An Australian news roundup

Pauline Hanson calls for action as well as speeches: "Former One Nation leader Pauline Hanson said Treasurer Peter Costello's comments that people who come to live in Australia should show loyalty to its values were a vindication of her own views. Ms Hanson said she was "crucified" and called a racist during her political career. "I could foresee what was happening to our country," Ms Hanson told ABC radio. In a speech last night to the Sydney Institute, the Treasurer said people who wanted to live under Islamic sharia law should move to a country where they would feel "more at ease". He said anyone not prepared to accept Australian values, and who had citizenship of another country, should not remain an Australian citizen. Ms Hanson called on Mr Costello to follow through with his claims. "If Peter Costello is wanting to be a future prime minister of this country he needs to take a tough stand on this," she said. "He needs to deal with it harshly. "He needs to throw these people out of this country who do not embrace Australia".

Howard backs nuclear power: "Prime Minister John Howard has reignited the nuclear energy debate in a wide-ranging interview to mark his 10th anniversary next week as prime minister. Mr Howard said he "had no hang-ups at all" about taking advantage of nuclear energy when it was economically viable. "I can't for the life of me understand why (Opposition Leader Kim) Beazley has categorically ruled it out," he said. Mr Howard said he did not think there was any argument that continuing to use fossil fuels and making them cleaner was more in Australia's long-term interest than renewable or nuclear energy. "That doesn't mean to say you stop the other two, but you can't ignore market forces," he said. "But we also have vast supplies of uranium. The economics of nuclear energy might change and if it does, well, we'll take advantage of it. But I have no hang-ups at all about nuclear energy."

NSW police manage to arrest a few more Muslims: "One of New South Wales's most senior detectives has warned Cronulla's rioters they have a week to come forward or face being hunted through the national media. Strike force Enoggera has already arrested 54 people in connection with the December 11 riot and the reprisals that followed. Enoggera boss Superintendent Ken McKay yesterday revealed he has another 50 in his sights. If they do not give themselves up in the next seven to 10 days, 25 of those will find their faces splashed across the national media. The blunt warning came after police announced 10 more arrests - seven yesterday in dawn raids across southwestern Sydney. These seven people of Middle Eastern appearance, aged 19 to 23, allegedly pelted police and ambulance officers with rocks and projectiles at Hashem's car park in Brighton-le-Sands on the night of December 11. Supt McKay vowed those whose pictures will be released will be identified and arrested." [The Muslims will get off with a slap on the wrist, of course]

Negligent NSW police (surprise!): "A Sydney magistrate yesterday lashed out at police inaction over a group of alleged rioting ringleaders. A group of men were yesterday charged almost three months after they allegedly pelted police with projectiles and verbally abused the officers called in to quell unrest at Brighton-Le-Sands on the night of December 11. As one of those arrested, Ahmad El-Ahmad, applied for bail in Sutherland Local Court, magistrate Paul Falzon expressed disbelief why the police arrested the men that night, took their details and then released them. "Wouldn't it be better to stop the civil unrest by putting them in the back of the truck?" Mr Falzon said. "[Police] let them go at the height of what was happening, then 2 1/2 months later you go and arrest them." When the prosecution asked him to refuse bail, Mr Falzon said El-Ahmad was unlikely to flee the jurisdiction or commit further offences, and so granted him bail. El-Ahmad will reappear in the same court on April 5."


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