The mysterious collapse of Australia's Nugan Hand bank (SLYT) has long been a favorite subject of the espionage mythos, with its chairman's suicide, the disappearance of its former CIA co-founder Michael Hand, the bank's ties to the CIA, apparent drug money laundering... basically, talk of ties to every CIA conspiracy theory of the last 30 years... the stuff of legends. Except, of course, that Michael Hand has been found by Australia's 60 Minutes, living in Idaho Falls, where he runs a business manufacturing combat knives for the special OPs crowd. Here is the full 60 Minutes report.
“There is no doubt some of Read’s stories are embellished, polished or, in some cases, stolen, but there is also no doubt that through the 1970s and 80s he was one of the most dangerous men in Australia.” RIP Mark 'Chopper' Read [more inside]
Murdoch's Scandal - Lowell Bergman (the journalist portrayed by Al Pacino in The Insider) has investigated News Corporation for PBS Frontline [transcript]. He depicts Rupert Murdoch's British operation as a criminal enterprise, routinely hacking the voicemail and computers of innocent people, and using bribery and coercion to infiltrate police and government over decades. Enemies are ruthlessly "monstered" by the tabloids. Bergman also spoke to NPR's Fresh Air [transcript]. But the hits keep coming: in recent days News Corp has been accused of hacking rival pay TV services and promoting pirated receiver cards in both the UK and Australia. With the looming possibility of prosecution under America's Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, how long will shareholders consider Rupert Murdoch irreplaceable? [Previous 1 2 3 4]
An ABC Investigative Unit team hit the streets of western Sydney, where young people are struggling to break a vicious cycle of unemployment and family breakdown, to find out what's being done to stop them from falling through the cracks. In a great article by ABC reporters Eleanor Bell and Ed Giles, they found that the lack of resources, infrastructure and support for families in these communities is getting worse, not better but that despite this, many locals are still proud of their community.
Governments around the globe are opening up their data vaults allowing us to check out the numbers for ourselves. This is the Guardian’s gateway to that information. Search for government data here from the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand — and look out for new countries and places as they are added. Read more about this on the Datablog. [more inside]
Petrol prices hurting your wallet? Try stealing it instead! A Sydney man has been accused of siphoning 1,000 litres (265 gallons) of fuel from a service station into a large home-made tank in his van. Police allege the 36-year-old man used a Toyota Town Ace van to take petrol from a service station's underground tanks. Another 44,000 litres of fuel (or there about) is yet to be accounted for though.
Police allegedly found fittings and equipment inside the van that could be used to steal petrol from service stations, including a home made tank.Hard times huh? Sorry there's no photo to go with this. The guy's van is an awesome sight though. Best I've got is streaming video via ABC News (Windows HQ or LQ).
An Australian Man who sent millions of e-mails around the world falsely stating shares in an American company would rise 900 per cent was today sentenced to two years in jail. The charges filed are believed among the first of their type made against anyone in the world. Mr Hourmouzis had pleaded guilty to two charges of making a false statement on the Internet.