Australian prime minister urges apology to Aborigines for past wrongs

Australia's new prime minister has renewed a pledge to officially apologize to the country's indigenous people for past injustices. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd promised after his November election victory to push Parliament for a formal apology to Aborigines, Australia's original inhabitants who are now an impoverished minority. "The key thing is to build a bridge with indigenous Australia through an apology, through saying sorry, because that bridge is a pathway to respect," Rudd told reporters Sunday. Rudd's call for reconciliation came during a national holiday weekend honoring the arrival of the first white settlers to Australia, an event that marked the start of profound disruption for Aborigines.