Author: peterimrich

After 30 Years Studying Climate, Scientist Declares: “I’ve Never Been as Worried as I Am Today”

Environmental protesters take part in a Greenpeace-organized march to call for the political and economic reforms needed to combat climate change while the COP24 summit takes place in Katowice, Poland. (Photo: Martyn Aim/Getty Images)

And colleague says “global warming” no longer strong enough term. “Global heating is technically more correct because we are talking about changes in the energy balance of the planet.”

via After 30 Years Studying Climate, Scientist Declares: “I’ve Never Been as Worried as I Am Today”

‘You welcome them with hatred’: Malala’s disappointment at Australia

When asylum seekers looked to an affluent Australia for hope, it was disappointing to see some were treated with “hatred” and weren’t even allowed to set foot on its shores, said activist Malala Yousafzai.

Yet when the Taliban came for Ms Yousafzai’s family in Pakistan, her family was given sanctuary by friends, family, strangers, true to the country’s culture of welcoming those in need.

“Australia is a welcoming and warm country. And when you look at the immigration policies, they do not actually represent the people of Australia,” she said.

“[Refugees] want safety, they want homes, they want somebody to give them protection, and then suddenly you welcome them with hatred,” she said.

“You do not even allow them to land or step their feet on Australia,” she said referring to the offshore processing of asylum seekers. “So I think it is disappointing and I hope that the people of Australia do stand up for refugees and show their true human-side.”

via ‘You welcome them with hatred’: Malala’s disappointment at Australia

Trump says Cohen pleaded guilty ‘to embarrass the President’

Trump claimed that Cohen bore responsibility for any violations of criminal law but also asserted that Cohen “probably was not guilty” of even civil violations related to the payments to former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal and adult-film star Stormy Daniels – a view at odds with that of many lawyers who specialise in campaign finance law.

“Those charges were just agreed to by him in order to embarrass the president and get a much reduced prison sentence, which he did,” Trump alleged.
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via Trump says Cohen pleaded guilty ‘to embarrass the President’

How the ‘Five Eyes’ cooked up the campaign to kill Huawei

A new Great Game was afoot and the West had been slow to act. But it is acting now.

Operation hang up on Huawei: how it happened

February 24 – Malcolm Turnbull lobbied by US spy agencies to ban Huawei and ZTE from Australian 5G network
August 19 – Turnbull rings US President Donald Trump and tells him of the Huawei, ZTE ban
August 23 – Australia announces Huawei, ZTE ban
August 24 – Turnbull dumped as Prime Minister
October 29 – Mike Burgess explains decision to ban “high risk vendors” from 5G, cites risks to critical infrastructure
November 21 – White House slams China for increasingly frequent cyber attacks
November 27 – New Zealand bans Huawei citing “significant network security risk”
December 1 – Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou arrested in Vancouver
December 7 – British Telecom says it will strip Huawei equipment out of its 3G and 4G networks and will not use in 5G

via How the ‘Five Eyes’ cooked up the campaign to kill Huawei

Banks urged not to fund coal power as government moves to underwrite projects | Australia news | The Guardian

Liddell power station in the NSW Hunter Valley

Government Guaranteeing the investment viability of coal in their “free market” economy” (ODT)

Activist groups warn providing finance for coal-fired power stations is inconsistent with banks’ commitments to Paris agreement

via Banks urged not to fund coal power as government moves to underwrite projects | Australia news | The Guardian

Scott Morrison Becomes Longest Serving Prime Minister Since Malcolm Turnbull – The Shovel

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has now been in the top job for longer than anyone since Malcolm Turnbull left the role in August. It makes Morrison the second longest serving Prime Minister of all time this year.

Source: Scott Morrison Becomes Longest Serving Prime Minister Since Malcolm Turnbull – The Shovel

Nice try guys but I don’t think anyone’s buying it – » The Australian Independent Media Network

When pressed to give examples of religious discrimination today, Scott floundered until Christian helpfully stepped in recounting how a person who had expressed opposition to marriage equality on Facebook got sacked and had to sue for unfair dismissal. Which was kind of ironic as he was announcing the government’s support for religious schools to sack teachers if they express support for marriage equality.

Scott then remembered that someone had been blocked from entering a meeting somewhere because of their religion…then remembered they want to enshrine the right of religious groups to stop people from entering their premises so kind of mumbled something about exemptions.

via Nice try guys but I don’t think anyone’s buying it – » The Australian Independent Media Network

One-third of large Australian companies paid no tax, ATO data show – Politics – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Australian Taxation Office

About one-third of large companies have failed to pay tax, even though they made a gross profit, but the Tax Office says most have good reasons, according to the latest corporate tax transparency report released today.

Of the 2,109 entities monitored by the ATO in data covering 2016-17, 66 per cent paid tax although the remainder did not as they claimed tax losses and concessions that can go back several years.

via One-third of large Australian companies paid no tax, ATO data show – Politics – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Trump’s former fixer Cohen sentenced to prison for ‘smorgasbord of fraud’

Trump's former lawyer sentenced to three years

US President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen has been sentenced to three years in prison for a string of offences, including campaign law violations he said he committed at Trump’s direction.

via Trump’s former fixer Cohen sentenced to prison for ‘smorgasbord of fraud’

Four journalists, one newspaper: Time Magazine’s Person of the Year recognises the global assault on journalism

The questions are huge. How do we balance the democratic need for transparency and accountability, with the demands of national security? How do we pay for journalism that is costly and necessary but not always commercially viable? How do we restore trust in an institution that underpins the way our society and our government works?

If we do nothing, we can expect to see a lot more cases like Jamal Khashoggi, Maria Ressa, The Capital Gazette or Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. I suspect that is a world few of us would relish.

via Four journalists, one newspaper: Time Magazine’s Person of the Year recognises the global assault on journalism

Brexit: Theresa May, British Prime Minister, survives no-confidence vote – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Big Loss for the Party Conservatives and Abbott’s mate Boris (ODT)

British Prime Minister Theresa May has survived the political battle of her life, successfully winning a vote of no confidence triggered by Conservative politicians.

via Brexit: Theresa May, British Prime Minister, survives no-confidence vote – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Where have all the Creatures Gone? Long Time Passing… (Hint: We’ve Killed Them Off)

The large-scale massacre and near extinction of the American bison (or buffalo) in the nineteenth century, to offer a more modern example, paved the way for white settler colonial expansion into the American West, while destroying Native American food security and a way of life. As a U.S. Army colonel put it then, “Kill every buffalo you can! Every buffalo dead is an Indian gone.”

Today, such examples have not only multiplied drastically but are increasingly woven into human life and life on this planet in ways we still hardly notice. These, in turn, are being exacerbated by climate change, the human-induced warming of the world. To mitigate the crisis, to save life itself, would require not merely the replacement of carbon-dirty fossil fuels with renewable forms of energy, but a genuine reevaluation of modern life and its institutions. In other words, to save the starfish, the piñon, the birds, and the insects, and us in the process, has become the most challenging and significant ethical obligation of our increasingly precarious time.

via Where have all the Creatures Gone? Long Time Passing… (Hint: We’ve Killed Them Off)

Why should our politicians be the only people who are unaccountable? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

As I read the principles and recommendations from the ASX, the thing that struck me most forcibly is that there are no similar expectations or accountability for government and parliamentarians.

Why not?

via Why should our politicians be the only people who are unaccountable? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

ABC and SBS are not distorting media market, government inquiry finds

The government’s inquiry into whether the ABC and SBS are competing fairly with the private sector’s media operators has given a tick to the public broadcasters.

The report concluded: “Given their market shares, and other factors, this inquiry considers the National Broadcasters are not causing significant competitive distortions beyond the public interest”. But it did see the need for greater transparency from them.

The review arose from a 2017 deal between the government and Pauline Hanson to get One Nation support for media law changes which liberalised ownership rules. It has been chaired by Robert Kerr, formerly from the Productivity Commission. The report was released by Communications Minister Mitch Fifield on Wednesday.

The outcome will be disappointing to News Corp in particular which has been highly critical of the ABC’s expansion in online publishing. The former Fairfax organisation, now taken over by Nine, also complained about the competition eating into the market of commercial media groups.

via ABC and SBS are not distorting media market, government inquiry finds

Then They Came – Senselessly and Truly Friggin’ Unbelievably – For the Vietnamese

What fresh hell is this. In yet another mindlessly cruel, deeply racist, utterly pointless move aimed at – what?! distracting the masses from the dumpster fire engulfing him? flexing his psychotic muscle by trying to find more people of color he can traumatize? – the Trump administration (sic) wants to deport certain Vietnamese immigrants who may or may not have committed any crimes but they’re not quite white so really does it matter? According to The Atlantic, Trump et al – many suspect Nazi ghoul Stephen Miller – have unilaterally reinterpreted a 2008 agreement between Vietnam and the Bush-era U.S. that barred the deportation of any Vietnamese arriving here before 1995, when both sides reestablished diplomatic relations. Having once considered reversing the agreement, already deported a few people and then backing off, Trump now argues those Vietnamese are subject to immigration laws and eligible for deportation because what other havoc can he wreak?

via Then They Came – Senselessly and Truly Friggin’ Unbelievably – For the Vietnamese

US Evangelicals have Sent $65 mn. to Support Israeli Squatters in Palestinian West Bank

Evangelical Christian groups have invested up to $65 million in projects in the “Biblical Heartland” over the past decade, however, that doesn’t include services they provide free of charge, such as volunteer laborers, according to a Haaretz investigation.

Haaretz news outlet reported that about 1,700 volunteers were sent by Christian Evangelical groups to the illegal Israeli settlement of Har Brakha, south of the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus.

via US Evangelicals have Sent $65 mn. to Support Israeli Squatters in Palestinian West Bank

Why do we Revere Malala but Not Ahed Tamimi?

After Israeli forces shot her 15-year-old cousin in the head with a rubber bullet last December, Ahed Tamimi, a Palestinian girl from Nabi Saleh in the West Bank, stood up to the occupying Israeli forces and was arrested and charged for slapping a soldier. The story of the activist went viral.

But what Ahed was fighting for was largely buried beneath sensationalized media representations of her.

via Why do we Revere Malala but Not Ahed Tamimi?

Sent to prison for trespassing on his own land | +972 Magazine

Sheikh Sayeh Abu Madi’am in the unrecognized Bedouin village of Al-Araqib in al-Naqab, which Israeli authorities have demolished 136 times. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israeli authorities have demolished Al-Araqib over 100 times. Before heading to prison for rebuilding and staying on his land, the village’s leader says he knows justice is on his side.
Sheikh Sayeh Abu Madi’am in the unrecognized Bedouin village of Al-Araqib in al-Naqab, which Israeli authorities have demolished 136 times. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Sheikh Sayeh Abu Madi’am in the unrecognized Bedouin village of Al-Araqib, which Israeli authorities have demolished 136 times. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

“I have a good feeling I’ll be in prison alongside Netanyahu,” Sheikh Sayeh Abu Madi’am jokes, sitting in a tent in the unrecognized Bedouin village of Al-Araqib, which Israeli authorities have demolished well over 100 times — 136 times, to be exact.

via Sent to prison for trespassing on his own land | +972 Magazine

Trump’s climate adviser sparked protests, but he found a receptive audience in Australia

Problem Trump is finding less sympathy in the US among the States. Why is Australia the 52nd State of America? (ODT)

Trump administration officials at high-stakes climate talks offered an unapologetic defence of fossil fuels on Monday, arguing that a rapid retreat from coal, oil and gas was unrealistic.

While that stance brought scorn from environmentalists and countries that favour stronger action to fight global warming, there are signs that the administration is finding a receptive audience among other major fossil-fuel producers, including Russia, Saudi Arabia and Australia.

via Trump’s climate adviser sparked protests, but he found a receptive audience in Australia

Trump Tweets There’s No ‘Smocking’ Gun’ To Attack Democrats | Crooks and Liars

Trump Tweets There's No 'Smocking' Gun' To Attack Democrats

And his incessant need to watch Fox and Friends and regurgitate their propaganda is not fitting behavior for any U.S. “President.”

Click here to see what Trump’s Twitter malapropisms look like as offical WH statements.

As much time as he plays golf and watches Fox News, Trump could be reading his daily briefings and learning more about the responsibilities he has, instead of acting like an angry, uncivilized and uneducated white supremacist.

 Trump Tweets There’s No ‘Smocking’ Gun’ To Attack Democrats | Crooks and Liars

and

Fox News reporter floats former Fox executive Bill Shine as Trump’s next chief of staff

 

Donald Trump wades into ‘yellow vest’ debate, triggering a French rebuke – Donald Trump’s America – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

A composite image showing head and shoulders shots of Donald Trump on the left and Emmanuel Macron on the right.

Key points:

President Trump says “yellow vest” protests were prompted by environmental legislation
Said protesters were chanting “we want trump” but footage was from London
French Foreign Minister reminded Mr Trump that the French government does not comment on US politics

via Donald Trump wades into ‘yellow vest’ debate, triggering a French rebuke – Donald Trump’s America – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

May calls off Brexit vote amid fears it could topple her government

Theresa May has pulled the pin on Tuesday’s crucial Brexit vote, as it became clear she faced a big rebellion in Parliament against the Brexit withdrawal deal she made with the European Union.

The House of Commons was promised a “meaningful vote” on May’s final European Union divorce proposal. However that may not happen until next week, or even next year – and in the meantime May faces a fight for her political survival.

via May calls off Brexit vote amid fears it could topple her government

Why isn’t anyone Asking *Why* the French Yellow Vest Protesters are Rallying?

“ Even the moralistic criticisms that accuse the gilets jaunes of materialism and selfishness can be called into question. Was not the increase in the price of bread the main factor pushing the women of Paris to mount their furious march on Versailles in October 1789? The history of social struggles is peppered with movements arising from an exasperation that owed to the material conditions of the popular classes, movements that can give rise to greater awareness, bring out wider demands, and which can converge with other struggles. Or not.”

The or not here is well taken. Predicting social revolutions is a fool’s game. Whether this nascent leaderless movement becomes part of a force for social and economic revolution depends in part on the contributions of French unions and in turn the support Yellow Vests might give to a host of current union efforts to quash neoliberal austerity and privatization initiative.

via Why isn’t anyone Asking *Why* the French Yellow Vest Protesters are Rallying?

Oh the irony – » The Australian Independent Media Network

So what would our ‘older gentleman’ have us do with his ‘very lovely ladies’ — send them back? If we are going to send immigrants back to where they came from, do we only send the 26% of the population who are first generation Australians away, in which case the UK immigrant is out too? Do we deport the 49% of first- and second-generation Australians which might be a problem if for example Mum comes from Ukraine and Dad comes from Russia? Do we send all immigrants away in which case Australia reverts to being a terra nullus of 60,000 or thereabouts years ago; or do we just agree that the ‘gentleman’ is a bigot rather than a gentleman and welcome the ladies from the Islamic community group while telling the bigot his rant is not welcome?

via Oh the irony – » The Australian Independent Media Network

VCE results, HSC results: A low ATAR doesn’t stop success

We focus on ATAR the media pays far more attention to these few examples rather than proving that they are not exceptions there’s a world of success out of schooling but not enough attention to why and not enough role models to guarantee more. (ODT) Why are Australian schools failing their students? Why are there so few mentor programs and so many expanding privatised businesses selling unprovided enthusiasm for learning? Message: a who you know society is not a Meritocracy.  (ODT)

VCE results, HSC results: A low ATAR doesn’t stop success

What’s Really Behind France’s Yellow Vest Protest? | The Nation

Yellow Vest Peaceful Protest

It’s not just about the fuel tax; it’s about anger at ever-increasing burdens on the working class.

Overseeing his very first budget as president, Macron rushed to repeal France’s wealth tax, which had applied only to those with over €1.3 million in assets. This is why the notion of justice fiscale, or “tax justice,” figures so prominently among Yellow Vest sympathizers: Why should ordinary people, they ask, be forced to fork over another couple hundred euros each month while the super-rich are rewarded simply for being super-rich?

via What’s Really Behind France’s Yellow Vest Protest? | The Nation

Largest ever group of global investors call for more action to meet Paris targets | Environment | The Guardian

Coal smokestack

The 414 global investors – which represent US$31 trillion of assets-under-management – say they are deeply concerned about the “ambition gap” that exists between governments’ commitments and what is needed to limit the global temperature increase to well below 2C above pre-industrial levels.

They say that gap is increasing the physical risks from climate change and hampering investors’ ability to properly allocate trillions of dollars needed to support the much-needed transition to a low carbon economy.

They have signed a “Global Investor Statement” to be handed to world leaders this week at the COP24 – the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Poland.

via Largest ever group of global investors call for more action to meet Paris targets | Environment | The Guardian

A Prominent White Supremacist Is An EMT In Virginia. Now The State Is Investigating Him. | HuffPost

Andrew Bolt did an IPA podcast with his son James last year and mocked Sudanese  girls in Australia for having a beauty contest as if this is normal practice for Sky News commentators and  he then claims he’s a victim of black racism.(ODT)

Alex McNabb, a white supremacist podcaster who works as an emergency medical technician in southern Virginia, is under investigation by the state’s Department of Health, a spokesperson for the department confirmed to HuffPost.

McNabb, 35, is a frequent co-host of “The Daily Shoah,” a popular neo-Nazi podcast. On the show he regularly tells stories about being an EMT, often referring to patients by racist slurs and comparing black patients to animals.

via A Prominent White Supremacist Is An EMT In Virginia. Now The State Is Investigating Him. | HuffPost

Protecting Craig Kelly | The Monthly

According to at least one member of the NSW Liberal executive, Sally Betts, the member for Hughes, Craig Kelly, is a bully, a thug and a disgrace.

A “real” Liberal, as his ally and mentor Tony Abbott enthuses – perhaps one of the kind that the minister for women (among other things), Kelly O’Dwyer, was talking about when she said the public regarded her party as homophobic, anti-women, climate-change deniers.

But, says our desperate prime minister, he is our own bumptious buffoon, and therefore to be protected at all costs, even if that means destroying democracy in the process. Thus, the entire state preselection process is to be junked so that Kelly can be preserved for another crack at the electorate whose own preselecters were determined to get rid of him.

via Protecting Craig Kelly | The Monthly

US official opposes ditching support for Saudi-led coalition in Yemen – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

A soldier stands on the back of a ute.

The United States strongly opposes discontinuing support to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s war and will remain engaged in efforts to combat Iranian influence and Islamist militancy in the Arab state, a State Department official said.
Key points:

The US last month halted refuelling of aircraft from the coalition, blamed for air strikes that have killed thousands of civilians in Yemen
Peace talks are underway to address what is largely seen in the region as a proxy war between Riyadh and Tehran
The country is near one of the most important trade routes in the world for oil tankers

via US official opposes ditching support for Saudi-led coalition in Yemen – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The Big Breather – why Australia’s economy now ranks outside the Top 20 – Michael West

The Big Breather – why Australia’s economy now ranks outside the Top 20

Where is Wayne Swan? (ODT)

Armed with the latest national accounts, Alan Austin reports the flip side of the coin, how Australia has fallen behind.

Australia’s economy was widely regarded as the world’s best-performed through the global financial crisis (GFC). It is now outside the world’s top twenty.

The Coalition has set new “worst-ever” records for underemployment, debt, retail sales, wages and infrastructure construction.

Wednesday’s national accounts for the 2018 third quarter from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) enable us to compare precisely where Australia’s economy ranked in the world five years ago with where it ranks now.

via The Big Breather – why Australia’s economy now ranks outside the Top 20 – Michael West

China threatens Canada with ‘serious consequences’ over arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

A woman wearing a blue top and a string of pearls smiles into the camera

The USA supports journalists murder in Turkey but not an arms length trade with Iran (ODT

Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s global chief financial officer, was arrested in Canada on December 1 and faces extradition to the United States, which alleges that she covered up her company’s links to a firm that tried to sell equipment to Iran despite sanctions.

via China threatens Canada with ‘serious consequences’ over arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)