IndyWatch Bellingen NSW All Topics Summary Archiver

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Wednesday, 24 May

02:06

Remembering Roger Moore, the Suave James Bond With the Raised Eyebrow "IndyWatch Feed National"

Roger Moore as James Bond in a publicity still

In November 2005, Sir Roger Moore came to India as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador to promote not a film but iodised salt. A bit slow of gait and needing a bit of help every now and then, the man who played James Bond in the most films seven still retained his wit and charm and that famous incredulous style with which he played the character.

After Sean Connery had made five Bond films, he stepped down but his replacement, Australian actor George Lazenby turned out to be a flop in On Her Majestys Secret Service. Connery did one more and then the producers brought in Moore, who they had been pursuing. He was then already a well known actor in the television series The Saint, in which he played a suave, Robin Hood kind of character, who wore Saville Row suits and stole from the very rich. Moore carried the same coolness to the James Bond rolenobody wore a suit the way this quintessential Englishman did.

Where Connery was all seriousness and ruthlessness with the occasional witty remark, Moore was frivolous and light hearted with the ability to suddenly turn serious. In an...

00:16

"This is a contemptible intervention from a pro-mining government to deny the legal rights of Indigenous people" "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"


Our traditional lands are an interconnected and living whole; a vital cultural landscape. It is central to us as a People, and to the maintenance of our identity, laws and consequent rights. If the Carmichael mine were to proceed it would tear the heart out of the land. The scale of this mine means it would have devastating impacts on our native title, ancestral lands and waters, our totemic plants and animals, and our environmental and cultural heritage. It would pollute and drain billions of litres of groundwater, and obliterate important springs systems. It would potentially wipe out threatened and endangered species. It would literally leave a huge black hole, monumental in proportions, where there were once our homelands. These effects are irreversible. Our land will be disappeared.  [Wangan & Jagalingou People, Our Fight

BuzzFeed News, 18 May 2017:


Human rights lawyer and adjunct professor of law at Macquarie University, George Newhouse, said Brandis' intervention was using native title law against Indigenous Australians rather than assisting them.

...

00:15

EPA terminates private forestry property plan after native forest destroyed in Collombatti near Kempsey NSW "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"


NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA), media release, 9 May 2017:

EPA terminates private native forestry property plan in Collombatti

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has terminated a property owners authority to log a private native forest following the destruction of a forest at Collombatti near Kempsey.
The EPA investigated the land owner, the holder of a private native forestry property vegetation plan, and found that most of the native forest had been illegally cleared and replaced with a market garden. Sensitive areas, such as streams, were also cleared.
EPA Director of Forestry Michael Hood said EPA officers collected strong evidence against the property owner for land clearing offences.
We confirmed the area of native forest on the private property had been deliberately cut down to make way for a lemongrass and chili market garden, Mr Hood said.
If a persons authority to conduct a private native forestry operation is misused in this way, the first thing the EPA will do is cancel this legally binding agreement and then stronger regulatory actions should be expected to follow, he added.
The work done on this property had nothing to do with sustainable native forestry management.
...

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Tuesday, 23 May

23:10

Pan-African News Wire "IndyWatch Feed National"

U-Md. Student Arrested in Fatal Campus Stabbing to Remain in Jail; Attorney Says Alcohol May Have Role 
By Lynh Bui and Sarah Larimer
Washington Post
May 22 at 3:12 PM

A lawyer for a University of Maryland student accused of fatally stabbing a Bowie State University student said alcohol and substance abuse may have been factors in a case that also is being investigated as a hate crime.

The attack on Richard W. Collins III unnerved students and administrators at both universities, which are in the middle of spring commencement celebrations. What should have been a joyous occasion turned into mourning for friends and family of Collins, 23, who was slain two days after being commissioned in the U.S. Army and days before he was to graduate from Bowie State.

Collins, an African American, was visiting two friends on the U-Md. campus Saturday when police say he was attacked by Sean Urbanski, 22, a white U-Md. student.

Urbanski, of Severna Park, Md., was charged with first- and second-degree murder and first-
degree assault in what police said was a totally unprovoked attack.

Prince Georges County District Court Judge Patrice E. Lewis said Monday that there was clear and convincing evidence that Urbanski is an absolute danger to the community before ordering that he remain in jail pending trial. But the judge said he could be considered for GPS-monitored release at a later date.

Urbanskis attorney, William C. Brennan, told the judge that alcohol and substance abuse may have played a significant role in all of this.

Brennan had asked the judge to order GPS monitoring and other release conditions. Brennan said his client has no criminal record and deep ties to the Maryland community.

On Sunday, University of Maryland police announced the FBIs work in the case to determine whether the attack was a hate crime. Urbanski appeared to have been involved in an online Facebook group that posts racist material, police and FBI officials said.

The hate-crime aspect remains under review, but any charges along those lines would not be filed until the homicide investigation concludes, law enforcement officials said.

We want to be care...

23:09

antifa notes (may 23, 2017) : The Three Stooges (United Patriots Front) Go To Court +++ "IndyWatch Feed National"

The Three Stooges The Three Stooges Blair Cottrell, Neil Erikson and Chris Shortis made a brief appearance in Melbourne Magistrates Court today for a contest mention. The three have been charged with four offences serious religious vilification, Continue reading

22:30

Inside the Unicorn Economy "IndyWatch Feed National"

Humans have been fascinated with unicorns for centuries. Now theyre all over cosmetics, pool floaties, and bagels. Whats driving our current obsession with the mythical creatures?

A month ago, the Melbourne-based skincare company Frank Body announced on Instagram that it would be launching a new body scrub that leaves your skin with a sparkly glow. The brand isnt a fan of kitschy product names, so it marketed the powder (which came in an iridescent pouch) simply as a Shimmer Scrub. But the Aussie company didnt realize that its latest offering had a built-in pop culture hook. Right now, the best way to sell American millennial women anything vaguely shiny, glittery, or colorful is to unicornify it. That demographic is mad for the mythical horned creatures: Searches for unicorns reached an all-time high in the month of April.

Read Full Story

20:53

Amber Harrison battles legal leaks "IndyWatch Feed National"

Australian Financial Review

Amber Harrison battles legal leaks

 

Former Seven West Media employee Amber Harrison and CEO Tim Worner. Former Seven West Media employee Amber Harrison and CEO Tim Worner.

 

Former Seven West Media executive assistant Amber Harrison is fighting to have a website that has published confidential legal advice about her case taken down.

The legal advice from her former lawyers Harmers Workplace Lawyers has been posted anonymously on a website blog and paints an unflattering picture of Ms Harrisons legal prospects and advises the former assistant to accept an offer from Seven to settle the case.

Ms Harrison, who is now represented by Julian Burnside QC, obtained an order in the Federal Court on Monday against the San Francisco owner of the blog platform to remove the publication of the leaked letter but at the time of publication the website had not complied with the request.

A hearing scheduled for late on Tuesday in the Federal Court was adjourned and it is believed Ms Harrison will seek orders from the company to find out who is behind the leak.

 Harmers one of three or four law firms Ms Harrison has used is owed more than $334,000 in unpaid legal fees after acting for Ms Harrison.

...

20:07

The Little Free Pantry "IndyWatch Feed National"

18519556_1473909459350624_4503211771644443848_n.jpg

Youve probably heard about or seen little free librariesthe cute wooden boxes people sometimes put in their front yards with free books inside to read and share. But I recently encountered a new use for boxes like this: the little free pantry. Jessica McClard, the woman behind the original little free pantry, lives in Fayetteville, AR and says she first had the idea while she was out on a jog through her neighborhood and noticed several little free library boxes.

I was thinking about the little free library concept, she says. Its not so much about the books. Its about recreating a space for neighborliness, and I wondered if it could be used in another way.

She launched the pilot pantry a year ago in May 2016 on her churchs lawn and since then it has spawned hundreds of others around the world. There is no official database of the little free pantries, partly because theyve gone by many different names, but McClard estimates 500-1,000 are in existence, including some in Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. For the past year, McClard has served as a resource for these pantries and has built up a website and Facebook page where she posts information for people interested in starting their own pantries.

The pantry is a fairly simple concept: a small wooden box with a glass door sits in a public location and is filled with food items, available for anyone in the community who need them.

The patrons who use little free pantries are fairly different from those who would use a traditional food pantry, says McClard: Its people who are falling through the cracks. I get contacted all the time by people who wouldnt qualify for a mainstream pantry, but are living paycheck to paycheck. For these neighbors, the pantry is a resource to help sustain them through tough times. McClard also noted a recent message shed received from a psychologist at the VA who has a client that uses the pantry because his severe PTSD prevents him from visiting a traditional pantry where the crowded waiting room would be too stress-inducing.

I asked whether McClard found it hard to get initial community buy-in for the li...

20:00

Medical Kidnapping Of Babies In Australia To Cover Up Vaccine Injured Children? "IndyWatch Feed National"

medical fraud vaccine

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. Its not. Dr. Seuss

Three weeks ago, many Australians heard of the harrowing story detailing the bitter custody battle of a 4-year-old boy with cerebral palsy. Read More

19:51

Dark Forces Manchester, Another Attack "IndyWatch Feed National"

by Dee McLachlan Yesterday evening, 22 May, there was an explosion in the foyer of the Manchester Arena just after the Ariana Grande Dangerous Woman concert finished. Grandes fans are young teens. This is what we have been informed of so far: Manchester Arena rocked by at least one explosion at 10.33 pm At least []

19:31

Abdel-Mageid recorded 7 months before Anzac Day, "If I (rubbished) the Anzacs & Gallipoli I would get crucified" "IndyWatch Feed National"

UPDATE Ben Fordham's 2GB Sydney Live radio show picked up on this story today - thank you Ben for the credit to our site. Abdel-Magied's duplicitous apology after her offensive Anzac Day tweet. It was brought to my attention that my last post was disrespectful, and for that, I apologise...

18:10

Modi Governments Agricultural Market Reforms: Old (and Discredited) Wine in a New Bottle? "IndyWatch Feed National"

Instead of dismantling the regulated APMC mandis, the government needs to make them stronger and build supporting infrastructure like warehouses.

A farmer transports vegetables on an improvised tricycle towards a wholesale agricultural market in Kolkata. Credit: Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri

A farmer transports vegetables on an improvised tricycle towards a wholesale agricultural market in Kolkata. Credit: Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri

It happened in 2003. The Atal Bihari Vajpayee government allowed private companies to purchase wheat directly from the farmers. Major global trading companies, including Cargill, Australian Wheat Board, Bunge and Louis Dreyfus, went on a buying spree. What happened as a consequence was in a way reminiscent of the dark days of the...

17:27

If confirmed a terrorist incident terrorism is terrorism "IndyWatch Feed National"

During the last hundred years terrorism has been used as a primary means in the express purpose to entrench fear and to subordinate people to fear. Terrorism is intentional in its indiscriminate violence. Ideologue, whether political, religious, whatever the exploitative force cannot justify terrorism. It is often argued that who one describes as a terrorist []

17:24

Experts explore sustainable infrastructure amid major development needs "IndyWatch Feed National"

HANOI, Vietnam Nearly 200 experts, academics and officials from around the world gathered last week in Vietnams capital city of Hanoi for an international forum on sustainable infrastructure. The two-day conference tackled issues related to the developing worlds massive need for new infrastructure in light of climate resilience and natural capital. It was hosted by Vietnams Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), the Vietnam Institute for Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment (ISPONRE), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the WWF. The forum opened with a keynote speech by William Laurance, a distinguished research professor at Australias James Cook University, called Infrastructure Tsunami. His comments paid special attention to the Asia-Pacific region. [caption id="attachment_195992" align="aligncenter" width="768"] A team discusses their planned road at the conference. Photo by Michael Tatarski for Mongabay.[/caption] When you look at the Asia-Pacific, what you see is that the vulnerability of the ecosystems and the biological diversity here is really higher than it is in any other major region of the world, Laurance explained. Overall, because there is such biological wealth here and so much development happening so fast, this is really regarded as the most vulnerable and critical part of planet Earth," he added. "This is the area that has not only the worlds richest rainforest, but also has the worlds most biologically rich coral reefs. [caption id="attachment_195991" align="alignleft" width="384"] William Laurance of James Cook University delivers the keynote speech at the International Forum on Sustainable Infrastructure at the Melia Hotel in

17:09

Byron Bay Fine Food & Beverage Festival "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Australias premier food & lifestyle destination finally has its very own Fine Food and Beverage Festival!!

On Saturday 3 June 2017 the Byron Bay Fine Food & Beverage Festival will be serving up a taste of the region and beyond in the grounds of Byron Bays award-winning resort, Elements of Byron Resort & Spa.

The event runs from 11am 7pm and will include a line-up of Australias top food artisans and chefs along with leading wineries and beverage producers.

Screen Shot 2017-05-23 at 5.22.41 pm

The day will include:

Wine & Beverage Masterclasses hosted by Jane Thomson, Founder of The Fabulous Ladies Wine Society

Fine Food Masterclasses hosted by local chef and author Kate Walsh from Real Food Projects.

Producers & Artisans Marquee showcasing 40 of Australias finest food producers who will exhibit and sell their products for visitors to take home.

Winery & Beverage Marquees 12 wineries from across Australia, including Pizzini Wines, Schild Estate, Raidis Estate, Voyager Estate, Jack Rabbit Vineyard, ArtWine Estate, Lost Buoy Wines, Mistletoe Wines, Rowlee Wines, Paracombe Wines & Saddlers Creek Wines as well as local craft brewers, cider producers and distilleries.

Restaurant Marquees Some of the regions finest including Three Blue Ducks, Steve Snow from Fins Restaurant, Katrina Kanetani from TOWN Restaurant and Cafe, Ben Devlin from Paper Daisy Restaurant Cabarita Beach, Sarah Swan from 100 Mile Table and Sean Connelly from Balcony Bar & Oyster Co. Signature tasting plates will be for sale throughout the day.

Music Stage a cool afternoon of live music to enjoy Byron style!

Tickets are on sale now. Only $20p...

16:11

Community Billboard 23rd May-29th May "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

City_of_Sydney_logo.svg_-450x79

This weekly community billboard is proudly sponsored by the City of Sydneys Plan for the

future  Sydney 2030  making our city more green, global and connected.

The post Community Billboard 23rd May-29th May appeared first on 89.7 Eastside FM.

16:06

Brazils corruption and economic crisis threatens to swallow president "IndyWatch Feed National"

 

Contributed by Joe Montero

Brazils political crisis continues to deepen as President Michel Temer finds himself increasingly caught up in the web of corruption embracing his administration.

Eduardo Cunha, the Speaker of the lower housed (Congress) has now been jailed for 15 years.

The allegations are the latest development in Operation Car wash, a three-year long corruption investigation that has implicated many in Brazils business and political elite, implicating a large slice of Brazils politicians, implicating ministers and other cabinet members, along with members of Congress and the senate. A large nmumber already face charges and even more are under investigation.

Now one of the largest circulation newspapers reported a secret recording that that shows the president approving a payment to Eduardo Cunha, the mastermind behind last years impeachment of former president Dilma Rousseff.  The tape was submitted to the Supreme Court by two senior executives from meat-packing giant JBS SA as part of a plea bargain deal, according to O Globo newspaper, in which information is offered in exchange for reduced sentences.

O Globo, the flagship of the countrys biggest media company has until now, been a fervent supporter of Temer.

The president has lost the moral, ethical, political and administrative conditions to continue governing Brazil, the newspaper said in an editorial.

The report also cited Senator Aecio Neves, president of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, which is Temers main ally in Congress, alleged to have requested 2 million reais ($US635,000) from a JBS executive to help pay for the lawyer whos defending him in the Car wash probe. Last Thursday, federal police raided his apartments in Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and Belo Horizonte.

Eduardo Cunha under arrest

Brazils high...

15:39

Whats wrong with Australian media? Your say "IndyWatch Feed National"

FAIRFAX

In response to the recent sacking over 100 staff from Fairfax, the government announced their intention to ease regulation on media ownership in Australia, opening the way to an even more concentrated main stream media than already exists. On the Reporters Without Border Press Freedom index of 180 countries, Australia ranks 25th and stands out as the most concentrated markets for media ownership in the world.

Inquiry

In response to this announcement, Senate Committee members launched a public inquiry into the issues facing the Future of Public Interest Journalism and began hearings on Wednesday 17 May.

Senate Committee Members

Chair: Sam Dastyari (Australian Labor Party , NSW) Deputy Chair: Senator Scott Ludlam (Australian Greens , WA) Member: Senator Jonathon Duniam (Liberal Party of Australia , TAS) Member: Senator James Paterson (Liberal Party of Australia , VIC) Member: Senator the Hon Lisa Singh (Australian Labor Party , TAS) Member: Senator Nick Xenophon (Nick Xenophon Team , SA)


Participating Members:Senators Eric Abetz, Chris Back, Catryna Bilyk, Carol Brown, David Bushby, Doug Cameron, Kim Carr, Anthony Chisholm, Jacinta Collins, Richard Di Natale, Patrick Dodson, Don Farrell, David Fawcett, Alex Gallacher, Katy Gallagher, Stirling Griff, Sarah Hanson-Young, Jane Hume, Skye Kakoschke-Moore, Chris Ketter, Kimberley Kitching, Sue Lines, Ian Macdonald, Gavin Marshall, Jenny McAllister, Malarndirri McCarthy, Bridget McKenzie, Nick McKim, Claire Moore, Deborah ONeill, Barry OSullivan, Helen Polley, Louise Pratt, Linda Reynolds, Lee Rhiannon, Janet Rice, Rachel Siewert, Dean Smith, Glenn Sterle, Anne Urquhart, Larissa Waters, Peter Whish-Wilson, John Williams, Penny Wong

With submissions due on 15 June I was concerned the public would miss the chance to have their say on m...

14:15

Report from the ground: Sumud Freedom Camp "IndyWatch Feed National"

On Saturday morning I woke up at Sumud: Freedom Camp. The camp is set up in Sarura, a reclaimed Palestinian village in the South Hebron Hills in the West Bank. It has been built on the principle of sumud, steadfastness. Between 1980 and 1998 the people of Sarura were expelled from their lands through the violence of the Israeli army into nearby villages and towns, such as At-Tuwani, Hebron and Yatta. They have remained displaced since that time, until Sumud Freedom Camp was established on Friday.

14:00

Australian Dollar and Bitcoin "IndyWatch Feed National"

1.00 AUD = 0.0003 BTC
0.0010 BTC = 3.10 AUD
Converter

13:47

Value of customary land highlighted "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

The value of customary land when left in local hands and the issue of compensation for the SABL land grab have both been highlighted in a seminar organised by ACT NOW!

The seminar featured Sydney University academic Dr Tim Anderson. Dr Anderson presented his report on assessing compensation for the wrongful loss of customary land.

The event was featured by all the TV networks in their evening news programs - their coverage can be viewed below.

EMTV: Economic Assessment - Customary Landowners Unfairly Compensated 

An economic assessment of Customary Land Value, has revealed that customary land owners in PNG are not being properly compensated for the use of their land. 

Researcher Dr. Tim Anderson, from the University of Sydney, said the research is an economic assessment of the compensation of customary land use under the Special Agriculture Business Lease or SABL. 

Dr Anderson said the research is more of a framework which identifies the importance of land.

TVWAN: Customary Land Compensation 

Community advocacy group ACT NOW PNG have invited an economic specialist from Australia to evaluate compensation entitlements for customary landowners affected the Special Agricultural Business Leases.

If the landowners have a case they can successfully sue the government and be compensated accordingly.

A report was presented by Dr Anderson of the University of Sydney, in Port Moresby today.

Dr Anderson stressed that the framework for assessing compensation is not a pricing formula, but to assist landholders look at the variation in damages and lost production values that SABLs have caused.

NBC: SABL Concern

An academic from the University of Sydney has again raised concern the special agriculture business leases or SABL.

Dr. Tim Anderson says, there has to be a proactive approach taken by the government to cancel the SABL's

The SABL's were deemed unlawful by a commission of inquiry in 2013, however no action has been taken by the government to cancel the land details

...

13:04

Explosion at Manchester Arena concert - Police confirm 19 dead, 50 wounded in terrorist attack "IndyWatch Feed National"

UPDATE UPDATE Latest statement on incident at Manchester Arena pic.twitter.com/BEpLOan3dY G M Police (@gmpolice) May 23, 2017 Police statement on incident at Manchester Arena pic.twitter.com/gaKASukx9a G M Police (@gmpolice) May 22, 2017 #NEW: Two explosions at Manchester Arena contained nails, U.S. law enforcement source tells @CBSNews pic.twitter.com/sBNCGy2zCP ...

13:04

Firearm Owners Freedom at the Cross Roads. "IndyWatch Feed National"


Thoughts For The Week.
Firearm Owners Freedom at the Cross Roads.
The NEW NFA will impose the worst restrictions on our rights since the 1996 Un informed debacle of John Howards implementation of the UN. 23 point Civilian Disarmament Treaty. Yet, we the law abiding firearm owners have never been so well equipped to oppose it, we have over 2 million licenced shooters in Australia, (only 13 million people voted in the 2016 Federal Election) we have the Internet, and Facebook which is our means of communication, a force that is now rivalling and taking precedence over the Foreign controlled mainstream media machine. Also, like the rest of the western world the voters are tired of Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum politics, tired of getting the same result from both mainstream parties. This has caused a fine line with no large majorities in any of the Australian Parliaments.
There are more people on the waiting list to join the Melbourne Cricket Club than there are rank-and-file members in all Australian political parties put together. (Cathy Alexander, 18th July 2013. https://gmggranger.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/quikstats-australian-political-party-membership/
There are more members of the SSAA than there are rank and file members in all Australian political parties put together. Ron Owen
As Party membership has dwindled the mainstream political parties have refused to make their membership figures public, but mainstream media themselves state that in 2013 the Liberal Party had 50,000 and Labor 43,000 and Greens 10,000 which by the 2016 Federal election results showed a further disinterest in the main parties and 22% voted...

12:35

Planning dept supports JRPP chair "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

The planning department has expressed full confidence in Joint Regional Planning Panel chair Garry West, despite criticism by land and environment judges over his poor handling of a council amalgamation report . Photo Luis Feliu

The planning department has expressed full confidence in Joint Regional Planning Panel chair Garry West, despite criticism by land and environment judges over his poor handling of a council amalgamation report . Photo Luis Feliu

NSW planning bureaucrats have defended the chair of an independent body that oversees large developments in the northern NSW region. 

Headed by former Nationals Party MP Garry West, the the Northern Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) is likely to decide upon the contentious Lennox Head ski jump proposal.

West was recently criticised by land and environment judges over his poor handling of a council amalgamation report in late March. It was part of the Berejiklian coalition governments push to merge local governments.  

According to www.governmentnews.com.au West filed a report to the Boundaries Commission recommending the merger go ahead, but the judges concluded that West could not properly assess the financial impact without access to the full KPMG report, which in turn meant the council had been denied procedural fairness. West also failed to consider the impact of the merger on the 20,000 Hornsby Shire Council residents south of the M2 Motorway who would not be part of the new council.

See also: Ballina councillor calls for...

12:28

Palestinians greet Trump with West Bank general strike "IndyWatch Feed National"

Contributed by Jim Hayes

As US president Donald Trump landed in Israels Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, for talks with his Israeli counterpart Benyamin Netanyahu, Palestinians in the occupied West Bank staged a general strike in support of political prisoners on hunger strike in Israels jails that has now entered it day 37.

The Palestinian prisoners affairs committee also called for a day of rage when Donald Trump visits Bethlehem for the voice of the prisoners to be heard by the president.

Palestinian organisations issued a statement, calling for unity and assimilation with our brave prisoners, slammed Washington for supporting the Israeli occupation and called on the Palestinian public to join the action in a bid to reject a possible resumption of talks with Israel under the US sponsorship.

Roads were blocked, government offices closed, there was no public transport and thoroughfares in Palestinian cities sat empty, marking almost total involvement by the population.

The temporary relaxing some travel restrictions and some other measures have been largely dismissed as a propaganda effort to pave the way for Trumps visit.

Informed sources say the heath conditions of the Palestinian inmates refusing food has deteriorated, with some of them being taken to hospital.

Meanwhile, Israeli authorities continue to prevent access to the hunger strikers and keep them isolated from other prisoners.

Since April 17, more than 1,600 Palestinian prisoners have gone on hunger strike to demand appropriate medical care and treatment in Israeli jails as well as the right to pursue higher education.

They are also calling for an end to Israeli denial of family visits, solitary confinement and the so-called administrative detention, which is a form of imprisonment without trial or charge.

International organisations have called for pressure on the Tel Aviv regime to heed the inmates demands.

Maan reported clashes between Palestinian youths and Israelis in the West Bank city of Nablus. Local sources said the scuffles broke out after hundreds of Israeli settlers, backed by regime forces, raided Nablus to hold a religious event at the site of Josephs Tomb. At least 20 Palestinians were shot or injured by other means. Seven were shot with live fire, and 10 were shot with rubber-coated steel bullets, medical sources said. Israeli soldiers fired at the demonstrators from rooftops overlooking the main street.

The...

12:12

CBS correspondent needs a smack in the mouth after unconscionable Twitter posts on Manchester horror "IndyWatch Feed National"

A nail bomb at a kids concert. 19 known killed. More than 50 wounded. Horrific penetrating injuries. And this. As people reacted, he offered this. And this is the - ahem - man. These are the people he's so callously writing about. MORE VIDEO: Concert-goers jump barriers to escape aftermath...

12:10

Restore Residents' Rights: Rally at Parliament 8 June 1pm - Planning Backlash "IndyWatch Feed National"

Responding to "Plan Melbourne 2017-2050" and changes to the Planning Scheme which will transfer government powers to private developers, Planning Backlash will rally on the steps of Parliament on 8 June 2017 at 1pm.

RESTORE RESIDENTS' RIGHTS

PLAN MELBOURNE 2017-2050 AND PLANNING SCHEME CHANGES WILL FURTHER REMOVE RESIDENTS RIGHTS.

Rally on the steps of Parliament 8th June at 1 pm.

We demand that residents rights are restored and that Plan Melbourne 2017-2050 is amended accordingly.

Not only does this latest Plan Melbourne remove more of our rights, the protection provided by the residential zones has been dramatically reduced and 70% of all new development will be forced into our established suburbs. Also multi-storey apartments in your local street will be encouraged with no objections allowed.

Professor Michael Buxton (School of Global, Urban & Social Studies, RMIT) will be the main presenter along with other prominent speakers.

Yours and your members presence will help us to get our rights restored and changes made to protect our homes.

Authorized by Mary Drost, Convenor of PLANNING BACKLASH INC. registered under the Associations Incorporation Act . Planning Backlash is a coalition of over 250 resident andcommunity groups from across Melbourne as well as country and coastal areas of Victoria. PO Box 1034 Camberwell 3124

Candobetter.net Editor: The following document will be handed out at the rally. Please read it, talk it and send it everywhere:

Residents' Bill of Rights

We, the current residents of Melbourne, country and coastal areas of Victoria, call on the government and opposition at all levels to act to protect our homes, communities and cities from over-development.

WE REJECT:

The current trend of excessive population growth through the ever increasing levels of immigration.
The excessive influence of vested interests and lobby groups upon residential planning and government decision making.
The increasing densification of residential areas and the consequent impact on our infrastructure without commensurate infrastructure upgrades at all levels......

11:24

TPP countries will assess options for deals future "IndyWatch Feed National"

TPP countries met in Vietnam this weekend to discuss the future of the failed deal, which Japan, Australia and New Zealand are pushing to resuscitate.

While theres been a lot of hype in the headlines about a TPP revival, the actual statement agreed by TPP countries only commits them to completing a process to assess options for the future of the agreement before Ministers meet again in November.

As we have explained previously, the TPP in its current form cant come into force without the US. This means that the deal must be either completely renegotiated or at the very least be changed to remove clauses referring to the US. In either case, it would become an entirely new agreement and would have to go through parliamentary processes again in each country.

Little consensus between TPP countries

There was strong community opposition to the TPP because it extended monopoly rights on medicines, restricted other forms of public interest legislation and allowed foreign investors to sue governments in international tribunals.

A letter signed by national and international health organisations from TPP countries urged governments meeting in Vietnam to abandon TPP provisions which would harm public health.

While Japan, Australia and New Zealand want to revive the deal with as many countries and as few changes as possible, some other TPP countries only reluctantly agreed to provisions like medicine monopolies and investor rights to sue governments in order to gain access to US markets. Canada and Mexico may be cautious about how it could impact on NAFTA renegotiations and Vietnam and Malaysia are likely to want major revisions.

Malaysia has said if the TPP proceeds without the US it should be renegotiated. On Friday, Trade Minister Mustapa said access to the US market was one of Malaysias major motivations to be part of the TPP, and that "In the event its TPP minus one, in our view it cannot be the one that was agreed in Auckland in February 2016."

Canadas trade minister also acknowledged that the changes would need to go beyond simply taking the US...

10:58

Govt mental health review a claytons inquiry "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Ballina health practitioner Alison Vickery is concerned a recently announced government review into mental health services is inadequate. Photo supplied

Ballina health practitioner Alison Vickery is concerned a recently announced government review into mental health services is inadequate. Photo supplied

Chris Dobney

A Ballina health practitioner has described the states recently announced review into mental health services as sweeping [the problem] under the carpet and is calling for local residents to contact their local MPs about it.

Ballina based health coach Alison Vickery told Echonetdaily that, like many Australians, she was shocked and deeply saddened, by the treatment of Miriam Merten, at Lismore Base Hospital.

To treat anyone in that way, let alone a vulnerable person, is beyond my comprehension, Ms Vickery said.

The vision reminded me that mental health patients are locked behind closed doors with few people knowing what happens behind those closed doors.

But Ms Vickery said that while the rare vision had raised the issue in the public awareness, the government has chosen to set up what arguably appears to be a claytons inquiry.

Budget inquiry

She said the government yesterday confirmed that the main enquiry following Miriams mistreatment is to be conducted through an existing Public Accounts (i.e. budget) Committee process into the health care system in general.

The terms of reference of the budget committee are around money, statistics, and efficiency of the healthcare system in general. The abuse of mental health patients, such as Miriam Merten, is to be dealt with in other matters, Ms Vickery said.

Behind closed doors

Another review to be led by the NSW Chief Psychiatrist, Murray Wright, is looking at the policies and practices around seclusion and what are world best practices. In my opinion, this not only side-steps the main issue but once again keeps the issue behind close doors.

How is this protecting the people of Lismore? How is this answering to the public? It appears to me that the matter is being pushed under the carpet, Ms Vickery said.

She added that what went wrong at Lismore Base Hospital was not just the use of the seclusion room (a common practice) but the blatant disrega...

10:24

Abdel-Magied whinges she was "treated unfairly" over Anzac post. Let's take a look at that treatment....... "IndyWatch Feed National"

This young woman is a walking disaster area. Hidden in the last paragraph of The Australian's story below is this new little gem. Who is anyone to tell me what it means to be Australian?, she said. The only people that have the rights to this land are indigenous people....

10:24

Victorian rail trail seeks council bailout "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

The Great Southern Rail Trail in Victoria. Photo gsrt.com.au

The Great Southern Rail Trail in Victoria. Photo gsrt.com.au

Chris Dobney

The management committee of Victorias Great Southern Rail Trail (GSRT) has quit, saying the job is beyond the capacity of a volunteer group to continue to manage and calling for the South Gippsland Council to take it over.

As of next month, 16 of Victorias 17 rail trails will be managed by local councils.

GSRT committee secretary Robert Knight told Victorias Great Southern Star that he and fellow members are excited about what they have achieved with the trail but added the committee was on call 365 days a year and the work had become onerous since the trail was completed in 2016.

We believe council is the appropriate body to take over the rail trails management. Current committee members could become friends of the trail at the end of their term, he told the publication.

[South Gippsland] Council has the skills and is already heavily involved, he added.

The committee said the cost to maintain the rail trails 77 kilometres is around $120,000 per year, plus additional capital works of around $30,000 annually.

Works are financed by a fund inherited by the committee and councils contribution of $60,000 per year.

It also receives around $37,000 annually from licences along the trail, however the committees cash reserve will be mostly used by the time of handover.

Mr Knight told the publication, The role of maintaining this $6 million asset is too much for a volunteer committee.

Funding model

But spokesperson for the Northern Rivers Rail Trail (NRRT) Marie Lawton said the same situation would not happen here because its funding model will be more robust.

Once significant sections of rail trail are built, a central trust or governance body would be established to manage the entire trail, she told Echonetdaily.

Necessary...

10:19

Call to reject Olympic ski jump for Lennox head "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Artists impression of ski jump. Supplied by Office of sport NSW.

Artists impression of ski jump. Supplied by Office of sport NSW.

A Ballina Shire councillor wants the council to reject a proposal to build an Olympic sports training facility at the Lake Ainsworth Sport and Recreation Camp.

Cr Phillip Meehan has lodged a notice of motion for Thursdays council meeting calling for the abandonment of the proposal.

He maintains that the proposed development, which would include ski jump ramps and a pool, would be in conflict with the environmental protection zoning of the area.

Cr Meehan also says that the proposal would have an unacceptable visual impact on the coastal landscape of Lennox Head, Lake Ainsworth and Seven Mile Beach.

The height (44 metres AHD) of the proposed ski jump structure is more than twice as high as any permissible building structure in Ballina Shire, he said in his motion.

For example The Ramada Hotel and other like buildings. It is approximately seven times higher than the stated maximum building height (6.4 metres) within the applicable land zone provisions and five times higher than the allowed building height in Lennox Head (8.5 meters).

Cr Meehan said the proposed ski jump development was not in the public interest.

The community of Lennox Head and other Ballina Shire residents are clearly demonstrating their majority opposition to the proposed ski jump development, he said.

10:09

Recording exposes another episode of One Nation Inc "IndyWatch Feed National"

Contributed from Victoria

One consistent attribute of  One Nation is that its leadership has a taste for extracting money, even if it may not always cone off.

Just before the West Australia election Pauline Hanson  suggested that applying candidates should pay a hefty bond that they would lose if they resigned. There have been other suggestions and actions that infer a desire to get hold of cash. Then there is the case of failing to declare the use on an airplane, which hid declaration of the value of this assistance. Do not forget that she once did prison time for  an issue connected to defrauding the government.

Pauline Hanson bypassed party procedures to get rid of the treasurer and put her brother  in law, Greg Smith, in charge of the money.

There is a definite pattern here.

To be fair, Hanson did give generously to the party. Then again, she can afford to. She is a multi-millionaire. Not from Selling fish and chips, but by marketing her image and One Nation. Her political career has paid her well. Of course, this was a loan that was paid back by taxpayers, given that Pauline claimed it as an expense.

Now comes the new recording of a proposal to lift the charge on candidates for election material and make false claims to get more government money by passing off these extra charges as costs.

Some diehard loyalists may dismiss this  as fake news. After all, they have been conditioned to take the same line towards someone telling them, that their shoes are white instead of black. Even if they are white, they will insist that they are white, because they have been conditioned to respond in this way. These people have been been given an incredible capacity to ignore what they dont want to see. However, they cannot hide from the truth for ever.

Paulines trusted advisor James Ashby always seems to be around the centre of everything.  His is the voice in the recording. Some of those who have dealt with him have called him a snake and other colourful terms.

It turns out that One Nation campaign material is printed by a company owned by Ashby. Candidates already must pay...

09:34

North Coast mourns the passing of DJ Magu "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Greg 'Magu' Melhuish. (Facebook)

Greg Magu Melhuish. (Facebook)

Tributes have begun flowing following the death yesterday of DJ Magu.

A crowd-favourite at dance festivals and parties across the North Coast for many years, Greg Melhuish finally succumbed to the cancer he has been battling since being diagnosed in November 2015.

He was surrounded by family when he died.

Despite his illness, DJ Magu remained a constant presence at parties around the region, checking himself out of hospital just two weeks ago to play a gig at the New Tattersalls Hotel in Lismore, followed by another gig in Nimbin.

After spending much of his early years involved in the surf industry, DJ Magu turned to music at the ripe old age of 46 years.

I played guitar but my fingers were clumsy so when I discovered parties I sold my beautiful Maton guitar to buy my first set of decks, DJ Magu recounted on his Soundcloud page, which features many hours of his music.

I was lucky to have a vibrant underground scene to start up in. I could grab my sound and go and set up in the bush and people would appear otherwise I would have been confined to my bedroom.

Over the next two decades, DJ Magu cemented his reputation as a master of the dance floor, known for his marathon sets that covered all genres of electronic dance music.

He has played at most of the regions premier festivals and nightclubs, and also recorded music with an Italian label, as well as winning a North Coast music award.

During his last years, DJ Magu spoke publicly of his battle with cancer, urging people in a similar situation not to turn their backs on modern medicine.

In October last year he told the Daily Telegraph newspaper that alternative medicines had almost killed him.

After first rejecting chemotherapy, he finally agreed to the treatment and although is was difficult, it was worth it, he told the newspaper.

DJ Magu moved to Byron Bay in the 80s after spending most of his youth surfing the breaks around Sydney.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The post North Coast mourns the passing of DJ Magu appea...

09:14

Arts Wednesday 24 May 2017 "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Today at 10:40 am, we start a new series on percussion, with Mark Robinson, Assistant Timpani and Percussionist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. In Episode 1, we talk about percussion, its history and its instruments.

At 11:00 am, my special guest is David Bock from the Australian Museum, talking about Australian native bees. Apparently, there are about 1500 species and still counting. In many ways, they are different from the European honey bee which is more familiar to us.

At 11:30 am, another special guest is George Wing Kee, business man and personality in Sydneys Chinatown. The spotlight is on George for National Heritage Month, when he conducts walking tours of Chinatown. Our conversation takes us through Chinese Australian history, customs and more.

Music reflects all 3 guests: well hear percussion, music about bees and honey and music by Chinese artists.

As always, I look forward to your company.

250px-Chinatownsyd

The post Arts Wednesday 24 May 2017 appeared first on 89.7 Eastside FM.

08:50

Fighting Tourists for Booze in Thailand "IndyWatch Feed National"

Thailand is a bit of an anomaly in South East Asia in that its the only nation in the area to have never been colonised. This was due to a series of able rulers in the early 20th Century, back when the country was still called Siam. And perhaps because of that, its been the most stable nation in the region, which isnt hard when you look at the macabre recent histories of Indonesia, Cambodia and Vietnam, just to name a few. Yes, Thailand has had recent political turmoil, but thats been relatively bloodless, and its strength in exporting and its flourishing tourism industry have helped it remain an economic anchor for the continent and a middle power globally.

So it was my first day in Thailand, right, and I was totally fucked like, proper off-my-nut drinking loudly in the sun till Im sunburnt then carrying on drinking slightly less loudly in the shade kind of pissed. You know the kind the taste of metal filling your mouth, words bouncing off each as they flounder out of your face to whoever is in a two-metre radius, annoying, boorish, fuckingdrunk.

Id flown into Phuket that morning and was already on a boat towards the legendary island of Koh Phi Phi, which exploded into the tourist consciousness in the early 2000s by way of being near the beach from The Beach, which, if youre like me, is a film you fucking hate and wish everyone whos been inspired to travel by watching it would shut the fuck up about it and stop fucking playing that guitar near me cos honest to god if I fucking hear another breathy acoustic cover of Daft Punk or some shit Im going to go mental.

I leer into the hostel and dash my stuff in the room which, like most tourist hostels, smells like moist socks, hormones and loneliness. I was told of a place there called the Reggae Reggae Bar that, despite instilling a more laidback immediate impression with its name, was a place tourists could go to have three-round Muay Thai fights for the ultimate prize of a free bucket of alcohol.

Now if Im honest, I really quite enjoy fighting and drinking, so I was happy to take part. Happiness is actually a strange thing when you think about it. Am I really happy in the moment of having a scrap with its starter of pure, surging anxiety; its main course of frantic thrashing served with large erratic dollops of pain; and its dessert of slight confusion yet mostly relief that the relentless hurting and physical exhaustion had stopped? No, of course Im not happy; Im terrified, alone, reduced to desolate animal instinct.

Happiness, maybe, is a purely retrospective condi...

08:45

How Do You Prepare The Country For An Economic Collapse, Like This Episode 1286 "IndyWatch Feed National"

UK threatens to quit Brexit as the ECB demand exit payment. S&P just cut rating of several Australian financial institutions because of a cooling housing market. Greece has imposed more austerity on the people and now they are coming for Continue reading

08:43

Call for blood donors as reserve slips "IndyWatch Feed National"

Image from Australian Red Cross

Image from Australian Red Cross

People with O-negative and O-positive blood types are being urged to roll up their sleeves and give blood as the nations reserves slip to two days supply.

As winter approaches and more people are affected by colds and flu, the Australian Red Cross blood service is calling on 8,000 donors to come forward in the next fortnight to help prevent a shortage.

Up to 1,000 donors affected by cold and flu symptoms could wipe out donations each day, charity spokesman Shaun Inguanzo said.

He added the two blood types are essential with O-negative given to patients in emergency situations and O-positive the most needed with 39 per cent of Australians falling under the blood type.

We need others in this case people with O-negative and O-positive blood to take the place of those who will be unable to answer our call, Mr Inguanzo said on Tuesday.

Donors who are affected by cold and flu symptoms are able to donate at least seven days after making a full recovery.

The post Call for blood donors as reserve slips appeared first on Echonetdaily.

08:41

Ditch climate deal, expert urges Trump "IndyWatch Feed National"

US president Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

US president Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

While world leaders urge US President Donald Trump to stick with an international deal on climate action, an expert in the field says America might do more damage by staying in.

Mr Trump has said he wants to pull America out of the landmark Paris agreement on climate change, signed in late 2015 by nearly 200 countries and ratified around the time of his election.

ANU climate policy expert Luke Kemp says that might actually be the best thing for the world.

He believes having a rogue US that doesnt cut emissions and wont finance global green banks stay in the agreement would cause more damage than if it left.

Its continued membership would be symbolic only.

The US will likely miss its target and cut climate financing regardless of Paris, Dr Kemp says in a commentary published in the journal Nature Climate Change on Tuesday.

It could also use its loud voice and veto power to water down the rules and details of how the agreement will work into the future, which are currently under negotiation.

Giving the former head of ExxonMobil a seat at the table is a terrible idea, Dr Kemp said, referring to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Nor does he think a US departure would trigger a domino effect of other countries leaving.

Rather, if it stays in the agreements framework but misses its emission reduction targets, that could give other countries the excuse they need to renege on or withdraw their own commitments.

The international community should be more concerned about the actions of the US, rather than whether they are symbolically co-operating, he said.

A withdrawal could trigger new opportunities to emerge, such as carbon border adjustments and forceful leadership from the EU and China.

The post Ditch climate deal, expert urges Trump appeared first on Echonetdaily.

08:38

Visa application waits likely to worsen "IndyWatch Feed National"

Wait times for Australian visas and citizenship applications are likely to worsen following the axing of hundreds of staff, a boom in lodgements and a shift to automation.

Immigration boss Michael Pezzullo says his department has, in the two most recent budgets, been allocated more than $100 million to overhaul its visa processes.

He said the area responsible for visas and citizenships was one of the most conducive to automation, but conceded this transformation was in its early stages.

The 355 job cuts and immigration departments pivot to more automated services come as the commonwealth cracks down on skilled foreign worker visas and tightens rules around citizenship.

Mr Pezzullo told a Senate hearing on Monday that most, if not all, visa category applications were experiencing double-digit growth.

But he said pursuing large scale automation not hiring more officers to process paper files was the only way to keep the gap from widening to unmanageable proportions.

Also feeding into the decision to cut back these staff was the need to funnel resources into other border protection efforts including the fight against terror, Mr Pezzullo said.

Regrettably, at a human level, you dont want anyone to wait for a government decision any longer than is absolutely necessary, he said.

If some folks have to wait a little bit longer, then well so be it.

Mr Pezzullo said even if more funds were available, he was unsure the money would be pumped into visa processing, as protecting the border was paramount.

If that requires allocating a disproportionate amount of resources to those functions, even if I get an extra dollar, you shouldnt assume I would put that into visa processing.

Mr Pezzullo was also asked about any security risks around folding three visa and citizenship call centres in London, Ottowa and Sydney into one Australian base and outsourcing the service to a private operator.

Labor Senator Murray Watt asked whether risks around ensuring personal information wasnt inappropriately used by private providers were weighed, given the work had historically been done by Australian government employees.

Mr Pezzullo said distinctions between contractor, full-time and part-time employees did not always equate to levels of integrity.

Regrettably weve had some cases, some of which are ongoing, which suggest to the contrary, he said.

Instead it was a question of personal security clearance, employment suitability and levels of system access.

The post Visa application waits likely to w...

08:33

Cost of cutting Aust emissions $24bn "IndyWatch Feed National"

Australia must spend $24b to meet its emissions targets. Photo freefotouk/Flickr

Australia must spend $24b to meet its emissions targets. Photo freefotouk/Flickr

Sticking to existing policies for cutting Australias emissions would cost the federal budget nearly $24 billion to meet promised targets.

A Parliamentary Budget Office costing done for the Greens shows the government would need to pump $23.6 billion into the Emissions Reduction Fund by 2030 if it were the sole means of funding pollution cuts.

Greens climate spokesman Adam Bandt said this suggested there was a gaping black hole in the budget.

If the government wants to retain the Emissions Reduction Fund as the main mechanism to cut pollution, it will cost taxpayers billions, he told AAP.

To meet its financial forecasts in the budget, the government either needs to drop the Emissions Reduction Fund or find an unaccounted for $24 billion to fund extra spending.

The government has repeatedly said the fund is the central component of its policies to address climate change and meet its target to cut emissions 26-28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030.

The fund started with $2.5 billion in 2014 and now has about $300 million left after five rounds of reverse auctions for projects.

The government didnt top it up in this years budget, saying it will wait for recommendations from a review of climate policies due to report at the end of the year.

Mr Bandt accused the coalition of having an empty vessel when it came to climate policy.

Instead of making big polluters pay for their pollution, like the carbon price did, (Prime Minister) Malcolm Turnbull shovels public money to the big polluters and the bill to taxpayers has just gone up.

Meanwhile, modelling from energy and carbon advisory firm RepuTex has found Australia could cut emissions by up to 40 per cent on 2005 levels at no net cost to business a target in line with expert recommendations of action needed to limit warming to two degrees.

It found many activities to reduce emissions like installing solar panels, improving fuel efficiency and farm forestry would benefit investors because they would cut their energy costs.

Businesses and individuals could save $13 billion by 2030 while the total cost to do all emissions reduction actions th...

08:31

An Introduction to Anti-Fascism in Australia "IndyWatch Feed National"

The post An Introduction to Anti-Fascism in Australia appeared first on It's Going Down.

In so-called Australia, the emergence of far-Right movement Reclaim in July/August 2014 opened the political space for a number of new neo-fascist groups like the United Patriots Front (UPF) and True Blue Crew, while reinvigorating older radical-right political parties like Pauline Hansons One Nation, which now holds a number of seats in the Australian Senate.
Like the American Alt-Right, these groups, particularly the UPF, have tried to build a slick neo-fascist movement, riding a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment and growing social and material anxiety as the Australian economy continues to stagnate.
As a colonial nation built on the ongoing exploitation and murder of Aboriginal people, the Australian far-right have found allies in the police and have benefited from the racism on which Australian society is founded.
To build their movement Australian fascists and their fellow travellers have, like their American counterparts, hosted events like marches and meetings in major cities, as well as in migrant communities in an attempt to flex their muscles.
Unfortunately for them, antifascists have sent them packing every single time.
The video is a collection of footage from some direct actions across the country since 2014.
As Durruti said: Fascism is not to be debated. It is to be smashed.
To keep up-to-date on antifascism in so-called Australia, check out these pages:
...

08:24

The Armstrong Effect "IndyWatch Feed National"

by Dee McLachlan In this article I argue that the mainstream media and our politicians seem to be caught up in conspiracy of silence and denial. My recent article, about the USS Liberty, proves this point. All evidence supports a deliberate false flag event  yet 50 years on, Australian politicos and the media refuse []

08:19

Environment Day aims to connect people to nature "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

The Greens will have their Giant Earth Ball on display at the Caldera Environment Centre's 2017 World Environment Day Festival. Photo supplied

The Giant Earth Ball will be on display at the Caldera Environment Centres 2017 World Environment Day Festival. Photo supplied

This years UN theme for World Environment Day invites us to think about how we are part of nature and how intimately we depend on it. It challenges us to find fun and exciting ways to experience and cherish this vital relationship.

In our region the Caldera Environment Centres annual World Environment Day Festival will be on again, weather permitting, on Sunday June 4 at Knox Park from 10am-3pm.

Speakers include Steve Harris the CEO of ENOVA, our north coast community-owned electricity retailer.

Enova now has close to 2,500 customers and is the industry leader in offering 12 cents per kilowatt hour. The team is working on new plans to support local energy generation. Your questions will be answered at the presentation or at the Enova stall.

 

Mullumbimby inventor Sapoty Brook's solar trike will be on display at the 2017 World Environment Day Festival in Murwillumbah. Photo supplied

Mullumbimby inventor Sapoty Brooks solar trike will be on display at the 2017 World Environment Day Festival in Murwillumbah. Photo supplied

Greg Reid from Tweed CAN (Tweed Climate Action Now) will offer the latest information about solar generation.

Mullumbimby inventor Sapoty Brook will demonstrate and offer rides on an electric trike he built and show a video and photos of a model renewable energy flight propulsion system.

Tweed Shire Council will offer tips and advice on the natural resource management...

08:17

Fourth death in tragic weekend on Everest "IndyWatch Feed National"

Aerial photo of Mt Everest from the south, behind Nuptse and Lhotse. Image by shrimpo1967 https://www.flickr.com/photos/37047767@N00

Aerial photo of Mt Everest from the south, behind Nuptse and Lhotse. Image by shrimpo1967 https://www.flickr.com/photos/37047767@N00

KATHMANDU, AP The body of an Indian climber has been spotted on Mount Everest, the fourth fatality during a busy and tragic weekend on the worlds highest peak.

Sherpa rescuers spotted the body of Indian climber Ravi Kumar, but it was impossible to retrieve the body, said Thupden Sherpa of Arun Treks and Expedition.

It appeared that Kumar had fallen some 200 metres below the route, he said.

Climbers from Australia, the United States, Slovakia also died over the weekend.

Because of bad weather conditions, climbing to the summit had been delayed this year, leading to a rush in the last few days to get to the summit.

Kumar, 27, fell sick on his way down from the summit on Saturday and did not make it to the nearest camp, though his accompanying Nepalese Sherpa guide did reach camp.

The guide also was sick but managed to drag himself to the camp at South Col, located at 8000m.Kumar and his guide reached the 8850m summit at about 1.30pm Saturday, which is considered late, and not many climbers were around when they were returning.

Tourism Department official Kamal Prasad Adhikari confirmed that Roland Yearwood, 50, from Alabama, died Sunday, but it was not clear if or when his body would be brought down.

A Slovak climber, Vladimir Strba, 50, also died on Sunday, Tourism Ministry official Gyanendra Shrestha said.

His body was brought to the South Col camp.

Australian climber Francesco Enrico Marchetti, 54, from Queensland, died on the Chinese side of Everest, according to the Himalayan Times newspaper.

Other details were not available.

The number of climbers who have died on Everest during the current spring climbing season, which began in March and runs through the end of this month, has now reached six.

A typical spring season sees around six deaths on Everest, according to mountaineering officials.

The Nepalese Tourism Department issued a record 371 permits this year to people to scale the mountain.

The increased number of climbers this....

08:14

Trump may surprise on climate: Gore "IndyWatch Feed National"

Former US Vice President and climate change activist Al Gore. Photo Wikipedia

Former US Vice President and climate change activist Al Gore. Photo Wikipedia

CANNES US President Donald Trump may surprise people when it comes to acting on climate change, says former vice president and environmental crusader Al Gore.

A decade after his award-winning environmental documentary An Inconvenient Truth, Gore is back at Cannes Film Festival with An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, which follows him to the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris.

President Trump has vowed to quit the Paris Agreement which came out of the 2015 conference and aims to see an international reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

I do believe there is a better than even chance that [Trump] will surprise many by keeping the US in the Paris Agreement, I dont know that he will but theres a chance he will, Gore said on the sidelines at Cannes on Monday.

Australia ratified the Paris Agreement last November, and is committed to bringing down emissions to 26 to 28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030.

The documentary sees Gore visit a conservative small town in Texas which is working toward renewable energy use.

The mayor of that city doesnt use the phrase climate crisis or the phrase global warming he speak entirely about the economic advantages of shifting to renewable energy, Gore said, pointing to growing bipartisanship in American politics on the issue of climate change.

The sequel aims to send a call to arms for action.

We have the solutions now, Gore said.

What remains is to summon the political will to implement these solutions quickly enough, and I know from my own experience, that political will itself is a renewable resource.

The post Trump may surprise on climate: Gore appeared first on Echonetdaily.

08:05

All around the world "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Global house prices

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) provides a neat data series measuring residential property prices across various advanced countries. 

Comparing house prices in different jurisdictions is arguably of limited use, but it's nevertheless an interesting exercise to see how markets in different countries have performed over time.

Indexing to a base of 100 in the year 2010 and looking at a selection of countries shows how prices in Hong doubled before a recent correction.

New Zealand has also seen a thunderous 60 per cent increase in nominal prices, while Canada is not too far behind at 42 per cent. 

The increase over the corresponding seven years in Australia was lower at 31 per cent, reflecting that while some markets have seen very strong growth - mainly Sydney - others have essentially been treading water. 

Residential prices in Ireland have now recovered to where they were in 2010, but remain well below their pre-financial crisis peaks.


The BIS also provides indexed prices in real terms, adjusted for inflation.

Here, New Zealand looks like an outlier recording huge 47 per cent growth in real terms, comfortably outpacing Canada at 29 per cent, and Australia at less than 15 per cent.

......

07:37

Out of Europe rather than out of Africa, new study suggest "IndyWatch Feed National"

The common lineage of great apes and humans split several hundred thousand earlier than hitherto assumed, according to an international research team headed by Professor Madelaine Bhme from the Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment at the University of Tbingen and Professor Nikolai Spassov from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. The researchers investigated two fossils of Graecopithecus freybergi with state-of-the-art methods and came to the conclusion that they belong to pre-humans. Their findings, published today in two papers in the journal PLOS ONE, further indicate that the split of the human lineage occurred in the Eastern Mediterranean and not - as customarily assumed - in Africa. Present-day chimpanzees are humans' nearest living relatives. Where the last chimp-human common ancestor lived is a central and highly debated issue in palaeoanthropology. Researchers have assumed up to now that the lineages diverged five to seven million years ago and that the first pre-humans developed in Africa. According to the 1994 theory of French palaeoanthropologist Yves Coppens, climate change in Eastern Africa could have played a crucial role. The two studies of the research team from Germany, Bulgaria, Greece, Canada, France and Australia now outline a new scenario for the beginning of human history.

07:27

Behind the circus screen  take a look this Friday "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Photo Hamish McCormick.

Photo Hamish McCormick.

Not everyone finds their purpose in life at the age of 14 through their work experience week but that is what happened for local ex-circus performer and cinematographer Hamish McCormick.

He came home and said Ive found my people and theyve accepted me, said his Dad, renowned local photographer, John McCormick.

The Rock n Roll circus group in Brisbane who he had done work experience with were a group of young people who were really pushing it they were covered in tattoos and swallowing swords, said Hamish.

Training with Mullumbimbys home grown circus group, spaghetti circus, Hamish thew in school at 17 and took to the circus hoping founder Leonie Mills as she taught kids the circus skills that would take many of them to Australian and international renown.

He knew what he wanted to do I didnt when I was that age, continued John.

What do you need school for when you know what you want to do with your life?

The strange ways of luck

With the support of his parents Hamish pursued his career as a circus performer travelling both Australia and the world before he broke his arm in 2003.

It was a really bad break, said John.

You can still see the scar that slices into his Chinese good luck tattoo.

Luck can come in strange ways and if it hadnt been for that break Hamish may never have picked up a camera discovered his future passion.

I picked up a camera and started making a behind the scenes doco of The Happy Side Show, said Hamish with enthusiasm.

Once I picked up the camera I realised that documenting this community was a life long project.

I got that understanding from Dad and the way hed documented this community.

John has photographed the diverse and colourful community in and around the Byron Shire since the early 1980s and was often gracious enough to supply photos to The Echo in the early days of its journey.

Fifteen years on Hamish has thousands of hours of footage of the circus world both in Australia and internationally.

Ive documented the people that are at the for...

07:23

Official launch of the film Faithkeepers - a documentary on Christian persecution in the Middle East "IndyWatch Feed National"

23 May 2017 is the official launch date for the Clarion Projects film Faithkeepers. I've posted the trailer for the film at the end of this post - but I think this grab of a young Christian boy and girl is much more effective in telling the story of the...

07:03

Inside the raid on a suspected pedophile's cybersex den "IndyWatch Feed National"

The suspected pedophile could see people banging on his front door. The Philippines National Bureau of Investigation smashed their way [in]. Children's underwear, toddler shoes, cameras, bondage cuffs, fetish ropes, meth pipes and stacks of hard drives and photo albums cluttered [David Timothy Deakin's] townhouse. In his computer were videos and images of young boys and girls engaged in sex acts. Deakin's arrest ... reveals one of the darkest corners of the internet, where pedophiles in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia pay facilitators on the other side of the world to sexually abuse children, even babies, directing their moves through online livestreaming services. Webcam sex tourism is spreading rapidly. The FBI says ... that at any given moment, 750,000 child predators are online. Almost every case stems from the Philippines, where good English speakers, increased internet connections and widespread international cash transfer systems combine with widespread poverty and easy access to vulnerable kids. There have been as many as three busts a week there this spring. The youngest victim ... was an infant, two months old. Most are under 12. Because it's a newer crime, legal systems grapple with how to prosecute. In the U.S., the buyers are typically charged with possessing, distributing or producing child pornography. In the Philippines, it's a human trafficking crime. Deakin's bust turned out to be one of the largest seizures of its kind in the Philippines.

Note: A recent University of Portsmouth study found that sites with paedophile material account for 83% of all "Dark Web" traffic. Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US. For more, see concise summaries of sexual abuse scandal news articles.

07:02

Something to put a spring in your step for the morning! "IndyWatch Feed National"

50 years since Eartha Kitt introduced Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66 on "Eartha Kitt's Something Special". Hope it has you jiving around the toaster!

05:50

Toasted Vegemite sandwich "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"



Vegemite is an Australian icon and the salty paste has many applications, stock in curries for example.

My favourite place for Vegemite is on toast with olive oil but my collaborator Ben, who publishes music as Kelp, suggested I should include it in my next toasted sandwich video.

For a while I pondered what would go well with the black flavour, then my friend Ash proposed beetroot and it made sense. Australian hamburgers sometimes feature sliced pickled beetroot (or pineapple but not both, it's a contentious issue).

The result was tasty but I think there might be a better flavour combination.

05:29

Why stroll when you can roll? "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"



One of those unfinished ideas on my desktop was a short tour video to show the size of the museum where I worked up until the start of the month.

I added a piece of music to it and it seemed to go much faster, even though I'd sped up the footage. Then it occurred to me that it's a bit like the first music video I made about 12 years ago, featuring a bike ride outside Wagga Wagga but without the dramatic ending.

04:52

St Michaels Collegiate School ex-teacher, Raynor Ian Bartsch, jailed for sex with student "IndyWatch Feed National"

This site is an anti-pedophilia blog-site, amongst many other things.

I publish many Australian cases of pedophilia, particularly when very young children are exploited by adults, and when children are exploited by men or women working as schoolteachers, pastors, counsellors or similar positions of public trust.

The court heard Bartsch had been living in Adelaide since 1999, had reconciled with his wife, converted to Christianity and was working as a school principal.

He resigned from his position when he was charged.

He accepted his conduct had clear longstanding impacts on her, Justice Blow said, adding the former teacher was aware he would never teach again.

The victim has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and said the abuse destroyed her relationship with her parents and still affected her.

Article below

ABC News Australia

St Michaels Collegiate School ex-teacher, Raynor Ian Bartsch, jailed for sex with student

23 May 2017

A former teacher at an elite private girls school in Hobart who maintained a sexual relationship with a student in the 1990s has been sentenced to two years in prison.

Raynor Ian Bartsch, 56, was employed as the head of sport at St Michaels Collegiate School between 1989 and 1993.

He pleaded guilty to maintaining a sexual relationship with a young person under the age of 17 years.

He has been sentenced to two years in jail, with eight months of the sentence suspended.

He must serve eight months before he...

04:49

St Johns Ambulance officer Daniel Symons faces child sex charges involving cadets "IndyWatch Feed National"

ABC News Australia

St Johns Ambulance officer Daniel Symons faces child sex charges involving cadets

22 May 2017

A high-ranking St Johns Ambulance officer has faced trial in South Australias District Court accused of pursuing two underage cadets to engage in sexual activity.

Daniel Patrick Symons, 29, has pleaded not guilty to 11 charges alleged to have been committed against two female cadets between 2012 and 2017.

The charges include procuring a child to engage in sexual activity, unlawful sexual intercourse by a person of authority, inducing a child to expose their body, and communicating with the intention of making a child amenable to sexual activity.

The prosecution alleged two of the offences were committed while the cadets were aged under 17 and the remainder occurred after they turned 17.

The prosecution alleged one of the cadets was sexually assaulted by Symons on two occasions, first in his car after he picked her up from her home late at night, and the second in a St Johns office.

Prosecutor Stephanie Borek said on the second occasion Symons asked the cadet to send him naked photos and to meet him in the bathroom.

She said the cadet walked out of the room to speak to someone on the phone when she felt someone behind her.

He grabbed her with his hands around her throat and manoeuvred her against the wall, Ms Borek said.

He put his other hand into her underwear she will tell you that she froze.

The accused stopped, fixed her pants, let her go and went back to the room.

Ms Borek said Symons contacted both of the cadets through Facebook and asked them about their sexual experiences and interests.

She said one of the cadets was 14...

03:56

Mohawk Nation News 'Removing the Lizard Suit' "IndyWatch Feed National"

Posted on May 22, 2017 Removing the Lizard Suit Mohawk Nation News http://mohawknationnews.com/blog/2017/05/22/removing-the-lizard-suit/ Please post & distribute. MNN. May 21, 2017. UN Agenda 30 is a global corporate takeover of the planet, with a fascist agenda to enslave humanity, to enrich a few globalist bourgeois. The shareholders of Canada, Australia, UK, USA and other dummy

01:21

PwC Teams Up With Alibaba For Food Supply Blockchain Test "IndyWatch Feed National"

PwC Australia is partnering up with Alibaba and others on a trial that will find it seeking to provided added trust to the food supply chain.

Source

00:44

Donald Trump, United States media and wars "IndyWatch Feed National"

Saudi money to ISIS, cartoon

This cartoon is about Saudi money to ISIS, aka Daesh, in Syria and Iraq.

By Bill Van Auken in the USA:

Trumps speech in Riyadh signals US escalation against Iran

22 May 2017

Riddled with hypocrisy, clichs and absurdities, President Donald Trumps speech Sunday before an assembly of monarchs and despots in Saudi Arabia spelled out an agenda of escalating US militarism throughout the Middle East and a buildup in particular toward war with Iran.

Hailed by a fawning American media as presidentialsupposedly eclipsing for the moment the crises and factional struggles engulfing the administrationthe speech was reportedly drafted by Stephen Miller, the extreme right-wing ideologue credited with being the chief architect of Trumps abortive executive order banning people from seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the US.

Much in Trumps half-hour address echoed the speech delivered by Barack Obama in Cairo eight years earlier. Both presidents declared their desire to reset US relations with the Middle East, while absurdly posturing as leaders of a pacifist nation seeking only good for the region and offering to head up a united struggle against violent extremism.

Like Obama before him, Trump had no interest in dealing with who brought Al Qaeda and similar forces in, as the historical trail leads directly to the CIA in Afghanistan and US imperialisms longstanding support for right-wing Islamist organizations and terrorist groups as a counterweight to left nationalist and socialist influence in the Arab and Islamic world....

00:16

Climate Change: the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"


Permafrost and thick rock ensure that the seed samples will remain frozen even without power. The Vault is the ultimate insurance policy for the worlds food supply, offering options for future generations to overcome the challenges of climate change and population growth. It will secure, for centuries, millions of seeds representing every important crop variety available in the world today. It is the final back up.  [The Global Crop Diversity Trust, Svalbard Global Seed Vault, accessed 19 May 2016]

Svalbard Global Seed Vault entrance

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault (SGSV) is no...

00:15

Law Council of Australia hits back at Immigration Minister Peter Dutton's comments attacking independence of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"



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AAP Logo
 Medianet Release




17 May 2017 2:25 PM AEST - Minister's comments attacking independence of tribunal were unfortunate, should not be repeated

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Monday, 22 May

22:46

Balgownie shooting charge "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

police 2A MAN has been charged over a public place shooting in Balgownie yesterday.

Just after 7am on Sunday, a 29-year-old man went to a home on Meadow Street and threw a small incendiary device onto the driveway. He then retrieved a firearm from his vehicle and fired a shot in the air before driving from the scene.

About 7.30am the same day, police discovered the vehicle on Florence Street, Fairy Meadow. It had crashed in to a fence. A sawn off rifle and ammunition were found in the vehicle and seized. Following inquiries, about 12.25pm, police arrested the 29-year-old man in Rann Street, Fairy Meadow.
He was taken to Wollongong Police Station and charged with seven offences including firing a weapon in public place; firing a weapon in a manner likely to injure a person; possessing an unregistered firearm; using an unregistered firearm; possession of a loaded firearm in public place; intimidation; and driving in a manner dangerous.

22:37

NSWPLA 2017 "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Last night (that is, Monday 22 May), the New South Wales Premiers Literature Awards were announced at a cocktail event at the Art Gallery of NSW. The award recipients collectively took home a total of $310.000. I have attended this event in the past, but for a number of years now Ive settled for watching from afar, depending on the generosity of tweeters for glimpses of the event. Heres what I garnered this year, depending mainly on the hashtag #PremiersLitAwards. Links are mainly to either my blog posts about books or the State Librarys listings of the awards.

In the lead-up, there were plenty of congratulations to the shortlisted authors, plus an occasional erotic spam and on Sunday the rumour that the evening would be hosted by Sunil Badami. A little before 6 last night that rumour was scotched when Hamish Macdonald (not the comedian Hamish who appears on radio with Andy) tweeted that he was delighted to be hosting and added that the awards were to be presented by @GladysB, which I think makes her the first non-Labor premier to have done so in person for a very long time.

Uncle Allen Madden started things off with a wonderful Welcome to Country. Joanna Murray-Smith gave the keynote address. Don Harwin, Minister for the Arts, spoke briefly. Gladys Berejiklian gave the Premiers address. No tweet quoted any of them as saying anything memorable which I attribute to the tweeters not realising that there were people out here hanging on their words.

Hamish Mc took the mic. His first act was to pay a lovely tribute to the late Dr Rosie Scott, recipient of the special award last year. His second tweeted utterance was to promise to tackle anyone who made too long a speech. This may be the reason that hardly a word from any of the recipients was tweeted from the room. A pity, because the acceptance speeches are part of the joy of these evenings.

The serious business of handing out the prizes began with the Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting. My money was on The Drovers Wife by Leah Purcell. I hadnt seen any of the other shortlisted works, but they would have had to be bloody brilliant to snatch the prize. They didnt.

The Betty Roland Prize for Scriptwriting was shared by The Code, Series 2 Episode 4 by Shelley Birse and Down Under by Abe Forsythe. No argument from me, though a citizen of Sutherland Shire, the setting of much of Down Under, had dimmed my enjoyment of that movie with some pretty telling information about its lack of attention to detail. (I wonder if anyone from the Shire is on the judging panel.) .

They were now zooming through the prizes....

22:37

Buffalo: Australias answer to Black Sabbath "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Buffalo and Black Sabbath
 
The Australian band Buffalo was one of the earliest acts to show an obvious debt to heavy metal pioneers, Black Sabbath. Their Sabbath-inspired debut,

22:28

Jess Beckerling on Native Forest Logging in the South-West "IndyWatch Feed National"

Jess Beckering speaks to Indymedias Raymond Grenfell on the on-going campaign to protect native forests in WAs south-west.

22:22

Valerie Farfalla from the Australian Unemployed Workers Union on federal government plans to trial the mandatory drug testing of welfare recipients "IndyWatch Feed National"

Indymedias Raymond Grenfell speaks to Valerie Farfalla from the Australian Unemployed Workers Union (AUWU) regarding federal government plans to trial the mandatory drug testing of welfare recipients.

22:15

Meredith Hammat Secretary UnionsWA on a wage rise for WAs lowest-paid workers "IndyWatch Feed National"

The Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission last week began hearings for the State Wage Case which will set the wages for some of the lowest paid working people in WA, those on the WA Minimum Wage and state awards. Around 100,000 people rely on this decision to determine their wages. Again, this year the peak []

21:58

Webs of deception "IndyWatch Feed National"

Hi all,

This month keep your (Australian) eyes to the skies!

May, in Australia, is the traditional month for reported falls of unusual looking, lengthy strands of 'silk-like' substance, which some UAP researchers refer to as 'Angel Hair.'

May 1974 - Albury, NSW - photo by Kevin Dixon
Is it simply spiders' web, or the residue of the propulsion system of extraterrestrial spaceships?

There was a very large fall of this substance around Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia,on 4 May 2015. For a detailed account of this fall, and the subsequent story which went viral on the Internet, take a look at my post dated 14 May 2015.

If the subject interests you, why not take a look at my comprehensive Australian catalogue and analysis of dozens of Australian falls, which may be found here.

I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has information on any 2017 falls.

21:38

Truth Hammer Podcast With Adam & Bernie (Chasing Home) "IndyWatch Feed National"

LIVE BLOG The Chase Saga Continues Medical Kidnapping in Australia Information and Facebook Lives Follow the Events Unfold
Live Updates Here: 
Please support this family and their struggles by donating money into Chases business account. Read More

21:31

Felicity Ruby on Australias Role in the Five Eyes in the age of Trump "IndyWatch Feed National"

Felicity Ruby is a Doctoral candidate at the University of Sydney and former political adviser to Senator Scott Ludlam. Her research is focused on transnational political movements resisting mass surveillance. Indymedias Karun Cowper spoke to Felicity about her PhD dissertation entitled The Fourth Eye: Australias Role in the Five Eyes before and after Snowden. Even []

21:09

Letter from accused terrorist John Zakhariev, currently on trial in Sofia, Bulgaria "IndyWatch Feed National"

John Zakhariev (above) is a 21yo dual Australian-Bulgarian citizen currently on trial in Sofia, Bulgaria. Arrested in September 2016, John is accused of undertaking weapons training in Bulgaria in order to join Daesh in Syria. He denies all charges. I Continue reading

21:01

20:34

The Ongoing Disaster of Australias Policy in Afghanistan "IndyWatch Feed National"

3623423422According to a recent news report Australia is open to a request from the United States for more troops to be sent to Afghanistan. According to the report, Australian troops mostly work in a training and support role aimed at strengthening the Afghan forces ability to protect their own country. It is important, said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, that we work together to build up the capacity of Afghanistans own security forces so that they can keep that country secure from the threat of terrorism.

There was no opposition to this suggestion from Labor leader Bill Shorten, and neither did the countrys media outlets bother to consider either the inherent absurdity of the Prime Ministers statement, or consider the geopolitical context that prevails in Afghanistan.

This has been the pattern ever since Afghanistan was invaded and occupied by a US led coalition, including Australia, ostensibly in response to the events of 11 September 2001 in the United States. That terrorist event was immediately attributed to al Qaeda, led by Osama bin Laden, who was being sheltered by the Taliban government of Afghanistan, who in turn refused to hand bin Laden over to the Americans.

That this sequence of events is almost entirely fictional has never been allowed to disturb the official narrative, which is regularly brought out to justify maintaining, or as with the most recent request, increasing troop numbers. Quite what improvements in the situation in Afghanistan this latest mini-surge might achieve is not clear.

One might have thought that after more than fifteen years of occupation, with the Taliban occupying more of the country than at any time since 2001, some fresh insights might be more productive. Similarly, when there has already been an expenditure of more than one trillion US dollars with no noticeable improvements and a great deal of deterioration in the countrys infrastructure, a better use of taxpayers dollars might be found.

There are other measurements of the occupations success. For example, opium production is now more than 20 times higher than it was in 2001. Or, as the UN pointed out recently, more than 9.3 million people, or 26% of the countrys population are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. At the very least one might expect that this dismal record would induce a fundamental reappraisal of existing policy.

Th...

20:12

Dr Waleed Aly - 'Towards a structuration theory of global terrorism' "IndyWatch Feed National"

Broadcaster, Waleed Aly, receives PhD from Monash University 22 May 2017 Monash University academic, writer, lawyer, and broadcaster, Waleed Aly, has received his PhD at a graduation ceremony at Monash. Waleed is a politics lecturer at the Monash School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, and working primarily within the...

19:24

Andrew Twiggy Forrests has long history of grand goals and grand gestures "IndyWatch Feed National"

Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest is giving big donations to his charities, that give him a big name, make him look great and very generous, and write-off heaps of personal tax on the dividends he draws from his companies to enrich himself.

But maybe Andrew Forrest is trying to expunge a guilty conscience for conning vast tracks of land off Aboriginal (native Australians), pretending to be their friend, and then denigrating vast tracts of pristine Australian wilderness- forever.

Andrew Forrest is another scum miner who has vandalised inland Australia and destroyed it forever.

Andrew Forrests legacy in future generations will simply be a that he was a very greedy man, who has conned vast tracts of pristine Australian outback land off the Aboriginal, just like the early white settlers in Australia, and that Andrew Forrest like the other open-cast miners, left vast parts of Australia as ground zero.

ABC News Australia

Andrew Twiggy Forrests has long history of grand goals and grand gestures

ANALYSIS

22 May 2017

The extraordinary act of kindness was classic Andrew Twiggy Forrest; offering the big bucks, surrounded by big names, and proclaiming lofty ambitions.

I stand before you, obviously, as your servant, the billionaire said, flanked by the Prime Minister, the Opposition leader and Hollywood stars at the public announcement of his generous act of philanthropy a pledge to give away $400 million of his wealth, the largest ever donation by a living Australian.

M...

19:10

The International Persecution of Julian Assange "IndyWatch Feed National"

Julian Assange has been vindicated because the Swedish case against him was corrupt. The prosecutor, Marianne Ny, obstructed justice and should be prosecuted. Her obsession with Assange not only embarrassed her colleagues and the judiciary but exposed the Swedish states collusion with the United States in its crimes of war and rendition.

Had Assange not sought refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, he would have been on his way to the kind of American torture pit that Chelsea Manning had to endure.

This prospect was obscured by the grim farce played out in Sweden. Its a laughing stock, said James Catlin, one of Assanges Australian lawyers. It is as if they make it up as they go along.

It may have seemed that way, but there was always serious purpose. In 2008, a secret Pentagon document prepared by the Cyber Counterintelligence Assessments Branch foretold a detailed plan to discredit WikiLeaks and smear Assange personally.

The mission, as the Pentagon document says, was to destroy the trust that was WikiLeaks center of gravity. This would be achieved with threats of exposure [and] criminal prosecution. Silencing and criminalizing such an unpredictable source of truth-telling was the aim.

Perhaps this was understandable. WikiLeaks has exposed the way America dominates much of human affairs, including its epic crimes, especially in Afghanistan and Iraq: the wholesale, often homicidal killing of civilians and the contempt for sovereignty and international law.

These disclosures are protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. As a presidential candidate in 2008, Barack Obama, a professor of constitutional law, lauded whistleblowers as part of a healthy democracy [who] must be protected from reprisal.

In 2012, the Obama campaign boasted on its website that Obama had prosecuted more whistleblowers in his first term than all other U.S. presidents combined. Before Manning had even received a trial, Obama had publicly pronounced the former Army intelligence analyst guilty.

Few seriou...

18:58

Hillsong Church- meet Hillsongs sex deviate founder Frank Houston. Part Nine. Rev Frank Houston teen homosexual pedophile victim Peter Fowler abused at Lower Hutt Assemblies of God "IndyWatch Feed National"

 

The founder of Hilsong Global Church Frank Houston a lifelong secret homosexual and pedophile. Confessed in 1999.

The founder of Hilsong Global Church Frank Houston a lifelong secret homosexual and pedophile while in Christian ministry. Confessed in 1999.

 

Peter Fowler, a teen sexual abuse victim of the founder of Hillsong Frank Houston, wrote the following to Pastor Philip Powell of Christian Witness Ministries on 13th July 2003.

Christian Witness Ministries was a prophetic ministry which exposed the corruption of Brian and Frank Houston, the Australian Assembies of God and Hillosng, on 13th July 2003. Pastor philip Powell passed away in 2015.

 

Peter Fowlers letter to Pastor Philip Powell:

Dear Philip

I am very pleased to be able to report that I have reached a settlement with AOGNZ and the Lower Hutt AOG. The terms of the settlement are confidential to the parties and the only public comment I can make is the following statement: Peter Fowler and the Assemblies of God in NZ and the Assembly of God Lower Hutt Church have confidentially in a Christian spirit resolved all differences between them relating to the alleged abuse of Peter Fowler by Frank Houston. You will note that no settlement has been reached with Fra...

18:49

Two men charged with theft during Lismore floods "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

During the flooding incident in Lismore police saw six people floating two large buckets out of a bottle shop on Keen Street.

They were chest deep in floodwater and police were aware that the rear roller door of the drive-through bottle shop had been compromised due to the floods.

The alcohol, consisting of 12 bottles of wine, 12 bottles of beer and one bottle of cider valued at $208.37 were seized and returned to the owner of the bottle shop.

Police have now arrested two Lismore men, a 19-year-old and a 20-year-old, over the incident.

Both have been charged with larceny and will appear in Lismore Local Court in July.

Police say they will speak to the other five people as the investigation continues.

The post Two men charged with theft during Lismore floods appeared first on Echonetdaily.

18:28

NATIONALS SHOULD NAME LOCATIONS FOR NUTTY NUCLEAR POWER PLANT PLAN "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

The Greens NSW Energy spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today slammed the National Party and NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro for raising the prospect of a nuclear power plant in NSW saying renewable energy is safer, cheaper, and more effective at combatting climate change.

I challenge John Barilaro and Gladys Berejiklian to name which electorate, which suburb and which town in NSW they think a nuclear power plant should be built in, Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham said.

They also need to come clean with where they are planning to have a nuclear waste dump to manage the highly radioactive waste fuel that will be produced.

Nuclear power is an enormous risk that is not worth taking. We should learn the lessons from Fukushima and Chernobyl that nuclear power can be catastrophic.

This is just another nutty, extreme idea from the National Party who is stuck in the wrong century pushing coal and nuclear and ignoring the massive renewable energy potential of Australia.

Launching their nuclear ambitions in Broken Hill shows the Nationals are completely out of touch with the community and the future of energy supply in Australia.

One of the largest solar farms in the country, the Broken Hill Solar Plant, has just been built and the nearby Silverton Wind Farm will be the largest wind project in NSW once it is constructed.

The declining cost of renewables means nuclear energy does not make financial sense, as we can see with Japanese giant Toshiba going broke because of its involvement in nuclear power plants.

Even if the Nationals could force nuclear power through massive community opposition, it is not an answer to our energy needs or...

18:16

Nature Conservation Council of NSW slams Deputy Premiers nuclear power plan "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Green groups shut down nuclear NSW talk, http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/green-groups-shut-down-nuclear-nsw-talk/news-story/0a4b29c1a3ae25ad8e67ce3c0130b6a2 Green groups have reacted swiftly to condemn an attempt by Deputy NSW Premier John Barilaro to place nuclear energy back on the agenda.

Mr Barilaro told the NSW Nationals Annual Conference in Broken Hill on Thursday nuclear energy could mean guaranteed power to millions, lower bills and next to no emissions in the face of a power crisis.

He said energy costs were crushing businesses, farmers and families.

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW called on Premier Gladys Berejiklian to declare nuclear options werent on the table.

Renewables are by far the cheapest, cleanest and most sustainable way to meet our energy needs, chief executive Kate Smolski said in a statement.

She said nuclear power was dirty, dangerous and expensive and could leave a toxic legacy.

Ms Smolski challenged Mr Barilaro to explain which electorate would house a nuclear reactor, uranium processing plant and radioactive waste dumps.

The NSW Greens energy spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said Mr Barilaros comments showed the party was out of touch with the community.

This is just another nutty, extreme idea from the National Party who is stuck in the wrong century pushing coal and nuclear and ignoring the massive renewable energy potential of Australia, he said.


18:14

NORFOLK ISLAND BIRDWATCHING EXPERIENCE "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

14.00
Normal 0 false false false EN-AU X-NONE X-NONE ...

17:27

Manus closure: Government reveals plans to move up to 440 men to East Lorengau Transit Facility "IndyWatch Feed National"

The Department of Immigration revealed today in Budget Estimates that it plans to expand bed capacity at the East Lorengau Refugee Transit Centre to house up to 440 men on Manus when it closes the detention centre in October.

The HRLCs Director of Legal Advocacy, Daniel Webb, who has travelled to Manus three times to witness conditions first-hand, said the revelations are further proof that the government has no viable plan to provide safety for all of the men on Manus.

The government has known for a long time that the Manus camps days are numbered. But it has never had a humane or viable plan for the innocent men trapped inside it. It's not good enough to just chuck a few extra mattresses on the floor and leave these men languishing in another facility round the corner, said Mr Webb.

These men have been detained for four years. Most were found to be refugees ages ago. They deserve a chance to finally begin rebuilding their lives in safety, not a temporary move to another unsafe place down the road, said Mr Webb.

The Department also confirmed that shots were fired directly into the Manus Island detention centre during an incident on Good Friday and that nine people had been injured. A statement from the department originally said a weapon was fired into the air and no-one was injured.

These men have been shot at, beaten and suffered the mental torment of not knowing if or when their ordeal would ever end. Manus is not a safe place for them - never has been, never will be, added Mr Webb.

"It becomes clearer with every passing day that the only humane and viable way forward is the most obvious one - immediately evacuate anyone who is not resettled in the US to safety in Australia."

There are currently 56 men in the Transit Centre and 790 men in the Regional Processing Centre.

For further comments or interview please contact:

Michelle Bennett, Director of Communications, Human Rights Law Centre, 0419 100 519

16:55

Mount Everest Claims Five Lives in the Past Month "IndyWatch Feed National"

Light illuminates Mount Everest (C) during sunset in Solukhumbu district, also known as the Everest region, in this picture taken November 30, 2015. Credit: Reuters/Navesh Chitrakar/File Photo

Kathmandu: Two more climbers have died on Mount Everest, taking the death toll on the worlds highest mountain in the past month to at least five amid mountaineers safety concerns, officials said on Monday (May 22).

A 54-year-old Australian, Francesco Enrico Marchetti, died on the Tibetan side of Everest, while Vladimir Strba, 48, of Slovakia, perished near the Balcony in the south in Nepal, officials said. Both climbers died on Sunday, May 21.

Marchetti died due to apparent altitude sickness about 8,300 metres (27,230 feet) above sea level while on his summit approach, said Navin Trita...

16:51

The trouble with the Chinese economy and what it means for Australia And everyone else "IndyWatch Feed National"

ANALYSIS

China. Or Chaynaar, as the 45th President of the United States of America prefers.

As Donald Trumps political fortunes continue to unravel in Washington, with political scandal jostling with diplomatic intrigue and internal bickering for headlines, a more immediate problem is bubbling away to our immediate north.

Its always difficult to get a clear handle on the Chinese economy.

Official reporting generally is pre-determined, offering little more than an opaque view into the inner workings of one of the worlds great economic conundrums; a centralised Communist government overseeing a capitalist economy.

But in the past week, there have been some concerning signals emanating from Beijing that all may not be well and that its latest attempt to extract itself from a looming debt crisis has done more harm than good not for the first time.

How did it come to this?

A decade ago, China saved capitalism from itself. As the global economy lurched...

16:36

Asian Stocks Track Wall Sts Rally Despite Global Worries "IndyWatch Feed National"

TOKYO Asian stocks rose Monday, cheered by the latest rally on Wall Street and relative quiet in U.S. politics as President Donald Trump began his first official trip overseas as president.

KEEPING SCORE: Japans benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.4 percent to 19,673.17. Australias S&P/ASX 200 added 0.8 percent to 5,771.10. South Koreas Kospi gained 0.5 percent to 2,299.52. Hong Kongs Hang Seng jumped 0.9 percent to 25,412.26, although the Shanghai Composite lost 0.3 percent to 3,083.00. Southeast Asian markets were also higher.

MARKET WORRIES: Among the global developments adding to investor fears are the various controversies swirling around the Trump administration. But news was relatively quiet over the weekend as Trump visited Saudi Arabia, getting a reprieve from the controversies that have marred his young presidency. Trump will travel on to Israel and Europe and attend a summit of the Group of Seven nations.

THE QUOTE: North Korea conducted a missile test on Sunday, but it is not expected to cause much financial market impact as both the U.S. and South Korea have been restrained in their reactions, said Zhu Huani, an analyst at Mizuho Bank in Singapore.

WALL STREET: The S&P 500 index rose 0.7 percent to 2,381.73 and the Dow Jones industrial average also added 0.7 percent, to 20,804.84. The Nasdaq composite index gained 0.5 percent to 6,083.70.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil added 39 cents to $51.06 a bar...

16:30

Corruption and Nepotism Within the Queensland Police Force "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

As reported in a previous blog, two senior crime managers on the Gold Coast raised concerns in January about crime data being manipulated by members of the force in an effort to make it appear that crime and complaints are down. Officers pressured into performance targets The Auditor General was called in to investigate the

The post Corruption and Nepotism Within the Queensland Police Force appeared first on Sydney Criminal Lawyers.

15:32

15:23

Restored Republic via a GCR as of May 22, 2017 "IndyWatch Feed National"

Restored Republic via a GCR as of May 22 2017

Compiled 12:27 am EDT 22 May 2017 by Judy Byington, MSW, LCSW, ret, CEO, Child Abuse Recovery www.ChildAbuseRecovery.com; Author, "Twenty Two Faces," www.22faces.com

Source: Dinar Chronicles

A. May 21 2017 One Who Knows:

1. I have confirmed from my top sources that the UK is exchanging. Tank has reported that he knows about it from first hand sources as well. It was also confirmed by Grandfather that the Zim was exchanged in Australia at a low contract rate on the $100T, and at more than face value on the rest of the denominations. The people who were in that group with $100T notes got screwed by their contract.

2. The plan has always been to start exchanging in the Far East, then the Middle East/Europe, and finally here in the West. It is not all happening on the very same day.

3. Europe started exchanging on Wed. May 17.

4. The Far East must have started possibly Sun. May 21.

5. We are highly expectant to start Sun. May 21, or at least by Monday before markets open at 9am EDT May 22.

6. I wouldn't be surprised that by when the US gets started exchanging, it goes public, the official rates changes at the IMF, and we get 800# by email and on web sites.

7. We may have a few hours or even a day of Segments in the US, but I think the GCR is going to be done and listed on the IMF website very quickly once we start.

8. There will be toll free numbers to call to set up appointments. If you have Zim you will get a special number to call.

9. You might be contacted before the rates change publicly (end of GCR - posting on IMF website), or you will get the numbers on websites and by email when it goes live.

B. May 21 2017 Poof:

1. The bottleneck has been found, the plug in the system that has kept it from happening is real, is huge.

2. There are those sweating blood over how to even survive the investigation. They have been out of ethics for a very long time and cant produce what is needed.

3. Just sit tight and allow the officials to figure out how to unthread the bound up systems that carry all the wires. There are many. Let the weight of the pressures that they feel do its work, and just sit tight; I know thats what you have been doing but do it now for a short while. Get the logical and sequential efforts in line and hang with what is.

C. May 21 2017 Susan:

1. The never...

14:10

Fighting Tourists for Booze in Thailand "IndyWatch Feed National"

Thailand is a bit of an anomaly in South East Asia in that its the only nation in the area to have never been colonised. This was due to a series of able rulers in the early 20th Century, back when the country was still called Siam. And perhaps because of that, its been the most stable nation in the region, which isnt hard when you look at the macabre recent histories of Indonesia, Cambodia and Vietnam, just to name a few. Yes, Thailand has had recent political turmoil, but thats been relatively bloodless, and its strength in exporting and its flourishing tourism industry have helped it remain an economic anchor for the continent and a middle power globally.

So it was my first day in Thailand, right, and I was totally fucked like, proper off-my-nut drinking loudly in the sun till Im sunburnt then carrying on drinking slightly less loudly in the shade kind of pissed. You know the kind the taste of metal filling your mouth, words bouncing off each as they flounder out of your face to whoever is in a two-metre radius, annoying, boorish, fuckingdrunk.

Id flown into Phuket that morning and was already on a boat towards the legendary island of Koh Phi Phi, which exploded into the tourist consciousness in the early 2000s by way of being near the beach from The Beach, which, if youre like me, is a film you fucking hate and wish everyone whos been inspired to travel by watching it would shut the fuck up about it and stop fucking playing that guitar near me cos honest to god if I fucking hear another breathy acoustic cover of Daft Punk or some shit Im going to go mental.

I leer into the hostel and dash my stuff in the room which, like most tourist hostels, smells like moist socks, hormones and loneliness. I was told of a place there called the Reggae Reggae Bar that, despite instilling a more laidback immediate impression with its name, was a place tourists could go to have three-round Muay Thai fights for the ultimate prize of a free bucket of alcohol.

Now if Im honest, I really quite enjoy fighting and drinking, so I was happy to take part. Happiness is actually a strange thing when you think about it. Am I really happy in the moment of having a scrap with its starter of pure, surging anxiety; its main course of frantic thrashing served with large erratic dollops of pain; and its dessert of slight confusion yet mostly relief that the relentless hurting and physical exhaustion had stopped? No, of course Im not happy; Im terrified, alone, reduced to desolate animal instinct.

Happiness, maybe, is a purely retrospective condi...

14:00

Australian Dollar and Bitcoin "IndyWatch Feed National"

1.00 AUD = 0.0003 BTC
0.0010 BTC = 3.00 AUD
Converter

13:51

Bob Brown joins hundreds at nationwide beach protests to protect Great Australian Bight from oil and gas drilling "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Sunday, 21 May 2017 - 1:30pm

GREAT AUSTRALIAN BIGHT ALLIANCE MEDIA RELEASE May 20, 2017

  • Xenophon and Greens take a stand for their communities and say no to drilling in Bight
  • Libs and ALP back oil and gas industry and imaginary jobs, ahead of 10,000 real fishing and tourism jobs
  • BPs oil spill modelling showed spill could hit Adelaide in 20 days and Kangaroo Island in 15 days; and anywhere along Australias southern coast from Western Australia to Tasmania

Hundreds of people lined the shores across Australia today calling for the Liberal and Labor parties to protect the pristine waters of the Great Australian Bight from oil and gas exploration, with Hands Across the Sand events happening from New South Wales to Western Australia.

Wilderness Society South Australia Director Peter Owen said: The Greens and South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon have already taken a stand for their communities by saying no to oil and gas drilling in the Great Australian Bight in the Australian Senate inquirys report handed down this month.

IMAGE: Bob Brown and Peter Owen talk to the media at the Hands Across the Sands event at Glenelg Beach in Adelaide

The Liberal and Labor parties, however, seem more concerned about the interests of the oil and gas industry rather than the communities they are elected to represent. Both major parties seem more interested in imaginary oil and gas industry jobs than the 10,000 real fishing and tourism jobs in South Australias coastal regions that would be threatened by an oil spill.

BPs own oil spill modelling showed that a spill from an uncontained blowout from its proposed Stromlo-1 well was guaranteed to impact the South Australian coast, and that anywhere across all of southern Australias coast could be impactedfrom Western Australia across to Tasmania and NSW. A spill could hit Adelaide in 20 days and could hit Port Lincoln and Kangaroo Island in 15 days.

Mr Owen, the Australian Environmentalist of the Year, was joined by former Greens leader Bob Brown at Adelaides Glenelg Beach.......

13:25

PERTH Westdrill fined $10k after truck incident at Pilbara mine "IndyWatch Feed National"

snip .

Westdrill fined $10k after truck incident at Pilbara mine .

May 22, 2017 at 12:03PM .

Drill and blast services company Westdrill has been fined $10,000 in Perth Magistrates Court for two mine safety breaches at Mineral Resources Iron

https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=https://www.australianmining.com.au/news/westdrill-fined-10k-truck-incident-pilbara-mine/&ct=ga&cd=CAIyGjY4M2YzY2YyMWY0NTY1YTk6Y29tOmVuOlVT&usg=AFQjCNFC_OeEMEoj8U49qkLcDsxfLH5LgA

https://ifttt.com/myrecipes/personal/23688280 .

.


Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: australia, crime, perth

13:23

Serially abused: why everyones wrong about the Oxford comma "IndyWatch Feed National"

I am not the type to correct someones possessive use of its on a Facebook post, and the moment I correct someone on using amount when they should have used number I feel embarrassed for myself rather than for them.

11:50

Uluru convention must be visionary and not minimalist otherwise the divide will not be between White and Black but between Black and Black "IndyWatch Feed National"

It is a given that there will be constitutional recognition of the First Peoples of this continent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It is a given that the racialised clauses will be deleted from the Australian Constitution and stains diabolical and cruel cleansed from the nations imprimatur and from our []

11:49

Time for a reality check? Budget bottom lines cant meet community expectations "IndyWatch Feed National"

Next months State Budget will struggle to meet community expectations with a survey released today by the South Australian Council of Social Service showing that most South Australians want a boost to public spending, particularly on health, education and community services. At the same time the public wants lower state taxes, and with a forecast decline in real terms in the coming years in Government revenue and expenditure, there is no way this can add up.
 
SACOSS CEO Ross Womersley:  We analysed the survey results about what people wanted alongside the last Budget figures and it is clear that the desire for more spending on infrastructure and public services cant be met with current levels of taxation, and reducing waste wont contribute much either. So there is a hard choice for the government and the community we either accept poorer infrastructure and lower levels of services, or (as Scott Morrison recently found out federally) we need to look at our tax system.
 
SACOSS commissioned Mint Research to survey 1000 South Australians with the results showing that 68% of respondents wanted to see more spent on government services overall, including 26% who wanted a lot more spent. 
 
Of the seven broad areas of government spending surveyed, spending on industry support was the only area where there was not majority support for more spending.
 
SACOSS CEO, Ross Womersley said, The survey showed strong public support for more government spending, especially in key areas like health, education and community services. There was almost no support for cutting funding for those services to address Budget pressures.
 
Health, education and community services already account for 62% of government operational expenditure, but with cuts to services in some areas still being experienced, it is no surprise that the public expressed desire for more funding in those areas.
 
Perceptions of Government waste
 
The survey also highlighted significant concern in the community that the government was wasting money. 
...

11:47

North Korea: Kim Jong-un says ballistic missile ready for action after test "IndyWatch Feed National"

ABC News Australia

North Korea: Kim Jong-un says ballistic missile ready for action after test

22 May 2017

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un says the intermediate-range ballistic missile that was tested yesterday is ready for action, according to the reclusive states news agency.

Key points:

  • North Korea confirmed reports of the launch made by South Korea, US
  • Kim Jong-un approved deployment of the weapon for action
  • US says economic and diplomatic pressure will be applied to North Korea

The test was reported by South Korea yesterday, and the KCNA news agency today released a statement claiming the launch was a success.

The launch verified the reliability and accuracy of the solid-fuel engines operation and stage separation and the late-stage guidance of the nuclear warhead which was recorded by a device mounted on the warhead, KCNA said.

11:28

Massive Spill Kept Secret: Australia Oil Regulator Hid Key Leak Data for Months "IndyWatch Feed National"

(Sputnik)  Australias governmental oil watchdog group knew for months about a previously uncontrolled underwater oil leak but kept the information hidden from the public until now.

The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA), a government agency tasked with monitoring industry compliance as well as tracking well integrity, health and safety, and environmental management of Australias petrochemical industry, did not report a 2016 two-month uncontrolled underwater oil pipeline leak, only releasing the data now in its annual report.

Following a routine inspection in 2016, NOPSEMA technicians identified an underwater oil pipeline that was continuously leaking oil at the rate of some 50 gallons a day, according to a report by The Guardian.

According to the report, some 3,000 gallons of unprocessed crude oil spewed into the surrounding marine ecosystem over the course of two months before the leak was finally patched.

A spokesperson for NOPSEMA claimed that the leak occurred after a pipeline seal failed. The spokesperson would not reveal the name of the company that owns and operates the pipeline, or the precise location of the spill, asserting only that it happened on the North West Shelf, about 155 square miles of open ocean of varying depth off the coast of Western Australia, which boasts extensive oil and gas deposits.

NOPSEMA and local government officials came in for heavy criticism from Greenpeace Australia Pacific for suppressing the information. The environmental organization observed that no punishments or fines have been levied against the unnamed operator of the pipeline.

Oil barrell
Image Source: olle svensson, Flickr, Creative Commons

Australians, and especially those who rely on the ocean for their livelihood, should be deeply concerned by reports that the national oil regulator has withheld information from the public, a senior Greenpeace official said.

Theres absolutely no justification for continuing to keep the company involved or the location of the oil spill a secret. NOPSEMA must immediately make the identity of the company involved and the location of the spill ava...

11:12

Lennox and Goliath: Large protest rally planned "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Protesters calling for the proposed Lennox Ski jump DA to be abandoned. Photo supplied.

Protesters calling for the proposed Lennox Ski jump DA to be abandoned. Photo supplied.

Anger is being expressed over Ballina mayor David Wrights refusal to state if he will step down from the joint regional planning panel (JRPP), the body that will consider the development application (DA) for the Lennox Head ski jump.

In an open letter to the JRPP that was copied to Ballina Shire councillors and local media outlets, the Lennox Head Against the Ski Jump (LHASJ) group have outlined why they do not believe that mayor Wright should sit on the JRPP.

Mayor Wrights firm support for the ski jump has been made clear over the last four years, right up until very recent presentations to our children at school, states the letter.

To function properly and maintain public trust, JRPP members must be impartial. Therefore, given mayor Wrights clear and longstanding support for the ski jump, it makes a mockery of the JRPP that he should be offered a position to hear this matter, and then for him to have the lack of judgment and probity to accept the position, it continued.

Mayor Wright has stated that he is yet to make a decision on whether he will sit on the panel or step aside for his alternate, deputy mayor Jeff Johnson.

The DA has yet to be assessed, said mayor Wright.

I will discuss my position with the secretariat when they contact me and am asked if I have a conflict of interest.

Protest rally called

In the mean time the LHASJ group are launching the call to reject the state government and office of sport proposal for a 10 to 12 storey ski jump on its pristine coastline.

The recently lodged DA with Ballina council, by the office of sport proposing the development of a aerial training ski jump, would dwarf all local and regional buildings. A two storey building limit in Lennox Head and surrounding areas would mean tha...

11:06

Have your say on the north coast shark net trial "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

NSW DPI is collecting feedback on the controversial six-month shark net trial on the north coast. Photo supplied

NSW DPI is collecting feedback on the controversial six-month shark net trial on the north coast. Photo supplied

The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is inviting north coast residents and stakeholders to provide feedback on the trial of shark nets at five beaches in Ballina, Lennox Head and Evans Head.

Residents can have their say at one of a number of community kiosks, by phone or via an online feedback form.

The six-month north coast shark net trial that ran during summer and autumn, when the largest number of swimmers and surfers use the beach, is due to end on June 13.

Timing may change if large numbers of whales are seen close to shore and is obviously dependent on weather conditions.

DPI Fisheries deputy director Dr Geoff Allan said data from the trial would now be analysed by DPIs shark scientists to assess the effectiveness of the trial.

There is no silver bullet when it comes to shark attack mitigation however our aim has always been to minimise the risk to swimmers and surfers whilst minimising the amount of by-catch, Dr Allan said.

We would like to gauge the views of the local community on the outcomes of the six month trial of shark nets at Sharpes, Shelly and Lighthouse beaches at Ballina, Seven Mile Beach at Lennox Head and Main Beach at Evans Head.

DPI will be surveying the community via phone or at one of our community drop-in stands between now and Wednesday May, 31.

Members of the community can also complete the survey online at DPIs website.

Community input will inform part of the governments decision on the best measures to protect swimmers and surfers moving forward.

Apart from the mesh nets, DPI has been collecting data on the use of SMART drumlines as a shark management tool.

SMART drumlines caught far more target sharks than mesh nets during the mesh net trial, Dr Allan said.

When the nets are removed DPI will increase the number of SMART drumlines from 25 to 35 in the trial area and conduct aerial surveillance from helicopters and drones to help protect swimmers and surfers.

We will condu...

10:37

Getting Julian Assange "IndyWatch Feed National"

Julian Assange has been vindicated because the Swedish case against him was corrupt. The prosecutor, Marianne Ny, obstructed justice and should be prosecuted. Her obsession with Assange not only embarrassed her colleagues and the judiciary but exposed the Swedish states collusion with the United States in its crimes of war and rendition.

Had Assange not sought refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, he would have been on his way to the kind of American torture pit Chelsea Manning had to endure.

This prospect was obscured by the grim farce played out in Sweden. Its a laughing stock, said James Catlin, one of Assanges Australian lawyers. It is as if they make it up as they go along.

It may have seemed that way, but there was always serious purpose. In 2008, a secret Pentagon document prepared by the Cyber Counterintelligence Assessments Branch foretold a detailed plan to discredit WikiLeaks and smear Assange personally.

The mission was to destroy the trust that was WikiLeaks centre of gravity. This would be achieved with threats of exposure [and] criminal prosecution. Silencing and criminalising such an unpredictable source of truth-telling was the aim.

Perhaps this was understandable. WikiLeaks has exposed the way America dominates much of human affairs, including its epic crimes, especially in Afghanistan and Iraq: the wholesale, often homicidal killing of civilians and the contempt for sovereignty and international law.

These disclosures are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution. As a presidential candidate in 2008, Barack Obama, a professor of constitutional law, lauded whistle blowers as part of a healthy democracy [and they] must be protected from reprisal.

In 2012, the Obama campaign boasted on its website that Obama had prosecuted more whistleblowers in his first term than all other US presidents combined. Before Chelsea Manning had even received a trial, Obama had publicly pronounced her guilty.

Few serious observers doubt that should the US get their hands on Assange, a similar fate awaits him. According to documents released by Edward Snowden, he is on a Manhunt target list. Threats of his kidnapping and assassination became almost political and media currency in the US following then Vice-President Joe Bidens prepo...

10:14

Call for support of Insulation workers "IndyWatch Feed National"

Contributed from Victoria

The Australian Workers Union (AWU) is calling on support for striking members working at Fletcher Insulation in Dandenong (Victoria).

The Unions state secretary Ben Davis took the message to the Australian Labor Partys state conference on the weekend, where he urged delegates so support the striking workers. A motion of support was passed unanimously.

Eighty nine workers have been on strike since 17 February, because of setbacks in negotiations for a new agreement. They established a picket, which continues today.

They say is that since they have assisted the company in reaching record productivity in recent years and  in the making of high profit levels, it is only right that some of this is returned in a wage rise.

Instead of doing this, management put forward an aggressive agenda during the last round of negotiations, Which included no wage increase, an increase in weekly working hours,

in the face of their employer seeking to reduce working conditions such as hours of work, manning levels and redundancy, slashing of redundancy entitlements and removing protections on job security to allow for casuals to replace full time jobs, the workers walked off the job and established a picket line at the front of their Dandenong factory in Melbournes south-eastern suburbs. security to allow for casuals to replace full time jobs.

On 29 March,  management applied to the Fair Work Commission to terminate their workplace agreement which may have the effect of reducing their take home pay by up to 50 percent. This is the second time an application for this matter has been made in the manufacturing industry and may have implications for the entire manufacturing workforce if they are successful.

Some of these workers have been employed by Fletcher Insulation for over 40 years.

The AWU is collecting signatures form workplaces across Australia and New Zealand, for a petition that calls on the board of Fletcher Building Group to make a fair offer to this group of loyal workers.

To help the Fletcher workers visit the link.

 

The post Call for support of Insulation workers appeared first on The Pen.

10:12

Suffolk Parks community celebration picnic "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Donald and Helena Maughan with their grandchildren Toby and Ayda Hallahan. Photo supplied.

Donald and Helena Maughan with their grandchildren Toby and Ayda Hallahan. Photo supplied.

Celebrating our park the Suffolk Park community is coming together for a funday picnic this coming Sunday, May 28.

The all ages event will be a community celebration of winning the 2016 Save Our Park Campaign when Suffolk Park almost lost its only, open green space.

Starting at midday there will be live music from the Tin Can String Band, Childrens Entertainer Shorty Brown, face painting plus old style races including egg and spoon and sack races. All winners will receive a Village Champion award.

The picnic will end with a fun-filled finale, a Beachside vs Lakeside residents tug of war.

We have shown what can be achieved when we all pull together, said Suffolk Park Progress Associations president, Donald Maughan.

Now we want to know who are the strongest in the great Suffolk Park tug of war!

Residents are invited to bring their own picnic hampers but the Byron Bay Preschool will be holding a sausage sizzle from midday.

People are asked, where possible, to walk to the event due to limited parking.

Community happens when individuals come together, have fun and acknowledge each other. Let this be the motto of our village, Mr Maughan concluded.

The post Suffolk Parks community celebration picnic appeared first on Echonetdaily.

10:07

Nurses welcome review following Lismore Hospital death "IndyWatch Feed National"

The NSW Nurses and Midwives Association (NSWNMA) has welcomed reports the NSW Government has commissioned a independent review into seclusion, restraint and observations in the states mental health system.

The review follows the 2014 death of patient Miriam Merten at the Lismore Base Hospitals mental health unit.

A six-person panel will determine whether the NSW mental health system is consistent with national standards and international best practice.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard says no stone will be left unturned by NSW Chief Psychiatrist Murray Wright and the five other mental health experts.

We need to know appropriate policies are in place in our hospitals and mental health facilities and the extent to which staff actually adhere to existing policies and protocol, Mr Hazzard said in a statement on Monday.

Nurses have called on the review to seriously consider to skill mix, staffing ratios, and whether appropriate training and supervision is being provided.

General Secretary of the NSWNMA, Brett Holmes, said it was vital the review panel took a close look at staffing skill mixes and overall staffing levels when considering issues of aggression and violence that lead to restraint and seclusion in emergency departments and mental health units.

The skill mix of staff is a critical component in seclusion, restraint and observation practices throughout public mental health facilities and hospitals across NSW, Mr Holmes said.

We will certainly be requesting the review panel to pay close attention to skill mix, as well as staffing ratios, and whether appropriate training and supervision has been provided across all settings.

At the end of the day, the safety of staff and patients has to be given priority because of the potential risks and known levels of violence occurring in both mental health units and emergency departments.

The use of specialling or 1:1 nursing is one element to help reduce escalation issues for patients in mental health units however, we are concerned that staff assigned as specials during a shift are often lower skilled and therefore inadequately prepared for the role of deescalating aggressive or self-harming patients and are vulnerable themselves.

The broad terms of reference means the review panel will be extremely busy for the next seven months and I welcome the opportunity for our members to contribute to this review, said Mr Holmes.

with AAP

The post Nurses welcome review fol...

10:06

Confronting Unwanted Sexual Attention in Sri Lanka "IndyWatch Feed National"

In 2011, pop-singer Rihanna released a video clip for her single Man Down, in which she plays a regretful fugitive after shooting down her rapist in a busy train station.

Contextualising her Barbadian vocals and the electro-reggae beat, the clip depicts Rihanna as the local sweetheart about town, who, in lacy white apparel, strolls through sun-filtered lanes, rides bikes and kisses her elders, plaits swinging and coconuts in hand.

Later, after rejecting his advances, Rihanna is raped by her former dancefloor partner outside a house party. After deliberation, she shoots him dead. Her lyrical exploration of remorse raises questions about consent, rape and revenge.

In response to North American parent groups who criticised the video clip for its sexually violent content, feminist writers argued that Rihannas portrayal of rape, which causes isolation and self-annihilation among survivors, emphasises female moral agency; ignoring a womans refusal to sex should be punished.

Not a Rihanna fan, I didnt discover Man Down until the beginning of a recent trip to Sri Lanka, where, on the southern coast, I was drinking with a group of multinational acquaintances in their guesthouse, where it played full-bore.

Here, I listened as their host a trim, blonde-tipped Sri Lankan in his early 30s explained a complex of his: with a wife and two toddlers at home, it was difficult to maintain promising holiday flings with his foreign guests; the distance between Europe and Sri Lanka was simply too great.

It seemed a curious problem for a married man from, in comparison to the liberal sex and drinking cultures of his western guests, a conservative social backdrop. Did he think Id approve of his behaviour? I resisted judgement. He was hospitable and well-liked by his guests, an all-round nice guy.

That was until some days later, when I ran into one of those guests at the beach. She told me that this host had, following the nights heavy partying at a local surf hostel, let himself into one of his female guests rooms while she slept, climbed into her bed and tried to kiss her.

Of course, s...

10:04

Its all down hill for Bangalows billy carts "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

It was serious business for pilots of billycarts in Bangalow for the annual derby. Photo Tree Faerie

It was serious business for pilots of billy carts in Bangalow for the annual derby. Photo Tree Faerie

Eve Jeffery

The gods of three and four wheeled dreams played nice on Sunday and the weather was perfect for the annual running of the Bangalow Billy Cart Derby.

With a 12 event card, adorned with a parade and fun with the firefighters, music, dance and food, Bangalow once again brought out its best, and everyone had way more than their allocated serve of fun.

Bangalow Billy Cart Derby co-ordinator Richard Millyard said, the sun shone on the derby for the 17th consecutive year on Sunday and it proved to be another great day.

Congratulations to Dunoon Primary, which scooped the pool, taking both first and second prizes in the Traditional Billy Cart Schools Challenge and picked up all of the $1,000 prize money, he said.

Photos  Tree Faerie

09:36

Aust, China in joint ocean research work "IndyWatch Feed National"

The melting of Antarctic ice sheets and how this affects future sea-level rise will be investigated at the new research centre. Photo CSIRO

The melting of Antarctic ice sheets and how this affects future sea-level rise will be investigated at the new research centre. Photo CSIRO

Andrew Drummond

HOBART [AAP]

China and Australia have joined forces in their research missions to gauge the impact on global climate of changing ocean conditions.

A Hobart-based research centre is due to be opened on Monday, a collaboration between the CSIRO, Chinas Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, and the universities of Tasmania and NSW.

Although China and Australia arent close geographically, many of the southern oceans processes that influence Australias climate, also influence Chinas climate, Professor Lixin Wu said.

Since climate change is a great challenge to the whole world, we have to rise to it hand in hand in collaboration.

The centre will attract $20 million funding over five years as it investigates southern hemisphere oceans stretching from the tropics to Antarctica.

There is much complex science at work, CSIRO chief executive Larry Marshall said.

The oceans in the southern hemisphere play a crucial role in the climate system, absorbing more heat and carbon dioxide than any other region in the world.

It is also an exciting opportunity to work with Chinas leading marine science and technology organisation often in answering some of sciences biggest questions, you need to take a global approach.

The research centres work will include looking at melting Antarctic ice shelves, along with investigating the influence of the El Nino climate phenomena.

The post Aust, China in joint ocean research work appeared first on...

09:32

Lindt families vent anger at police action "IndyWatch Feed National"

An August 2016 image of acting deputy commissioner Jeff Loy leaving the Lindt Cafe Siege inquest in Sydney. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

An August 2016 image of acting deputy commissioner Jeff Loy leaving the Lindt Cafe Siege inquest in Sydney. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

SYDNEY [AAP]

The families of Lindt Cafe siege victims Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson have lost faith in police after the sitting through the harrowing inquest into their deaths.

NSW Coroner Michael Barnes will on Wednesday hand down his findings into the December 2014 siege sparked by terrorist Man Haron Monis.

Police stormed the cafe in the early hours of December 16 after Monis shot dead Mr Johnson 17 hours after the siege started.

Police shot him dead and Katrina Dawson was fatally wounded by at least seven police bullet fragments.

Mr Johnsons mother Rosie Connellan says she initially believed the role of police in the events leading to her sons death was straightforward.

We thought that Monis had killed Tori and, you know, it was relatively simple: the police had done everything possible and that was it, she tells ABC Four Corners program.

But she said the evidence at the inquest changed her opinion.

As it unfolded it was just, it was horrific. Every day we thought: This cant get worse, and every day it got worse what was coming out in evidence, Ms Connellan said.

She was angry police waited until someone was killed before taking action.

Ill never be able to understand how you can make a calculated decision that you wait for someone to die. Its just beyond me, she said.

Mr Johnsons partner, Thomas Zinn, said he had lost faith in the police.

I have no trust because of the great level of incompetence that has been revealed, Mr Zinn said.

Ms Dawsons parents said they sat through the inque...

09:30

More coal mines equal more poverty: Oxfam "IndyWatch Feed National"

Oxfam Chief Executive Officer Helen Szoke at a press conference as part of the Pacific Islands Forum in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, Sept. 2015. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas.

Oxfam Chief Executive Officer Helen Szoke at a press conference as part of the Pacific Islands Forum in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, Sept. 2015. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas.

Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Dr Helen Szoke said a new report, More Coal Equals More Poverty, highlighted the reality that Australias current stance on coal was fundamentally at odds with the global climate crisis and the shift to renewable energy.

The Federal Governments failure to curb Australias carbon pollution and obstinate push to expand the nations coal exports continues despite the overwhelming evidence that coal and climate change is putting communities in Australia and around the world at increasing risk of harm, Dr Szoke said.

Against the backdrop of an imperilled Great Barrier Reef and extreme weather disasters, Australias carbon pollution is continuing to climb the tragic consequence of more than a decade of climate policy paralysis and short-term political opportunism.

The real cost of burning more coal will be measured in further entrenched poverty through the escalating impacts of climate change and humanitarian disasters, increasing hunger, and deaths and disease caused by pollution.

Australia must stop clinging to technologies of the past and help bring an end to the fossil fuel era. This means committing to no new coal mines including Adanis proposed mega mine in Queensland and ruling out public funding for new coal infrastructure. It means rapidly phasing out coal from our own electricity supply and increasing support for renewable energy in developing countries.

Dr Szoke said recognition of coals immense toll on vulnerable communities and why more coal would entrench poverty had been largely absent from the battle over climate and energy policy in Australia.

...

09:28

Dutton resolute on his latest crackdown "IndyWatch Feed National"

Immigration minister Peter Dutton speaks during Question Time on May 11. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Immigration minister Peter Dutton speaks during Question Time on May 11. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

CANBERRA [AAP]

Immigration minister Peter Dutton has rebuffed lawyers threatening to challenge his decision to impose a four-month deadline on so-called fake refugees.

Hes set a non-negotiable deadline of October 1 for 7,500 maritime arrivals to make a protection claim, or face the threat of deportation.

The decision already has the backing of Senate crossbencher Jacqui Lambie.

But lawyer David Manne, who has more than 2,000 asylum seekers on his legal centres books, argues the process is long and complicated.

Successive governments left thousands of people in legal limbo, not being able to apply for protection and it was only in 2015 that the bar was lifted to allow people to present their cases for protection, he told ABC radio.

Mr Dutton says some asylum seekers are refusing to submit paperwork and do not deserve to be receiving welfare.

These are people who have been here for five, six, seven years claiming to be refugees but wont provide any information, wont answer questions, in some cases wont provide information about their identity, he told the Nine Network.

They expect me to grant visas, allow some people to become citizens, when we dont even know the identity of these people. The lawyers can rant all they want.

The post Dutton resolute on his latest crackdown appeared first on Echonetdaily.

09:22

The untold story of Swedens case against Assange "IndyWatch Feed National"

This article by John Pilger was first published in Counterpunch (2 May 2017). It deals with nature of the case prosecuted by Sweden against Julian Assange, which has drawn new interests since it was dropped only days ago.

Julian Assange has been vindicated because the Swedish case against him was corrupt. The prosecutor, Marianne Ny, obstructed justice and should be prosecuted. Her obsession with Assange not only embarrassed her colleagues and the judiciary but exposed the Swedish states collusion with the United States in its crimes of war and rendition.

Had Assange not sought refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, he would have been on his way to the kind of American torture pit Chelsea Manning had to endure.

This prospect was obscured by the grim farce played out in Sweden.  Its a laughing stock, said James Catlin, one of Assanges Australian lawyers. It is as if they make it up as they go along.

It may have seemed that way, but there was always serious purpose. In 2008, a secret Pentagon document prepared by the Cyber Counterintelligence Assessments Branch foretold a detailed plan to discredit WikiLeaks and smear Assange personally.

The mission was to destroy the trust that was WikiLeaks centre of gravity. This would be achieved with threats of exposure [and] criminal prosecution. Silencing and criminalising such an unpredictable source of truth-telling was the aim.

Perhaps this was understandable. WikiLeaks has exposed the way America dominates much of human affairs, including its epic crimes, especially in Afghanistan and Iraq: the wholesale, often homicidal killing of civilians and the contempt for sovereignty and international law.

These disclosures are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution.  As a presidential candidate in 2008, Barack Obama, a professor of constitutional law, lauded whistle blowers as part of a healthy democracy [and they] must be protected from reprisal.

In 2012, the Obama campaign boasted on its website that Obama had prosecuted more whistle blowers in his first term than all other US presidents combined. Before Chelsea Manning had even received a trial, Obama had publicly pronounced her guilty.

Few serious observers doubt that should the US get their hands on Assange, a similar fate awaits him. According to documents released by Edward Snowden, he is on a Manhunt target list. Threats of his kidnapping and assassination became almost political and media currency in the US following then Vice-President Joe Bidens preposterous slur that the WikiLeaks founder was a cyber-terrorist.

Hillary Clinton, the destroyer of Libya and, as WikiLeaks revealed last year, the secret supporter and personal beneficiary of forces underwriting ISIS, prop...

09:15

Nationals dine without protestors in Narrabri "IndyWatch Feed National"

narrabri-protest-sign

Eve Jeffery

The coal seam gas industry and in particular the Narrabri Gas Project, is not having many wins in the north west of New South Wales.

While the Nationals visited the Narrabri branch recently for dinner and PR, many from the community, unable to attend the sold out event, lined the entranceway to voice their opposition to coal seam gas. The head of the NSW Nationals and Deputy Premier John Barilaro didnt receive the welcome he might have thought he would with protestors and signs greeting him on arrival.

Hopefully he took the message into the event that clearly our electorate does not want this industry to take hold, said Narrabri farmer Stuart Murray.

The exclusive dinner guests included local state member for Barwon MP Kevin Humphries and Federal MP Mark Coulton. Special guests also included gas company senior managementWe have been let down, to say it bluntly, by the Nationals support for CSG in our electorate, said Peter Small, North West Alliance member.

Nationals even in Narrabri

In 2011 Kevin Humphries was against the industry. Now its a total backflip. For him to be singing nothing but praises for coal seam gas, its causing us all whiplash.

We do not want the Narrabri Gas Project to go ahead, said Stuart Murray. We now know there is no gas crisis, but a price crisis.

The negative impacts do not way up against the minimal positive impacts being listed of this project.

...

08:57

Sparkke Change: A Bubbly White For Marriage Equality "IndyWatch Feed National"

The Sparkke Change Beverage Company breaks new ground with their White Wine Bubbles in a can and a cheers to marriage equality.

Well, theyve gone and done it again the Sparkke Change Beverage Company* has released a new product, this time targeting the vexing, seemingly never-ending sore that is the marriage equality debate in Australia.

And apart from sticking it to politicians and a few unnamed religious groups courtesy of a socially progressive message, theyve also gone done what was once the unthinkable theyve put wine in a can!

New Matilda readers might remember Sparkke from such messaging as Consent Cant Come After You Do (an Apple Cider addressing sexual consent); Change The Date (a Pilsner targeting Australia Day); Nipples are Nipples (a Hard Lemonade tackling gender equality); and Boundless Plains To Share (an Alcoholic Ginger Beer highlighting asylum seeker issues).

Sparkke-cans-range

The crew of women from Adelaide are now out with Say I Do, a white wine bubbles (think champagne, but they cant call it that because its not grown in Champagne!).

Say I Do! was launched on Wednesday (May 17) in Adelaide, to coincide with International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia (17 May). Thats an annual day which unites millions of people in support of upholding equal human rights for all, irrespective of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

White Wine Bubbles is the fifth beverage launched by the Sparkke team, which only hit the market, officially, in January this year in large part courtesy of New Matilda readers. You folks were the main driving force behind the most successful crowd sourcing campaign ever staged for an alcohol brand in Australia.

Sparkke are taking another plunge, with an even more ambitious goal theyre trying to raise $150,000 on Pozible to launch Say I Do, with 10 per cent of direct sales going to the folks at The Equality Campaign (see below), which lobbies hard for marriage equality.

The cost to get Say I Do! out the door is significant, due in no small part to the fact the Sparkke team is putting wine in a can, something that traditionaly hasnt been done in Australia (its one of the fastest growing lines in US over the last few years). Theres quite a few technical challenges with putting wine in a can. More on that in a future article.

Sarah Lyons is the Say I Do! winemaker. She describes her creation a...

08:43

Brandis interferes in Adani native title court case "IndyWatch Feed National"

This article has come in from Adrian Burragubba of the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council

The Attorney General, George Brandis, has intervened in a Federal Court hearing in which the Traditional Owners fighting Adanis proposed coal mine are seeking to strike out a fake agreement Adani claims to have for the mine to proceed.

Senator Brandis intervention follows his second failure to rush through changes to the Native Title Act. The Attorney General has asked the Court to not make a ruling, but wait for the political process around the Native Title Bill to conclude. The Bill has not passed the Senate because of a lack of consultation with Traditional Owners around the country, and concern about key provisions.

Senior spokesperson for the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners Council, Adrian Burragubba, said, The Attorney General has made an extraordinary and political intervention in matters before the court. Intervening in our case shows Brandis is working in billionaire Adanis interests, not ensuring the proper administration of justice. Again, Brandis is making Native Title all about Adanis mine instead of good law reform.

Brandis should apply himself to good law reform, and let the court do its work. Instead hes trying to influence the decisions of a judge in favour of a mining company.

The Wangan and Jagalingou Council are seeking Federal Court orders to strike out the purported Indigenous Land Use Agreement [ILUA] filed by Adani Mining with the National Native Title Tribunal. The ILUA would authorise extinguishment of our native title and allow the mine to proceed against our strong objections and our right to say No.

The Federal Government has been attempting to push through amendments to the Native Title Act to overturn the ruling in McGlade and protect Adanis interests. Along with other Traditional Owners, we continue to demand proper consultations and the necessary time to achieve consent for Native Title amendments, he said.

Youth spokesperson for the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council, Murrawah Johnson, said, Adani didnt negotiate and achieve the free prior informed consent of the W&J people. The meeting, which Adani and its barrackers claim achieved consent, with a 294 to 1 vote, is as fake as its ILUA. It is not a true expression of the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners.

Over 220 of the attendees at Adanis meeting are people who have never been involved in the W&J claim or decision making, and who are identified with other nations and claims, or didnt identify an apical descent line.

Many people were bussed in and paid for at Adanis considerable expense. The majority of the claim group, which have three times rejected an...

08:40

TPP revival not in Australias interest, says AFTINET "IndyWatch Feed National"

MEDIA RELEASE, 22 May 2017: The revival of the TPP without the US proposed by trade ministers meeting in Hanoi would not be in Australias national interest, AFTINET Convener Patricia Ranald said today. Read the media release.

 

08:06

Two teens arrested in stolen car at Goonellabah "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Two teenagers have been charged after a police pursuit from Wollongbar to Goonellabah yesterday (Sunday May 21).

About 8.35pm highway patrol officers attempted to stop a stolen Nissan Pulsar on Bruxner Highway,.

The vehicle failed to stop, a pursuit was initiated and a short time later the vehicle stopped near the intersection of Gordon Blair Drive, Goonellabah.

Two teenage boys were arrested and taken to Lismore Police Station.

A 15-year-old was charged with being carried in a conveyance and breach of bail.

He was refused bail to appear at a Childrens Court today (Monday 22 May 2017).

A 16-year-old was charged with take and drive conveyance and unlicensed driver.

He was granted strict conditional bail to appear at a Childrens Court on Friday 9 June 2017.

 

The post Two teens arrested in stolen car at Goonellabah appeared first on Echonetdaily.

08:00

Police break up fight at Jack Evans Boat Harbour "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Police were forced to break up a fight between three men at Jack Evans Boat Harbour on Saturday night (May 20) after they received calls from distressed members of the public who witnessed it.

When they arrived at the Boundary Street, Tweed Heads, park about 9.30pm police reported seeing two men punching and kicking another man in the face and body while he was on the ground.

Inspector Bobbie Cullen said the man who was being assaulted had in fact started the fight by punching one of the other males numerous times before he and his friend took it into their own hands and launched the assault that they witnessed.

The three men were separated and arrested. They were taken to Tweed Heads Police Station where they were treated for their injuries and charged with affray.

At the time of the assault there were numerous members of the public in the vicinity who were quiet distressed by what they saw.

Police will be seeking a place restriction order to prevent the three men returning to the area.

They will appear in the Tweed Heads Local Court on June 5.

 

The post Police break up fight at Jack Evans Boat Harbour appeared first on Echonetdaily.

07:57

Peter Dutton blasted for latest salvo against asylum seekers "IndyWatch Feed National"

Contributed by Adam Carlton

Immigration minister Peter Dutton has caused a storm with announcement that fake refugees are going to be dealt with.

He stands accused of contributing to profiling, by using the term to imply all the 7,500 refugees, who have not submitted applications to protection. They have until 1 October.

Those who do not comply will face deportation.

Australia has for a long time breached international obligations in the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers, such as the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, as amended by its 1967 Protocol (the Refugee Convention) that Australia signed on 22 January 1954, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

These conventions were created, when the world  had turned against the inhumanity experienced during the Second world War and was determined that history would not be repaeted. It seems that this lesson has been lost on some.

Refugee lawyer David Manne said, Successive governments left thousands of people in legal limbo not being allowed to apply for protection.

The Dutton announcement continues Australias breech of our obligations.

Advocates have attacked the move as arbitrary and the deadline as cruel and unfair.

The reality is that refugees had not been able to apply for protection since last November. Then the application documents were made so complex that applicants need legal assistance to answer some 100 questions and for most, their capacity to read English is seriously limited. Without resourcing enough interpreters and legal assistance, many will not be able to have their documentation in by the due date.

GetUps human rights director Shen Narayanasamy said, Asylum claims are incredibly long, torturous documents.

And what Peter Dutton has failed to tell you is that he has denied them interpreters and access to legal assistance.

Consequently, lawyers are warning the Federal Government can e...

07:50

Three men charged over Cheeky Monkeys assault "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

A security guard at Byron Bays Cheeky Monkeys Bar and Restaurant was lucky to escape serious injury on Friday (May 19) after three patrons who had been asked to leave attacked him.

Police say that at about 9.45pm a Queensland man aged in his mid 20s was removed from the bar.

He and two of his associates, also from Queensland, then allegedly assaulted the security guard by slamming a door into his back and grabbing him by the throat.

During the assault the security officers clothing was damaged.

Police arrived a short time later and the arrested three men.

They have CCTV footage of the incident.

The trio will appear at Byron Bay Local Court on June 8.

The post Three men charged over Cheeky Monkeys assault appeared first on Echonetdaily.

07:19

Lacklustre debut for route 58, while other tram routes suffer "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

On 1 May Yarra Trams commenced running a new tram route 58, a reorganisation of existing routes to West Coburg and Toorak.

This change had been a long time in planning, and was aimed at providing a higher daytime frequency on the increasingly popular William Street route, and providing a direct east-west connection complementing the well-established north-south corridor on St Kilda Road.

On paper, the route reorganisation helps strengthen the overall tram network and the PTUA has supported it. It was understood many travellers (particularly off-peak on the 55) would see an improvement in frequency. Others would see route changes but no reduction in service (specifically from Toorak Rd to the city, where the service now runs direct to William St, and the previous route to Swanston St requires a change).

Its unfortunate then that the introduction of the new route has been far from seamless. The first week of operation was marred by frequent reports of long delays, overcrowding, and an overall deterioration from the usual standard of service on the former route 55. While the 58 has been advertised as bringing low-floor accessible trams to the West Coburg route for the first time, the actual service has been provided with an apparently random mixture of D-class, B-class and Z-class trams. Anecdotally, of these only the B-class (with step access) has provided adequate capacity to meet passenger demand consistently.

Meanwhile, the (partial) low-floor operation has highlighted the absence of accessible platform stops in William Street. The most immediate need is for a platform stop at Flagstaff station, which would then provide an accessible connection via train and tram to the Royal Melbourne, Royal Womens and Royal Childrens Hospitals.

At the same time, the reorganisation appears to have provided the impetus for a wholesale tram timetable change covering all routes. Aspects of this new timetable are of concern. In particular (as reported in The Age on 4...

07:00

Byron Bay driver four times over limit "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

A male driver in his twenties stopped in Byron Bay just after midnight on Wednesday was more than four times over the blood alcohol limit. Another male driver of a similar age arrested on Thursday was both drunk and disqualified.

About 12.55am on Wednesday (May 17) police patrolling Lawson Street Byron Bay stopped a white Toyota Land Cruiser a roadside breath test.

The 26-year-old blew a positive result and was taken to Byron Bay Police Station, where a subsequent breath analysis returned a reading of 0.206.

The driver had his licence suspended and will appear in the Byron Bay Local Court on June 8 charged with high range drink driving.

About 11.00pm Thursday (May 18), police conducting stationary RBT in Butler/Shirley Street Byron Bay, pulled over a white Holden Commodore. The 26-year-old male driver was unable produce his drivers licence as he was disqualified.

The man failed the random breath test and taken to Byron Bay Police Station for a breath analysis, which read 0.130.

The driver was charged with driving while disqualified and medium range drink driving. Police also confiscated the keys to the vehicle.

He will appear in the Byron Bay Local Court on June 8.

 

The post Byron Bay driver four times over limit appeared first on Echonetdaily.

06:44

President Trump's speech at Arab-Islamic-American Summit "IndyWatch Feed National"

I don't want to read anything about this before I make my own mind up about how I feel. I want to watch it twice before I comment. Maybe three times! At the moment's it's a curate's egg. Scrambled.

06:33

4th anniversary of Muslim terror attack on British soil that killed Fusilier Drummer Lee Rigby. Lest We Forget. "IndyWatch Feed National"

UK: Lee Rigby's Guardians Woolwich Barracks. Commemoration of the soldier Lee Rigby killed by Muslims on 22 May 2013. pic.twitter.com/aQiE5mFiXZ Onlinemagazin (@OnlineMagazin) May 21, 2017 This note is from the late Lee Rigby's mum. On the eve of our son lees anniversary I find it hard to believe...

05:58

Western Kangoulu Native Title Group "IndyWatch Feed National"

Western Kangoulu Native Title Group

Area roughly bounded by Comet, Tieri, Clermont, Bogantungan and Springsure Queensland.

Descendants of

Polly aka Polly Brown aka Polly McAvoy
John "Jack" Bradley
Hanny of Emerald
Nannie, mother of Nelly Roberts
Annie / Nanny Duggan and Ned Duggan

Appeared in the Courier Mail of May 20, 2017

 
Some items of interest

Charley McAvoy 50 yrs, his wife Polly McAvoy 45 yrs, and daughter Maudie 9 yrs arrived at Barambah in 1917 from Clermont. Polly died on 23. 4.1920 from Influenza

Jack Bradley was buried at Cherbourg on 4. 5.1950 aged 72 years

Jack Bradley, Lizzie his wife, daughter Bessie and son Lord arrived at Barambah in 1915. Lizzie died on 14. 4.1918 from pneumonia.

04:47

Israeli-Zionist Genocide And Racism Unmasked Since The Nakbah in 1948 "IndyWatch Feed National"

Is Israel and its infamous Wall of Separation representative of a modern evolving democratic state, based upon Biblical principles and teachings, as applied towards the original indigenous Palestinian peoples of Palestine, or is it an example of yet another ethnic-cleansing, apartheid state, possessive of the same genocidal-racist tendencies as those 19th century colonial-imperialistic powers - like the United States, Canada, Australia and South Africa - who also once invaded and committed wholesale destruction of other ancient indigenous peoples entire ways of life; sweeping their survivors aside onto reservations, reserves and Bantustan-type compounds to be ultimately ignored and forgotten? Professor Ilan Pappe, one of Israel's most radical dissident historians, who now teaches and writes in exile, amply answers these questions in his latest book Ten Myths About Israel. A mere 148 pages long, this historical masterpiece reads more like a voluminous epic that eloquently offers up a clear, concise, arguably-undisputable, record of the true indigenous history of Palestine, the Palestinians and their ethnic-cleansing at the hands of the Jews ever since the Nakbah in 1948. The Nakbah a time when: 700,000 Palestinian Arabs were violently expelled; 400 to 600 of their villages sacked and destroyed; with eleven of their twelve major towns destroyed that virtually extinguished the urban life of Palestine. To the Israeli people it is celebrated as the time of their Declaration of Independence. But to the Palestinian Arabs it is simply known as the Time of the Catastrophe; which, 50 years later, in 2008, ultimately led to the Gaza War and Israel's Operation Cast Lead that killed a further 1,400 Palestinians, 926 of which were unarmed civilians, and then again, in 2012, during Israel's Operation Pillar of Cloud, when another 174 Palestinian's were killed, 107 of which were innocent civilians; later to be followed by Israel's Operation Protective Edge that further killed another 2300 Gazans, 1492 of them civilians, 551 of which were children and 209 woman, with the wounded numbering over 10,000, among which were 3,371 children, which also destroyed some 17,000 homes and partially destroyed another 30,000 homes. Such facts and figures to be gleaned from Pappe's writings, and what caused them, affords the world with a seminal platform for the 21stcentury from which to simultaneously look backwards and forwards towards the true historical origins and identity of not only Israel and Zionism towards the indigenous Arab peoples of modern Eretz Israel, but also the similar contemporary state of many other longer-standing colonial-imperialistic powers in the world and their own treatment of the indigenous peoples in their midst, whose ancient homelands and natural resources continue to be coveted by these world powers for their own empire-building pursuits. Avi Shlaim of the Guardian declares Ilan Pappe to be "one of the few Israeli students of the confli...

03:25

Beating the overdose crisis - what works and what doesn't "IndyWatch Feed National"

While other countries are succeeding in reducing the number of opioid overdose deaths, U.S. rates are rising. It's no secret that there's a drug overdose crisis in the United States. Opioid overdose deaths have risen 255% from 1999 to 2015. The US has failed to beat the opioid epidemic with drug courts, 12 step rehabs, and even medications like Vivitrol. However, seven other countries have overcome a huge drug overdose crisis very cheaply using technology which is more than 50 years old. Their secret? They have made methadone, an extremely cheap drug which costs less than a dollar a day for a maintenance dose, readily available to everyone who needs it. Rather than mandating expensive and stigmatizing methadone clinics, they allow any patients who need methadone to take their doses in their doctors' offices or even at pharmacies... for free! In order to find out what works and what doesn't work in fighting an overdose crisis, I looked at data from 33 countries which have published detailed data about drug dependence, overdose, and treatment responses over a long period of time. A major overdose crisis was defined as more than 2.0 drug poisoning deaths per 100,000 person years. Long term success was defined as a greater than 40% reduction in overdose deaths for a minimum of nine years. Seven countries were successful at greatly reducing overdose deaths: Australia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, and Switzerland (Full details of my analysis can be found here).

Sunday, 21 May

23:17

First Ever Global Health Study Finds Massive Inequity "IndyWatch Feed National"

By Dean R. Owen and Rachel Fortunati in HealthData.org. SEATTLE A first-ever global study finds massive inequity of access to and quality of health care among and within countries, and concludes people are dying from causes with well-known treatments. What we have found about health care access and quality is disturbing, said Dr. Christopher Murray, senior author of the study and Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. Having a strong economy does not guarantee good health care. Having great medical technology doesnt either. We know this because people are not getting the care that should be expected for diseases with established treatments. For example, on a scale of 0 to 100 for health care access and quality, Norway and Australia each scored 90 overall, among the highest in the world.

20:28

NSP May 20, 2017 "IndyWatch Feed National"

Show Notes:

17:41

Peter Combe LIVE IT UP with the Bellyflop in a Pizza Band. "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Adults, get ready to don your newspaper hats, wash your face in orange juice and clean your teeth with bubblegum, iconic childrens entertainer Peter Combe has just announced a special one-off adults only 18+ Sydney show. It promises to be jam-packed with hits, sing-a-longs and fun galore!

Celebrating 35 years in the industry, its unsurprising to find that the children who first discovered Peters music back when he debuted on the scene in the 1980s are still big fans today. While many have introduced that music to their own children, there is nothing like taking a trip down memory lane and sharing the nostalgia that songs like Wash Your Face In Orange Juice, Spaghetti Bolognaise, Toffee Apple, Juicy Juicy Green Grass and Newspaper Mama evoke with friends!

For Peter, the 18+ shows bring in a mix of mid-late 20s and 30s fans who still remember the fun of his music. Peters songs are unquestionably a sing-a-long extravaganza for all ages and his shows are often reviewed as the happiest place on earth. Its amazing to watch them really go for it dancing and singing, says Peter of the audiences at the 18+ shows. When I do a song like Juicy Juicy Green Grass or Mr Clicketty Cane, the audience almost roar the sound is deafening! 

A household name since 1987 when Peter released his first of many albums, Toffee Apple, the prolific entertainer has gone on to make timeless adult friendly songs and inspire generations. 

Peter has won three ARIAs for Best Childrens Album, has been awarded seven gold and two platinum CDs and has notched up over a million sales he is a trailblazer of Australian childrens music and sees no end in sight for his songwriting, recording and touring. 

So join the party and take a trip down memory lane with the Paul Simon of childrens songwriting at this special 18+ Sydney show together with the fantastic Bellyflop in a Pizza Band! Tickets are on sale now.

Peter Combes new album Live It Up is out now through MGM.

SUPPORTED BY The Talented Girls from THE GUTTERBIRDS!

The post Peter Combe LIVE IT UP with the Bellyflop in a Pizza Band. appeared first on The Zoo.

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