Pope mocker goes free in Australia

Pope Benedict xviSydney - Australian police have given up trying to prosecute civil libertarian Ian Bryce for driving around Sydney in a fake pope-mobile during the real pope's visit in July for World Youth Day. Charges were dropped Monday after the police case collapsed for a fourth time. A Sydney judge dismissed the case.

"It was against the pope's claims to have supernatural authority and all the harm he's doing in the world in banning condoms and trying to avoid family planning," Bryce said.

Swiss voters ban nude hiking in Alps

Swiss voters ban nude hiking in AlpsMelbourne, Apr 27 : Votes in the Swiss Alps have passed legislation banning naked hiking after dozens of mostly German nudists started rambling through their region.

The government recommended the ban after citizens objected to seeing the nude walkers, wearing nothing more than boots.

"The reactions of the population have shown that such appearances over a large area are perceived as thoroughly disturbing and irritating," News. com. au quoted the government as saying.

One in four Oz parents believe its fine to let kids drink before legal age

One in four Oz parents believe its fine to let kids drink before legal ageMelbourne, Apr 27 : About a quarter of Aussie parents believe that it is acceptable to let their kids drink before they reach legal age, a new study has found.

According to The Generation Next Parental Research Study, 24 per cent of parents believe 16 is an appropriate age for their children to start drinking under adult supervision.

Nearly 11 per cent said that they are happy to serve alcohol to children under 16, despite growing evidence of the harm it can cause.

Hindus ask Australia to urgently develop a “bill of rights”

RajanHindus have asked Australia to create a “bill of rights” as a high-priority.

Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that Australia was one of the few Western countries that did not have a charter of rights.

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, says that although Australia does have a National Action Plan for Human Rights, but according to a report of Australia Human Rights Commission (AHRC), a statutory organization that reports to the federal Parliament, this “plan however does not adequately identify positive, forward-looking measures to address the human rights issues…”

Australians tested for swine flu

swine fluSydney - Five Australians recently returned from either North America or Mexico and who developed flu-like symptoms are being tested for swine flu, authorities said Monday. New South Wales chief health officer Kerry Chant said the symptoms in the three adults and two children were mild.

"There have been some tests performed, but no cases meet the probable case definition, and there have been no confirmed cases," she said.

Japan's Kirin bids for Australian brewer Lion Nathan

Japan's Kirin bids for Australian brewer Lion NathanSydney  - Shares in Lion Nathan Ltd leapt 40 per cent Monday after Australia's second-largest brewer agreed to a 6.5-billion-Australian-dollar (4.6-billion-US-dollar) takeover offer from Japanese beer maker Kirin Holdings Co Ltd.

Lion Nathan's board has agreed to sell Kirin the 54 per cent of shares it doesn't already own in the brewer that counts the beer brands Tooheys, James Boag, James Squire, Heineken, Hahn and XXXX in its stable.

The deal needs the approval of the Foreign Investment Review Board and non-Kirin shareholders.