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IndyWatch Au Environment News Feed was generated at Australian News IndyWatch.

Saturday, 24 February

00:47

MILITARY PLUTONIUM To be manufactured at Hinkley "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

 MILITARY PLUTONIUM To be manufactured at Hinkley

The charade of Atoms for Peace, Dr David Lowry , 23 Feb 18, Atoms for Peace ( in reality a cynical project promoting  US  global nuclear technology  dominance launched by President Eisenhower at the UN in New York in December 1953)   using a special atomic train  taking nuclear scientists around the country promoting nuclear power.

...

00:41

Lawsuits against USA agencies and companies, over Widespread radioactive contamination in St Louis, Missouri "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

HBO documentary, Atomic Homefront at St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase

Lawsuits: Widespread radioactive contamination in north county
The lawsuits seek relocation and financial awards for thousands of people
ksdk.com  Grant Bissell, February 22, 2018 

00:35

Tesla big battery results suggest local storage better than monster projects RenewEconomy "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

New analysis says performance of Tesla big battery shows advantages of distributed storage rather than a single monster project like Snowy 2.0.

via Tesla big battery results suggest local storage better than monster projects RenewEconomy

00:34

Battery storage: Are Australian households about to charge into market? RenewEconomy "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Further rises in Australias already ridiculously high grid prices, South Australian incentives, and the first battery storage manufacturing plant in the country suggest the battery storage market is about to take off.

via Battery storage: Are Australian households about to charge into market? RenewEconomy

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Friday, 23 February

17:52

Find or Create a Chapter or Affiliate "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

World Beyond War allows volunteers to create (and assists in the creation) of new local organizations that we call World Beyond War chapters. If you cant find one near you below, you can create one. Its easy!

We also let existing organizations become affiliates. You can do that too. We do not include as affiliates groups that support war or other major forms of violence or injustice. But we do not expect to agree on every topic with every affiliate. An affiliate must be an organization working with us on ending war. If your organization or business wants to endorse ending war without becoming an affiliate, please sign here.

You can also vounteer to be a Country Coordinator.

Heres are some resources and guidelines for chapters and affiliates.

CHAPTERS, AFFILIATES, AND COUNTRY COORDINATORS:

Afghanistan
Country Coordinator: Samira Abrar
Affiliate: Rehabilitee Organization for Afghan War Victims

Australia
Country Coordinator: Robert Salerno

Cameroon
Chapter: World Beyond War Cameroon

Canada
Country Coordinator: Bob Fantina
Chapter: World Beyond War St. Johns
Chapter: World Beyond War Toronto
Affiliate: Canadian Peace Initiative
Affiliate: Anutek Developments Inc.
Affiliate: World Without Fear

Chile
Affiliate:...

16:33

Woman severely injured after being bitten by shark off Sydney, Australia "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

A woman is severely injured after being bitten by a shark off the coast of Sydney. The swimmer was in the water at Congwong Beach in La Perouse at 7pm on Friday when she was attacked by what is believed to have been a shark. In the wake of the attack, the local council has announced all beaches in the area will be closed on 'for at least Saturday'. The woman, who is aged in her 50s, was taken to St George Hospital where she is being treated for severe lacerations to one of her legs. A NSW Ambulance spokesman said it was unclear what species of shark had bitten the woman.

14:46

Sustainable Population Australia comments on Tony Abbott and Peter Dutton on migration "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Australia has no coherent population plan other than to inundate the major cities with people. Instead of a well though-out population policy, the strategy has been to stoke overall economic growth to support big business. This suits the property industry and retailers but GDP per capita growth is stagnating while ordinary Australians are worse off.

Peter Dutton and Tony Abbott have both recently called out for a reduction of immigration to Australia. To quote Mr Abbott: "At the moment weve got stagnant wages, unaffordable housing, clogged infrastructure and there is no doubt the rate of immigration impacts on all of these things.

We support Mr Abbott's comments but it's unfortunate he didn't consider this while he was Prime Minister. Australia is suffering cumulative economic and environmental damage from unconstrained growth.

It is incorrect of Peter Dutton to suggest that in the Labor years the number peaked at about 305,900 in one year which was an enormous number, weve got that number down now below 190,000

While it is true that net overseas migration (NOM) which includes both permanent and temporary long-term residents peaked under Labor (at 315,700), it was still running at 245,500 as at the year to June 2017.

Most importantly, Peter Dutton failed to mention that Australias permanent migrant intake has never been higher than under this Coalition Government, set at nearly 210,000 a year currently.

Currently 60% of Australias growth is skilled migration whereas the humanitarian intake is less than 10%.

Foreign aid has also been significantly cut whilst the coalition has been in power. This is particularly true for overseas family planning services and the access to education that is required to empower women to choose the size of their families.

Paul Hawken, who was the keynote speaker at Melbournes Sustainable Living Festival, stated that family planning and access to education are together the most significant global responses to addressing climate change.

SPA calls for a fundamental change to population policy that addresses population issues both nationally and globally. This should involve reducing total migration to around 70 000 per a...

12:00

1964 250 GT/L Berlinetta Lusso "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Only 350 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso were manufactured by Ferrari; they were produced from 1963 to 1964, and the rarity accounts for the 7 figures they regularly fetch at auctions. The car below, #275, was recently auctioned at Sothebys for $1,682,500. It has a 240 bhp, 2,953 cc SOHC aluminium V-12 engine with three Weber

Read More

The post 1964 250 GT/L Berlinetta Lusso appeared first on The Big Picture.

01:46

Where to Find the Big Stock Trades "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

  • Spare a thought for the desperate people of Venezuela
  • Why the good time for Qantas might not last
  • Plus, why a gain is never yours until its in your pocket
 Amidst the happy earnings season here in Australia, we should probably spare a thought for the people of Venezuela right now.

Bloomberg reports that the oil industry the only thing the country has going for it is collapsing from workers too exhausted and weak to do their jobs properly.

Thats because theyre starving. The food supply in the country is minimal and the currency has collapsed from hyperinflation. The regime there has turned the entire country into a failed state.

Its just another tragic example of how a country blessed in natural resources can be reduced to penury under autocratic government.

Poverty is never the natural state of the world. There are only three things we need to create wealth: Land, labour and capital. Only the idiocy of manmade laws and corrupted human nature can turn a country as resource-rich as Venezuela into what it is today

Will China move to save Venezuela?

And yet we hear so little about this. Surely this is a humanitarian crisis? But there no whispers of regime change or help, as far as the powers that be are concerned.

They dont seem to mind interfering everywhere else, so why not here? I have no idea. Presumably, theres no geopolitical significance to Venezuela.

That might say something about the oil industry right now. There was a time when a crumbling energy supply coming out of Venezuela might have caused angst in the world. But the US shale revolution is pouring out so much oil and gas that the US has the luxury of not caring quite so much.

Im not sure how long such a benign state of affairs can last. One concern is that the ongoing tension in the Middle East could cause oil prices to spike. The second is that China and India are going to stay very thirsty for oil in the foreseeable future.

Venezuela with no great love of the US was a handy source of supply here. Lets keep an eye on this to see if Chinese firms or the government do something to stem the chaos happening here.

Its also worth following oil right now because its possible and Im only speculating here that Qantas could be setting up as a great short at some point in the future.

I know, I know. Qantas has just announced a great profit and share buyback. It might ev...

01:19

REGARDING THE NATIONAL RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT FACILITY summary of letter to Industry Minister Matt Canavan "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Medical Association for the Prevention of War (MAPW), 23 Feb 18  REGARDING THE NATIONAL RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT FACILITY (NRWMF )
1) The process is very divisive. Repeated, highly damaging processes imposed on previously cohesive communities are causing significant harms.
2) Considerable amounts of persistently misleading information have been and continue to be presented to communities. Incorrect and incomplete information does not result in genuine consent.
3) There is a failure to observe international best practice standards for the highly radioactive long lived intermediate level waste (ILW) management. There is no disposal plan whatsoever for ILW, leaving the problem for many future generations.

REGARDING THE EXPANSION OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE PRODUCTION FOR EXPORT
1) There is a lack of demonstrable Net benefit. The proposed 40 year-long expansion of medical isotope production needs genuine cost/benefit analysis to make sure this is not a heavily subsidised product being sold into the global market at the expense of the Australian community both now and in the future. Independent NEA/OECD economic modelling finds only 10-15% cost recovery of isotope manufacture when there is genuine inclusion of all costs.
2) The expansion will create 40 years of significantly increased production of ILW.
3) ANSTO has a narrative of global shortages, yet given falling demand and increasing global supply there is no shortage of Mo99. The NEA/OECD predict a significant oversupply.
4) Again, there is no plan whatsoever for disposal of the additional ILW generated.

Both processes are unacceptably flawed.

Medical Association for the Prevention of War (MAPW)  urges

* A halt to the current NRWMF process until such time as worlds best practice i...

01:11

Longterm slump in uranium industry looks like being permanent "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Very few mines could operate at a profit at current prices. Some mines are profitable because earlier contracts stipulated higher prices, while many mines are operating at a loss.

And with the cost of a single power reactor climbing to as much as $20 billion, proposals to introduce nuclear power to Australia seem more and more quixotic and are now largely limited to the far right in particular, Australians Conservatives luminary Senator Cory Bernardi and the Minerals Council of Australia.

BHP marketing vice-president Vicky Binns said in December 2017 that uranium markets would remain oversupplied for close to a decade, with downward pressure remaining on uranium prices 

Uranium industry slumps, nuclear power dead in the water  Jim Green, Online Opinion,  23 F

.These days, the market exhibits multiple levels of weirdness, all stemming from the growing acknowledgment that nuclear power and the uranium industry face a bleak future.

The uranium market has a subdued outlook and Camecos uranium is now more valuable in the ground according to Warwick Grigor from Far East Capital, because the cost of production is higher than the prices currently being offered. Camec...

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Thursday, 22 February

23:26

Best earnings growth since 2014 (led by NSW & QLD) "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Pay gap closing

It's been a pedestrian half-decade for salaries, especially if you're a man.

And that continued in 2017, with the average pay for males growing by about +2 per cent for ordinary time earnings. 


An awful lot of energy is directed to blaming immigration for this, but as with many other data releases the figures have generally followed a pattern of being very upbeat before the peak of resources construction, and then far more modest as we've come down the other side. 

That's particularly been the case in the resources states such as Western Australia, South Australia, and Queensland where average earnings growth was very strong up until 2012, and then cooled. 

This dynamic is perhaps most evident in full-time male total earnings. 


At the sectoral level, unsurprisingly mining was the weakest performing industry, with earnings essentially flat over the year to November 2017 - or down in real terms - although mining remains the highest paid sector of the economy with an average wage exceeding $134,000. 

The next highest paid roles tend to be in IT, where the average wage is now approaching six figures, and finance & insurance at just over $97,000. 

Pay gap closes

There was some...

23:09

Angry Abbott returns serve after criticism "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Tony Abbott has penned a blistering retort to his colleagues after his calls for cuts to immigration were dismissed by the governments front bench.

In an opinion piece for The Australian on Friday, Mr Abbott names and shames critics of his calls for cuts to Australian immigration, and suggests they have not read his speech.

One thing I am not going to cop is gratuitous criticism from ministers who are only in government because I led them there, the federal member for Warringah writes.

It is the prime ministers right to choose his ministerial team and, given some of the policies of this government, Im happy to serve on the backbench.

The former prime minister lobbed a grenade into the immigration debate this week by calling for Australias permanent migration intake to be slashed by 80,000 places per year to 110,000.

That sparked a war of words with senior coalition colleagues all slapping down Mr Abbott, and continuing after his latest string of suggestions.

Trade Minister Steve Ciobo was among those who rejected Mr Abbotts arguments against migrants, labelling his position lazy and inaccurate.

Despite not wanting to get into a tit-for-tat discussion with Mr Abbott he spoke out again from Washington, where hes part of a delegation to the US led by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

He said housing issues raised by Mr Abbott were largely restricted to Melbourne and Sydney while other markets are experiencing price drops and only modest gains.

Lets not pretend this is about numbers of immigrants, the fact is Australia is a richer country because of immigration, he told Sky News.

Acting Prime Minister Mathias Cormann and Treasurer Scott Morrison have also drawn Mr Abbotts ire.

Youd think a government thats lost the past 27 Newspolls might be curious about how it could lift its game, Mr Abbott wrote.

But no, ministers have gone out of their way to attack a colleague who knows more about winning elections than anyone in the parliament.

Australias population is expected to grow by 11.8 million people by 2046, which is equivalent to adding a new city roughly the size of Canberra each year for the next 30 years.

The post Angry Abbott returns serve after criticism appeared first on Echonetdaily.

23:08

APEC to promote foreign plunder of PNG resources "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Newcrests Ian Kemish signed the agreement with Chairman of PNG ABAC Secretariat, Wayne Golding

Australian mining giant, Newcrest, paying K841,000 to sponsor the APEC CEOs meeting in November tells us all we need to know about who stands to benefit from the APEC pantomime in PNG this year.

It sure as hell is not going to be PNGs 3 million farmers or 7 million customary landholders!

First platinum sponsor for APEC CEOs Summit

Freddy Mou | PNG Loop | February 22, 2018

Seven platinum sponsor spaces are yet to be lled, with nine months remaining for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEOs Summit in November this year.

Newcrest Mining Ltd was the first company to sign an agreement with the APEC Authority in Port Moresby today for the platinum sponsor. ...

22:27

Brewarrina residents step up campaign against proposed nuclear dump. "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

22 Feb 18 Brewarrina residents, including Ngemba people with local cultural responsibilities, are stepping up their campaign against the proposal for national nuclear waste dump in the region. 

silent vigil will be held during the Council meeting at 8:30am this Friday February 23, followed with a rally on Saturday morning at 9:30am.

In November 2017 the Brewarrina Council revealed that a delegation had traveled to Lucas Heights nuclear reactor in Sydney and subsequently engaged pro-nuclear consultant Robert Parker.

Trish Frail, a Ngemba woman who is coordinating the local campaign to oppose the dump, said the community was shocked by the proposal.

This nuclear facility will not benefit our town, the community or the environment, Ms Frail said. 

Ngemba people are custodians for the Ngunnhu Fish Traps. The site is claimed to be over six...

22:22

Swedish Courts finding on dubious safety of copper canisters for radioactive wastes "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

MKG 20th Feb 2018, Translation into English of the Swedish Environmental Courts opinion on
the final repository for spent nuclear fuel as well as some comments onthe decision and the further process. The court said no to the application because it considered that there were problems with the copper canister that had to be resolved now and not later.

The translation shows the courts judicial argumentation and why it decided not to accept the regulator
SSMs opinion that...

22:16

Premier Jay Weatherill says that South Australias election will be a referendum on renewables "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Weatherill: Why state election will be referendum on renewables, REneweconomy, By Giles Parkinson on 22 February 2018 

22:15

Labors doublespeak about Adani coal mine plan "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Greens use Labors Adani indecision to ramp up Batman campaign
Activists seize upon Labors contradictory messages on Queensland coalmine in battle for inner-city Melbourne,
Guardian, Katharine Murphy Political editor @murpharoo 21 Feb 2018 

22:13

Townsville City Council censors documentary about Adani coal megamine plan "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Anti-Adani documentary screening axed for safety reasons, not politics, council says, ABC News, 21 Feb 18 By Josh Robertson   Public safety concerns, not politics, were behind the axing of the screening of a documentary on the Stop Adani protest movement, a north Queensland council says.

22:10

#StopAdani movement A Mighty Force coming to a screen near you. #Auspol #Qldpol #ClimateChangef jpratt27 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

A new film documenting the massive community movement to stop Adanis mega coal mine in Queenslands Galilee Basin, A Mighty Force, will screen in Bellingen on Friday March 2 and in Coffs on Thursday February 22. The events will also launch a crowdfunding campaign to cover legal costs for locals arrested last month disrupting work []

via #StopAdani movement A Mighty Force coming to a screen near you. #Auspol #Qldpol #ClimateChangef jpratt27

22:08

Donald Trump suggests extra pay for teachers who carry guns "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Trump floats pay bonus for teachers who carry guns in class, NBC News 22 Feb 18 WASHINGTON President Donald Trump expanded on his idea to train and arm some teachers with guns Thursday, suggesting that firearm-adept school staff be given a little bit of a bonus for carrying weapons, and promising federal funds for their training.

At a White House discussion of school safety solutions with state and local officials, Trump said highly adept peoplewho understand weaponry could carry guns in schools, estimating that between 10 and 40 percent of teachers could be qualified for such a task. Those who are would undergo rigorous training, he said, later adding that hed consider offering federal money for that effort. Officials cant just give a teacher a gun, he said.

Asked if he had concerns about teachers with guns making quick judgments in the chaos of a school shooting, the president said he did not, because they would be experts..https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/trump-floats-bonuses-teachers-willing-carry-guns-class-n850281

16:42

Community Blockades Detention Center To Protect Asylum Seekers "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Community members have blockaded the gates of MITA detention centre in Broadmeadows this morning in a desperate bid to stop the deportation of Tamil asylum seeker, Santharuban. Grave fears are held for him should he be returned to Sri Lanka. As a former member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (Tamil Tigers), he faces plausible threat to his safety on return. Former Tiger members and returned Tamil refugees are routinely harassed, interrogated and some are subjected to torture by Sri Lankan security forces. The UN Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) has asked the Australian government to stop Santharubans deportation until it is able to perform an investigation. The Home Affairs Department has issued a deportation notice for the 22nd of February in spite of the UNCAT request.

13:48

Civil society decries FSANZ approval of Golden Rice "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

The recent release of Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) approval report of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) application for a Golden Rice safety stamp and trade liability clearance have garnered negative reactions and widespread critique. 

12:51

Why can't Australia break up with coal? "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Governments all across the world are starting to shift away from coal-powered energy out of environmental and economic concerns. So why isn't Australia? 350.org Australia's Blair Palese explores.

11:30

So-Called Australia: Break Away From Break Free A Critique of the Environmental NGO Model of Organizing Direct Action (PDF) "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

breakaway

Introduction

Two minutes after getting on a minibus headed for Newcastle, the person seated next to me tugged at their friends arm in mild distress.

Noo, I forgot the selfie stick!

Without putting any blame on this individual, this brief interaction had already captured the essence of this protest for me. Truthfully, I already had an idea of what it was going to be like from past involvement in actions run by groups such as Direct Action Melbourne and 350.org, as well as from the communications hype in the lead-up. But I had gone on this trip to find out if my suspicions were warranted.

We were going to take part in a mass flotilla of kayaks which would block a shipping channel in Newcastle, home to the worlds largest coal port, preventing coal ships from leaving and entering. Signups happened online when the invitation was initially shared through 350.orgs email list and facebook promotions. Since then we had been kept in constant contact about logistics, shown inspirational videos and excitedly told about the well-known musicians and politicians who would be there on the day.

As we headed towards the Hume, the driver tried to break the ice by gauging everyones spirits onboard. How are we all feeling this morning?

So happy!, Excited!, came the replies.

Yes Were creating histo...

09:30

Petro Gold Spawned After El Petros $735 Million Sales "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Venezuelan president Maduro announces countries second commodity backed cryptocurrency Petro Gold the day after El Petros initial private sale raised $735 Million.

Maduro Doubles Down With Petro Gold

Once again President Nicolas Maduro took the podium to announce a government-owned cryptocurrency. This time instead of oil its the Petro Gold which is to be backed by precious metals.

Next week Im going to launch the petro gold, backed by gold, which is even more powerful, that will strengthen the petro, Maduro said in a televised speech. The Petro which launched on Tuesday is reported to have raised $735 Million dollars on its first day of private sales.

Scheduled to be capped at 100 million tokens with an initial sales price of $60 roughly the price of a barrel of oil the government could raise up to $6 billion if the Petro succeeds in selling out. So far 824 million tokens have been made available.

It is not yet clear whether the Petro Gold is to be backed by gold held in reserves or the countries gold resources. In fact, no details about the new currency were given besides that it would launch next week. This sudden announcement doesnt help the already highly criticized Petro and the Governments intentions for creating it.

Problems With The Petro

Widely seen as a poorly thought out solution to boost the floundering Venezuelan economy, where the fiat currency has been in a free fall for several years and inflation rates are as high as 600%, the Petro has been called a stunt and bogus currency by financial experts.

The Petro is really a top-down hierarchically controlled asset, and its much more akin to a new way to tokenize oil. When the first gold ETF appeared, they werent considered gold, but a different way of packaging the commodity. With Petro, we really have a new wrapper around oil.

Chris Burniske of venture capital firm Placeholder told Bloomberg.

Maduro himself now admits that the Petro was created in part as a way to skirt US backed economic sanctions against the country. While the US Treasury Department has warned investors that by buying the Petro they themselves could become subject to the same sanctions as creditors to the government.

The Petro Gold is not the first cryptocurrency backed by gold. The RMG backed by the Royal Mint in Britain was fi...

03:55

FIFTY8 Interviews Alba Weinman: Part III - The Spiritual Journey of Forgiveness and Entity Attachment "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

SOURCE - FIFTY8 MAGAZINE



https://youtu.be/MNslPniv1aI



FIFTY8 Interviews Hypnotherapist Alba Weinman

PAST LIFE REGRESSION HYPNOSIS / 6 PART SERIES

PART III - The Spiritual Journey of Forgiveness & Entity Attachment

I talk to Alba Weinman, a world renowned Hypnotherapist for those on the path of Spiritual Awakening. Alba talks about her sessions and how forgiveness is such an important part of her practice and hypnotherapy. She shares how forgiveness releases a lot of energy that holds us back. We also discuss entities and how they can attach to our frequency and how to release them with forgiveness and a higher vibration. Included is a session with an entity and how Alba uses her techniques to release them.

VIEW MORE CONSCIOUS CONTENT
https://www.fifty8magazine.com/content

02:41

PNG police forced removal of refugees from Port Moresby to Manus reveals resettlement farce "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

 

This article comes from the Refugee Action Coalition (Sydney)  21 February 2018.

In the early hours of Tuesday, 20 February, police arrested up to 13 refugees who had been living Aku Lodge.

They were being forcibly returned to Manus Island, but for unconfirmed reasons there was a problem with the plane. The refugees are now being held at another lodge in Port Moresby surrounded by up to 50 PNG police. Their mobile phones have been confiscated.

It is expected that the refugees will be moved to Manus Island once alternative transport can be arranged.

The refugees had been living at Aku for up to two years, after being moved from Manus Island, supposedly to be resettled in Port Moresby or further afield in PNG.

The refugees have simply subsisted in Aku since being relocated there no jobs; no welfare program; no trauma counselling not even the basic elements of what might comprise anything resembling a resettlement program. Essentially they became prisoners in the lodge, at risk of being robbed and assaulted if they ventured outside.

But their arrest and forced relocation back to Manus provides official confirmation that, contrary to the claims made by Minister Dutton, there are no PNG resettlement arrangements.

In 2016, there was an attempt to resettle six refugees in Lae. None are still living on Lae. Faced with the deprived circumstances in Lae in terms of jobs, health and safety three of the refugees actually made their way back to Manus Island and attempted to move back into the detention centre.

This forced relocation of refugees to Manus from Port Moresby puts the lie to the Ministers suggestion that refugees can be resettled in PNG, said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, The Minister cant hide behind that lie any longer.

There is no resettlement in PNG, and the shonky US deal will not provide resettlement places for all the refugees on Manus and Nauru. There is an urgent need for all the asylum seekers and refugees to be brought to Australia, where they can get the safety and protection they need.

The post PNG police forced removal of refugees from Port Moresby to Manus reveals resettlement farce appeared first on The Pen.

02:33

Turkey Will Be Ground Zero in the Next Global Debt Crisis "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Turkey is a beautiful country with a rich history, including Greek, Roman and Muslim influences, making it one of the most fascinating places on Earth. It is literally a bridge between East and West: The mile-long Bosphorus Bridge, just north of Istanbul, connects Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait.

Turkey has been a magnet for direct foreign investment from abroad and dollar-denominated loans by international banks to local enterprises. This investment enthusiasm is understandable given Turkeys well-educated population of 83 million, and its rank as the 17th-largest economy in the world, with a GDP of just under US$1 trillion.

The flood of bank lending and direct foreign investment has given rise to another flood of hot-money portfolio investors in Turkish stocks, chasing high returns with cheap dollar funding in a variation of the global carry trade. So-called emerging-market (EM) funds, offered by Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and others, are stuffed full of Turkish stocks and bonds.

Jim Rickards in Turkey

Your strategist in central Istanbul, Turkey, on the site of the ancient Hippodrome, where chariot races were still held in Late Antiquity. In my many visits there since 1996, I have observed Turkeys shift from a firmly secular society to one dominated by religious and authoritarian rule. As Turkey turns its back on Western society, it still relies on Western institutions to deal with potential debt, currency and reserve crises. Turkeys new alienation from the West may mean that Western help will not be available in a future financial crisis.

But theres a dark side to this seeming success story. Turkeys external US dollar-denominated debt is so large that a combination of rising US dollar interest rates and a slowing global economy could quickly turn Turkey from model EM to the canary in the coal mine of the next great global debt crisis.

The risk of a major debt crisis beginning in Turkey is heightened by the rise of Turkeys President Recep Tayyip Erdoan as an autocratic strongman in the mould of Argentinas Juan Pern and other populist nationalists who have ruined strong economies.

Begin with a look at the Turkish debt situation. Turkeys debt is huge; one of the highest debt burdens of any EM. Turkey owes US$450 billion to foreign creditors, of which US$276 billion is denominated in hard currency, mostly dollars and euros. The remainder of US$174 billion is denominated in Turkeys local currency, the lira.

Both kinds of debt are problematic. The lira debt is a growing burden because lira interest rates have skyrocketed from 6% to 12%...

Wednesday, 21 February

22:25

Queensland high-rise boom unwinds apace "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Apartment building slowing

Residential building work done for non-houses dropped by some 25 per cent in Queensland in 2017.

And this construction trend will continue in 2018 as the sector continues to rebalance towards equilibrium.

Not quite so many cranes expected in 2018 then, at least in the residential sector! 


As construction slows Brisbane's apartments are gradually filling up, as I looked at in a bit more detail here, but it's taking time for the stock to be absorbed.

The figures for engineering construction have been all over the show across recent quarters with some wild spikes in Western Australia due to the import of LNG platforms.

Looking at the smoother trend figures brings positive news.

Post-mining boom engineering construction is no longer dragging back the economies of Western Australia and Queensland, paving the way for an economic recovery for the resources states. 


Good to see.

At the national level residential building work done fell by about 5 per cent in 2017 as supply and demand look to swing back into balance.

However, this was more than offset by the rebound in engineering co...

13:45

Civil society decry FSANZ approval of Golden Rice "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

The recent release of Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) approval report of International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) application for a Golden Rice safety stamp and trade liability clearance have garnered negative reactions and widespread critique. 

 

Civil society decries FSANZ approval of Golden Rice "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

The recent release of Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) approval report of International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) application for a Golden Rice safety stamp and trade liability clearance have garnered negative reactions and widespread critique. 

 

01:00

Time for FSC to Embrace Traceability, Transparency and Technology "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

In a new article in Yale Environment 360, renowned environmental writer Richard Conniff identifies fundamental problems facing the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification group. Unfortunately, in too many parts of the world, organizations such as the FSC are merely certifying the status quo. This often undermines any meaningful reform efforts to truly protect the worlds forests, by instead offering governments and companies the false appearance of good forest management and sourcing practices.

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) supports the principle and potential of certification to enhance legal and sustainable wood sourcing, and to improve forest governance. In the past, EIA has been encouraged by the possibility of responsible companies acting as role models for following the rule-of-law in forest producing countries.

However, it is becoming increasingly clear that certification be it under the FSC, PEFC or any of the dozen other labels - is not the same thing as due diligence, already a legal requirement for importers of wood products into the EU, US and Australia. FSCs lack of traceability and transparency make it difficult for buyers and the public to assess the claims of the certifier; under the current system, its all too easy for illegal and unsustainable timber to find its way into FSC-certified supply chains.

The passage of key amendments to the US Lacey Act in 2008 were followed by the entry into force of the EU Timber Regulations in 2013, and Australias Illegal Logging Prohibition Act in 2014. All of these laws prohibit imports of illegally acquired timber. Notably, they require companies importing wood products to conduct some form of due diligence to assess the level of risk that the trees were cut or traded in violation of the law. Knowing the origin of timber where the trees were cut is an essential first step in the due diligence process.

In the Yale360 article, FSCs director general Kim Carstensen states that the FSC system relies on external watchdogs to bring evidence of wrongdoings. However, at present, maps of FSC-certified concessions are not available to the public much less, details about when and where the timber was bought and sold through the production process. As a first step, release of FSC-certified concession maps would go a long way towards improving the system.

Ultimately, for the FSC to keep pace with evolving global norms, it must embrace technology. In a...

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