he has a chequered history, including being charged and later acquitted of rape in 2005. But Jacob Zuma is nothing but popular in South Africa. The leader of the African National Congress, who has the support of Nelson Mandela, becomes the new president today.LINE OF WORK

Still in remand on drug charges, Richard Buttrose has secured the services of a little-known barrister, Martin Luitingh, following the mysterious termination of the services of solicitor Brett Galloway last month.

In February the 36-year-old nephew of Ita Buttrose was arrested near his Paddington pad, where police allegedly found a backpack containing $50,000 and 63.1 grams of cocaine.

His mother, Elizabeth Buttrose, posted $300,000 bail, only for Richard to be rearrested the following day after police found $1.3 million in cash and almost eight kilograms of coke at an apartment they claim he owns in Darling Point. This time bail was refused, and in the Downing Local Court yesterday the first bail application was withdrawn. Working in partnership on the case with Des Fagan, SC, Luitingh does not have the same reputation for big criminal cases. He describes his line of work as “predominantly concerned with infrastructure law … transport, insurance law and commercial law.” No date has been set for the trial but the matter returns to the Downing Centre on June 18. For Buttrose, that is another eight, long weeks away.LIVE AT THE LODGE

It's enough to make you think of the words “horse” and “bolted”. Yesterday private security operatives were seen tinkering with security equipment at the gatehouse of the PM's residence. It came soon after the revelation that bikie infiltrators, mysteriously equipped with entry documents, were allowed access to the Lodge. But whether the live-cam tinkering has anything to do with that intrusion or Kevin Rudd's secret ambitions for a “Live at the Lodge” show, we cannot say. We can report that the camera appears to have been upgraded, probably to enable even more extensive monitoring of the comings and goings there. Again Rudd's spokeswoman declined to comment on prime ministerial security arrangements.LIFE IN THE OLD HOUSE

Meanwhile on the other side of the grassy hill in Canberra, the Museum of Australian Democracy is set to open at Old Parliament House on May 9 with a debate featuring ABC journalist Steve Cannane, news presenter Tracey Spicer, Australian of the Year nominee Jeffrey Robertson and social pages fixture Bianca Dye. The topic, “Does 'work/life balance' exist for Australians today?” was selected, democratically, via an online poll.

It has been noted that the venue is apt. Old Parliament House is remembered as a place were politicians were forced to confront the public – and journalists – far more than they are in their new palace. As one member of the press gallery put it last night, “There was far less shit, spin, cover-up and crap.”

GOT A TIP?Contact [email protected]南京夜網.au or 92823585.


* South African election results to be announced

* Macquarie Airports first-quarter results for Sydney Airport to be announced

* His Holiness Sakya Trizin, second to the Dalai Lama, arrives in Sydney

* NSW Waratahs' final training session, at Moore Park, before departing for South Africa for the Super 14 rugby tournamentSTAY IN TOUCH …WITH BOOK ADAPTATIONS

ACTRESS Angelina Jolie may soon be wielding a scalpel with reports that the film studio Fox 2000 is in the process of snatching the screen rights to author Patricia Cornwell's best-selling series on Dr Kay Scarpetta. According to the film publication Variety, the studio plans to cast Jolie in the central role of the opera-loving coroner.

Cornwell has written 16 novels with Scarpetta as the heroine. Producers are doubtless hoping for a blockbuster franchise in the vein of the Bourne Identity films, which saw the character of Jason Bourne, played by Matt Damon, become an action hero without being necessarily tied to the plots set out in Robert Ludlum's book series.

The final deal was secured only after Jolie agreed to the series and, along with studio representatives, met with the author to find common ground on the feature adaptation. Jolie has just finished filming on Salt, directed by Phillip Noyce.WITH RADICAL BOOKS

LIKE Che Guevera T-shirts on backpackers, Latin American revolutionary writing is back in vogue. This week the Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, publicly handed President Barack Obama a copy of Eduardo Galeano's seminal tome on the foreign exploitation of Latin America, Open Veins Of Latin America: Five Centuries Of The Pillage Of A Continent. The book subsequently became an overnight hit and by Monday had skyrocketed to second place on Amazon南京夜網's best-seller list.

By yesterday, Scribe Publications had bought the Australian and New Zealand rights to the book, in which the Uruguayan author and journalist examines the impact of foreign intervention in Latin America in the past five centuries. It will be released here in June.WITH WORLD WAR I DIGGERS

THE stories of endurance and bravery of nearly 300,000 Australians who fought in the trenches of France and Belgium are to be given new life in a $10 million Anzac Trail to be created on what was the Western Front.

The plan to integrate and develop as many as seven key WWI sites in a commemorative project was unveiled by the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Alan Griffin, in France yesterday, reports our European trenches correspondent, Paola Totaro.

Visiting Pozieres, Mr Griffin said the plan to create an interpretive trail for the thousands of Australians – tourists and families of soldiers – who travel to the area was part of discussions with both the French and Belgian governments.

“The Anzac Trail will foster a deeper appreciation of what Australians achieved and endured in the main theatre of conflict of the First World War” he said.

The Australian Government will spend the money over the next four years with local French and Belgian authorities also likely to contribute.

Mr Griffin, who has been in Britain and France this week, will deliver the commemorative address at the Anzac Day dawn service tomorrow at the Australian War Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux.

Earlier this week, French tourism operators voiced concerns about reduced numbers of visiting Australian and New Zealanders.

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