Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Greenies attacking Coca Cola

Their sort probably don't drink Coke anyway.  It has after all got both caffeine and sugar in the standard product.  Horrors!  And the low calorie version has ASPARTAME in it.  Could anything be worse (aside from global warming, that is)?  It's probably even got that nasty hydrogen hydroxide in it

ANGRY consumers are flooding social media with threats to boycott Coca Cola after the company's court win yesterday to dismantle a Northern Territory recycling scheme.

The Federal Court yesterday ruled in favour of the beverage company who argued the state government's 10 cent deposit recycling scheme, introduced in January 2012, was costly and ineffective.

Coke had argued the extra 10 cents added to its products was unfair to consumers, despite the fee being refundable.

The soft drink company yesterday had to call police to break up a protest at its Sydney headquarters led by Clean Up Australia chairman Ian Kiernan and Greenpeace CEO David Ritter, but it's having a harder time dealing with the angry mob online.

Hundreds of people have flooded the company's Facebook page with furious messages and complaints, with many users pledging to never buy Coke products again.

One user posted a picture of a dead bird with a cut open stomach full of plastic waste, along with the message "Brought to you by Coca Cola".

"Disgusted with your resistance to the NT recycling scheme. Have you never heard of corporate responsibility?" the user wrote.

"Bad move. Bad corporate citizenship. You've lost me as a customer for ALL your products," wrote another, while one user commented: "My family believe in recycling so no more Coke products for us EVER AGAIN."

The protest has also spilled over to Twitter, where users have been tweeting angry messages under the hashtag #CokeFail.

"Help stop @CocaCola trashing Australia #cokefail," tweeted @RiaLettner.

"Don't buy Coke. Shame. #cokefail" tweeted @Visivoz.


Australian universities improve world standing

AUSTRALIAN universities have improved their international standing in the past year and now enjoy the third highest ranked reputation in the world.

The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings, to be released today, found Australian now lags only behind the US and UK, with six of our universities ranked in the Top 100.

In the past year, Australian universities outperformed the Netherlands, Japan and Germany, with two new entrants on the list _ Monash University in Victoria, and the University of NSW _ joining the four existing place holders.

The University of Melbourne improved its rank from 43 to 39 and Australian National University from 44 to 42. Sydney University rose one place to 49, and University of Queensland remained in the 80th percentile.

Times Higher Education editor Phil Baty said the reputation rankings have been held since 2011 and Australia has improved its standing at each survey.

The results are based on a global opinion poll and take into account more than 16,000 responses from senior published academics in 150 countries.

"Australia is a country very much on the way up in terms of worldwide academic prestige," Mr Baty said in a statement.

"In many ways these results show that Australia's image among scholars around the world is catching up with the reality: until now it has tended to perform less well in the reputation rankings compared with the overall, objective World University Rankings.

"These results show how well poised Australia is to make the most of its geographical advantages: while it has strong links with the best universities in the West, it has also made the most of East Asia's booming higher education scene. If it continues to exploit these opportunities, Australia could be a serious beneficiary of the Asian century, which is great news for its economy and competitiveness."

Monash University president Ed Byrne said in a statement: "Australia is ideally situation between the rising academic powerhouses of Asia and established centres in the old Westticipate a bright future."

UNSW Vice Chancellor, Professor Fred Hilmer, put the institution's first-time inclusion down to a "very strong improvement path".

"When you look at the quality of the student intake, it's gone up every year. It's harder and harder to get in and if you look at research in particular, we are winning increasingly competitive grants," Professor Hilmer said.

Universities in the US and UK still hold the bulk of the top 100 positions, (43 in the US and nine in the UK) with an elite group of six "super-brands" including Harvard, Oxford and Cambridge, holding the top positions since the rankings' inception.

The highest ranking university outside of the US and UK is the University of Tokyo at 9th, while India and New Zealand are among the countries with no entrants on the Top 100 list. China's two most prestigious universities, Tsinghua University and Peking University, both dropped slightly in the rankings, but they remain in the Top 50.


Whingeing teachers cost the taxpayer a heap

Teachers claiming thousands of dollars from WorkCover for everything from hugs to excessive photocopying

QUEENSLAND teachers are claiming thousands of dollars from WorkCover for everything from hugs from students to excessive photocopying.

The Sunday Mail this week revealed an average nine teachers a day were being paid by WorkCover, with 4193 claims made since July 1, 2010, worth $18.39 million.

Accidents account for most of the claims but many appear questionable, including a $33,979 payout for "consistent use of computer at work" and $522.16 for "prolonged sun exposure".

Others include $35,850 for being "hit by waves in surf" and $2313 for "sitting for a long period of time".

Queensland Teachers Union president Kevin Bates said the WorkCover system was not infallible but, to get a payout, some documentation would be needed to back up the claim.

He said the main problem was many legitimate psychological claims were overlooked.

"I've heard many teachers who I've worked with who've said to me: 'I feel like I'd have been better if I'd have thrown myself down the stairs because at least then I know I'd get some help - whereas, suffering as I am purely the psychological injuries of the work I've been doing, I get nothing.'

"So, from many people's perspective, there is that clear bias towards physical injury versus a person who can be suffering very significant injury but it's a psychological one that isn't something you can actually see."

Griffith University associate professor in employment relations, Bradley Bowden, said the rate of workers compensation claims tended to rise in industries that were under pressure, with employees using it as a way to top up their income or protest against working conditions.

But he said it was difficult to sort the genuine cases from those lodged for personal gain.  "There's no doubt people certainly do that (lodge spurious claims) and have done it as a way of protest or supplementing their income, but trying to work out what's what in an individual case is difficult," he said.

Prof Bowden said low-level claims were often a case of "tick and flick", and were rarely investigated.

"There's very little policing of claims at that level, it's simply relying on the due diligence of the local GP," he said.

"It's just not worth WorkCover investigating - you'd be spending far more resources than what it's worth."

Last June the Queensland Government launched an inquiry into the state scheme, including its financial position, how it compares with other states and its impact on the economy and competitiveness.

This month the reporting date for the inquiry was extended after more than 200 submissions from individuals, industry bodies, unions and other organisations.  The committee will now report back by May 23.


Doom city again

The situation for blacks has gone downhill ever since the missionaries were replaced by bureaucrats

THE situation in the remote north-western Queensland town of Doomadgee has worsened after a mob stormed the police station early Sunday.

Residents of the small indigenous township have reported that overnight there were a number of disturbances in the streets.

A manager of a local business, who did not wish to be named, reported that the township has become unsafe after dark. "Last night there was people running through the streets and property broken," he said.  "Kids are running riot and they've broken into the same property up to three times."

The issues in the remote community began on Friday night when a man was arrested and charged after allegedly striking a female police officer in the face with a torch.

The officer received lacerations to her face and a suspected broken nose, and was transported to Mount Isa hospital.

This was followed on Monday morning by a mob storming the local police station in protest at the charging of the local man.

A police officer reported that there had been windows broken in the incident.  Police could not provide any further comment.

Locals are worried that the tension will continue to rise in the community.  "Police have been lenient so far, " said the local source. "But they will have to come down heavy on this or else things will get progressively worse."


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