New PM Kevin Rudd to apologise to Aborigines

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Newly-elected Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd has promised to apologise to Aborigines for historic injustices, as the conservative party he defeated faced a bruising leadership battle.

Mr Rudd's pledge to say sorry to Aborigines was a radical departure from his predecessor John Howard, who during 11 years in power argued that contemporary Australians bore no responsibility for past wrongs.

It would be the first time that an Australian federal government had apologized to the country's 450,000 Aborigines, who after 220 years of white settlement suffer low life expectancy, poor health and high rates of joblessness and incarceration.

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