World Newsbits for October 16,2013
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Tuesday he hoped Parliament would pass legislation dumping Australia’s carbon tax by Christmas. Abbott revealed that Parliament would sit on Nov. 11 for the first time since his conservative coalition won government at elections on Sept. 7. High on the agenda will be bills to repeal the carbon tax paid by Australia’s worst industrial polluters. The legislation would be sure to pass the House of Representative, where the government holds a clear majority. But the outcome is uncertain in the Senate, where no party holds a majority of seats. “I would like the Senate to consider this matter as quickly as possible,’’ Abbott told reporters, adding that he wanted the Senate vote before Christmas. The unpopular carbon tax was introduced by the former center-left Labor Party government and has been levied since July 2012. Labor leader Bill Shorten stands by the tax which is designed to curb Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.
BRASILIA, Brazil (AFP) — Brazil said Monday it will activate a secure email system next month to protect government communications from spying by the United States and other countries. President Dilma Rousseff announced the system’s implementation Sunday in response to press disclosures on Washington’s massive cyber spying on her country, as revealed by US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden. “President Dilma Rousseff intends to make this the rule in the federal public administration,’’ Communications Minister Paulo Bernardo told reporters. He added that the Federal Data Processing Service (SERPRO) is in the process of creating a new version of the system, which will probably become operational in November. “We need more security on our messages to prevent possible espionage,’’ Rousseff said on Twitter Sunday. SERPRO, which falls under Brazil’s finance ministry, develops secure systems for online tax returns and also creates new passports.