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Originally posted on
Jon Rappoport's Blog:
by Jon Rappoport July 16, 2018 (To join our email list, click here.) For 30 years, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) broke the law regarding vaccine safety, and no one noticed or cared. Then two men came along and discovered the scandal: Robert F
In April this year, the NSW Government established an Upper House inquiry to examine the price of fresh food in New South Wales, compared to trends in the domestic and international markets. The inquiry aimed to consider the financial relationships between producers, retailers and consumers, as well as state-based issues of food insecurity, market competition and environmental impacts of industry pricing. The committee for this inquiry asked interested stakeholders and community members to make submissions, after which public hearings were held.
AFSA's key recommendations from our submission (HERE) have a focus on people's right to food, increased research about and support of CSA models and the building of resilience within agricultural communities by reducing inputs, increasing on-farm diversity, protecting valuable farm land and mitigating vulnerability to climate change by targeting funding and support for more resilient systems such as regenerative agriculture.
Summary of Key Recommendations:
The performance of the president of the United States in Europe over the past week left Europeans dumbfounded, shaken and at least on trade, rightfully anxious about the future. Donald Trump has once again threatened Europeans with tariffs in the one sector that hurts (Germans especially) the most the automotive industry. Since his election, Americas new protectionism certainly makes Europeans feel isolated on issues of trade and the defense of liberal values.
Yet what Europeans often forget is that this is not the case. Europe is not the last man standing. Japan, Australia, India and Canada are all still very much part of our community of shared values.
By Harry Nedelcu
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shakes hands with European Council President Donald Tusk as European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker looks on after the signing of a Japan-EU trade deal in Tokyo on Tuesday. | AFP-JIJI
How we strengthen this community, will depend on the way Europeans will capitalize on the visit of Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk to Tokyo this week. This visit can take two different paths. One is the path of diplomatic niceties, signing agreements, and smiling and posing for pictures. Following the storm caused by Trump in Brussels and London, that was a welcome respite, to be sure. The other path goes far beyond and can turn our relationship into something much more enduring and ambitious.
This means not just finalizing the trade agreement and strategic partnership, but seizing the moment and using it as a springboard for setting together global standards on a number of issues such as trade, climate change, security policy, rule-of-law, cyber and data flows as well as data protection.
At the same time, many Europeans, who seem to have resigned themselves to the fact that destiny shall be set by China, need to ask the question why not also by cooperation with like-minded countries like Japan?
Many in Europe look at Beijings Belt and Road initiative (BRI) both as an opportunity but also as a Trojan horse. Europeans are not sure how to handle it. On one hand they welcome Chinese investments. On the other, they realize that with these investments, China is pursuing a meticulous strategic goal, acquiring key infrastructure and technological know-how. Chinas investments in Europe has increased exponentially 10 times from 2008 to 2015 and another 70 percent the year after.
Over the past year, many have awoken to the dangers that Chinese foreign direct investment carri...
Bare breasts are in my face, the strippers top hanging loosely from the bar stool next to me.
I feel like Ive descended into hell.
The room is bathed in a red glow, like fire is enveloping the place, while disco balls spin delicately from above, illuminating men who watch the main stage with fervent eyes. The bartenders are idle in comparison, wiping down clean glasses to waste away the night, or ducking in and out of the shadows, serving drinks. I run a finger along our table sticky. I clear my throat and gear up for my first question.
Candy picks up her glass of wine with her well-manicured fingers.
Money, she says.
No other reasons for why youre here? I ask her.
I then hear the hypocrisy in my own question. Why am I here?
I clutch the cross around my neck and wonder if I can hold my university tutor accountable for when God looks at me disapprovingly in heaven.
I inadvertently stare at Candys breasts again. Thirty minutes ago, I was in a prayer meeting, worshipping Jesus. Now, Im surrounded by nude women and drunk men. Is this really worth it for a single university assignment?
Im also here because this job is fun. Entertaining is a big part of the game when youre not teasing your client, Candy says. She looks me in the eyes before asking me her next question: But why are you here?
I ignore her accusatory tone and tell her Im writing a story on a program that seeks to transition strippers out of their industry and into safe and secure employment.
What I leave out is my meeting with my tutor from the day before, who read over the first draft of my feature article. With a look that implied Im inexperienced and committing a deadly journalistic sin, she said, Your story isnt objective. You need to go to a strip club if you want this story to pass.
Her words took me by surprise. Me? In a strip club? I wanted to shake my cross in her face and call her ill-informed. Doesnt she know Im a woman of faith?
I pictured a number of scenarios playing out in real life mistakenly walking into a brothel and not a strip club, fai...
One of the last remaining towns in New South Wales without
fluoridation has decided to add it to its drinking
The Oberon Council on the state's central tablelands has voted five-to-three to add fluoride to the town's supply after several months of heated debate and campaigning.
It is one of eight local governments in NSW, out of more than 100 local councils in the state, that has been asked to consider fluoridation by Health Minister Brad Hazzard..........
Thursday 19 July will mark five years of limbo and suffering for over 1650 men, women and children indefinitely imprisoned in the Turnbull Governments refugee camps on Manus Island and Nauru.
The group includes 124 children, 40 of whom have spent their entire lives warehoused in offshore detention.
Daniel Webb, Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre who has visited Manus Island three times, said that after five years of misery, suffering and death, it was well and truly time for the Turnbull Government to move every single person out of these offshore camps.
Five years is absolutely huge in the life of a child. These kids should be free and full of curiosity and hope. Instead, they are growing up surrounded by suffering and despair. Children as young as 10 are trying to kill themselves, said Mr Webb.
Whatever the question, continuing to wreck the lives of these 124 children is not the answer.
On 19 July 2013, the Rudd Government announced that anyone arriving by boat would be deported to indefinite offshore detention. Five years on, the Turnbull Government continues to detain over 870 men, women and children on Nauru and over 780 men are still languishing on Manus Island.
Its been five long, painful years. Women have been sexually assaulted. Children have been so traumatised that they have needed urgent psychiatric care. Twelve people have died. Such deliberate and sustained cruelty to innocent human beings is fundamentally wrong, said Mr Webb.
In November 2016 the Government announced its US resettlement deal with the Obama Administration agreeing to resettle a maximum of 1250 people detained on Manus and Nauru. However, almost two years after the agreement was announced only around 300 people have been resettled and Trump has made no secret of his disdain for the deal.
Mr Webb said that even if the US deal is eventually fully implemented there will still be around 800 people left behind on Manus and Nauru with no end or solution in sight.
When you look at the numbers its clear that the US deal is nowhere near enough. This dark chapter does not close until every single man, woman and child on Manus and Nauru is finally rebuilding their lives in safety, said Mr Webb.
Our Government cant just imprison people on remote islands forever. These men, women and children deserve a future. After five long years, enough is enough.
For interviews please call:
Michelle Bennett, Director of Communications, Human Rights Law Centre, 0419 100 519
On Friday, Canadian alt-right YouTuber and activist Lauren Southern will host the Melbourne leg of her national speaking tour, alongside fellow alt-right YouTuber and compatriot Stefan Molyneux. Southerns video announcing her tour really tries to bring the drama: You guys are at a crossroads. Do you want to retain your culture your borders, family, identity? Or will the boats keep coming, the no-go zones keep growing and will you become another victim of multiculturalism?
On 6 July the Associated Press (AP) Agency referred to official information sources from Australia and New Zealand in its announcement stating that during the upcoming Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in September of this year, representatives from Australia and New Zealand are set to sign a new security agreement with other PIF members, with the agreement factoring in Chinas increasing influence in the region.
However, statements, made by ministers of foreign affairs of Australia and New Zealand, concerning this issue were expressed using fairly general and cautious language towards China and did not contain any concrete information about the future document.
It is worth reminding the readers that the Forum (given with its current name in 2000) was established in 1971 thanks to the efforts by two of its key members, Australia and New Zealand. At present, aside from the previously mentioned nations, it includes16 independent island nations of the Pacific Ocean.
Other than establishing cooperation means in the economic sphere, PIFs key function includes agreeing on joint security measures, whose core document was the so called Biketawa Declaration (named after one of the Kiribati islands), approved during a scheduled Pacific Islands Forum in 2000.
According to this Declaration, Australia and New Zealand, as guarantors of security of PIF members, have the right to base their military forces in any of the PI territories with the aim of ensuring internal political stability there.
PIF continues to bear the hallmarks of an organization established at times of the Cold War, when it was part of ANZUS (Australia+New Zealand+United States), one of the key military political alliances created by the USA in order to contain the spread of communism in the Indo-Pacific.
In 2000s the reasons for retaining the security aspects within PIFs functions were updated and included the need to combat the emerging issue of terrorism.
Notably, at that time Chinas transformation into the second super-power and key US geopolitical rival was in its infancy stages. There was still hope to incorporate China into the US-centered world order, which is why naming Beijing as the key reason for retaining the long-established military political structures in the Indo-Pacific....
There are interesting parallels between the Congressional Hearings of DC Swamp Dwellers from 2016 to the present, and those of Mafia characters following the Valachi Hearings of 1963 from bribing, blackmailing and owning the alleged Authority and the alleged upholders of Law and Order.
The Old Wild West were safer eras. At least at that time you could dispense with the enemy (individually or by civil uprising) before what evolved as The State protecting The Enemy of The People under the guise of Protecting...
TERRIBLE SHORTEN Bill Shorten wants you to think Labor won't destroy Aussie jobs But as Workplace Minister in the Gillard Government Shorten gave away more than 68,000 Australian jobs to foreigners It's time Bill Shorten's LIES were exposed#auspol #LongmanVotes #Longman pic.twitter.com/6SvfXiDqHr Pauline Hanson (@PaulineHansonOz) July 17, 2018
Collaborations are difficult beasts to navigate at the best of times. When collaborators are coming from very different worlds, from very different ways of experiencing and understanding and making, the dynamic becomes all that more complicated, and all that more compelling.
This bloke is shameless. Anyone care to help remind Bill of some of his more spectacular AWU efforts on the rates-of-pay / contractors front? Its an early start for the workers at Suez Waste Management - a business which pays labour hire workers the same rates as those directly employed....
Woulda, coulda, shoulda. I think I might push a peanut with my nose from Bourke Street to the Sydney Opera House if this gets up. Here's The Australian with Sam Hutchinson's optimistic take on the Ashton sophistry. Victoria Labor could face criminal investigation over Red Shirt rorts Victorian Chief Police...
https://theconversation.com/australias-nuclear-testing-before-the-1956-olympics-in-melbourne-should-be-a-red-flag-for-fukushima-in-2020-85787 Part time tutor in Medical Education, University of Dundee October 19, 2017
The scheduling of Tokyo 2020 Olympic events at Fukushima is being seen as a public relations exercise to dampen fears over continuing radioactivity from the reactor explosion that followed the massive earthquake six years ago.
It brings to mind the British atomic bomb tests in Australia that continued until a month before the opening of the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne despite the known dangers of fallout travelling from the testing site at Maralinga to cities in the east. And it reminds us of the collusion between scientists and politicians British and Australian to cover up the flawed decision-making that led to continued testing until the eve of the Games.
Australias prime minister Robert Menzies agreed to atomic testing in December 1949. Ten months earlier, Melbourne had secured the 1956 Olympics even though the equestrian events would have to be held in Stockholm because of Australias strict horse quarantine regimes.
The equestrians were well out of it. Large areas of grazing land and therefore the food supplies of major cities such as Melbourne were covered with a light layer of radiation fallout from the...
Blockchain and investment company Decentralised Capital has announced the launch of Australias first ever cold storage vault for digital assets. The vault was created in partnership with Custodian Vaults, a subsidiary of precious metals firm Pallion Group. According to Stephen Moss, founder and director of Decentralised Capital, the new crypto vault is expected to take Continued
The post Decentralised Capital Launches Australias First Cryptocurrency Vault appeared first on CCN
Brad Norington in The Australian today: Senator Kitching loses more than half of followers after Twitter purge Labor senator Kimberley Kitching has lost more than half of her Twitter followers. Picture: AAP The Australian 12:00AM July 18, 2018 ASSOCIATE EDITOR @BradNorington Victorian Labor senator and close Bill Shorten ally Kimberley...
Why did so many working class voters choose a selfish, thin-skinned, petulant, lying, narcissistic, boastful, megalomaniac for president? Its important to know, because we need to stop more Trumps in the future. The answer lies in the interplay between deep-seated racism and stagnant and declining wages. Both must be addressed.
Why did so many working class voters choose a selfish, thin-skinned, petulant, lying, narcissistic, boastful, megalomaniac for president? Its important to know, because we need to stop more Trumps in the future. The answer lies in the interplay between deep-seated racism and stagnant and declining wages. Both must be addressed.
Posted by Class in Session on Monday, July 2, 2018
The post Video: Robert Reich on how to prevent future Trumps appeared first on The Pen.
BRISBANE, AAP Adani is close to locking in the finance for a rail line to service its $16.5 billion proposed Queensland coal mine, the son of the companys owner says.
Karan Adani, who is the CEO of the Indian groups ports business, made the revelation during a video interview with The Economic Times of India.
We have completed the financing of the mine, the port is already operational. Now we are just closing on the financing on the rail part, he said on Tuesday.
So once that is done we will start.
Mr Adani stressed the company had all of the necessary government and environmental approvals related to the Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin in central Queensland.
The rail financing for the project was almost $US1 billion, he said.
The rail line is needed to move coal from the mine to Abbot Point port, which is being expanded.
There had been questions over the rail financing after Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk last year vetoed a $1 billion federal government loan to Adani for the project.
Previously, Australias big four banks refused to put up money for the mine, forcing the company to look for funding overseas.
The state Labor government has imposed more than 240 conditions on the Carmichael coal mine project, 132 of which relate to water conditions.
A month ago, the government also insisted Adani find the source of local groundwater before it signs off on the water management plan for the mine.
About 5 minutes or so in. "Full faith and support for America's intelligence agencies". "I accept our intelligence agencies' conclusion that Russian meddling in the 2016 election took place - there could be other people also". "There was no collusion at all". "I've reviewed the transcript of one answer that...
Baltimore, Maryland U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced former Maryland State Senator Nathaniel Thomas Oaks, age 71, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to 42 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for one count of wire fraud and one count of honest services wire fraud. Judge...
Although terrorism has become a term our media, state officials, and politicians have grown accustomed to throw around an expression, more often than not, of their respective world views, the word has yet to be defined objectively, and more to the point under terms the international community as a whole could get behind.
Terrorism, because of its intrinsec subjective nature sits today a euphemism for political coercion the covert expression of political thoughts, powers seek to impose through violence and bloodshed while arguing impunity. A political label used to single out those deemed unfit, unworthy, or altogether unwelcomed, the word terrorism has been often grossly misused to reflect opinions as opposed to facts.
Just as beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, terrorism is tied up to ones subjectivity and political interests.
Admitting to such impartiality in judging what constitutes terrorism, or rather, what makes a group a terrorist entity, does not take away from its nature. Terrorism exists outside moral and ethic. It stands in a space of rationalised violence and crimes to serve hegemonic ambitions. Whomever wields it, stands indeed guilty particularly those hands which, from behind convenient curtains play patrons to Terror.
The real issue lies not so much in the existence of terrorism like war, it is a reality the world has had to contend with for as long as memory stretches, but in our inability to recognise Terror for what it is at its core today: a global political tool of oppression, a mean to distort truths, and a weapon used to malign designated enemies by rallying public opinion against them.
Professor Jonathan Matusitz from the Nicholson School of Communication in the United States defines terrorism as follow:
There are man...
A new study makes a significant contribution to the growing body of research showing that recognizing the land rights of and partnering with indigenous peoples can greatly benefit conservation efforts. The dearth of reliable data on Indigenous Peoples lands in many parts of the world has implications not only for securing their rights but also for the conservation and management of a significant proportion of terrestrial global biodiversity, the authors of the study, led by Professor Stephen Garnett of Charles Darwin University in Australia, write in the journal Nature Sustainability. Garnett and team sought to address this knowledge gap by producing a map of the terrestrial lands managed or owned by indigenous peoples across the globe, which in turn allowed them to assess the extent to which Indigenous Peoples stewardship and global conservation values intersect and provide a first estimation of the overlap between Indigenous Peoples terrestrial lands and protected areas. While recognizing the rights of indigenous peoples to their traditional lands and waters is increasingly coming to be seen as an ethical obligation, the authors of the study say their results provide evidence that it is also essential to meeting local and global conservation goals and that more collaborative partnerships between indigenous peoples and governments would yield substantial benefits for efforts to conserve high-priority landscapes, ecosystems, and biodiversity. An indigenous woman and baobabs in a dry forest near Morondava, Madagascar. Photo by Joan de la Malla. About 370 million people around the world define themselves as Indigenous, are descended
I had to check to make sure I had the name of the medal I proudly wear correct - it's the "Australian Defence Medal", but as you see above, it says "FOR SERVICE" on the back. Trevor Ruthenberg's parliamentary bio said he had the "Australian Service Medal". He should have...
The Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin meeting in Helsinki attracted a hell of a lot of publicity for the wrong thing. All attention was on how Trump dealt with the alleged Russian interference in the American election. There were other and more important issues that deserved attention.
Before going on, it may be useful to explain something of the context of the interference issue. It is probable that the Russians did have a hand in the help along the result of the election that saw Trump into the White House. There is nothing strange or new in this.
The United states has interfered in Russia for many decades. Congress has been financing opposition political groups. The CIA run endowment for Democracy and other agencies have been sending their people in to train Russian politicians and direct political strategy. All this is documented, and it is not denied.
In comes Hilary Clinton. She has a history of being particularly hostile to Russia. The number one contributor to her election campaign was George Soros, and his core political activity is what is now generally termed as carrying out regime change in Russia. Backing Clinton was highly likely to involve an understanding that as President, she would give a helping hand.
Form this point of view, the Russians had a clear incentive to not want Clinton in the White House and to prefer Trump.
But at the end of the day, Trump got up, not because of the Russians, but because of the economic and political conditions, plus the fact that Hilary Clinton was not a good candidate. Voters preferred those who they thought were anti-establishment. Most opponents of Trump went for Bernie Sanders. The way the Democrat leadership treated him turned many away from Clinton.
The over exaggeration of Russian interference serves to bury these truths under the carpet and evade the important issues.
At Helsinki, talks involved important topics like nuclear arms control, Syria, Crimea and the Ukraine, global trade and China. All these issues are immeasurably more important than the alleged Russian interference, and the world sorely needs significant progress on all fronts.
At their joint press conference, the two leaders said very little about the results of their talk, and most of the mainstream media could not care less and failed to report on this.
The absence of a concrete agreement shows that the gulf between the two sides remains too big. The Russians have an interest in not being left in the cold and the removal of trade restrictions in place against them. From Trumps point of view, there is an interest in driving a wedge between Russia and China. Trump also seeks to break down barriers to American penetration into Europe, and this added an extra dime...
How the hell could they miss that? Much media debunking of Trump DNC server comments. Politifact says 'False'; Politico says 'unmoored from reality.' But DNC did not, in fact, turn over server(s), no? Maybe that's unimportant; yes, there's other evidence. But did DNC hand over servers or not? From Comey...
Former President Obama: I believe in Nelson Mandelas vision. I believe in a vision shared by Gandhi and King and Abraham Lincoln. I believe in a vision... built on the premise that all people are created equal and theyre endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights." pic.twitter.com/m8lnutnkCH CNN...
REPORTER: Are you afraid to go out to restaurants in Melbourne? PYNE: No, why? Should I be? REPORTER: Well the PM says colleagues have told him PYNE: Oh, because of the gangs, the violence pic.twitter.com/W41YggbM7N Henry Belot (@Henry_Belot) July 17, 2018
Last Sunday night, Oregon resident Lauren Taylor entered her
living room and was met with quite the unusual surprise.
A pair of yellow-brown eyes was staring up at her from behind the couch.
It was a mountain lion.
Credit: Facebook/Lauren TaylorApparently, someone had left the back door open, and the curious cat had wandered right in after drinking from a fountain in the yard. Taylors housemate noticed the animal first and shrieked, causing the lion to retreat behind the couch.
Credit: Facebook/Lauren Taylor[Originally] the lion was frightened, agitated and determined to exit through a closed window, Taylor wrote on Facebook. Once the energy shifted, she calmed down.
This music video from Europe says about itself:
Animal body coverings song
9 January 2016
Simple video used to teach students who are ELLs [Euroleague for Life Sciences] about different animal body coverings: feathers, skin, scales, or fur.
Music taken from Dommo107/Universal Music Corporation.
From the University of Virginia in the USA:
July 17, 2018
When sea creatures first began crawling and slithering onto land about 385 million years ago, they carried with them their body armor: scales. Fossil evidence shows that the earliest land animals retained scales as a protective feature as they evolved to flourish on terra firma.
But as time passed, and species diversified, animals began to shed the heavy scales from their ocean heritage and replace them with fur, hair and feathers.
Today the molecular mechanisms of scale development in fish remain remarkably similar to the mechanisms that also produce feathers on birds, fur on dogs and hair on humans suggesting a common evolutionary origin for countless vastly different skin appendages.
Weve found that the molecular pathways that underlie development of scales, hair...
Richard Keeble is one of Britains leading journalism academics and hes taught at the University of Lincoln for many years. Author of seminal books on reporting, his latest, just released work is co-edited with John Mair and its called, Investigative Journalism Today: Speaking Truth to Power. It features a range of writers exploring the importance of investigative work from the English and non-English speaking world:
Rumours of the death of investigative journalism have been greatly exaggerated. This book is proof enough of that. Examples from the corporate and alternative media across the globe highlight the many imaginative and courageous ways that reporters are still kicking at the right targets.
Im honoured that Keebles chapter positively interrogates my work, especially around disaster capitalism, and hes allowed me to post it here: keebleloewensteinchapter
From the introduction:
Antony Loewenstein is an Australian investigative reporter, freelance author, photographer, blogger and campaigner. He has written for a wide range of publications both mainstream and alternative such as the Guardian, New York Times, Washington Post, Green Left Weekly, New Matilda and Counterpunch. His books include My Israel Question (2006) and The Blogging Revolution (2008 and 2011). His 2010 ABC Radio National feature documentary, A Different Kind of Jew, was a finalist in the UN Media Peace Awards. And his book, Profits of Doom: How Vulture Capitalism Swallowing the World (2013) has been followed up with a documentary film, Disaster Capitalism, about aid, development and politics in Afghanistan, Haiti and Papua New Guinea.
Profits of Doom also serves as a useful case study to examine Loewensteins investigative strategy in more detail. As this chapter will argue, Loewenstein draws creatively from a wide range of genres peace journalism, investigative reporting, literary, long-form journalism, counter journalism and activist reporting making his reportage both important and original. In particular, the study will focus on his investigative techniques, his ideological/political attitude and his distinctive investigative writing style.
Today NGO Digital Rights Watch launched an important campaign that I was asked to support. Very happy to:
Today, a global coalition led by civil society and technology experts sent a letter asking the government of Australia to abandon plans to introduce legislation that would undermine strong encryption. The letter calls on government officials to become proponents of digital security and work collaboratively to help law enforcement adapt to the digital era.
In July 2017, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull held a press conference to announce that the government was drafting legislation that would compel device manufacturers to assist law enforcement in accessing encrypted information. In May of this year, Minister for Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity Angus Taylor restated the governments priority to introduce legislation and traveled to the United States to speak with companies based there.
Todays letter (download here) signed by 76 organisations, companies, and individuals, asks leaders in the government not to pursue legislation that would undermine tools, policies, and technologies critical to protecting individual rights, safeguarding the economy, and providing security both in Australia and around the world.
This is a really important issue for anyone who uses the internet to shop, bank or communicate so basically everyone. Strong encryption is essential to the modern Australian economy, and it would be a mistake to deliberately weaken it, said Tim Singleton Norton, chair of Digital Rights Watch.
A team of biologists researching sea snakes in the mining town of Weipa in Australias remote Cape York Peninsula have accidentally discovered a venomous snake thats new to science. The black-and-white snake, now named Vermicella parscauda or the Cape York bandy-bandy, belongs to a group of snakes called bandy-bandies that live in burrows and feed on a specialized diet of blind snakes. So far, scientists know of only five species of bandy bandies, all found in Australia. The hoop snake (Vermicella annulata) is the most commonly encountered bandy-bandy, the researchers report in a study published in Zootaxa. Since bandy-bandies are burrowing snakes, the sight of a small one on a concrete block by the sea surprised Bryan Fry, an associate professor at the University of Queensland, and his colleague Freek Vonk from the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in the Netherlands. We later discovered that the snake had slithered over from a pile of bauxite rubble [that was] waiting to be loaded onto a ship, Fry said in a statement. Bryan Fry, an associate professor at the University of Queensland, searching for snakes near Weipa, Queensland. Image courtesy of Bryan Fry. Frys team found another snake of the same kind near Weipa, and spotted another dead individual that had been run over by a car near the bauxite mine. They found two more specimens of the snake in museum collections, resulting in five specimens from the same small area. On examination by my student, Chantelle Derez, the bandy-bandy turned out to be a new species, visually
A director at big four accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) in Australia has quit the firm to join crypto exchange bitcoin.com.au as its newest CEO. Ben Ingram left PwC Australia back in March, where he was responsible for digital strategy, accounting and consulting, as its director before taking over the exchange as its chief executive, Business Continued
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Bill Browder has described himself as Putins No 1 enemy. Now the Russian president had added weight to that claim by singling out the British investor at his controversial summit with Donald Trump on Monday.
The UK-based financier appeared to be part of what the US president called an incredible offer by Vladimir Putin to assist American investigators in their prosecution of 12 Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking crimes during the 2016 presidential election season.
He offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators with respect to the 12 people, Mr Trump told reporters during a news conference in Helsinki following his joint summit with
Read the rest (Paywall):
ABC News (Australia)
The man who helped blow the whistle on rampant corruption in Moscow and has been described as Vladimir Putins number one enemy has blasted Donald Trumps meeting with the Russian President, saying Mr Putin should be severely contained, not engaged.
Bill Browder who is the CEO of Hermitage Capital Management once ran Russias most successful investment fund, but in 2005 he was declared an enemy of the state for his part in exposing massive corruption to the tune of more than $300 million.
Now Mr Browder who is a lobbyist for the Magnitsky Act, a law that punishes Russian human rights violators has found himself at the centre of negotiations between Mr Trump and Vladimir Putin...
by Dee McLachlan
Presidents Putin and Trump met for about two hours in Helsinki, Finland. It was a cordial and cooperative meeting. But the MSM and their followers wanted Trump to draw blood. With the World Cup over, they wanted a Shirtfronting as Tony Abbott had promised, but failed to deliver, back in 2014.
Its been cold here in Brisbane for the last few days, at least by our subtropical standards, with overnight minimums of 6 degrees in the city, and negative temperatures in towns like Stanthorpe in the nearby Granite Belt. That occasioned lots of news coverage, with the observation that this was the coldest temperature weve had since 2014 and one of the coldest since 2000. The same was true for much of Eastern Australia. Melbourne had its coldest morning in several years, and a couple of towns in NSW had the lowest minimum for several decades.
All of these are records in the trivial sense that we record the temperature every day, but none of them are records in the commonly used sense of lowest (or highest) value in the relevant record. That didnt stop the usual denialist suspects claiming a RECORD (all caps in original) and evidence of global cooling. The Daily Mail claimed Australias east coast shivers through its coldest EVER morning even though the sub-headlines made it clear this wasnt true.
Whats striking here is that the same people who are willing to claim that the Bureau of Meteorology is part of a world-wide warmist conspiracy to doctor climate records are eagerly credulous about any piece of data that suits their case. Next time we get record heat, the conspiracy theories will be wheeled out again, but for now the Bureau is an unquestionable source of scientific evidence.
To take this news a little more seriously, its important to remember that there are vast numbers of records that can potentially be broken on any given day highest and lowest maxima and minima, for a given month, in any location where weather is recorded. That means we need either to confine attention to a limited number of records most obviously mean global temperatures or look at statistical measures, such as the relative frequency of new records for cold and heat. Both of these measures give the answer that is by now obvious* from experience: the climate globally and Australia is getting warmer.
The promise of sanctuary offered to Gileads refugees on arrival across the border is a sad fiction for real women fleeing persecution in todays world, writes Katie Robertson.
This season of The Handmaids Tale has made for brutally compelling viewing. Edge of your seat, white knuckled, gut-wrenching viewing.
The attempts by the lead characters to flee Gilead throughout the series have been some of the most agonising and suspenseful plot lines to endure. Each time we thought a pregnant June might just make it weve been left shaken and deflated (not least when she divided viewers by refusing to get into the escape vehicle in last weeks season finale).
We share Emilys elated disbelief as she realises shes going to get out. We held our breath last season as Moira made the final sprint over the Canadian border and slumped down with exhausted relief in the snow.
These women endure unspeakable horror, violence and repression Under His Eye. But if theres one glimmer of hope that exists throughout the monotonous brutality of The Handmaids Tale, it is the characters ever-present assumption that sanctuary can be found in a fictionalised neighbouring Canada, if only they can make it across the border.
But what if this assumption was wrong? What if the Handmaids were prevented from crossing the border, not by the Guardians of Gilead but by the Canadian Border Force, mandated to push them back from where they came? Or if they did manage to make it across they were immediately imprisoned on their arrival, separated from their children or forcibly removed and indefinitely detained on a small desolate island in the middle of the ocean?Asylum seekers on Nauru protest their indefinite incarceration.
Theres no doubting this adaption of Margaret Atwoods 1985 novel has resonated with huge audiences, particularly women, who have been both captured and horrified by the eerie dystopian world it so masterfully depicts. The show grips us so tightly because although Gilead seems alien at first glance, the gradual changes that we see evolving in pre-Gilead America are frighteningly recognisable....
DFAT was due to respond to me by cob yesterday, 16 July. There's been nothing. Just crickets and tumbleweeds. Here's their 19 June 2018 email acknowledging my application and setting out the timeline for their response. Some of my articles on this matter are in the links at the tail...
You wont believe the rates of sexual harassment of hospitality workers in Australia. Cassandra Taylor breaks it down.
The pay packets of Australias hospitality workers took a hit last fortnight as a further drop in penalty rates came into effect on 1 July. For the second year in a row, these penalty rates will be reduced as a result of a controversial Fair Work Commission decision last year, which also impacted the pharmacy, fast food and retail industries. The practical impact of this change is that some of Australias most vulnerable workers will become more reliant on tips and, in turn, more likely at risk of workplace sexual harassment.
A recent survey by HospoVoice revealed that 89% of hospitality workers have been sexually harassed at work, and 19% have been sexually assaulted. For many who have worked in hospitality, including myself, it may even come as a shock that 11% were spared this humiliation.
Whilst at university, I worked in a shoe store, a caf, a restaurant, a bar, a bowling alley and a pub. I had my arse grabbed by my boss, received an unwelcome kiss from a customer and was subjected to more inappropriate comments than I can recall. I smiled and laughed it off, never complained, and received great tips.
The culture at one venue I worked at, on and off, for six years was particularly sexually hostile. We were told to only keep CVs handed in by attractive girls, and throw all others in the bin. Every December, we had to wear tight red t-shirts with Merry Christmas written across the bust in green. There were usually only sizes small and extra small to choose from, and the extra small ones were always left to the unlucky last picks.
Working in the gaming room, our job was to flirt with creepy old pokie addicts, bring them free food and do whatever we could to keep them playing. We always got the best tips in the gaming room and, at the time, this seemed enough to justify the wandering hands we were subjected to.
Looking back, I sometimes wonder why I put up with it. I think part of me didnt think it was serious enough to make a big deal of it happened almost every shift, and I witnessed my workmates experience far worse. But part of me kept quiet because I knew that if I spoke up, I would lose my shifts to someone who didnt. Besides, I knew that grinning and bearing it resulted in better tips and, as a uni student, every dollar counted.
The normalisation of sexual harassment in the workplace for the many men and women who start out their working lives in the hospitality industry has flow on effects for all Australian workplaces. There is a real misunderstanding of the types of behaviour that amount to sexual harassment in Australian workplaces, and this acts as a barrier to reporting.
The most recent telephone survey conducted by...
I joined the Army with John in 1978 and have been in constant contact with him since - he's a great soldier, a patriot and not at all political. John has been tireless in outing imposters - the last thing he'd do is downplay the misuse of honours or awards.
Peterson is urbane and respectable, emblematic of what British writer Olivia Laing has called the endless malice of the polite right. Just crazy enough, in Jon Ronsons phrase, to ensure media interest, but sufficiently intellectual-sounding to attract an audience for whom a brazen bigot like Yiannopoulos would be on the nose.
This is Bill Browder. "Vladimir Putin is effectively a war criminal - this is a guy who should be contained, not engaged" - watch the full interview with 'Putin's number one enemy' @Billbrowder tonight on The World's special coverage of the Donald Trump/Vladimir Putin Summit. @bevvo14 #ABCTheWorld pic.twitter.com/7HoeMkS1y8 ABC...
15 July 2018 Dear Ms Guthrie Im writing about the conduct of RN Breakfasts weekly commentator, Paul Bongiorno. Mr Bongiorno is a regular contributor to ABC Radio National on the RN Breakfast program and promoted by the ABC as key talent on ABCs website: www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/politics/9147810 On 8 July 2018, in...
Julian Assange has won a significant new victory in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, based in Costa Rica. The Court handles cases relating to human rights relating to members of the Organisation of American States (OAS).
Assange benefits from this. The Court determined that it is the duty of nations to allow the passage of successful asylum seekers from embassies to the mainland territory of the state. That has granted the individual asylum.
It means that both Ecuador and Britain have a legal duty to allow Assange to leave the Embassy in London, without arrest, and be guarantee safe transit to Ecuador.
The decision is based on the American Convention on Human Rights and article XXVII of the American Declaration of Rights and Duties of Man. The Court concluded, that the right to seek and receive asylum and receive protection in a foreign country are human rights. Refugee status is defined under United Nations Instruments and corresponding national laws. The court rules that the conventions also apply to third states.
There is no guarantee that Britain will comply. Prior decisions made by international bodies over the Assange case have been ignored. the policy to arrest him and hand him over to the United States has remained, to be tried for treason remains. The fact that Assange is not an American Citizen has not made any difference. What might make some difference is that as government reeling form internal division, its mishandling of Brexit and immensely unpopular, does not need further international embarrassment. At the least, the case to pursue Assange has been weakened further.
But it might be important in regard to how Ecuador is going to react. When Julian Assange first entered the Embassy, the government of this country was sympathetic, allowed him refuge and gave him Ecuadoran citizenship. The current government is much less sympathetic, has a warmer relationship with the United states, and is being pressured by the United States, Britain and Spain to hand him over. A decision has been eminent.
The ruling by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights means that Ecuador is now pressured, to not hand over Assange. At the very least, the stalemate looks like continuing.
The post Julian Assange wins a legal victory but for now remains holed up in the Ecuadoran Embassy appeared first on The Pen.
Australias Murray Darling basin covers more than a million square kilometers, 14 percent of the countrys landmass. Its the site of tens of thousands of wetlands, but increasing demand for water has stretched its resources to the limit. Many of the basins wetlands and floodplain forests are declining several former wetlands and forests have even been consumed by bushfires, which are becoming more frequent every year. Yet when Australian officials sought to introduce strict water allocation rules, they met with fierce resistance from farmers in the region who depend on irrigation for their livelihood. This is just one example of the ongoing conflicts over ecological water allocations featured in a new report released by the Global Forest Expert Panel (GFEP) on Forests and Water, an initiative led by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO). More than seven-and-a-half billion humans currently occupy planet Earth together with an estimated three trillion trees, and both of these populations require water. According to the GFEP report, the growing human population and climate change are exacerbating a looming global water crisis that has already hit home in places like the Murray Darling basin but the crisis could potentially be averted if humans paid more attention to the links between forests and water. This international effort to highlight the interlinkages between forests, water, people and climate is very timely, given the pressures we now face on both human society and natural ecosystems, Caroline Sullivan, an environmental economist at Australias Southern Cross University
The post Kite Line: Anti-Detention Occupations from Australia to America, Part Two appeared first on It's Going Down.
Listen and Download HERE
Last week, Aren Aizura guided us through the history of colonialism in Australia, including racist measures to control non-white immigration, and later, in the 1980s, the implementation of mandatory detention for refugees. He focused on his experiences in an occupation outside the remote Woomera Detention Center, and the way that supporters on the outside grew in numbers, intensifying pressure on the authorities. Now, he walks us through the 2002 mass breakout of refugees there, all the way through the following standoff and its aftermath.
As we reflect on the inspiring actions at Woomera, we are also tracking the occupations underway across the US right now. Occupy ICE in Portland has been subjected to a brutal eviction, during which police shot occupiers with pepperballs at close range. Likewise, there was a mass arrest in San Francisco, following more than a week of occupation outside the ICE regional headquarters which halted all deportations in northern California. Occupations continue in Los Angeles, Tacoma, and Louisville, as well as many other cities.
These images were made last week in a nice patch of bush that I havent visited before, an area of public land just to the east of Green Gully. Birds were scarce Scarlet Robins and Varied Sittellas were the highlight but I suspect there is more to be discovered.
A whale rescued from a shark net off the Gold Coast yesterday is the fourth humpback whale entangled in Queenslands shark nets this winter, prompting Humane Society International to call for their abolition.
Head of campaigns, Nicola Beynon, said the society was relieved to hear that the whale trapped on the Gold Coast has been freed, but extremely concerned by the distress it will have suffered.
Whale entanglements show the extreme folly of shark nets, because entangled whales can actually attract great white sharks to the area. Whale entanglements also pose a serious safety risk to the rescuers who work to free the animals, which defeats their purpose as a public safety measure, she said.
Commenting on the latest rescue, Sea Worlds curator of mammals and birds, Mitchell Leroy, said the rescue operations carried out by Sea World and the Department of Fisheries were incredibly dangerous.
The animal can panic and lash its tail out. They are massive heavy things and its very easy for them to destroy a boat and severely injure, if not kill people.
The society predicts more whales will be ensnared before the end of the migration season. After wintering in Queensland waters, the humpbacks are at even greater risk of shark net entanglement on their return journey when accompanied by their new-born calves and swimming closer to shore.
Last year there were eight humpback whales caught in Queensland shark nets, including a stillborn calf that was found after its mother was entangled in a net off Kurrawa Beach on the Gold Coast.
Ms Beynon said there are more effective ways to protect both marine and human life than lethal shark nets.
The Queensland government is stuck in the dark ages on this one, she added.
Whales are a star attraction for the Queensland tourism economy. The least the Queensland government could do is give them safe passage by removing these death traps, continued.
The usual suspects are now chorusing that multiculturalism has failed Australia. It is curious that every horse in the Murdoch stable has come out with this one at the same time.
Perhaps its something to do with backing one of News Corps favourite sons, Tony Abbott, and his campaign to cut immigration and population growth. Or its to do with getting other issues of the headlines. Australia is heading to a series of by-elections that might prove to be bit of a defining moment.
There is a sound argument for limiting the growth of Australias population. This is the driest continent on the planet and most of the land is not particularly fertile. This means that our water and food security are not limitless. And there is the matter of our collective impact on the environment.
These are worthy topics. They deserve comment elsewhere. The focus here is on multiculturalism. To come out and boldly state that the campaign against multiculturalism is stupid, is a good way to start. It is stupid, because it pretends that multiculturalism is some sort of policy that has been forced on Australia. It was never a policy, but a description of the reality of Australian society.
Multiculturalism is a term that came into common usage during the movement that emerged in the 1970s among Australian born, or whose parents were born overseas. It sought to overcome barriers to full participation in society. For many, English was a second language. It was hard to negotiate the prevailing social norms, deal with institutions and discrimination coming from some quarters. They fought for a range of services to help level the playing field and recognition of their contribution to Australia. They fought for a more inclusive Australia. Most of the population was no longer of British heritage. This is the time when the word multiculturalism came into common usage.
This does not mean that the Anglo-Celtic tradition should disappear. It is also part of who we are as a people and should be valued. But it exists within a context, and this too must be recognised.
In fact, Australia has been a society of mixed cultures since the First Fleet arrived and made contact with those who were already living here. The first settlement was built in a multicultural setting. Even among the Indigenous people there were a range of tribal and language groups, with their own cultures and traditions.
Diversity continued to expand. By the time of the Eureka rebellion, the mix had become far more complex. Irish, Italians, Chinese, Northern Europeans, and even a group of African American former slaves were there.
Sometimes it is a challenge to accept difference and change. But looking over the sweep of history, it is not hard to see...
A severe drought gripping much of rural Australia has become so intense that even native animals - fully adapted to the harsh environment - are starving to death. It has been the worst drought in 116 years for parts of New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and Queensland, leaving paddocks bare and drying up dams. And it isn't just the sheep and cows struggling to survive in the record dry - the Australian fauna which is supposed to thrive in Australia's dry climate is being hit hard. 'This is the worst drought I have seen in 40 years. Droughts come and go but this one is severe,' the farmer said. Tamworth has had 93.4mm of rain so far this year, which is a quarter of the average.
The crypto market is back to green after months of registering reds, dipping from their all-time highs. In reality, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Ripple did register decent register gains over the weekend. NEO also inched higher despite not getting 
The post Weekly Cryptocurrency Price Analysis: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, NEO, and XRP appeared first on The Global Mail.
The problem of plastic pollution has come to the fore, thanks to
the work of environmental groups who have highlighted the toll it
is taking on the oceans and marine life. Much of the damage comes
from the sheer volume of plastic items that are used just once and
then thrown away. This website by a
company called SLOActive that markets sustainable, eco-friendly
swimwear has data on the harm that plastics are doing and what we
can do to mitigate the damage. The numbers are staggering. About
1.15 to 2.41 million tons of plastic are said to annually enter the
worlds oceans via rivers.
The problem of microplastics, the tiny plastic particles that are created near the end point of the plastic degradation process, is now coming to the fore. As the website says:
Scientific research surveys have revealed that microplastics are widespread throughout the worlds oceans, and are having a negative impact on marine life, as well as the health of humans who rely on seafood as a staple protein source. Polystyrene beads and plastic pellets are not easily digested so tend to accumulate in the digestive tract of marine animals who consume them. This can result in the animal feeling full, causing it to stop feeding, leading to emaciation and ultimately death from starvation, or it can cause an intestinal blockage that can also be fatal. When a predator feeds on a fish that has a gut full of undigested polystyrene or plastic, this is passed on to the predator who in most cases will also have problems digesting it.
In Australia , two major retailers have stopped issuing plastic bags and some states have banned them. An Australian senate committee has issued a report recommending that all single use plastics be banned by the year 2023. Some US states and cities are also taking steps towards the elimination of single-use plastics. In the US, Starbucks has made a big media splash by vowing to eliminate plastic straws from its stores by 2020.
The two targets currently in the news are disposable plastic bags and plastic straws. In the US, stores hand out these bags far too readily. If you buy even a single small item, the cashier will immediately slip it into a plastic bag and give it to you and I have to ask them to take it out again and just give me the item and keep the bag. If I know I will be buying....
Aboriginal women are strong and resilient. They have wisdom and they have the answers, when will policy makers realise that #BecauseOfHerWeCan?
COMMENT: Mr. Armstrong; there are just people who refuse to believe that global warming is wrong. When there are cold spells like that here in Australia, they argue there are equally a number of warm spots. They are leading us down the tubes. They will not yield and even consider that they are wrong and if so, what is the consequence of such a mistake.
ANSWER: Yes, when something is against Global Warming that rebuts saying cold spots are not science. Some of these cold snaps have been very strange indeed. Yet when it is warm, suddenly it is science. It even got warm in Siberia. There are places that are normally a dessert that have suddenly burst with life. They refuse to consider the historical evidence that there have even been ice ages which implies that had to have also been warming periods way before the Industrial Age. They completely ignore the science of how ice ages are even created which takes place WHEN the ice at the North Pole melts and that allows water to evaporate and return as snow. They portray that when the ice melts, the oceans will rise and New York and Miami will be under water. They spin that as science which is just sophistry. In essence, they refuse to believe in the cyclical nature of everything. I suppose they al...
In 2017 I spent some time working with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA). While I developed a number of software tools in that role, what made me truly effective was the fact that I could develop everything open source. The amount of advice, pull requests, and feedback that I enthusiastically received from public experts was tremendous, and Im sure that this was helped in no small part by the fact that I was working for a high-profile humanitarian organisation.
Ever since then, Ive been thinking. What if I could do humanitarian open source outreach as a job?
Theres tremendous appeal to me for a paid outreach position; not only am I able to deliver more value than I could on my own, but theres also opportunities for me to learn, to teach, to further the careers of others, and to build communities. While Ive been privately offered positions as a developer evangelist at a number of companies, working in the humanitarian space is much more in line with my values.
Ive a lot that would qualify me for this role. Ive been writing and speaking about open source for decades. Ive launched and managed numerous successful open source projects in the past, the largest of whichthe Comprehensive Kerbal Archive Networkhas hundreds of contributors and hundreds of thousands of users. I thoroughly enjoy knowledge exchange of all sorts. And finally Im also a prominent public speaker, especially able to draw a large audience when it comes to technical and social matters. Alongside many technical talks, Ive also given presentations on open source and humanitarian efforts, mental health, and whether technology is making the world a better place.
Of course such a role would not be without its challenges. Structuring a project to maximise contributions and community growth often involves using different tools and methodologies than would be used for an internal project. My schedule tends to be choppy, as I travel a lot for conferences, but this also means Im able to do more outreach as I go. Im based in Australia, which can present its own time coordination challenges.
My ideal role would be be half to three-quarter time, based in Melbourne or remotely, and would have me developingand most importantly helping others developopen source tools in the humanitarian sector. Id be particularly happy with a system that involves scalable programmable voice, as Ive been working with that a lot recently, but Im well su...
On a late-night train, there was a girl. I faintly recall a scarf, round cheeks and bangs long enough that they caught on her eyelashes. Her hands fluttered to the cadence of her voice. Her leg was warm against mine.
I dont remember her name.
One of the senior girls from Osaka Universitys karate club had approached me and a fellow exchange student after Friday practice, explaining in simple Japanese that she and her friends were going out for dinner, and would we like to join them? At two months, we were the freshest white belts. We fumbled through pre-practice greetings and stilted conversation in the changing rooms, slowly picking up on the rhythm of punches and kicks that marked warm-up period. The members had been patient, but distant it was the first time theyd reached out outside of practice, and we took the chance eagerly.
Dinner was filled with half-understood questions and clumsy replies, mutual curiosity mowing away at any lingering awkwardness. By the time the December cold chased us into the last train home, we were conquering the space around us in an easy sprawl.
The only light were flashes. Passing houses and glowing signboards left shadows of blurred people. The bright interior of the train struck my brain. It became a place where time was irrelevant and place arbitrary.
I sunk into the heated seats like falling into the haze of sleep. A shoulder breached the invisible bubble I wore around me as the awkward foreigner.
Tell me more about your experience in Osaka.
My first impression of her in our glancing interactions was that she was shy. Sometimes she would make eye contact and then abort the mission. It seemed inevitable then, that our dinner conversation opened tentatively and small.
What are you majoring in? she asked. She handed me a pair of chopsticks. I nodded politely.
Comparative Literature, I replied, thankful Id had this conversation many times. Her eyes widened in obvious question.
Im taking a class in modern Japanese literature.
Recognising the olive branch for what it was, she peppered me for more details, filling in with yes and no questions so I could answer easier.
Oh, is the class interesting? Yes. Is the text in Japanese?...
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