Australia pledges more teachers for Aboriginal Outback

The Australian government, determined to prove that a national apology to Australia's indigenous population is more than empty words, moved quickly to promise more teachers to tackle widespread illiteracy in Outback Aboriginal communities. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd won wide acclaim Wednesday by leading the Parliament in apologizing for racist assimilation policies that prevailed throughout most of the 20th century. An estimated 100,000 children were forcibly taken from their parents between 1910 and the 1970s in an effort to make them grow up like white Australians. "This is a story about Australians - human beings - who were ripped apart over the better part of a century, and it was time the nation's Parliament said: 'That was crook (wrong), let's acknowledge it and let's move on,"' Rudd told Australian Broadcasting Corp. television Thursday.