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Friday, 27 October


Outrage After Immigration Authorities Detain 10-Year-Old With Cerebral Palsy Directly From Surgery "IndyWatch Feed"

Morally bankrupt & unspeakably cruel. Ruthless & relentless. Disgusting. Trumps deportation force in action.

This was just a sampling of the outraged reactions after reports revealed a 10-year-old with cerebral palsy, who came to the United States when she was just three months old, is at risk for deportation after her immigration status was discovered at a border patrol checkpoint while an ambulance was transporting her to a Texas childrens hospital for emergency surgery.

Rosamaria Hernandez was reportedly sent to a San Antonio government facility for detaining undocumented children on Wednesday after she was discharged from Driscoll Childrens Hospital in Corpus Christi, where federal agents stood guard at her door as the child recovered from gallbladder surgery.

The immigrant advocacy group Dream Activist has circulated a petition in support of Hernandez, noting that agents at the hospital told the girls family members she has two options; sign voluntary departure or spend up to 3 weeks in detention.

Hernandez was transported to the hospital from Laredo, a town near the U.S.-Mexico border nearly 150 miles away, early Tuesday morning. The girls mother, who is also undocumented, told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times she was accompanied in the ambulance by her cousin, who is a U.S. citizen.

The familys attorneys have requested that federal agents release Hernandez to her family members...


(Volvo) Polestar 1 Hybrid "IndyWatch Feed"

I continue to expect my next automobile purchase is going to be an electric or hybrid. Cars like the Polestar suggest there will be no performance penalty for that choice. The surprising Polestar 1 is a 592bhp four-seat hybrid GT coupe. It is such a radical break from the Volvo it is based on, that

Read More

The post (Volvo) Polestar 1 Hybrid appeared first on The Big Picture.


Australian court disqualifies Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce over citizenship "IndyWatch Feed"

Australias top court has ruled that the deputy prime minister is disqualified from his seat in parliament because he held dual citizenship when elected. As a result, the ruling coalition will lose its majority.

Australien Barnaby Joyce (Reuters/AAP/M. Tsikas)

Australias High Court on Friday ruled that Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is ineligible to sit in parliament due to dual citizenship.

The decision deals a blow to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbulls Liberal-National coalition, which has a one-seat majority in the lower house. Joyce became the latest of a handful of lawmaker and government officials in Australia to lose their posts over citizenship-related controversies.

The loss of the seat will force Turnbull to reach out to one of three independent lawmakers to maintain a ruling majority.

The court ordered a by-election for Joyces seat. He will be able to contend in the by-election.

Read more: Australian parliament rocked by resignations over citizenship

Senator seats to stay in the party

Australias constitution states that members of parliament cannot be a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power.

The court also ruled on the status of six other lawmakers in the Senate. Four of them were also disqualified while two others were allowed to keep their seats. Unlike in the house, the ineligible senators seats will be given to another member of their parties, leaving balance of power in the Senate unchanged.

The lawmakers recognized that they were dual nationals at the time of the election. The government argued that five of the lawmakers should still be eligible, including Joyce, because they were unaware of dual citizenship at the time of the election.

Read more: Australian minister Matt Canavan steps down after his moth....


Australian Court Rules Deputy PM Ineligible for Parliament, Government Loses Majority "IndyWatch Feed"

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce sits in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, August 14, 2017. Credit: Reuters/AAP/Mick Tsikas

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce sits in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, August 14, 2017. Credit: Reuters/AAP/Mick Tsikas

Canberra: Australias high court ruled on Friday that Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is ineligible to remain in parliament, a stunning decision that cost the government its one-seat parliamentary majority and forced a by-election.

The Australian dollar fell a quarter of a US cent after the court announced its ruling and ordered that Joyce must seek a new mandate in his rural New South Wales state electorate.

That left Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbulls centre-right coalition in...


Australia second worst country for species decline in the world: new report "IndyWatch Feed"

Friday, 27 October 2017 - 1:48pm
  • Deforestation the greatest cause of species loss in Australia

  • Australia one of 7 countries responsible for more than half the worlds biodiversity loss

  • 50 million animals killed a year by deforestation in NSW and Queensland

Australia is the second worst country for species loss, according to a new study new published in Nature. 1

Australia is one of seven countries Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, China and the United States responsible for more than half of global biodiversity loss from 1996 to 2008.

More than 50 million animals are killed every year from deforestation in Queensland and New South Wales, according to a recent report by Western Australian researchers Hugh C. Finn and Nahiid S. Stephens. 2

Australia is now the second worst offender in the world for the loss of wildlife, said Wilderness Society National Director Lyndon Schneiders.

Deforestation is Australias biggest unseen environmental crisis. Governments must end this national disgrace now.

Deforestation kills millions of native animals including the iconic koala, adds to climate change, threatens the Great Barrier Reef and damages our soils and water resources.

The worst offender is Queensland, where 1.2 million hectares have been cleared in the past four years. An MCG-sized area is bulldozed every three minutes.

The Nature report said Australia is responsible for 5-10 per cent of species decline in the world, while Indonesia is the worst offender, responsible for about 21 per cent.

Once you actually work out [which country] might have been responsible for the loss of diversity, Australia is standing there at number two; lead author Dr Anthony Waldron said on the ABC this morning. 3

I knew there were a lot of threatened species in Australia, but I didn't realise things were getting worse so quickly.

Environmental sustainability professor Barry Brook from the University of Tasmania said land clearing was the greatest threat to species in Australia.

The predominant one is land clearing ongoing clearing for habitat, Professor Brook said on the ABC.

New South Wales and Queensland have been p...


Agroforestry: An increasingly popular solution for a hot, hungry world "IndyWatch Feed"

At first glance Cameroons western regions seem lush, but a closer look shows a land degraded by overgrazing, unsustainable cropping practices, deforestation of vegetation for firewood, and uncontrolled bush fires. Still, some plots teem with biodiversity: coffee grows under the shade of banana trees, while nearby there are African plum trees (known locally as safou), cola, oranges and timber trees like mahogany. To the untrained eye this might appear to be natural forest, but is in fact the fruit of agroforestry the growing of trees with crops. Typical agroforest in the North West Region of Cameroon with plantains and indigenous fruits and timber trees. Photo by Ebenezar Asaah Its mimicking what you would find in a typical forest, because you find at least three distinguished structures of diverse species which are all growing in an optimum manner, said agroforestry and food security expert Ebenezar Asaah, a Cameroonian scientist who managed the Agricultural and Tree Products Program for the western highlands of Cameroon between 2007 and 2009. From a rural farmers perspective, he explains, the strength of agroforestry is that different plants supply different products at different times of the year, providing an extra source of income when the farmers expenses are high, plus food and medicine, among other goods. Although it is also found in the U.S., Europe, and Australia, agroforestry is predominantly practiced in the tropics and sub-tropics. Here, conventional high-input modern agriculture often fails to deliver food security and sustainability, and people are often in need of income


Mark Parnell on the final report of the Joint Committee on Findings of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission "IndyWatch Feed"

What we saw with the royal commission is that they had a number of paid consultantspaid by you and I, the taxpayersand they engaged these consultants who had clear, ongoing connections with the nuclear industry, often as lobbyists for the industry.

It became apparent very early on that the state was off on a frolic of its own. It was embarking on this major investigation about having a nuclear waste dump in South Australia when everyone knew that the bulk of the laws that regulate these things are at the commonwealth level.

Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Parliamentary Committee Report, Legislative Council, October 18th, 2017

The final report of the Joint Committee on Findings of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission was tabled in the South Australian Parliament on October 17 2017.  A copy of the report can be found here.

As a Member of the Parliamentary Committee, Mark spoke to the Report on October 18, and outlined his findings and recommendations in the Greens Minority Report.

The Hon. M.C. PARNELL: The notion that South Australia could become fabulously wealthy if only we would agree to take the worlds high-level nuclear waste was ill-conceived from the very beginning. The committee heard evidence about previous attempts to establish nuclear waste dumps in other parts of the world and in Australia. Those att...


UKs silly plan for Small Nuclear Reactors (really to develop resources for nuclear weapons) "IndyWatch Feed"

There are just two problems with the rosy scenario. First, the techno-optimism that oozes from every page is a fantasy. Nuclear power stations have got bigger to achieve economies of scale: its much cheaper to build a single 1.2GW unit than four 300MW units, or a dozen 100MW units.

Nuclear power will be utterly irrelevant in meeting decarbonisation targets. There is no 400 billion export market. Who would want SMRs in 2050, when their power will be 50-100 times more expensive than solar?

the government wants to use civilian nuclear programme to generate expertise, technology, for military use, especially reactors for Trident nuclear submarines. What better way than to pour billions of pounds into SMRs under the pretence that the technology is for civilian use?




Nuclear energy is in irreversible decline across the world "IndyWatch Feed"

Standard & Poors Global Market Intelligence 16th October 2017, Nuclear energy is in irreversible decline across the world, with the construction of new units appearing to bottom out, a new report found. The deterioration of the situation is accelerating, warned Paris-based nuclear consultant Mycle Schneider at the U.S. launch of the World Nuclear Industry
Status Report on Oct. 12 in Washington, D.C. The event was hosted by the anti-nuclear Natural Resources Defense Council, the Union of Concerned Scientists and the German Green Party-linked Heinrich Bll Stiftung North America foundation.

The 10th annual edition of the report provides a grim assessment of the worldwide nuclear industry. According to the reports 2017 edition, the mean age of the worlds 403 reactors in operation as of
July 1 is approximately 29 years while the mean age at retirement of the 169 reactors that have shut down was roughly 25 years.


Anti Adani coal project protestors lock themselves to heavy machinery "IndyWatch Feed"

Protesters strap selves to Adani machines, AAP   Anti-coal activists have locked themselves to heavy machinery to protest Adanis mega mine in central Queensland.  Three members of the Frontline Action on Coal group have used a sleeping dragon technique which involves wrapping their arms around equipment then locking their hands inside metal pipes so they cant be removed by outsiders to attach themselves to a grader, excavator and front-end loader near one of the workers camps at Belyando.

Protesters have vowed to do whatever it takes to peacefully stop the $21.7 billion coal mine and rail project.


India started big solar in 2010 now a leading clean energy generator "IndyWatch Feed"

India plans big on solar, wind power SAKUNALA (KURNOOL DT.), OCTOBER 07, 2017 India has chalked out ambitious plans to generate 84 gigawatts of solar power and 32 gigawatts of wind power by 2022, asserted Anjali Jaiswal, India Director of Natural Resource...


Bureau of Meteorology predicts 3 warmer months for Australia "IndyWatch Feed"

Above-average temperatures predicted in Bureau of Meteorologys latest climate outlookABC Weather By Kate Doyle, 26 Oct 17, The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting above-average temperatures in north and south-east Australia over the next few months.

The bureau released its climate outlook for November, December and January on Thursday, which also forecast a dry November for Western Australia.

Key points:

  • Above-average temperatures forecast for the north and south-east
  • Neutral rainfall outlook overall, but dry November for the west
  • Typical cyclone season expected
  • Fire risk reduced in south-east Queensland

The above-average temperatures follow spring heatwaves along the east coast, with temperature records be...


Peter Garrett: Back on centre stage to fight Adani, push for 100% renewables "IndyWatch Feed"

Peter Garrett, the frontman for Midnight Oil is back on centre stage, promising to fight Adani and push for 100 per cent renewables, and challenging Labor on its equivalence on coal. Will he have more impact as a popular public figure than he did inside the Labor machine?


The Myths About Adani Jobs "IndyWatch Feed"

 Diane Hart  October 25, 2017
In response to my grand childrens questions about the state of the world and my growing anger over this disastrous coal mine,  I joined our local Stop Adani Group in the Byron Shire, and
the question about jobs is the one I am most often asked.

Here, I have attempted to unpack it and sort fact from fiction.

Id grab a cup of tea and sit down, if I were you, because its going to make your blood boil.

To read more of this comprehensive and well-researched article, go to this link:


Chief Scientist contradicts Liberal Senator says far fewer coal-fired power stations being planned "IndyWatch Feed"

Alan Finkel disputes figures used by supporters of coal power

Chief scientist says far fewer coal-fired power stations being planned around the world than previously projected The chief scientist, Alan Finkel, has challenged figures used by supporters of coal-fired power stations in a Senate estimates hearing.

Liberal senator Ian Macdonald suggested there were more than 600 coal plants under way around the world, which would undermine any emissions reduction achieved by Australia.

Finkel told the hearing on Thursday he had seen a range of figures. However, he understood the number of coal plants in China and India in the initial planning stage or being built was far less than what was projected a year ago.

[China] has a commitment as a country to reduce emissions. They are finding they are reaping the benefits of their commitments to wind and solar at a faster rate than they thought, he said.

Asked about developments in Europe, Finkel said he was aware of only one high-efficiency coal plant currently being built and it was in trouble.

 The plant in...


The deal to sell U.S. nuclear technology to India dead at the very beginning "IndyWatch Feed"

India-US nuke deal signed without ground work: Ex-US Senator PTI|Oct 26, 2017, WASHINGTON: The landmark India-US civil nuclear deal was dead at the very beginning as it was signed without ground work, a former top Republican Senator has alleged, describing the agreement as more of an arms deal for American defence manufacturing companies.

Former Sen...


27 october More REneweconomy news "IndyWatch Feed"

  • China does not need any new coal fired generation
    BNEF report says China needs no new coal generation, has $300bn of potential stranded assets, and needs reform to address curtailment issues for wind and solar.
  • Why NEG may kill new renewable projects, even those with finance in place
    After initially seeing the NEG as a possible win for consumers and the environment, I now see it as an almost certain disaster for prices, reliability and emissions.
  • ...


New research warns on sea level rise rise 1.3m unless coal power ends by 2050 "IndyWatch Feed"

Sea levels to rise 1.3m unless coal power ends by 2050, report says

University of Melbourne paper combines latest understanding on Antarctica and current emissions projection scenarios, Guardian, Michael Slezak,   Coastal cities around the world could be devastated by 1.3m of sea level rise this century unless coal-generated electricity is virtually eliminated by 2050, according to a new paper that combines the latest understanding of Antarcticas contribution to sea level rise and the latest emissions projection scenarios.

It confirms again that significant sea level rise is inevitable and requires rapid adaptation. But, on a more positive note, the work reveals the majority of that rise driven by newly recognised processes on Antarctica could be avoided if the world fulfils its commitment made in Paris to keep global warming to well below 2C.

In 2016, Robert DeConto from the University of Massachusetts Amherst...


Britains Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) and the Big Clean Switch campaign "IndyWatch Feed"

NFLA 25th Oct 2017, The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) warmly welcomes an exciting
initiative by Greater Manchester local authorities in its Big Clean
Switch campaign. This scheme is encouraging both larger organisations
and members of the...


Solar power up in 3 weeks- gives electricity to struggling Puerto Rico childrens hospital "IndyWatch Feed"

Struggling Puerto Rico childrens hospital gets solar power from Tesla, By J.J. GALLAGHER Oct 25, 2017,A childrens hospital in Puerto Rico that was forced to run off generators and ration diesel fuel in the wake of Hurricane Maria now has a solar power system that will supply all of its electricity needs. Tesla and Puerto Ricos governor touted the project yesterday, sending out multiple official tweets and Facebook posts, and officials said today that the system is already providing solar-generated electricity to the hospital.

The Hospital del Nino is located in the capital San Juan and serves about 3,000 children across the island. The hospital also houses some 30 children with serious medical needs that require round-the-clock care.

A hospital spokesperson told Primera Hora last month that they were forced to ration diesel fuel and take other measures to ensure a constant flow of electricity.

Hurricane Maria also knocked down all of the trees surrounding the hospital, resulting in heat from the withering tropical sun beating down on the building and its surroundings.

Teslas system works with solar panels that generate electricity during the day and batteries that store the power and distribute it when the sun isnt shining. Earlier this month, Tesla CEO...


Queensland Labor MP angry about delay to act on black lung disease "IndyWatch Feed"

The hearse is waiting in the driveway, Brisbane Times,By Felicity Caldwell, 26 October 2017 Labor backbencher Jo-Ann Miller did not pull any punches on Thursday, coming out swinging against her own government and a Parliament committeee. Ms Miller slammed the bipartisan infrastructure committee, headed by Labor MP Duncan Pegg, which published a response to a report delivered by her Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis Select Committee.

I say to the chair of the other committee, Duncan Pegg, and the deputy chair Ann Leahy and members of that committee that the hearse is waiting in the driveway of some of these coal miners homes, she said.

Men are dying of this preventable disease, yet the callous disregard of that committee to give even a sidewise glance to the coal miners evidence, which effectively puts the Black Lung, White Lies report in the bottom drawer of this Parliament and slams the door shut on the draft bill that we developed, shows the real calibre of those members values and principles.

Ms Miller said mining and quarrying workers were woefully let down by the committees report.

Its report offered no comfort to the coal miners and workers of Queensland or their families, men like Mr Percy Verrall, who was constantly coughing up blood and struggles to walk even a few steps, and his devoted wife Daphne faces the daily heartbreak of trying to care for him, she said.

Ms Miller said the committees actions were divorced from reality and she slammed its recommendation, which was simply to note the black lung committees report.

She insisted black lung would be an election issue across the coal fields, towns and cities of Queensland.

Black lung, or coal workers pneumoconiosis, was thought to be eradicated in the 1980s but cases have been detected since 2015.

Ms Miller also unloaded on the Palaszczuk governments response, accusing it of being delivered with a disappointing lack of haste.

This is an insult to our coal miners and workers across the coal chain, she said.

Ms Miller tabled a report from her select committee on Thursday morning, detailing a further response about its proposal for a mine health-and-safety authorityR...

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Thursday, 26 October


Episode-2105- Expert Council Q&A for 10-26-17 "IndyWatch Feed"

Tweet Today its Friday so its time for expert council show. To ask a question for a show like this, just send an email to me at jack at with TSPC Expert in the subject line. Today the expert council answers questions on knife making, cattle, fish farming, eczema, fermented chilies, dealing with law enforcement, cooking and more. In the body of your email first tell me the council member your question is for. Second ask your question concisely in one to two sentences maximum. Third any and all details after that. This is the formula to give you the best chance of getting on the air. I do what I can to get as many of your questions as possible on the air but cant always get to all of them. Our council is made of a wide variety of experts in everything from the tactical to the practical and everything in between. To get more information on our Expert Council visit our Meet the Expert Council Page to learn more about them and their specific areas of expertise. Join Me Today As Our Experts Discuss Choosing steel for your knife projects Patrick Roehrman Control of flies around cattle the natural way Darby Simpson Dealing with black walnut debris when farming fish Geoff Lawton Dealing with eczema Garry Collins Fermenting the current bounty of Hatch green chilies Erica Strauss Cooking green vegetables, what is the sweet point Jack Resources for todays show Join the Members Brigade Join Our Forum The Year 68 Walking To Freedom TSP Gear support TSP when you shop on Online Grandaddys Gun Club Bullhead Fishing Information Fly Control Article from Darby Simpson All Revved Up With No Place to Go Meatloaf Websites of the Expert Council Members MT Knives Humble Mechanic Living Free in Tennessee Harvest Eating Old Grouch Military Surplus Permaculture Classroom A Bee Friendly Company Investable Wealth NW Edible Primal Power Whole Systems Design Doom and Bloom Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one mans opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK (866-658-4465) and you might hear yourself on the air. Join the MSB Today Want Every Episode of TSP Ever Produced? Remember in addition to discounts to over 40 vendors who supply stuff you are likely buying anyway, tons of free ebooks and video content, MSB Members also get every edition of The Survival Podcast ever produced in convenient zip files in blocks of 24. More info on the MSB can be found here. `


How loggerhead turtle Eleanor survived storm "IndyWatch Feed"

This video says about itself:

In-water behaviour of the loggerhead sea turtle

18 January 2016

Intensive in-water surveys in Laganas bay, Zakynthos, Greece, revealed the existence of two aggregation hotspots for loggerhead sea turtles. The first one, a cleaning station, was occupied primarily by female turtles during their interesting period. The second, a small reef in the shallows, served as a foraging area. The solitary and the social behaviour of the turtles between these two spots was very different. At the cleaning station, female turtles did not involve in any fights, generally tolerating the presence of one another while being cleaned by fish and performing self-cleaning activities. In the foraging spot, on the other hand, which was used mainly by resident males, aggressive fights took place quite often as soon as one turtle was at the vicinity of the other.

Under the scientific guidance of sea turtle behaviour expert Dr. Gail Schofield, we highlight these differences and provide new insights into the in-water behaviour of the loggerhead sea turtle.

From the University of Southern Denmark:

The sea turtle that refused to be beaten by the storm

October 26, 2017

When Eleanor the sea turtle was caught in a tropical storm off the coast of Florida, she coped surprisingly well. In fact, she hardly needed to use any extra energy during the four days the storm raged and neither was she injured.

As the seas get warmer, Earth suffers the ravages of ever more powerful storms and hurricanes, with massive consequences for both humans and animals. One of the concerns is marine animals, especially endangered species, such as certain whales, manatees, sharks, sea turtles, etc.

A joint Danish/American/Australian team of researchers has discovered that severe weather is not necessarily harmful to individual adult sea turtles. The team was in the process of monitoring...


#NPC address by Peter Garrett #StopAdani jpratt27 "IndyWatch Feed"

National Press Club Address 24 October 2017 by The Hon Peter Garrett AM Trashing our crown jewel: The fate of the Great Barrier Reef in the coal age. I want to begin by acknowledging the traditional custodians of the lands and waters of this area, including the Ngunnawal people. This is my fourth address to []

via #NPC address by Peter Garrett #StopAdani  jpratt27


Time to address rising cost of climate change: US report #StopAdani jpratt27 "IndyWatch Feed"

The recent wildfires in California have caused more than $A80 billion damage. Jae C. Hong AN INDEPENDENT US government agency says natural disasters have cost the country $US350 billion ($A453 billion) in the past decade and that it is time for Donald Trumps administration to address climate change before it starts costing the country more. []

via Time to address rising cost of climate change: US report #StopAdani  jpratt27


Cat Was Jealous Of Dog Siblings' Adventures So He Asked To Join Too "IndyWatch Feed"

Pistachio is a cat who loves going on adventures. Not long after he came to live with his mom, Kirrily Hargreaves, in New South Wales, Australia, Pistachio started dropping hints that he wanted to explore the outdoors.

Pistachio always hated being left out, and was always waiting at the door when the dogs came home from walks or the beach, Hargreaves told The Dodo. One day he broke out of the house, jumped off the balcony and into the backyard just to eat some grass. He has never been one to follow the rules.

Credit: Kirrily Hargreaves

Before being adopted by Hargreaves in 2014, Pistachio was a stray kitten living on the streets of Sydney. Someone picked him up and dropped him at a local shelter, where he got a bad case of cat flu. Thankfully, a rescue group pulled Pistachio from the shelter and nursed him back to health, although he continues to have respiratory issues, Hargreaves explained.

Credit: Kirrily Hargreaves

But Pistachio has never let health problems stop him from doing anything. The first time Hargreaves took him to the beach, Pistachio got busy exploring.

I had all the dogs packed into the car and thought there was no reason he should miss out on all the fun this time, so I attached a lead to his collar and bundled him into the car, Hargreaves said.

Credit: Kirrily Hargreaves

When we arrived, he leaped out of the car with all the dogs, and followed them down to the sand ready to prove himself, she added. He spent his first adventure exploring rocks, digging in the sand and chasing after the dogs.


Private Military Companies: How Do You Close Pandoras Box? "IndyWatch Feed"


Over the last two decades we have witnessed an abrupt increase in the number of private military companies (PMC) operating across the globe. Its curious that some of those companies have budgets that far surpass defends budgets of certain independent states. Such conflict zones as Afghanistan and Iraq have for a long time been a sort of a playing field for a handful of Western PMCs. According to those officials who hire private companies to wage wars in their name, contractors perform a handful of tasks on the ground more efficiently and, which is even more important, way cheaper than regular army units and government agencies.

However, both the alleged military prowess and cost efficiency of those PMCs is questionable, but the main advantage of those remains undisputed, since no statesman bears responsibility for their actions. Operations in Afghanistan and Iraq have raised a serious concern over the legal status of such companies. But neither a string of flagrant human rights violations committed by those nor the facts of unjustified and inadequate use of all sorts of weapons could put a stop to this bloody business. Once a private military company gets deployed on the ground theres no more need to answer uncomfortable questions about loses and collateral damage, since no state can ensure that it fully controls the activities of its private armies.

States such as the United States that has been actively promoting PMCs as its tool of choices have repeatedly argued that they are ready to protect their mercenaries from any sort of persecution in other countries. Take, for example, the well-known decision of the chairman of the Iraqi Coordination Council, Paul Bremer, who led the occupation government of Iraq from 2003 to 2004. According to his order no member of the coalition forces or representatives of private companies operating in Iraq could be prosecuted by the state of Iraq.

The wave of regime changes triggered by Washington and the ever growing number of cases when Washington would meddle in the internal affairs of sovereign states has led to PMCs being in high demand. The active lobbying has resulted in mercenaries being described as consultants that are helping satellite states to establish their statehood and ensure logistics security to make these private armies to look somewhat respectable. Instead of addressing the absence of any legal pretext for the use of small companies, Washington has chosen to transform PMCs into full-fl...


Freedom is relative "IndyWatch Feed"

The demolition of the Manus Island centre is set to begin in one week, which means the water supplies are steadily decreasing, resources are diminishing, and power is being progressively shut off. The men are being smoked out, but they dont plan on leaving. As Aziz (Abdul Aziz Muhamat) said in a recent mini-episode of The Messenger, we are determined to go ahead with our resistance and we are not going to give up.


Morrisons Corporate tax cut drive is wrong "IndyWatch Feed"

Contributed by Joe Montero

Treasurer Scott Morrison is calling for the company tax rate cut to be fast tracked, claiming that this is the only way to get the Australian economy moving.

Scott Morrison is dead wrong about this.

It is important to get past the hype that this tax will encourage investment and that Australia needs to follow company tax cuts in the United states and Great Britain to be competitive.

While it is true that the amount of investment in Australia is currently going down and that this is important, this should not blind one from realising that the forms that this investment takes is just as important, if not more so. Failure of the government to take this into accoun,t can only lead to improper policy.  And this is exactly what is happening.

The best explanation for the failure is that sectional interests of some of the biggest backers of the Coalition parties are writing the policy and the politicians are following the script.

Jim Miinifie, in his report for the Grattan Institute, Stagnation Nation: Australian investment in a low growth world (2017), suggests that a major factor is that investment in mining has fallen 15 percent since 2015 and 12 percent in the last year alone, and occurring within the context of a sluggish global economy and changing demand and price patterns. It makes intuitive sense and is also backed up with evidence.

Past over-investment in the industry is also a problem, because sooner or later, later a crunch was bound to come to pull down the excess.

Even more important. is that the structure of investment is changing, and this change is already pronounced. According to information from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), non-mining investment has risen 5 percent in the last year. This is not as much as it looks, because it has risen from a low base. Nevertheless, it is a rise.

Much of it has been taken by investment in telecommunications and most of what is left over is accounted for by the growth in in the selling of goods and services, continuing the shift away from traditional industries.

A marked characteristic of the services sector, in the periods following the introduction of computerisation, is that it is much less capital intensive than mining and manufacturing. What this means is that starting up, operating and expanding economic activity requires less investment in technology and processes and is much more labour intensive. A higher labour intensity  is a big reason why this is the major growth area for new jobs, whether full time or casualised and from where the biggest pressure for cutting the cost of labour is coming from.......

Wednesday, 25 October


Surgeon Comforts Orphaned Wombat In The Middle Of The Night "IndyWatch Feed"

A little wombat lost everything along a road in Australia after her mother was hit and killed by a car but now she's getting the love and comfort she needs. 

"That is a common reason for wombats and other species coming into care," Dr. Howard Ralph, a veterinary surgeon who founded Southern Cross Wildlife Care (SCWC), told The Dodo. "Rosie came to us because she had been hiding in her dead mothers pouch for several days and the carer rightly felt that Rosie was very unwell and was not interested in drinking a bottle."

Credit: Howard Ralph

It was the early hours of the morning when Dr. Ralph comforted Rosie, giving her treatment for severe dehydration and pneumonia. This is often the life of a wildlife veterinarian so devoted his patients.

"We often are involved in late night care of patients," Dr. Ralph said. "The need is enormous ... The days are usually consumed by the urgent matters that often continue into the night and early morning with intensive care." 

Credit: Howard Ralph

Credit: Howard Ralph

Dr. Ralph has been helping wildlife for many years even as a kid he was fascinated by wild animals. Later, he knew he wanted to become a veterinarian.

"During my time at university studying veterinary medicine, it became apparent to me that wildlife generally did not receive the degree of respect that was due and that existed for other species such as domestic patients," Dr. Ralph said. "During my childhood and later as a teacher in Papua New Guinea I had regular contact with wild creatures so that a certain rapport became established early. After graduation the contact with wild patients gradually increased until eventually I undertook post graduate study in wildlife medicine."

Now that he founded and runs SCWC, he gets to spend much of his time helping all kinds of animals who live...


Ten People Face Court Over Efforts to Stop Adanis Dangerous Coal Mine "IndyWatch Feed"

from Frontline Action

Bowen, 24th October: Ten people will face court in Bowen and Townsville today for participating in peaceful civil disobedience to stop mining giant Adani building their mega coal mine in Central Queensland.

Three people are facing charges of failure to move on after they peacefully occupied Adanis Townsville Headquarters, five people are facing trespass charges for blockading the road into Adanis Abbot Point coal port and two women are facing railway interference charges after they blocked the rail line into the port.

Speaking about why he occupied Adanis offices, grandfather and former business-man Garry Kelly said:

I must do whatever I can to ensure my children and grandchildren arent forced to endure a future that has been wrecked by the corporate greed of the fossil fuel industry.

Joel Rosenzveig who occupied Adanis headquarters said:

The approval of and taxpayer loan to the Adani mine speaks to a corrupt, impotent and irrelevant political class wholly compromised by the fossil fuel lobby. I stand by my actions in Townsville, but regret that they seem the only avenue left in helping to protect our national interest. I hope that history will reveal who are the real criminals in this struggle.

Emma Briggs, who blocked the rail line into Abbot Point, said:

Australia and the world cannot afford to allow Adanis coal mine to go ahead and it has been left to the ordinary citizens of this country to show our leaders the way forward to a sustainable existence on this planet.

John Ross, a nurseryman from Coramba, near Coffs Harbour, said:

India and the world do not need or want Adanis coal and the majority of Australians do not want this disastrous mine. I am...

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