Bit late with this news from down under but there has been accusations that Australia pulled a fast one to be first to see in the New Year ahead of neighbouring New Zealand by leeting off early.  In this article in the Times 31st December 2009 (typical of Mr Murdoch and his merry ment they were ahead of the game) reports that the fireworks in Sydney were let off before midnight to beat the Kiwis.

Some comments from travellers who had been diverted on flights to Sydney actually reveal the truth behind the supposed scandal

What a dopey story. Sydney has had two firework times for decades – one for the little kids and the big one for adults at midnight. . . .

And there it is – two displays in Sydney

I must congratulate the fine team of editors and research experts on this story. Firstly, Sydney is 2 hours ahead of New Zealand time, NOT 3 hours. Secondly the Chatham Islands is the first inhabited place in the world to see the new day, Not Christmas Island. I can enjoy early New Year celebrations due to the Chathams (my birthplace) being 45 minutes ahead of mainland New Zealand time. Well done Sydney for upstaging Auckland, mind you, that wouldn’t be difficult. Auckland event organizers win the prize for the most pathetic fireworks display ever. I’ve already booked my flights to Australia to witness the 2010 Sydney firework display

Not entirely sure what Evan meant with his contribution to the debate when he wrote “I think if anyone has earned respect for his realistic outlook and past success it is General Petraeus. Whatever your opinion on competence of the U.S. government, such as Bush’s WMDs Petaeus has a proven record. At the very least for what he has done he has earned my respect and I am against the war.”