SPRING HILL VOICE
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STOP THE WARS! TAX THE RICH!
"If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time ... but if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together." - Lilla Watson, aboriginal educator and activist, Brisbane
* Other Things *
State surveillance of personal data is theft, say world's leading authors
More than 500 of the world's leading authors, including five Nobel prize winners, have condemned the scale of state surveillance revealed by the whistleblower Edward Snowden and warned that spy agencies are undermining democracy and must be curbed by a new international charter.
The signatories, who come from 81 different countries and include Margaret Atwood, Don DeLillo, Orhan Pamuk, Günter Grass and Arundhati Roy, say the capacity of intelligence agencies to spy on millions of people's digital communications is turning everyone into potential suspects, with worrying implications for the way societies work.
They have urged the United Nations to create an international bill of digital rights that would enshrine the protection of civil rights in the internet age.
Their call comes a day after the heads of the world's leading technology companies demanded sweeping changes to surveillance laws to help preserve the public's trust in the internet reflecting the growing global momentum for a proper review of mass snooping capabilities in countries such as the US and UK, which have been the pioneers in the field.
The open letter to the US president, Barack Obama, from firms including Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook, will be followed by the petition, which has drawn together a remarkable list of the world's most respected and widely-read authors, who have accused states of systematically abusing their powers by conducting intrusive mass surveillance.
Julian Barnes, Martin Amis, Ian McEwan, Irvine Welsh, Hari Kunzru, Jeanette Winterson and Kazuo Ishiguro are among the British authors on the list.
It also includes JM Coetzee, Yann Martel, Ariel Dorfman, Amit Chaudhuri, Roddy Doyle, Amos Oz, David Grossman, and the Russian Mikhail Shishkin.
Henning Mankell, Lionel Shriver, Hanif Kureishi and the antipodean writers CK Stead, Thomas Keneally and Anna Funder are other globally renowned signatories.
The Guardian has published a series of stories about the mass surveillance techniques of GCHQ and its US counterpart, the NSA, over the past six months; two of the most significant programmes uncovered in the Snowden files were Prism, run by the NSA, and Tempora, which was set up by GCHQ. Between them, they allow the agencies to harvest, store and analyse data about millions of phone calls, emails and search-engine queries.
Though Tuesday's statement does not mention these programmes by name, it says the extent of surveillance revealed by Snowden has challenged and undermined the right of all humans to "remain unobserved and unmolested" in their thoughts, personal environments and communications. "This fundamental human right has been rendered null and void through abuse of technological developments by states and corporations for mass surveillance purposes," the statement adds.
"A person under surveillance is no longer free; a society under surveillance is no longer a democracy. To maintain any validity, our democratic rights must apply in virtual as in real space."
Demanding the right "for all people to determine to what extent their personal data may be legally collected, stored and processed", the writers call for a digital rights convention that states will sign up to and adhere to.
"Surveillance is theft. This data is not public property, it belongs to us. When it is used to predict our behaviour, we are robbed of something else the principle of free will crucial to democratic liberty."
McEwan told the Guardian: "Where Leviathan can, it will. The state, by its nature, always prefers security to liberty. Lately, technology has offered it means it can't resist, means of mass surveillance that Orwell would have been amazed by. The process is inexorable unless it's resisted. Obviously, we need protection from terrorism, but not at any cost."
The intervention comes after the Guardian and some of the world's other major media organisations, including the New York Times, the Washington Post and Der Spiegel, began disclosing details of the extent and reach of secret surveillance programmes run by Britain's eavesdropping centre, GCHQ, and the National Security Agency.
The revelations have sparked a huge debate on the legal framework and oversight governing western spy agencies. Obama has launched a review of US intelligence operations, and earlier this month the UN's senior counter-terrorism official, Ben Emmerson, announced an investigation into the techniques used by both US and British intelligence agencies.
Civil liberties groups have criticised the UK government for putting intense political pressure on the Guardian and other media groups covering the leaks rather than addressing the implications of the mass surveillance programmes that have been uncovered. But campaigners hope Tuesday's statement will increase the pressure on governments to address the implications of the Snowden revelations.
"International moral pressure is what's needed to ensure politicians address the mass invasion of our privacy by the intelligence services in the UK and US," said Jo Glanville, from English Pen, which along with its sister organisations around the world has supported the Writers Against Mass Surveillance campaign. "The signatories to the appeal are a measure of the level of outrage and concern."
Tuesday's statement is being launched simultaneously in 27 countries, and organisers hope members of the public will now sign up through the change.org website.
Eva Menasse, one of the group of German writers who initiated the project, said it began with an open letter from a group of authors to the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, when the first Snowden revelations came to light.
"When we started, we did not know how far we would get. But more and more colleagues joined us and within the last weeks we were sitting at our computers day and night, using our networks as more people came forward. This started as an entirely private initiative, but now has worldwide support."
Another author who helped set up the campaign, Juli Zeh, said writers around the world had felt compelled to act: "We all have to stand up now, and we as writers do what we can do best: use the written word to intervene publicly."
Winterson told the Guardian she regarded Snowden as a "brave and selfless human being".
"We should be supporting him in trying to determine the extent of the state in our lives. We have had no debate, no vote, no say, hardly any information about how our data is used and for what purpose. Our mobile phones have become tracking devices. Social networking is data profiling. We can't shop, spend, browse, email, without being monitored. We might as well be tagged prisoners. Privacy is an illusion. Do you mind about that? I do."
Joe Stiglitz writes open letter to TPP negotiators
Professor Joseph Stiglitz has written an open letter to the TPP negotiators, asking that they resist proposals to weaken consumer rights in intellectual property.
The letter identifies 12 specific "grave risks" in the IP Chapter, and calls upon negotiators to publish the investor state dispute resolution text.
Professor Stiglitiz is one of the best know economists in the world, having won the Nobel prize for Economic Science in 2001, and having previously served as the chief economist for the World Bank and as the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors for President Clinton.
The text follows:
Dear TPP negotiators,
December 6, 2013
As trade negotiators, you are being asked to resolve a large number of important issues that have divided Parties in the negotiations for a Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.
The decision to make the negotiating text secret from the public (even though the details are accessible to hundred of advisors to big corporations) makes it difficult for the public to offer informed commentary.
But the recent publication of the negotiating text for the intellectual property rights chapter by Wikileaks, and an earlier leak of the investor state dispute resolution proposals, as well as numerous reports in the business press, make it clear that the agreement presents grave risks on all sorts of topics.
As regards the provisions on intellectual property, negotiators should resist text that would, among other things:
weaken the 2001 Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health
mandate extensions of patents terms
mandate lower standards for granting patents on medicines
mandate granting patents on surgical procedures,
mandate monopolies of 12 years on test data for biologic drugs
narrow the grounds for granting compulsory license on patents,
increase damages for infringements of patents and copyrights,
reduce space for exceptions as regards limits on injunctions, and
narrow copyright exceptions requiring life+ 70 years of copyright protection,
mandate excessive enforcement measures for digital information, and otherwise restrict access to knowledge.
At this point in time, we do not need a TRIPS plus trade agreement, we need a TRIPS minus agreement.
The TPP proposes to freeze into a binding trade agreement many of the worst features of the worst laws in the TPP countries, making needed reforms extremely difficult if not impossible.
The investor state dispute resolution mechanisms should not be shrouded in mystery to the general public, while the same provisions are routinely discussed with advisors to big corporations.
NAZIs need dobbers - like the janitor who dobbed on Sophie Scholl when she leafleted a university
'Sophie Scholl: The Final Days' is a dramatisation of the final days of Sophie Scholl, a member of the anti-Nazi movement The White Rose.
Sunshine Coast Daily [9/12/13]:
A Sunshine Coast mother is demanding an investigation into claims police handcuffed and manhandled her teenage daughter before locking her in a cell for the night.
Tori Hannigan says she also had her hair pulled and was pushed face-first into a paddy wagon, breaking one of her front teeth in half.
The 18-year-old had been disoriented and scared after becoming lost while walking to her Sunshine Beach unit in the early hours of Friday morning. A resident heard her crying and tried to help, before phoning police.
Tori's mother, Roberta Ryan, said that was when things took a nasty turn.
"The police turned up, she's not looking good, she's been walking around and crying, they just took one look at her and said, 'You're p****d, you're coming with us'," Ms Ryan said.
"They pushed her into the van, and holding her arms and her hair, pushed her face first, which resulted in her smacking her mouth on the floor and breaking her tooth.
"Then they locked her up in the watchhouse with no blanket, no medical and no chance to call anyone.
"She was hysterical and the more she cried, the more they laughed at her," Ms Ryan said.
She said when her daughter was allowed to leave the watchhouse at 9am Friday - 33km from home and with no transportation - a police officer tossed a plastic bag containing half her tooth at her, saying, "Here, you left this in the back of the van."
Ms Hannigan, who turned 18 only recently, said she feared for her life.
"I only had a couple of drinks, so I know I wasn't being irrational. They just threw me in the van," she said.
"I thought they were going to help me but now I'm terrified and so traumatised by everything. I just don't feel safe any more."
Police tell a different story, with a spokesman claiming officers attended Cooyar St in Sunshine Beach after receiving reports of a young woman "jumping into the path of cars".
"On arrival, in a marked police vehicle, they located the woman who appeared to be in an agitated state," the spokesman said.
"It is alleged that she began to scream and lash out while in the police vehicle."
Ms Hannigan admitted kicking inside the van but said she had been handcuffed and was terrified.
The teen has been charged with public nuisance.
Ms Ryan said she had reported the matter to the Crime and Misconduct Commission. The family has paid $1000 to have Ms Hannigan's broken tooth fixed. There is still a chance she will lose it because of the delay in treatment.
Ms Ryan said she would be demanding to see CCTV footage from the police watchhouse and hoped the Good Samaritan who called police would also make contact through the Daily.
Federal Minister approves Queensland coal and gas expansion
The Federal Government has approved plans for one of the world's largest coal ports in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
Late this afternoon, Environment Minister Greg Hunt announced he has approved the Abbot Point coal port expansion in north Queensland.
He has likewise approved Arrow Energy's Liquefied Natural Gas project on Curtis Island off Gladstone in central Queensland, and a transmission pipeline to the island. ...
Former senior government water planner and co-author of the recent report 'Draining the Lifeblood: Groundwater impacts of coal mining in the Galilee Basin', Tom Crothers, says the recent Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement released for the Carmichael coal mine, in the Galilee Basin, confirms that the mine will have unacceptable, long-term impacts on the Regions water resources. ... [Lock The Gate - 8/12/13]
Rising sea temperatures could kill off the Great Barrier Reef by the end of the century, a scientist claims in a new book.
The coral would have to move 4000km southwards over 100 years to survive scientists' worst-case scenario of a 4C degree rise in sea temperatures by 2100, Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg says.
In his book, Four Degrees of Global Warming: Australia in a hot world, the University of Queensland reef specialist says the outlook for the reef is bleak.
"In a four-degree world, the Great Barrier Reef will be great no longer. It would bear little resemblance to the reef we know today," he wrote.
"There is little evidence that marine resources like the Great Barrier Reef possess the resilience to withstand the impacts of a dramatically warming world."
Even a more conservative 2C temperature rise estimate would likely be too much for the reef to handle, he wrote.
The death of the almost 2300km-long reef would destroy its $6 billion tourism industry as well as other areas like fishing.
The book looks at how Australia will adapt to a warmer and drier climate in the next 100 years.
Warmer and more acidic seawater is a knock-on effect of increased atmospheric carbon levels.
Prof Hoegh-Guldberg wrote that sea temperatures rose by 0.5C in the 20th century but the effect is expected to speed up this century.
The result is that coral cannot move fast enough to cooler southern seas or genetically adapt fast enough to stay where they are.
"Unless we dramatically reduce carbon dioxide emissions which are acidifying our oceans and leading to their warming, we will face the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef and serious decline in our marine resources," he wrote.
WA shark policy a 'cull by another name'
Experts and conservationists have bitten back at Western Australia's tough new policies to prevent deadly shark attacks, which include the establishment of licensed offshore "kill zones".
Following the sixth fatal attack off the WA coast in two years last month, the state government announced tougher measures aimed at preventing attacks, but denied it was a cull.
Professional shark hunters will be paid to patrol WA waters, with a licence to kill any shark bigger than three metres spotted in designated zones spanning large parts of the metropolitan and south-west coastline.
And baited hooks will also be placed along the coast to catch sharks, with a larger strike team ready to scramble into action in the event of an attack.
Premier Colin Barnett said he knew the measures were controversial but refused to acknowledge he was sanctioning a cull.
Shark academic Christopher Neff, from Sydney University, disagreed.
"This is a tool that is used to kill sharks and to reduce populations - that is by definition culling," Mr Neff said.
"It is an unfortunate policy."
Two 'Marine Monitored Areas', stretching one kilometre offshore from Quinns to Warnbro in the metro area, and Forest Beach to Cape Naturaliste and Prevelly in the state's south, will be established in coming weeks.
And drum lines - drums with a baited hook fixed to the ocean floor and designed to attract sharks - will be placed one kilometre from the shore of beaches and surf breaks, and will be monitored daily.
Federal environment minister Greg Hunt was consulted about the policies before they were revealed.
But Greens senator Rachel Siewert said she would move a motion in parliament calling on the federal government to maintain protection of the great white shark.
"The WA government's announcement opens the door to sharks being caught and killed. Measures based on the capture and killing of a threatened and protected species is not a responsible step," Ms Siewert said.
Piers Verstegen, director of the Conservation Council of WA, claimed the move could actually increase shark attack risk.
"This new cull policy amounts to indiscriminate fishing, and will not only cull potentially risky sharks, but we can expect to see dolphins, turtles, seals, nurse sharks and a range of other marine life killed off our beaches."
Treasurer Troy Buswell, who loses the fisheries portfolio on Wednesday, admitted it was likely other marine animals would be caught with the baited hooks, and it was possible tagged sharks used for research could also be caught by the new policy.
But the government insisted public safety came first.
"This does not represent a culling of sharks. It is not a fear-driven hunt, it is a targeted, localised shark mitigation strategy," Mr Buswell said.
Experts from the University of WA - who are working with the government on research into sharks - have already said a cull would be a pointless reaction, and that a surge in shark-bite incidents off WA's coast are linked to the growing population, which means more people in the water.
Canada's claim to Arctic riches includes the North Pole
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said Monday that Canada will make a claim to the North Pole, but has not finished the science around its Arctic seabed claim.
Baird and Leona Aglukkaq, who chairs the Arctic Council, made public Canada's claim to the extended continental shelf in the Arctic, in a press conference in the foyer of the House of Commons.
"We have asked our officials and scientists to do additional work and necessary work to ensure that a submission for the full extent of the continental shelf in the Arctic includes Canada's claim to the North Pole," said Baird.
The geographic North Pole is 817 kilometres north of Alert, Nunavut, the world's northernmost settlement and home to a Canadian Forces station and Environment Canada station.
The ministers explained the country's scientific submission to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.
This submission includes claims to both the Atlantic and Arctic seabeds. There is no extended continental shelf Canada can claim in the Pacific Ocean.
While the science on the Atlantic is complete, the government is only presenting "preliminary information" on its Arctic claim.
The findings outline Canada's claim to the seabed and undersea bed beyond the 200-nautical-mile Exclusive Economic Zone, which would extend Canada's ownership of natural resources in the area.
"Fundamentally, we are drawing the last lines of Canada. We are defending our sovereignty," explained Aglukkaq. ...
Army sergeant on trial over alleged sexual assault
A Darwin-based Army sergeant has gone on trial for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman in Canberra.
Geoffrey William Joyce, 31, is facing six charges including rape and causing actual bodily harm.
The ACT Supreme Court heard the pair met after a night out with friends in Civic in 2012.
Joyce who was visiting from Darwin, had become separated from his friends and asked the alleged victim if she had a phone charger.
The court heard his phone battery was flat and he could not find the address for where he was staying.
The woman agreed to help, letting him into her hotel apartment, where the assault allegedly took place.
Lawyers for Joyce say he denies he had sex with the woman.
The court heard he only found out about the allegations after his friends saw security camera footage in the media.
On Tuesday, the woman broke down in court while giving evidence about the incident.
The woman says she was pushed onto the bed, and sexually assaulted.
She told the court Joyce bit her, held her by the throat and slapped her face while swearing at her to stop crying.
The case is continuing.
Murder-suicide behind Gold Coast deaths: police
The results of a post-mortem examination have revealed a Gold Coast mother was drowned in the family pool, before her husband took his own life.
The daughter of Anne and Michael Cheek arrived home on the afternoon of December 1 to find her mother dead in the pool and her father hanged inside.
There were no visible injuries on Mrs Cheek's body.
But a post-mortem examination carried out last week pointed to the high likelihood that she was murdered, Detective Superintendent Scott Knowles told Fairfax Media.
"There are indications that Anne's death was at someone else's hands," Superintendent Knowles said.
He said Mr Cheek took his own life inside the house.
Family and friends had been clinging to the hope that Mrs Cheek died of natural causes, prompting her grief-stricken husband to end his life.
Police are yet to determine a motive for the likely murder-suicide, as it is understood Mr Cheek left no note.
But the 56-year-old man had been recently made redundant and the couple had been experiencing financial difficulties, Superintendent Knowles said.
The retired couple's only daughter Victoria, aged in her 20s, was visiting her parents with her boyfriend that weekend after recently moving to western Queensland to pursue a teaching career.
It is believed the couple had lived in the two-storey house on Pacific Pines Boulevard in the tree-lined Stockland estate for more than a decade.
Anyone needing support can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Salvo Care Line on 1300 36 36 22.
Accused Cairns wife killer Klaus Andres admits he lied to conceal death of Li Ping Cao
A 70-year-old Cairns man accused of murdering his wife in far north Queensland has told the Supreme Court he is an honest man, but admitted to telling numerous lies to conceal her death.
The prosecution has continued cross-examining Klaus Andres, who has pleaded not guilty to murdering his 42-year-old wife Li Ping Cao, but guilty to disposing of her body with acid at their Cairns home in October 2011.
Today, Andres described his wife injuring his hand with a fork after she discovered he was having an affair.
He said he feared for his life when he pushed her and turned away.
"I did not murder Li Ping," Andres said, adding that he had not attacked or assaulted her in their five-year relationship.
Andres admitted under cross-examination to lying to a range of people, including his police officer son, investigating detectives, friends of his wife and his solicitor after dissolving his wife's body in a wheelie bin using hydrochloric acid.
But he maintained he had not lied to the court and was a "very honest man".
At yesterday's hearing, Andres told the court his wife's death was a "terrible accident".
He said Ms Cao was knocked unconscious after he pushed her during an argument in October 2011.
He said he lied to police because he had no way out of the situation.
Crown prosecutor Nigel Rees yesterday referred to emails between Andres and his Thai mistress, where he refers to a "problem" he was trying to fix so they could be together.
Andres conceded the "problem" was his wife.
Mr Rees suggested a month before his wife's death, Andres's solicitor had advised a divorce would be costly.
Andres said he could not remember.
When Mr Rees asked if Andres expected the jury to believe that transferring his dead wife's Centrelink payments to his account would save on account-keeping costs, he replied: "It was my thinking at the time".
Andres said he had completely lied to police.
"I had to use two lies to cover the first, and so on," he said.
When asked why he tried to claim his wife's Centrelink payments after she died, he said he had no explanation and it was completely out of character.
Earlier in the trial, the jury was shown a lengthy police interview where Andres told numerous lies to detectives, including denying he had used his dead wife's bank card to buy the hydrochloric acid.
The defence will today call a forensic pathologist who will describe ways people can die suddenly in the manner Andres says his wife died.
Man kicks girlfriend's head, then threatens kids
A man who crashed a Cooloola Coast Christmas party, armed with five knives "Wolverine style" and threatening to kill guests has been sentenced to nine months in jail.
Ipswich man Christopher Keith Fulton, 32, told party-goers next door to the place he was staying he would kill them when he thought they were laughing at him during a fight he was having with his fiance.
Yesterday, Fulton, despite discussing the prosecution's facts with his defence part-way through the hearing, pleaded guilty in Gympie Magistrates Court to going armed so as to cause fear to a 13-year-old child at the party.
The court heard Fulton allegedly kicked his girlfriend in the head twice in an argument during which he thought she had thrown her $4000 engagement ring away.
When he thought the party-goers were laughing at him over the fence, he told children there he would "fix" them up.
He then went inside the house and armed himself with five 30cm-long filleting knives.
The prosecution told the court he approached the children with the knives "similar to Wolverine style" and threatened to kill. Parents, one armed with a shovel, intervened.
Fulton, who the defence said recently stopped bipolar medication and was stressed due to the fight with his partner, then retreated to the house.
The court heard Fulton stopped taking his medication when he thought he had controlled his bipolar - an act the defence claimed was responsible for many entries of a long and violent criminal history, which included jail sentences.
Magistrate Graham Hillan said the "serious" incident would have had the "young child, being threatened with knives" in "total fear".
Fulton was sentenced to nine months in jail, with a parole release date of March 4, 2014. He will also front Gympie District Court at a later date for a breach of a suspended sentenced imposed in the Ipswich District Court in August 2012.
Terrifying axe attack over debt
An axe-wielding home invader who threatened to kill a woman inside her house over a dispute with her partner has been sent to prison.
Douglas Gordon Haaksma, 31, pleaded guilty in Ipswich District Court to burglary while armed and violence in company.
The court heard that on December 15 last year Haaksma, armed with an axe, and his partner went to the Riverview house of a man he'd had some dealings with.
Haaksma felt he had a grievance against the man and claimed he was owed money. When they got to the house they found the man was not home, however his female partner was.
She refused to let Haaksma or his partner in, causing him to yell, "Let me in or I'll axe in".
Haaksma told the woman, "I'm going to kill you; I'm going to kill you. Give me my money".
At one stage of the attack he swung the axe handle at the woman.
The court heard Haaksma, who had been drinking before the attack, was then calmed down by his partner before they fled with a television from the house.
Judge Sarah Bradley said while the dispute had since been resolved and the television returned, a victim impact statement from the woman showed the effect the attack had on her.
"This was a terrifying experience for her," she said.
"You invaded her house and seriously threatened her with an axe."
The court heard Haaksma had prior convictions for grievous bodily harm and assault occasioning bodily harm from 2006 for which he was sentenced to two years prison.
Haaksma also has a long-running substance abuse problem and had been using amphetamines since he was 11 years old.
The court heard he had been addicted to heroin for two years and "smoked as much marijuana as he could".
A psychological report tendered to the court said Haaksma suffered from anxiety and may have suffered from drug-induced psychosis in the past.
Dressed in a black Chevrolet Racing polo shirt, Haaksma sat nervously shaking in the dock yesterday as Judge Bradley read out his sentence.
His partner sitting at the rear of the court burst into tears as Judge Bradley said she would be putting him behind bars.
He was sentenced to two years prison with a parole release date in six months time. He will then be on parole for 18 months.
CQ man abused daughter for five years
A Central Queensland man accused of maintaining a sexual relationship with his daughter faces trial in the Rockhampton District Court this week.
The 52-year-old man, who cannot be identified, pleaded not guilty to 10 charges of sexual abuse yesterday.
In her opening statement, Crown prosecutor Susan Hedge told the jury the offending occurred from 2003 to 2008.
Ms Hedge said the girl didn't tell anyone about the alleged abuse until she was 12 years old.
She said the man indecently dealt with his biological daughter in their family home a number of times, including exposing her to a pornographic film and website.
Ms Hedge said the girl's mother, the man's ex-wife, was often away when the offending occurred.
The girl's younger sister also lived at the house.
It is alleged one of the offences took place on a family holiday.
Video evidence from the daughter was played for the jury in a closed court session yesterday.
The trial continues today and is expected to run for five to six days.
Fatal traffic crash: Russell Island
The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating a fatal traffic crash that occurred today on Canaipa Road at Russell Island.
About 4.50pm a 10-year-old boy was struck by a vehicle. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.
The driver was not injured.
Investigations are continuing.
Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.
Labor sells out on gambling: Wilkie says
The major parties have been accused of selling out problem gamblers after Labor agreed to help the federal government repeal the first national poker machine reform laws.
Anti-gambling campaigner and Tasmanian independent MP Andrew Wilkie described the move as a "shocking betrayal" of the Australian community.
"Both parties don't give a toss about problem gamblers and are beholden to their pokies industry political donors," Mr Wilkie said.
"The Labor party is weak and uncaring, and no better than the Liberals, when it comes to gambling reform."
Last year, the federal parliament passed watered-down measures aimed at curbing problem gambling after two years of vocal opposition from the clubs lobby.
The coalition is now seeking to repeal the legislation including ATM withdrawal limits at clubs and an ACT trial of mandatory precommitment technology.
Mandatory precommitment technology requires gamblers to nominate the amount of money they are prepared to lose on high-loss machines, which can chew through $1200 an hour.
The Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 is in the Senate after passing the lower house.
A spokesman for Labor frontbencher Claire Moore told AAP the opposition had offered qualified support for the government's bill, which also has several other miscellaneous changes to community and welfare programs.
The spokesman said Labor wanted to amend the bill to ensure that pokies venues carrying out voluntary precommitment technology trials can be connected to statewide schemes.
Problem gambling counsellor Kate Roberts told a Senate hearing on Monday that repealing the laws would put their efforts back 15 years.
Gary Hatcliffe told the hearing about struggling with his gambling addiction for 25 years.
He said it would have made a difference if ATMs not been readily available in pokies venues and he had been forced to leave clubs to take out money, thus getting out of the "zone".
Car bomb kills 11 in northern Iraq
A car bomb exploded near a cafe in northeastern Iraq on Monday, killing 11 people and wounding 23, police said, as the country grapples with its deadliest violence in at least five years.
The explosion took place in Buhriz, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, close to a cafe popular with members of the government-backed Sahwa militia.
The force of the explosion pushed Ahmed Sa'id off his chair at a nearby store, wounding him in the leg.
"I opened my eyes minutes later and dust covered the place. Many cars were burning and shrapnel was everywhere," he told Reuters by telephone. "While police were evacuating me, I saw many killed and wounded people at the scene."
No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing in Diyala province, but insurgents linked to al-Qaeda have frequently attacked Sahwa members this year.
The Sahwa, backed by US troops, helped defeat al-Qaeda at the height of Iraq's sectarian slaughter in 2006-2007.
Earlier this month a suicide bomber in another area of Diyala province, blew himself up at the funeral procession of a prominent tribal sheikh linked to the Sahwa, killing 10 people.
Kuwait acquits 70 opposition activists over storming parliament
Kuwait's lower court on Monday acquitted 70 opposition activists including nine former MPs of charges of storming the parliament building in the oil-rich Gulf state two years ago.
"All the defendants were found not guilty" of charges of storming a public building, assaulting police, resisting orders and damaging public property, in the ruling by judge Hisham Abdullah.
Hundreds of opposition activists entered the seaside building in Kuwait City on November 16, 2011 after a noisy protest to demand the removal of then-prime minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, over corruption allegations.
Sheikh Nasser resigned two weeks later and a new government was formed, after which the emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, dissolved parliament and called fresh polls.
Opposition activists rejoiced Monday's ruling immediately after it was announced, filling social networks, especially Twitter, with comments and congratulations.
Prominent opposition leader and former MP Musallam al-Barrak celebrated the acquittals at his residence, just southwest of Kuwait City, along with dozens of activists by holding up four fingers, a salute adopted by supporters of Egypt's deposed Islamist president Mohammed Mursi.
"Thank God for this ruling. We are very satisfied," said Mohammed al-Humaidi, director of the Kuwait Society for Human Rights who had defended a number of the activists.
"All Kuwaitis were waiting for this verdict which is so crucial for the future of the country," Humaidi told AFP.
He said that during the trial, which continued for around 20 months, defense lawyers had argued that the defendants had no criminal intent when they entered parliament.
"It was a protest against corruption by the state," he said. In addition, there were contradictions in the testimonies of witnesses.
Over the past two years, Kuwait has seen a large number of demonstrations against the government that some experts say are partially influenced by the Arab Spring uprisings.
Since mid-2006, the Gulf state has witnessed ongoing political disputes between the government and MPs that forced the dissolution of parliament on six occasions and saw the cabinet reshuffled a dozen times.
Egypt: Azhar descends into chaos
Egypts al-Azhar University Chairman Osama al-Abd on Monday asked security forces to intervene with more force in order to suppress a student protests that went violent in and around the historic institutions Cairo campus.
The call came following a meeting between the university chairman and the police to review measures of responding to the violence.
Cairo Police Chief Osama el-Saghir went to the university on Monday after reports surfaced that four police vehicles were set on fire.
An interior ministry statement said about 200 students belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood blocked roads outside the university, pelted stones and Molotov cocktails at citizens and police forces.
The police forces dealt with the protests with great care to avoid casualties. said the statement obtained by Al Arabiya News.
Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party said in a statement that the military-backed police forces are waging a war of extermination against the students of al-Azhar University.
The brutal and ferocious security response which led to the killing of one student and the arrest of more than 100 others will not prevent the will of the Egyptians to renew their great Jan. 25 revolution.
Amid heavy security presence in the Egyptian streets and the closure of several main protest squares, such as Tahrir, Rabaa al-Adawya and Ennhada, universities have become key battle grounds for students who oppose the military-backed authorities.
The unrest that followed the ouster of former President Mohammad Mursi on July 3 has led the death of more than 1,000 people. Over 2,000 others were reportedly detained, including top Muslim Brotherhood leaders.
Turkish journalist Turan released in Egypt
Turkish journalist Metin Turan has been released from an Egyptian prison, nearly four months after he was arrested on Aug. 17 during protests at Cairos el-Fath Mosque.
Turan thanked the Turkish government for the support it had given him since his arrest. Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Turan praised government officials for pursuing the case from the beginning until [my] release.
His lawyers said Turan was released unconditionally by the Egyptian authorities. He was freed after a court ordered his release along with 83 other defendants pending investigation into deadly August clashes in Cairos Ramses Square.
Clashes had erupted on Aug. 16 outside the square between security forces and protesters angered at the killing of hundreds of supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi. In the ensuing violence, over 50 people were killed and 270 injured, according to the Egyptian Health Ministry.
Dozens of protesters had taken refuge inside the nearby el-Fath Mosque, where they remained holed up before finally being rounded up by security forces. Defendants in the case, including Turan, who works for Turkish state broadcaster TRT, face charges of incitement to violence and resisting authorities, but Turan said he was only in Ramses Square to cover the clashes.
I went to do a news report and ended up becoming the subject of reports myself, he said.
Two Spanish journalists held by Al-Qaeda group in Syria: newspaper
Daily Star [10/12/13]:
A radical group linked to Al-Qaeda kidnapped two Spanish journalists in Syria in September, El Mundo newspaper reported on Tuesday.
El Mundo correspondent Javier Espinosa and Ricardo Garcia Vilanova, a freelance photographer, were seized on September 16 in Raqqa province, the Spanish daily said on its website.
Call for restraint after Singapore witnesses violence in more than 40 years
The Hindu [9/12/13]:
Singapore faced shocking scenes of burning cars and littered streets on Monday following a riot by South Asian workers in the worst outbreak of violence in more than 40 years in the tightly controlled city-state.
The hour-long disturbances on Sunday night, triggered when an Indian construction worker was struck and killed by a private bus in the Little India district, compelled Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to order the creation of a special committee to investigate the incident.
Police said about 400 people were involved in the riot, and that 27 South Asian workers had been arrested on charges punishable by up to seven years in prison as well as caning.
Mr. Lee said there could be no excuse for the rampage that left 39 police and civil defence staff injured, and 25 vehicles including 16 police cars damaged or torched. He reminded Singaporeans that the vast majority of foreign workers here obey our laws. We must not let this bad incident tarnish our views of workers here. Nor should we condone hateful or xenophobic comments, especially online.
Mr. Lee added that the committee of inquiry to be convened by the Interior Ministry would review the factors that led to the riot, as well as existing measures to manage areas where foreign workers congregate.
Singapore is one of the wealthiest places in the world, but the island republic of 5.4 million people depends heavily on guest workers, with labourers from South Asia dominating sectors like construction.
Widely regarded as one of the worlds safest societies, the city-state prides itself on social order and racial harmony, and many citizens expressed dismay over the mayhem.
Police said the 27 men arrested were aged between 23 and 45, and included 24 Indian nationals, two Bangladeshis and one Singapore permanent resident.
Analysts played down suggestions that the riot, which was brought under control by elite police commandos, could be an indication of wider discontent among poorly paid migrant workers.
The incident triggered online attacks on foreign workers, whose large presence has been a hot political topic in recent years. Others called for calm and warned against stoking racial hatred.
The victim was identified as Sakthivel Kumaravelu (33), who worked for a scaffolding company.
Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew, an MP for the affected district, said the cause of the riot was still unclear, but that alcohol could have been a contributory factor.
There have already been calls to curb alcohol consumption in public places in the congested Little India precinct.
Sundays violence was the first riot in Singapore since racial disturbances in 1969. Since then, the government has imposed strict controls on protests.
Ethnic Chinese make up 74 per cent of Singapores resident population of 3.8 million, with Malay Muslims accounting for 13.3 per cent, followed by ethnic Indians, Eurasians and other racial groups.
Across the chasm of war and years
That day in 1970, when an ailing infant girl was brought to the Australian medical team in Vietnam, blood technician Peter Verras took a photo.
''She was tiny,'' Verras recalls. ''She had no hair and was rather fat in the tummy as emaciated and malnourished children tend to be. And very sick with TB and scurvy.'' They named the infant ''Helen'' after Helen Banff, the nurse who found her abandoned at a rubbish tip in Bien Hoa and cared for her for 18 months.
But of all the countless thousands of children orphaned during the Vietnam war, this was one little girl who got lucky. Helen became one of five Vietnamese infants flown to Australia in 1972 by humanitarian Elaine Moir to be adopted by Australian families.
The flight was a sensation at the time, strongly opposed by the federal government but producing a media feel-good story the nation could not ignore. Little Helen was adopted by a Dutch-born nurse, Cecilia Verlinden, who later took on two other orphans, a handicapped Vietnamese girl and a Thai boy. Helen eventually changed her name to Jacqueline, married and had three children. The marriage broke up and she moved to Geelong.
In a feature article last year I spoke to Jacqueline and a fellow orphan from the same flight, Michelle Slater in Sydney, and told the story of their lives since. That is when Peter Verras emailed. He had seen the article, realised that Jacqueline, now remarried to salesman Damon McKenzie, was the infant he had photographed 42 years before and ''almost fell out of my chair''.
Says Verras, now semi-retired: ''At that time we were the only Australian medical team in Vietnam. It was not really our role to take in children like that. We did two or three, including Jacqueline, but that wasn't our primary job. We were there for surgery because there were 15 million people around there and very few doctors.''
I passed on his details to Jacqueline and, after 41 years, the pair have just been re-acquainted.
It gets better. By sheer chance, Verras and wife Celeste have just bought a house about 600 metres from the McKenzies in Geelong. And better still: Damon's father, the recent recipient of an inheritance, presented him with two air tickets to Vietnam. Mr and Mrs Verras then decided to meet them there to show Jacqueline the homeland she has not seen for four decades.
''My mum was a pensioner,'' says Jacqueline, ''so I never had the opportunity to go back to Vietnam.''
Damon, who has never been to Vietnam either, says their trip is planned for March.
''We are meeting Peter and Celeste in Ho Chi Minh city. We'll spend a few days showing Jacqueline the area at Bien Hoa she came from.''
Maralinga nuclear tests case rejected by Human Rights Commission
Australian veterans deliberately exposed to British nuclear bomb testing have had their case rejected by Australia's Human Rights Commission, which says it does not have the jurisdiction to hear their complaint.
The ruling was the last legal avenue available to the surviving 300 veterans, who argued the Menzies government violated their human rights under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by exposing them to harmful radiation from nuclear tests in the 1950s and 1960s at Maralinga, South Australia.
This decision marks the end of the road for our nuclear veterans, and I would say that the only recourse they have available to them now is a plea for an act of grace by the Australian government to take responsibility for the events involving nuclear testing on Australian soil, said Joshua Dale, a human rights law specialist from the law firm Stacks/Goudkamp, which represented the veterans.
He said the decision was a failure to recognise the rights of military veterans.
Sir Robert Menzies proclaimed Australias signature on the declaration indicated to the world that we stand for justice. He then allowed the British to conduct nuclear tests on Australian soil. The nuclear veterans have been denied justice, they have been denied rights to compensation, and ultimately they have been deprived of their dignity and recognition by the government who wronged them, he said.
The president of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs, wrote in her decision: I am of the opinion that the commission does not have jurisdiction to enquire into alleged acts or practices that occurred during the period 1952 to 1963, whether under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or under any international human rights instrument scheduled to or declared for the purposes of the Australian Human Rights Commission Act.
Veterans who were present at the nuclear testing at Maralinga have higher rates of cancer than the general population. The tests led to widespread contamination of the surrounding land.
Australian serviceman, as well as Indigenous people who lived near the test sites, have been pressing the UK and Australian governments for compensation for their injuries. The British supreme court found in 2012 that 1,000 British veterans who joined together to make a claim could not succeed because too much time had passed since the tests.
Dale has called on the government to examine veterans affairs legislation and allow the serviceman to be able to gain compensation.
What needs to happen now is that a genuine discussion be had between all members of parliament to address the inadequacies that exist in relation to veterans affairs legislation directly affecting the nuclear veterans.
These men deserve the peace of mind to know that the government that wronged them will now finally look after them.
Ranger uranium mine shut down
A uranium mine inside the world heritage listed Kakadu National Park has been shut down indefinitely by the Federal government, following a toxic spill over the weekend.
Traditional owners of the area say they've lost confidence in the company to run the mine safely.
Energy Resources Australia had been negotiating with the Mirrar traditional owners, to convert the open plan into an underground mine.
The Federal government has yet to determine whether to hold an independent inquiry into the spill. ...
Sydney: Truckies rally for safety
About 150 truckies have rallied in Sydney's CBD, accusing major retailers of putting deadly pressure on drivers to meet Christmas delivery deadlines.
Transport Workers Union boss Tony Sheldon laid a wreath for the 80 people he claims will die as a result of heavy-vehicle crashes this holiday season.
He said many major companies put the "squeeze" on truck drivers, but that supermarket giant Coles was among the worst offenders.
"We'll see 80 people lose their lives leading into Christmas, and they are deaths that could be avoided if companies like Coles were to take responsibility on the sorts of actions they take with the economic squeeze," Mr Sheldon told reporters on Tuesday.
"When you squeeze and you sweat trucks, and you sweat drivers, you kill people."
The TWU has called on Coles and other retailers to sign a charter that would hold them accountable for ensuring safety standards were adhered to through their supply chains.
"Coles are the ones at the top of the economic power-play. They're the ones with the economic power to turn around and require, in their supply chains, safe systems," Mr Sheldon said.
One truckie told AAP he had been to a funeral for each of the almost 50 years he'd been in the industry.
"It's sort of shattering when it happens because each day you go to work in the truck, you wonder if you're going to be the next one," John, who asked that his company not be identified, said.
The union claims retailers' unrealistic deadlines and tight delivery windows force drivers to choose between ignoring safety guidelines - like rest breaks or speed limits - or losing business.
John said the company he worked for was protected by virtue of its size, but that smaller players were more vulnerable.
"They can work around it slightly but they do employ a lot of sub-contractors that may not be in the same boat," he said.
"Majors do set safety standards that they have to meet, but the smaller companies would be very much at risk, because they're dictated to and if they don't get work the next day, it could mean losing the house."
A Coles spokeswoman told AAP the company was committed to working with contractors Toll and Linfox to improve safety in the industry.
A 2013 report from the federal government's Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics found that in the year to June 2012, there were 185 fatal crashes on Australian roads involving articulated or heavy rigid trucks.
For 2012, the report found, about nine per cent of all fatal crashes occurred in December and a little more than eight per cent occurred in January.
Driver injured in semi-trailer highway rollover
A semi-trailer carrying groceries has rolled on the New England Hwy at Stanthorpe.
Crews were called to the scene at 2.55pm yesterday.
A Queensland Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said the truck was leaking a large amount of fuel.
A lane of the highway was blocked while heavy haulage equipment was used to right the truck.
The driver was taken to Stanthorpe Hospital for treatment.
20,000 litres of hydrochloric acid spilt in WA's Mid West
WA Today [10/12/13]:
A chemical spill at a facility between Kalbarri and Northampton in WA's Mid West region has been contained and is under control.
Just before 9.30am on Tuesday, about 20,000 litres of hydrochloric acid spilled from a tank due to a ruptured pipe.
It has been since been contained within a concrete embankment.
It is understood there is no imminent threat to the public or environment, but that will be assessed as Department of Fire and Emergency Services officers head to the scene.
George Grey Drive between the Lucky Bay turn-off and the Port Gregory turn-off has now been reopened.
DFES warn of fumes from the spill and, as a precautionary measure, those driving along George Grey Drive should close their windows and use internal circulation for air-conditioners.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights turns 20
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. - Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Every year on December 10, the international community honours the anniversary of the day that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled. The Declaration consists of 30 articles, which have been further developed in following treaties, regional human rights instruments, national constitutions and domestic laws.
Human Rights Day 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
The High Commissioner for Human Rights is the primary United Nations human rights official and the Office has a major role in the coordination of the annual observation of Human Rights Day. Since 1993 when the United Nations General Assembly approved the mandate of the OHCHR there has been substantial progress made in the human rights sector.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says: As we continue to strive towards a world that acknowledges the rights of all human beings, the Vienna Declaration and Plan of Action, adopted at the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna in 1993, still sets the agenda for much of our work. The Declaration, which led to historic advances in the promotion and protection of human rights, is the most significant overarching human rights document produced in the past 40 years.
The theme for Human Rights Day 2013 acknowledges the 20th anniversary with 20 YEARS: WORKING FOR YOUR RIGHTS, pursuing an emphasis on the future and management of the challenges that lie ahead. ...
Three dead as asylum seeker boat founders off Java
At least three people have drowned when a fishing boat carrying 30 asylum seekers heading for Australia capsized off the West Java Province after its engine failed.
Reuters Newsagency says one of those who died was a two-year-old child.
It says the passengers were mostly Iranian and ethnic Rohingya who said they were stranded at sea for nearly three hours off Ciawi Beach before being saved by local authorities and fishermen.
One of survivors, Jamil, said that the group was making its way to Australia.
He said the group bought the boat from locals.
"They give us a boat and they give us a bad engine and the engine failed. They are not sorry for us," he said in broken Bahasa. ...
The Italian navy and coastguard have rescued more than 50 Tunisian migrants after their boat got into difficulty off the island of Pantelleria. [VIDEO - Independent - 9/12/13]
Charters Towers: An orgy of totalitarian cruelty encouraged by politicians and the media
Sadness today for the bats of Charters Towers.
Sadness for the mothers and terrified babies.
Sadness for the people of Charters Towers and the angst and division that this dispersal has caused ...
Image: Bat Conservation & Rescue Qld Inc
Bat Conservation & Rescue, Qld Inc [10/12/13]:
... We have just witnessed the most vile act of cruelty. They were shooting Mums and babies with paintball guns, hosing with fireman hoses, two helicopters flying below 100ft over urban area, mum and babies down (refused to stop), birdfrite, fireworks, smoke, horns and babies left panic stricken in trees.
When mums come to get them tomorrow, it starts all over again. This continues for two weeks.
Babies will die a slow horrible death.
This is so cruel & inhumane. The bats are going but then they are turning round & coming back. Their babies screaming in the trees.
The locals are cheering. WTAF!!
View from the north west of the 3 hectare
bushland adjacent to Bundall Equine Precinct (home to the "Magic
Millions"), where workers cleared flying fox roosts last
Queensland Conservation is completely opposed to the culling of flying-foxes as we are to the culling of horses.
Hendra virus is only spread to humans by horses. Queensland conservation groups today urged community leaders to take a calm, evidence-based approach to the latest Hendra outbreaks, and do their best to ensure the protection of people, horses and flying-foxes.
Queensland Conservation spokesperson Dr Carol Booth and Wildlife Queenslands Campaign Manager Des Boyland said it was important for community leaders to be well briefed about ways to prevent the spread of Hendra virus, and to avoid scare-mongering.
Unfortunately, some local governments are promoting an ineffective approach by calling for the culling or dispersal of flying-foxes, Mr Boyland said.
They are working against the best interests of their community.
Dispersing or culling flying-foxes is not a solution to Hendra virus and is likely to increase the risk of spread. Just as humans become more susceptible to infection when they are stressed, so flying-foxes are likely to have higher virus loads when they are stressed by harassment or destruction of their feeding and roost sites, Mr Boyland said.
Disease experts are concerned that the spread of Hendra virus from flying-foxes is driven by ecological disruption and stress on populations. Hendra virus has been in Australian flying-fox populations a long time and its very recent jump to horses and humans is linked to environmental destruction, Dr Booth said.
Therefore, for the sake of human health we should minimise disturbance to these species and their habitat. Dispersal, culling, destruction of roost sites and food trees are detrimental for both flying-foxes and humans.
Fortunately, scientists are close to developing a vaccine for horses. Horse owners can take precautions to limit the risk of spread to horses for example by covering feed troughs and keeping horses away from fruiting or flowering trees and to limit the risk to themselves.
The conservation groups urge community leaders to do the following:
Take advice from Queensland Health and Biosecurity Queensland about this disease and the measures that should be taken by horse owners and veterinarians to reduce the risk of virus spread.
Promote responsible practices amongst horse owners and handlers to limit the risk of disease spread
Protect flying-foxes and their habitat, and reassure your community that living amongst flying-foxes is safe.
Queensland Conservation and Wildlife Queensland deeply sympathise with people who have lost horses to Hendra virus and are at risk themselves.
However, it wont help people or horses to demonise [eg. Rupert Murdoch HATES bats - Ed] flying-foxes. As native mammals, and pollinators and seed dispersers, flying-foxes are important too and should be conserved, Mr Boyland concluded.
For information on Hendra Virus visit The Queensland Department of Primary Industries website
1. Bats are flying mammals. They are a highly mobile social and vital part in our complex woodland and forest ecosystem.
2. Flying-foxes pollinate and disperse the seeds of native forests and microbats control insect pests. Our forests simply will not survive in their present form without flying-foxes. They are that important.
3. Although bats are protected by law, they are under crippling pressure from habitat loss, human interference and persecution. Two of the mainland species are federally threatened.
4. We need to value, protect and co-exist with bats in our urban and rural environment.
5. Bats carry rare diseases such as Hendra virus and Australian Bat Lyssavirus. Compared to many other species they have relatively few diseases.
6. Very rarely Hendra virus is responsible for the deaths of horses and then sadly from horses to humans. It is unknown how horses get the virus. Hendra virus does not appear to be highly infectious amongst humans and does not spread easily.
7. The public should not be unduly concerned about bats but should treat them with respect as they would any other wild animal and enjoy having them in our environment. Health experts say there is no risk to being around bats as long as they are left alone and not touched.
8. An injured bat should never be picked up or touched by a member of the public. Call 0488 228 134 and a vaccinated and trained carer will be dispatched to quickly and humanely recover the animal.
9. Until scientific evidence is available about the route of transmission, horse owners need to take the necessary precautions outlined on the Biosecurity website to minimize contact between horses and bats. You can do this by keeping food and water away from overhanging trees where bats may feed or roost, by fencing off fruiting or flowering trees which maybe attracting bats.
10. Horse owners and veterinarians need to improve their biosecurity and infection control practices.
FACTS ABOUT BATS
Flying-foxes are important keystone species. They are ecologically important for their role as forest makers. As the only long distance pollinator and seed disperser, their job is critical for the future health of our Australian forests.
FACT Eucalypts and Melaleucas produce the most nectar after 12 midnight to attract flying-foxes who then transfer pollen over much greater distances than any other pollinators. Pollen receptors then shut down before dawn indicating that our forests have a heavy reliance on flying-foxes for their pollination.
Humans can never replant trees as effectively as flying-foxes. One single flying-fox over its lifetime will disperse and pollinate countless numbers of trees to help regenerate Australian forests.
FACT Flying-foxes are the major transporter of seed in our world heritage rainforests. It has been estimated that flying-foxes can disperse 60,000 seeds each night. Without them our forests diversity will decline.
Flying-foxes are economically important for the timber industry and some commercially grown food crops rely on bats for pollination. Bananas, cashews, Paw paws, Durian and others.
FACT - The diversity and economic importance of world heritage rainforests will be in jeopardy if flying-fox numbers continue to decline.
Given the choice, flying-foxes prefer the nectar and pollen of eucalypts, banksias and Melaleucas. As their foraging habitat disappears along the east coast, flying-foxes are forced to raid orchards. Climatic conditions are also having a major impact.
In 2007 the young, weak and old perished and entire generations of bats starved to death due to drought.
FACT Flying-foxes are in decline. They suffer huge mortality in heat events where temperatures climb up to and over 40 degrees Celsius. Bats are also dying in ever increasing numbers due to electrocutions, barbed-wire fences and backyard fruit tree netting.
Starvation events are becoming more regular in SE Qld where entire generations of flying-foxes are lost. Media about Hendra Virus has people leaving bats to die for fear of disease. NO ONE is defending flying-foxes. How did the message to the public get so horribly WRONG!
Flying-foxes are considered a likely host but the transmission to horses is not definitive.
The experimental Transmission studies of Hendra virus in fruit bats, horses and cats published in Dec 1998 Aust Veterinary Journal Vol 76 No 12, the conclusion states: Grey-headed fruit bats seroconvert and develop subclinical disease when inoculated with HeV. Horses can be infected by oronasal routes and can excrete HeV in urine and saliva.
It is possible to transmit HeV from cats to horses. Transmission from Pt. poliocephalus to horses could not be proven and neither could transmission from horses to cats. Under the experimental conditions of the study the virus is not highly contagious. A vaccine for cats has been available for several years. A cat was naturally infected at a Hendra event this is not publically known. The vaccine for horses has worked successfully in trials, we hope it will be available for horse owners soon.
Animal welfare is a national responsibility
The Federal Governments decision to end its involvement with the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy (AAWS) is short-sighted and a great disappointment says Australias peak veterinary organisation, the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA).
The AAWS is the only place where all the organisations involved with animals in our country can work together collaboratively, said AVA President, Dr Ben Gardiner.
The establishment of the AAWS was visionary and became a world-leading initiative.
We just cant understand how such a valuable program can be dropped unceremoniously and without warning, especially at a time when community and global interest in animal welfare issues is at an all-time high.
A fantastic initiative of the former Howard government in 2005, the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy is both cost-effective and effective.
Whether companion animals, livestock, wildlife or animals used in sport and recreation, the AAWS is the best opportunity we have to make a real difference to animal welfare.
We urge the Government not to abrogate its responsibility, to retain this vital initiative, and to provide national leadership on animal welfare, Dr Gardiner said.
More information about the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy can be found at:
Shooting incident, Wavell Heights
A 38-year-old local woman is believed to be currently undergoing surgery after being shot in the chest at Wavell Heights this morning.
Police, including uniform, plain clothes and scenes of crime officers remain at the crime scene located on Campbell Terrace.
Police are looking for a man who may be able to assist them with their investigations.
Officers were called to a Campbell Terrace unit complex around 6am this morning after a woman who had been standing on the footpath had been shot.
The woman managed to walk inside a unit before notifying emergency services with police called to Campbell Terrace around 6am.
The woman was transported to the Royal Brisbane and Womens Hospital.
Police are able to confirm that the firearm used was not an air rifle.
No further information is available at this time.
Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.
Attempted armed robbery, Kingaroy [QPS Media - 10/12/13]
Armed robbery: Forest Lake [QPS Media - 9/12/13]
In NAZI Germany people dobbed on their fellow citizens.
Arrest of Criminal Motorcycle Gang members, Sunshine Coast [QPS Media - 10/12/13]:
... The charges relate to the men allegedly associating for several hours at a hinterland hotel in early November. All men are known members of the Rebels Criminal Motorcycle Gang.
All four are due to appear in Maroochydore Magistrates court today.
Taskforce Commander Detective Superintendent Mick Niland from Taskforce Maxima was pleased with the results which were a direct result of information being provided by the community in relation to the activity of criminal motorcycle gang members.
This sends a clear message to all members of criminal motorcycle gangs that police will take action in every instance where evidence and information is received. ...
Serious traffic crash: Augustine Heights (Ipswich)
The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating a serious traffic crash that occurred at Augustine Heights today.
Its believed a 2-year-old boy ran onto the road at about 5pm and was struck by a vehicle.
He was taken to the Mater Hospital with life-threatening injuries. The 58-year-old female driver was not injured.
Investigations are continuing.
Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.
Afghanistan: Nuristan governor escape unhurt from militants ambush
Provincial governor for eastern Nuristan province of Afghanistan escaped unhurt from an ambush by militants in eastern Laghman province of Afghanistan.
The incident took place in Bolwayi area of eastern Laghman province after a number of militants opened fire on a convoy of vehicles which was carrying Nuristan governor.
A local security official speaking on the codition of anonymity said, the secretary of Nuristan governor was injured along with a number of his secuirty guards.
Nuristan governor, Mohammad Tamim Nuristani also confirmed his vehicle was ambushed by a number of militants, and his secretary Mohammad Yousuf Nuristani was injured in the incident.
He said clahes among his security guards and the militants continued for almost 20 minutes, and a number of his guards were injured during the clashes.
No group including the Taliban militants has so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.
Glenugie CSG case dismissed
In Lismore Local Court yesterday, magistrate David Heilpern dismissed charges against eight people who were arrested during protests at Glenugie in January against gas exploration company Metgasco.
The expected move follows his decision in October to stop prosecution against two other protesters charged with similar offences, calling the charges vexatious and telling police prosecutors they were wasting the courts time.
Lock the Gate Northern Rivers have called the arrests and subsequent prosecution an abuse of police process.
At that hearing, the activists legal representatives Steve Bolt and Ben Cochrane successfully argued that the prosecution had no reasonable likelihood of getting a conviction against any of the protesters because police had failed to follow correct procedures when making arrests.
Yesterdays group comprised Jarred Fordham, Bob Kershaw, Nigel McKee, John Medland, Binnah Pownall, Brad Rankin, Alan Roberts, Ruth Rosenhek, Rodney Sharp and Daniele Voinot, most of whom were charged with attempting to obstruct traffic and/or hindering police.
They are the same charges that were dismissed against Alan Roberts and Bradley Rankin in the previous case.
Magistrate Heilpern previously awarded $5,000 costs to lawyers for Mr Roberts and Mr Rankin, whose charges were changed without proper notification, and another $10,500 yesterday.
The court had agreed that proceedings against Rankin and Roberts was to be a test case, so yesterdays decision came as no surprise.
Even so, protesters are delighted to have the matters resolved, according to president of the Northern Rivers Guardians, Scott Sledge.
Residents are preparing to prevent Metgasco from continuing with plans to establish an industrial gasfield here. Metgasco recently announced their intention to drill near Bungabee Road, Bentley, only 14km from Lismore. Local residents will oppose this insanity, he said.
Daniele Voinot, one of the people who had charges dropped yesterday, said it was unfair for the police to be used for political purposes and put in a position where they have to protect wrongdoing.
The real crime is not [perpetrated by] those who stand up to protect the future for our children and grandchildren, but those who intend to wreck our area for the sake of a quick buck.
Speaking on behalf of Lock The Gate Northern Rivers, Scott Sledge said, The police were used by the NSW state government to impose a destructive industry onto a region which doesnt want it.
As a taxpayer I am opposed to police being used in this way and now the costs include more than $15,000 in legal fees in addition to all the expenses of sending the Riot Squad from Sydney and for subsequently prosecuting people who are not criminals, he said. Many people are calling this an abuse of process.
Ms Voinot, who has eleven grandchildren, said, Our legal team has done a fine job and I want to thank them all.
This AM the Esperanza reached Gladstone. ...
Image: @GreenpeaceAustP [10/12/13]
Investigations into asbestos after scare at Bechtel site
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland is currently investigating a case of asbestos found on Bechtel's Australia Pacific LNG site on Friday, while unions claim that Bechtel refused to let workers water the area for safety.
But a Bechtel spokesperson said there was no need to water down the area as all materials were bonded in cement, therefore no friable materials were released.
WHSQ representatives deemed the site safe for works to continue over the weekend, although the specific area remains restricted under state procedures.
It is not the first asbestos scare on the Curtis Island LNG projects.
Almost 100 electrical workers were exposed to white asbestos contained in prefabricated buildings brought in from overseas, in August last year.
But this time the asbestos is said to have been found in mulch from the Rockhampton tip.
With the use of asbestos banned on site on any Bechtel or ConocoPhillips projects, investigations are also underway internally.
A Bechtel spokesperson said a subcontractor on the APLNG project notified Bechtel that small pieces of "bonded cement sheeting" had been found inside a product used as part of sediment control, on the periphery of the site.
One worker, speaking anonymously to avoid repercussions, said the green recycled mulch came from the Rockhampton tip, and it was workers who were putting the mulch into bags used for water run-off who discovered the white fibro cement sheet.
"When they found out about it (the workers) were a bit unhappy because they believe they should have been told earlier and they requested the area be hosed down to eliminate any airborne particles," he said.
"Apparently Bechtel said no, it was all okay."
Bechtel Gladstone general manager Kevin Berg said Bechtel made it clear the use of asbestos on site was not allowed on Bechtel projects, "and we make that very clear in our purchasing and subcontract documents".
"We want a safe and healthy work environment for all our people and together, we work relentlessly every day to achieve that," he said.
"How the sheeting became part of the recycled material, and where it came from is something we are working to determine."
Queensland miners face Christmas job losses
About 200 workers will lose their jobs when a coal mine in southern Queensland closes at the end of the year.
US-based company Peabody Energy has announced it will shut down its Wilkie Creek mine in the Surat Basin, 30km northwest of Dalby.
The company says the mine's 200 employees and contractors have been notified.
"We have completed our strategic review of the Wilkie Creek Mine, and we have begun the process of winding down operations," Peabody Energy Australia president Charles Meintjes said in a written statement.
"We are committed to minimising the impact of the closure on our employees, their families and the local community, and we intend to work with employees regarding redeployment to other operations where possible."
Peabody describes itself as a leading coal producer and reserve holder in Australia with 11 operations in Queensland and New South Wales.
The mine's closure will have a major impact on the Dalby community.
"Our greatest resource in our region is not our resources, it's our people and to have that many lose jobs so close to Christmas is really sad," Mr Brown told AAP.
"It's going to leave a lot of people unemployed and affect families in our community."
He said Peabody and the council were working to redeploy the workers.
"We have huge challenges in terms of (population) growth and want these families to stay here. They are part of our community," he said.
"I will work with Peabody and the four major gas companies here to try and do our best to find work for them."
Mining union CFMEU spokesman Steve Smyth said Peabody had told them that rising costs and falling coal prices left it with no choice but to close the mine.
"They obviously knew this was coming and to do it around Christmas is disappointing," he said.
"It puts a lot of families on the scrap heap."
Italy: Farmers, lorry drivers, pensioners and unemployed protest state of economy
Thousands of farmers, lorry drivers, pensioners and unemployed people have taken to the streets in Italy as part of a series of protests against the government and the European Union.
Demonstrators stopped train services by walking on the tracks while striking lorry drivers disrupted traffic by driving slowly and blocking roads.
The Pitchfork Movement as it is known was originally a group of Sicilian farmers pushing for more help from the government but has grown into a wider movement.
Demonstrators are angry about a range of issues including globalisation, taxes, fuel prices and the euro.
One protester said:We must recover our dignity. That means jobs, social protection and rights. So far we just have duties
Many share the protesters anger and at one point police officers in Turin took off their helmets, in a show of solidarity.
Italys economy is in deep recession with youth unemployment at over 40 percent and many businesses going bust.
UN agencies alarmed as humanitarian situation in Central African Republic deteriorates
The United Nations says that aid agencies in the Central African Republic (CAR) remain preoccupied by the alarming deterioration of the humanitarian situation, particularly in the capital, Bangui, and in Bossangoa.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), nearly 400 people have been killed and hundreds more injured since 5 December, in armed clashes between factions.
The death toll is rising, the majority of the population have no access to health facilities because of the insecurity and the bodies are still collected daily in the affected zone, OCHA said in a news release issued yesterday.
The country has been experiencing upheaval since last December when the Séléka rebel coalition launched a series of attacks, culminating in March when President François Bozizé was forced to flee.
A transitional government, headed by Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye, has been entrusted with restoring law and order and paving the way for democratic elections. However, armed clashes in the north-east have increased since August, and the country is facing a dire humanitarian situation in which half of its population of 4.6 million are in need of immediate assistance.
The population has suffered enough, said the acting UN Humanitarian Coordinator in CAR, Rokhaya Daba Fall. She called on all parties committing acts of violence to respect the protection of civilians and to ensure their security as well as the safety of humanitarian organizations operating to alleviate the suffering of the people affected by the crisis.
Unlimited and unhindered access should be guaranteed to allow organizations to deliver assistance where needed in a neutral and impartial manner, she stressed.
OCHA said that UN agencies and humanitarian partners in CAR have intensified operations to provide shelter, drinking water, sanitation, food security and health to internally displaced people and they are reinforcing civil-military coordination and supporting reconciliation efforts.
Meanwhile, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) today voiced her concern over the unfolding events in CAR, particularly reports of serious ongoing crimes.
The deteriorating security situation over the past several days has contributed to the escalation of unlawful killings, sexual violence, recruitment of child soldiers and other grave crimes, across the country, Fatou Bensouda said in a statement.
She underscored that war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide fall under the subject matter jurisdiction of the ICC, which is based in The Hague. I hereby call upon all parties involved in the conflict, including former Séléka elements and other militia groups, such as the anti-Balaka, to stop attacking civilians and committing crimes, or risk being investigated and prosecuted by my Office. The victims of such crimes cannot be left unheard.
Ms. Bensouda welcomed the international communitys efforts to stabilise the security situation in the country and end the violence, noting in particular the arrival of the African-led and French-backed peacekeepers which the Security Council authorized last week to quell the violence.
She also welcomed the planned international commission of inquiry to investigate reports of violations of international humanitarian and human rights law and rights abuses in CAR by all parties since 1 January 2013, saying that the initiative will galvanise collective efforts to bring perpetrators of serious crimes to justice.
Eight bodies, some dismembered, found on Mexican highway
Mexican authorities found the bodies of eight kidnap victims, some dismembered, on a highway in the troubled southern state of Guerrero where government troops have been deployed to stem violence, officials said on Monday.
The victims were all related and their bodies were identified by relatives. Some of the dismembered bodies were placed in plastic bags.
The bodies included two women, said an official with the local prosecutor's office who declined to be identified. Authorities are still searching for three more people who were kidnapped with the group last Thursday.
Guerrero, home to the resort city of Acapulco, is one of Mexico's most violent states. Drug cartels are battling for lucrative trafficking routes to the United States and fighting over territory for kidnapping and extortion rackets.
Security in the state has been ramped up at various times over the past few years, including after the discovery of dozens of bodies in clandestine graves, battles between rival groups and the burning of entire villages.
But the violence has not ceased and 2012 ended with more than 2,600 killings. Many armed self-defense groups have formed.
Since former President Felipe Calderon launched a military-led crackdown on drug cartels in early 2007, more than 80,000 people have been killed.
The numbers of killings have fallen slightly since President Enrique Pena Nieto took office last December. But analysts say the violence has continued and even spread to new areas with no major changes in security strategy.
Phone-hacking trial: Brooks' QC cross-examines over payment claims
The Drum [9/12/13]:
When court resumed after lunch, the prosecution resumed its reading into evidence emails and other documents relating to stories on military issues that appeared in the Sun while defendant Rebekah Brooks was its editor.
The Crown alleges that many of these articles were the result of a conspiracy to conduct misconduct in a public office and involved corrupt payments to members of the armed forces and civil servants.
A series of emails from Brooks to a Sun journalist, who cannot be named for legal reasons, congratulating him on a number of these stories was given to the jury, along with cash payment authorisations via Western Union.
The jury of nine women and three men was then given another file of over 40 documents from a folder titled: "Brooks paying Betina Jordan-Barber." This timeline links together events such as Jordan-Barber's appointment to the Ministry of Defence Secretariat, the period she was on maternity leave and payments she received from the Sun for particular stories. It also links emails from Brooks authorising payments.
Mr Laidlaw, QC for Brooks, then rose to cross examine the police officer presenting the documents.
Laidlaw asked the witness how long he had been the case officer on this particular part of the charges, the witness replied he'd had that role since about August 2012 and agreed he had been involved in collating much of the financial and other material previously shown to the jury.
The defence QC asked the jury to look at the timeline discussed above and put it to the witness that the first article in the list linked to Jordan-Barber was September 2004 and continued over a number of years until 2011, a period through which the country was involved in armed conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Laidlaw divided the stories into categories, firstly deaths in action, secondly injuries, thirdly stories dealing with alleged misconduct and especially relating to senior personnel bullying more junior ranks.
There were also other stories relating to less serious misconduct such as sexual misconduct and loss of army property. There were also, said the barrister, stories about problems with the welfare of troops and others on subjects such as equipment shortages. The witness agreed this was a "fair summary".
The witness was then asked if the Sun journalist had other sources for his stories other than Jordan-Barber. He replied: "I don't believe he did."
The police officer was then shown a document from News International listing contributor payments. The QC asked if this appeared to show other people being paid for stories he had attributed to Jordan-Barber. The officer replied that he had not done that comparison. Laidlaw suggested that since the police had this document they should have checked. He highlighted one story about drug use in the navy, which appeared to show a payment of £250 to a second source.
The barrister then asked the witness if he had done any work on the Sun journalist's "pre-notification" of the MOD, calling them the day before a story was due to be published and telling them a summary of what was to be in the paper. Laidlaw suggested that this was his "practice" so he could make sure there was no objection to the story on the grounds that it may put troops in danger. The witness replied that this happened on occasion but could not comment if it was the Sun journalist's usual practice.
Laidlaw then asked the officer if he recalled periods during the time in question when Jordan-Barber was on maternity leave, and that she had finally left her department in September 2009. The QC put it to the witness that there were stories appearing both while she was on maternity leave and after she had left the Secretariat. The officer replied that she was still paid for the stories.
Laidlaw then asked if police had done any work on what her sources could have been while she was not in the department. The witness responded that Jordan-Barber had been interviewed but he did not think there had been any investigation into where she got her stories from other than she worked in the MoD and therefore had access to sensitive and secret material.
The barrister then asked if the police officer knew Jordan-Barber was a friend to some of the people mentioned in the stories cited, for example the wife of Major Roberts, who was killed in Afghanistan, was a friend of hers. The witness replied that there was no way of knowing which stories Jordan-Barber got from which source.
When Rebekah Brooks' name first appeared on the timeline, the witness confirmed it was October 2006 when there was an email from the Sun journalist asking Rebekah Brooks to authorise payment for three stories. Asked if one of the stories was an exclusive, the officer replied that he had "tested the exclusivity" of a number of stories using a system called "Newsbank" on 3 December this year and believed it was.
The defence QC then brought into evidence a story about four soldiers being killed in Basra, Iraq on 12 November 2006. A press release from the MoD from the same day was read to court. It announced the deaths but not the names of the fatalities as the families had "asked for 24 hours" before these were publicly revealed. A Sun article from 13 November, shown to the court, did not name the deceased.
An "exclusive" Sun story from 14 November was then displayed in court, the "exclusivity" according to Laidlaw being that one of those killed had been a woman. There was still, the jury was told, no naming of any of the soldiers killed. Apologising for what he called this "pedestrian approach", Laidlaw told the court his point was that this piece was clearly not an example of the prosecution's allegation that the Sun was "going too soon" and naming dead soldiers before their families had been fully informed. The name of the servicewoman, Sharon Elliot, only appeared in the paper, the barrister told the jury, after the official announcement was made.
Laidlaw then went through the same exercise with the timeline over another story, an article about an army recruit allegedly being injured by an instructor, again arguing that nothing in the story could not have been discovered legitimately by the Sun.
The defence barrister then moved on to 2007, where, the witness agreed, while there were a number of payments to Jordan-Barber, they authorised by the managing editor's office with no evidence of any involvement by then editor Rebekah Brooks. Until an email later on in that year when the journalist asked for her approval for a cash payment for his "best military source", the police officer confirmed that no reply to this email had been located.
However, later in the year Rebekah Brooks did reply to a request for payment for the "top military source" with the words "of course". Further emails from Brooks authorising payments with the words "fine" or "thanks" were shown to the court.
Laidlaw then went through a long list of stories asking the officer to confirm if the were "exclusives" to the Sun, either only appearing in that paper or appearing there first and later being picked up by other titles. In each case the police officer confirmed that they were.
The court then rose for the day, all the defendants continue to deny all of the charges, the trial continues.
10 December 2013
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30 October 2013 29 October 2013 27 October 2013 25 October 2013 23 October 2013 22 October 2013 20 October 2013 17 October 2013 15 October 2013 13 October 2013 11 October 2013 8 October 2013 6 October 2013 4 October 2013 3 October 2013 2 October 2013
30 September 2013 28 September 2013 26 September 2013 25 September 2013 24 September 2013 22 September 2013 20 September 2013 17 September 2013 13 September 2013 11 September 2013 10 September 2013 8 September 2013 6 September 2013 5 September 2013 3 September 2013 2 September 2013 1 September 2013
2 August 2013 4 August 2013 5 August 2013 7 August 2013 10 August 2013 13 August 2013 14 August 2013 16 August 2013 17 August 2013 18 August 2013 19 August 2013 21 August 2013 23 August 2013 25 August 2013 26 August 2013 28 August 2013 31 August 2013
2 July 2013 5 July 2013 7 July 2013 10 July 2013 12 July 2013 14 July 2013 16 July 2013 19 July 2013 21 July 2013 23 July 2013 25 July 2013 26 July 2013 28 July 2013 30 July 2013
2 June 2013 4 June 2013 5 June 2013 7 June 2013 9 June 2013 12 June 2013 16 June 2013 17 June 2013 20 June 2013 23 June 2013 26 June 2013 30 June 2013
5 May 2013 6 May 2013 12 May 2013 15 May 2013 17 May 2013 19 May 2013 22 May 2013 26 May 2013 28 May 2013 29 May 2013
7 April 2013 14 April 2013 21 April 2013 28 April 2013
6 January 2013 13 January 2013 20 January 2013 27 January 2013
2 December 2012 9 December 2012 16 December 2012 23 December 2012 30 December 2012
4 November 2012 11 November 2012 18 November 2012 25 November 2012
7 October 2012 14 October 2012 21 October 2012 28 October 2012
2 September 2012 9 September 2012 16 September 2012 23 September 2012 30 September 2012
5 August 2012 12 August 2012 19 August 2012 26 August 2012
1 July 2012 8 July 2012 15 July 2012 22 July 2012 29 July 2012
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June 2012 24 June
6 May 2012 13 May 2012 20 May 2012 27 May 2012
1 April 2012
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April 2012 22
April 2012 29
4 March 2012 11 March 2012 18 March 2012 25 March 2012
5 February 2012 12 February 2012 19 February 2012 26 February 2012
1 January 2012 8 January 2012 15 January 2012 22 January 2012 29 January 2012
4 December 2011 11 December 2011 18 December 2011 25 December 2011
6 November 2011 13 November 2011 20 November 2011 27 November 2011
2 October 2011 9 October 2011 16 October 2011 23 October 2011 30 October 2011
4 September 2011 11 September 2011 18 September 2011 25 September 2011
7 August 2011 14 August 2011 21 August 2011 28 August 2011
3 July 2011 10 July 2011 17 July 2011 24 July 2011 31 July 2011
5 June 2011 12 June 2011 19 June 2011 26 June 2011
29 May 2011 21 May 2011 14 May 2011 7 May 2011
January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011
January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010
January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009
June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008
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December 2006 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 January 2006 2005
JUDICIAL CRITICISM OF THE MURDOCH MACHINE
BOB BROWN, THE FIRST GULF WAR AND UNITED NATIONS INTERVENTION
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