Abbott praises political foe Rudd

Tony Abbott is convinced that one way or another his former political foe Kevin Rudd will continue to serve Australia.

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Mr Rudd stood up at the end of the 44th parliament’s first full working day and announced that he was calling it a day as a politician.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott responded by saying it was a significant moment in the life of a parliament for a former prime minister to depart.

Mr Rudd had been one of the big figures in the life of this country for the best part of two decades, Mr Abbott said.

“As a political opponent, but as someone who has known the member for Griffith quite well for a long time, I salute him and I wish him and his family all the best for the future,” he said.

“I express my confidence that one way or another he will continue to serve our country and his party.”

Mr Abbott said it took an extraordinary person to lead such an extraordinary country.

He said Mr Rudd won an election which pitted him against John Howard, the most successful prime minister of modern Australia.

“It takes extraordinary ability, insight, guts and focus to win such a contest. He didn’t just win that contest in 2007, he triumphed,” he said.

“We must pay tribute to someone of such stature who was able to vanquish in fair political fight someone of at least equal stature.”

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said Mr Rudd was a large presence across the national political stage for some time, and could leave parliament with his head held high.

Mr Shorten attributed Australia’s success in winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council largely to Mr Rudd’s distinction on the world stage.

He also led Labor during a difficult time, and his return to the prime ministership before the September election had improved the ALP’s fortunes.

“This is a tumultuous era in Labor, and with the member for Griffith’s resignation tonight, part of it comes to a close,” Mr Shorten said.

“I do not believe that we will see his like again in the Australian parliament.”

He also said the former prime minister shared a special relationship with the Australian people, and attained a level of “above-politics celebrity”.

Mr Shorten thanked Mr Rudd’s family, saying they would now get their husband and father back after years of lending him to politics.

Treasurer Joe Hockey shared the limelight on breakfast television with Mr Rudd for many years.

“I have seen the Kevin Rudd that many haven’t seen, including sharing semi-nakedness with him in a river in Papua New Guinea,” he said.

“I think he is in many ways the luckiest guy in Australia: he married a beautiful woman.”

Mr Rudd’s second deputy prime minister, Anthony Albanese, lauded his achievements – but noted the former leader wasn’t perfect.

“I probably regret the fact that Kevin called me `Albo’ at that first press conference,” he said.

“Now everyone calls me Albo; it used to be just my friends.”

But he said Mr Rudd’s leadership during the difficult time after the leadership change was extraordinary.

Leader of the House Christopher Pyne praised Mr Rudd’s passion and intellect, saying he could have chosen any distinguished career but had opted instead for a life of public service.

Mr Pyne thanked Mr Rudd for his friendship, especially while his wife was going through a difficult pregnancy a number of years ago.

“The member for Griffith could not have been more supportive to me as a human being,” he said.

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said Mr Rudd had rallied the Labor Party to victory at the 2007 election and defeated John Howard, the most formidable conservative campaigner in Australian history.

Many believed they would not win that election, and it was no accident that they had secured victory, he added.

But he said Mr Rudd’s best years were still to come.

“As a relatively young man, (he) has much to contribute to Australia and the world,” he said.

“His contribution is still there to be made and for all to see.”

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Increased doping tests for Sochi

Tests for banned substances will be more stringent than ever for the 2014 Winter Olympics, the new International Olympic Committee (IOC) president said Wednesday.

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Athletes will undergo 1,269 pre-competition tests — over 400 more than the Vancouver games — while total tests will increase by almost 300 to 2,453, said the IOC’s Thomas Bach.

“We shall be smarter and tougher in our fight against doping than at any previous Olympic Winter Games,” he told delegates at the World Conference on Doping in Sport in Johannesburg.

Bach, who replaced Jacques Rogge as Olympic chief in September, supported more stringent bans for athletes caught doping.

“What we need is the greatest possible deterrents.”

“I strongly argued for a lifetime ban, even for a first doping offence,” he said, adding that he eventually realised such bans were unworkable.

He “strongly urged” delegates to back the revised anti-doping code’s more stringent punishments.

Global sports leaders will this week ratify the new code that doubles bans for intentional doping culprits from two to four years.

This automatically excludes them from the next Olympics.

The measure is seen to prevent another case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which struck down a similar IOC ban in 2011.

In 2008 the Olympics body barred athletes who had been suspended for six months or longer from taking part in the next Olympics, even if they had already served their suspension.

But the court found the measure violated the current anti-doping code, which allowed 2008 Olympics 200-meter champion LeShawn Merritt to compete in London last year.

He had been banned for 21 months after using a sex enhancer, but would have been excluded from the London games under the rule.

He ended up limping out of his heat.

“Millions” of dollars would be spent on increasing laboratories and services for the Sochi games, said Bach, terming the costs “an investment to the future of our sport”.

“The fight against doping is like security measures. It is also about deterrents and protection,” said the IOC president, hinting at parallels with the fight against terrorism.

“Our security measures, and so our tests, must be improved still more,” he said, highlighting the need for increased research into doping.

“Protecting the clean athletes must be our ultimate goal. It must have top priority in all our decisions and initiatives.”

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Future food movement gathers momentum

A future, where no one goes hungry and we’re not  destroying the planet in our slavish appetite for meat.

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Around the world, 27 billion animals are kept as livestock. Meaning the animals we keep to feed us outnumber us by almost four times.

 

Pork accounts for 40 per cent of the global meat production, poultry for 30 per cent and beef for 22 per cent.

 

It takes 1300 million tons of food to feed those animals before we slaughter about 66 billion each year.

 

To continue satisfying that need in line with our exploding population we are going to have to double those numbers by 2050.

 

That’s going to take a lot of land, water and feed, and it’s got some people thinking there has to be a better way.

 

But it’s actually bigger than animal cruelty. It’s about an efficient, sustainable and equitable future.

 

In short, life after food as we know it.

 

Rob Rhineheart is one such entrepreneur pushing the future food movement onwards.

 

His successfully crowd funded a campaign for Soylent, a powdered non-dairy drink that he says contains all the vitamins and minerals to sustain life,

 

Investors also scrambled to throw about $1.5 million dollars into the project.

 

He’s even tried living on a mostly Soylent for 30 days to try and prove it.

 

Bizarrely, Soylet got its name from a 1973 sci-fi flick set in a dystopian future where citizens survive on processed food rations.

 

The nastiness doesn’t stop there for Soylent either, with online magazine Motherboard alleging that the factory had rats and that some deliveries were going mouldy.

 

It’s clearly early days for the future food movement but this much is clear. We have to stop eating inefficiently and we’re going to have to learn to stomach foods that are more efficient – whether we like it or not.

 

The Feed airs weeknights at 19:30 on SBS 2. You can also follow The Feed on Twitter at @TheFeedSBS2, or ‘LIKE’ SBS 2 on Facebook to stay in the loop.

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Germany’s Klose, Mertesacker out of Italy game

Klose, who resumed playing in October after a month-long injury break, picked up a shoulder injury in Lazio’s 1-1 draw at Parma in Serie A on Sunday.

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“The current situation is Miro Klose will not be able to play in the two games,” Germany coach Joachim Loew told reporters on Wednesday. “He injured his shoulder and will be out for two or three weeks.”

“Per Mertesacker will remain in London and will join us when we are there for the game (on Tuesday),” he said of the Arsenal central defender.

Mertesacker’s club mate Mesut Ozil, who has had a flu virus, has been passed fit for both friendlies, Loew said.

Loew assured Klose and his fellow injured forward Mario Gomez they remained his first choice for Germany, who have qualified for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, if injuries did not upset their rhythm early next year.

“It is part of our job to build up players who can fill gaps,” said Loew, who will coach his 100th international on Friday, becoming only the fourth Germany manager to reach a century.

He said Borussia Moenchengladbach’s Max Kruse and Bayern Munich’s Mario Goetze are his favoured strikers to cover a shortage up front.

“Obviously, it is a pity that Mario and Miro are out but I do not see a problem. For me, January is the cut-off date. If a player starts the new year normally after completing winter training and then plays through then I am certain he will join us in good form.”

Loew said his players would not be seeking revenge against Italy for their Euro 2012 semi-final defeat but he still expected them to show full commitment despite the distraction of next week’s top-of-the-table Bundesliga clash between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

“I don’t think the players are thinking about it yet,” he said. “I have always tried to consider clubs in my decisions but I do not want anyone to come to me and tell me to rest them on Friday or Tuesday.”

“I have told them there are not many games left until the World Cup. If someone thinks they are automatically picked then they are wrong. I demand full speed ahead from everyone. We’ve got a high level squad and there are no free passes to Brazil.”

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Amlan Chakraborty and Ken Ferris)

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