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Monday, 13 November

21:46

Trans-Pacific Follies: Australia Asleep as Canada Wakes Up "IndyWatch Feed National"

It was as dreary as listening to the formulaic assessments of political economy by an unreconstructed Leninist.  But Sunday morning with Steve Ciobo, Australias trade minister, was such an occasion.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, withering away on the branch of false optimism, has been an instrument of deserved suspicion and opprobrium from popular movements across countries suspicious about the paternalistic follies of their governments.  It was precisely opposition to such a proposed agreement, negotiated in total secrecy away from the prying eyes of public interest groups, that fuelled the campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump during the 2016 US presidential elections.

Even Hillary Clinton, whose husband was a vital figure behind initiating the North American Free Trade Agreement during the 1990s, began to chew some of the anti-free trade cud close to her ignominious defeat.

No free trade faith quite matches the monomania of Australian governments.  Since the 1980s, liberalising and opening the economy has been an unshakeable trajectory, a punishing, stripping dogma that insists that being economically open is liberally good, and closed, parochially bad.

While other states have wised up to the idea that total openness is a recipe for local instability, estrangement, and disaster, the Australian response has been unshakeable: keep borders open and corporations content, except when it comes to refugees who arrive by boat.  As Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull has insisted with staid predictability, the TPP creates rules of the road to match the new economic world in which were living.

For all this, Australias own industries have been supplanted.  Energy and banking oligopolies have been given free rein to operate.  Property prices in Sydney and Melbourne are reaching stratospheric heights, and the current government is promising to partly subsidise what will become one of the worlds largest, and environmentally destructive, of white elephants: the Carmichael coal mine in Queensland.

Most telling of all is that the free traders have no interest in considering data of such irrefutable weight it should put an end to that unfortunately lingering religion.  The US-Australian Free Trade agreement remains a matter of considerable loss to Australia, limiting rather than extending markets and access to Australian producers, and showing the countrys diplomatic crew as inept, ill-informed and, in the final analysis, sycophantic.

None of these points concern the bemused Ciobo. Ideology has already set the tone in this field. When the United States announced, through President Donald J. Trump, that it would have no truck with the TPP, the Australian delegation was left baffled but unmoved.  The remaining states would keep the ship steady.

Now t...

18:29

Are Conservation Organisations Complicit in Ethnic Discrimination? "IndyWatch Feed National"

Answering this question with an example of blatantly racist and coercive imagery endorsed and propagated by two large players in the conservation world, both internationally and in India.

The main entrance to Manas national park. Credit: Sougata Sinha Roy/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 3.0

The main entrance to Manas national park. Credit: Sougata Sinha Roy/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 3.0

Trishant Simlai, doctoral candidate in geography at the University of Cambridge, is interested in the links between armed conflict, militarisation and conservation in India. Raza Kazmi, a Jharkhand-based conservationist, is interested in conservation militarisation, intersection of forest rights and conservation needs, and conservation in Indias conflict-ridden Red Corridor landscape.

Global wildlife conservation efforts have advocated the exclusion of local people from parks and areas considered to be of great value to biodiversity, often supporting coercive means to achieve this goal. Among the coercive measures often suggested, some dont shy away from even recommending violence towards offenders.

Governments, conservation agencies and aid donors have further legitimised this exclusion by frequently invoking the narrative of an expanding human population destroying pristine landscapes, often ignoring the role of over-consumption by urban actors or of states and corporate interests extracting resources. Such coercive conservation measures often base the...

16:56

Is nuclear a solution to climate change? Antinuclear

PRESS-CONFERENCE OF THE COALITION DONT NUKE THE CLIMATE: IS NUCLEAR A SOLUTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE? http://www.dont-nuke-the-climate.org/2017/11/10/press-conference-of-the-coalition-dont-nuke-the-climate-is-nuclear-a-solution-to-climate-change/  Theatre/BULA zone 3 Press Conference Room 2

Press-conference of the coalition Dont nuke the climate:
Is nuclear a solution to climate change?

Speaking: Speaking:Kerstin Rudek, BI Luchow-Dannenberg and Dont Nuke The Climate campaign, Germany
Markus Atkinson, Anti-Nuclear Alliance of Western Australia
Vladimir Slivyak, Ecodefense, Russia

Nuclear industry and its supporters became very active inside the UN talks promoting outdated, expensive and dangerous nuclear energy as a climate friendly technology. Russia, USA and several other countries are organizing pro-nuclear side-events at COP-23 and trying to get developing world to believe in nuclear solution. The reality is that nuclear is not carbon free and far too expensive to be any kind of solution. Nuclear waste is another hot problem that doesnt have a solution. Activists from various countries talk on why nuclear is part of problem and not part of solution. Also announcing the demonstration against false solutions for climate change on November 11 in Bonn.

16:48

South Australian government: local Aboriginal community has final veto on nuclear waste suppositary Antinuclear

Tim Bickmore shared ENuFF South Australiapost. No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia, 13 Nov 17 

Oct 24 letter from SA Premier J to the PM regarding proposed radioactive waste suppository in the Flinders Ranges.
.. the South Australian government committed to provide a local Aboriginal community with a final veto right over any future facility proposed on their lands.
I recommend the Commonwealth Government now consider adopting a similar policy position . https://www.facebook.com/groups/1314655315214929/


16:45

Nukes on the Dole Radioactive Welfare Queens Antinuclear

you cant advocate for nuclear reactors without indirectly advocating for nuclear weapons and radioactive waste.  Thats because nuclear reactors are producers of both weapons material and radioactive waste. Ike was a nuclear conman. Atoms for Peace have always been Atoms for War.

The Real Nuclear Triad: Energy, Weapons and Waste   NOVEMBER 7, 2017 ..Nukes on the Dole Radioactive Welfare Queens

. some strange recent developments.

Nuclear utilities are in trouble, fighting for life against as Amory Lovins once predicted a massive overdose of market forces and the surging economics of renewables.

But wait. Whatever happened to the wisdom of the free market?  Around the country, as aging reactors reach the end of their operational and economic lives, some states like Wisconsin, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Nebraska are letting them die a dignified natural death. But other states, like New York and Illinois are putting their moribund reactors on life support at public expense.  Projections suggest that state-sponsored electric ratepayer handouts in the two states could total as much as $10 billion over 12 years.

Tim Judson, Director of Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), warns that if other states follow New York and Illinois, ...

16:32

Australia sells weapons to countries like Saudi Arabia, that perpetrate human rights abuses Antinuclear

Its a nearly impossible task to discover exactly what Australia is selling and to whom because the federal government refuses to say, but nuggets of information make it clear that Canberra is aggressively selling weapons and defence equipment to countries involved in conflicts where human rights abuses are being perpetrated.

In his seminal 2011 book on the global arms trade The Shadow World, journalist Andrew Feinstein exposes the fallacies of a nations expanding defence sector. The arms industrys economic contribution is undermined by the frequency with which its main players around the world, Lockheed Martin, BAE, Boeing, Northrop Grumman are implicated in grand corruption, inefficiency and wastage of public resources, he wrote.

Feinstein concludes that the arms trade often makes us poorer, not richer, less not more safe, and governed not in our own interests but for the benefit of a small, self-serving elite, seemingly above the law, protected by the secrecy of national security and accountable to no one. 

Murky business: Australias defence industry is growing, but at what cost?  SMH, Antony Loewenstein , 4 Nov 17 

This years Avalon Air Show in Geelong was the...

16:12

Senator Bernardis Nuclear Fuel Cycle (Facilitation) Bill joins Tony Abbott in pro-nuke fervour Antinuclear

  Bernardi seeks to lift ban on nukes, THE AUSTRALIAN,  MICHAEL OWEN, SA Bureau Chief, Adelaide, 12 Nov 17 

Senatorr Cory Bernardi will introduce a bill in parliament today that seeks to lift a ban on nuclear power plants and enrichment and processing facilities.

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has asked Malcolm Turnbull to give Aborigines the final right of veto over any site chosen by the federal government for the planned national radioactive waste dump.

Senator Bernardi, who plans to run candidates under his Australian Conservatives banner at the South Australian election in March, said he would introduce a bill today to remove bans on an Australian nuclear fuel cycle, particularly as they apply to nuclear power plants...

16:04

Europes radiation cloud is dangerous for those who are near the unknown source. Antinuclear

Radiation Cloud Over Europe, Not Harmless to Those near Unknown Source, Nuclear Expert Says https://www.environews.tv/world-news/radiation-cloud-europe-not-harmless-near-unknown-source-nuclear-expert-says/, bureau EnviroNews World News ,by Emerson Urry , November 11, 2017    An airborne plume of radioactive ruthenium 106 from a nuclear accident was detected in the atmosphere of the majority of European countries, from late September through mid-October, according to Frances Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety Institute (IRSN) but the source is still unknown. As of November 10, 2017, the manmade element has been identified in at least 28 countries.

While many news agencies are calling the cloud harmless and reporting the good news that radiation levels are low and that no health consequences have been observed radiation exper...

16:03

The slow, painful, and hugely costly death of the nuclear industry Antinuclear

15:59

How the peacefulAmerican nuclear industry subsidises the nuclear weapons industry Antinuclear

The Real Nuclear Triad: Energy, Weapons and Waste   NOVEMBER 7, 2017   .Chasing Nuclear Market ShareIn a recent piece in Foreign Affairs, entitled Will the West Let Russia Dominate the Nuclear Market? What the Westinghouse Bankruptcy Means for the Future, born-again new environmentalists and new nukes enthusiasts Nick Gallucci and Michael Shellenberger argue that US taxpayers should bail out the once-powerful, now bankrupt and Japanese-owned nuclear giant Westinghouse, or risk losing both global commercial and military nuclear primacy.

In the face of documented world-wide nuclear industry collapse, these guys want to revive what they call Eisenhowers humanitarian dream of Atoms for Peace (which spread deadly US nuclear technology around the world in the first place ) in order to, as Ike promised,...

15:54

Malcolm Turnbull urges Hong Kong to put pressure on North Korea Antinuclear

Malcolm Turnbull calls North Korea criminals, urges Hong Kong to help, SMH, Lindsay Murdoch, 12 Nov 17,  Hong Kong: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has accused North Korea of being one of the worlds most cunning, sophisticated criminals,  involved in many serious crimes, including drug trafficking, in his strongest condemnation yet of the dictator Kim Jong-un.

And Mr Turnbull told US president Donald Trump and Chinas president Xi Jinping during a leaders retreat in Vietnam that their relationship is one of the single most priorities for the world today, urging them work together to pressure North Korea over is nuclear weapons programhttp://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/malcolm-turnbull-calls-north-korea-criminals-urges-hong-kong-to-help-20171112-gzjp85.html


15:45

13 November REneweconomy news Antinuclear

RenewEconomy
  • Know your NEM: Queensland poll what are the odds?
    Queensland energy politics has something for everyone including a new coal plant but bookmakers are backing the state Labor. Meanwhile, on the NEM

15:44

Pope Francis condemns the possession of nuclear weapons: nuclear deterrence is no longer acceptable Antinuclear

Pope Francis: the possession of nuclear weapons should be firmly condemned http://catholicherald.co.uk/news/2017/11/11/pope-francis-the-possession-of-nuclear-weapons-should-be-firmly-condemned/    Pope Francis indicated that deterrence is no longer acceptable

The existence of nuclear weapons creates a false sense of security that holds international relations hostage and stifles peaceful coexistence, Pope Francis said.

The threat of their use as well as their very possession is to be firmly condemned, the pope told participants at a conference on nuclear disarmament hosted by the Vatican.

For years, popes and Catholic leaders had said the policy of nuclear deterrence could be morally acceptable as long as real work was underway on a complete ban of the weapons. In condemning possession of the weapons, Pope Francis seemed to indicate that deterrence is no longer acceptable.

Nuclear weapons exist in the service of a mentality of fear that affects not only the parties in conflict but the entire human race, he said.

The conference, sponsored by the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, brought together 11 Nobel laureates, top officials from the United Nations and NATO, diplomats from around the world and experts in nuclear weapons and the disarmament process. They were joined by scholars, activists and representatives of bishops conferences, including Stephen Colecchi, director of the U.S. bishops Office of International Justice and Peace.

Several speakers, including Masako Wada, one of the last survivors of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945, were to discuss the suffering wrought by nuclear arms.

Pope Francis told the group that the essential witness of survivors of the bombings in Japan as well as those suffering the effects of nuclear weapons testing are prophetic voices that serve as a warning, above all for coming generations.

In his speech, the pope said that when it comes to the ideal of a nuclear-free world, a certain pessimism exists and brings with it considerable expense as nations modernize their nuclear arsenals.

As a result, the real priorities facing our human family, such as the fight against poverty, the promotion of peace, the undertaking of educational, ecological and health care projects, and the development of human rights, are relegated to second place, he said.

Pope Francis said the existence of weapons whose use would result in the destruction of humanity are senseless even from a tactical standpoint.

What is more, he said, there is the growing danger that the weapons or weapon technology could fall into the wrong hands.

The resulting scenarios are deeply disturbing if we consider the challenges of contemporary geopolitics,...

15:42

The Vatican calls for integral nuclear disarmament Antinuclear

  http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/11/12/the_vatican_calls_for_integral_nuclear_disarmament_/1348481 The Vatican is calling for integral nuclear disarmament. According to the preliminary conclusions of a just-ended high level symposium entitled Prospects for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons and for Integral Disarmament, integral disarmament is both an urgent immediate need and a long-term process.

The symposium, organized by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development got underway as tensions escalated between the US and North Korea.

It saw the participation of eleven Nobel peace laureates, top United Nations and NATO officials, leading experts, heads of  major foundations and of civil society organizations, as well representatives of bishops conferences, Christian denominations and other faiths. Pope Francis addressed the gathering on Friday.

Wrapping up the symposium on Saturday, Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, read out the following preliminary conclusions:

The Dicastery brought together religious leaders and representatives of civil society, officials of States and international organizations, noted academics and Nobel Laureates and students, to illuminate the connections between integral disarmament and integral development, and to explore the links among development, disarmament and peace.  As our Holy Father, Pope Francis, repeatedly reminds us, everything is connected.


14:02

Carbon emissions are falling but more is needed "IndyWatch Feed National"

Contributed by Ben Wilson

According to Professor Will Steffen of the Australian Climate Council, global greenhouse emissions have started to fall, because of the growth of renewable energy sources and therefore less reliance on the use of fossil fuels.

He says that emissions growth has flat lined and that this is a significant change for the better, compared to what the situation was a decade ago.

Driving this change has been that the number of solar and wind systems installed, which has doubled every five and a Half years, thanks to those who are taking action for change.  there is also the falling cost of alternatives that is now being eyed by some major corporations as a viable route to profit or savings in energy costs.

This does not mean that there is any room for complacency and that action to step up the turn away from fossil fuels is no longer urgent.

Although at the present rate, a carbon neutral goal can be reached by 2040, this is far from a done deal. It could go off course. There is also a need to go further and apply measures that will protect those parts of the environment that are already under serious threat.

Economies must be restructured, to operate sustainably in the future. This is a big task that requires working towards agreement within nations and across nations, involving a change in the way of thinking on how human beings relate not only to the environment, but within the economy, about decision making processes and how we share what we produce together.

Even in the shorter-term, here in Australia, it is critical to turn around the gridlock existing in the political system that is holding us back, and get some decisive action to get away from dependency on coal, oil and gas  and serving as an  incentive to encourage more use and not less.

The need to protect wilderness areas and farmland is important. Special effort is needed to stop the extinction of the Great Barrier Reef.

There is still a major battle to be fought and won.

 

 

The post Carbon emissions are falling but more is needed appeared first on The Pen.

11:08

Identifying endangered frogs made easy with new app "IndyWatch Feed National"

The endangered Southern Corroboree Frog. Photo Taronga Zoo taronga.org.au

The endangered Southern Corroboree Frog. Photo Taronga Zoo taronga.org.au

Australias first national frog count is underway and, with the aid of a new app, everyone can now join the battle to save one of the most threatened groups of animals on Earth.

The Australian Museums FrogID is a citizen science project that uses mobile phone technology and audio DNA to discover where frogs are at risk and how to conserve them and our waterways.

The free FrogID app, developed in partnership with IBM, identifies frog species by the sounds they make from croaks and chirps, to whistles and barks.

Up to 1 million Australians are expected to download the app and head to parks, creeks, dams or wetlands to listen for frog calls.

Recording and uploading these calls will map frog species across Australia and reveal where they are at risk from habitat loss, disease, climate change and urbanisation. You might even discover a new frog species!

Australian Museum Director and CEO, Kim McKay AO, said FrogID is a national citizen science rescue mission that everyone can take part in.

The power to save Australias frogs is now in the palm of your hand, whether youre a family in your garden or on a bushwalk, at school or a grey nomad. Everyone can download the free FrogID app to help save these vulnerable species the canaries in the coal mine of climate change, Ms McKay said.

FrogID is a crowd-sourcing approach to conservation. The AM is proud in its 190th year to partner with IBM, the Australian Government and leading museums across the country on this ground-breaking union of citizen science and innovative technology.

David La Rose, Managing Director, IBM Australia, said: IBM has a long history in collaborating with organisations like the Australian Museum to develop technology that has a real impact on the everyday lives of Australians. This joint initiative to develop the FrogID app is an inspiring example of how technology and science can work together to tackle an important social issue, while empowering Australians to help us gain new insight into the state of our waterways and environment.

One of Australias leading frog experts, Dr Jodi Rowley, AM Curator of Amphibian & Rep...

10:23

Saudis move on Lebanon with Israeli support "IndyWatch Feed National"

Contributed by Joe Montero

Saudi Arabias war of words over Lebanon keeps on building and  Israel has jumped in supporting the Saudis. As each day passes, the war of words comes closer to being transformed into a war of weapons.

The tilt at Lebanon is largely as proxy for a growing hostility against Iran, which has arisen out of diverging positions in the politics of the Middle East. While Iran has taken a position that lays claim to the regions independence from big power politics, the Saudis have decisively shifted in the opposite direction.

Nothing marks this more clearly than being decisive backers of the Syrian opposition ISIS and al Qaeda terror bands with money, guns and diplomacy. Then there is the systematic and brutal continuous bombing of Yemen that is on the brink of creating the biggest famine experienced anywhere in decades.

Intertwined with the stand off is the divide between Islams Shia and Sunni. Within the Sunni camp, there has lately emerged a camp that has become increasingly material dependent on the west and especially the United States and this is led by the absolutist Saudi royal family that sees itself as heading the Sunni world, and utilises this to push its own ambitions to be a regional power. That branch within the faith that has given rise to ISIS and al Qaeda is Saudi grown and Saudi maintained.

But after a short period of gains in the battlefield, the movement is experiencing major defeats. The most spectacular is in Syria. There has also been major loss in Iraq, including within the northern Kurdish region and a strengthening of the Shia position.

The attack on Yemen has been directed against the Shia Houthi forces, who happen to control most of the country. Saudi air strikes are backed by backed by pro al Qaeda and ISIS forces on the ground and the invasion has the support of the United States government.

Ongoing resistance from the Houthis has denied a quick victory and this risks sinking the Saudis into a quagmire.

In short, Saudi ambitions have not been going so well. Hence the chosen strategy to shift to a new theatre, target Iran as the headquarters of the Shia faith and its links to in Lebanon through Hezbollah and the Palestinians. Iran is accused of supporting the Houthis in Yemen the Syrian government and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The idea is that a new conflict in Lebanon might just turn around the series of defeats.

A large part of the Lebanese population is Shia and mostly suppo...

09:59

Bulolo opposing new mining exploration "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

Bulolo township

The National aka The Loggers Times| November 10, 2017

THE Bulolo district administration is strongly opposing a licence for exploration activities near the town because the land had been damaged by past explorations, Administrator Tae Gwambelek says.

The administration is supporting the move by the business community and PNG Forest Products  (PNGFP) after the Mineral Resource Authority  (MRA) issued EL2544 to the Wabu Alluvial Mining company  (WAM).

Administrator Tae Gwambelek said Australia had done enough damage to land in Bulolo leaving behind huge craters on which the township was built.

History will never be repeated again, Gwambelek said.

We have Hidden Valley and Wafi-Golpu mining including many small-scale activities. That is enough.

Gwambelek said the Bulolo district development authority also acquired an exploration licence from MRA to conduct explorations outside W...

09:53

Eat The Rich: Tackling Class And Inequality Is Essential To Eradicating Racism "IndyWatch Feed National"

The rich and powerful get richer and more powerful, while the poor get wild conspiracies about the other being responsible for their lot in life. Senator Lee Rhiannon explains.

Historically it has been the progressive side of politics that has confronted racism in all its forms. Whether it was the oppression of Indigenous communities, abuse of refugees or more recently the Islamophobia fanned by some conservative politicians, it has been unions and left parties including the Greens that have taken the lead in exposing and confronting this abuse.

A key driver of racial abuse is the growing economic divide in our society. This is not to say that racism is unique to disadvantaged populations we know too well that the elite do not hesitate to parade their bigotry. But when analysing and strategising on how to deal with racism we need measures to address economic inequality.

When people feel squeezed by things like low wages and the high cost of living, they understandably want to know who the villains are. Why cant I find a decent job? Who is undercutting my wages?

Conservative politicians and their masters in big business implement policies that cause these problems because it suits their interests. But they cant admit that because theyd be wiped out at the next election. Their solution? Scapegoat. Play on peoples apprehensions. Divide and distract.

This is part of the reason why some working people are turning to parties like One Nation. In the 2016 federal election there was a clear correlation between living in an area of high socio-economic disadvantage and voting for One Nation.

Pauline Hanson delivers her maiden speech to the federal Senate, in September 2016. Pauline Hanson delivers her maiden speech to the federal Senate, in September 2016.

The irony is that One Nations track record in parliament has been to support the anti-worker and anti-poor polices of the Coalition Government. Pauline Hansons party sided with the Liberal-National government 74 per cent of the time between August and December 2016. They have provided the critical votes for the Turnbull government to pass legislation that robs money from public schools, opens the door to greater media concentration and cuts funding to welfare recipients.

To take on the racism building in Australian society we need to ensure that dealing with economic disadvantage is centre stage.

...

08:40

Another same-sex marriage bill proposed "IndyWatch Feed National"

Conservative Liberal senator James Paterson has released a draft of a same-sex marriage bill to preserve the freedoms of all Australians.

Senator Paterson, who voted yes in the marriage postal survey, said any ensuring law changes shouldnt have negative consequences for opponents of same-sex marriage.

If the parliament opts for a narrower bill with fewer protections, I fear we will see some Australians seek to impose their values on others, with court cases and other legal mechanisms, he said in a statement announcing the draft bill.

Ive never believed that allowing same-sex couples to marry needs to come at the expense of the freedoms of other Australians.

Senator Paterson believes state and federal anti-discrimination laws arent strong enough.

His bill expands the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples, ensures exemptions for ministers of religion and celebrants with genuine belief and allows a limited form of conscientious objection.

It also seeks to protect freedom of speech and enacts a narrow anti-detriment clause, which would prevent governments and agencies taken adverse action against someone with a traditional view of marriage.

The bill would also guarantees the right of parents to opt their children out of classes that conflicted with their values.He is yet to canvass the draft legislation with his coalition colleagues.

If a Yes result is confirmed this week, this bill could be passed by the parliament as quickly as any other bill, Senator Paterson said.

I believe the parliament should do so before Christmas, with additional sitting weeks if necessary.

Fellow Liberal senator Dean Smith has also put forward a bill.

Senator Smiths bill allows same-sex couples to wed and includes exemptions so religious organisations can refuse to conduct same-sex marriages.

Nearly eight in 10 Australians who received the Australian Bureau of Statistics same-sex marriage survey form have already had their say.

The survey result will announced on Wednesday.

The post Another same-sex marriage bill proposed appeared first on Echonetdaily.

06:46

Lincoln Gap wind farm near Port Augusta to add battery storage Antinuclear

Lincoln Gap wind project to add unsubsidised battery storage the third wind farm to commit to storage in South Australia in recent months.

via Lincoln Gap wind farm near Port Augusta to add battery storage RenewEconomy


Sunday, 12 November

20:09

Trump Reverses, Backs U.S. Intelligence Agencies When Asked About Russian Meddling John Kelly: The tweets dont run my lifegood staff work runs it. "IndyWatch Feed National"

But the president wouldnt say definitively whether he believes the report that Russia interfered in 2016 election

Updated Nov. 12, 2017 3:39 a.m. ET

HANOI, VietnamPresident Donald Trump said he had full confidence in U.S. intelligence agencies, indicating that he believed a report earlier this year that concluded Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election.

Still, asked to answer with an affirmative yes or no about whether he believed that report was true, Mr. Trump declined. Instead, he expressed confusion that there was any question about his confidence in the intelligence agencies and again cast doubt on the previous administration, which initially assembled the report.

I am with our agencies, especially as currently constituted, Mr. Trump said on Sunday in Hanoi, Vietnam. I believe very much in our intelligence agencies.

Standing outside the Presidential Palace in Hanoi with Vietnam President Trn i Quang, Mr. Trump begrudgingly acknowledged his acceptance of the intelligence report a day after casting doubt on the U.S. intelligence community.

Flying from Da Nang, Vietnam on Saturday, Mr. Trump told reporters that Russian President Vladimir Putin was irritated by repeated questions about his countrys involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and called a trio of former heads of U.S. intelligence agencies political hacks.

On Sunday, Mr. Trump was asked to definitely assertyes or nowhether he believed that Mr. Putin and/or Russia interfered in the election, Mr. Trump did neither.

Instead, he said he was with our agencies, and added the caveat that he meant his cabinet. The report was assembled under the Obama administration, but Mr. Trumps top intelligence officials have all unequivocally said they believe the findings.

Im surprised theres any conflict on this, Mr. Trump said.

...

10:46

Not recommended: John Smelcer's KISKA "IndyWatch Feed National"

Published by Leapfrog Press, John Smelcer's Kiska was released in November of 2017.  I'll start by saying I do not recommend Kiska. Back in September when I received an advanced reader copy of Smelcer's book, I tweeted as I read it. Last week, Melissa S. Green sent me an in-depth review of his book. Rather than repeat what she said in her excellent review, I'm going to focus on a couple of things: the seal story and the dramatic character of Smelcer's story. 

First, though some background.

My guess is that most people do not know that Native peoples of Alaska were removed from their villages during World War II. In fact, most people don't know much about the Indigenous people of Alaska.

As I began the background research to review Kiska, I wrote to colleagues and writers in Alaska to ask about the internment of the Aleut people. I learned that the preferred name for the people I was asking about is Unangam. One resource I was pointed to is The Alaska Native Reader (2009), edited by Maria Sha Tla Williams. Here's a paragraph (I highlighted the end of the last sentence (Kindle Locations 62-66):

The history of Alaska is often told from the perspective of outsiders and those who view the resources of Alaska as amazing treasures to exploit. There are stories of eighteenth-century Russian fur hunters, of the brave miners who came to Alaska in the late nineteenth century to discover gold, of the companies that developed salmon canneries, and, in the twentieth century, of the oil companies that worked together to build the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, one of the engineering marvels of the twentieth century. These stories are often highlighted and even exalted, yet one must ask what was the impact on the indigenous people.
When I review a children's book, I consider impact. What will the content of a book do to Native children, particularly the children who are of the identity the characters are meant to be. Will it accurately reflect their people, past and present, and their experiences--good and bad? And, what will a book do to non-Native children? Will it give them reliable information about the people who are depicted in the book? The answers to those questions are why I do not recommend Kiska.


****

Let's start with the description (from Amazon):
Kiskas home in the Aleutian Islands is a peaceful paradise until Japan invades in 1942. Soon after, a U.S. naval ship arrives to evacuate everyone in her village to an internment....

06:59

Mikmaq First Nation files land claim for vast portion of New Brunswick "IndyWatch Feed National"

The Elsipogtog Mikmaq First Nation is laying claim to a large parcel of land in southeastern New Brunswick.

The land claim, filed in provincial court on Wednesday by first peoples lawyer Bruce McIvor, covers roughly one third of the province.

The Aboriginal title claim has been made on behalf of the entire Mikmaq first nation, and asks that the court confirm they hold the rights to the large portion of the province.

The land claim comes at a time when indigenous people are repeatedly raising concerns about government decisions pertaining to lands and water in Mikmaq territory.

Three years ago, violent protests erupted in the community over shale gas development. First Nations communities opposed to fracking felt they were not properly consulted.

During the time that Elsipogtog and surrounding areas decided that they did not want shale gas in New Brunswick, its essentially a continuation of that, Chief Arren Stock said Wednesday.

Kenneth Francis, who represents Elsipogtog on resource development, is heading up the land claim initiative.

There have been no real effort by the governments to engage us in these things, you say, how do we get them to the table? Francis said.

Global News reached out to...

00:46

China Enlists Western Media to Spread Its Message "IndyWatch Feed National"

Tie-ups linked to propaganda arm aid mission to tell Chinese stories well

Women walk past a roadside poster of Chinese President Xi Jinping in October after the Communist Party granted him a new term and greater authority.Photo: GREG BAKER/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Nov. 11, 2017 7:00 a.m. ET

BEIJINGXi Jinping wants the media to tell Chinas stories better. These days, he is increasingly finding willing partners abroad.

The Chinese leader has exhorted state media to do more to enable the world to see a multidimensional and colorful China and present his nation as a builder of global peace and help strengthen Chinas influence abroad.

China has for years placed paid English-language state-media supplements in Western newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, and has placed similar advertorials with Australian, Indian and British media.

Under Mr. Xi, Beijing, which often calls Western depictions of its society unfair, has stepped up support for co-productions with foreign partners, including documentary tie-ups spotlighting the countrys culture, technological advancements and infrastructure projects.

One such feature is China: Time of Xi, a three-part documentary produced by Discovery channels Asia arm that was first broadcast in China in late October, shortly after Chinas Communist Party gave the leader a level of authority not seen here since Chairman Mao.

A Discovery Channels documentary, shown in this YouTube video, portrays the Chinese Communist Partys approach to development as a model for the world.

Interspersed in the production are admiring words for Mr. Xi and his policies from people such as Robert Lawrence Kuhn, a host for Chinas state broadcaster, and former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who says Xi Jinping is a leader who dreams very big dreams.

In one episode, economist Dambisa Moyo praises Mr. Xis signature Belt and Road initiative as one of these incredibly transformative ideas.

The documentary mentions some of Chinas challenges, such as pollution. But there is no mention of more controversial aspects of Mr. Xis tenure, such as his crackdowns on speech and dissidents or his moves toward one-man rule.

Its not our place to sort of comment on or provide the good and the bad. We dont look at it that way, said Discovery representative Karun Arya. Were....

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