Julian Assange dons mullet, covers John Farnham in musical pitch to voters

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has made a bizarre bid for electoral support, starring in an offensive YouTube spoof that describes Julia Gillard in obscene terms and in which Mr Assange dons a blond mullet wig and reprises a John Farnham song.

The music video, which ends with Mr Assange singing a WikiLeaks-inspired tribute to Farnham’s hit You’re the Voice, features caricatures of Tony Abbott, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard.

The worst is reserved for the cartoon Mr Abbott, who is depicted crouched in speedos on a beach towel, drooling from the mouth and promising to ban abortion and gays, “even my sister”. The spoof Mr Abbott describes the Australian public as a “bunch of c—s”, Ms Gillard as a “ranga witch” and “freckle tits” who should do some ironing.

The video cuts to the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where Mr Assange has been living for a year. The WikiLeaks founder dons a blond wig and denim jacket and begins miming his Farnham tribute.

“We have the chance to turn the pages over,” he sings. “We can write what we want to write. We gotta make things leak so we can get much bolder …

“We’re all wiretapped now. We’re all being fed lies …”

A WikiLeaks spokesman said the video was “a lot of fun and there’s not a fib in it”.

Asked whether the descriptions of Ms Gillard were offensive, he said he did not “know anything about that”. The spokesman said Ms Gillard had hung Mr Assange out to dry when he was in legal trouble.

The video was produced by Juice Rap News, which describes itself as “the internet nation’s off-beat musical, current-affairs program, responsible for turning bollocks-news into socio-poetic/comedic analyses which everyone can relate to and understand”.

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Live commentary: Sharks v Sydney

ROOSTERS-V-CRONULLA live match icons


Remondis Stadium, Woolooware, Monday 7pm (AEST)Last meeting: Round 19 2013 – Roosters 40 bt Sharks 0 at Allianz StadiumHead-to-head: Sharks 27 Roosters 55 drawn 2Referees: Ashley Klein, Henry PerenaraTV: Live FoxSports 1TAB: Sharks $3.00 Roosters $1.40 Draw $23FootyTab: Sharks +6.5

Phil Mitchell writes: The tables have turned somewhat as Cronulla seek to avenge an embarrassing loss to the Roosters a month ago. In round 19, the Roosters blew the decimated Sharks off the park (40-0), in the midst of an unbroken eight-match winning streak. But this time it’s Cronulla who will be at full strength – and on home soil – while the Roosters will be missing some key players. None more so than back-rower Boyd Cordner, who had a blinder against the Sharks last month before his break-out season was halted by injury. Also missing are  Anthony Minichiello and Luke O’Donnell. Still, the Sharks will have to improve markedly on last week’s mistake-riddled win against St George Illawarra.

Phil’s tip: Sharks by two.

AAP writes: Odds on to beat the Titans at home in the second last round next week, the Roosters can all but clinch their first minor premiership since 2004 with victory over the beleaguered Sharks. The Sharks will be bolstered by Paul Gallen’s inclusion after he missed the 40-point shellacking at the hands of the Roosters a month ago – but the table-toppers will have Sonny Bill Williams on deck this time around. The Roosters are shooting for their ninth straight victory, while the Sharks must somehow conjure a win to have any hope of sneaking into the top four.

Key: Surely the ASADA saga is catching up with the Sharks and they face the ultimate test of resilience against the title favourites.

SHARKS: Michael Gordon, Sosaia Feki, Ben Pomeroy, Jonathan Wright, Beau Ryan, Todd Carney, Jeff Robson, Andrew Fifita, John Morris, Paul Gallen (capt), Luke Lewis, Jayson Bukuya, Wade Graham. Interchange: Isaac De Gois, Chris Heighington, Sam Tagataese, Anthony Tupou.

ROOSTERS: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Daniel Tupou, Michael Jennings, Mitchell Aubusson, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, James Maloney, Mitchell Pearce, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend, Sam Moa, Aidan Guerra, Sonny Bill Williams, Frank-Paul Nuuausala. Interchange: Daniel Mortimer, Luke O’Donnell, Isaac Liu, Dylan Napa.

Good evening all, welcome to our coverage of tonight’s cracking match in the Shire. Both sides have made late changes:


OUT: Bryce Gibbs

IN: Sam Tagataese

Paul Gallen switches to prop, while Jayson Bukuya comes off the bench to start in the back row.


With Luke O’Donnell suspended, centre Samisoni Langi plays his second NRL game after making his debut against the Tigers last week. Mitchell Aubusson switches from the centres to the back row, relegating Aidan Guerra to the bench.

1 min: And we’re away, Roosters kick off.

1 min: Brilliant start by the Sharks – 40-20 by Todd Carney.

3 min: TRY! Gallen opens the scoring for Cronulla, grounding a ball that had bounced off Wade Graham’s chest after a grubber kick from Todd Carney. Carney converts. SHARKS 6-0.

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CHARLTON:  Seat profile & history 

FEDERAL ELECTION: The seat of Charlton

CHARLTON: Meet the candidates

Former minister Greg Combet, ALP,

Margin:12.7 per cent


1. Pat Conroy, ALP

2. Kevin Baker, Liberal (quit but still on ballot)

3. Steve Camilleri, Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)

4. Dessie Kocher, The Greens

5. Brian Burston, One Nation

6. Bronwyn Reid, Palmer United Party

7. Trevor Anthoney, Bullet Train for Australia

PROFILE: The electorate covers about 688 square-kilometres from Rankin Park, Cardiff Heights, Cardiff South and Garden Suburb in the east, encompassing all of Lake Macquarie, then extending south to Wyee, including Mandalong and Martinsville to the west and Seahampton, West Wallsend and Maryland in the north.

Main suburbs include, Elermore Vale, Fletcher, Minmi and most of Wallsend in the Newcastle area, Boolaroo, Cardiff, Cooranbong, Edgeworth, Morisset, Speers Point, Toronto, part of Warners Bay, and Wangi Wangi in the Lake Macquarie area.

Economic activity includes coal mining, electricity generation at Eraring power station, some tourism, retail, light engineering.

HISTORY: The seat is named after Matthew Charlton (1866–1948), a member of the NSW Legislative Assembly from 1903 to 1910, a member of the House of Representatives 1910 to 1928 and leader of the ALP from 1922 to 1928.

It was created in 1984 and has been held by the ALP, first by Bob Brown. His daughter Kelly Hoare replaced him in 1998.

Ms Hoare was re-elected in 2001 and 2004 but was challenged for preselection in 2007 by ACTU secretary Greg Combet, who was installed by the ALP’s national executive.


1. Peter Fawcett, Cardiff North

‘‘The economy. I’m voting Labor because I’m quite happy with how it’s going. I want them to look after pensioners.’’

2. Tracie Lavelle, Macquarie Hills

‘‘The selling off of public assets. I would like to think we’ll have something left to hand on to our grandchildren. I’m still deciding how I’ll vote.’’

3. Larrie Chapman, Cardiff South

‘‘The economy is pretty important. I don’t like [Coalition leader Tony] Abbott.’’

4. Ron Keevers, Cardiff

‘‘I’m a self-funded retiree so I’m concerned about interest rates. I think the government has done a reasonable job with what they’ve had to put up with. They got us through the global financial crisis.’’

5. Helen Waugh, Cardiff South.

‘‘Health – general investment in the system. The waiting times are too long for our hospitals.’’

6. Victor Chumak, Cardiff

‘‘The economy is the main issue. They waste so much money on things, you take small business, they’re struggling like hell, but they give money to people who want to come here illegally’’.

Bo Xilai tells court he was victim of love triangle

Bo Xilai looking on as he stands on trial at the Intermediate People’s Court in Jinan, east China’s Shandong province. Photo: AFP/CCTVJinan: Bo Xilai, the fallen star of Chinese politics, saved his finest performance for the fifth and final episode of China’s gripping courtroom drama.

In a last stand that flitted frequently between the sublimely eloquent and the ridiculously lurid, he said the real reason his trusted police chief Wang Lijun betrayed him was for love – Wang had developed secret feelings for  Mr Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai.

“He had hidden feelings for her, his emotions were in a knot, he couldn’t control himself,” he said in his closing arguments, according to court transcripts.

The trial concluded on Monday afternoon. The judge said a verdict will be delivered at a “later date”, expected to be within the next month.

Mr Bo said Wang had come clean about his feelings for Gu when he tried to give her a letter, where he slapped himself across the face eight times in a show of contrition for his forbidden love.

But then Mr Bo appeared suddenly, prompting Wang to flee in a panic to the US consulate in Chengdu in February 2012, setting off China’s most sensational political scandal in a generation.  “He knows my personality,” Mr Bo said. “He’s harmed my family and my most primal feelings. This is the real reason he defected.”

He said he regretted damaging the party’s image, and was ”sorry to the party and the people”, but insisted that allegations of  corruption against him were wrong.

Acknowledging that he might face the rest of his life in prison, he said he felt ”very conflicted”.

”I know I’m not perfect. I can be self-centred, bad-tempered, I have made serious errors and mistakes,” he said. ”I had no intention of driving Wang Lijun away. Who knew one slap could create a traitor?”

Mr Bo was stood down as Chongqing party secretary in March 2012. A subsequent investigation saw him expelled from the Communist Party and charged with receiving bribes, corruption and abuse of power.

Prosecutors have produced Mr Bo’s confession as the smoking gun, in which he admitted that billionaire businessman Xu Ming provided a “huge amount” of financial assistance to his wife and in particular his son, Bo Guagua, when he was studying abroad.

“In essence it was a special deal: I help him develop [his business interests] quickly, he in turn takes care of my child,” Mr Bo was said to have written.

But he said the confession, made during the investigation phase, was made in the hope of cutting a deal with authorities “because I still had a burning hope in my heart to remain in the party and extend my political life”.

He has since recanted the confession and fought every charge.

In court on Monday, Mr Bo denied he had a close relationship with Mr Xu: “He knows what level of person he is in my eyes … we’re not in the same league. Who am I? The commerce minister [at the time]. Who is he?”

He also poured scorn on suggestions that Gu  would have kept him appraised of “trivial matters” like receiving financial assistance from Mr Xu.

“In my heart, she is a multi-talented woman, do you think she would want to leave me with the impression of her as a housewife? Does she still want me to have feelings for her, to love her?”

Despite his feisty theatrics, Mr Bo is considered unlikely to escape a guilty verdict.

“Let me remind the court …  the defendant committed extremely serious crimes, and refused to plead guilty, there is no room for leniency,” one prosecutor said on Monday.

Prosecutors said the case showed China’s resolution to fight corruption in accordance with the law: “No matter how high his ranking is, how powerful he is, as long as he violates the law, he will be punished without exception.”

Wang told Mr Bo about Gu’s murder of British businessman Neil Heywood on January 28, 2012, which led to an altercation where Mr Bo struck Wang just below his left ear.

Fearing for his life, the police chief fled to the US consulate in Chengdu on February 6, 2012, armed with information of Gu’s role in the murder.

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FEDERAL ELECTION: The seat of Charlton

CHARLTON: Meet the candidates

CHARLTON: Seat profile & history

FED UP: Ronnie Oehme, of Ronnie’s Flowers at Cardiff, says red tape for small business and aged care are two of the big issues for voters in Cardiff. Picture: Phil Hearne

IN the growing town of Morisset, talk of the federal election quickly leads to one point.

‘‘Can we just get it over with?’’ Southlakes Business Chamber and Community Alliance president Robert Kemmis said yesterday.

‘‘People are dead-set fed up.’’

Not only has the election loomed for the best part of the year, but the shock withdrawal of Liberal candidate Kevin Baker last week has left voters in the electorate of Charlton in a distinct malaise, he said.

‘‘We were going to organise a candidates’ forum, but now we’ve lost the Liberal bloke I don’t think we’ll go ahead with it,’’ Mr Kemmis said.

‘‘It’s frustrating. It’s bad news for voters. Now there’s no real choice.’’

Mr Baker was forced to quit after reports of racist and sexist jokes posted on an online car enthusiasts’ forum that he set up.

His withdrawal effectively returns the safe Labor seat to its traditional owner, although the face is new.

As Labor candidate, Pat Conroy is almost certain to inherit the seat from his former boss, ex-climate change minister Greg Combet, who quit politics to spend more time with his family following the axing of Julia Gillard as prime minister.

The electorate takes in most of Lake Macquarie, the growing suburbs of Minmi and Fletcher and the blue-collar area around Cardiff.

Palmer United Party candidate Bronwyn Reid said Mr Conroy was another outsider the Labor Party had served up to voters because of factional alliances and a lack of local talent.

‘‘If you’re serious about being our representative you should live here,’’ she said.

But Mr Conroy, former deputy chief of staff to Mr Combet, resisted criticisms that he was another outsider parachuted in.

‘‘I’ve lived in the area for the past six years, and grew up on the Central Coast,’’ he said, before clarifying he moved within the electorate’s boundaries earlier this year.

Mr Combet, who moved from Melbourne to contest Charlton in 2007, didn’t live in his seat – a fact residents who expressed disappointment to the Newcastle Herald at his departure didn’t seem to mind.

‘‘When we were flooded [in 2007], Greg walked up and down around here checking on us all,’’ Ronnie Oehme said.

‘‘No politician had ever done that before. We don’t want him to go.’’

The owner of Ronnie’s Flowers, a store at Cardiff that is just a few blocks away from where Mr Combet set up his first campaign office, said a lot of locals were ‘‘sick of the election’’.

‘‘Most people want it over with so we can get on with things,’’ she said.

Mr Kemmis named cutting red tape for small businesses and aged care as two of the big issues for voters in Morisset.

Mr Conroy said more schools funding, ‘‘general wariness about what an Abbott government would cut’’ and the construction of the Glendale interchange were the main concerns he had heard from voters.

Unlike his boss, who was initially imposed as the candidate by the ALP’s national executive, Mr Conroy was pre-selected by rank and file members, albeit it after plenty of political manoeuvrings. And he’s not tripped up when asked the name of the main street of Toronto – a question that famously stumped his boss when new to the area.

But exactly how the vote plays out could yet prove interesting, with Mr Baker’s name remaining on the ballot paper because all candidates had already been officially declared prior to his resignation.

Voters must still number all boxes on their lower house ballot paper for their vote to count.

Even the remaining Charlton candidates aren’t sure how it will unfold.

‘‘Don’t ask me, I’m confused about it too,’’ Christian Democratic Party candidate Steven Camilleri said.

Ms Reid said she believed the Liberal Party was now backing her.

However, the Liberal Party’s how-to-vote card directed preferences to Mr Camilleri, then Ms Reid, and its website yesterday was still advocating people vote 1 for Mr Baker and 2 for Mr Camilleri.

A NSW Liberal Party spokeswoman said: ‘‘It is up to each voter in Charlton how they choose to cast their vote for the House of Representatives.

‘‘However, we would encourage voters to choose the Liberal Party when they cast their vote for the Senate.’’