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Tuesday, 20 September

01:41

Wettest September 3-day stretch for parts of Victoria in over 100 years, Australia "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Continuous heavy rainfall in southeast Australia over the last couple of days is causing widespread disruption. Severe thunderstorms first rolled through South Australia and Victoria on September 8 and 9, producing heaviest rain in six years, and continued this...... Read more »

Penumbral lunar eclipse of September 16, 2016 "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

The Sun, Earth and Moon will align in almost perfect line on September 16, 2016, treating observers in Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia with a penumbral lunar eclipse. The eclipse will last 3 hours and 59 minutes and will be the last of three lunar eclipses in...... Read more »

Shallow M6.0 earthquake hits near Honiara, Solomon Islands "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as Mwb6.0 hit near Honiara, Solomon Islands at 07:24 UTC on September 14, 2016. The agency is reporting a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). Australia Geoscience is reporting Mwp6.2 at a depth of 30 km (18.6 miles)....... Read more »

Level of volcanic activity at White Island volcano increased, alerts raised - New Zealand "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

The level of volcanic activity at New Zealand's White Island volcano has increased on September 13, 2016, with minor volcanic ash passively emitted from a vent on the 2012 lava dome. GNS has raised the Volcanic Alert Level from 1 to 3 (of 5). The Aviation Colour...... Read more »

00:30

Travelling back from the US today – but there is some music "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

I am travelling all day today on my way back to Australia. So we have a nice music compilation to listen to. Regular transmission will resume on Wednesday whereupon, with my flame suit securely fastened, we will consider the ‘robot’ case for basic incomes. Or should I say the ‘non-case’.

For the next 24 hours I will not be able to closely monitor the comments section. So if your comment has a link in it please be patient and I will get to it in due course.

Here is a Jazz Reggae mix which I am listening to on the plane.

The compilation starts with an interview with famous Jamaican music producer Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry.

It is a great groove to while away the hours winging across the Pacific Ocean. You might also like it. The use of melodica is particularly beautiful.

Track order:

01. Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry Interview (1991) 00:00
02. Madu 00:50
03. The Senior AllStars 05:40
04. Guitoud 12:15
05. Dubmatix 18:54
06. Kazufumi Kodama 22:42
07. Uptown Rebel 27:04
08. Alific 30:33
09. Dubkasm 33:10
10. Faya Dub 37:05
11. Gofrilab 40:45
12. Hornsman Coyote 45:45
13. Faya Horns 50:16
14. Love Grocer 54:32
15. Zion Train 58:00 –

Regular transmission resumes Wednesday, September 21.

That is enough for today!

(c) Copyright 2016 William Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

00:16

Refugee children need protection now "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"


The Lancet, editorial, 17 September 2016:

Amel Emric/AP 
In a new report—released on Sept 7, UNICEF paints a grim picture. Worldwide, an estimated 50 million children are refugees or migrants, with the number of child migrants having doubled and the number of refugees having increased by 21% in the past 10 years. The most vulnerable of these children are unaccompanied, and have often fled war, insecurity, and poverty under harrowing circumstances. They might be alone or they might have lost or become separated from their family during their journey.

In one terrifying account, published on Sept 9 (Why are you keeping me here?) Human Rights Watch describes how unaccompanied migrant children are detained in police custody in Greece in unsanitary and degrading conditions. Germany's national investigative police agency, the Bundeskriminalamt, has admitted in new figures that by the end of August almost 9000 unaccompanied children who were registered entering the country are officially missing. And while some of these children may be safe with relatives somewhere, there is the very real danger of exploitation and abuse. The UK has only managed to extricate 50 of 220 unaccompanied children stranded in the camp in Calais and who have a legal right to be reunited with families in the UK. This delay and inaction is unexplained and shameful.

We agree with Zulfiqar Bhutta and colleagues' strong plea in a Correspondence letter, published online on Sept 5, that it is now time “to take the strongest action possible to protect children”. The UCL–Lancet Commission on Migration and Health, announced in this week's issue, promises to tackle key issues that affect the health and wellbeing of migrants, including unaccompanied children. Children not only need safe environments and access to health care, they need education and special psychosocial attention to mitigate the atrocities of war and persecution, including experiences of being uprooted into d...

00:15

This is how Senator Pauline Hanson loves her country "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"


Liberal Senator for WA and Minister for Women embracing Senator Hanson after her first speech in the Senate


On 14 September 2016 Hansard recorded that Senator Pauline Hanson ‘loves’ her country.

She has an odd way of showing it.

Endorsing a compulsory national identity card complete with an identification chip, photo and electronic fingerprint. Demonising single mothers and women who divorce. Condoning the murder of women by husbands/ex-husbands. Supporting penalising the young unemployed. Calling for a ban on the burqa and the building of new mosques. Calling for a halt to immigration to Australia by people professing Islam as their religion.

Excerpt from the Senator for Queensland’s first speech in the Australian Senate:

I love my country, culture and way of life. My pride and patriotism were instilled in me from an early age when I watched the Australian flag raised every morning at school and sang the national anthem; watching our athletes compete on the world stage, proud to salute the Australian flag being raised to honour them as they took their place on podiums. It is about belonging, respect and commitment to fight for Australia. This will never be traded or given up for the mantras of diversity or tolerance. Australia had a national identity before Federation, and it had nothing to do with diversity and everything to do with belonging. Tolerance has to be shown by those who come to this country for a new way of life. If you are not prepared to become Australian and give this country your undivided loyalty, obey our laws, respect our culture and way of life, then I suggest you go back where you came from. If it would be any help, I will take you to the airport and wave you goodbye with sincere best wishes.
Australia is predominantly a Christian cou...

00:04

Australia Keep Your Hands Off Syria! End the Sanctions! "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Rally at 1.30pm. This Sunday 25 September 2016, Martin Place (Railway Station outside MLC Centre), Sydney City.

Rally at 1:30pm

This Sunday 25 September 2016

Martin Place (railway station,
outside MLC Centre)

Sydney City



HANDS OFF SYRIA strongly condemn the recent massacre of at least 62 Syrian soldiers (and another 100 wounded) in Deir al Zour, Syria.




US and Australian governments have admitted the soldiers were killed on the 17th of September by a joint operation carried out by the US air force in collusion with the Australian military. The martyred Syrian soldiers were guarding a military fortification
used as a base for repelling attacks by the Islamic State death-squads who completely surround the city.




People across the world are finding it extremely hard to believe that this attack was a "mistake" or an "accident".




Why? Because these actions are entirely consistent with US-led attempts to topple the Syrian government by covertly (or in this case overtly) supporting their enemies - these policies have resurrected Al Qaeda and its offshoots
like ISIS.



Whether the massacre was ‘accidental’ or deliberate should be determined by an independent war crimes tribunal. Assertion by the perpetrators, ‘sorry, we didn’t mean it’, is completely inadequate.



1. We demand that Australia remove itself from the alliance of predatory nations currently waging this proxy-war against the Syrian government.




2. We demand that Australia reestablish diplomatic relations with the Syrian government who by all accounts represent the will of the majority of the Syrian people.




3. We demand that Australia lift the crippling economic sanctions on Syria that are blocking normal trade, finance and the diaspora from supporting their families at home.



SPEAKERS: TBA



WHEN: Sunday, 25th of September, at 1.30pm

WHERE: Martin Place, outside the MLC centre

Attachment Size
Image icon hands-off-syria-tiny.jpg 7.7 KB

00:02

Another U.S. Territory Grab? Marine Area Twice Size of Texas Now Under Federal Government Control "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

another-u-s-territory-grab-marine-area-twice-size-of-texas-now-under-federal-government-control

September 20th, 2016 By Makia Freeman Contributing writer for Wake Up World Is the expanded PapahĂŁnaumokuĂŁkea marine area a new U.S. Military zone? Another government âŹÜland grabâŹ" occurred last month when the US Federal Government announced that it had massively expanded the scope of its marine protected area near Hawaii, known as the PapahĂŁnaumokuĂŁkea Marine National Monument. With this top-down presidential ...Continue Reading - Another U.S. Territory Grab? Marine Area Twice Size of Texas Now Under Federal Government Control
 
 

00:01

The myth of Muslim tolerance for Jews and Christians "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

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00:00

A Guide to Manifesting Change in the New Energy Paradigm "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

a-guide-to-manifesting-change-in-the-new-energy-paradigm

September 20th, 2016 By Stacy Vajta Guest writer for Wake Up World Ok letâŹ"s face it; there are some folks out there who are amazing manifestors and there are some who, well⏌ not so much. Yet when you have a goal or a vision for your life that you can feel deep into your bones, figuring ...Continue Reading - A Guide to Manifesting Change in the New Energy Paradigm
 
 

00:00

Stop Fighting Life "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Stop Fighting Life

Stop Fighting Life

September 20th, 2016 By Lissa Rankin, MD Guest writer for Wake Up World I have two friends who are trying to do beautiful things in the world. One is an ardent environmentalist who really passionately yearns to save the biosphere and protect the planet; the other is a social worker serving abused, abandoned, neglected, traumatized children in ...Continue Reading - Stop Fighting Life
 
 

Monday, 19 September

23:36

The Demise of Rainwater "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

The Demise of Rainwater

by
Clifford E Carnicom

A Paper to be Developed During
the Summer of 2016
(Last Edit Jun 20 2016)

The single most important chemical species in clouds and precipitation is the ..
Read More

23:01

Bersih rally may boost support for Najib "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

On Nov 19, Bersih will take to the streets for the fifth time. The gathering will, among others, call for the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak over the 1MDB saga. However, an analyst warns that the plan could backfire. Speaking to South China Morning Post, Merdeka Centre’s Ibrahim Suffian pointed out the importance […]

Anwar mum on whether he’ll forgive Dr M "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim avoided answering today if he would forgive his once sworn political nemesis Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who has now become his ally. “I mean, of course we have suffered immensely. “I have forgiven a lot of people, a lot of times, but my concern is the present, because people in the […]

Rafizi need not moo to be heard "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The only reason Malaysians should stop sending their students overseas would be to stop them from returning and ending up like Rafizi Ramli, who is shooting his own foot in trying to be heard. A foreign graduate who is riding on his foreign degree and education to get to where he is and to be […]

23:01

No ‘one man, one vote’ with EC’s ‘worst proposal ever’ "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Election Commission’s constituency redelineation proposal is the worst case of gerrymandering in all five redelineation exercises in the nation’s history. Under the proposed redelineation, the parliamentary quota in the peninsular states – which is the average number of electors per parliamentary constituency in the peninsular states, derived from dividing the total electorate by the […]

23:01

Najib’s absence from UNGA nothing unusual, says Zahid "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

There is nothing unusual about Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak not attending the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), said Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. He said delegating the task of leading the Malaysian delegation at the UN meeting to the deputy prime minister was nothing out of the ordinary, as was the case with […]

23:01

Unfazed by threat, Motley will keep ‘fighting for the truth’ "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

PETALING JAYA: United States attorney Kimberly Motley is unfazed by the threat by Sungai Besar Umno division chief Jamal Md Yunos to chase her out of the country next month. According to Motley, who was recently appointed to be part of former Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s legal team, this was not the first time she […]

23:01

Constitution prevents King from referring NSC to Federal Court "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Yang di Pertuan Agong cannot seek legal opinion from the Federal Court on the controversial National Security Council Act as he must follow the advice of the Cabinet, a retired judge said. Gopal Sri Ram said Article 40 the Federal Constitution prevented the Agong to act alone as he was a constitutional monarch. “He […]

23:01

Rebellion brewing in PM’s Department? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Tan Sri Joseph Kurup is not just anybody, he is a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and he has always been a between of yes-man and a silent man when he disagrees. He has never said ‘No’ to the government policies, and he has always been diplomatic with his words when he disagrees, but […]

23:01

IGP: Maria Chin suspected of trying to topple government through Bersih 5 "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The police said today they are investigating Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah for allegedly trying to topple the government and the prime minister through the planned Bersih 5 rally. Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the head of the electoral reform group was being investigated under Section 124C of the […]

23:01

‘Insufficient judges’ likely reason why extra judge appointed "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

A senior lawyer has observed that the likely reason behind the appointment of an additional judge to the Federal Court is because the Chief Justice would have felt there were “insufficient judges” in the apex court. Lawyer T Gunaseelan said the question was whether there were vacancies in the Federal Court, which could have been […]

23:01

Kit Siang moots snap polls in Selangor "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The current redelineation exercise violates the democratic principle of “one man, one vote, one value”, charged DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang in a statement. “It goes against the spirit of the Federal Constitution.” The multiple objectives of the exercise, he alleged, includes the following: Firstly, for Umno to regain power in Selangor. Secondly, for it […]

Ex-journalist arrested, accused of insulting Islam "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Former journalist Sidek Kamiso has been confirmed to be one of the three arrested by police following accusations of insulting Islam after the death of PAS spiritual leader Haron Din. Sidek’s lawyer, Siti Kassim, told FMT that police had brought Sidek to Johor Bahru to make a remand request, but also said that she did […]

23:01

No legal provision for Anwar house arrest, says lawyer "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

There is no law in Malaysia to allow a convicted prisoner to be placed under house arrest, a criminal lawyer said. “There is no such provision either in the Criminal Procedure Code or the Prisons Act to allow a convicted person to instead serve his time at home,” Baljit Sidhu said. He said this in […]

23:01

Time for clarity on political realignment "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Many friends, especially those who don’t read Chinese, have been asking me about Nanyang Siang Pau’s exclusive news on the front page yesterday (Sept 18, 2016) entitled ‘Umno-PAS cooperation to win power in Selangor; a pact not to fight each other’. The screenshot of the news piece is now widely circulated beyond the Chinese-reading audience. […]

23:01

Permata removed from list, no ‘lead by example’ award for Rosmah "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Rosmah Mansor will not be receiving the ‘Lead by Example’ Award from the Antiquities Coalition after the Permata programme was removed from the list of honourees. It is learnt that Bernama, which reported about the award on Saturday, claimed that the award was being given by Unesco. Permata is the brainchild of Prime Minister Najib […]

‘Call for S’gor snap polls won’t materialise’ "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Selangor Umno Chief Noh Omar believes DAP lawmaker Lim Kit Siang’s calls for a snap election in the state following a redelineation exercise would amount to nothing. Dubbing Lim’s call as “not surprising”, Noh pointed out that DAP had previously called for snap polls in Penang after DAP Secretary-General and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan […]

23:01

BN, Umno to hold special meeting on redelineation exercise "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

BN and Umno will hold a special meeting on Sept 23 and 30 respectively to discuss the Election Commission’s (EC) proposed redelineation exercise, said BN secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor. Any decision arrived in the meetings will be brought to the EC, he said. “The number of seats and the boundaries will determine the seats […]

23:01

Insolent, but racist and anti-Islam? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

There is no defending Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi over his choice of words in his tweet. There isn’t a ghost of a chance of anyone playing the devil’s advocate here. The DAP politician has been rightly denounced for being insensitive to the passing of PAS spiritual leader Datuk Haron Din. Criticisms came from both sides […]

23:01

Zaid ready to face off with Nazri in GE14 "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Zaid Ibrahim says he is willing to take on Nazri Aziz of Umno if the latter challenges him to a straight fight in the next General Election (GE14). The former Kota Bharu MP said this after taking Nazri to task over his criticism of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday. “What is there to […]

23:01

Rafizi wants EC’s redelineation powers removed "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Rafizi Ramli will submit a Private Member’s Bill in Parliament to amend the Federal Constitution in order to remove the Election Commission’s powers to carry out redelineation exercises. The PKR vice-president revealed that the motion, which he planned to submit next week, will specifically look into amending Article 113 of the Federal Constitution which focuses […]

23:01

EC denies redelineation aimed at helping certain parties "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Election Commission (EC) has denied claims that its electoral redelineation exercise was meant to benefit certain parties. Instead, the commission said it was merely acting on its powers under the Federal Constitution when it issued a report to alter electoral boundaries. “The EC is only executing its role and responsibilities as stated under the […]

23:01

Rafizi to table bill to unplug redelineation powers from EC "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli said he intends to table a Private Member’s Bill in the coming parliamentary session seeking to move the powers of redelineation from the Election Commission (EC) to an independent body. The PKR secretary-general told a press conference today that this will involve amending section 8 of the Federal Constitution and article […]

23:01

Azmin: No snap polls for Selangor "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali dismissed today a suggestion that the state hold snap elections in light of the electoral redelineation exercise that allegedly benefits Umno. National news agency Bernama reported Azmin as saying that he could not betray the mandate Selangor voters gave to Pakatan Rakyat in the 13th general election. “There’s […]

Reject redelineation as state governments, Pakatan Harapan tells Selangor, Penang "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Pakatan Harapan’s secretariat has suggested for the Selangor and Penang state governments controlled by the federal opposition coalition to formally reject the Elections Committee’s (EC) redelineation exercise. The secretariat’s chief Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the coalition will now be looking into that option as the two states have the power to do so under the […]

22:47

The Purge: Election Year – FLNWO #38 "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

[audio mp3="https://www.corbettreport.com/mp3/flnwo38-lq.mp3"][/audio]The sElection is upon us and the tensions are rising as the summer of rage gives way to the autumn of our discontent. And wouldn't you know it, Hollywood is already programming purges, legalized murder and "anarchy" into the population. This month on Film, Literature and the New World Order James Evan Pilato joins James Corbett to discuss The Purge: Election Year.

22:15

Infinite in All Directions – Shock Diamonds, Gorakhpur’s Pestilence, Slow Magnetars "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Infinite in All Directions is The Wire‘s science newsletter. Click here to subscribe and receive a digest of the most interesting science news and analysis from around the web every Monday, 10 am.

Shock diamonds

Credit: ISRO

Credit: ISRO

This is a picture of the GSLV F05 mission taking off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, on September 5. If you look closely below the four liquid boosters strapped to the first stage, there are a series of bright spots flanking the main exhaust. I figured these were some kind of vortices until Prateep Basu (who cohosted a live chat on the occasion of the launch for The Wire) corrected me.

They are called shock diamonds – spots of burning gas surrounded by non-burning material. The phenomenon manifests when unburnt gas exiting the engine accumulates in spots of higher pressure, becoming compressed and reignited by the high temperature in these regions.

Shock diamonds form under specific conditions:

  • When the engine exhaust is supersonic
  • When the pressure of the exhaust gases is lower than the ambient air pressure

The regions of higher pressure form when two things interact: an oblique shockwave caused by the supersonic exhaust and an expansion of the exhaust itself as it travels through the nozzle.

§

Deep learning

The IBM Blue Gene/P supercomputer. Credit: Argonne National Laboratory/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0

The IBM Blue Gene/P supercomputer. Credit: Argonne National Laboratory/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0

Quantum entanglement is a quirky phenomenon. It predicts that when two particles that have been entangled are separated by a large distance, and a measurement made on one particle, the other particle will change in a fixed way. However, physicists have little clue why this works – even if it always works when tested.

That’s also the case of deep neural networks, a subset of machine learning that uses multiple algorithms to solve problems. The ‘deep’ in the name is derived from the fact that the algorithms are understood to be stacked in many layers, with the input of each layer being the output of the one above it. Another term associated with this architecture is hierarchical feature extraction.

New research from two physicists at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology now claims to be able to work out why their ontology is so meaningful and why neural networks are so efficient at...

22:09

In Hungary’s Migrant Vote, Only the Turnout is in Doubt "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Syrian migrants cross under a fence as they enter Hungary at the border with Serbia, near Roszke, August 27, 2015. Credit: Reuters/ Bernadett Szabo

Syrian migrants cross under a fence as they enter Hungary at the border with Serbia, near Roszke, August 27, 2015. Credit: Reuters/ Bernadett Szabo

Asotthalom, Hungary: On a recent evening on Hungary’s border with Serbia, a fleet of police trucks raced along the dusty boundary.

A heat sensor trained on the razor wire fence had picked up migrants approaching, officers explained. The migrants, about two dozen in number, quickly split up and went back deep into Serbian territory, police said.

It was a scene that has played out many times in the months since Europe’s migrant crisis erupted.

“The human traffickers are never idle. Their night-vision drones watch our patrol system. They take advantage as soon as we redeploy our forces,” said police commander Zsolt Gulyas.

Hungary’s border with Serbia is relatively calm these days, in contrast to scenes last September when hundreds of thousands of migrants crossed Hungary on the way to western Europe. That was before Hungary erected a razor wire fence.

“We have created a system that works,” said Gulyas, referring to the fence and the thousands of police and soldiers who guard the border day and night.

Hungary allows 30 people per day into two transit zones where they can submit an asylum request. Anyone who breaches the border is escorted back through gates in the fence if caught within 8 km.

Rights group Helsinki Committee says the system is unsustainable. “The new Iron Curtain is a slap in the face for human rights and Hungary’s European values,” said co-chair Marta Pardavi.

With only weeks left until an October 2 referendum on whether Hungary should reject EU migrant quotas, Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who opposes immigration into the EU, has largely managed to seal the Serbia-Hungary border to migrants.

This in turn has cemented support for his Fidesz party. A poll by government-friendly think tank Szazadveg earlier this year said 79% of Hungarians supported the border fence. The government has started fortifying the fence with a second barrier.

“We lose our European values and identity the way frogs are cooked in slowly heating water. Quite simply, slowly there will be more and more Muslims and we will no longer recognise Europe,” Orban told parliament on Monday.

Front and centre

Opposition politicians and some analysts say that by keeping the issue of migration front and centre, Orban is trying to divert attention from problems elsewhere – education, healthcare and corruption.

“Fidesz’ support goes up when the debate is ab...

22:06

Rebel Outfit Seleka Kills 26 in Central African Republic "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Seleka rebel in Central African Republic. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Seleka rebel in Central African Republic. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Abidjan: Rebels have killed 26 villagers in Central African Republic, a spokesman for the presidency said on Saturday, the worst bloodshed in recent months in a country trying to draw a line under years of religious violence and political turmoil.

Albert Mokpeme said the killings took place in the village of Ndomete, not far from the town of Kaga-Bandoro, about 350 km north of the capital Bangui. He blamed fighters from the former Seleka rebel coalition.

“There were 26 victims. The Seleka (rebels) went door to door… The village chief was among the victims,” said Albert Mokpeme said. “It was a massacre.”

Seleka representatives were not available for comment.

Violence pitting the mainly Muslim Seleka fighters against rival Christian anti-Balaka militia members started on Friday in Ndomete before spreading to Kaga-Bandoro.

Central African Republic‘s UN peacekeeping mission, MINUSCA, dispatched troops to the area and separated the two groups. It said in a statement that it was reinforcing its positions in and around Kaga-Bandoro and stepping up patrols in an effort to protect civilians and prevent further violence.

The mission declined to give a death toll.

“MINUSCA regrets the loss of human life and the wounded that were recorded and also denounces attacks against the humanitarian community and UN personnel,” it said, without elaborating further.

Central African Republic, which holds reserves of uranium, gold and diamonds, suffered the biggest crisis in its half-century of independence in early 2013 when Seleka toppled then-president Francois Bozize.

Christian militias responded by attacking Muslims. A fifth of the population fled their homes to escape the violence, leaving the impoverished nation even more divided along ethnic and religious lines.

Former prime minister Faustin-Archange Touadera won a presidential election in February that was meant to help the country emerge from its bloody past. However, rebels and militia fighters still stalk much of the country outside the capital.

The post Rebel Outfit Seleka Kills 26 in Central African Republic appeared first on The Wire.

22:01

September 20 in history "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

451  The Battle of Chalons: Flavius Aetius‘s victory over Attila the Hun in a day of combat, is considered to be the largest battle in the ancient world.

524 Kan B’alam I, ruler of Maya state of Palenque, was born (d. 583).

1187  Saladin began the Siege of Jerusalem.

1378  Cardinal Robert of Geneva, known as the Butcher of Cesena, was elected as Avignon Pope Clement VII, beginning the Papal schism.

1519 Ferdinand Magellan set sail from Sanlúcar de Barrameda with about 270 men on his expedition to circumnavigate the globe.

1633  Galileo Galilei was tried before the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for teaching that the Earth orbits the Sun.

1697 The Treaty of Rijswijk was signed by France, England, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and the Dutch Republic ending the Nine Years’ War (1688–97)

1737  The finish of the Walking Purchase which forced the cession of 1.2 million acres (4,860 km²) of Lenape-Delaware tribal land to the Pennsylvania Colony.

1835  Farroupilha’s Revolution began in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

1842  James Dewar, Scottish chemist, was born (d. 1923).

1848  The American Association for the Advancement of Science was created.

1854 Battle of Alma: British and French troops defeated Russians in the Crimea.

1857 The Indian Rebellion of 1857 ended with the recapture of Delhi by troops loyal to the East India Company.

1860  The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) visited the United States.

1863  American Civil War: The Battle of Chickamauga ended.

1870  Bersaglieri corps entered Rome through the Porta Pia and completed the unification of Italy.

1871  Bishop John Coleridge Patteson, the first bishop of Melanesia, was martyred on the island of Nukapu.

1881  Chester A. Arthur was inaugurated as the 21st President of the United States following the assassination of James Garfield.

1891  The first gasoline-powered car debuted in Springfield, Massachusetts.

...

21:25

Need Six More Months For War on Drugs: Duterte "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte arrives at the military's Scout Ranger Camp Tecson in San Miguel, Bulacan in northern Philippines September 15, 2016. Credit: Reuters/ Erik De Castro

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte arrives at the military’s Scout Ranger Camp Tecson in San Miguel, Bulacan in northern Philippines September 15, 2016. Credit: Reuters/ Erik De Castro

Manila: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Sunday he needed six more months for his war on drugs, saying he only realised how bad the country’s narcotics problem was after taking office over two months ago.

Duterte, a former crime-busting mayor of the southern city of Davao, won the presidency in May promising to suppress crime and wipe out drugs and drug dealers in three to six months.

More than 3,500 people – or about 47 per day – have been killed in the past 10 weeks in connection with the illegal drugs trade, nearly two thirds by unknown assailants and the rest in legitimate police operations, according to local police.

Though popular at home, Duterte‘s sometimes violent anti-drug rhetoric and the thousands of killings have alarmed rights groups and sparked the concern of the US, a former colonial power and close ally, and the UN.

Duterte has dismissed criticism of his war on drugs, including allegations made by rights groups at home and abroad of extrajudicial killings.

New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) last week said the UN should look into the drugs-war and be allowed to interview witnesses.

The biggest problem is posed by the distribution and use of locally made methamphetamine, known as ‘shabu‘.

“I did not realise how severe and how serious the problem of drug menace in this republic was until I became president,” Duterte said in a media briefing in Davao.

He said there were “hundreds of thousands of people already in the drug business” now, some of them working in government.

“We would need time to put everything in order. Give me a little extension, maybe of another six months,” he said.

Early this month Duterte said “plenty will be killed until the last pusher is out of the streets.”

But on Sunday he said “even if I...

21:24

Struggles, Not Protection, Greet Central American Refugees in Mexico "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The US and Mexican government’s prioritisation of border security over human security has had dire consequences.

Central American refugees traveling through Mexico toward the US. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Central American refugees traveling through Mexico toward the US. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

On September 19 and 20, world leaders will convene at the UN General Assembly for the first-ever Summit for Refugees and Migration. Although focusing primarily on the refugee crisis in Syria, the summit provides an opportunity to reflect on a humanitarian crisis that persists in southern Mexico.

In the summer of 2014, 70,000 Central American children arrived at the US-Mexico border, seeking refuge from the life-threatening conditions they faced in their home countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. In response, the US government devised the Southern Border Plan, or Plan Frontera Sur, to stop migrants and asylum-seekers in Mexico before they reach the US. Since July 2014, the US has provided the Mexican government with additional funding to increase migration authority staff, as well as new detection technologies and detention centres.

By prioritising border security over human security, the US and Mexico have both defied international law according to which a person cannot be sent back to a country where they face threats to their life and person. Not until January 2016 did the US government announce any specific refugee programme to allow Central American child migrants to remain in the country. In late July 2016, President Barack Obama finally announced an expansion of the programme. At the same time, the Obama administration has led raids specifically to deport Central Americans. Between January 2014 and October 2015, as many as 83 US deportees were murdered on their return to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

The US media has provided little coverage of Central Americans who apply for refugee status in Mexico – and is a topic that deserves discussion at the summit. In 2015, the Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM) apprehended almost 36,000 people from Central America. But according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), 3,423 people, mostly from El Salvador and Honduras, have applied for refugee status in the country. The director of the UNHCR office in Tapachula, Chiapas, Perrine Lecle...

21:22

A Few Bizjets Come and Go at CQ Airports Over the Last Few Days "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia"

Several locally-based corporate bizjets have been noted flying in and out of some Central Queensland Airports over the last few days.

On Sunday 18 September at Hamilton Island Airport, Brenzil Dassault Falcon 7X bizjet VH-CRW visited once again, this time calling in from Townsville and later departing to Brisbane.  Also arriving into Hamo was GSA Industries Bombardier CL-600-2B16 Challenger 601 bizjet VH-NSB.  It touched down from Melbourne (Essendon).  While it appears that Marcplan Charter Embraer EMB-135BJ Legacy bizjet VH-VLT departed Hamilton Island Airport for Essendon also on Sunday 18 September after it had arrived from there on Thursday 15 September.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/deltamansaircraftphotos/

And at the time of writing, Shortstop Jet Charter British Aerospace BAe-125-1000B bizjet VH-LMP is scheduled to call into Hamilton Island Airport from Essendon on Tuesday 20 September.  It will then depart to Sydney.

At Rockhampton Airport on Sunday 18 September, LifeFlight (ex Careflight Queensland) (Aeromed) LearJet 45 bizjet VH-VVI "Ambulance 451" called in from Brisbane.  It departed back to the capital a little while later.


VH-VVI also called into Rocky on Friday 16 September (as shown above).  On this occasion, it touched down from Barcaldine.  It then departed to Mackay before flying back to Brisbane.

Also calling into Rockhampton Airport on Friday 16 September was Light Jets Australia Cessna 525 Citation CJ1 bizjet VH-TFW which touched down from Archerfield and Toowoomba.



On Monday 19 September, VH-TFW is pictured above departing Rocky on return to Archerfield.

Finally late Thursday 15 September, (former) Rockhampton based Cessna 550 Citation II Bizjet VH-JMK was noted flying from the Sunshi...

21:21

There is no best way to respond to racism "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Author: Luke Pearson

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...

21:18

Rs 2.8 Lakh Crore Allocated For Dalits, Adivasis Not Spent By Government "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The unspent amount is eight times larger than India’s agriculture budget and enough to fund India’s rural road construction projects for the next 15 years.

Poonam, a resident of Pachkol village in Chhindwara district in south-west Madhya Pradesh, belongs to the Bhariya community, categorised as a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group. There is a 44% shortfall in the healthcare infrastructure in the tribal areas of Madhya Pradesh despite the fact that, last year, the state government had left in hand Rs 4,000 crore allocated for tribal welfare. Credit: Nikhil M. Babu/IndiaSpend

Poonam, a resident of Pachkol village in Chhindwara district in southwest Madhya Pradesh, belongs to the Bhariya community, categorised as a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group. There is a 44% shortfall in the healthcare infrastructure in the tribal areas of Madhya Pradesh despite the fact that, last year, the state government had left in hand Rs 4,000 crore allocated for tribal welfare. Credit: Nikhil M. Babu/IndiaSpend

It was raining heavily last monsoon when Heerabai’s youngest child, four-year-old Seshkumari, collapsed with a fever. The family could only watch helplessly as her temperature soared and she turned delirious late at night.

The nearest primary health centre for Pachkol, Heerabai’s village in Chhindwara district in southwest Madhya Pradesh, is 25 km away. And every monsoon, the swollen Bhagbhel river floods the road linking the village to the health centre. If you fall sick, said residents, you have very little hope of finding any medical help.

“My daughter couldn’t even recognise us as the fever got worse at two in the morning,” recalled Heerabai, 30, lean and noticeably weak. That morning, she lost her daughter.

Heerabai and her three surviving children belong to Bhariya community, classified as a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG). Her tragedy is the consequence of a 44% shortfall in the healthcare infrastructure in the tribal areas of Madhya Pradesh. This is despite the fact that last year, the state government had Rs 4,000 crore of the money allocated for tribal welfare left in hand.

IndiaSpend’s investigations, through a series of right to information (RTI) requests, reveal that over the last 35 years, Rs 2.8 lakh crore set aside to improve the lives of scheduled castes (SCs) and scheduled tribes (STs) through measures like mid-day meals, scholarships and crop insurance was simply not spent. The second part of the series explores why the funds remain unspent.

...

21:16

Do Women Journalists Have it Harder in India? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Indian women journalists face all the usual threats that come with rigorous reporting — from physical attacks to intimidation. But they also face a continuous stream of misogyny and harassment.

he Mumbai Press Club protest against the violence suffered by journalists at Delhi’s Patiala House Courts. Credit: Facebook

he Mumbai Press Club protest against the violence suffered by journalists at Delhi’s Patiala House Courts. Credit: Facebook

I’m on my way to the Arunachal Times office on the evening of July 15, 2012. It’s around 6 pm on a Sunday. There’s a young man standing idly next to the office entrance, but I don’t pay him any attention.

Suddenly, as I reach the entrance and am about to enter, in one smooth motion he pulls out a gun and shoots me. Point blank. In my stomach.

It’s just one bullet.

People around me hear the gunshot, it’s very loud. My office is close to a national highway and people there hear it too. I scream.

My office colleagues come rushing outside, but by now the shooter has escaped. I don’t know more details at this point about him, or about him leaving. What I remember is my colleagues rushing me to the hospital.

The doctors say I’ve sustained injuries to my spinal cord and intestines. I undergo emergency surgery where the doctors cut out the punctured bits of my intestines. I’ve had problems with my stomach ever since. The bullet bruised my spinal cord and I’m lucky I lived, but it has affected my movement, my right leg, in particular.  I’m still undergoing treatment. Otherwise I’m fine.

A colleague registers a police complaint on the same evening. The investigation drags on. The police either have no idea what they’re doing or just don’t want to pursue it. A man is arrested after about a year or so.

I’ve never seen or met this arrested man. I’ve been told he’s got a criminal record, but obviously he didn’t do this on his own, he did it on someone else’s orders. The police say they have no idea who that is. I’ve never been summoned except once, when I was abroad and couldn’t go. I did file a case against him, but there have been no developments in the case since. In four years, I don’t know where the case is headed. The man has been released, I’ve been told.

There can be no other reason for the attack other than my work. I’d received threats many times before this attack as well, specifically for the articles I’ve written on corruption, the public distribution system (PDS) and hydropower – all extremely risky and controversial topics in my state. Is there any freedom of speech? Who can report properly in India without being called anti-national and seditious?

— Tongam Rina, Associate Editor at the Arunachal Times

§

According to Dangerous Pursuit, a report published recently by the...

21:02

Caste Tensions in Chhattisgarh After Man Dies in Police Custody "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Credit: PTI

Representative image. Credit: PTI

A 35-year-old man reportedly died in police custody in the Janjgir-Champa district of Chhattisgarh on Saturday. Satish Narange, a resident of the village of Sagarpara, died after he was taken to a hospital by the police, soon after he had been rounded up.

Three security personnel have been suspended following his death, PTI reported, based on allegations by his family that he had been beaten up by the station house officer and two constables. Ajay Yadav, the superintendent of police, said that Narange had been rounded up after an official at the electricity department complained that he had damaged some articles and made trouble at the electricity department office.

Yadav said that Narange had complained of uneasiness because of which he had been taken to a hospital in Pamgarh, where he was declared brought dead.

Narange’s family said that he had gone to the electricity sub-station with some other residents of the village to complain about the power supply which was erratic owing to a faulty transformer. They were allegedly told that the power will be fixed in its own time, the Indian Express reported. The latter had apparently called the thana-in-charge and began assaulting Narange. The assault continued at the police station, the family claimed.

Yadav has refuted the allegations and said that a postmortem for Narange has been ordered by three expert doctors to ascertain the exact cause of death. Furthermore, Yadav has asked for the appointment of a judicial officer to probe Narange’s death.

Narange’s death has heightened caste tensions in the village with some of the villagers taking up sticks and iron rods. The village, which is largely populated by Dalits, saw more than 200 people block the roads. They suspect that Narange might have been victimised on caste lines by the small population of upper-caste Thakurs in the village, given that one of the officials was a Thakur.

Protestors told the Indian Express, “Don’t even talk of compensation. We want nothing from them. Just justice. Bring those killers here, and we will deal with them. They think just because we are satnamis we will do nothing,”

The police claimed that the personnel involved have been suspended based on prima facie evidence. They did not however register a case because they were waiting for a judicial inquiry.
Chief minister Raman Singh announced Rs 1 lakh ex-gratia after the opposition were quick to demand justice on the issue.
(with PTI inputs)

The post...

21:00

America in Asia: Arrogant, Unapologetic, and Ready for More Conflict "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

7685365363\The United States exists an entire ocean away from Asia, yet its policymakers, politicians, and even Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter have declared America’s “primacy” over the region, vowing to assert itself and its interests above all nations actually located in Asia.

In a June 2016 Reuters article titled, “U.S. flexes muscles as Asia worries about South China Sea row,” Secretary Carter is quoted as saying:

The United States will remain the most powerful military and main underwriter of security in the [Asian] region for decades to come – and there should be no doubt about that.

The US, by presuming to dictate all that takes place across Asia, has all but declared itself a hegemon.

Reiterating the notion of American primacy and exceptionalism is a full-time occupation for the US State Department’s employees. This includes US Ambassador to ASEAN Nina Hachigian who pointed out to followers on Twitter that she had “spoke to some Lao shop owners” following US President Barack Obama’s recent visit to the Southeast Asian nation, and “they said [President Obama’s] visit was the most exciting and significant event in decades.”

Of course, for the nation of Laos, the most significant event regarding the US is undoubtedly the 2 million tons of munitions the US dumped on it between 1964 and 1973. These 2 million tons include cluster bombs consisting of some 266 million submunitions, an estimated 30% of which were left unexploded and remain to this day an enduring, deadly hazard to Laos and its 6.8 million people.

There are an estimated 80 million submunitions still littering the country, or about 11 for each man, woman, and child that lives in Laos. 20,000 people have been killed by unexploded US munitions and many more maimed which includes losing limbs.

According to the Lao National Unexploded Ordnance Programme (UXO LAO), 444,711 submunitions (about 0.55%) have been destroyed between 1996 and 2010.  Despite the dangerous and exhausting work, eliminating 0.55% of the 80 million submunitions still littering the country amounts to virtually nothing.

When faced with these facts, Ambassador Hachigian assured Twitter followers that:

We’ve been spending hundreds of millions of dollars to clean them up and President Obama just doubled annual contributions.

Of course, an elementary student could have told the ambassador that doubling nothing still equates to nothing.

Establishment journal, The Diplomat, in an article titled, “...

20:59

Peru: Máxima Acuña Attacked by Yanacocha Mine Workers "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

from Conflictos Mineros

translated by Earth First! Journal

fuck-yanacocha-mineToday [September 18, 2016] at 9:30 AM, people hired by the Yanacocha mining firm entered into the Chaupe family’s land without permission and began altering the land using diverse tools. When Máxima and her husband tried to get close to denounce the invasion and ask that this destruction stop, the security forces stopped them from being able to dialogue. It was in this moment that they violently attacked Máxima and Jaime. With a gun they hit Máxima on her head and body and have left her gravely injured.

Jaime’s cellphone was not working, they were alone, and injured without being able to denounce the attack until noon when the Huasmín police saw them while doing a routine investigation. It was in that moment that they could communicate with their daughter Ysidora. They are in urgent need of medical attention.

If more information is needed please communicate directly with Ysidora’s cell phone.

Cajamarca

[EF!J editor’s note: read Direct Action Against Largest Gold Mine in South America for background information.]

***ORIGINAL IN SPANISH***
Hoy día, a las 9.30 am., gente contratada por la empresa minera Yanacocha, entró en el terreno de la familia Chaupe sin ninguna autorización y empezaron a alterar su terreno con diversas herramientas. Cuando la señora Máxima y su esposo Jaime se acercaron a reclamar por la invasión y pidieron que se detenga esta irrupción en su terreno, el personal de seguridad de la minera impidió que la familia avanzara para dialogar. Fue en este momento que atacaron violentamente a Máxima y a Jaime. Con un arma han golpeado a Máxima en su cabeza y cuerpo y la han dejado gravemente herida.

El celular del señor Jaime no estaba funcionando, estaban solos y heridos sin poder denunciar el ataque, hasta las 12 pm. cuando llegó la delegación policial de Huasmín, que vino haciendo una inspección de rutina. En este momento pudieron comunicarse con su hija Ysidora para hacer la denuncia. Máxima y Jaime están en necesidad urgente de atención médica.

Si requirieran mayor información, por favor comunicarse directamente al celular de Ysidora.

Cajamarca

20:44

India’s Assertiveness on Pakistani Occupied Kashmir is a Breath of Fresh Air "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

If India is to make headway in Kashmir, the Modi government’s new diplomatic strategy must be accompanied by bold measures to resolve the internal dimension as well.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with home minister Rajnath Singh, finance minister Arun Jaitley, defence minister Manohar Parrikar, NSA Ajit Doval and army chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag at a high level meeting in the wake of Uri attack, in New Delhi on Monday. Credit: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with home minister Rajnath Singh, finance minister Arun Jaitley, defence minister Manohar Parrikar, NSA Ajit Doval and army chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag at a high level meeting in the wake of Uri attack, in New Delhi on Monday. Credit: PTI

If the September 17 attack on an Army camp in Uri is a reminder of the military challenge India still confronts in Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s move to be more assertive on Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK), including Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), is a significant if belated addition to the Indian diplomatic armoury. In fact, assertiveness on this issue should have been Indian policy as soon as it became clear that UN Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir could not be implemented because of Pakistan’s intransigence in taking the mandated first steps.

To comprehend the matter in its entirety, it is essential to refer to four important documents: (i) Kashmir’s Instrument of Accession to India, signed on October 26, 1947, (ii) UNSC Resolution number 47 of 1948 on Kashmir, (iii) the Simla Agreement of1972 and (iv) the 1994 Parliament of India Resolution on Kashmir

The signing of the Instrument of Accession by Maharaja Hari Singh in October 1947 resulted in the entire princely state of Jammu and Kashmir becoming an integral part of India. The UNSC resolution on Kashmir adopted in 1948 envisaged three sequential and conditional steps i.e. withdrawal of all Pakistani regular and irregular troops from the region to the satisfaction of the UN; thereafter, a reduction in the number of Indian troops to the minimum necessary for the maintenance of law and order; and then, a plebiscite under UN supervision. The resolution became irrelevant after Pakistan refused to take the first step – which was mandatory for its implementation.

Under the Simla agreement, signed in July 1972, India and Pakistan agreed to resolve all outstanding issues bilaterally. Finally, the 1994 Indian parliamentary resolution reiterated the legal position that the entire territory of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part...

20:40

Homs Evacuation of Syrian Rebels Postponed Until Tomorrow "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Mass demonstration against the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad near the city center of Homs prior to a sit-in at night. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Mass demonstration against the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad near the city centre of Homs prior to a sit-in at night. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Beirut: A planned evacuation of several hundred Syrian rebels from al-Waer, the opposition’s last foothold in Homs city, has been postponed from Monday until Tuesday, an official in Homs province said.

“It has been postponed until tomorrow,” the official told Reuters. The

20:38

Russia Has No Partners In The West "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Russian government is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The Russian government keeps making agreements with Washington, and Washington keeps breaking them.

20:31

Merkel’s Party Suffers Electoral Blow in Migrant Policy Backlash "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends news conference after the European Union summit- the first one since Britain voted to quit- in Bratislava, Slovakia, September 16, 2016. Credit: Reuters/ Leonhard Foeger

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends news conference after the European Union summit – the first one since Britain voted to quit – in Bratislava, Slovakia, September 16, 2016. Credit: Reuters/ Leonhard Foeger

Berlin: German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party suffered its second electoral blow in two weeks on Sunday, slumping to its lowest level since 1990 in a Berlin state vote that rejected her open-door refugee policy.

Voters turned to the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD), which with 12.9% of the vote will enter its 10th regional assembly among the country’s 16 states.

A year before a national election, the result is set to raise pressure on Merkel and deepen rifts in her conservative camp, with more sniping expected from her CSU allies in Bavaria.

The CSU’s Bavarian finance minister Markus Soeder was quick to call it the “second massive wake-up call” in two weeks.

“A long-term and massive loss in trust among traditional voters threatens the conservative bloc,” he told the Bild daily, adding Merkel’s right-left national coalition had to win back support by changing course on its immigration policy.

Merkel’s Christian Democrats were routed in the eastern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern two weeks ago, triggering calls from the CSU for her to toughen up her migrant policy.

In particular, they want a cap of 200,000 refugees per year, which Merkel rejects.

The secretary general of Merkel’s CDU, Peter Tauber, partly blamed the CSU for the losses in Berlin, which only 27 years ago was the front line of the Cold War.

“If there is a dispute within the conservative bloc, it doesn’t help us on the ground – especially if this dispute is carried out in the way it is being done from Munich,” he said.

A backlash against her migrant policy has raised questions about whether Merkel, Europe’s most powerful leader, will stand for a fourth term next year. Given a dearth of options in her party, however, she is still the most likely candidate.

SPD keep control but support down

Projections from broadcaster ZDF put Merkel’s Christian Democrats on 18%, down from 23.3% in the last election in Berlin in 2011.

The Social Democrats (SPD) also lost support, falling to 22.4% from 2...

20:27

ISIS Says it Was Behind Minnesota Mall Attack "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

St.Cloud mall attack. Credit: Twitter

St.Cloud mall attack. Credit: Twitter

Minnesota: A man who stabbed nine people at a mall in central Minnesota before being shot dead is a “soldier of the ISIS,” the militant group’s news agency said on Sunday, as the FBI investigated the attack as a potential act of terrorism.

The man, who was wearing a private security uniform, made references to Allah and asked at least one person if they were Muslim before he assaulted them at the Crossroads Center mall in St. Cloud on Saturday, the city’s police chief William Blair Anderson told reporters.

Authorities declined to identify the suspect, who was killed by an off-duty policeman, because the investigation was under way.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation considers the incident a “potential act of terrorism,” Richard Thornton, FBI special agent in charge of the agency’s Minneapolis division, told a news conference on Sunday.

He said the investigation was in its early stages and it was not known if the man had discussed his plan with others.

Authorities said earlier there were eight stabbing victims. One injured person transported himself to a hospital and was not initially counted, St. Cloud mayor Dave Kleis told the news conference.

Three victims remained hospitalised as of Sunday but none had life-threatening injuries, Kleis said.

Kleis said Jason Falconer, the off-duty officer from the Avon police department, a jurisdiction outside of St. Cloud, “clearly prevented additional injuries and loss of life” by shooting the man.

Amaq, the news agency affiliated with the ISIS group, issued a statement on Sunday saying, “The executor of the stabbing attacks in Minnesota yesterday was a soldier of the ISIS and carried out the operation in response to calls to target the citizens of countries belonging to the crusader coalition.”

Reuters was not immediately able to verify the Amaq claim.

Somali community leaders in St. Cloud, about 60 miles northwest of Minneapolis-St. Paul, condemned the attack and expressed concern about a possible backlash.

“The news of the St. Cloud mall was shocking to the friends, relatives and community of the deceased… We do not know the motive of that stabbing incident,” said Mohamoud Mohamed of the St. Cloud Area Somali Salvation Organisation.

“We are afraid of the consequences of this incident. We would like to say loud that our community in central Minnesota has no relationship with ISIS or any other Islamic terrorist group,” he added.

Dozens of people from the Minneapolis – St. Paul area, many of them young Somali-American men, have travelled or attempted to travel overseas to support ISIS or al Shabaab, a Somalia-based militant group, since 2007...

20:24

US Investigates Links Between Weekend Bombings "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (R) and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (2-R) look over a mangled dumpster while touring the site of an explosion that occurred on Saturday night in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York, USA, September18, 2016. Credit: Reuters/ Justin Lane/ Pool

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (R) and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (2-R) look over a mangled dumpster while touring the site of an explosion that occurred on Saturday night in the Chelsea neighbourhood of New York, USA, September 18, 2016. Credit: Reuters/ Justin Lane/ Pool

New York/ Washington: US investigators on Sunday were studying possible links between a pair of bombs detonated in New York City and New Jersey over the weekend, although no evidence had yet emerged tying the devices to known extremist groups.

The country was shaken by a trio of attacks over the weekend including a Saturday night bombing that injured 29 in Manhattan and a stabbing attack at a Minnesota shopping mall that wounded nine.

While officials described all three as deliberate, criminal acts and were investigating them as potential “acts of terrorism,” they stopped short of characterising the motivation behind any of them until more evidence is uncovered.

A deafening roar and powerful shock rocked Manhattan’s popular Chelsea neighbourhood late on Saturday after a pressure-cooker bomb packed with shrapnel exploded. A similar, unexploded device, was found a few blocks away later that night.

No international militant group immediately claimed responsibility for the New York blast or a pipe bomb that went off earlier along the route of a Saturday road race in suburban New Jersey. But New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the act of blowing up a bomb in a crowded area of Manhattan “is obviously an act of terrorism.”

No suspects were immediately identified in the New York and New Jersey attacks.

But CNN reported on Sunday night that police had reviewed surveillance video showing a man, who was not identified, leaving both devices on Saturday.

The ISIS militant group quickly claimed responsibility for the Minnesota attack by a man who made references to Allah and asked at least one person if he or she was Muslim before he assaulted the individual. An off-duty police officer fatally shot the assailant.

Police did not immediately identify the Minnesota attacker, citing an ongoing investigation, although some local media reports gave his name and said he was an African-born junior college student. Reuters could not immediately confirm his identity.

There were no immediate connections established between the Minnesota attack and the bombings in New York and New Jersey, which came days before the United Nations General Assembly opens on Tuesday. Some 135 heads of state or government are expected to attend the event, and ci...

20:13

Should Patanjali’s Dizzying Growth Worry the Competition? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Pricing, branding and Baba Ramdev are the ingredients that have helped the company reach these levels.

File photo of Acharya Balkrishna and Baba Ramdev of Patanjali Ayurveda. Credit: PTI

File photo of Acharya Balkrishna and Baba Ramdev of Patanjali Ayurveda. Credit: PTI

It is a business miracle of sorts. A consumer goods company that started in 1997 and was coasting along for almost ten years till 2007, has suddenly emerged as a leading player in the Indian FMCG space. From shampoo, biscuits, ghee and noodles, and now jeans – no other Indian company has a product portfolio this wide.

In a press conference held in Delhi on April 26, Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna, the co-founder of Patanjali Ayurved, declared that the company clocked a sales turnover of Rs 5000 crore for the year ended April 2016. Sales climbed up steadily from a humble Rs 453 crore [2011-12] to Rs 849 crore [2012-13], to Rs 1191 crore [2013-14], to Rs 2006 crore [2014-15] and finally to the astounding Rs 5000 crore mark. No other FMCG company has been able to achieve such organic growth in recent times.

The Hurun Rich List 2016 published recently has listed Acharya as one of the top 30 richest Indians [ranked 26]; given the fact he owns 94% of the company and with the company’s turnover hitting Rs 5000 crore this year and set to hit Rs 10,000 crore FY 2017, the analyst seems to have done a simple multiple based calculation of Acharya’s wealth.

What is Patanjali’s secret sauce, or should one say secret asana? What explains this remarkable trajectory? What are the branding lessons one learns from this story? And should packaged goods MNCs and even readymade apparel brands be worried?

There are several ingredients that go to create the Patanjali magic, and while we don’t know if the momentum will sustain, it is worth studying the success story so far.

The cost economics: Any large MNC operating in this space looks at a gross margin (Profit Before Tax) – after corporate overheads of 10% and marketing/advertising expenditure of approximately 13% — of approximately 20 percent. This totals almost 43%. As against this, Patanjali is thought by industry analysts to be operating at less than 10% margin, with virtually no overheads (Baba Ramdev takes no salary) and less than 5% marketing spends. The net savings thus amount to 25%. Not surprising then that the brand is able to offer products like honey, shampoos and toothpastes at a 25% discount to the market leader. This should naturally have them worried.

Brand ambassador: The other big factor in its favour is the image of Baba Ramdev. He is a recognised face all over the Hindi speaking parts of India and now beyond. He is seen by his followers and admirers as someone who is not in it for the profit motive and moreover, p...

19:59

US-Led Coalition Air Strikes Threaten Ceasefire Plan: Moscow "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

A damaged wall of a school is pictured in rebel-held Ain Tarma, eastern Damascus suburb of Ghouta, Syria September 17, 2016. Credit: Reuters/ Bassam Khabieh

A damaged wall of a school is pictured in rebel-held Ain Tarma, eastern Damascus suburb of Ghouta, Syria September 17, 2016. Credit: Reuters/ Bassam Khabieh

Moscow/ Beirut: Moscow stepped up its war of words with Washington on Sunday, saying air strikes by a US-led coalition on the Syrian army threatened the implementation of a US-Russian ceasefire plan for Syria and bordered on connivance with Islamic State.

The diplomatic dispute heated up on the last day of a seven-day ceasefire marred by a surge of violence as warplanes hit the strategic northern city of Aleppo for the first time since the truce came into effect.

In another blow to hopes for the ceasefire, the governor of Homs said several hundred rebels would be evacuated from the last rebel-held district of the Syrian city on Monday, prompting rebels to warn any such step would amount to the government declaring the end of the truce.

On Saturday, the Russian defence ministry said US jets had killed more than 60 Syrian soldiers in the eastern Syrian city of Deir al-Zor in four air strikes by two F-16 and two A-10 fighter jets coming from the direction of Iraq.

Syrian UN Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari charged that US-led strikes were aimed at torpedoing the ceasefire but France’s foreign minister, speaking in New York, placed the main blame for truce violations on President Bashar al Assad’s government.

The Britain-based monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a military source at Deir al-Zor airport reported at least 90 Syrian soldiers were killed in the strikes.

A US official said the US military believed reports that about 60 Syrian troops were killed but declined to speculate on the number of wounded. Two US officials also confirmed that a tank was among the vehicles hit in the strike, raising more questions about what kind of intelligence led the coalition aircraft to conclude ISIS militants were operating the military equipment.

“The actions of coalition pilots – if they, as we hope, were not taken on an order from Washington – are on the boundary between criminal negligence and connivance with ISIS terrorists,” Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

“We strongly urge Washington to exert the needed...

19:56

Australia Involved in Coalition Attack Killing Syrian Servicemen "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

1032853301Australia was involved in a US-led coalition airstrikes which accidentally killed Syrian servicemen, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – On Saturday, coalition planes hit the Syrian army positions near the Deir ez-Zor airport, killing 62 servicemen and injuring more than 100, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. The attack was later confirmed by the US Central Command, which said that Syrian troops were mistaken for the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group. “As soon as the coalition commanders were advised by the Russian command in the region that Syrian forces had been affected, the sortie was discontinued We regret the loss of life, and injury to any Syrian personnel affected. That is all I can say about the incident at the moment,” Turnbull said Sunday, as quoted by The Guardian newspaper.

The prime minister called coordination with Russia in Syria “desirable.”

Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with government forces fighting numerous opposition factions and extremist groups, including the Islamic State (IS), which is outlawed in many countries, including Russia. The government-held city of Deir Ez-Zor has been under siege from IS since July 2014. The US-led coalition has been carrying out anti-IS strikes since September 2014 without Syrian government consent.


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Australia Involved in Coalition Attack Killing Syrian Servicemen "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

By admin

1032853301
Australia was involved in a US-led coalition airstrikes which accidentally killed Syrian servicemen, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – On Saturday, coalition planes hit the Syrian army positions near the Deir ez-Zor airport, killing 62 servicemen and injuring more than 100, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. The attack was later confirmed by the US Central Command, which said that Syrian troops were mistaken for the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group. “As soon as the coalition commanders were advised by the Russian command in the region that Syrian forces had been affected, the sortie was discontinued We regret the loss of life, and injury to any Syrian personnel affected. That is all I can say about the incident at the moment,” Turnbull said Sunday, as quoted by The Guardian newspaper.

The prime minister called coordination with Russia in Syria “desirable.”

Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with government forces fighting numerous opposition factions and extremist groups, including the Islamic State (IS), which is outlawed in many countries, including Russia. The government-held city of Deir Ez-Zor has been under siege from IS since July 2014. The US-led coalition has been carrying out anti-IS strikes since September 2014 without Syrian government consent.

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19:42

US, Japan and South Korea Meet to Discuss North Korea Plans "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Minister of Foreign Affairs Yun Byung-se of South Korea (L), Minister of Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida of Japan, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) join hands during a meeting between the three leaders in New York, U.S. September 18, 2016. Credit: Reuters/ Kevin Hagen/ POOL

Minister of foreign affairs Yun Byung-se of South Korea (L), Minister of foreign affairs Fumio Kishida of Japan, and US secretary of state John Kerry (R) join hands during a meeting between the three leaders in New York, US. September 18, 2016. Credit: Reuters/ Kevin Hagen/ POOL

New York: Foreign ministers for US, Japan and South Korea met in New York on Sunday, ahead of UN meetings, to discuss stepped-up measures against North Korea and expand collaboration with one another after Pyongyang’s fifth and largest nuclear test.

The September 9 blast was in defiance of UN sanctions that were tightened in March.

The meeting between US secretary of state John Kerry, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and their South Korean counterpart, Yun Byung-se, was the first since the latest nuclear test. It will be one of the main issues discussed by world leaders at the UN General Assembly this week.

In a joint statement, the ministers said North‘s disregard for multiple UN resolutions prohibiting its missile and nuclear programs called for even stronger international pressure.

North Korea has been testing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles at an unprecedented rate this year under leader Kim Jong Un.

“They discussed the important work currently taking place in the Security Council to further sanction North Korea and considered other possible measures of their own, in particular ways to further restrict revenue sources for the DPRK’s missile and nuclear programs, including through illicit activities,” the ministers‘ statement said.

“They reaffirmed that they remain open to credible and authentic talks aimed at full and verifiable denuclearisation of the DPRK,” the statement said, referring to the country’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

US has said it is willing to ne...

19:33

Juncker Goes Bonkers on the EU "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

3453423212“Whoever speaks of Europe is wrong; it is a geographical expression”…Otto von Bismark

The US President’s State of the Union address has long been known as a “feel good” PR exercise to schmooze political supporters and present a second Santa-Claus January list of goodies that are to be delivered in the future.

The President’s job is to convince the public that he wants and can deliver these things. But, everybody already knows he will just blame Congress if he can’t deliver, because Congress’ public approval rating is always lower than the President’s. If they are watching, I am sure our Founding Fathers are totally mystified as to how Congress can poll in the 10 to 15% range without a revolution in this country. “Dear Homeland Security, that was just a joke…really.”

For some strange reason, it now appears that EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker wants to introduce a tradition of a State of the Union wish list for the EU public. Doesn’t the EU already have enough buyers’ remorse without adopting another one from the US?

Press coverage of his EU Parliament address focuses on his double-header surprises. At this late stage of the game, Juncker really wants the EU to jump into the middle of solving the Syrian War Gordian Knot, as he describes the EU’s non-participation as “unthinkable”. If that were really true, why has no one in the EU, including Juncker gotten involved earlier?

The reason for that might be because the last thing Syria needs is more outsiders trying to figure out what is best for the Syrian people. Do I think that Juncker was doing some grandstanding here? Absolutely.

That lame brain idea was paired up with another — that an EU military headquarters is needed to begin constructing an independent EU military force to “complement” NATO. This made me think Mr. Juncker would make a good standup comic in his next job. The US taxpayers know they are picking up 75% of NATO’s bill in a post-Cold War era, with no credible threats on the horizon and where Europe has been happy to enjoy the subsidy.

This would be the same NATO, yes, whose air force ran out of munitions during the Libyan “no fly zone” caper. The British Navy shot off all of its submarine-launched Tomahawk missiles, too. US supplies were tapped to cover the shortfall. And when budget time came up again and the Pentagon asked the EU-NATO countries to restock munitions at a higher level, their attitude was, “Sorry, we are having economic issues, and prefer to rely on US reserves if needed.”

Mr. Juncker went on to propose a “travelers’ database”, so while people are on a plane, they can be checked out prior to arriving at their destination. The Israelis have been doing that for ages, and to discover that the EU has not previously done so was initially a shocker, but then, it wasn’t.

We have seen people on European watch lists move across borders with ease when going to fight for ISIS, and then travel back home with apparently no problem. When VT’s Gordon Duff came back from his Germany vacation this summer, he was grilled for five hours by Homeland Security.

Juncker did make an “economy” pitch for the EU army, saying that it would avoid duplication and save $110 billion a year. But those national armies are NATO members, so that means if their size w...

19:31

Facebook used to recruit illegal migrant workers to New Zealand "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

A human trafficking scam that’s carried on undetected for years is claimed to be using Facebook to lure migrants into jobs paying less than $10 an hour on New Zealand orchards. Investigations have been launched after a Filipino man, who paid his first month’s wages as commission to an offshore organiser, raised the alert. First […]

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

19:28

Last chance on climate change policy "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

With August 2016 setting yet another record for global temperatures, the need for action on climate change is obvious. The good news is that most national governments are finally recognising the urgency of the problem. The bad news is that Australia is not among them. Having commissioned a Special Review from the Climate Change Authority (of which I’m a member) and received recommendations designed with the current policy as a starting point, the government’s response has been that it might take another look at the problem in 2017.

I’ve written the statement over the fold in response. Comments very welcome. I won’t engage in discussion; in this context, I’d rather let the statement speak for itself.

Statement by Professor John Quiggin regarding government response to Climate Change Authority Special Review report
1. The Climate Change Authority is an independent body responsible for delivering independent expert advice on climate change policy within the principles set out in the Climate Change Authority Act 2011. In my view, the Authority’s primary obligation is to provide the Parliament, which established it, with a basis on which Parliament can adopt, and the government can implement, policies to meet Australia’s international obligations. As stated in previous reports by the Authority, and reiterated in the current report, our commitment to internationally equitable policies consistent with holding global warming below 2 degrees will require emissions reductions of 40 to 60 per cent below 2000 levels by 2030. This is consistent with the evidence of climate science and with the actions being taken by other countries to meet their commitments.
2. It is therefore appropriate, in my view, for advice on the design of climate policy to take account of the existing settings of policy, the general desirability of consistency and stability in policy, and the policy commitments already made by parties and members of Parliament, . That is, it is appropriate to recommend a policy or policy toolkit that is:
(i) able to be implemented in the short run and scaled up over time to meet Australia’s international obligations, bearing in mind that our existing indicative commitments will themselves be scaled up over time; and
(ii) based on existing policies and capable of commanding broad support in Parliament
even if, in the absence of the constraints imposed by the history of policy in this field, other policies might be regarded as more cost-effective and reliable.
3. Conversely, it is not appropriate for the Authority, as an independent advisory body to accept political constraints that would be inconsistent with the obligation to make recommendations consistent with our international obligations.
4. I believe that the toolkit proposed by the Authority meets the criteria set out in point 2 and I therefore commend it to the Parliament.
5. The Authority’s report has received favourable responses from stakeholders including the Business Council of Australia, AIGroup and the Australian Energy Council.
http://bca.com.au/media/business-council-statement-on-climate-change-authority-report
https://www.aigroup.com.au/policy-and-research/mediacentre/releases/CCA-Report-Sept1/
https://www.energycouncil.com.au/news/market-based-policy-for-climate-still-the-way-to-go-1/
6. However, an effective response to Australia’s international obligations is feasible only if the major parties, and particularly the government parties, understand the urgency of the problem and are committed to adopting a comprehensive response as soon as possible.
7. Unfortunately, government’s response so far suggests that
(a) the government is unlikely to contemplate any further action before the completion of a review scheduled for the second half of 2017; and
(b) even in the context of this review, the g...

19:26

Uri Attack: Modi Chairs High-Level Meeting As Pakistan Denies Involvement "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Prime Minister Narendra Modi heads a high-level

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with senior colleagues Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Manohar Parrikar and top officials at a high-level meeting on the Uri terror attack in New Delhi on Monday. Credit: Twitter

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today chaired a high-level meeting, a day after 17 soldiers were killed and 19 other personnel injured in a militant attack in north Kashmir’s Uri town. Home minister Rajnath Singh, defence minister Manohar Parrikar, finance minister Arun Jaitley, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag were among those in attendance at the meeting.

Singh reviewed the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly in the border areas, and held a separate meeting with Parrikar and the army chief, both of who visited the state shortly after the attack.

In the early hours of September 18, heavily armed militants, suspected to be members of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed, stormed at a battalion headquarters of the army, PTI reports. Explosions and gunfire erupted as the militants attacked the camp, located barely a few metres away from the army’s brigade headquarters in Uri town, 102 kms from Srinagar, around 5:30 am.

Four terrorists were killed after a three-hour gun battle.

The attack in Uri comes months after seven military personnel were killed when six militants attacked the Pathankot air base and two years after militants had carried out a similar attack at Mohra in the same area. Ten security personnel were killed in the attack that took place on December 5, 2014.

Ground situation

Doval, along with top officials from the home and defence ministries, army, paramilitary forces and chiefs of intelligence agencies, briefed Singh on the latest ground report in the Valley as well as along the Line of Control, official sources said.

Possible strategies to deal with the fresh challenges arising out of the terror attack was also discussed during the meeting.

Home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, who postponed his visit to Srinagar, was also present. According to the sources, the home minister and the top officials also reviewed the security situation across the country, particular along the western border ­– from Punjab to Gujarat.

Meanwhile, a team from the National Investigation Agency is expected to visit Uri to gather leads and other evidence from the site of the attack.

19:22

Monday Message Board "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

19:09

United States-Danish-Australian killing of Syrian soldiers "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

This video says about itself:

U.S. airstrike on Syrian army position kill 62 soldiers, paving way for Daesh [ISIS] attack

17 September 2016

UPDATE by SANA reporters from the battlefield: Army and Armed Forces units recover control over areas that it had lost control over earlier due to American aircraft attack on positions in the surroundings of Deir Ezzor Airport.

The General Command of the Army and Armed Forces said that US alliance aircrafts targeted at 5 PM on Saturday a Syrian Arab Army position in al-Tharda Mountain in the surroundings of Deir Ezzor Airport, causing losses in lives and equipment and clearly paved the way for ISIS terrorists to attack the position and take control of it.

In a statement, the General Command said that this act is a serious and blatant aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic and its army, and constitutes conclusive evidence that the United States and its allies support ISIS and other terrorist organizations, stressing that this act reveals the falseness of their claims of fighting terrorism.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Danes and Australians involved in mistaken Syria airstrike

Today, 09:22

The air raid on Syrian government forces that has been designated by the US as a mistake was carried out by at least Danish and Australian warplanes. This say the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten and Australian Prime Minister Turnbull.

Aircraft of the international coalition that is fighting against Islamic State [ISIS] probably mistook the Syrian military for ISIS warriors. In the attack on Saturday dozens of Syrian soldiers were killed.

Investigation

According to the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, two Danish F-16s were involved in the attack. The Danish Defence Minister is willing to coöperate in the investigation into the air strike, the newspaper writes.

The newspaper says also other countries were involved in the attack, but does not say which countries.

Deplore

Australian Prime Minister Turnbull said during a visit to New York that Australian aircraft took part in the attack. He regretted that Syrian soldiers were killed in the attack and that the Australian attack stopped immediately when the Russians told them what was going on.

The Australian defense minister refused to say to the Australian news channel ABC whether Australian aircraft were involved in the attack. …

It looks like this...

19:08

366 days of gratitude "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Spring starts slowly in the garden but day by day plants which have been resting over winter make their appearance.

Today’s discovery was dog’s-tooth violets (Erythronium dens-canis if you want to get technical) spreading bright yellow cheer alongside the path through the trees and I’m grateful for them.


Filed under: garden, gratitude

19:05

Video: Journalists are hopping mad over ASIC sale "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

A GetUp petition by journalists is aiming at blocking the sale of ASIC, Australia’s premier resource for corporate information. Watch and support.

The post Video: Journalists are hopping mad over ASIC sale appeared first on The Pen.

18:50

It Will Take More Than Force for India to Win the Terror Endgame "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Only a combination of Indian coercive and non-violent capabilities, and a willingness to bargain, can motivate Pakistan to remove the threat of violence. And just as threat of force alone will not work for India, terrorism won’t get Pakistan what it wants from India.

Swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi. (L-R) President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif and Prime Minister of Mauritius, Navin Ramgoolam. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi. (L-R) President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif and Prime Minister of Mauritius, Navin Ramgoolam. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent public references to Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan confirm for many Pakistanis what they have long suspected: that India is employing covert means to destabilise and foment violence in Pakistan. If India is pursuing covert operations to punish Pakistan, it would be a disturbing development in the nearly 70-year security competition between the two states; but it should not come as a great surprise.

The prospect of covert Indian operations and rhetoric regarding Balochistan and Kashmir widens the front that Pakistani leaders must defend. While alarming to Pakistan, these tactics reflect the Indian leaders’ attempts to find ways to motivate the Pakistani establishment to demonstrably renounce anti-India terrorism and to neutralise actors that threaten to conduct it. “It’s a Rubik’s cube – dealing with Pakistan,” a former Indian national security adviser told us in late 2014. “You keep fiddling with squares. As you move one set, others are affected or become problems.”

Since the terrorist attacks in New Delhi and Jammu in late 2001 and early 2002, in Mumbai in November 2008 and, most recently, on the Pathankot air base, Indians have increasingly concluded that eschewing forceful responses does not work. As one retired senior Indian military officer lamented to us in 2014: “How do you prove deterrence if you don’t use force at any time?” Modi won the 2014 election in part because he displayed his resolve to use force to fight threats against India.

Pakistan’s conventional and nuclear forces make Indian conventional military operations against Pakistan exceedingly risky. Indian leaders are trying to find alternatives that could simultaneously satisfy domestic demands to punish Pakistan, deter Pakistan from escalating conflict in reaction to Indian punitive actions and bring conflict to a close in ways that do not leave India worse off – in terms of casualties, costs and overall power. Pakistani officials and strategists, too, should have a keen interest in understanding these alternatives.

Our focus on possible Indian options for changing Pakistan’s behaviour regarding terrorism does not ignore Pakistan’s legitimate interest in motivating India to redress the grievances of Kashmiri Muslims and create conditions in and around Kashmir that are acceptable to Kashmir, Pakistan and India. The...

18:47

Japan May Celebrate Its Elderly, But Who Will Care For Them in the Future? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Rising life expectancy and declining fertility in the country could pose drastic social and economic effects if they are not adequately addressed.

More than 25% of Japan’s population is 65 or older. Credit: Reuters

More than 25% of Japan’s population is 65 or older. Credit: Reuters

Tokyo: I moved to Tokyo three weeks ago, after a four-year stint in Jakarta. It’s a startling change. At the risk of generalising, Indonesia is boisterous, but easy going. Japan is quiet and a stickler for rules and efficiency. Indonesians are young and the furrowed brows of policymakers in Jakarta are a result of schemes to ensure their demographic dividend does not become a Malthusian catastrophe. The Japanese are old and their policymakers are worried about the economics of an ageing society.

A few days ago, I too had a furrowed brow. As I took my progeny to their new school, I was handed the dreaded school calendar on which all the public holidays were marked in red. These were the days when instead of writing productively while sipping specialty hot coffee, I would spend my waking hours yelling at my children to behave while they argued, spilled drinks and asked me difficult theological questions (Mama where does God go to the toilet?). My heart sank as I realised the very first red lettered day, September 19, was only a few days into the term.

I thought uncharitable thoughts about whichever national leader/God/seasonal occurrence was responsible for depriving me, sorry, I mean my kids, of school. This was until I read that the occasion was the gloriously Confucian-sounding Respect for the Aged Day.

At that moment, all rancour vanished (somewhat helped by the fact that unlike their Japanese counterparts, the international school my kids went to did not close on this day, which I suppose is based on the reasonable premise that non-Japanese children are somewhat short on respect for the elderly).

There was something so wise and elegant about the appreciation of age in a world that is overly enamoured by the passions and distractions of youth, that it was like prising tea and the music of cicadas over cheap whisky and trance.

My point of view admittedly is coloured by the fact that it has been a while since my own whiskey and trance days. In fact, I am no longer a stranger to lower back pain. The most exciting thing that happens to me these days is getting eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. But researching keirō no hi or Respect for the Aged Day turned out to be quite thrilling as well.

On this day, the volunteers – many of whom are school children – distribute free, boxed lunches to neighbourhood senior citizens. Kindergartens ask their grandparents to visit. In rural areas, keiro kai shows are held where village elders are entertained with rehearsed songs and dances. They are also treated to lunch and sweets after the performance.

I spoke to Maho Furuya, a Japanese friend from my university days in England, who currently works in a family-run health food business in Tokyo, about how she celebrates the festival. “We will bring our children to their grandparents’ house and give some presents and eat dinner together and we express our many thanks to the grandparents,” she explained.

More than 25% of Japan’s population is 65...

18:45

Trump is the Symptom, Clinton is the Disease "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

I asked you who is the lesser evil when even the Washington Post posits Hillary Clinton to the “political right” of Trump on international issues?..

18:45

Imperium Americana"s Regional Warlords March to Their Own Drum Beats "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Not since the days of the Roman Empire have regional warlords commanded so much authority to craft their own military and diplomatic policies apart from the central government. The United States calls its warlords «combatant commanders» and the title is not misleading. These combatant commanders are always looking for new wars and conflicts, all of which are in the personal interests of them and their top military echelons, but certainly not in the general interest of the American people...

18:31

Manhattan explosion being used to coverup US war crime in Syria "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

By Gordon

united-states-bombs-syrian-soldiers-deir-ez-zor

September 18, 2016 By Filip Karinja

Before today’s explosion in Manhattan, the news for the day was of the United States airforce conducting four separate airstrikes on the Syrian army in Syria killing 62 soldiers and injuring 100 more.

The soldiers, representing the elected Syrian government, where in battle against ISIS when the US war planes came and were essentially acting as air support for ISIS by bombing the Syrian soldiers near the city of Deir ez-Zor, Syria.

Russia called for an immediate UN meeting to find out why the US had once again acted on behalf of ISIS in Syria.

The United States’ only response was to accuse Russia of grandstanding, avoiding the actual subject as to why they had bombed soldiers of an elected foreign government, a clear act of war.

However, western media has done it best to coverup the latest Syrian incident and when it does talk about it, like all the other times the US has killed innocent people, language such as ‘may’ ‘allegations’ ‘reports say’ ‘could’ is used rather that labeling it as fact.

Australian media has completely buried the story, the same way they didn’t even report on the news in July of this year when US and French planes bombed a Syrian village killing over 85 civilians. Apparently this was not newsworthy either, but news on what some celebrity did that day apparently was.

Hence if you speak to people who get their information from the mainstream media about the incident they will tell you that they have never heard about it, the same people who still don’t know about things like WTC building 7.

Perhaps this is why trust in the mainstream media is at its lowest point in history against all demographics, as people are beginning to wake up to see the bigger picture of what’s going on and why.

For example, when the US isn’t bombing civilians, bombing hospitals, training ISIS terrorists, airdropping 50 tons of weapons to ISIS, they are staging false flags to start wars.

Let’s face it, the US economy runs on war.

Last week the US handed Israel a record $38 billion in military....

18:24

Suu Kyi’s Pragmatism Wins Over the Obama Administration "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The US may have lifted economic sanction, but must now work with Myanmar on issues like building a strong civilian government and the Rohingya crisis.

Suu Kyi and Barack Obama at the Oval Office, Washington. Credit: Reuters

Aung San Suu Kyi and Barack Obama at the Oval Office, Washington. Credit: Reuters

The US has decided to lift economic sanctions that it has imposed on Myanmar for two decades. The announcement was made following a meeting between President Barack Obama and Myanmar’s State Counselor-cum-foreign minister Aung San Suu Kyi at the White House on September 14.

For many in Myanmar and the US, the lifting of sanctions is a win-win for the Obama and Suu Kyi administrations.

The US’s decision to do away with sanctions is partly a recognition of the democratic progress made by the National League for Democracy (NLD) government, with a view to strengthen bilateral ties, particularly on the economic front.

Obama said, “The United States is now prepared to lift sanctions that we have imposed on Burma for quite some time…it is the right thing to do in order to ensure that the people of Burma see rewards from a new way of doing business and a new government.”

The US had eased some sanctions against Myanmar earlier this year to support political reform but had maintained most of its economic restrictions in order to penalise those it saw as hampering the democratically-elected government.

Economic impact

Since long before Suu Kyi’s visit to the US, there was speculation, and anticipation, that the issue of sanctions would be a major agenda for discussion. Although the details are yet to be outlined, Myanmar will likely be reinstated to the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), from which it was removed in 1989 following the brutal suppression by the military junta of pro-democracy uprisings a year before.

Lifting of economic sanctions will also remove the “national emergency” designation on Myanmar that has been in place for two decades.

Reinstating Myanmar to the GSP and removing the national emergency tag will beneficial for the US too. It will give US businesses and non-profit organisations greater incentive to invest and bring the American people, especially members of its business community, closer to Myanmar.

In anticipation of the sanctions being lifted, the Myanmar government recently formed a committee dedicated to ridding the country of its UN designation as a least developed country (LDC).

Myanmar has been on the LDC list since 1987 and to come out of this category requires the country to make progress on three areas – gross national income per capita, the human asset index and the economic vulnerability index. Naypyidaw needs to fulfil this requirement at two successive triennial reviews.

Moreover, while Suu Kyi was in Washington, the Myanmar government was making a push to overhaul rules on new foreign investment with a view to attracting more investments to the country.

Naypidaw’s ‘non-al...

18:18

LIMITED BLOGGING "IndyWatch Feed Politics.nz"

over the next ten days as I'm in Tauranga, Hamilton and Wellington doing 'Gods work'.

But let's suppose that on Saturday (UK time) Jeremy Corbyn is reelected as leader of the UK Labour Party.    What then the odds that by the following Monday morning there will be a new 'New Labour Party' comprising many of the 172 MPs and MEPs who publicly threw their support behind Owen Smith?

I mean to say with 'operatives' in Corbyn's office drawing up lists of MPs seen as antagonistic to Corbyn and the likelihood they will be targeted by Momentum in an organized takeover of their constituency organizations what have they got to lose ... done one way and dusted the other.    

Interesting times ahead.     However I can confirm there is no truth to the rumor that Lord Egbut has
been practicing Seppuku.

p.s.   How about this taster on the BBC website.

18:00

Who am I? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.nz"

Guess who the mystery person using the 3 clues. Include in your comments how the clues relate to the mystery person

18:00

Malcolm Turnbull's great weak "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Malcolm Turnbull's great weakThe Canberra Press Gallery are unanimous — Macolm Turnbull had a terrific week last week. Managing editor Dave Donovan is not in the Press Gallery. read now...

17:59

More arrests of Papuans planning to rally "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/313683/more-arrests-of-papuans-planning-to-rally

More arrests of Papuans planning to rally

4:33 pm today
Indonesian police in Papua region have made more arrests of people planning to rally in support of international advocacy for West Papuans.
Over the weekend 21 members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) were arrested by police in Yakuhimo regency as they distributed leaflets about a planned peaceful rally to be held today.
KNPB chairman Victor Yeimo said the rally was to show support for the Pacific countries who were members of the Pacific Islands Coalition on West Papua.
The coalition plans to raise issues of human rights abuses in West Papua, and Papuans' self-determination struggle, at the United Nations General Assembly.
Local media reported over 200 people protested outside the local police station at the arrests.
One protester was taken to hospital after reportedly being hit by a police officer.

This year has seen a series of public demonstrations by West Papuans in support of various international representations on their plight.
These include...

17:49

Our Sceptical Observer scrutinises the South Australian govt’s Know Nuclear roadshow "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

superwomanAs of last week there were one million, one hundred and thirty five thousand and seven hundred and eighty one voters on SA roll.
1,135, 781.

Day one of Roadshow coincided with the publication the day before of The Advertiser 24 p “Nuclear Dossier” hugely pro-nuclear using much of the info as used in roadshow and much much more.Token short pieces by Ian Lowe, Craig Wilkins,Mark Parnell. Free Copies of this available in the cafe area of Know Nuclear booth.

Also available,hot-off-press copies of Nuclear Citizens’ Jury “Nothing Report”  from first jury, finalised July 10.  A passer-by informed us that an e-copy of the report had landed in the Inbox of every SA public servant on the day before (Friday).
The previous day, Thursday July 28, a video message and Q&A from CARA (Consultation and Response Agency section of RC process) Director John Whelan ( fresh from 15 years at SANTOS) was beamed into every TAFE campus in the state. $3m
 “Engagement ” strategy at work.
The CEO of CARA is Madeleine Richardson, fresh from the Premier’s Dept.
Both women (democracyCo)organising the details and minute by minute roll out of the Citizens Jury days have similar links. Good story on this by InDaily some time back.

17:48

Lawsuit in USA against dangerous trucking of nuclear wastes "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

antnuke-relevantPlans to truck nuclear waste on the interstate sounding alarms, Tribune Democrat, By John Finnertyjfinnerty@cnhi.com  19 Sep 16 HARRISBURG – Government plans to truck nuclear waste along the interstate in western Pennsylvania and five other states is akin to allowing a series of potential “mobile Chernobyls on steroids,” said Kevin Kamps, radioactive waste watchdog for the group Beyond Nuclear.

radiation-truck

Environmentalists are sounding alarms about the possible consequences, especially if a truck crashes, catches fire and causes the waste to escape its container.

Kamps likened the possibility to the 1986 disaster in the Ukraine that killed 30 people, injured hundreds more and contaminated huge swaths of land.

 Beyond Nuclear and five other groups are suing the Department of Energy, hoping to halt the shipments until the government can study their impact.

In 2013, the department said a study isn’t needed because earlier reports have already been done. But those studies focused on solid waste – not liquid – and environmentalists say this would be the first time liquid nuclear waste has been moved in North America.

“Transporting even solid, high-level radioactive waste – such as irradiated nuclear fuel from commercial atomic reactors – is already, itself, very high risk,” Kamps said………

environmental groups say the Energy Department doesn’t need to move the waste in the first place.

In at least one similar situation, nuclear waste in Indonesia was diluted so that it no longer contained weapons-grade uranium, said Mary Olson, director of the southeast office of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, another group involved in the lawsuit.

That waste was solidified and placed in storage, rather than moved back to the United States, she said.“The same plan could be applied to the Chalk River waste,” she said.

An Energy Department public affairs office didn’t respond to a request for comment……

The Nuclear Energy Institute estimates t...

17:37

South Australian govt’s poor quality propaganda for gigantic nuclear waste dump plan "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

nuclear? unclear http://www.adelaide.foe.org.au/nuclear-unclear_video/  August 14, 2016

court jesterWe weren’t surprised at the recommendations of the SA Nuclear Royal Commission, but were disappointed at the poor quality of the report. The government has embarked on a propaganda campaign to manufacture consent for this gigantic waste dump.

As part of our campaign against this dump, various people have pointed out flaws in the report, problems with the economic modelling, and absurd assumptions made by the modelling.

Paul Waldon I wish that someone would put this to air. About 15 students attended Clare’s engagement program for Know Nuclear as a class but none of the facts on this recording were mentioned. https://www.facebook.com/groups/941313402573199/


17:33

Media censorship of accounts of depleted uranium and its effects "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Fallujah-babyDeadly Radioactive Dust and Dying Children: US-NATO Use of see-no-evilDepleted Uranium (DU) Ammunition http://www.globalresearch.ca/deadly-radioactive-dust-and-dying-children-us-nato-use-of-depleted-uranium-du-ammunition/5545973

Award-Winning Filmmaker Shunned for Exposing the Truth The fate of Frieder Wagner is a peculiar example of what happens when you stand up to the establishment’s injustice. A notable director who won the prestigious German Grimme Award, responsible for numerous documentaries for the ARD and ZDF channels, he quickly became a pariah after making a movie called Deadly Dust (Todesstaub) about the use of depleted uranium (DU) shells by NATO forces in the Middle East and in the former Yugoslavia.

In an exclusive interview with Sputnik, Wagner explained that Deadly Dust is based on an earlier documentary called The Doctor, the Depleted Uranium, and the Dying Children (Der Arzt und die verstrahlten Kinder von Basra) that he filmed for WDR. In April 2004 the movie was screened during the anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. But even though that autumn it received the ÖkoMedia award, it was never screened again. And no matter what ideas he came up with, the TV channels that he previously worked with stopped sending him new orders for some reason.

“I contacted a head of the WDR editorial office whom I’d worked with before and asked him what happened. He paused for a second and then told me “The WDR editorial office considers you a ‘difficult’ person. And most importantly, the topics you suggest are especially hard. Right now I’ve got nothing more to tell you”,” Wagner explained.

He added that about a year ago he met with Siegesmund von Ilsemann, an editor at Spiegel magazine who wrote a comprehensive report about the ‘deadly dust’ and its effects, and who revealed to the astonished director that the use of depleted uranium by the military literally became a taboo subject in Germany.

“He told me that the issue of DU munitions use and its consequences became taboo in Germany. And no TV channel or newspaper would allow even him – a person who worked on this subject for a long time – to publish anything related to it,” Wagner added.

DU shells are made of byproducts of uranium enrichment. Their superior armor-piercing capabilities make them a potent anti-tank weapon, especially considering that when an armored vehicle gets hit by such a shell, the impact and subsequent release of heat energy causes it to ignite, incinerating the target’s interior. But it’s the ‘deadly dust’ produced by a DU shell detonation that is probably the most insidious aspect of this type of ordnance.

“At such a high temperature the substance – depleted uranium – burns down to nano-particles, each of them a hundred times smaller than a red blood cell. And due to their extremely small size, these particles ‘travel’ through a human body, infiltrating brain, lungs, kidneys, placenta, bloodstream and even sperm and egg cells which causes severe developmental diseases in newborns,” Wagner said.

According to him, US forces actively used DU munitions in Kosovo, Somalia, Libya and during both Iraqi campaigns....

17:31

Trans Pacific Partnership threatens our progress on climate change "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Trans-Pacific-PartnershipHow TPP threatens our progress on climate change  http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/How-TPP-threatens-our-progress-on-climate-change-9223661.php  By Van Jones September 14, 2016

  In the past month, wildfires forced tens of thousands of people across California to evacuate their homes. Over the same period, historic floods in Louisiana destroyed or damaged more than 60,000 homes, uprooting families and ruining lives.

 Whether fire or water, we know that human-induced climate change is making natural disasters more frequent and more intense.
 So why are some in Washington pushing hard for a policy that would make climate change considerably worse?

This fall, Congress is likely to vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership — an agreement among 12 nations along the Pacific Rim. While billed as a “free trade” deal, most of the TPP is actually about creating new rights for multinational corporations, including the big polluters most responsible for the climate emergency.

Under the TPP, the biggest global firms — including many responsible for offshore drilling and fracking — would be able to sue American taxpayers over laws and regulations that are meant to protect public health and the environment. Rather than suing in regular courts, these corporations would, through the TPP, be able to sue before unaccountable arbitration panels — each panel made up of three corporate lawyers — who could award unlimited cash compensation. Similar rules in other trade deals have already made possible nearly 700 such lawsuits — including efforts to challenge the U.S. rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline and a moratorium on fracking in Quebec.

What does this mean for California?

TPP would allow multinational corporations that own gas-fired power plants from Alameda County to San Diego County to threaten state restrictions on carbon emissions — including some of the new world-leading standards recently passed in Sacramento. The deal would also vastly increase the number of fracking firms and offshore drilling companies that could challenge our protections.

But it’s not about just dirtier air and water or more susceptibility to climate risks. It’s also about jobs.

Because TPP would threaten a successful California rebate program for green technologies that are made in-state, the deal could result in the elimination of good-paying green jobs in fields like solar and wind manufacturing and energy efficiency. Green jobs employ all kinds of people — truck drivers, welders, secretaries, scientists — all across the state. These jobs can pull people out of poverty while protecting the planet.

Given that California has lost an estimated 413,000 manufacturing jobs since America entered NAFTA and the World Trade Organization, we can’t afford to pass a new trade deal and again undermine people’s livelihoods.

But there’s good news. Labor, environmental and social justice leaders now opp...

17:28

Recent utube clips re West Papua "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Recent utube clips re West Papua

The Year 5 Students at St Francis of Assisi would like you to view the website www.freewestpapua.org and register to receive more information about this social justice issue.



Politics in the Pub
PROSPECTS FOR PAPUAN AUTONOMY UNDER PRESIDENT WIDODO - Joe Collins - 8/9/16


PROSPECTS FOR PAPUAN AUTONOMY UNDER PRESIDENT WIDODO - Sister Susan Connelly - 8/9/16


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17:23

Shen Neng compensation offer too little, too late for priceless Great Barrier Reef "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia"

The compensation agreed between the Federal Government and owners of the Shen Neng 1 for the clean-up from their oil spill on the Great Barrier Reef falls way short of the $141 million estimated by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park authority earlier this year.
Great Barrier Reef campaigner Shannon Hurley said the Reef generated at least $6 billion in reef-related tourism to the economy, and makes a priceless contribution as a global icon and integral part of the Queensland coastal lifestyle.
The Federal Government has sold the reef short and failed to recognise prevention of shipping accidents is the best way of protecting the priceless natural wonder, according to the Australian Marine Conservation Society.
“The Shen Neng 1 is a reminder of the vital importance of protecting the fragile marine environments of the Great Barrier Reef from shipping accidents and spills,” she said.
“The grounding of the Shen Neng 1 off the coast of Queensland in 2010 severely damaged or destroyed a massive 115,000m2 of habitat in the Douglas Shoal, pulverised marine life and released toxic paint that will stunt coral re-growth for years to come.
“No one who saw the dramatic media images of the grounding of the Shen Neng 1 can forget what’s at stake when shipping goes wrong on the Reef, damaging coral and marine life in its wake.
“The Shen Neng may be long gone from our waters but we must not forget what is at stake from shipping through the Reef – precious marine life, local tourism and fishing industries and a coastal way of life much loved by Queenslanders.
“At the time, marine experts estimated the reef could take up to 20 years to recover from the Shen Neng incident. Clearly Australia can’t afford the damage that one ship, the Shen Neng 1, caused to the Reef.
“The Reef is under existential threat from global warming, coral bleaching and poor water quality, it cannot take on the additional risk from oil spills and other incidents.
“We simply can’t risk letting it happen again,” she said.

The post Shen Neng compensation offer too little, too late for priceless Great Barrier Reef appeared first on Fight for the Reef.

17:20

No safe way to transport nuclear waste "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Airplane dangerThere’s no safe way to move nuclear waste’: Scottish Politicians slam nuke flight that needed armed cop convoy http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/gun-cop-8859315, 18 SEP 2016 BY JIM LAWSON Green MP John Finnie and Caithness MP Paul Monaghan among those to voice concerns about flying nuclear waste to the US. THE first flight believed to be carrying British nuclear waste to America took off from Wick Airport amid tight security yesterday.

Scots politicians and anti-nuclear campaigners have slammed the deal, brokered by David Cameron and Barack Obama, to move the waste.

policeman i assault rifleThe airport was closed from early morning as armed police patrolled the perimeter.

Twenty miles away in Thurso, more armed officers escorted a lorry from the radiation-truckDounreay nuclear plant through the town. It was carrying two heavily reinforced containers.

At 11.40am, a police convoy brought the containers on to the runway.

A US Air Force transport plane landed 10 minutes later and loading began almost immediately. The plane took off two-and-a-half hours later.

The plan to transport highly enriched uranium from Dounreay to the US emerged late last year.

Dounreay bosses won’t confirm or deny the scheme, but Cameron revealed after talks with Obama earlier this year that uranium from the plant would be moved to South Carolina.

Other types of uranium will be sent to Europe in exchange and used to make medical isotopes. But Dr Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth, said: “There is no truly safe way to move this waste.”

exclamation-Caithness MP Paul Monaghan said the deal was “morally reprehensible” and Green MP John Finnie said people would be stunned that nuclear waste was being transported by plane.

Nuclear expert John Large said: “The risk in transport by air is the fuel being engulfed in fire, the packages breaking down and the fuel igniting.”

The runways at Wick have been extended at a cost of £18million to take the US planes, and Highland Council have published an order allowing local roads to be closed for five hours at a time until March 2018.

top-secretPolice refused to comment on yesterday’s operation for security reasons.The first flight believed to
be carrying British nuclear waste to America took off from Wick Airport amid tight security yesterday.

Scots politicians and anti-nuclear campaigners have slammed the deal, brokered by David Cameron and...

17:00

A lifetime of crashed markets for uranium producers "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

cliff-money-nuclearWhy Uranium Investments Will Remain Radioactive No commodity faces the unique pressure that uranium and nuclear fuel do and there is little prospect of a near-term recovery WSJ  By  SPENCER JAKAB Sept. 18, 2016

There is too much of nearly every commodity in the world today. Then there is uranium.

The outlook for the element that powers nuclear reactors may be worse than for any other, and there is almost no prospect for improvement soon. Unlike other commodities, low prices won’t stimulate demand.

There are several reasons for the weakness, some obvious, others surprising. The result has been the price of triuranium octoxide, which surged 1,400% in the five years through June 2007 to $136 a pound, is now about $25. And the price of fuel processing has dropped by nearly two-thirds since 2010.

The obvious reasons are the shutdown of nuclear power plants after the 2011 nuclear accident at Fukushima, Japan. Plants also shut down in Germany, Sweden, and elsewhere, while Belgium and Taiwan may be next. Even China, the leading growth market for nukes, enacted a delay in plant approvals. Meanwhile, the fracking revolution made some planned and existing U.S. plants uneconomical……..

The end of a U.S.-Russia deal to convert old Soviet warheads in 2013 took the equivalent of 20 million tons of triuranium octoxide ore, or 10% of annual supply off the market. That should have been good news for prices. But in anticipation of the end of the deal, processors that turn their ore into fuel built arrays of expensive centrifuges.

Once built, these centrifuges must be run constantly. This has encouraged processors to engage in “underfeeding”—using less ore but enriching it more intensely to create extra fuel. It is the equivalent of mining about 15 million pounds a year of extra ore saysJonathan Hinze, executive vice president at Ux Consulting. U.S. stockpiles of all types of ore and fuel combined have risen by a third in four years, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Miners are partially cushioned by fixed long-term contracts with many customers. Canadian miner Cameco reported a cash cost of mining of over $27 a pound in the first half of 2016 but expects to realize an average price above $40 this year. Its capacity isn’t all needed, but shutting down uranium mines is expensive and difficult to reverse…….

Cameco, which has seen its share price drop by 84% since its 2007 peak, is one of the few pieces of the supply chain reacting to the dismal outlook. The miner shut down its Rabbit Lake mine, the longest-operating uranium mine in North America, this summer.

But such painful cuts alone won’t bring the market into balance for what feels to investors like a lifetime—or at least a half-life.http://www.wsj.com/articles/why-uranium-investments-will-remain-radioactive-1474225882


...

16:57

Know Nuclear is short on facts "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Paul Waldon I wish that someone would put this to air. About 15 students attended Clare’s engagement program for Know Nuclear as a class but none of the facts on this recording were mentioned. https://www.facebook.com/groups/941313402573199/

16:51

The Absolute Worst Jobs To Work Between Tours With Guantanamo Baywatch "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

The Absolute Worst Jobs To Work Between Tours With Guantanamo Baywatch

Life on tour for a band often sounds really glamorous, but it’s the time in between tours that can get pretty rough, at least as far as Guantanamo Baywatch are concerned.

The Portland surf/sludge-rock outfit are about to head to our shores for a national tour this Friday (dates below), which will give them a nice break from the daily grind. For some of them, that daily grind isn’t so bad right now, while for others it’s about as close to hell as you can actually get.

From penthouse puppies to top secret security clearance, the guys have given us a rundown of the best and absolutely worst jobs they’ve had to work to make ends meet when they’re not on the road.

Chris

Worst Job: Donut Robbery

I worked at a donut shop for two or three months in between tours and I would work the entire day by myself. The donuts where made at a different shop and would come to me already made, so I literally had nothing to do but listen to Miley Cyrus and watch people pass by the shop.

This one time a seemingly nice dude came into the shop just before closing time which was 9pm and he wanted to get a couple donuts for his girlfriend. I thought that was nice so I gave him a box of free donuts. By this time the store was closed and he had asked me if he could just hang out until his girlfriend showed up to give him a ride.

This is when he started to act funny and was pacing around the shop. I turned my head away from him for less than five seconds and I hear the sound of change fall on the floor, he had taken the entire tip jar and run out the door with it leaving some loose change behind. To this day I am convinced that he was going to rob me but last minute just decided to take all my tips from the day.

Best Job: Penthouse Puppies

My best job was house sitting and walking dogs all day. Sometimes I got to go to the penthouse suite on the 17th floor of this crazy apartment building to hang out with this cute puppy. It was NUTS! They even had a dog park inside the building!

All the people that lived there were really nice to me because they thought that I lived in the same fancy-ass apartment building as they did. The guy at the front desk would try and be “cool” with me by saying “DUDE” a lot when he spoke to me, but I could tell he had never said the word dude before in his life.

Jordan

Worst Job: Top Secret 

For what sounds like it’d be a pretty tight job, it was actually a terrible soul-sucking fucking nightmare of fluorescent lights, computer isolation, and middle aged bald men co-workers with hormone disorders and khaki pant wedgies.

But I did get top secret security clearance with the US government for that job, which I really wish I had taken more advantage of. Coulda been like Snowden 2.0.

Best Job: Burger Tasting

Best job wasn’t really a job, but I got paid $50 to taste test for a fast food burger restaurant called Red Robin and it was FUCKING DELICIOUS.

Chevelle

Worst Job: Van Scams

About five years ago I worked for a HORRIBLE Facebook spam company as the graphic designer, making shitty Facebook ads and weird “wall prizes” a...

16:43

Thinking outside the box "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

There was an oped in the AFR today by a university qualified individual working in the area of his technical qualification suggesting that:

Business-related university degrees are failing graduates in the workplace. The world of accounting and finance has rapidly innovated, but the university degrees associated with these disciplines have not moved forward.

This is the type of oped that’ll have the administrators running around like chooks. But I’m not really concerned.

The oped writer has qualifications in accounting and finance from a G8 university. I know those disciplines well. If you don’t know double entry book keeping, or the Modigliani-Millier theorems, you know nothing. So double entry book keeping is a technology that is several hundred years old. The MM theorems were developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s. (If you take the view that they are simply finance applications of the first and second welfare theorems, then they’re even older). Now students can excel and app as much as they like, but unless students sit down with plenty of paper and a pen (or pencil) and grind through the principles they simply do not know the material.

That brings me to the next bugbear: thinking outside the box.

Handwritten answers are also not conducive to students learning to think “outside the box”.

Two points. One. You can’t teach people to think outside the box. Two. Before anyone can think outside the box they do need to know what is inside the box. Deep and profound understanding of what is inside the box leads to people thinking outside the box. If a student wanted to become a mechanic nobody would question the need to take an engine apart and put it back together again, yet people assume this is unreasonable when studying accounting or finance.

What our intrepid oped writer wants is for the university system to teach entrepreneurial insight. But if it could be taught, it would be bureaucratic insight. He also wants the university system to teach everything that could ever be known or useful in his career. I’m just wondering why any employer would ever want to employ someone with no capacity or desire to learn on the job?

So a superficially profound oped, but really lots of heat and no light.

16:42

The Whitlams’ Tim Freedman, Joyride & More Say ‘F**k You’ To Pokies "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

The Whitlams’ Tim Freedman, Joyride & More Say ‘F**k You’ To Pokies

Some of Sydney’s most notable artists and musicians have banded together to give a big F-U to the pokies. The Whitlams chief Tim Freedman, One Day-er Joyride, and more will help launch the new Proudly Pokies Free campaign with a one-off gig at the Oxford Art Factory.

“It’s time for the young people of Sydney to learn about the scale and harm of the pokies and to make better informed decisions regarding their nights out,” said Tom Lawrence, director of the Proudly Pokies Free campaign, in a statement.

“The pokies have become an unnecessary fixture of the Australian pub and we want to promote an alternative vision for our nightlife, one that thrives on innovation, live music and true hospitality.”

Proudly Pokies Free draws attention to and celebrates venues in Sydney who’ve decided to ditch or avoid the pokies, whilst highlighting and reducing “the massive harm that pokies cause in Australian communities”.

“I’m proud to be involved with the Proudly Pokies Free movement to hopefully encourage a mindset that rewards and encourages venues that show imagination in programming and curating their activities,” said Freedman.

“It’s time for the people of Sydney to push back against the pokies.” The Proudly Pokies Free campaign launch event will also feature appearances from Wild Honey, electronic duo Left., and Bad Deep DJs, as well as secret guests and special speakers.

Proudly Pokies Free Campaign Launch

Tim Freedman
Joyride
Left.
Wild Honey
Bad Deep DJs

Plus: Secrets Guests & Guest Speakers

Sunday, 23rd October 2016
Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Tickets: Moshtix

16:42

Government to Oppose Triple Talaq in SC on Grounds of Women’s Rights "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Earlier this year, petitioners highlighted the plight faced by Muslim women on account of arbitrary divorces. Credit: PTI

Earlier this year, petitioners highlighted the plight faced by Muslim women on account of arbitrary divorces. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: The Centre will be opposing the practice of triple talaq (divorce) in the Supreme Court, on the grounds that women’s rights are “inalienable” and will assert that the issue should not be seen through the prism of a uniform civil code, according to a highly placed government functionary’s comments today.

The law ministry will file a consolidated reply on the issue in the apex court by the end of this month.

The issue is being deliberated upon at the inter-ministerial level which includes the home, finance and women and child development ministries in addition to the law ministry.

“We shouldn’t approach it from (the perspective of the) uniform civil code. We need to talk in terms of rights of women. Our reply is going to be only on rights. A woman’s rights are inalienable and according to the constitution she has to have the same rights as men.

“Every court decision has slowly been taking us to these uniform rights. The practice of triple talaq doesn’t exist even in Pakistan or Bangladesh. Only we have it,” the senior functionary said.

Home minister Rajnath Singh, finance minister Arun Jaitley, defence minister Manohar Parrikar and women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi met last week to deliberate on the government’s possible stand on the issue of Muslim practices of polygamy, triple talaq (talaq-e-bidat) and ‘nikah halala’ (a practice where divorced women, in case they want to go back to their husbands, have to consummate a second marriage).

According to this source,  all the senior ministers agreed to look at the contentious issue through the prism of gender rights.

Early this month the Supreme Court gave the Centre four weeks to submit its reply to a batch of petitions concerning the practice of triple talaq.

The first among these pleas was filed by Shayara Bano from Uttarakhand who claimed that the practices like triple talaq, polygamy and “nikah halala” as being unconstitutional.

Two women from Jaipur and Kolkata, who were both divorced by citing triple talaq also approached the court. Their petitions and a number of supportive pleas filed by Muslim women’s organisations have all been bundled together.

Opposing these petitions in court are the Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind (JUH) and the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB).

AIMPLB told the apex court earlier this month that personal laws can’t be re-written in the name of reforms and that the validity of Muslim personal law “cannot be tested” as it derives from the Quran.

Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, which is also one of the petitioners, spearheaded a signature campaign earlier this year to ban triple talaq, over 50,000 Muslim women and men supported the petition.

The post Government to Oppose Triple Talaq in SC on Grounds of Women’s Rights appeared first on The Wire.

16:37

Australia always a colony – first for convicts, now for radioactive trash ? "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Derek Abbott, Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia  19 Sept Thought for the day: Jay’s logic in importing the world’s most dangerous materials and ‘securely’ housing them here is about as brilliant as building a huge secure underground international jail here for the world’s most dangerous criminals and serial killers. Countries will be just lining up to handsomely pay us to take their felons off their hands, as it will free up their overcrowded decaying jails. We’ll be doing our moral duty by becoming the “World Guantanamo.” Being an island with lots of dry desert we have the perfect geology questionfor a huge Alcatraz, where the inmates will ‘never’ be able to leak out.

Does Jay really think he’d get public consent for the above idea? No? Then why is nuke waste any different?  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1021186047913052/


16:36

What International Law permits the American & Australian airforce to fly over Syria? @TurnbullMalcolm "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Churkin: US airstrikes on Syrian army positions in Deir Ezzor violate international law Churkin added, in a press conference held on Sunday morning at the New York-based UN headquarters, that the US carried out a reckless airstrike, wondering why it did it at that time. He affirmed that the US attack is dangerous and that […]

16:36

Modi Regime High on Gimmicks, Low on Delivery: Disability Rights Activists "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Persons with disabilities want tangible change such as jobs from the government, not a new term like ‘divyang‘ to identify with.

Representational image. Credit: Anjan Chatterjee/Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Representational image. Credit: Anjan Chatterjee/Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

A spectacle involving persons with disabilities (PwDs) at a special event organised for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Gujarat for his birthday has left many disability rights activists peeved with the state government. According to them, the Modi government has done very little to bring about tangible changes in the lives of PwDs over the last two years.

Satendra Singh, rights activist and associate professor of physiology at University College of Medical Sciences and GTB Hospital, Delhi, pointed out that while the Gujarat government spent crores on its recent gimmicks involving disabled people, the state has not hired a single person with disability for a government job in the last 14 years, effectively violating the prescribed 3% quota that states are expected to adhere to. A public interest litigation in the matter is pending before the Gujarat high court and the Supreme Court.

In October 2013, the Supreme Court issued directions to the Centre, states, union territories and public sector undertakings to reserve 3% of their jobs for the disabled under a law to ensure they get equal opportunity and protect their rights. The Centre and Gujarat government’s inaction on increasing employment for PwDs goes against this ruling.

In 2013, the SC bench, chaired by Chief Justice P. Sathasivam, had observed that employment was critical for the empowerment of PwDs. Noting how “social and practical barriers prevent them from joining the workforce”, it called for “bringing them into society, based on their capabilities.”

Stating that these governments have a “categorical obligation” to protect the rights of the disabled under the constitution and international treaties on human rights, the bench had also laid down that “reservation for persons with disabilities has to be computed in the case of Group A, B, C and D posts in an identical manner: 3% on the total number of vacancies in the cadre strength and not on the total number of identified posts.”

Institutional apathy

Singh said the abysmal situation pertaining to recruitment of PwDs in Gujarat seems to be a nationwide phenomena, but in the case of the other states even the data was not available.

He had earlier highlighted that India was one of the first major countries to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in 2007 whose Article 35 mandates that nations submit country reports on its effective implementation. But it took India 8 years to submit its first country report on its UNCRPD implementation. “The comprehensive report sadly lacks data to supplement the claims of the government.

...

16:34

Persistent pensioner show how easy it is to ambush a nuclear transport "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

radiation-truckflag-ScotlandAnti-nuclear pensioner holds up transportation of nuclear warheads – again! The National, 

 SEPTEMBER 16TH, 2016 – 12:12 AM   THE FULL MIGHT OF BRITAIN’S NUCLEAR ARSENAL HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO ITS KNEES – AGAIN – BY 77-YEAR-OLD PROTESTER BRIAN QUAIL.

Anti-nukes campaigner Quail and his colleague Alasdair Ibbotson managed to hold up four gigantic trucks thought be carrying nuclear warheads, by simply flagging them down and then crawling underneath.

In one of the pictures, a stumped cop can be seen scratching his head, as colleagues try to coax Quail out from under the armoured car. The trucks had left the Atomic Weapons Establishment Burghfield near Reading on Wednesday before slowly making their way up to Scotland…….

The retired teacher is no stranger to protests, and has a successful track record when it comes to stopping convoys carrying warheads.

In March this year he held up at least four 100 kiloton nuclear warheads being taken through Scotland by using nothing more than a Pelican crossing…..Veronika Tudhope of Scottish CND said there was widespread opposition to weapons being transported through Scotland: “It’s time the people of Scotland’s views were respected.”http://www.thenational.scot/news/anti-nuclear-pensioner-holds-up-transportation-of-nuclear-warheads-again.22439


16:30

16:29

Australian miner used arbitration threat to upend Indonesian environmental law "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

A former Newcrest Mining executive said he threatened to sue the Southeast Asian nation in an international tribunal if Indonesia did not exempt the company from a prohibition on open-pit mining in protected forests.

16:17

Divestment – what is it and why it works "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia"

Divestment Day 2016 is coming up! Here’s a quick guide to what divestment is, the successes that divestment campaigns have had so far, and what we are doing this year. What’s divestment? Divestment is the opposite of investment. It’s rearranging your finances so that you aren’t supporting the fossil fuel industry through your bank, investments, … Continue reading "Divestment – what is it and why it works"

16:12

Six good ideas from Trump "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Alan pointed to an interesting article by Joshua Mitchell at Politico that points out the political unravelling around the world, with Trump, Bernie Sanders, Brexit and Jeremy Corbyn being symptoms. Mitchell extracts six good ideas from Donald Trump’s many ramblings. Donald Trump Does Have Ideas—and We’d Better Pay Attention to Them The post-1989 world order […]

16:10

Two Minute Judgment: The Absurdity of Celebrity Liability "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Holding celebrity ambassadors liable for the quality of the product they endorse allows us to expend our moral outrage, but has very little in the way of underlying logic.

Actor Madhuri Dixit was served a notice by the Haridwar Food and Drug Adminstration after Maggi noodles was found to contain extra lead. Credit: PTI

Actor Madhuri Dixit was served a notice by the Haridwar Food and Drug Adminstration after packets of Maggi noodles was found to contain substantial traces of lead. Credit: PTI

One of the more recent controversies in the world of advertising is the move to have the endorser of any product liable for the quality or authenticity of the same. It is not surprising that this has grabbed media lines as it involves celebrities whose value of endorsements at times exceeds their earnings from their profession, especially for sportsmen.

However, the issue of liability of celebrity endorsers raises several questions at the broader level. The situation today is that a celebrity endorses a product so that the public will purchase it on the strength of this persona. Otherwise there is no reason for the company to spend money paying the celebrity or the public for accepting this icon and getting influenced by the same. The celebrity endorses the product saying that you should buy it, but may not necessarily say it is safe and secure or meets the standards it is supposed to. Now something goes wrong with the product, and the celebrity is to be made liable. There are several instances of people buying a product or service based on the strength of the celebrity, which though a reflection of naïveté, is a reality. Therefore a strong case has been made against such endorsements.

Two thoughts come here. First the good or service is being provided by a company which should be responsible for the quality or whatever is supposedly promised. By passing this liability to the celebrity, the company is spared legal action, which is absurd. Second, all products are certified as being fit by a government authority and hence even the manufacturer or supplier of the service has actually gotten a stamp of approval from the relevant authority. In such a case, the blame should fall on the authority which certifies the product as being safe or meeting the laid down standards.

The celebrity however gets caught in this web because he or she is inevitably more newsworthy. The celebrity endorses any product that is endorsable for the sake of the money offered, which even you and I would do if offered the same. It is not the duty of the celebr...

16:00

Is there a case for a basic income guarantee – Part 1 "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

The Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) – uncertain motivation, error-prone macroeconomics

The Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) proposal has been advocated by a diversity of interests on the right and left of the political spectrum.

Tracing the origins of the BIG proposal reveals that the motivations of the proponents at different periods of history have varied from those who desire to cut government spending overall and push the responsibility of maintaining ‘welfare’ onto individuals, to those who were believed that unemployment was a violation of justice but was outside of the capacity of governments to solve it, to, more recently, those who invoke trepidation about the so-called second machine age and claim that robots are going to wipe out jobs on a massive scale (the ‘robot’ justification).

Voices from the left and the right weave various aspects of these motivations, often in overlapping ways, to justify their demands for a basic income to be paid by the state to all individuals (although even then, the unit that would receive the benefit is also a topic of disagreement).

British socialite and conservative activist, Juliet Rhys-Williams was a member of the Beveridge Committee, which sought to reform the system of income support in the early 1940s. Its final report – the Social Insurance and Allied Services (aka the Beveridge Report) provided the design that would become the post World War II Welfare State in Britain.

The idea advanced by the Committee was that a sy...

16:00

What impact #sealevelrise on Melbourne’s privatised port facilities? asks @takvera "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

The Andrews Victorian state government has been successful with the sale of the Port of Melbourne for $9.7 billion, an election promise. The government had been expecting around $7 billion for the asset. Technically, its not a sale, but a 50 year lease of the port’s commercial operations. The long term lease of Australia’s largest […]

Author information

John Englart

John Englart

Citizen journalist at No Fibs

John Englart has always had a strong social and environmental focus and over the past 10 years climate change science, climate policy and climate protest have become an increasingly important and primary focus of his work as a citizen journalist.

16:00

Whaleoil Backchat "IndyWatch Feed Politics.nz"

Whaleoil Backchat is brought to you byuse coupon code WHALE OIL to get 10% off e-cigarettes and e-liquids Good evening, welcome to Whaleoil Backchat. You don’t have to stay “on topic” in these posts like you do in all others. Feel free to share your own stories, discuss other news or catch up with friends. […]

16:00

Russia and Europe "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

As some of you have realised I’m off conferencing in Russia and Belgium. I have long wanted to visit Russia – St. Petersburg particularly, but Moscow is good too. On the other hand, I’ve never particularly wanted to visit Brussels but there’s a conference on and why not? On the way home I’ll be catching the train to London in time for 2000AD‘s 2000th prog celebrations, and catching up with my sister.

Posting may be light or heavy. Clearing out the spam filter and clearing new comments may take longer than usual.

 

15:40

Josh Pyke & Bob Evans Announce 2016 National Tour "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Josh Pyke & Bob Evans Announce 2016 National Tour

Josh Pyke and Bob Evans, two of Australia’s best-loved singer-songwriters, have announced a national co-headline tour which will take them around the country from the tail-end of November into December, with plenty of regional and major city stops along the way.

Kicking off at The Gov in Adelaide on 24th November, Evans and Pyke will be taking their respected discographies through Mannum, Dunsborough, Perth, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Newcastle, Sydney, Canberra, and Belgrave, before finishing up in Melbourne.

It’s been 10 years since the first Evening with Josh and Bob tour and each performer is looking forward to honouring the milestone. “That first Evening with Josh and Bob ten years ago was a fairly rudimental affair in retrospect,” said Evans.

“We were both very much still finding our feet. Now, we have higher professional standards to which we hold ourselves and those bawdy jokes of a burgeoning bromance have developed in to, well, bawdy dad jokes. Bah, who am I kidding? We’re not that different 10 years on.”

Tickets for the reunion will go on pre-sale on 9am Wednesday, 21st September and will be available to the public at 9am Friday, 23rd September. Check below for all the dates and ticketing details.

Josh Pyke & Bob Evans National Tour Dates

Thursday, 24th November 2016
The Gov, Adelaide

Friday, 25th November 2016
The Pretoria, Mannum

Saturday, 26th November 2016
Clancys Fishpub, Dunsborough

Sunday, 27th November 2016
Live At The Orchard, Perth

Friday, 2nd December 2016
Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane

Saturday, 3rd December 2016
Solbar, Sunshine Coast

Sunday, 4th December 2016
Soundlounge, Gold Coast

Thursday, 8th December 2016
48 Watt St, Newcastle

Friday, 9th December 2016
The Factory, Sydney

Saturday, 10th December 2016
The Street Theatre, Canberra

Thursday, 15th December 2016
Sooki Lounge, Belgrave

Friday, 16th December 2016
Corner Hotel, Melbourne

15:30

Colin Craig and the significance of a jury trial "IndyWatch Feed Politics.nz"

Apparently we haven’t had a jury trial in a civil matter for the last 14 years. It is generally well known that if you have a civil matter, and you force 12 people into a court room for over a month, you’re likely to be punished for it. So why on earth did Jordan Williams […]

15:25

Gerry Webb on Raewyn Alexander and Dominic Sheehan "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

The 95th in this occasional series of reprints from Quote Unquote the magazine is from the August 1996 issue. The lead book review was David Eggleton on Sue McCauley’s novel A Fancy Man, followed by Barbara Else on E Annie Proulx’s novel Accordion Crimes, Kevin Ireland on Jan Corbett’s non-fiction crime debut Caught By His Past and Sheridan Keith on Elizabeth Smithers’ journal The Journal Box. Here is Gerry Webb on two first New Zealand novels.

FAT
by Raewyn Alexander
Penguin, $24.95, ISBN 0140260374
FINDING HOME
by Dominic Sheehan
Secker & Warburg, $19.95, ISBN 0790004623
Auckland poet Raewyn Alexander’s first novel fairly crackles and pops. The sheer dash and bite of her language make for a densely packed and colourful text with lots of great lines. The narrator is Poppy, maid and minder to Iris, a well-to-do hooker, “a whore through and through”. Poppy’s sharp intelligence ducks back and forth over her history and contacts — middle-class origins in Avondale, waiting at tables, university, a relationship with a dope grower, work at a London sex club, the underworld of the Auckland sex industry. At the same time she relates the sinister developments resulting from her delivery of Iris’s blackmail note to a wealthy, titled sleazeball in the Waikato. It’s a narrative which shifts and weaves.
Poppy has a strong, sometimes combative voice; she gets in a few punches against “the system” and at the end, when she and her five-year-old daughter flee Auckland for the bosom of her family, she finds in Marxism “the theory to back up what I’ve always felt”. It’s not a subtle option or a very satisfying ending. In fact the novel loses some of its brilliant edge in the latter stages as Poppy seeks normality in her family and with a local lad on the Firth of Thames.
But the main part, the characters and scenes in and around Auckland and the sex business, is outstanding. Especially brilliant are dangerous, decadent Sir Arthur (“an old walrus full of fish”), boss lady Ho in her 80s and Iris with “the hard seagull eyes”. A luscious and coruscating book — I was hooked on the first page.
Life was never more intense and hair-raising than that year in Standard Three: a treacherous teacher, playground fights, parents’ arguments spilling from behind closed doors, a big sister who leaves home without a blessing, small-town hostility towards dad — my Standard Three in Cheviot, North Canterbury, in the mid-50s? Not quite; but Dominic Sheehan’s Finding Home, the story of Kevin Garrick’s year in a small Taranaki town in the mid-70s, rang a few bells.
Kevin says at the outset that his adult self keeps getting in the way of his attempt “to listen and think as I was then”, but in fact his story beautifully recreates the world of the child, and this is the major strength of this disarmingly fresh and gripping book.
Especially authentic is the private nature of the child’s world that we are shown — Kevin’s relationships, fantasies and humiliations, his genuinely scary encounters with others’ nastiness and suffering are not things that he can tell his parents about. At times I thought of Ronald Hugh Morrieson’s young protagonists, but though this novel skirts the macabre it is a much gentler creature and opts for language that is low-key, sometimes rather ordinary, but always transparent. Sheehan’s sympathetic characterisation and tense story-line will appe...

15:23

Critics Say NAM Summit a Failure, But Maduro Revels in Support From Zimbabwe, Iran "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

(bottom L-R) Ecuador's President Rafael Correa, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and other presidents, leaders and head of delegations pose for a family photo during the 17th Non-Aligned Summit in Porlamar, Venezuela September 17, 2016. Credit: Reuters

(bottom L-R) Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa, Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and other presidents, leaders and head of delegations pose for a family photo during the 17th Non-Aligned Summit in Porlamar, Venezuela September 17, 2016. Credit: Reuters

Margarita Island, Venezuela: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro reveled in support from leftist allies during a summit of a Cold War-era bloc that wrapped up on Sunday, but critics pilloried him for hosting unpopular leaders such as Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and for failing to draw many world leaders.

It appears only around a dozen heads of state from the 120-nation Non-Aligned Movement made it to the meeting held on the Caribbean island of Margarita, just off Venezuela‘s coast, in a blow for a government keen to bolster its international legitimacy.

Authorities did not supply a list of attendees. Maduro, hit by low popularity amid a deep economic crisis, hailed the meeting as a triumph.

“This summit, we can say, has been a total success, a victory of Bolivarian diplomacy,” Maduro told a news conference minutes after closing the six-day event, referring to Simon Bolivar, Latin American independence hero and idol of the socialist revolution in Venezuela.

The movement was formed in 1961 by nations wanting to avoid aligning with the United States or Soviet Union though has dwindled in relevance over the years.

The most high-profile heads of states in attendance at Margarita were Mugabe, Cuba’s Raul Castro, and Iran’s Hassan Rouhani, who passed on the presidency of the group to Venezuela on Saturday.

Venezuelan authorities promoted the hashtag #TheWorldWithVenezuela on state broadcasts in a bid to show a domestic audience that Caracas had international support, as Venezuela suffers a severe economic crisis with shortages of basic goods, many complaining of hunger and a high murder rate.

The opposition decried spending state funds on a lavish summit during the crisis and many expressed outrage that Mugabe – called a dictator by rights groups – was welcomed with open arms.

“This so-called summit … is a devastating failure,” read astatement from Venezuela‘s opposition coalition. “It ratifies(Maduro’s) international isolation, his diplomatic ineptitude and the world’s rejection of a regime that is a global symbol of corruption and incompetence.”

Syria’s ambassador to the United Nati...

15:20

Change in the voting system of PNG "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"


By Dr Alphonse Gelu

The Registry in 2015 instituted a study to look at a voting system that is friendly towards political parties rather than the candidates. It is the interest of the Registry to do this under its mandate as stipulated by the Organic Law which is to strengthen political parties in the country.

 

The Registry requested the National Research Institute (NRI) under the late Dr Ray Anere to lead the study. Dr Anere teamed up with a couple of resource persons from the University of Papua New Guinea, the team completed the major part of the studies. The study came to a stop after the passing of the Late Dr Anere. In 2016, the Registrar Dr Gelu decided to re-activate the study by engaging Dr Henry Okole, a political scientist by profession to complete the study. Dr Okole has far reaching knowledge and experience in the area of elections and would deliver according to the ToR.

 

The main Terms of Reference (ToR) for the study is to look at a number of countries that are a currently using a voting system that allows the voters to cast their votes on political parties rather than candidates. The number of candidates winning under such a voting system would be determined purely on the total number of votes that the party scores in an election which would then translate into the number of seats a party wins in the Parliament.

 

The three countries that the study looked at were New Zealand, Australia and Fiji. Fiji has the most interesting voting system where the entire country becomes the only electorate. Votes are given to parties which are then translated into seats in Parliament. The Registry aims to pay a visit to Fiji to take a close look at this system however funding is an issue. The Registry is thinking of requesting assistance from its stakeholders for assistance to enable it to look at the voting systems first hand.

15:15

Of Monuments and America and the Division of People and State "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

345342342342For more than three years now I have worried for my people. America, the place I grew up, has a dark shadow looming over it today. It is an ominous harbinger unseen by many, and one which most people are reticent to deal with. The people of my country are completely isolated and separate, from those who govern. This is a short story on how America is being lost.

The United States is bitterly divided along socio-economic lines, but especially where government for the people is concerned. While most people have realized this for some time, having recourse to do anything about it is another matter. The recent DNC rigging of a convention is proof that government is not on the up-and-up, but the people still stand idly by. Our internal and external policies are a disaster. The world grows to hate us. And millions suffer underneath the gaze of their fellow countrymen inside the US. We all know this instinctively, and concretely, but we choose to turn a blind eye. Our leaders, our media, our corporations are destroying what America once stood for, and the world around us. And they are calling their efforts progress. The lie has become the truth.

Since the US orchestrated coup d’état in Kiev in February of 2014 I have known war was coming to the world. In the months and years hence, I have taken the side of moderation; I’ve tried to uproot the truth in 1000 reports, investigations, researching 100,000 or more media and academic sources, and in interviewing or communicating with the principle people involved in conflict. My “journey” began with a series of reports about the unsportsmanlike policies aimed at Russia’s Sochi Olympics that same February. The day RT called me for a surprise interview, I was astonished more by Barack Obama’s and western media’s unbelievable assault on those Olympics and Vladimir Putin. The lies and defamation that ensued were unprecedented. But the whole affair was, as I have learned, part of a larger plan to bring Russia to her knees. Euromaidan and the Sochi mud slinging were orchestrated to humiliate Russia, and to put Vladimir Putin on the defensive when he was focused on good.

The rest will be catalogued in one of the strangest volumes of human history ever written, I have no doubt. The level of lies and deceit, of misinformation being disseminated today, it’s beyond normal belief. We may as well be in a nightmare, a collective and unending Greek tragedy where heroes are villains and vice versa. Something I was studying today brought this reality spinning home to me – how a great gift from the Russian people shows our unnatural divide. The Tear of Grief memorial is a titanium, bronze, nickel and marble icon of friendship, and a human offering spit upon by our elites.

Some reading this may have seen Facebook shares telling about how Russia was the only nation to give such a monument to us in consoling for 9/11. You may also have wondered how come it took a Facebook post for you to learn of Russia’s condolences. A friend of mine actually shared the Tear Drop with me the other day. He asked; “Phil, how come we did not know about this?” The friend’s name is Bobby Mallard, he’s a high school chum, so he won’t mind me telling you. I told Bobby it was because our leaders cannot afford for the people to revise their history, to which he replied:

“It was a lie so politicians and arms suppliers could p......

15:14

Track By Track: Brisbane Reggae Champs Kingfisha Have Finally Returned With A Second LP "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Track By Track: Brisbane Reggae Champs Kingfisha Have Finally Returned With A Second LP

Brisbane reggae stalwarts Kingfisha are back with their second album Offered It Up, having kept us waiting a long time since their 2012 self-titled debut record put them squarely on the map.

After such a long interval that’s seen the band touring internationally, it’s good to have them back – and the band are glad to have the album out after a lengthy recording process.

“We tried some different approaches from our first album,” the band say of the new record. “We worked with some new people and the production feels a step up. It wasn’t the easiest of processes, but to hear it as one piece of work, we’re all really happy with how it’s come together.” For a few more tidbits, they’ve also given us their thoughts on each of the tracks, below.

You can listen to Offered It Up below, and catch it live as Kingfisha head out on tour at the end of the month, dates below. The album is available now on ABC Music.

Hold On

This is one of our few political tunes. It started out as a really slow one drop, then we changed the beat added horns and revamped it heaps in the rehearsal room

Dirty Man

The descending vocal melody had been an ear worm for a few months and wasn’t really going anywhere until I was on a flight to Hobart with an old acquaintance and the lyrics and theme became quite apparent. Upon returning to Brisbane we spent a few hours in the studio and ‘Dirty Man’ was complete.

Left It

Incorporating both our strong loves, electronic and roots music. Left it was originally conceived at a sunny afternoon bbq. Lyrically the song is about one of those rare relationships that ends amicably.

The Gold

The verse melody came from our sound guy yawning. From there their was no turning back.

Offered it up

This track is heavily inspired by one of our favourite and widely unknown reggae bands Midnite. It’s one of the slower jams in our repertoire.

Position Steppers

This song took along time to get right in the studio. Feels like we got there in the end. It’s our take on UK Steppers.

In a memory

The melodies and chords came to life the morning after an amazing night we all shared in Reunion Island drinking rum and watching Manu Chao. The lyrics and the rest of the song was finished in a farmhouse in southern France.

Too many words

Was built from the rhythm up. We spent a weekend in the northern rivers swimming, eating and playing music. This rhythm really seemed to stick. It was the last tune completed for the album.

Water Running

This is one of our favourite live tunes. It’s all revolved around the bass line.

Aftermath

The only song on the album that was completed start to finish in the studio. Was a blast having a completely different approach.

Kingfisha Tour Dates

30 Sept – The Jack , Cairns QLD
1 Oct – Wallaby Creek Festival QLD
7 Oct – Torquay Hotel, VIC
8 Oct – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne VIC
15 Oct – Newtown Social Club, NSW...

15:00

Colin Craig cross examined about the interview he had with himself about himself "IndyWatch Feed Politics.nz"

Readers may remember that Mr Craig published a booklet where he had an interview.  In this interview, he played three roles.  The interviewer, the person being interviewed, and the person the interviewer and interviewee spoke about. All three of them being Mr Craig, of course. Craig as Interviewer: “Colin Craig is not in office.” Craig […]

14:59

Freedom Under Fire: Dalits Want ‘Rail Roko’ in Gujarat;Tamil Nadu Village Charged With Sedition "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

A round-up of news, both bad and good, on the rights front from India.

Represetational image. Credit: PTI

Represetational image. Credit: PTI

Dalits plan to stop railways in Gujarat on October 1

Dalits in Gujarat announced a ‘rail roko’ strike for October 1, the New Indian Express reported. Dalits have been organising and agitating in Gujarat ever since the Una incident.

“To highlight the issue of atrocities on Dalits in the state, we have called for a ‘rail roko’ protest on October 1 at some places in Gujarat. We have also urged Dalit leaders in other parts of country to engage in similar kind of protest on that day,” leaders of the ‘Una Dalit Atyachar Ladat Samiti’ and ‘Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch’ said.

A spokesperson for the movement said that the agitation was meant to protest the discriminatory practices against Dalits, in addition to adivasis, OBCs and farmers.

The movement launched a campaign titled ‘Badbu Gujarat Ki’ (the stench of Gujarat), as a parody of the state tourism department’s advertisement, ‘Khusbu Gujarat Ki’, which features Gujarat tourism brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The actor received thousands of ‘Badbu Gujarat Ki’ postcards from protestors.

Tamil Nadu’s seditious village

The Indian Express has reported in detail about a village in Tamil Nadu where the entire population is charged with sedition for protesting against a nuclear power plant.

More than 140 cases of sedition remain in place against the villagers protesting against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, even as the Supreme Court, on September 5, declared that criticism of the government does not count as sedition. Since 2011, 8,956 people of Idinthakarai have been booked under section 124A of the IPC.

Those accused, as well as the police, do not expect the cases of sedition to add up to much. In fact, as the Indian Express reported, the police have admitted that these cases are slapped to “scare people.”

UP leads cases of human rights violations

The National Human Rights Commission’s 2012-13 report that was made public last month suggests that Uttar Pradesh witnesses the largest number of human rights violations.

Governance Now reported that human rights violations in India have gone up since 2011-12, from 95,174 to 107,655 in 2012-13.

According to the report, UP registered as many as 47,000 incidents for that year, a number exponentially higher than Haryana, which comes second on the list with...

14:58

Improved banking services held back by high internet prices, say bankers "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The potential for improved financial and other services delivered via the internet in Papua New Guinea is high, the nation’s top bankers tell Business Advantage PNG. But costs have to fall first.

Internet price comparisons Source: ITU, Deloitte

Internet price comparisons Source: ITU, Deloitte

Moses Liu, Managing Director of PNG’s National Development Bank (NDB), told ‘Business Advantage Boardroom‘, a new business program aired on EMTV earlier this month, that geographical isolation is the main challenge.

The NDB's Moses Liu

The NDB’s Moses Liu  Source: EMTV

‘We find that a common factor is that most of our customers are rural-based and the terrain is difficult to access,’ he says.

‘So, electronic banking has a lot of appeal.’

Liu says if broadband was available cheaper then current uptake trends on phone usage, SMS banking and electronic funds transfer indicate there could be a significant potential upside.

‘Interestingly, that is on the way up: smart phones with the latest apps. We are no different from Kenya, with 50 per cent of GDP transacted through the mobile phone. PNG is no different. We have the same geographic set up.

‘We have seen the new products through the mobile phones.’

‘We need to improve the telecommunications framework and the cost of doing business through that particular mode would be much more affordable.’

Financial inclusion

The Bank of Papua New Guinea's Loi Bakani Source: EMTV

The Bank of Papua New Guinea’s Loi Bakani Source: EMTV

Loi Bakani, Governor of the Bank of Papua New Guinea, says improving financial inclusion is a priority. ‘We have seen the new products through the mobile phones. It enables a lot of people to get access; you have seen how more people are on mobile phones.

‘For people in rur...

14:48

Correlation, Causation or Cluelessness? "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

There is a very interesting publication out there call The Mandarin.   In their own words:

The Mandarin is for public sector leaders and executives and the many stakeholders and suppliers interested in their work.

Fair enough.

It is often an interesting read, but occasionally, like today, they come up with corkers:

‘Huge increase’ in quality job applicants: the diversity dividend.

If what is represented in this article is the quality of analysis in the Australian public sector, then god help us all.

Get this.  From the article:

Promoting diversity and flexible working isn’t just about feeling good — if done well, it might increase the number of talented people wanting to work at your organisation.

At least that’s the experience of Claire Foo, chief information officer at the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, and the only female CIO in a Victorian government department.

Foo, who recently won a TechDiversity award for her advocacy for women in technology and public service management, has noticed a “huge increase” in both the number and calibre of job applicants thanks to DELWP’s promotion of diversity.

Howz that for scientific.  The CIO “noticed a huge increase”.  Or should that be a yooooooge increase.

Like a mosquito at a nudist farm, where does one start.  There are just so many ways to rip apart such nonsense.  To claim that the increase in applicants is due (entirely) to the diversity policy.  Really?

Has anyone asked the applicants why they are applying or is “fact based policy” in the Victorian government based on what is “noticed” by a single executive?

Could it be that the Victorian government just pays too much for their staff and hence is taking them from the private sector?  Could it be that government policy has destroyed the economy leaving nowhere else to go but the public sector?  Is it at all possible applicant numbers are changing because of something other than this diversity policy?

Diversity policies make people feel good, so they must be the reason.  Otherwise, why have them?

I am just shaking my head here.

Is turning on the Victorian de-sal operation about diversity?  You know, it can’t be good to have just normal water?

14:46

Is Political Islam Compatible with Democracy? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

At the dawn of the so-called Arab Spring in 2011, diplomats, politicians, and intellectuals debated a fresh question: what role can Islamist political parties play in a fledgling democracy?..

14:45

Russian Iskander-M Missile System: Credible Deterrent "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The most modern weapons in the world produced by Russia were on display at the international military exposition «Army 2016», which took place on September 6-11, 2016 outside Moscow. 80 delegations across the world attended the event...

14:36

Pacific and PNG Greg Taylor scholarship – call for expressions of interest "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Scholars from PNG and the Pacific are invited to submit expressions of interest in the Greg Taylor scholarship program for the 2016-17 round. Applicants would be expected to undertake research for a period of up to three months at the Development Policy Centre at ANU, most likely in the summer, and in close collaboration with a researcher from our centre (or possibly from the broader ANU).

The fellowship covers travel, living costs and a modest honorarium. Applications are accepted from students already studying at ANU or elsewhere in Australia, and from new and emerging scholars in the area of economics in the Pacific and PNG.

Applicants are asked to submit expressions of interest to Matthew Dornan, Deputy Director of the Development Policy Centre (matthew.dornan@anu.edu.au). Expressions of interest should be accompanied by a resume and short research agenda (1-2 pages) outlining the research topic proposed by the applicant. Applicants are also asked to suggest researchers within Devpolicy (or the ANU) with whom they may be able to collaborate on the project.

The call for expressions of interest for this round closes on 17 October 2016.

The scholarships are made possible by a generous donation from an anonymous donor, and are named in the honour of Greg Taylor AO, whose former positions include: Executive Director of the IMF for both Australia and PNG, Secretary of various Australian Government Departments, advisor to the PNG Treasury Secretary, Chairman of the PNG Superannuation Task Force, and Director of PNG’s largest superannuation fund.

More details on the scholarship, and on past recipients, are available on our website.

The post Pacific and PNG Greg Taylor scholarship – call for expressions of interest appeared first on Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre.

14:34

NASAA 2016 "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople.pacific"

Gaige yu' giya Grand Rapids, Michigan gi este na simåna para i kada såkkan na konferensia para i NASAA (National Assembly of State Arts Agencies). Gof umachågo' iya Guahan yan iya Michigan. Siña este i uttimo na sakkån-hu gi CAHA, nai sumesetbe yu' komo membron board desde 2011. Gi este na konferensia mandanña' membro ginen i arts council gi diferentes na states pat territories, ya ma diskuti hafa guaguaha put prugraman art siha gi i bånda Federåt. Ma diskuti lokkue' diferentes na strategies put i prublema yan chinanada siha i arts councils ma fafana' på'go.

14:30

An Animal Biologist Has a Special Diet Plan for Mice "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Asha Abraham, an animal biotechnologist at Mangalor’s St. Aloysius College, is using mice to study metabolic syndrome.

Asha Abraham. Credit: The Life of Science

Asha Abraham. Credit: Nandita Jayaraj/TLoS

“These days many people, especially the middle-aged, put on a lot of weight in their abdominal area. They have cardiovascular issues, high-fat profile, blood sugar and hypertension. These symptoms are often clustered together as a set of conditions, together called metabolic syndrome,” said Asha Abraham, as we sat in her laboratory in the Loyola Centre for Research and Innovation at St. Aloysius College, Mangalore.

This condition is so frequent that it affects 25-30% of us today – spanning urban and rural areas. “It began as a disease of the old, then it was seen in the middle-aged, now even adolescents are affected.” In fact, these days even school children are known to develop these symptoms – “lifestyle changes are responsible… consumption of energy-dense food like burgers.”

Doctors usually treat affected people for individual symptoms. Only in recent times did it dawn on experts that most patients showed the whole set of afflictions, so the condition began to be referred to as an umbrella term. Still, there is yet no unified treatment for metabolic syndrome. Abraham believes there is a missing link. “Since all of these symptoms occur in one individual, there may be a common starting point somewhere. I want to identify what this could be.”

Making mice fat is the first step

It would be ideal to do the experiments on obese humans but this is neither safe, ethical nor practical. So biologists like Abraham need a reliable non-human subject to perform the studies. ‘Model organisms’ such as bacteria, fruit flies, zebra fish or mice are good options. These animals are convenient for scientific experiments as they multiply quicker than larger animals. (In recent days, there have been efforts to create an ‘organ-on-chip’ which allows such experiments without the need of lab animals. See our report on Prajakta’s work on this technology).

Abraham has chosen mice to study metabolic syndrome. She breeds the mice to mimic humans with this disease so that they are able to serve as a somewhat reliable model and the observations made on the mice will apply to humans, too.

Her challenge was to somehow make the mice exhibit the symptoms of metabolic syndrome. One way to do this is by putting them on a specific diet. When Abraham looked for available knowledge on the subject, she found that mice fed a high-fat diet were most commonly used for such studies. This strategy did not sit well with her. “I felt this is not realistic because no one consumes just fat. People with metabolic syndrome consume a lot of carbohydrates, too.”

Better, fatter mice

Energy-dense foods such as burgers and sugar-rich items, explained Abraham, contain a lot of simple carbohydrates like sucrose, hydrolysed starch and maida (refined wheat flour). These simple sugars caus...

14:30

Labour, Wellington Mayoralty, and Bogus polling 101 "IndyWatch Feed Politics.nz"

Last week, days after Little’s bogus poll rant, Labour released a survey that had their besieged candidate Justin Lester on 34 with Nick Leggett and Jo Coughlan tied on 17. This was, to say the least, a total outlier — but the Dominion Post breathlessly went with it anyway. I’ve seen several actual polls of […]

14:30

Word of the day "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Dittohead – an unquestioning supporter of an idea or opinion expressed by a particular person or organization; one who mindlessly agrees with an idea or opinion.


Filed under: language Tagged: dittohead

14:23

Could jet fuel grow on trees? ANU finds promise in Australian gum-leaf "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Eucalyptus oils from certain gum tree species could be refined to make high energy jet fuel, an ANU study has found.

14:20

The Swedish Way of Selling Booze is a Little Different "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

A bottle-o in Sweden doesn’t look like anything you’re probably used to. From one end of the nation to the other, their aesthetic hardly varies. The only advertising around the store  encourages you not to drink. Or at least to seriously consider the lighter option. It asks you you to ponder the effects alcohol might have on your athletic training, or presents some alcohol-related statistic, or reminds you that the glass of wine you drink to settle your anxiety isn’t going to stop it coming back  Everything is neatly, individually stacked at around eye-level and nothing is favoured or particularly stands-out. The lighting is bright and sterile, like some sort of weird amalgamation of a hospital and an ALDI.  There are no ad-ons, no mixers and no drinking snacks. And all products are sold at room temperature, because cold drinks “might encourage spontaneous purchases”.

Selling alcohol in this giant, Scandinavian nation is strictly regulated. All beverages above 3.5% can only be purchased in the state-owned liquor store chain, SystemBolaget. There are no other options.  It’s like a Centerlink for booze.  Brought about by a complicated history with alcohol abuse and distribution, and the recognition of its severe detriment to society, the Swedish solution is unlike any other, prioritising public health over an extremely profitable industry.  All products are taxed on alcohol content rather than price, which means that even ‘cheap’ hard liquor is damn expensive. The stores nation-wide close at 3pm on Saturday and close completely on Sunday . Walk past a window after opening hours and the shopfronts are boarded up and dark. Nothing might instil the desire to buy something another time or even suggest that alcohol exists just beyond the glass. And you really have to plan ahead for a backyard Sunday sesh.

sweden-alcohol-ad-2

“More creative after one glass? Maybe, but the result is usually a disappointment.”

As an Australian, I’m used to the idea that alcohol is a commodity much like any other in terms of reasonable marketing, upselling and promoting. Advertisements back home make the products seem enticing or encourage bulk buying, as long as an enjoy responsibly is written somewhere on the label. Enter any of the privatised liquor stores and your peripherals are bombarded by signs emblazoned with things like: the four best foamies for the footy or this week’s top special or 3 x Sunnyvale Fruity Lexia for $33. That does seem like an excessive amount of goon.

No one can deny that Australia has a binge-drinking culture, or that drinking is a part of most of our day-to-day lives. But mostly I accepted it and never truly understood the societal implications of how the liquor was sold and advertised. After having lived in Sweden, it began to seem ethically wrong to encourage people during their bottle-o visit to purchase more alcohol than what they had already intended. An extra bottle of wine isn’t like a side of fries. A recent SystemBolaget advertising campaign poked...

14:17

Why Australian solar installers are suffering, and consumers are laughing "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

The average margin for a rooftop solar installation in the United States market is 40 per cent. In Australia, some installers are struggle to get into double figures. Consumers aren't complaining though.

14:13

ENDANGERED SPECIES MONDAY | PHOCARCTOS HOOKERI EXTINCTION LOOMING – NATIONAL EMERGENCY. "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

ENDANGERED SPECIES MONDAY | PHOCARCTOS HOOKERI

This Monday’s endangered species (E.S.P.) article I’ve chosen to document on the New Zealand sea lion. Image: New Zealand Sea Lion. Credits: Tui De Roy

Listed as (endangered) the species was identified by Dr Gray back in 1866. Dr Gray John Edward Gray, FRS (12 February 1800 – 7 March 1875) was a British zoologist. He was the elder brother of zoologist Dr George Robert Gray and son of the pharmacologist and botanist Dr Samuel Frederick Gray (1766–1828).

Dr Gray was Keeper of Zoology at the British Museum in London from 1840 until Christmas 1874, before the Natural History holdings were split off to the Natural History Museum published several catalogues of the museum collections that included comprehensive discussions of animal groups as well as descriptions of new species. He improved the zoological collections to make them amongst the best in the world.

Scientifically identified as the Phocarctos hookeri the species was listed as vulnerable from 1994-2008. Unfortunately due to continued population declines the New Zealand seal is now bordering complete extinction within the wild (and things really aren’t looking good neither)  Endemic to Australia (Macquarie Is.); and New Zealand (South Is.), the species is also native to the Pacific North West.

To date there is estimated to be no fewer than 3,031 mature individuals remaining within the wild. New Zealand sea lions are one of the largest New Zealand animals. Like all otariids, they have marked sexual dimorphism; adult males are 240–350 cm long and weigh 320–450 kg and adult females are 180–200 cm long aMnd weigh 90–165 kg. At birth, pups are 70–100 cm long and weigh 7–8 kg; the natal pelage is a thick coat of dark brown hair that becomes dark gray with cream markings on the top of the head, nose, tail and at the base of the flippers.

Adult females’ coats vary from buff to creamy grey with darker pigmentation around the muzzle and the flippers. Adult males are blackish-brown with a well-developed black mane of coarse hair reaching the shoulders. New Zealand sea lions are strongly philopatric.

pupnz

Image: New Zealand Sea Lion Pup. Credits: NZ Fur Seals

Back in 2012 populations of New Zealand sea lions “were estimated to be standing at a population count of 12,000 mature individuals”. However since that count took place, from (2014) populations have ‘allegedly plummeted’ to all new levels although there doesn’t appear to be any evidence as to why the species suddenly declined – fish trawling and disease have been noted though!.

Like the Maui’s dolphin, the sea lion has come under intense scrutiny this year after research showed its numbers had halved since 1998. It has been cla...

14:00

Marborough Council: Killing the messenger and starting a witch hunt "IndyWatch Feed Politics.nz"

Marlborough’s Mayor has called in lawyers over a leaked recording of a confidential council meeting earlier this year, which has been made public via a right-wing blog. Alistair Sowman said he was sickened by the action and councillors were horrified a colleague potentially leaked it. The closed meeting was about finances surrounding the troubled ASB […]

13:57

Newcrest dumps Hidden Valley mine, Harmony Gold takes control "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Hidden Valley

Peter Wells | Financial Times | 19 September 2016

Harmony Gold will take full control of the Hidden Valley mine in Papua New Guinea after Newcrest Mining, the Australian gold producer, said it was selling its half of the joint venture.

Newcrest said in a statement to the ASX today it was selling its share in the 50/50 Hidden Valley joint venture to its South African partner. Harmony will now assume all liabilities and expenses related to the JV and mine, including rehabilitation costs and remediation obligations with effect from August 31 this year.

As a result of the exit, Newcrest will recognise a loss on the sale of approximately $10m. The miner also said that as part of the transaction and to help cover a one-off contribution towards Hidden Valley’s future closure liability it was funding its subsidiary which held the stake in the JV with $22.5m

Sandeep Biswas, Newcrest’s CEO, said:

Having completed the strategic review of Hidden Valley, Newcrest determined that the best outcome was to exit the operation and focus our attention on safe profitable growth at our other assets.

Located 300km north-west of Papua New Guinea’s capital, Port Moresby, Hidden Valley is an open pit gold and silver mine. Production commenced in September 2010 and in the 12 months to June 30 the mine produced 145,132 ounces of gold (on a 100 per cent basis).


13:55

Bloc Party: From All Sides "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Originally posted to It’s Going Down

As of tonight, the prison strike has entered into its second week. All of the news is pouring in like a tidal wave. The amount of solidarity actions across the world has been a goddamn inspiration to say the least. From graffiti to banner drops, noise demos to nighttime actions, marches to letter writing, the momentum is incredible. There are times that these types of acts of solidarity can feel abstract. Right now there does seem to be solid evidence of a feedback loop from the outside to the inside.

In light of that, we want to highlight ways in which we have already achieved victories, and spread the strike just in two weeks. Out in Australia supporters on the outside held a noise demo to support inmates at a juvenile corrections facility. These tactics can begin to feel a little routine if you’ve been doing prisoner solidarity work for a while. This time was different than usual however, because the very next day, the youth inside let loose and rioted. Headlines read “Kid jail chaos: armed youths run riot and attack guards leaving expensive clean-up bill.” These noise demos are more than a fist in the air and some boom boxes, they hold the potential to spread this strike and to spread rebellion. These demos don’t only give people a little hope that they aren’t forgotten in there, its also to say, “We are here, we are with you and we hate prisons too.” They are ways to reach through the prison walls and help light the match. We want to see noise demos continue to be a way of connecting. This can extend to family as well. Sometimes its hard to get close enough to a prison for the anyone inside to actually hear you, so we suggest trying to hit them just as visitation is letting out. Make sure to bring plenty of literature and contact info, because if you can strike up conversations with family members and close friends, you can get the news to those inside that there are those of us out here that hate prisons. When that kind of news reaches inside the walls, who knows what kinds of rebellion can spread.

As prison guards begin to refuse to show up for duty down in Holman, we can’t help but wonder where the coming weeks and months will lead this strike.

Now for all that news from the Bloc:

Jayne Waller has a new address. Sacramento Prisoner Support has also put together a beautiful new flier for spreading the word of support for Jayne. You can write Jayne at:

jaynewaller

Janye Waller BA2719
California Correctional Center
Facility B
PO Box 2400
Susanville, CA 96127

Sacramento Prisoner Support also had this to say:

We need consistent money for commissary, phone calls, and transportation for visitations. That is why we ask, if you can, to sign up for MONTHLY RECURRING DONATIONS for one year (or up until May 2017). Even if it’s just $3 or $5 or $15 per month (or $30 if you can do it!) if a bunch...

13:55

The situation on the Korean Peninsula and China’s tough choice "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

2342341213123The fifth nuclear test conducted in North Korea and the situation unfolding around it on the Korean Peninsula and in the region, obviously, raise the issue of how it might affect the relations between China and the countries of the Korean Peninsula? Although, from the author’s point of view, the question should be formulated somewhat differently – how soon will the Chinese government be forced to make that “tough” choice, whose inevitability is increasing?

In previous articles, the author has repeatedly drawn attention to the fact that China-Korea relations depend on the balance of two trends. The first is related to opposition between China and the USA, where North Korea may not be an ally, but an enemy of the enemy, or some kind of a buffer space between the US forces in South Korea and the territory of the north-eastern region of China. The second trend is China’s ever intensifying “superpower” mood and its transition to a foreign policy model which envisages that the surrounding “small countries” should take the interests of Beijing into account and not contradict them: from this point of view, North Korea as “an unruly neighbour” should be kept on a tighter leash.

Let’s also recall that after the fourth nuclear test, at first Beijing didn’t take a very tough stand. However, when North Korea launched a satellite in spite of its warnings, it joined US sanctions, and, moreover, actually participated in the development of the resolution that approved them.

It seems that this step can be explained by either a desire to use this situation as a lever of pressure on Pyongyang, or as an agreement with the United States on the exchange of concessions where China would make this “step forward” in exchange for consideration of Chinese regional interests, primarily in respect of the situation in the South China Sea or the placement of the US missile defence in South Korea. However, in both cases, these interests were not taken into account. The Hague Tribunal made a tough anti-Chinese decision, the decision to place the THAAD complex was made, while a number of representatives of the American establishment openly stated that China’s position was not of any interest to them.

As a result, China’s leadership may have received an object lesson in the value of American promises, and in whether it makes sense to follow the same course in the future.

Nevertheless, the United States is putting active and diverse pressure on China so that it would be China itself that solves the North Korean problem in the way that benefits the United States. This includes the accusation that the North Korean regime actually depends on China and functions due to its connivance and its superpower self-image: unable to moderate North Korea, China is thus losing the regional prestige that it needs as a superpower.

Based on the author’s conversations with a number of Chinese experts, Beijing understands that there is no “good” solutions to the problem. It seems possible to call for resolving the nuclear problem on the Korean Peninsula (KPNP) using political and diplomatic means, but these words continue to be hot air. Restoration of the six-party talks process is, at least, related to the question what issue should be discussed there now: in the current situation, denuclearization is possible only in connection with the change of regime in N...

...

13:52

Know your NEM: Big questions over Victoria renewables target "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

South Australia electricity price falls; Infigen Energy gives up 30%; why biggest gas pipeline operator is no saint; and the big questions over Victoria renewable energy target.

13:40

Premiere: Adelaide Indie Outfit The New Yorks Get Colourful On ‘I Hope He Knows’ "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Premiere: Adelaide Indie Outfit The New Yorks Get Colourful On ‘I Hope He Knows’

Contrary to what their name may lead you believe, The New Yorks are a four-piece indie rock band from Adelaide, making self-assured angular rock inspired by the likes of The Strokes and The Cure.

Having already supported the likes of Chet Faker and San Cisco, their upcoming debut EP is just around the corner, and they’ve just released the video for single ‘I Hope He Knows’. Featuring what looks like the best party this side of Adelaide, the group come out the end a little worse for wear – and a little more colourful than when they went in.

Give the video a watch below and keep an eye on the group’s Facebook page for news on their upcoming EP Heads Of Tales.

13:38

Premiere: Newcastle Rockers Safe Hands Mature On Second LP ‘Tie Your Soul To Mine’ "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Premiere: Newcastle Rockers Safe Hands Mature On Second LP ‘Tie Your Soul To Mine’

Novacastrian quintet Safe Hands are gearing up to release their second LP Tie Your Soul To Mine on September 23rd – but we’ve got a sneak peek.

The album sees the band heading in new directions as they seek to ditch the hardcore tag of years past, embracing a new sound along with a new musical frame of mind. They channel all of this into their most mature, challenging and introspective bit of output yet, attempting to find an antidote to violence and misogyny, all packaged in undeniably Australian wrappings.

To give us a bit of insight into their musical development, Safe Hands have taken us through the album track-by-track, and you can stream the album with us now and read along.

Keep an eye on the group’s Facebook page for more news surrounding the record’s release on Friday via Lost Boy Records, as well as their upcoming Newcastle show with PUP, and national album tour in October/November.

THE COLISEUM 1921

The album begins with our State Of The Union address. The lyrics essentially describe how things are different now; that we’re older, have new lives, new responsibilities, etc. This was one of the first songs we demoed but one of the last to come together as I’d originally scrapped the yelled vocals in the main part of the song in favour of singing.

When that didn’t come out as I hoped, I tried just repeating the same one or two sung lines, which in turn seemed too sparse. Eventually we added the yells back in over the top but with a kind of megaphone effect to soften it up a bit. Turned out really cool and it’s a pretty interesting way to kick off the album.

TRAFFIC ISLAND WREATH

We released this song in November of last year as a taster for the album but mostly to remind people we were still alive. Easily the poppiest thing we’d ever done at that point. I remember being terrified at the potential backlash towards the song from our longtime listeners, but figured that if people liked it then it would leave the door open to get even weirder down the track.

Thankfully they did! I really love the post-rock guitar tones in the pre-chorus (for lack of a better term) and the fact that despite having a huge hooky chorus we still managed to sneak in a cheeky blast beat towards the end. Best of both worlds there.

MY VERY OWN GREY GARDENS

This one catalogues a period from a few years ago where I was living alone in this absolute hellhole of an apartment. I was basically a shut-in aside from working a few nights a week and I got quite sick for a long while as a result of the damp and mould I was dealing with.

At the time I had this misguided pride that I was being independent and this was how you had to live if you wanted to stand on your own two feet, which was complete rubbish. I love the huge sense of catharsis at the end of the song. Anthony used a Micro POG octave pedal tracked through Gareth’s custom Morgan bass head which gave the section this otherworldly amount of guts. From the first ti...

13:35

The census is watching: on the surveillance of Muslims "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

But, she points out, it can also be those minority groups who are of the greatest interest to the Australian Government for purposes of surveillance. ‘It’s mostly Muslim people who are inflicted with increased surveillance in our post-September 11 world’, says Edney-Browne. The Australian public is frequently divided over whether or not this is okay.

13:30

Ouch, Lady Gaga’s Kevin Parker Collab Looks Like A Total Flop "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Ouch, Lady Gaga’s Kevin Parker Collab Looks Like A Total Flop

They say too many cooks spoil the broth and that might just be the case with the latest single from Lady Gaga, which had a helping hand from a roster of superstar songwriters and producers, including Mark Ronson and our very own Kevin Parker.

As Gaga recently revealed, Parker, whom the pop superstar called a “musical genius”, came up with the original concept for ‘Perfect Illusion’, which was then given the pop machine treatment by Ronson and BloodPop, with guitar courtesy of QOTSA’s Josh Homme.

Ronson has of course manned the boards for the likes of Amy Winehouse and for his own string of star collaborations, such as ‘Uptown Funk’, which was a smash around the world, whilst BloodPop is perhaps best known for producing for the likes of Justin Bieber.

With all of this musical muscle, you’d think ‘Perfect Illusion’ would be breaking chart records around the world, but reception to Gaga’s comeback single has been relatively lukewarm on the critical front and even more so on the charts.

As critics continue to ponder that strange affected accent the singer puts on in the chorus, which turns ‘love’ into ‘la-a-a-v’, the song has failed to make much of an impact on the international pop charts.

It’s done alright in France, where it debuted at the top of the French Singles Chart. But it’s probably worth noting that the French have relatively low standards for a Number 1 single – ‘Perfect Illusion’ sold just 2,820 copies there.

Meanwhile, despite the Tame Impala link, the single only managed to hit Number 14 on the Australian singles chart and debuted at Number 31 on Billboard’s Mainstream Top 40, despite previously being Twitter’s most talked-about song.

It’s also Number 32 on Billboard’s Adult Pop Songs chart and can’t actually be found on the Hot 100 chart. If we spin the globe a little, ‘Perfect Illusion’ is Number 31 in New Zealand and Number 12 on the UK singles chart, Number 4 on the UK Singles Downloads Chart, and 28 on the Official Audio Streaming Chart.

All things charts considered, Gaga’s new single is kind of a flop, especially once you remind yourself that it’s the long-awaited new single from one of the world’s biggest pop singers. Too many cooks indeed.

13:30

Lets just euthanise all smokers and have it all done with "IndyWatch Feed Politics.nz"

The health gestapo are still using tax payers money to mess around in the lives of law abiding people and interfere with law abiding legal companies. Health academics want to make roll-your-own tobacco as expensive as tailor-made cigarettes and have suggested the papers be an “unattractive mustard colour” to make them less cool. Loose tobacco […]

13:19

We Got Skegss To Interview Molly, The Latest Signing From Dune Rats "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

We Got Skegss To Interview Molly, The Latest Signing From Dune Rats

Dune Rats have pretty good taste in bands we reckon, having signed fellow Aussie trio Skegss to their label Ratbag Records, which they founded last year.

They followed that signing with another punk trio, this time Molly from Denmark, and the story behind that signing was typically Dunies, all beginning with a chance meeting on their European tour.

Having just dropped their new self-titled record, now is an ideal time to get to know Molly a bit more, and thankfully Skegss were more than happy to help by chatting to their labelmates for us. We’ve always had our suspicions that Skegss could easily pivot into the field of serious journalism, and after reading this hard-hitting piece, we’re absolutely convinced.

For more from these guys, you can listen to Molly’s new record below, or get it now from iTunes. Skegss on the other hand have just wrapped up a sold-out national tour, but you can catch them for one more gig at Yours & Owls festival.

And just a head’s up: around about question nine, there’s some pretty graphic imagery on the way. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Skegss Interview Molly

Were you guys on heaps of drugs for the ‘Bagu Bagu’ video? You look really fucked up. Nice Song.

The official policy of the organization Molly is that drugs are bad for both health and economy. Anyway, how we make our stuff is a business secret so it’s up to you to figure out. Plus, it’s fiction and we’re all pretty good actors.

What was the thought process that went into that video?

That’s actually a funny story. While we were recording for the album Peach Melba, we spontaneously decided to make a video for ’Bagu Bagu’. There wasn’t really any thought process going on because we were completely wasted at the time. As you can see by the result, making the video was expensive as fuck; getting penguins, airplanes, rollercoasters etc on the film set. High budget stuff!

What are your favourite Australian Bands? Where are you guys from again?

So far we have only heard Skegss and Dune Rats. It definitely has potential. Practice a bit more, then you’ll make it to the top. We’re from Copenhagen, Denmark. People outside Europe often think of Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and the rest of Europe as one big country. It’s alright.

Have you guys travelled outside of Europe before? Are you coming here?

We’ve only been outside of Europe for pleasure. Right now we’re working hard to get down under to you guys. Stoked to see how Ratbag Records and Dunies are pushing us in Australia right now, so we’re putting a lot of work into getting on that plane. We’ve heard about all that cool stuff going on down there, so it’s a big dream to go see kangaroos, swim with sharks and stuff.

We are both on Ratbag Records, are you guys on the same $10000000 deal as us?

Well.. We only had to pay them $50,000, so...

13:12

Cruz Kontra Calvo Put Salape' "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople.pacific"

Some recent articles about budgets and bills and the yinaoyao between the Legislature, most notably Senator BJ Cruz and Governor Eddie Calvo and his team at Adelup. Ti menhalom yu' put este na asunto siha, pues tåya' otro sinangån-hu. Taitai este siha, ya hagu un diside håyi gaitinina yan håyi mambebende dinagi.

********************

September 10, 2016
The Honorable Edward J.B. Calvo
Governor of Guam
Ricardo J. Bordallo Governor’s Complex
Hagåtña, Guam 96910

Re: Response to Lapse Message on Substitute Bill No. 250-33 (COR)

Dear Governor Calvo:

Håfa adai! On September 1, 2016, I delivered a letter to you relative to the concerns you identified regarding Substitute Bill No. 250-33 (SB250), now the Annual Appropriations Act of FY 2017. I had hoped my clarifications would have prompted you to direct your fiscal team to reconsider its initial findings on SB250. Unfortunately, based on your lapse message to Speaker Judith T. Won Pat, you have disregarded the facts raised in my letter. Instead, you remain committed to a misguided temper-tantrum against the overwhelming bipartisan majority of senators who crafted the budget, which is now law.

Put simply Governor, fourteen senators built a budget that made sense because you transmitted a budget that made things up. As I have said before, the General Fund revenues you provided to the Committee on Appropriations and Adjudication (Committee) were inflated, overly aggressive, reckless, and irresponsible.

As such—and for the second consecutive fiscal year—both the Committee and the Office of Finance and Budget (OFB) worked diligently to correct General Fund Revenue Projections to a more conservative level. Because of this work, your General Fund revenues (which presumed a 10.7% increase in the General Fund as compared to FY 2016’s adopted levels) were reduced by $55 million.
Notwithstanding this reduction in General Fund revenues, there continues to be $18 million more appropriated from General Fund revenues in SB250 than in Public Law 33-66 (Annual Appropriations Act of FY 2016).

In light of the glaring contradictions and misunderstandings perpetuated by your fiscal team, I will take the time here to address every “concern” raised in your recent letter to the Speaker:

SAFETY

1. Department of Corrections (DOC): You claim that there is a $2.8 million shortfall for the DOC-Guam Memorial Hospital Authority consolidated cooperative agreement.

Fact: Section 1(n)(3), Chapter V of SB250 allocates $1.1 million toward this agreement. This is the same figure provided in DOC’s FY2017 detailed budget request. This request was certified by the Bureau of Budget and Management Research (BBMR) and provided to the Committee.

2. Guam Police Department (GPD) and Guam Fire Department (GFD): You claim that there was a $3.7 million cut from GPD which would have gone to hiring more police officers, promoting officers, and covering anticipated overtime and utilities. You also claim that there was a $1.8 million shortfall for GFD that would have gone to hiring vacant positions.

Fact: I would like to direct you to the OFB Website at...

13:00

Mental Health Break "IndyWatch Feed Politics.nz"

The Fourth Industrial Revolution from Marta Chierego on Vimeo.

12:47

Seymour on immigration and Islam "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

David Seymour has again suggested that immigrants should accept and sign up for “the most basic values of New Zealand society”. Whaleoil: EXCLUSIVE: David Seymour’s thoughts on Islamic Immigration All immigrants should accept the most basic values of New Zealand society: namely freedom of speech, equality of gender and race before the law, that spirituality […]

12:41

An Oreo snack for lunch ... "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"



Now the pond, it has to be said right up the front, is totally onside with the Oreo on this one ...

The pond still treasures very fond memories of voting in the nationwide plebiscite called by John Howard before he dared to change the Marriage Act back in 2004.

It was as classic an example of democracy in action as could be imagined ...


What could be more democratic?

Strange, the pond would have sworn blind it voted in that plebiscite. Perhaps it's like that well known phenomenon of the phantom limb or the phantom pain ...

Never mind, it's on with that promised Oreo treat ...




Really, she is splendidly barking mad, is she not? Is not an Oreo treat for lunch one of the finer, refined treats of a modern civilisation?

Alas then the Oreo turns to hapless Freedom Boy ...



The pond uses the word "hapless" advisedly because, as previously noted by the pond, Freedom Boy has oscillated wildly when it comes to the matter of the plebiscite, before understanding that his place in life was to grovel before fundamentalist right wingers ...



Alas, even as he was wormin...

12:39

Courtney Barnett Says Her “Darker” New Album Might Be “Just Me & A Piano” "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Courtney Barnett Says Her “Darker” New Album Might Be “Just Me & A Piano”

Courtney Barnett has unveiled more details regarding the progress of her eagerly anticipated follow-up to her breakthrough debut album, Sometimes I Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Sit, which dropped to critical acclaim last year.

Speaking to NME, Barnett revealed that her sophomore effort is already “half-written”, i.e. she has a lot of half-written songs, and not only are they darker in tone than her output thus far, but they are largely piano-based.

“One day I hate everything I’ve written, the next it seems alright. When I get home from touring, I’ll be able to think about it logically. So far, the new songs are a general reflection on the meaning of life, our purpose for being here and all that rubbish,” she said.

“I’ve been writing on piano a lot. It’s darker and more melancholy, probably as a reflection on politics.” She continued: “I’m really bad at decision making. For me, finishing a song takes so much more effort than starting one.”

“I’ve got some good half-songs for the next record, and maybe they’ll turn into great full songs.” Barnett said she wasn’t sure if her backing band, the CB3, would be making an appearance on the second album.

“I don’t know. It could just be an album with me and a piano, so who knows?” she said. “If I knew how the album was going to sound so far in advance, I wouldn’t bother recording it. But I love those guys, they’re the greatest musicians.”

Speaking at Coachella earlier this year, the Melbourne singer-songwriter revealed she hasn’t stopped writing songs since the release of Sometimes I Sit and Think. “I’ve been writing since the last one I guess,” she told interviewers.

“A lot of the new songs I haven’t even shown the band yet, I’m still trying to write them… It’s a vulnerable time,” she continued. “I get nervous showing them to anyone in case they suck or something.”

12:37

Oldest fish hooks found in Japan "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Archaeologists have found the world's oldest fish hooks in a cave on the Japanese island of Okinawa. The pair, dating from about 23,000 years ago, were carved from sea snail shells and found with other ancient relics, according to a newly-published paper. It is thought humans inhabited the island from at least 30,000 years ago, surviving despite scarce resources. The findings suggest a wider use of advanced maritime technology in that era than previously thought. Modern humans first moved to offshore islands some 50,000 years ago. While fishing has been essential for early humans to spread around the planet, it is unclear how the technology evolved, with evidence limited to sites in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. "The new evidence demonstrates a geographically wider distribution of early maritime technology that extended north to the mid-latitude areas along the western Pacific coast," according to the National Academy of Sciences. The fish hooks predate ones found in Timor, thought to be at least 16,000 years old, and Papua New Guinea, from at least 18,000 years ago. Also found in the cave were two partially carved fish hooks, tools, beads and food debris. The paper's authors even suggest that those who visited the cave did so seasonally, when certain species of crab were at their "most delicious". Source: BBC

12:33

ACF appeals Federal Court decision on Adani’s Carmichael coal mine "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Media Release from The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF):

logo

 

 

 

MEDIA RELEASE

19 September 2016

ACF appeals Federal Court decision on Adani’s Carmichael coal mine

The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has lodged an appeal to the Federal Court’s decision which found the approval of Adani’s Carmichael coal mine to be lawful.

ACF disputes the Environment Minister’s argument in court that the burning of coal from Carmichael mine will not have an impact on global warming and the Great Barrier Reef.

“This is a profound moment in the history of protecting Australia’s environment, as we attempt to stop a coal mine that would create 4.6 billion tonnes of climate pollution if it is allowed to proceed,” said ACF’s President Geoff Cousins.

“Australia’s system of environment laws is broken if it allows the Federal Environment Minister to approve a mega-polluting coal mine – the biggest in Australia’s history – and claim it will have no impact on the global warming and the reef.

“If our environment laws are too weak to actually protect Australia’s unique species and places, they effectively give companies like Adani a licence to kill.

“Be in no doubt, Adani’s Carmichael proposal is massive and will lock in decades of damaging climate pollution if it goes ahead, further wrecking the reef.

“The science is clear that we can have coal or the reef – but we can’t have both.

“In our original legal challenge, Justice Griffiths recognised that there was considerable public interest in ACF’s case and we are in no doubt that we represent the concerns of the majority of Australians.

“In a ReachTel survey of 2,600 Australians at the end of August, 81 per cent said they would support stronger federal environment laws to protect the Great Barrier Reef.

“And 75 per cent support environment groups’ right to use legal avenues to uphold existing environmental laws.

“It comes down to this. The planet warming pollution from Adani’s coal mine threatens the reef and all living things. The Australian Conservation Foundation does not accept this future – and we will take all reasonable steps we can to stop this mine.”

12:32

Henry Rollins Makes A Surprise Return To Music "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Henry Rollins Makes A Surprise Return To Music

Henry Rollins, Australian music connoisseur, has teamed up with English punk rockers Ruts DC on the title track from their forthcoming album Music Must Destroy.

This is not the first time Rollins has appeared alongside Ruts DC; back in 2007 Rollins sang onstage with the band in London at a benefit gig for their late guitarist Paul Fox.

In between visits to his favourite Australian record stores, Rollins found time to get in to the studio with the band, despite stating numerous times that his music career is behind him.

Talking to Team Rock, he said “It is a great honour to not only be a part of the new Ruts DC album but also in the video for ‘Music Must Destroy’, growling away with my worthy constituent, Mr. Segs!”

While reactions to the track on Henry Rollin’s own Facebook page have been mixed to say the least, we can all agree that it’s promising to see Rollins back in the studio making music, even if it’s only a once off.

12:25

Track By Track: Brooklyn Punks The So So Glos Run Us Through Their Blistering New Record "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Track By Track: Brooklyn Punks The So So Glos Run Us Through Their Blistering New Record

Brooklyn’s The So So Glos have just released their third LP Kamikaze here in Australia. There’s some talent behind this one too, being recorded by John Reis (Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes) and mixed by Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley and Cursive).

The record dropped last Friday, and is a slab of hard hitting NYC punk rock, drawing clear influence from and pays tribute to America’s greatest punk bands from The Ramones to Black Flag.

Give this one a spin, and have a read of what the guys have to say about each track below.

Dancing Industry

This one is a call to action. Calling kids of all ages, come out, come out wherever you are. Come from behind your screens and on to the dance floor. Lets build a new army of empathic, peace seeking individuals. Lets churn out this feeling in an “assembly line” like fashion. This ain’t a party that we’re starting, it’s a movement that we’re blowing up. This song was written the day after we finished recording our previous album, Blowout. It’s the first track on the record, and the first words you hear are “BLOWN OUT”. It picks up right where we left off. The saga continues….

A.D.D. Life

There’s too much information and we’re all having trouble concentrating. We’ve got an entire generation with A.D.D. in a world that’s constantly connected but still isolated. This was also written a few days after the completion of Blowout and I was listening to a lot of Fiona Apple at the time.

Going Out Swingin’

This is a self-destructive “going out” party anthem. It’s an equally empowering & self-deprecating feeling. The use of the word swinging is a quadruple entendre. Going out swinging: either sexually swinging, or swinging a baseball bat (playing for the losing team), swinging from a noose, or swing dancing on the dance-floor. If you listen closely, you can hear Broadway’s own Danny Miller playing the cello over the requiem outro. Alex recorded the strings with Danny in a little apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Devils Doing Handstands

The hangover from last night’s party. The protagonist here has a momentary sense of clarity and is fully aware of the spiritual journey he is on. At this point in the record, we’re looking back at mistakes of the past and saying “next time around, I’ll do handstands on the ground” to change my state of mind. This one is for an optimist who see’s through a pessimistic lens. An ode to reincarnation.

Magazine

It’s an attempt to dispel the myth that on the cover of magazines girls must stay lean and boys must stay mean. This is another call to action by the protagonist who’s intentions are to burn down the beliefs that fuel the structural institutions which perpetuate the stereotypes between us & marginalize communities of people based on gender, race, class, you name it…

Sunny Side

Heartbreak opens the floodgates to climatic variation. It’s nothing new under the sun, but this is sarcastic one. This song came out when a hurricane hit Brooklyn and the power went out over Manhattan for a week. I wrote this song in a plastic bag.

Kings County II Ballad Of A So So Glo

In this song we’re talking about the self-o...

12:24

A cup of tea with your solar plant? "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Sun Brilliance wants its solar plant to become a visitor complex for weddings, parties ... and a nice cuppa tea. Now, why didn't coal fired power stations think of that?

12:23

Redflow says first ZCell batteries to be installed in homes in October "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Redflow says first ZCell residential battery storage systems to be delivered to customers next month after first shipment of batteries arrived in Australia on Sunday.

12:14

David Leyonhjelm guest post on free speech "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

I recently lodged a complaint under Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act in response to an article written by the journalist Mark Kenny.

What he wrote was unlawful under that section. My objective, in lodging the complaint, was to show that the law needs to change. It should not be unlawful to call me or anyone else rude names, whether or not our feelings are affected.

The basis of the complaint is that Kenny said I demonstrated “certitude” as a consequence of being an “angry white male”, I was a “rank apologist for the resentment industry” and a “hate speech apologist”. Since S18C makes it unlawful to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person because of their colour, and white is a colour, this is sufficient to make it unlawful.

Kenny also described me as “gormless”, “boorish, a supercilious know-all with the empathy of a Besser block”, “wacky”, a “self-promoting misanthrope” and subject to “infantile reasoning”. These were not as directly attributed to my colour and so might not be unlawful.

A great deal of commentary was prompted by the complaint, from both sides of politics. Much of it has been poorly informed and indicates that many people have a poor understanding of the meaning of free speech. As a consequence, they cannot understand why S18C should go.
One commentator claimed that S18D of the same act provides a defence of fair comment, which I was ignoring. I agree fair comment is a well-recognised legal concept, but in my opinion Kenny’s remarks about me were outside the court’s narrow interpretation of ‘fair comment’.

I was accused of engaging in a stunt. This discounts my libertarian beliefs. In the last parliament I co sponsored a bill to remove “insult and offend” from S18C, and have done the same this parliament. Yesterday I introduced a bill to repeal S18C entirely, and I will be introducing bills to repeal constraints on free speech in other legislation.

Some suggested my complaint will fail because I was not offended. This overlooks the fact that offence is not required for a comment to be unlawful. All it requires is to be “reasonably likely” to offend.

Perhaps the most interesting comments were from those who applied racist reasoning. One was the suggestion that S18C is not meant to be used by white males like me, but is for the benefit of minorities. This is pretty much the point of Kenny’s article – as a white male (like Kenny), he suggests I have not lived with “entrenched discrimination” and therefore have nothing to complain about.

Another was the interviewer who suggested that without S18C there would be unchecked racial vilification leading to increased mental illness in non-whites. Non-whites, it was implied, are more susceptible to mental illness than whites.

There were also those who viewed my annoyance at the ABC’s Chaser accosting me outside my house with homophobic slogans as indicating my hypocrisy regarding free speech. This is a concern, as it is based on the misconception that free speech requires a willingness to listen or even approve of what is said. That is not the case; just as blocking someone on Twitter or Facebook says nothing about free speech, free speech imposes no obligation to listen. Indeed, the only obligation is to refrain from inhibiting it from being said.

A comment I take more seriously is the suggestion that racial vilification will increase if it is not suppressed via laws such as S18C. This relies on a Hobbesian view of the world, in which humans are only saved from perpetual war by laws and strong government. It is also misguided. Just as the law does not oblige us to say please and thank-you, neither does it need to prevent us from insulting each other.

Furthermore, to the extent that racist attitudes are present in society, it assumes these will change if it is unlawful to express them. This is false; unless it can be heard and robustly challenged, racism will......

12:12

Wind energy costs set to continue to decline, according to Berkeley Lab "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Continued technological advancements are expected to continue reducing the cost of wind energy, according to a new survey of leading wind experts.

12:11

Tesla wins contract for largest lithium-ion battery storage installation in world "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Tesla wins contract to install 20MW/80MWh Powerpack for Southern California Edison Mira Loma Substation.

12:08

Triple J Already Have A New Hottest 100 Date In Mind "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Triple J Already Have A New Hottest 100 Date In Mind

After weeks of speculation and all-out war between keyboard warriors of all stripes on social media, last week triple j finally confirmed that the next Hottest 100 countdown would be held on Australia Day.

The news came in response to a growing campaign to see the date of the annual broadcast, typically billed as the world’s biggest fan-voted music poll, changed from Australia / Invasion Day to show solidarity with Austalia’s First Nation peoples.

Whilst the upcoming Hottest 100 will take place on Australia Day, the national youth broadcaster made it clear that its status on that date is “under review” and could change in the future. According to triple j’s content director, they already have a date in mind.

Speaking to The Guardian, Ollie Ward said New Year’s Day “would be a really good strong contender”, though he acknowledged the fact that the countdown would end up competing with the growing number of NYD festivals such as Field Day.

“There’s [been] a lot of comments about how we’re doing things for the minority – ‘Oh, you know, this is because of a small minority; think about us, the majority’ – but I think that sometimes the majority has to stand up for the minority,” said Wards of the controversy.

“[Moving the Hottest 100] might not be the most popular decision but when people have a little bit of empathy for those in the minority, hopefully they’ll realise that there’s something broader and more important than the particular day that they want to do this cool thing.”

“If it moves day, we hope that people can come with us.” Upon announcing next year’s date, triple j reaffirmed its partnership with AIME, an Indigenous education charity for whom triple j raised over $100k earlier this year.

Wards did not offer up his own opinion about the change, instead explaining that his job is to “weigh up two political decisions” whilst working within the guidelines of the ABC and triple j, and making the choice with “the best net positive outcome”.

12:05

Aussie Post-Punk Legends The Sunnyboys Announce 2017 Tour "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Aussie Post-Punk Legends The Sunnyboys Announce 2017 Tour

Some 30 years after their initial disbanding, Aussie post-punk legends The Sunnyboys are getting back together again. The band reformed recently for sold out shows along the East Coast in 2013 and 2014, with a full scale 2015 tour proving fans are still hungry for more.

2017 will see the band reform again, but this time they will be playing their 1981 self-titled debut album in its entirety.

“What a thrill it will be to play our 1st album from start to finish,” says bassist Peter Oxley. “We have never ever done this before. Looking forward to ‘I Can’t Talk to You (reprise)!'”

As if that wasn’t enough for die-hard Sunnyboys fans, Sydney will also be treated to a rare showing of The Flaming Hands and The Shy Impostors as support, the first time all three acts have been on one bill together.

“When Peter Oxley called with the proposition of reforming the Flaming Hands for a gig with the Sunnyboys I jumped at the opportunity,” said Julie Mostyn of The Flaming Hands. “The two bands have a shared history both as friends and as contemporaries that played together in what was a golden era of Australian music.”

Interstate fans wont be missing out either, as the legendary X will be joining the band in Melbourne, while The Celibate Rifles and Ed Kuepper with Mark Dawson will be playing support in Queensland.

Check out the dates to what will no doubt be the feel good tour of the summer below.

Image credit: Kaye Harrison

Sunnyboys 2017 Tour Dates

February 3rd

Gold Coast, The Nightquarter (only Queensland show)

Special guests: The Celibate Rifles and Ed Kuepper with Mark Dawson.

February 4th

Sydney, Enmore Theatre

Special guests: Flaming Hands & Shy Impostors

February 10th

Melbourne, The Croxton

Special guests: X.

12:00

Map of the Day "IndyWatch Feed Politics.nz"

Sponsored by What Power Crisis, Award winning solar power provider, FREE Solar Power Diverter worth $795 with 2kW + system. Say “Whaleoil sent you” and email us on hq@whatpowercrisis.co.nz for a deal. Click here for larger view

12:00

More horror-stories from Nauru "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Another week, another leak containing more horror stories from Australia's refugee concentration camp on Nauru:

Child and adult refugees held on Nauru under Australia’s offshore detention regime are continuing to report allegations of sexual abuse and engage in self-harm, new leaked documents reveal.

The new incident reports, seen by the Guardian, include a harrowing account of the alleged rape of a refugee, who refused to report the encounter to Nauruan police. The reports also tell of children stubbing out cigarettes on their arms, trying to jump off buildings and attempting suicide by other means.

The reports make reference to “ongoing, significant risks” to children held on Nauru between January and March this year. The leak follows the Guardian’s publication of the Nauru files, incident reports revealing the trauma and abuse inflicted on children held by Australia in offshore detention.


There's full (and unpleasant) details in the article. One of the things it makes clear is that the refugees do not feel they will receive justice from the Nauruan police. This of course is then used by the Nauruan and Australian governments to dismiss all claims of abuse and victimisation as fabricated, when really its just another example of how they are victimised.

This abuse and victimisation of refugees by Australia and Nauru constitutes an ongoing crime against humanity. It has to stop. And those responsible for it need to be held to account for it in The Hague.

11:56

This Week’s 13 Awesome Jobs In Music That Could Be Yours "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

This Week’s 13 Awesome Jobs In Music That Could Be Yours

Some of the Australian music world’s biggest names often leave doors of opportunity ajar, just waiting for the right kind of professional music fan to come knocking.

Our regular Music Jobs column is the place where we’ll help you grab the proverbial handle and walk on through, as we take the pain out of scrolling through endless (and sometimes shady) job listings to provide you a selection of killer career opps in the music world.

No free work or internships here, just authentic chances to break into the music industry. So update your CV, brush up your cover letter writing chops, stop dreaming, and start doing what you love for a living.

Recorded Music Manager at Unified

Full-time / Melbourne, VIC

“UNIFIED is the soundtrack of good people working together to achieve extraordinary results. We exist as an artist services company; giving choice and freedom back to our artists on how they manage their career and music. One such way we achieve this is by creating artist owned and led record labels.

“The newly created position of Recorded Music Manager will oversee our artist led labels including ONETWO (Illy’s label), NLV Records (Nina Las Vegas’ label) and House of Beige (Remi’s label) as well as the other labels in our group – Hopeless Records and UNFD.”

More info can be found here.

Touring Coordinator at Unify Presents

Full-time / Melbourne, VIC

“UNIFIED’s newly created Touring Department, UNIFY Presents, was launched in 2016 and already boasts successful tours by artists like Bring Me The Horizon, Slipknot, The Amity Affliction, A Day To Remember, Northlane and many more.

“As the department expands, UNIFIED is looking to hire a co-ordinator to help operate its tours and build the brand awareness and social media strategy.”

More info can be found here.

Ecommerce Manager at Universal Music Australia

Full-time / Sydney, NSW

“As part of the wider eCommerce function, the eCommerce Manager champions an innovative and inclusive culture that seeks out new opportunities to develop digital marketing strategies to grow an engaged audience/fan base to maximise engagement.

“Plan, develop and deliver new online revenue generating opportunities across bespoke store plays along with ensuring existing online stores revenue/product development is maximized.”

More info can be found here.

Project Coordinator at Melbourne Uni (VCA & MCM)

Full-time / Melbourne, VIC

“The Faculty of the Victorian College of the Arts and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (VCA & MCM) offers programs in music, visual arts, performing arts and film to emerging artistic practitioners in the midst of one of the world’s most vibrant arts precincts at Southbank.

“You will be responsible for identifying and leading a program of key projects and business improvement initiatives across the Faculty to deliver process and system improvements in priority areas. You will be the Faculty expert in process improvement and liaise with the University’s Continuous Improvement Centre to adopt and train staff across the Faculty in Agile and Lean Six Sigma solutions. You will also act as the Executive Assistant to the Faculty Ex...

11:55

The C-Word: Its Manners, Customs and Many Varied Uses "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

Last week, a protestor crashed a stage with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and dropped the c-bomb. Intrepid New Matilda columnist Dr Liz Conor asks the age old question: Is using a female body part as a term of derision misogynistic? And a language warning… there’s quite a bit of it to follow.

Last month a group of protestors intercepted Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as he fronted the Committee for Economic Development (CEDA) in Melbourne. They sought to publically shame him for the abuse of refugees in indefinite detention on Nauru and Manus Island.

Waving a placard, ‘FFS Close the Bloody Camps’, one of the protestors mounted the stage and hurled ‘Cunt’ through her teeth at a dumbfounded Turnbull.

When one of the group was later interviewed on The Project, Waleed Aly pointedly asked whether swearing at the Prime Minister was the most effective way to get their message across.

Samantha Castro, of WACA (Whistleblowers Activists and Citizens Alliance) replied their main message had indeed been communicated and the use of language was proportionate to the substantive issue to hand – the exposure of vulnerable asylum seekers, including children, to sexual and physical abuse in these negligently mismanaged tropical gulags.

Feelings ran high. The Nauru papers, detailing over 2,000 incident reports of abuse, including assaults, sexual assaults and self-harm between 2013 and 2015 (now the subject of a Senate inquiry) had been published by The Guardian. Adrenalin was pumping. Appalled, incensed and no doubt jittery, the intrepid interceptor spoke for many of us when she reached for The Very Worst Word to hand. That is Cunt.

It comes up a lot, Cunt: its appropriate uses, its acceptable invocations. Since half of us are literally hinged by this soft and slippery assemblage of intensely attuned tissue, it’s been a matter of feminist consternation that it’s the best worst descriptor for derision.

Given what a great source of pleasure it is for women (albeit periodically high maintenance) why should Cunt signify tyrant and tormentor, despot and bully, liar and narcissist, namely all the foulest, basest traits to which, I note mostly men, can be ascribed.

For is Cunt not Origin of the World, life-giving, incarnate sensuality, a circlet of steeped, clasping flesh, orgiastic rapture, ardent enclosure, we could go on and on… with so much to recommend it, you do gotta ask, why be so negative?

Because it is at the apex and core of human experience. No other body part brings forth life. Its capacity for pleasure and pleasure-giving has made it a focal site for commodification, medicalization, regulation, warfare, but also for destabilising heteronormativity and radical feminist reclamation.

It has been mythologised with teeth (Vagina Dentata), monologued, squatted over mirrors, plaster moulded, and Toys actually R US women, ‘fraid.

Because it is ineluctably the custody and experience of the feminine. It is ours, despite the zealous, at times fanatical attempts of patrio-nazis to take possessi...

11:45

Preppers Beware: The Dangers of Groups (Video) "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Canadian PrepperYT Comment Brendon Macnee I’m lucky I live in New Zealand have told friends of the up and coming events and to prepare some have some can’t afford to I’m trying to keep up their moral by saying that anything is better than nothing and try to get them to learn trapping and to live…

11:41

National Treasure Nick Cave Just Set An Australian Chart Record "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

National Treasure Nick Cave Just Set An Australian Chart Record

Looking at the Aussie charts can be a mixed bag. Homegrown music usually performs pretty well on the albums chart, but the singles chart continues to be the domain of international artists, with the occasional outlier.

But even the local albums chart can be cause for concern, as we recently noted when the soundtrack to the much-maligned Suicide Squad beat out the latest solo effort from Australian music legend Bernard Fanning.

But there’s reason to celebrate this week. Not only are two Australian artists respectively occupying the gold and silver medal positions, but Australian icon Nick Cave has helped set a new Australian chart record.

Cave’s latest album, the haunting and powerful Skeleton Tree, is the 15th Australian album to hit the top of the albums chart this year. This beats the record for most Aussie Number 1s in a single year, which was 14 set back in 2013.

Sitting right behind Cave are Canberra’s SAFIA and their new album Internal. The next Australian entries in the chart are Human Nature with Gimme Some Lovin’: Jukebox Vol. II at 14 and Keith Urban’s Ripcord at 15, both of whom previously hit Number 1.

Other notable Australian Number 1 albums this year include The Amity Affliction’s This Could Be Heartbreak, Sia’s This Is Acting, and Hilltop Hoods’s Drinking From The Sun, Walking Under Stars Restrung.

Of course, the singles chart remains the domain of international pop-stars, with The Chainsmokers and Halsey sitting at Number 1 with ‘Closer’. This is partly due to the fact that the singles chart counts streaming numbers towards its tally.

It will be interesting to see what kind of impact Australians have on the charts as pop artist begin to abandon the album format completely, as superstar producer and DJ Calvin Harris recently announced he would do.

11:39

The plebiscite and the impasse on marriage equality "IndyWatch Feed Aunews"

But now this long campaign for equality has taken what I think is a self-defeating turn by making its main focus stopping the proposed plebiscite. And with Bill Shorten’s apparent decision to oppose a popular vote no matter what, that approach may kill not only the plebiscite, but with it any chance of marriage equality being legislated in this term of parliament.

11:30

It is clear now that terrorism can only be performed by ISIS "IndyWatch Feed Politics.nz"

What’s in a name? A powerful explosion that injured dozens of people on a busy Manhattan street, shattered glass and damaged cars was caused by a deliberately planted bomb, New York leaders have said, though there was some dispute over whether the blast constituted an act of terror. The bomb, which was planted in or […]

11:26

Voting age women outnumber men "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Statistics New Zealand has marked Suffrage Day with a media release which says voting-age women in New Zealand outnumbered men by about 137,000 at the 2013 Census, and women are more likely to vote.

In 1893, New Zealand became the first nation in the world to grant women the right to vote. This year, Suffrage Day (September 19) comes just as local government voting papers go out on 16–21 September.

Census figures showed there were more than 1.66 million women in New Zealand aged 18 years and over (18+), compared with about 1.53 million men.

Women on average live longer than men which will account for some of the difference but just as women are more likely to vote, I wonder if they’re more likely to fill out census forms.

Women are more likely than men to vote in general and local government elections, according to past Statistics NZ General Social Surveys. In a survey after the 2011 general election more than 80 percent of women said they voted, compared with about 77 percent of men.

Almost 95 percent of women and men aged 65+ years said they voted in the 2011 general election, compared with just over half of those aged 18 to 24.

Voter turnout is lower for local government elections, at less than 65 percent for women and 62 percent for men. However, 87 percent of all those aged 65+ said they’d voted in local elections in a 2012 survey, compared with just 28 percent of people aged 18 to 24.

Census figures for 2013 showed there were 1.19 million European women in New Zealand aged 18+ years. There were about 193,000 Māori women in that age group, closely followed by almost 187,000 Asian women. Pacific women aged 18+ totalled about 90,000.

The candidates in my district and regional council wards have been elected unopposed which means the only decision I’ll have to make is whether to support the sitting mayor, Gary Kircher, or his challenger whose name escapes me.

The mayor is generally considered to have worked well in his first term so I’ll be voting to give him a second one.


Filed under: politics Tagged: Gary Kircher, Statistics NZ, Suffrage Day, Waitaki District ...

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