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Wednesday, 21 December

01:35

The Death Of Ms Dhu: The Unheard Screams, And What They Show About Police Racism "IndyWatch Feed National"

In a two part series, Michael Brull reviews the coroner’s report into the death of Ms Dhu, an Aboriginal woman jailed for unpaid fines who died in police custody after days of agony.

The best microcosm of the death of Ms Dhu, and the coroner’s report on her death, is the night before she died.

According to the police, not much happened. Then Senior Constable Nathan Nunn had the responsibility of lock-up keeper that night. He started his shift at 8:49 p.m.

At 12:26am on the morning of August 4, Nunn gave Ms Dhu two Panadol tablets. At 7am, then Constable Christopher Matier took over from Nunn. Nunn told Matier that Ms Dhu had been to Hedland Health Campus (HHC) twice, and both times had been declared fit for custody. Nunn told Matier that there was Panadol available for Ms Dhu if she needed it.

The coroner’s report more or less accepts that it was a quiet night. The coroner, Rosalinda Fogliani, does make some criticisms of Nunn. Specifically, she faults Nunn for leaving inadequate records. Specifically, Ms Dhu told Nunn that she had “sore bones”, and then he heard her moaning. Fogliani says that Nunn should have recorded those facts, and at handover Nunn should have informed Matier of Ms Dhu’s condition.

At another point in her report, Fogliani notes that Nunn didn’t take her complaints seriously. He claimed that “she wasn’t moaning when I went down there, until she saw that I was walking past her cell to do a check, and then she started moaning. But she didn’t say anything to me, and she saw me down there and looking.”

Fogliani notes that Nunn seemed to think that Ms Dhu “may have been feigning her symptoms”, and thus, her moaning was “not genuine”. Fogliani does not comment on the significance of this perception.

Now consider one incident that the coroner’s report mentions in passing. At 10:17 on the morning of August 4, Matier was caught on audio talking to an unnamed detainee.

“Matier: Has she been screaming all night?

Detainee: Yeah

Matier: … think she is trying to get out

Detainee: She’s really in pain.

Matier: Yeah.

Matier then “continues looking at some paperwork”. Fogliani comments that Matier seems to have “developed an indifference to Ms Dhu’s wellbeing”. That indifference “magnified” as the morning went on.

Yet Fogliani does not pursue what the detainee said. Had Ms Dhu been screaming all night long? Nunn admittedly ignored and refused to record her moaning when he heard it. Had he heard her screaming and decid...

01:10

MYEFO: Here Lies Malcolm Turnbull’s ‘Jobs And Growth’ Mantra "IndyWatch Feed National"

The Australian economy is in a bit of trouble. Just like the Turnbull government, writes Ian McAuley.

As expected, the Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, released on Monday, exposes the government’s economic and fiscal overconfidence in framing the 2016-17 budget – a budget presented less than a week before announcement of the federal election.

The short story is that the government has had to acknowledge Australia’s continued poor economic performance. Forecasts for employment and economic growth for this year and next year are revised downwards, before in 2018-19 they miraculously bounce back to original budget-time estimates. Real wage growth will stay below one per cent until 2019-20.

“Jobs and growth”, it seems, are on hold.

“Budget repair” – a partisan term implying that the Rudd-Gillard Government somehow “damaged” the budget – is deferred. Another $10 billion is added to the budget deficit and another $18 billion to the fiscal deficit over the four years to 2019-20.

Most of the shortfall is on the revenue side: income tax revenue this year is estimated to be down by $6 billion, and other tax revenue by $1 billion. On the expense side there are net cuts of about $2 billion this year, with steeper falls in subsequent years, the biggest hits being in social security and welfare.

This means that net Commonwealth debt will peak at 19.0 per cent of GDP, in 2018-19. Remember how terrible it was when, on Julia Gillard’s watch, it peaked at 12.7 per cent of GDP?

But for higher iron ore and metallurgical coal prices, the fiscal outlook would be worse. Commodity forecasts in this year’s MYEFO are guided by “broad and deep industry consultation”, and when we read further into the document to see what those consultations reveal we see “ there is no consensus as to when prices may fall and by how far.”

In other words, they haven’t got the first idea of how long the commodity sugar hit will last.

Such is the cost of having allowed our country to become a quarry – a country whose economic and fiscal outcomes are determined by people in other countries.

In any event, we shouldn’t take these budgetary and fiscal projections too seriously. Figure 1 below compares budget taxation estimates (coloured lines) with outcomes (heavy black lines) over the last 10 years. Ever since the Global Financial Crisis, Labor and Coalition treasurers have been persistently subject to overconfidence.

budgetguesses

The reason for this overconfidence has to do with a misplaced f...

01:09

MYFEO: It’s The Weak Economy, Stupid… And Yet Everyone’s Talking About The Deficit "IndyWatch Feed National"

Scott Morrison seems to have little strategy for the economy beyond tax cuts for big business, and crackdowns on welfare payments for the poor, writes Ben Eltham. Never has the Coalition’s policy cupboard seemed so bare.

The Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook is one of the last great insider topics of Australian politics.

The MYEFO, released by charter at the half-way mark of the federal government’s financial year, is in its own way a reasonably unimportant document. Government budget information is available all the time, with economic data regularly leaking out of the various agencies in semi-regular packets of bite-sized quantities.

Its very acronym, “MYEFO’, pronounced “my-ee-fo”, is a kind of mellifluent jargon beloved of the cognoscenti and the panel show talking heads. Reporting of the MYEFO has become something of a journalistic set-piece, its predictable timing ensuring hard-pressed news outlets an easy anchor point for planning their coverage.

But, for reasons to do with the fixation of the Australian political system around minor budget variations, the MYEFO has become a significant event in federal politics. That’s because the budget, and with it the macroeconomic direction of the nation, remains one of the most contested and intractable problems in the Australian polity.

The MYEFO is in fact one of the prime examples of the bizarre content of political discussion in Australia. The MYEFO story has been all about the deficit. But the real story is Australia’s weak economy.

Look at the economic data contained in the MYEFO. It’s not good.

Australia is in a period of low growth, underemployment and static prices. That’s stagnation. The Australian economy contracted last quarter, its first quarter of negative growth since the 2011 Queensland floods. Everyone hopes it was just a hiccup.

(IMAGE: emmett anderson, Flickr)(IMAGE: emmett anderson, Flickr)

GDP growth is forecast to be 2 per cent in real terms. Employment growth will limp along at 1.5 per cent annually out to 2018. Unemployment is forecast to stay at 5.5 per cent, but this forecast surely conceals a shrinking labour force (and indeed, the participation rate is flat-lining at 64.5 per cent). Investment is low: business investment will contract by 6 per cent in the coming year. Dwelling investment will fall off a cliff, from 11 per cent in 2015-16 to just half a per cent in 2018.

Outside of Sydney and Melbourne, the economy is struggling. Western Australia is probably already in recession.

The overall outlook is, at best,...

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Tuesday, 20 December

23:56

The limits of open debate in today’s Israel "IndyWatch Feed National"

The following article appears in the Electronic Intifada by Ali Abunimah:

Israel is threatening to expel an Australian journalist in Jerusalem, accusing him of being a supporter of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

The threat against Antony Loewenstein comes after the freelance journalist asked a question about Israeli apartheid at a press conference given by former government minister Yair Lapid, and after a campaign against him by the anti-Palestinian group HonestReporting.

“We are leaning toward recommending that his work permit not be renewed due to suspected BDS activity,” Nitzan Chen, director of the Government Press Office, told The Jerusalem Post. “We are checking the incident because unfortunately, the journalist did not give enough information to our staff. We will learn to check better so there won’t be such incidents in the future.”

Speaking to The Electronic Intifada, Loewenstein, who has won recognition for his reporting from South Sudan and Afghanistan, dismissed any suggestion he had misrepresented himself.

“I am an accredited freelance journalist which is how I presented my work to the Israeli government in March, which they accepted,” Loewenstein said. “I’m not here associated with any organization. I’m here as a freelancer, officially, so there’s been no misrepresentation by me, ever.”

Loewenstein has written about the region for more than a decade, including the bestselling book My Israel Question.

The effective threat to expel Loewenstein comes a week after the Committee to Protect Journalists revealed that this year Israel remained among the world’s worst jailers of reporters – all of those in its cells are Palestinians.

And earlier this month, Israel detained and expelled Isabel Phiri, associate general secretary of the World Council of Churches, claiming she too supports BDS.

Last week, Israel’s Shin Bet secret police barred entry to two leaders of a British Muslim humanitaria...

23:37

Seven CEO Tim Worner and Amber Harrison sex scandal statement in full "IndyWatch Feed National"

The media release by former Seven employee Amber Harrison, which is below, detailing her sexual relationship with Seven West Media CEO Tim Worner is a powerful read on how some people abuse their positions of authority to satisfy their sexual needs. It is R-rated with some crude content attributed to Tim Worner which he has […]

23:23

NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Buin Road Boosted
An Australian-funded contract to upgrade and seal roads in Buin Town, South Bougainville has been awarded this week. The K4.8 million project will improve four roads that connect the Buin High School, government offices, shops, and residences of Buin.



Secretary Bernard Tzilu of Bougainville’s Department of Technical Services was pleased that the project would contribute to a safer and more reliable road network for the people of Bougainville.



“Following on from the project to reseal roads in Arawa town, it is pleasing to be able to connect the businesses and communities in Buin. These upgraded roads will provide a real boost for the local economy.”



The smoother roads will improve safe access to essential services in Southern Bougainville including to education and health institutions. The Buin Town project will also provide employment opportunities for local residents.



Australian Deputy High Commissioner Bronte Moules, said the project was consistent with Australia’s long term commitment to invest in key economic infrastructure in Bougainville.



“Australia is pleased to have supported road maintenance in South Bougainville for many years. This project has been planned, designed and procured in close partnership with the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the Papua New Guinea National Government, and will deliver crucial improvements for the people of Buin.”



The project complements other major road resealing projects funded by the Australian Government, including from Arakawau to Kieta Port, and Arawa town roads. The Australian Government also supports the maintenance of over 300km of Bougainville’s main trunk road from Kokopau to Arawa, and on to Buin.



The works will begin in January.

23:02

Australia unfazed about declining free speech in Israel "IndyWatch Feed National"

The following story appears today in Australian online magazine, Crikey, written by Myriam Robin. 

One added point; I contacted the Australian embassy in Tel Aviv yesterday to ask for advice on my situation in the hope that they would speak out strongly and publicly in favour of free speech in a self-described “democracy”. I wasn’t expecting much. The official was weak, however, and said that Australia couldn’t interfere in internal Israeli affairs. It was a curious and revealing attitude because embassies constantly get involved in other country’s business. In this case, being a “friend” of Israel means staying silent:

Australian journalist Antony Loewenstein could be kicked out of Israel after asking a critical question of a an Israeli politician at a press conference.

Loewenstein, a Jewish Australian critic of Israel’s policies towards Palestinians who works in Israel as a freelance journalist under a press card issued by the Government Press Office, asked the chairman of the secular centrist party Yesh Atid, Yair Lapid, how he reconciled his democratic ideals with the treatment of Palestinians:

“There are now 600,000 to 800,000 settlers, all of whom are regarded by international law as illegal, including your good friends in Amona apparently,” Loewenstein is reported to have said. “Is there not a deluded idea here that many Israeli politicians, including yourself, continue to believe that one can talk to the world about democracy, freedom and human rights while denying that to millions of Palestinians, and will there not come a time soon, in a year, five years, 10 years, where you and other politicians will be treated like South African politicians during Apartheid?”

Lapid responded, according to the Jerusalem Post, by saying Lowenstein’s question was full of bad assumptions an example of “post-truth and post-facts”.

The question triggered an investigation into Loewenstein by Honest Reporting, which has the tagline, “Defending Israel from media bias”. The investigation “exposed” Loewenstein as a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign. The movement, which many supporters of Israel say is anti-Semetic, urges consumers and governments to avoid Israeli products in protest of its treatment of Palestinians.

Overnight, the Jerusalem Post carried a report that said the Government Press Office’ director was “leaning against” renewing Loewenstein’s press card. Without it,...

22:25

antifa notes (december 20, 2016) : Phillip Galea & Co. "IndyWatch Feed National"

Alleged terrorist Phillip Galea (above with his kameraden in the TBC) appeared in the County Court in Melbourne yesterday (Monday, December 19). A few media outlets carried reports. See : Far-right terrorism accused Phillip Galea boasted of plans, court told, … Continue reading

21:24

PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill congratulates US Secretary of State nominee "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has congratulated the chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson, on being nominated by United States President-elect Donald Trump to be the Secretary of State.

O'Neill said he was delighted Papua New Guinea would have a "very good and genuine friend" in the Donald Trump administration in one of the most important offices in the US Government.

"Our nation is privileged to know Mr Tillerson as a person with a genuine interest in economic development in our nation,” PM O’Neill said.

“In my discussions with Mr Tillerson on ExxonMobil's substantial and long term investment in Papua New Guinea's energy sector, I have been impressed by his understanding of the potential our nation holds.

“He has a clear appreciation of our oil and gas sector, and his confidence in the expansion of this sector," he said.

The Prime Minister said that in the ten years Tillerson has been chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, the world's largest energy company, he has been heavily involved in the development of the PNG LNG project.

“From the initial negotiation right through to the completion of construction, and the initiation of exports, Mr Tillerson led his team,” said the PM.

"Never at any stage did his confidence in Papua New Guinea waver, and we owe him an enduring debt of gratitude for that.

"Under the leadership of ExxonMobil, with good partners such as Oil Search, this trail blazing project was delivered on time - and it is now a benchmark for the future expansion of the sector in Papua New Guinea," O’Neill said.

"I look forward to continuing our relationship with Mr Tillerson in his new role, and welcoming him as Secretary of State to APEC Papua New Guinea 2018 meetings.

"The government and people of Papua New Guinea join with me in congratulating Rex Tillerson in the high honour and the great challenge the President-elect has given him, and we wish him well in the future.”

(Picture: Independent)

21:12

-CORRECTION- NCD MP TIED TO EXPAT OVER-STAYER - ARRESTED FOR DRUGS, SEX TOYS AND PENIS ENHANCEMENT TABLET "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"


Opposition leader Don Polye has condemned the action of a MP who reported to be involved with an expatriate woman arrested with drugs, sex toys and sex enhancement tablets.
The Member of Parliament is alleged to be from an electorate within the nation’s capital.
Polye said it’s a shame when our leaders are reported to be involved in such illegal activities, harboring expatriates who over-stay their visas thus becoming agents of alleged drug trafficking and prostitution syndicates.
“If we have leaders in the country who perpetrate evil, bring expatriates into PNG to involve in alleged drug trafficking, prostitution among other illegal activities then our country is not in safe hands.”
According to reports, the Malaysian woman was driving a vehicle belonging to the MP.
...

21:01

TiSA: The Transatlantic Corporatocracy’s Last Straw "IndyWatch Feed National"

Trump’s silence on TiSA is deafening.

The year 2016 has not been a good one for the international corporatocracy. Its beloved Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is dead and almost buried. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is probably also mortally wounded. Meanwhile, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), a Trojan-horse deal between Canada and the EU that could enable as many as 47,000 US corporations to launch lawsuits against European governments that threaten their profit-making capacity, has been signed but still faces big hurdles before being passed into law.

But the battle is far from over. Transatlantic corporations and their armies of trade representatives, lobbyists, think tanks and corporate lawyers have certainly not given up. They still have at least one card up their sleeve. Its name is the Trade in Services Act, or TiSA, and it is the most covert and, according to Wikileaks, “most important of the United States’ strategic ‘trade’ treaty triumvirate,” which also includes the resting-in-peace TPP and the semi-defunct TTIP.

With services accounting for around 75% of the EU economy, 80% of the US economy and the lion’s share of many of the world’s other economies, according to World Bank figures, it’s not hard to see why TiSA is so important.

The agreement involves more countries than TTIP and TPP combined: The United States, all 28 members of the European Union, plus Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, and Turkey. Together, these 50 nations form the charmingly named “Really Good Friends of Services” group, which represents almost 70% of all trade in services worldwide

Continue reading the article at WOLF STREET


20:44

Sunlight: Dermatologists and the Cancer Industry Tell You To Avoid It, Yet It Prevents Major Cancers "IndyWatch Feed National"

January 8, 2010 | Day Eight Grasping the sunlight against an azure sky.

Why Sunlight Deficiency Is As Deadly As Smoking

By Marco Torres

Guest writer for Wake Up World

According to researchers, the widespread use of sunscreens promoted by dermatologists and the cancer industry may lead to a significant decrease in solar-induced pre-vitamin D3 in the skin, which actually correlates with a higher risk of cancer.

Read More

20:29

NRL with GE inspire PNG’s school children to lead healthy, active lives "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

NRL with GE inspire PNG’s school children to lead healthy, active lives.
Since the announcement of GE’s partnership with the National Rugby League (NRL) in early June this year, the NRL Wellbeing program has quickly proven to be a winner, attracting positive comments from both students and teachers alike.
NRL PNG Wellbeing Officers have been rolling out the league’s Wellbeing program across schools in PNG, focusing on key messages to inform and inspire primary school students to choose a healthy lifestyle. The program uses Wellbeing resources that are gender inclusive and culturally relevant in the PNG context, and aims to inform students on healthy lifestyle choices, providing clear links between physical activity, nutrition and mental wellness.

Miss Ume, a senior teacher at Sacred Heart Primary School has been impressed by the way the students have responded to the Wellbeing sessions. “The children have really responded to the lessons in the program and how they are being delivered by Wellbeing officers. They love rugby (league) and when they see their favourite players in the resource materials, they get excited and respond positively. We are now using the NRL/GE Wellbeing Resource as an assessment for our Physical Education subject which is a bonus for us”

Grade 5 student Benjamin Sia, also from the Sacred Heart Primary added, ”I am happy to learn about Wellbeing because it will make me become more responsible with my health.” When asked about what he liked most of the program he said, “I like rugby (league) and watch NRL on TV all the time. That’s why I like reading about NRL rugby league players like David Mead and what they do to keep healthy and strong.”
GE has a history in PNG that spans over sixty years and have contributed toward building local capability through technology, and supporting PNG in key areas of development including wider access to energy, water treatment and healthcare. During that time, the company has witnessed the growing enthusiasm for rugby league in the country and have been inspired to support the Wellbeing program as part of its PNG Community program.
“GE is pleased to partner with the NRL to deliver the Wellbeing program in schools, as we see that it captures the influence of the sport to inspire the young leaders of tomorrow to make healthy life choices”, said GE In-Country Manager Peter Loko.
Since 2014, the NRL has been supporting teachers promote key health and Wellbeing messages to over 40,000 students.
“The NRL Wellbeing program has...

20:23

Donald Trump is a Zionist! "IndyWatch Feed National"

super-zionist-trump-640x360

super-zionist-trump-640x360

Sadly, under Donald’s regime, we’ll get more Israel-first policies and more young American men and women going into battle for Rothschild’s criminal haven called Israel.… Read More

19:39

Thousands of Fijians Sheltered in Evacuation Centres Due to Floods and Landslides "IndyWatch Feed National"

A family stands outside their damaged home after Cyclone Winston swept through Ba on the northern side Fiji's Viti Levu Island, February 22, 2016. Credit:Reuters/Jay Dayal/Handout via Reuters

A family stands outside their damaged home after Cyclone Winston swept through Ba on the northern side Fiji’s Viti Levu Island, February 22, 2016. Credit:Reuters/Jay Dayal/Handout via Reuters

SydneyThousands of Fijians sheltered in evacuation centres and tents on Tuesday as heavy rain and floods cut roads, covered sugarcane fields and caused landslides, said the South Pacific nation’s disaster office.

Across the archipelago nation 1,716 people sought refuge in 46 evacuation centres and another 1,817 were living in tents, said the national disaster management office director, Akapusi Tuifagalele, in a video statement posted on the Fijian government’s YouTube account.

“There are no reports of fatalities or serious injuries,” he said, but added that the township of Rakiraki, in the north of the country’s largest island, had suffered major flooding and that many roads and fields were under water nationwide.

The main road joining the capital, Suva, with Fiji’s international airport at Nadi, was cut by floodwaters a spokeswoman at Suva police station told Reuters.

Another video posted Tuesday showed Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama visiting the Navua district in the east of Fiji’s largest island, Viti Levu.

“To those suffering in the aftermath of the recent TD04, I want to assure all of you that my Government is working overtime to reach you,” he said on Twitter, referring to the storm by the number it was assigned by Fiji’s weather bureau.

Fiji’s Meteorological Service said in a bulletin that the tropical depression driving the rain was now weakening.

The worst-hit areas in western Fiji were still recovering from February’s devastating Cyclone Winston, aid worker Peter Egesa, CARE Australia’s emergency response manager.

Winston was the worst storm ever record...

19:03

MH370 – China, Chips, Swallowable Computers, and Corporate Theft "IndyWatch Feed National"

Debris found on Reunion Island  by Dee McLachlan I normally try not to speculate on an incident when the facts are confusing, and there are a number of possible theories. However, after receiving a phone call last week, I will discuss the 2014 disappearance of MH370 (not to be confused with MH17). Of the 239 people […]

18:59

1) MSG meetings in Vila not expected to decide on Papuan bid "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"


2) Freeport’s new boss pushes Papua expansion deal
3) Over 500 arrested in West Papua demonstrations
4) Accused of treason, dozens of Papuans arrested in Manado
5) Indonesia house urges govt to evaluate primary weapons defense system
——————————————————————————————



1) MSG meetings in Vila not expected to decide on Papuan bid
7:22 pm today




...

18:37

6.7 magnitude earthquake hits off Solomon Islands, no tsunami threat "IndyWatch Feed National"

An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.7 struck off the Solomon Islands on Tuesday (Dec 20) according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the second powerful tremor in the islands to Australia's north in less than two weeks . The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) said the quake, which was centred some 120 km (70 miles) northwest of Kira Kira at a depth of s 44 km, had not triggered any tsunami threat.

17:24

Investigators Recommend Extension of MH370 Search "IndyWatch Feed National"

File photo: A woman leaves a message of support and hope for the passengers of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 in central Kuala Lumpur March 16, 2014. Credit: Reuters

File photo: A woman leaves a message of support and hope for the passengers of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 in central Kuala Lumpur March 16, 2014. Credit: Reuters

Sydney: Investigators searching for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have recommended extending the search by an additional 25,000 sq km, to an area further north in the Indian Ocean, after conceding for the first time they were probably looking in the wrong spot.

Australia, one of three search countries, rejected the recommendation citing a lack of “credible evidence” to extend the search, leaving it unclear whether Chinese and Malaysian search teams will finance a prolonged search.

“The report does not give a specific location for the missing aircraft and so we need credible evidence that identifies the specific location of the aircraft to extend the search,” a spokeswoman for Australia’s infrastructure and transport minister Darren Chester told Reuters by telephone.

“We need more evidence at this point in time,” she said.

The current 120,000 sq km underwater search area west of Australia in the Indian Ocean is due to be completed in January, with no sign of the missing jet..

Flight MH370 disappeared in March 2014 with 239 passengers and crew on board, most of them Chinese, en route to Beijing from the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur. Its whereabouts have become one of the world’s greatest aviation mysteries.

The recommendation to extend the search followed a meeting in November between crash investigators, aviation experts and government representatives from Malaysia, China and Australia.

The search coordinator, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), issued advice on Tuesday that new evidence derived from ocean drift modelling – after aircraft debris was found as far away as the east coast of Africa – helped determine the ne...

17:00

Dangerous Delusions in Australian Foreign Policy "IndyWatch Feed National"

23432432423A report in the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) has raised several issues affecting Australia’s defence and foreign policies, in particular as those policies relate to China, our largest trading partner by a significant margin.

The newspaper report follows an address to the Lowy Institute by Admiral Harry Harris, commander of the US Pacific Command. In the course of his address, Admiral Harris revealed that he had signed an agreement with Australia for the hoisting of US “military assets” including the F22 Raptor fighter, whose presence “will send a strong signal about the US military presence in the region.”

Australia’s role, apart from having marines and other “military assets” which bolster the alliance, was “akin to a stationary aircraft carrier.” Admiral Harris said that the US and Australia faced “significant challenges…….posed by a revanchist Russia and an increasingly assertive China.”

The following day’s edition of the SMH quoted Foreign Minister Julie Bishop who along with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had met with the Admiral the preceding Wednesday as accusing China of “creating an environment of tension and mistrust” after satellite imagery appeared to indicate that China had placed anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems on artificial islands created in the South China Sea.

Unnamed ‘strategic analysts’ saw Northern Australia as vital territory because “it is mostly out of range of China’s ballistic missiles, and is at the fulcrum of the Pacific and Indian Oceans.”

In neither article was there any questioning of either the factual claims or the assumptions underlying the strategic policies. Australia was assumed in effect to continue its long-standing role as the US poodle in south-east Asia regardless of any consideration as to whether that role was actually in Australia’s national interests. A further implicit assumption was that this role was risk free.

Those assumptions and policies are overdue for a critical examination, although it would be unwise to assume that any such appraisal will appear in the mainstream media. I will leave to one side the curious fact that a military officer can sign such an agreement that the Admiral referred to, and that such significant agreements can be entered into by Australia without any public or parliamentary debate being considered necessary.

We are told...

16:56

Until next year! "IndyWatch Feed National"

In solidarity, so long, adieu, take care, adios, all the best, see you next year!

16:00

Australian Dollar and Bitcoin "IndyWatch Feed National"

1.00 AUD = 0.0009 BTC
0.0010 BTC = 1.10 AUD
Converter

13:55

Corruption against civil societies in PNG "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Peter Kinjip 
Commentary by PETER S. KINJAP

PNG politicians have a tendency to dish out cash from the PSIP/DSIP to civil society organizations, community based associations, schools, aid posts and churches. These "political gifts" are legally binded and protected from misuse by Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) so long as they are public money from the public purse. Regardless of how much money it is, there is a law in place to cover and protect how and where this public money is spend. Knowingly or without, since the money becomes disposabal at their discretion, politicians turned to find any means and ways to direct it to their personal benefit or to gain voter support in elections. One of the avenues many politicians sending out money is through the
civil society organizations, community based associations, schools, aid posts and churches. Again politicians send the money for two reasons: 1) for their personal interest and benefits, 2) to gain voter support popularity in the elections.

This is happening throughout the country in the districts and provinces. This is corruption finding its way to be accepted by people and compromise with it. This must be stopped. Many people already accepting it as normal when it is illegal.


The PFMA says every public money  follows the government institutionalised procedures in acquittal. So when it is donated to entities other than  government, it is already illegal and breaching of PFMA.


   My point is that we are going towards election time now and....."politicians are looking for avenues to secure support and votes through organized community groups such as associations.....so my argument was that they should not be seen along with associations, churches or schools dishing out cash."


Those hard working community based organizations must not fall prey to the cunning ideas of the politicians by accepting cash dish out in the name of service  delivery.


    I have two examples of such that it went wrong:
1) Goverment funding to Kerevat National High school in millions went missing and investigation p...

13:44

Video: Russian Ambassador to Turkey shot dead "IndyWatch Feed National"

From CNN Off duty policeman shoots Russian Ambassador to Turkey,  Andrey Karlov,  in an act inspired by Islamic terror groups fighting the Syrian army.  

The post Video: Russian Ambassador to Turkey shot dead appeared first on The Pen.

13:28

Education Dept publishes 2017 Grade 11 Selection list online "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The Papua New Guinea Education Department has published the names of students who will do Grade 11 in 2017.

The selection list is available online for the public to access it.  This list has been made possible by the Grade 11 selection team of the General Education Services Division with the support of their Wing the Provincial services and all others who have contributed in this exercise.

This listing also covers students from FODE centers going into Grade 11.  Parents, guardians and students can access the listing on this link >> 2017 Grade 11 Selection list 



13:15

Edward Heath abuse claims: Police defend investigation "IndyWatch Feed National"

An inquiry into child sex abuse claims involving ex-Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath is exploring a "significant number" of lines, police say. Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Mike Veale ... said officers had received "allegations spanning a significant number of individuals". It emerged last month that two people had been arrested and bailed. Former Conservative prime minister Sir Edward died at his home in Salisbury in July 2005, aged 89. In an open letter, Mr Veale said he would not be "buckling under pressure to not investigate or to conclude the investigation prematurely". He said he wanted to "set the record straight" amid press reports the inquiry was floundering. "The decision to undertake this ... investigation was not taken lightly particularly knowing, or at least expecting, that we would be placed under intense scrutiny," he said. Mr Veale also confirmed reports that satanic ritual sex abuse was a feature of the investigation, although he said it was a small part and did not relate to Sir Edward. Operation Conifer began in 2015 after claims against Sir Edward were raised in an inquiry by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Note: Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.

UK football sex abuse: 83 suspects and 98 clubs involved in inquiry "IndyWatch Feed National"

There are now 83 potential suspects and 98 teams involved in the inquiry into historic child sexual abuse in English football, the National Police Chiefs' Council revealed. The investigation involves all levels of football, from top-level clubs to amateur teams. Police forces across the UK continue to receive calls from victims and people offering information. In total, 639 referrals have been received from both the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) helpline and police forces. Of the victims identified so far, 98% are male and their ages range from seven to 20. "Allegations received by police forces across the country are being swiftly acted upon," said Chief Constable Simon Bailey, the NPCC's lead for Child Protection. The investigation began when former professional footballer Andy Woodward became the first to publicly tell his story in November. Fellow lower-league player Steve Walters and ex-England internationals Paul Stewart and David White also came forward soon after, before a hotline was set up for people who were sexually abused while playing football in Britain.

Note: Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.

12:46

UN Climate Change Agenda Plot to Create ‘New World Order’ "IndyWatch Feed National"

Former adviser to the Australian Prime Minister has accused the United Nations of using their climate change agenda as a means to bring on the New World Order. Could this be true?

Maurice Newman thinks that overall climate change is a hoax of sorts to create a New World Order. He has mentioned that the climate change is not about facts or logic it is about the New World Order and the control being sought by the United Nations. He states:

“It’s a well-kept secret, but 95% of the climate models we are told prove the link between CO2 emissions and catastrophic global warming have been found, after nearly two decades of temperature stasis, to be in error.” 

Another person who has spoken out against the UN and their New World Order Agenda is John Coleman. Coleman says that there is a petition with well over 31,000 signatures (by scientists) claiming the information regarding climate change is skewed. For more information on the petition click here. If this many scientists believe that what we are being fed about global warming is a sham then could it be? Coleman has stated before that:

“The U.S. government puts about $2.5 billion dollars directly for climate research every year. It only gives that money to scientists who will produce scientific results that support the global warming hypothesis. So, they [the scientists] don’t have any choice. If you’re gonna get the money, you’ve got to support their [the U.S. government] position. Therefore, 97% of the scientific reports published support global warming. Why? Because those are the ones the government pays for and that’s where the money is. It’s real simple. But that doesn’t mean it’s right. That doesn’t make it true, that only makes it bought and paid for. The money goes in circles.” 

This meaning that if you want the money you have to ensure your research complies with the government’s standpoint. There are many people who seem to believe that climate change is being fed to us by the UN to corrupt us, what do you think? To hear Coleman speak about this issue please watch the CNN interview below.

12:22

Hoaxtead, CIA Satanist Lucien Greaves, Pizzagate, Donald Trump and Other Stuff… "IndyWatch Feed National"

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You know- it is actually quite comical where we are right now. I mean- we are being lead by a group that is so delusional that they actually thought they could wage a war with Heaven and WIN. lol. 2/3 of the angels were completely fucked after they did it- but this group thinks that it is so big and bad that it can do what ANGELS couldn’t do. Now, however- they are beginning to grasp the consequences of what they have done- and they are starting to become afraid. And they SHOULD be.

Most of you are uncomfortable with the darkness of Heaven- and want to make it all about love and light. And that DOES exist- but Heaven IS NOT without wrath, and Heaven views my anger with this group as RIGHTEOUS.

Whether you agree with this or not makes no difference and in no way changes what is. And I am NOT being LEAD by ANYTHING- I am CHOOSING to do what I have and am- because I have ALWAYS chosen Heaven and now it is allowing me to use what they taught me against them.

They are to be brought down by their own devices- and I am one of those.

So have no doubt- I DO LOVE- but I am NOT going to...

12:00

One Nation looks like it is headed for oblivion again "IndyWatch Feed National"

Contributed from Queensland It wasn’t hard to predict that One Nation would soon be showing signs of ripping itself apart. Pauline Hanson’s public blue with...

The post One Nation looks like it is headed for oblivion again appeared first on The Pen.

11:56

PNG to develop Tourism City within Port Moresby "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Artistic expression of the Tourism City within Port Moresby
A tourism city within Port Moresby is how  Papua New Guinea Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru described the K3 billion (US$945 million) Paga Hill Estate development.

The development at Paga Hill in Moresby South, driven by private investment, would be a focal point for tourists where they could enjoy, learn and know more about Papua New Guinea, Maru said.

A signing of a memorandum of agreement “for a range of major tourism products”took place Monday with the PNG Tourism Promotion Authority, the Government and the developer Paga Hill Development Company.

According to the developer, the project has the potential for spin-off tourism to other parts of the country, including the tourism hubs of East New Britain and Milne Bay.

With the planned cultural centre showcasing all 21 provinces, tourists to Paga Hill would get an appreciation of the country’s diversity, promoting visits to the rest of PNG. Construction is set to start early 2017 with initial focus on hotel, cultural exhibition and convention centre in time for the APEC Leaders’ Summit in 2018 with the entire development to be completed within eight years.

Paga Hill Development Company chief executive officer Gudmundur Fridriksson said Paga Hill Estate project was the first comprehensively planned mixed-use development of its kind and would have a significant impact on the local economy. He said that the project has the potential of attracting direct foreign investment, creating thousands of jobs in its construction, as well as ongoing operation.

Paga Hill Estate would incorporate key tourist infrastructure, including a hotel, resort, cultural centre, war museum, renovated World War II relics, waterfront promenade with retail, marinas, night markets and green space. A cable car would also transport tourists from the Cultural centre up to the Museum on Paga Hill which will be a first for PNG.

Tourism Minister Tobias Kulang, who signed to formalise government participation, reiterated that 20 years in the making Paga Hill Estate would eventually...

11:06

Tongan wedding in Sydney turns violent, mass brawl erupts "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

A Tongan wedding reception at Riverwood reception centre in Sydney last weekend turned violent with a brawl resulting in a 22-year-old man severely injured.

Kaniva News reports the victim was semi-conscious when Police arrived and he was taken to hospital with another man.

The incident also saw a passing motorist’s car window being shattered because of the brawl.

7News reported that it was the wedding reception of Teisa Fifita and Junior Taʻane Tupola.

The Leader report said at about 12am Sunday a fight broke out between 25-30 people outside the Belmore Road centre, which was hosting a wedding reception.

Police said witnesses at the scene refused to cooperate so they are appealing to the public for any information that may help them in their investigation.

They have seized security footage from the function centre.

Friends and relatives offered their sympathy for the couple on social media and criticised the violent behaviour of the guests.

One of the users called the wedding reception ceremony “beautiful” although it turned violent and ended in an unexpected manner, 7 News reported.   LoopTonga

10:43

Dear America, Why Did You Let Us Down? "IndyWatch Feed National"

“When we visit America now,” writes Pryor, “it feels… like decay.” (Credit: MarketWatch Illustration/Shutterstock)

SYDNEY, Australia — On the other side of the world from you, we are living in two time zones. One regulated by the rise and fall of the sun, the other regulated by the American news cycle. In our early afternoon you go to bed, in our late evening you wake again and news breaks afresh. We examine the entrails of the tweets of your president-elect for news of our common future.

In Australia, and around the world, we have been living this presidential transition with you. We watched the debates on our lunch breaks, we scrolled through news on our phones as the voting results were announced, in the warm light of a spring day.

Since the election I have cried many times, in the shower, in the car, as the conventions that define liberal Western democracy are stripped away by Donald J. Trump, with every distressful appointment, each impulsive outburst. I have embarrassment of grief for a government that is not mine and for a country that does not belong to me. It feels as if we’re mourning the death of an idea called America.

You may not know us, the people beyond your borders, but we know you. We absorbed your politics by osmosis, across the semipermeable membrane of celluloid. We know about Air Force One from “Air Force One” and the West Wing from “The West Wing.”

...
...

10:06

Picking My Cabinet "IndyWatch Feed National"

To be a US Cabinet member you must be 18 years old — no other requirements by Mary W Maxwell Well, it’s past 5pm now on December 19 in the USA so all the Electoral College votes have been cast. We might not know the result until the envelopes from the 50 states are opened […]

09:21

Video: Syrian Ambassador names foreign agents captured in Aleppo "IndyWatch Feed National"

Editorial Comment The Pen is publishing material that tells a different story about events in Syria than the narrative that is coming though the major...

The post Video: Syrian Ambassador names foreign agents captured in Aleppo appeared first on The Pen.

09:05

Windfarm guidelines a step to the future "IndyWatch Feed National"

Wind farms, a clean renewable energy source. Photo imotov/Flickr

Wind farms, a clean renewable energy source. Photo imotov/Flickr

New windfarm guidelines released by the NSW Government are an important step in the state’s journey to generating 100 per cent renewable energy.

“We welcome these new guidelines because they will help stimulate investment in renewables, generate much-needed jobs in regional areas, and reduce our carbon pollution,” Nature Conservation Council Campaigns Director Daisy Barham said.

“For too long, NSW has missed out on the jobs boom from renewables.

“By adopting a more progressive approach to wind farm planning assessment, the government is acting to help close the gap on other states that have a much better record on renewables.

“The 2015 Renewable Energy Action Plan Annual Report shows only 1.4% of electricity in NSW comes from wind. [2]

“The NSW Government must do everything it can to accelerate the shift to renewables.

“That includes setting a clear renewable energy target and developing a plan to close the state’s coal-fired power plants.

“Inexplicably, the NSW Government does not have a plan to manage this transition in a swift, orderly and just manner.

“The government needs to develop a clean energy transition plan as a matter of urgency with input from all the key stakeholder, including workers in the energy sector.”

Ms Barham said positive elements of the New Wind Energy Framework included:

 

  • an increased emphasis on community engagement and consultation;
  • a shift away from arbitrary, strict buffer zones; and
  • confirmation that wind turbines do not cause adverse impacts on health.

She said, however, the new framework puts too much emphasis on assessment of the visual impacts of wind turbines.

 

The post Windfarm guidelines a step to the future appeared first on Echonetdaily.

09:03

Pregnancy changes brain structure: study "IndyWatch Feed National"

Pregnancy causes changes to the brain. (file pic)

Pregnancy causes changes to the brain. (file pic)

SYDNEY, AAP – Pregnancy leads to structural changes in the brain that persist for at least two years, according to a small study of first-time mums.

The changes, reported in medical journal Nature Neuroscience, result in a reduction of grey matter in areas of the brain responsible for social cognition – that is thoughts, feelings and intents towards other people.

The authors suggest this might prepare a woman for the social demands of imminent motherhood.

Pregnancy involves radical hormone surges and biological adaptations, however the effects of pregnancy on the human brain are virtually unknown.

Researchers at Leiden University, Netherlands, led by Eseline Hoekzema examined 25 first-time mother both before and after pregnancy to characterise pregnancy-induced structural changes in their brains’ grey matter.

Compared to the brains of 19 first-time fathers, 17 men without children and 20 women who had never given birth, first-time mothers exhibited reduced grey matter in regions associated with theory of mind.

The theory of mind relates to a person’s ability to attribute their beliefs, intents, desires and knowledge to oneself and others and to understand that others have beliefs, desires, intentions, and perspectives that are different from one’s own.

The researchers were also able to predict the quality of a mothers’ attachment to their own infants by observing, through the use of fMRI, these structural changes in the brain that persisted for two years after the birth of the woman’s first child.

Neural activity increased in some of these pregnancy-modified brain regions whey they showed mothers pictures of their own infants, relative to images of other babies.

‘Baby brain’ is a myth that has long been blamed for the memory loss many women report during pregnancy.

But while changes in brain structures associated with pregnancy were shown in this study, the authors note that they did not show actual cognitive deficits or memory problems, just simply that the area of the brain linked with these skills does change.

“In the current study, we observed no significant changes in memory performance in the women who underwent pregnancy between sessions in comparison to women who...

09:01

Aussie happiness levels reach 16-year high "IndyWatch Feed National"

SYDNEY, AAP – Aussies are the happiest they have been this century, but young and single house hunters are finding it hard to crack a smile.

Average life satisfaction reached a score of 76.7 out of 100 on the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index this year – the highest level since records began in 2000 – with those aged over 76 reportedly the happiest in the country.

Nationwide happiness has been on the rise since 2006.

The joint Australian Unity and Deakin University survey breaks personal wellbeing into seven areas and this year recorded peak satisfaction levels for safety, future security, community connection and standard of living.

Senior research fellow Dr Delyse Hutchinson says older Australians consistently report the highest sense of overall wellbeing because they are often retired and “have less stress on their plate”.

The survey of 1000 Australians aged 18 and over found record high wellbeing levels among those living alone, with their partner or with other adults, and consistently higher than normal levels for married people.

But the same could not be said for adults living at home with their parents.
Dr Hutchinson says this group’s personal wellbeing has dipped to its lowest point in a decade, despite the belief young adults sponge off their parents because it’s easier than entering the property market.

“It’s almost like they’re forced to stay at home because they have no choice. They’re stuck,” she told AAP.

Adults living with their parents also scored the lowest levels of satisfaction for personal relationships, community connectedness and achieving in life.
On the plus side, the survey found they were the most satisfied with safety.

Dr Hutchinson said the ‘golden triangle of wellbeing’ can be found through financial security, a sense of purpose in life and strong relationships.

AUSTRALIA’S WELLBEING REPORT CARD FOR 2016:

* Average life satisfaction at 16-year high

* Happiest Aussies are aged 76 or over, followed by those aged 18-25

* Married Aussies scored highest satisfaction levels, separated or never married scored lowest

* Happiness of those living with their parents at 10-year low.
(Source: Australian Unity Wellbeing Index)

The post Aussie happiness levels reach 16-year high appeared first on Echonetdaily.

09:00

Papua New Guinea troops to protect huge Exxon-Mobil gas project "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

png-army

John Braddock  | World Socialist Web Site | 19 December 2016

The Papua New Guinea (PNG) government announced on Friday that it will deploy military personnel to stop “violence” near the country’s biggest resources installation, the Exxon-Mobil Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project.

Troops will be sent to Hela Province in the highlands where the authorities claim dozens of people have died in tribal conflict in recent months. Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said the military call-out would last six months, beyond national elections due next year. The government is asking Exxon-Mobil and Oil Search—the two main companies involved in the LNG project—for “logistical support” for the operation.

O’Neill said the military would work with police to conduct security operations. He stated: “These problems have the potential to impact on the upcoming election as well as the operation of important projects in the area…. Police will have full powers to ensure law and order and to deal with people who seek to cause trouble.”

According to the PNG Post-Courier, the deployment will address the “continuous and sporadic tribal fights fueled by the use of heavy firearms.” Finance Minister James Marape, whose electorate is affected, had pushed for an official state of emergency to be declared. This would provide extended powers to the police and the military to suppress what Marape ca...

08:59

Codeine to require a script from 2018 "IndyWatch Feed National"

Image by Rodrigo Senna https://www.flickr.com/photos/negativz/

Image by Rodrigo Senna https://www.flickr.com/photos/negativz/

Medicines containing codeine will require a prescription from 2018 amid ongoing concerns about overuse and abuse of the pain killer.

After being swamped with submissions on the proposal, the Therapeutic Goods Administration has decided products with codeine will no longer be available over the counter.

The change will begin on February 1, 2018.

The regulator said it had taken in consideration the US, most of Europe, Hong Kong, Japan and UAE had already stopped the sale of codeine products without a script.

Its public consultations indicated many consumers use low-dose codeine medicines to self-treat chronic pain, even though they are not intended for long-term conditions.

“This meant that consumers frequently became addicted to codeine,” it said.

The TGA said the 2018 start date would allow consumers to discuss treatment options with their doctors.

The post Codeine to require a script from 2018 appeared first on Echonetdaily.

08:58

Hundreds arrested at West Papua protests "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Pro-independence militiamen in traditional headdress stand with their primitive weapons in the Baliem Valley, in West Papua, also known as Irian Jaya province, Indonesia. (AP Photo)

Pro-independence militiamen in traditional headdress stand with their primitive weapons in the Baliem Valley, in West Papua, also known as Irian Jaya province, Indonesia. (AP Photo)

JAKARTA, AP – Indonesian police have detained several hundred people at protests around the country demanding independence for remote West Papua.

Arrests were made in cities in Sulawesi, Java and Papua but demonstrations went ahead on Monday in at least 15 places, said Veronica Koman, a lawyer for independence activist Filep Karma.

Police in the capital Jakarta had warned organisers against protesting but relented and allowed a group of about 50 people to march down a main thoroughfare.

Monday was the 55th anniversary of the official declaration of an Indonesian military campaign to take control of West Papua from the Dutch.

The Dutch colonisers of the Indonesian archipelago held on to West Papua when Indonesia became independent after World War II.

It became part of Indonesia following a UN-supervised referendum in 1969 criticised as a sham for involving only a tiny proportion of the population and Indonesia’s use of strong-arm tactics.

Supporters of West Papuan independence want a second and unfettered referendum.

The Indonesian government is determined to hold on to the mineral-rich region and also fears any concessions would energise other separatist movements.

“Melanesian people are our brothers and sisters, not you, you are Asians,” said Anthony Gobai, one of the protesters who addressed the Jakarta rally as dozens of police watched.
Indonesians who joined the protest knelt on their knees and apologised to West Papuans for their government’s rule of a region that is ethnically and culturally distinct from much of Indonesia.

Indonesia maintains a tight grip on West Papua and restricts journalists from reporting there.

However the independence movement appears to be increasingly well organised, with different groups now united under an umbrella organisation that is seeking membership of an association of Melanesian island states.

More than 5000 people have been arrested in pro-i...

08:50

How Is Martin Sheen Any Different Than Vladimir Putin? "IndyWatch Feed National"

By Tyler Durden

Submitted by Simon Black via SovereignMan.com,

One of the quirks about being an expat in a faraway land is that, whenever something unusual happens in your home country, your local friends look to YOU for answers.

You become, by default, the de facto expert of your home country’s nuances.

Case in point: this weekend we had an intercompany Christmas party down here at the farm for two of the businesses that I run.

(Sadly there may be some video floating around YouTube of me singing “Lost that lovin’ feeling”)

The first is Sovereign Man, whose Chile-based staff consists of highly eclectic, internationally-minded folks from the US, Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Germany, Australia, Argentina, etc.

Then there’s the agricultural business that I co-founded in 2014; it’s one of the fastest growing companies in the industry, and we currently have around 350 employees, most of whom are Chilean.

Even though I’ve spent more than the last decade traveling to over 120 countries and living outside of the United States, I’m one of the only US citizens that these guys know.

So you can probably imagine that I’ve spent the last few months fielding their questions about Donald Trump and the US election.

Now the conversations has turned to the Electoral College, which meets today.

It’s difficult to explain to foreigners why the United States, which they perceive as the most advanced country in the world, still uses an electoral system that was designed in the 1780s.

It’s even more difficult to explain to foreigners why Hollywood celebrities are trying to interfere with America’s political process.

In Latin America, celebrities do normal celebrity stuff.

They score goals on the soccer field, date pop starlets, and engage in childish antics that make the cover of sports and entertainment mag...

08:32

Gilllard booster & IMF chief Christine Lagarde guilty on $400M French payout to tycoon "IndyWatch Feed National"

IMF chief Lagarde found guilty over French tycoon payment Paris (AFP) – A French court on Monday found IMF head Christine Lagarde guilty of negligence over a massive state payout to a tycoon when she was French finance minister but spared her a fine or prison sentence. The Court of...

08:09

NZer moving to Cairns for PhD. Advice/Tips appreciated :) "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia"

I am moving to cairns in the new year to start my PhD. I would appreciate any hints, tips or tricks to help the transition run a bit smoother. What are the best areas to live? Where should i look to find a share house/housemates? Good gyms? Must do activities for a newbie? Thanks in advance.

submitted by /u/purple_otter
[link] [comments]

07:35

Some extraordinary cricket "IndyWatch Feed National"

It’s been awhile since I wrote about cricket for the two or three blog readers who may care. But there has been some remarkable cricket in the last few days that deserves comment. In Test cricket (the long form that lasts five full days and in which each side has two innings), the team that bats first and scores over 400 runs is usually in the catbird seat, almost guaranteed to win or at least to not lose. But in two Test matches played concurrently on different continents, that conventional wisdom has been seriously challenged.

In the Test between Australia and the visiting Pakistanis, Australia batted first and scored 429. They then bundled out Pakistan for a meager 142, and it looked like the game would be over quickly. Australia batted again and scored 202 for the loss of five wickets before declaring and setting Pakistan a target of 490 to win with plenty of time left. It should be noted that the highest winning score by a team batting last was by the West Indies in 2003 when they scored 418/7 against Australia, and even this was a rarity. Only four teams have scored over 400 runs in their second innings to win.

So it seemed like Pakistan, a good team but not one of the great ones, were doomed to defeat. But thanks to some magnificent late order batting, they reached a score of 449/8, just 41 runs shy of winning before they lost the last two wickets for one run. It was truly valiant effort by Pakistan. Their final score of 450 is just one run short of the highest fourth inning total ever, ignoring the special case of the ‘timeless Test’ of 1936 that lasted 10 days before being abandoned due to the visiting English team in South Africa having to catch the boat home.

Meanwhile over in India, England batted first and scored 477, a massive score that would normally ensure victory or at least a draw. But India in response scored a mammoth 759/7 before declaring their innings closed. (Even though this is a huge total, it is not the record, that being held by Sri Lanka when they scored 952/6 against India in 1997.)

With a first inning deficit of 282, England now faces the real prospect of losing. They have scored 12/0 so far. Today is the final day and the best they can hope for is to hang on for a draw by batting through the final day, not an easy task playing in India against good spin bowling when the pitch is likely to favor spin.

07:07

Open Letter to Sir Michael Somare "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Open Letter to Sir Michael Somare   

by JAMES PARAKISAN

    Grand Chief, before you bow out of the picture, we need you.  We realize you are 80 years old and you will be retiring from PNG politics in June 2017.  At the same time your influence, stature and leadership is essential during this time of unparalleled corruption.  

    The current administration is knee-deep in pekpek of its own making.  They’ve done a masterful job of sidelining and silencing Sam Koim, leader of the Task Force Sweep.  Koim was hand-picked by the O’Neill government to spearhead the drive against the corruption pervasive in all levels of government.  Then, ironically, when Koim starts making some headway in addressing government fraud, O’Neill neutralizes him.  

...

07:00

The sad story of Investigation Task Force Sweep "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

ITFS signBAL KAMA

A LETTER to prime minister Peter O’Neill on the morning of 16 June 2014 started off what would become the most controversial anti-corruption story in the history of Papua New Guinea.

Then police commissioner Tom Kulunga requested that O’Neill attend a police interview on allegations of fraud regarding payments of an estimated K71 million by the State to a national law firm, Paul Paraka Lawyers. But the scheduled interview never happened.

For many years, PNG has faced allegations of corruption and often ranked unfavourably in corruption indexes.

In 2012, O’Neill promised to address the issue and, to his credit, established the Investigation Task Force Sweep (ITFS). ITFS was an inter-organisation agency that included the Police Fraud Squad. Little did the prime minister know that he himself would become a person of interest, engulfing a considerable amount of ITFS work.

But the case against O’Neill was never going to be easy. Since it began, two and a half years ago, a series of convoluted legal cases have jammed the path of the investigators. An interview, let alone any resolution of the serious allegations of fraud against the prime minister, now looks unlikely in light of recent national court judgements against ITFS.

I want to briefly reflect on the most significant court cases against the ITFS this year and assess their implications for anti-corruption efforts in PNG.

The first significant case was in February 2016. The issue was whether or not members of the Fraud Squad (itself part of ITFS) should engage the service of private lawyers instead of the state prosecutors.

The prime minister argued that members of the Fraud Squad should engage the service of state prosecutors because they are acting in their capacity as police officers. Further, it was argued that the Attorney-General Act 1989 (PNG) prevents brief-outs to private lawyers unless approved by th...

06:24

1) Trikora Day protest, 405 people were arrested in four regions of Papua "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"


2) Activists stage peaceful rally, ask UN to monitor situation in Papua

3) Hundreds arrested at West Papua protests


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A google translate. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic.
Original bahasa link at

1) Trikora Day protest, 405 people were arrested in four regions of Papua
News Portal Papua No. 1 | Jubi,



Security forces stand guard in front Rusunawa, Waena, Jayapura - Jubi / Zely Ariane


Jayapura, Jubi - On the anniversary of Trikora December 19, 2016, the combined police and military forces conducted at least 405 arrests, beatings and raids sweeping secretariat and student dormitories in In Jayapura, Nabire, Merauke and Wamena.

The actions by it following the banning of a peaceful demonstration by the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) protestin...

06:00

Understanding youth: a PNG novel with an engaging narrative "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

An Uncertain FuturePHIL FITZPATRICK

An Uncertain Future by James Thomas, Pukpuk Publications, 2016, ISBN: 978-1541143739, 124 pages, available from Amazon Books US$6.03 plus postage.

A LONG time ago Sir Paulias Matane suggested that the best books for Papua New Guinea “should be small, simple and cheap”.

Sir Paulias stuck to that formula in the many books that he wrote after his first one, My Childhood in New Guinea, which had big type, simple language and was only 112 pages long.

I’m not sure whether Papua New Guineans would agree with that formula nowadays. Many read long and complex books and quite a few Papua New Guinean writers produce long and complex books.

Perhaps there is a dual dynamic at work now that allows for both types of books in Papua New Guinea.

An Uncertain Future fits very neatly into Sir Paulias’ formula. It is simply expressed and not too long and has an engaging narrative.

The story revolves around Wak, who travels from an uncertain future to success.

The turning point in Wak's life comes when he is nearly sent to the prison. Faced with this personal crisis he decides to make a drastic change to his life.

Wak is smart enough to listen to his uncle Santana, who tells him that he can be a success if he finds where his true interests and talents lie.  Santana knows that a very negative experience can be used to create something positive provided things are thought about in the right way.

Wak discovers that success comes from careful planning, hard work, perseverance and a determination to overcome the obstacles that arise from time to time. And a little luck - like having an uncle like Santana.

What is striking about the novella is the message it contains about...

05:00

Sonnet VIII: My Ancestors "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

My ancestorsJORDAN DEAN

Long ago, my ancestors roamed this place
These mountains, jungles and mighty rivers
With bow and arrows and mud on their face
They were cannibals that fed on livers

From open savannahs to coastal plain
Rich with a vast range of animal life
They could make storm clouds and bring rain
My ancestors lived free and without strife

Missionaries came and said they’re unholy
You should never judge their tattooed cover
Why say their black magic was ungodly
When your fabled Jesus walked on water?

Never look at my people with distaste
And never draw such conclusions in haste

03:33

Media Alert: Over 528 people arrested for calling for West Papua’s full MSG membership and rejecting Indonesia’s invasion "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Today on 19th December, rallies took place across West Papua to show support for the United Liberation Movement (ULMWP)’s full membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), as well as rejecting the Indonesian military’s illegal invasion of West Papua exactly 55 years ago on 19th December.

You can read West Papuan Independence Leader Benny Wenda’s full statement written on this morning before the mass arrests here.

 

Around 10,000 people reportedly marched in Wamena, West Papua today to show their support for West Papua’s full MSG membership and to reject Indonesia’s invasion of West Paoua. 87 people were arrested at this peaceful rally, including 6 children. 78 others were arrested the night before.

Rallies were held in: Jayapura, Merauke, Nabire, Yogyakarta, Manado, Wamena, Jakarta, Sorong, Manokwari, Timika, Yahukimo, Biak, Bandung, Ternate, Ambon and Makassar.

Total arrests: 528

Merauke: 126 people, all released.
Nabire: 74 people, released except 12 people
Yogyakarta: 38 people, all released
Gorontalo & Manado: 86 people, several interrogated without lawyer
Wamena: 165 people arrested, 15 were released
Jayapura: 40 people

Indonesian students joined West Papuans demonstrating in Bandung today

Jayapura:
– Journalists were not allowed to cover nea...

02:20

Free speech in the Jewish state "IndyWatch Feed National"

I publish the following story, from today’s Jerusalem Post by Gil Hoffman, with little comment. It speaks for itself and follows last week’s faux controversy over me asking Israeli politician Yair Lapid a question about the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

But a few remarks:

  • For over a decade, I’ve been an independent journalist and best-selling author who has written for major media outlets from across the world, including the Guardian and New York Times, and I’ve worked and lived as an investigative reporter in some of the toughest places in the world including Afghanistan, South Sudan and Honduras. I’m currently based in Jerusalem as an accredited, freelance journalist – my freelance credentials were accepted by the Israeli Press Office this year as I’m not formally associated with any media group – and have published my work this year in many publications including Newsweek Middle East, the Guardian, The Nation and The National.
  • Truly free nations respect and encourage free speech. They welcome it;
  • Real democracies value diversity of opinion.

Here’s the story:

A journalist who has allegedly engaged in activity supportive of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement may not be able to remain in Israel, the Government Press Office told The Jerusalem Post exclusively on Sunday.

GPO director Nitzan Chen said he was leaning against renewing the press card of Antony Loewenstein, a Jerusalem- based freelance reporter who writes for The Guardian and other publications. If the card is not renewed when...

01:30

PNG Minister appeals for surrender of firearms "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Papua New Guinea Finance Minister and Member for Tari Pori, James Marape has appealed to people who are illegally possessing guns in Hela to surrender the firearms to police.

The appeal comes as the Government-sanctioned nationwide firearms moratorium started over the weekend.

There's an amnesty in place to allow people who have guns without a license, to hand them in to police, until the end of February 2017.

Mr Marape said on social media, police and military have intelligence on who has heavy firearms in Hela and the Highlands region, and the long list includes youths, leaders, public servants and businessmen.

He says after February 2017, police and military will search areas for guns, and he has asked they start in several of his villages.

Mr Marape is expected to launch the call-out in Tari this week.

He's also appealed to MPs from the province to work with him to restore law and order there.

NBC New/PNG Today

00:11

Merry Christmas from the men and women of the Australian Army "IndyWatch Feed National"

Aunty Anne Campbell and Nan will be looking down from heaven very proudly at you young Angus!

Go Back:30 Days | 7 Days | 2 Days | 1 Day

IndyWatch Cairns QLD All Topics Summary Today.

Go Forward:1 Day | 2 Days | 7 Days | 30 Days

Monday, 19 December

22:23

Human Tracking Bill Passes House "IndyWatch Feed National"

bill-signs-microchip-tracking-700x350

bill-signs-microchip-tracking-700x350

WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to pass a bill Thursday that critics say could open a Pandora’s Box to government tracking of Americans.… Read More

22:06

Christopher Fontenot: Ionospheric Heaters, Waves from Alfven to ELF "IndyWatch Feed National"

haarp

What is HAARP?

The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) is a 3.6 million watt antenna array operated by the US military in Gakona, Alaska.… Read More

22:00

Water security – update and references "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia"

Between them, the very low level of Ross Dam, TCC’s water restrictions (currently Level 3) and the continuing lack of rain have focused unprecedented attention on Townsville’s water security. At this stage it seems that most people realise there is no single solution – that we will have to approach the problem on several fronts … Continue reading "Water security – update and references"

21:33

GMO Wheat May ‘Silence’ Human Genes "IndyWatch Feed National"

gm-wheat-field

AUSTRALIAN SCIENTISTS are expressing grave concerns over a new type of genetically engineered wheat that may cause major health problems for people that consume it.… Read More

20:32

Dr. Humphries Examines Data on Gardasil Vaccine From Merck’s Own Package Inserts "IndyWatch Feed National"

dr-suzanne-humphries-gardasil

Dr.Suzanne-Humphries-Gardasil

Health Impact News

Dr. Suzanne Humphries joins Polly Tommey with the VAXXED film crew to discuss what vaccine manufacturer Merck reveals about their Gardasil vaccine from their own package inserts.… Read More

20:15

Amateur-Built Supermarine Spitfire Mk.26 VH-DLH Arrives at Maryborough Airport "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

A nice arrival into Maryborough Airport late last week was this 80% replica Amateur-Built Supermarine Spitfire Mk.26 VH-DLH.  It will reportedly be temporarily based at Maryborough Airport while it undertakes a number of test flights over the next week or so.




VH-DLH is reportedly powered by an Isuzu 3.5-Litre V6 petrol engine (6VE1), identical to the engine fitted under the bonnet of the Holden Rodeo Utility in the 1990's.  The aircraft was assembled by a farmer who lives near Maryborough and its flight from the owner's property to Maryborough Airport was in fact it maiden flight.



20:06

1) Hundreds arrested in Papua demonstrations "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"


2) Indonesian Police Arrest Dozens Ahead of West Papua Protest
3) AUSSIE “PUNKS FOR WEST PAPUA” DOCO WINS ANOTHER INTERNATIONAL AWARD
4) Papua sees 15 aviation accidents, 18 fatalities this year: KNKT
———————————————-
HTTP://WWW.RADIONZ.CO.NZ/INTERNATIONAL/PACIFIC-NEWS/320821/HUNDREDS-ARRESTED-IN-PAPUA-DEMONSTRATIONS
44 minutes ago
...

19:46

Snake in Australian Christmas tree "IndyWatch Feed National"

Snake in Christmas tree, photo by Snakecatcher Victoria

From the BBC today:

Australian woman finds snake curled up in Christmas tree

A woman has discovered a 1m-long venomous snake wrapped around her Christmas tree in Australia.

The woman called for help to remove the tiger snake from her suburban home in Melbourne, Victoria, on Sunday.

Snake catcher Barry Goldsmith said the reptile entered through an open door before curling up among the decorations.

Tiger snakes, found along Australia’s coast, are highly venomous.

Mr Goldsmith said the woman “reacted quite well” after making the discovery.

“She left the room, put a towel down as a door jam and came and rang me,” he told the BBC.

The snake was released back into the wild. The species is protected in most Australian states.

Mr Goldsmith said he was used to finding snakes in unusual places.

“I’ve found them in ugg boots, washing machines, dog kennels, cat boxes, toilets, kitchen cupboards and bookcases,” he said.

See also here.

  • ...

18:50

Berikut 5 kecelakaan pesawat yg terjadi di Tanah Papua tahun 2016 "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Kunume Wone– Papua memiliki keadaan alam yg berbukit-bukit dan memiliki puluhan gunung dengan puncak tertinggi Jayawijaya juga berada di kawasan ini. Hal tersebut mengakibatkan Papua menjadi lokasi yg sulit dijangkau, baik transportasi darat, maupun udara. Sering tersiar kabar jatuhnya pesawat di tanah Papua. Dalam tahun ini saja, sejumlah kecelakaan pesawat terjadi di daerah itu. Puluhan…

Berikut 5 kecelakaan pesawat yg terjadi di Tanah Papua tahun 2016 was originally published on PAPUAPost.com

Continue reading

18:23

Chinese Tourists coming to PNG in January "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Rabaul and Alotau will be destinations that tourist visitors from China will visit when they arrive in the country by a cruise liner called Costa Atlantica.

This was made known by Tourism Arts and Culture Minister Tobias Kulang, who said about 2000 tourists are expected to spend a day each in the two provinces.

He said this is a breakthrough for PNG Tourism in attracting a large number of Chinese tourists and hopes the tourists experience the natural beauty of PNG, its diverse culture and its uniqueness, so that they can share for more tourists to come Minister Kulang said China produces some of the highest number of outbound tourists in the world, and PNG must work to attract more of these tourists to our country. PNGFM/PNG Today

18:19

MOU signed to boost Tourism in Papua New Guinea "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the Tourism minister Tobias Kulang and the Paga Hill Estate Developers for the development of Paga Hill area as a tourism hub for the country.
Minister for Trade, Commerce and Industry Richard Maru said that this development in Paga Hill will see the number of tourists coming in to the country increase.

Minister Maru said that this project is a K2billion project that will beef up tourism in the country and also provide hospitality for visitors coming for the APEC meeting.

Maru added that Paga Hill is a good location to set up infrastructures and tourist attractions for the coming APEC meeting.
Maru said that this will create 2000 job opportunities for people in the country. PNGFM/PNG Today

18:14

Australia appoints new Consul-General to head Lae office in PNG "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has announced the appointment of Mr Paul Murphy as Australia's Consul-General in Lae, Papua New Guinea.

Australia is committed to building its economic and strategic partnership with Papua New Guinea. As Papua New Guinea’s commercial hub, Lae is integral to Australia’s over $18 billion investment in Papua New Guinea. Lae is also home to a number of Australian businesses.
The Consulate-General will boost Australia’s presence in Papua New Guinea and bolster the growing trade and investment relationship between our two countries. It will also offer consular and other services to the thousands of Australians living in the area.

The Consulate-General will support the delivery of Australia’s aid investment in Papua New Guinea, expected to be over $550 million in 2016-17. Our investment is focused on promoting effective governance, enabling economic growth and enhancing human development.

Mr Murphy is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and was most recently Assistant Director, Free Trade Agreement Division. He has served overseas as First Secretary (Economic), Australian High Commission, Port Moresby. In Canberra, Mr Murphy has served in the Iraq Task Force and the International Economic and Finance Section.

He holds a Bachelor of Economics, Australian National University and a Bachelor of Arts, Australian National University. Mr Murphy will arrive in Papua New Guinea in January 2017 and operate from temporary premises until the new Consulate-General opens for business in mid-2017.

I thank Australia’s Honorary Consul in Lae, Mr Alan McLay, for his excellent contribution in providing consular services for Australians over the past three years.

18:05

Civilisation Is Not Yet Dead "IndyWatch Feed National"

by Mary W Maxwell Six more shopping days till Christmas (not counting Christmas, which is probably also a shopping day). Es ist ein Ros Entsprungen, written by Praetorius in 1599, performed in Cologne Cathedral, and now at your local railway station: Lo, how a rose e’er blooming/ From tender root hath sprung/ From Jesse’s offspring […]

17:18

Largest marine park in WA’s history welcomed "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia"

Monday, 19 December 2016 - 5:15pm


The Wilderness Society welcomed the announcement over the weekend for the final plans of the largest marine park in WA’s history—the North Kimberley Marine Park—which covers 1.8 million hectares of spectacular reefs, sponge gardens and global icons, such as King George Falls.

IMAGE: King George Falls, North Kimberley | Christian Fletcher

'The North Kimberley is an area of spectacular natural beauty, with landscapes and wildlife like nowhere else on earth, as well as being home to the most ancient living cultures in existence,' said Wilderness Society WA Director Jenita Enevoldsen.
 
'We welcome this significant conservation outcome of the North Kimberley Marine Park, which extends from York Sound in the south, right up to the Northern Territory border, including Joint management by Traditional Owners.
 
'Some sanctuary zones, such as the Long Reef and East Holothuria Reef Sanctuary zone, are larger than entire marine parks in the south. They will protect the feeding grounds of flatback turtles, lesser frigate birds and ‘exceptionally rare’ corals. 
 
'In line with the recent auditor general’s report and recommendations on marine parks in WA, we’d like to see substantial financial commitments from all parties in the lead up to the WA election, towards finalising plans for the Great Kimberley Marine Park with monitoring and joint management in collaboration with Traditional Owners.
 
'It’s clear that the finalising of the Great Kimberley Marine Park is going to significantly add to the legacy of marine protection in our great state of WA, for future generations.'

More information

For further comment, please contact Jenita Enevoldsen, State Director, The Wilderness Society WA, on 0405 941 500 or (08) 9420 7255.
comms team...

17:00

MotoMedics patrol sobers riders "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

While police patrol motorcycle “hot spots” on covert bikes, a MotoMedics first-responder motorcycle on Mt Glorious seems to have had a more preventative effect.

In their first full weekend of operation MotoMedics Queensland has reported no incidences, despite a very active weekend for riders around Brisbane.

MotoMedics is a volunteer riders group who will act as first responders to injured motorcycle riders while they wait for the ambulance to arrive.

READ ABOUT THEIR SERVICE HERE

So far they only have one motorcycle, a white Yamaha FJR1300 with “MotoMedics” livery.

Co-founder Jade McGuinness says the bike seems to have had a calming effect on other riders.

MotoMedics first aid paramedic first responder jade McGuinness patrolJade with the MotoMedics Yamaha

“They see the bike and probably think it’s the police patrolling and they slow down,” he says.

Jade says he supports more visible police patrols on the roads to act as a deterrent.

We followed Jade over the mountain and also noticed riders slowing down when they saw the bike.

MotoMedics first aid paramedic first responder jade McGuinness patrolMBW chats with Jade

However, we didn’t notice the covert police BMW K 1300 pass by until Jade told us about it later on.

It illustrates Jade’s point about visible police patrols. It also provides anecdotal evidence that a police covert patrol is pointless if it doesn’t deter riders from dangerous behaviour.

...

17:00

Sunlight May Reduce Risk of Nearsightedness "IndyWatch Feed National"

By Dr. Mercola

Sunlight is good for you. Seriously good for you. In fact, a new study shows that people, teens in particular, who spend time outside basking in the sun have better vision later in life.

Conversely, those who don’t get a lot of sun when they’re in their teens or early 20s can expect the opposite. The types of vision problems the study1 showed improvement on included myopia, a type of nearsightedness.

Researchers from King's College London, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and other universities reviewed 371 Europeans with nearsightedness, as well as 2,797 people without the condition, all 65 and older.

Each participant underwent an eye examination, had blood samples taken and had an interview about their health behaviors in previous years, primarily to estimate their exposure to ultraviolet B rays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., and between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Those with the most ultraviolet B exposure, especially when they were teenagers and young adults between 14 and 29 years old, had a 30 percent lower risk of myopia, the inability to see clearly at a distance, than those who had the lowest exposures. However, the link wasn’t meant to prove cause and effect — just an association.

The researchers wrote that myopia is becoming more and more common and is increasingly associated with complications that could ultimately threaten peoples’ eyesight, or introduce complications. They added that while exposing oneself to sunlight is actually protective, most people have no idea.

Myopia is considered a genetic problem only a mere fraction of the time, but the study authors say that while the environment appears to have something to do with it, it’s not yet clear what that is.

The Problem With Kids Today

It’s notable that 80 percent to 90 percent of youth in East Asia have problems with myopia nowadays, while in Europe as well as the U.S.,2 it’s more like 40 percent to 50 percent. Research suggests that it’s more common among people who have higher education and less common with people who regularly spend time outdoors.

“Increasing the amount of time outdoors in schools in Taiwan over the past five years has led to...

16:48

The Struggle Between Ecuador’s Indigenous Shuar and the Mega-Mining Project That’s Displacing Them | Papua New Guinea Mine Watch "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The Struggle Between Ecuador’s Indigenous Shuar and the Mega-Mining Project That’s Displacing Them | Papua New Guinea Mine Watch: Bryan Miranda | Remezcla | 23 November 2016

In 2008, Ecuador became the first country in the world to recognize the rights of nature in its constitution, giving its natural communities and ecosystems the right to exist and persist. It was a progressive and unprecedented legal move. But since then, the Ecuadorian government under Rafael Correa has green lit numerous massive development projects helmed by Chinese companies, including a controversial copper mining project in the Amazonian territory of the Indigenous Shuar people.

16:42

Does Social Media Increase Our Ignorance in the Current Post Truth World? "IndyWatch Feed National"

By Des Pensable copyright 2016

Social media is driven by maths algorithms designed to mainly send information and news that people find interesting.  Hence if you love a sport such as tennis or football it will predominantly send you information about sports. If you write comments about the sports and your friends like them they will get elevated in your contact group. After a while you will find that the people reading  and responding to your comments generally agree with what you think. You have just created your own media echo chamber. This could be bad for you.

The problem here is that each person only has a limited amount of time to take in new knowledge and if it is mainly spent on taking in knowledge in your favourite area with people that agree with you and think the same way as you do then you start becoming ignorant about other things around you that might be important such as political decisions that might affect you and your family or perhaps information about the severity of Global Warming. So how did it get like this?

Typically the main stream commercial newspapers used to distribute news in a specific way. The front page told you the big news of the day and as you worked your way into the paper it told you dribs and drabs of other things that were happening both locally and elsewhere.

It was here that you became aware of a wide range of issues that may not have seemed important or even interesting at the time. However, it informed you of other things happening around you. TV news was originally formatted to do the same. Social media doesn’t generally do this.

Newspaper editors knew how people read their papers decades ago. If they were aligned with the government or the opposition and they always have been, then they could present information favourable to that political party on the front page with back up stories to complimen...

16:05

Australia Looking Into Cancelling the $100 Bill "IndyWatch Feed National"

a100

The Australian federal government is planning a full assault on the black or underground economy by appointing a taskforce who will consider the future of the $100 note and bans on cash payments over a certain level. Australia, like everyone else, is facing a monetary crisis whereby the current system of taxes and social programs with pensions are colliding and will simply collapse. This idea of perpetual borrowing cannot be sustained. Instead of reforming the system, they prefer to attack the people, as always — we are just the enemy.

The Australian black economy of unrecorded economic activity that is untaxed by government is estimated to be worth $21bn or 1.5% of gross domestic product. Even if they got all the taxes that they think they deserve, it would still not solve any problems. We are simply doomed and the longer governments postpone real reform, the worse the collapse will be.

Former KPMG Global Chairman Michael Andrew will head the new underground economy taskforce, which I suspect is one reason to think twice about KPMG. It will also include the Australian Tax Office, Reserve Bank of Australia, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center, and immigration and human services departments. They plan on considering the continued use of the $100 note of which there are $30bn in circulation. They are also looking to France, a fantastic role model, where the government banned cash payments of over €1,000.

The taskforce is looking at putting a limit on cash transactions, and they are no doubt keeping one eye on how India’s cancellation of currency with no notice works out. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the nation that the cancellation of the currency would protect the interests of “those citizens earning honestly and with hard work.” Modi’s actions are sending probably more than 400,000 people into unemployment while shops have closed as they are unable to collect money or pay workers.

15:56

We need a guest fiction editor "IndyWatch Feed National"

Every year, Overland publishes several online editions showcasing work by new and emerging writers. An opportunity exists for an emerging editor to work on one of these online fiction editions, to be published in June 2017.

15:36

Australia’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells visit Alotau "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Today, Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator the Honourable Concetta Fierravanti-Wells travelled to Alotau, Milne Bay Province as part of an official visit to Papua New Guinea.

The Minister met with Alotau Member and Minister for National Planning and Monitoring, Charles Abel to discuss tourism and the economic partnership between the two countries and visit development projects in the province.

“Alotau is a spectacular location and it is understandable why tourism has been such a growth industry here. Australia is pleased to partner with Papua New Guinea to support this growing sector,” Ms Fierravanti-Wells said.

The Australian Government through private sector engagement has a Memorandum of Understanding with Carnival Australia to leverage development associated with cruise tourism while providing employment and skills development for Papua New Guineans.

A recent assessment of the initiative found that in 2015, tourists on cruise ships that visited Alotau, Trobriand Islands, Doini Island and Rabaul, invested approximately K13 million (AUD$5.9 million) in Papua New Guinea.

The Minister visited Bubuleta Community Health Post which is providing quality maternal and child health services in the community.

This is the first of 32 community health posts built throughout the country under the Rural Primary Health Service Delivery Project.

The project is funded by Australia, Papua New Guinea and Japan, the Asian Development Bank, Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and the World Health Organisation. Australia provided approximately K127.1 million (AUD$53.7 million) to the project.

Ms Fierravanti-Wells met Australian obstetrician, Dr Barry Kirby whose Safe Motherhood Intervention Project and flying doctor service provides maternal health training and support for pregnant women in remote areas.

The Australian High Commission provided approximately K378, 000 (AUD$160, 000) to support the project. The Minister also met with members of the Milne Bay Family and Sexual Violence Action Committee.

“We recognise that one of the best ways to achieve stronger communities, societies and economies is to provide opportunities for women and girls,” Ms Fierravanti-Wells said.

Through the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development initiative, Australia is providing approximately K137 million (AUD$58 million) to increa...

15:17

Warning from UNESCO on Great Barrier Reef "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia"

barrier-reeefUNESCO says Great Barrier Reef is back in the danger zone (includes videos) 

14:50

Chan calls for changes to PNG Mining Act before polls "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Governor of PNG's New Ireland Province, Julius Chan. Photo: RNZI/ Peter Kinjap

Governor of PNG’s New Ireland Province, Julius Chan. Photo: RNZI/ Peter Kinjap

The Governor of Papua New Guinea’s New Ireland province has come out in support of calls for changes to the Mining Act before next year’s elections.

Sir Julius Chan, who is a former PNG prime minister, said he backs statements by Hidden Valley’s Nakuwi Landowner’s Association that citizens should have more ownership of mineral extraction operations.

The association is frustrated at long delays to a revised agreement regarding the Newcrest’s Hidden Valley mine in Morobe province that would guarantee landowners and local communities more benefits.

In recent years elements of the government have indicated the Mining Act could be modified to give landowners more control of the wealth from mining.

However, speaking at this month’s PNG Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference in Sydney, the prime minister Peter O’Neill r...

14:45

A look back at the year that was "IndyWatch Feed National"

It occurs to me that this year I have a bit to be thankful for which is a very good thing 🙂 so I wanted to take a look back on what has been quite an eventful year, thank all those people who have supported me along the way and clarify my current plans.

In a way I’ve ended up back where I began with the re-launch of my financial transparency project, yet the hope is that my network is now much better able to help me put such projects on a more stable, permanent footing. Now as a Board member of Open Knowledge Australia, I hope to make it an OKA project so that it is not solely my property and can remain in the public domain. I’m building the codebase up again from scratch starting where I left off nearly a year ago and calling it GovSpend at this time. It’s early days and there’s much yet to come on that project.

The other major project I’ve just launched is SnitchHunt. This game was concocted by Gabor Szathmari of...

14:45

Highs and lows of 2016 "IndyWatch Feed National"

Overland editors, staff and contributors on the political and cultural highs and lows of 2016.

14:13

North Kimberley Marine Park—a great start "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia"

Monday, 19 December 2016 - 2:00pm

The Wilderness Society today welcomes the final plans for the largest marine park in WA’s history—the North Kimberley Marine Park—which covers 18,000 square kilometres of spectacular reefs, sponge gardens and global icons, such as King George Falls. It extends from York Sound in the south, right up to the Northern Territory border.
 
'The North Kimberley is an area of spectacular natural beauty, with landscapes and wildlife like nowhere else on earth, as well as being home to the most ancient living cultures in existence,' said Wilderness Society WA Director Jenita Enevoldsen.
 
'We welcome the final plans today, of stage one of the North Kimberley Marine Park. It’s truly a great start. However, due to ongoing negotiations with the Balanggarra Traditional Owners, the intertidal zone—which includes healthy mangrove forests and some intertidal reefs—aren’t included in this announcement.
 
'The missing intertidal areas also mean that marine park sanctuary zoning in the North Kimberley is below the standards recommended by scientists to ensure the long-term health of marine life. In completing the park, the zoning must be revisited to ensure world-class sanctuary zones that are comprehensive, adequate and representative. 
 
'In line with the recent Auditor General’s report and recommendations on marine parks in WA, we’d like to see substantial financial commitments towards the ongoing monitoring and management of the Great Kimberley Marine Park, in collaboration with Traditional Owners, along the spectacular Kimberley coast.
 
'We now look forward to the Western Australian Government and the WA Opposition stepping up to deliver commitments to finalise a well-funded Great Kimberley Marine Park. This should include the massive intertidal areas and significant offshore islands, such as Adele—which has been left out of the Great Kimberley Marine Park to date.
 
'It’s clear that the finalising of the Great Kimberley Marine Park is going to significantly add to the legacy of marine protection in our great state of WA, for future generations.'

More information

For further comment, please contact Jenita Enevoldsen on 0405 941 500 or (08) 9420 7255.
...

13:25

Ahoy there new writers! We want your fiction! "IndyWatch Feed National"

Overland is seeking fiction from new and emerging writers for a special online edition. For this special edition, ‘new and emerging’ describes writers at various early-career stages, from previously unpublished to no more than one collection of stories or a novel published.

13:23

Sydney Music Venue Shut Down Following Police Raid "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Sydney Music Venue Shut Down Following Police Raid

It was a rare busy evening in Kings Cross – ground zero of the lockout laws – on Saturday night after dozens of police officers stormed Candy’s Apartment nightclub, ejected all patrons, and shut the club down.

The reason? A three-month investigation into illegal drugs in the Kings Cross area. The raid resulted in a single arrest: a 21-year-old man who was allegedly found to have 60 MDMA capsules. Candy’s Apartment will stay closed for 72 hours, with allegations of “a number of drug supply and licensing breaches”.

The wording – and the three-day shutdown – suggests that police believe Candy’s is being used to supply drugs, although whether this is being done by anyone connected to the popular nightspot remains to be seen.

Owner Charlie Mancuso wasn’t impressed by the shutdown, telling SMH, “the police have to show they are doing something other wise they are going to lose their jobs.”

Elliott Harper, a regular DJ at Candy’s Apartment, posted on Facebook on Saturday night, “I’ve just witnessed 40 police officers storm into Candys and shut the venue down because ‘the patrons are in danger’. The entire Bayswater Road has been blocked off and police tape has been used to section off the street outside the club. You would think that a murder has taken place.”

13:00

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 1274 days and counting… "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

count

The promises from Prime Minister Peter O’Neill keep coming, but we are still waiting to see ANY ACTION to reverse the huge SABL land grab; ANY ACTION to return the land to customary landholders; and, ANY ACTION to stop the illegal logging in SABL areas.

It is now 1,274 days since the reports of the SABL Commission Inquiry which detail the widespread fraud and mismanagement that has allowed foreign logging companies to gain illegal access to over 5 million hectares of land.

Since June 2013, three-and-a-half years ago, O’Neill has REPEATEDLY promised us the leases will be canceled and illegal logging stopped.

...

12:37

What does Australia’s AAA rating threat really mean? "IndyWatch Feed National"

Contributed by Joe Montero There is a lot of speculation about the chances of Australia losing a AAA rating from the ratings agencies. What does...

The post What does Australia’s AAA rating threat really mean? appeared first on The Pen.

12:25

Hidden Valley LO association urge Govt to sign revised Mining Act "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Peter O'Neill announced his government's climb down in Sydney

Peter O’Neill announced his government’s climb down over the Mining Act in Sydney

Post Courier | December 15, 2016

THE government has been called upon to review their decisions and sign the revised mining act for implementation.

Hidden Valley’s Nakuwi Landowners Association president Rex Mauri said this yesterday following the announcement by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill during the mining conference in Sydney, Australia, recently to defer the revised mining act.

“We the landowners from Hidden Valley are appealing for Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and Mining Minister Byron Chan to review the decision,” he said.

He said Mr O’Neill had announced during the mining conference that the revised mining act will be deferred until after the 2017 General Election.

“This is a slap in the face for landowners, contributing...

11:42

US Senators urge action over SABL land grab and illegal logging "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Senator Patrick Leahy is the most senior member of the United States Congress

Two United States Senators, Senator Patrick Leahy and Senator Jeff Merkley, have written to Prime Minister Peter O’Neill calling for action to end the SABL land grab and illegal logging.

The Senators say they are concerned at the expropriation of millions of hectares of customary land and destruction of tropical rainforests critical to the livelihoods and cultures of local people as a result of the land grab. They also say they are particularly troubled by the reports of police being paid by logging companies to engage in violence and intimidation against unarmed villagers. 

The Senators were alerted to the SABL issue after Paul Pavol from Pomio, was awarded the 2016 Alexander Soros Foundation Award for Environmental and Human Rights Activism.

Paul has been a leading figure in his community's fight against four unlawful SABL leases granted to Rimbunan Hijau and the illegal logging operations in the Pomio district. In October, Pavol visited the United States to receive his award and lobby US law makers. 

The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress which, along with the House of Representatives, composes the legislature of the United States. 

The Senators have urged the Prime Minister to fulfil his commitments to cancel all the illegal SABL land titles, to halt the logging and to pull police out of logging operations and pursue accountability where laws have been violated.

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11:00

Bringing refugees to Australia "IndyWatch Feed National"

The case of Hamid Kehazaei, imprisoned by Australia on Manus Island, shows how Australia set up a system with multiple levels of bureaucratic hurdles against bringing any refugee to Australia, and run by functionaries who put all rules above human life.

10:13

Julie Bishop "looking forward" to co-chairing UN Green Fund with Saudi Arabia "IndyWatch Feed National"

On Friday, Julie Bishop announced Saudi Arabia and Australia will co-chair the UN's Green Climate Fund in 2017. Put to one side the waste of money ($200M from us last year). Ms Bishop buries this in the last couple of lines of her statement. We should choose our company more...

09:11

FNQ Monthly Movements Summary - November 2016 "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia"

...
MONTHLY SUMMARY FNQ MOVEMENTS
November 2016
Date Callsign Registration AC Type Route / Location Operator Comments
1/11/2016 ANZ6090 ZK-OXM A320 ...

08:33

RAMU 2 BLOWBACK LUPARI AND DUMA ORDER CHINESE STYLE CENSORSHIP ON GOVERNMENT AGENCIES - GOVERNMENT SOURCE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

PNGBLOGS

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE, LUPARI, THE CHINESE, OR WHO? IF PNGBLOGS GOES BLACK ON PNG COMPUTER SCREENS NEXT WEEK, WE WILL KNOW WHY - IT WILL BE THE RE-CREATION OF A PAUL PARAKA BANANA REPUBLIC STYLE THREAT THAT FINALLY WORKED:

In 2010, Paul Paraka, the number one corrupt lawyer in the country according to the Commission of Inquiry into Department of Finance fake payment scams, did something that even today goes down as one of the most banana republic kinds of reactions ever seen in PNG. Here's what happened. When the government Commission of Inquiry on massive theft totally hundreds of millions of kina submitted their report in Parliament, Paraka immediately obtained a court injunction to make it illegal for any Papua New Guinean to read or be in possession of the report and learn about the allegations against him and 18 other lawyers. Included amongst the accused is current Chief Minister Isaac Lupari, alleged to have stolen more than K2.7 million.
Paraka's strategy to keep the report implicating him in massive corruption worked for awhile. Then a PNG hero stole a copy of the report and got it into the hands of journalists in Australia. The report was duly uploaded on the internet and a number of internet sites either put the report on their own sites or entertained discussion about the report and its implications. Paraka was both furious and determined to use his renowned thug like reputation to intimidate and...

08:26

Residents flee to hills after PNG quake "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

A US Geological Survey shakemap showing the epicentre of a 7.9 magnitude earthquake off Papua New Guinea on Saturday. Photo EPA/USGS

A US Geological Survey shakemap showing the epicentre of a 7.9 magnitude earthquake off Papua New Guinea on Saturday. Photo EPA/USGS

Jonathan Barrett & Harry Pearl

PORT MORESBY [RAW]

People living along Papua New Guinea’s coastline fled to higher ground after a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck east of the Pacific nation, triggering a tsunami warning for parts of its archipelago.

On Saturday a couple of hours after the quake, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) said the threat had largely passed, although it said government agencies should continue to monitor coastal tides.

‘Based on all available data … the tsunami threat from this earthquake has now passed,’ the PTWC said in an updated and final alert after the quake, which struck 157 km east of Rabaul.

The major tremor initially triggered a more widespread tsunami warning for the Pacific region, including Indonesia and the Solomon Islands, but that was pulled back after the US Geological Survey (USGS) downgraded the magnitude slightly from 8.

It also revised the depth of the tremor to 103.2 km from its original estimate of 73 kms.

Many residents in the northern parts of the autonomous region of Bougainville sought higher ground amid warnings that tsunami waves were possible.

‘The town residents have vacated the whole place; those in the villages live higher up, so they’re okay, it’s just those near the coast,’ local resident Christabel Biasu told Reuters by phone.

Quakes are common in Papua New Guinea, which sits on the Pacific’s ‘Ring of Fire’, a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties after Saturday’s major tremor.

...

08:20

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation eyes Qld seats "IndyWatch Feed National"

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson addresses media during the candidates launch in Brisbane on Sunday. AAP Image/Sarah Motherwell

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson addresses media during the candidates launch in Brisbane on Sunday. AAP Image/Sarah Motherwell

BRISBANE [AAP]

Pauline Hanson is confident of snatching Queensland seats from the major parties as she announces a raft of candidates ahead of the next state election.

The One Nation founder has unveiled 36 ‘very closely’ vetted candidates, but is remaining tight-lipped about the party’s policies for the election, which is due to be held in 2018 or earlier.

Ms Hanson said the party was destined to win some seats in the next parliament, after hearing Labor was going to put the Liberal National Party last in preferences.

‘We’re coming after you [the major parties] and your jobs because I don’t feel you need to be there,’ she said in Brisbane on Sunday.

‘You have not listened to grassroots Australians.’

Recent polls show support for One Nation has risen into the double digits in Queensland, with the election considered by many as its best chance to pick up seats since 1998, when it won 11 seats.

The party is seen as a threat to both sides and given neither Labor nor the LNP holds a majority, it may only need to snare a handful of seats to hold the balance of power.

Federal finance minister Mathias Cormann acknowledged One Nation was competition to the LNP, but one they could take on.

Labor frontbencher Jim Chalmers said his party took the electoral threat One Nation posed very seriously.

The post Pauline Hanson’s One Nation eyes Qld seats appeared first on Echonetdaily.

08:19

Fremantle’s Change The Date Mayor Celebrates ‘Sparkking’ Debate "IndyWatch Feed National"

NEW MATILDA ADVERTORIAL: As the Mayor of Fremantle, Brad Pettitt helped spark national outrage by moving the date of local Australia Day celebrations from the 26th to the 28th of January.

The decision of the Fremantle City Council, announced a fortnight ago, drew national and international headlines… and sent Australian conservatives and ‘patriots’ into a fit of pique. The federal government has even threatened to withdraw Fremantle’s right to host citizenship ceremonies unless it restores January 26 as its official celebration date.

Fremantle remains unmoved.

Now, Pettitt has helped ‘Sparkke’ even more change, by ordering a few cartons of ‘Change the date’ Pilsner from the Sparkke Change Beverage Company, along with giving Sparkke’s Pozible fundraising campaign a big plug on his well followed Facebook page.

brad-pettitt-sparkke

“I love this idea of brewing beverages with values. The range includes a “Change the Date Pilsner! I’ve just order a few in time for January. Check it out,” writes Pettitt.

As readers know, New Matilda has a small involvement in the company.

There’s about 50 hours of Sparkke’s Pozible campaign left. The team – run by nine young women from Adelaide and Sydney – are 75 per cent of the way to their goal, and have attracted major investments external to the fundraising campaign.

You can pre-order your Sparkke carton – either ‘Change the Date’ Pilsner; ‘Consent Can’t Come After You Do’ Apple Cider; Boundless Plains To Share’ Ginger Beer; or Nipples Are Nipples Lemonade – here.

10 per cent of all direct sales are donated to charities working in Sparkke’s campaign areas. And it helps New Matilda stay alive.

The post Fremantle’s Change The Date Mayor Celebrates ‘Sparkking’ Debate appeared first on New Matilda.

08:15

Ice leading problem for treatment: report "IndyWatch Feed National"

Photo sourceable.net

Photo sourceable.net

Simone Ziaziaris

SYDNEY [AAP]

Amphetamine addiction has become the leading problem for one in two people seeking treatment for drug and alcohol dependence, figures show.

An annual report released on Monday by Odyssey House, Australia’s largest rehabilitation service, revealed 49 per cent of Sydney clients cited amphetamine type stimulants, like ice, as their main reason for seeking treatment.

Odyssey House CEO Julie Babineau said it was simply a matter of supply and demand.

‘The reason that people in addiction like it [amphetamines] is that they can get it more pure, they really get their kick right away and it is a lot more addictive,’ she told AAP.

‘It is more accessible and cheaper.’

‘That is also why alcohol has been stable over the years. It is legal and it is readily available so when things get too expensive or it is hard to get people will substitute the drug with alcohol.’

Alcohol remained a significant problem during the year, nominated by 20 per cent of clients as their principal drug of concern, down nine per cent from 2015.

While addiction to heroin and prescription opioids was down 45 per cent on the previous year, Ms Babineau warned there could easily be another surge.

‘It fluctuates more than shares,’ she said.

Odyssey House had a 164 per cent rise in opioid admissions last year and a 20 per cent fall in amphetamine admissions.

She said if one drug isn’t available on the market, addicts will turn to the other.

‘It is really a question of accessibility, cost and the purity of the drug that they want,’ she said.

‘They need something every day, they need something all the time.’

The average age for first intoxication with alcohol or other drugs was as young as 12-13 ye...

08:12

Lobster, grapes big winners in China trade "IndyWatch Feed National"

Poached rock lobster. Photo InterContinental Hong Kong flickr.com/photos/intercontinentalhongkong

Poached rock lobster. Photo InterContinental Hong Kong flickr.com/photos/intercontinentalhongkong

CANBERRA [AAP]

Australian mangoes, cherries, grapes, rock lobster and abalone are finding their way onto at least twice as many Chinese plates a year after a free trade deal began.

The federal government is celebrating the first anniversary of Australia’s landmark trade deal with China, which came into effect on December 20, 2015.

Trade minister Steve Ciobo says the tariff cuts in the most favourable deal China has done with any country have meant many Australian businesses have been able to increase their exports massively, leading them to hire more staff.

‘The results we’re seeing one year in are fantastic,’ he told AAP.

‘Business is booming for those who have taken advantage of the preferential access the agreement offers to the world’s second largest economy.’

More than six times as many Australian fresh table grapes were sent to China in 2016 than in the previous year.

The number of fresh Australian rock lobsters brought into China almost tripled over the past year.

This increased demand has led to the Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-operative – started in the 1950s be a small group of fishermen – now becoming the largest rock lobster exporter in the world with 350 employees and annual sales worth $450 million.

‘This will directly benefit the fishermen, their families and the communities in small towns along the south-western coast of Australia,’ chief executive Wayne Hosking said.

Exports of cherries, mangoes and live, fresh and chilled abalone have more than doubled.

Other Australian products to fare well under the deal are wine, milk powders, skin care products, fresh cheese, unwrought zinc and liquefied propane.

...

07:53

Global Attention Needed – The people of West Papua in danger on 19th December "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

This message has been released by West Papuan Independence Leader Benny Wenda ahead of rallies that are planned today on 19th December in West Papua, rejecting the Indonesian military’s illegal invasion of West Papua exactly 55 years ago on 19th December and calling for West Papua’s full membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).

Dear everyone,

I am writing this message as an urgent plea to the International Community to keep an eye on West Papua as my people prepare risk their lives today by peacefully demonstrating.
Exactly 55 years ago on 19th December, 1961, the Indonesian government launched “Operation TRIKORA”, a military operation to invade West Papua just 19 days after we first raised our national flag on 1st December. This marked the beginning of decades of illegal Indonesian occupation and genocide in West Papua during which time over 500,000 West Papuan people have been killed.
To see what West Papuan people feel about this military operation today, please watch the video below

There are demonstrations planned across West Papua tomorrow to reject this illegal invasion and also, as Melanesians to show support for full membership of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) to the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG). A meeting of the MSG is being held this month in Port Vila, Vanuatu to discuss ULMWP’s full membership which will be a matter of much historical importance for West Papua as it will mark the first full recognition of West Papua as an integral part of the Melanesian family.

Wets Papuan people being arrested in Nabire for preparing to peacefully demonstrate on 19th December

Already there are reports that up to 30 West Papuan people have been arrested in Wamena and 7 others in Nabire simply for preparing to peacefu...

06:54

East Antarctica Is Melting From Above And Below "IndyWatch Feed National"

The calving front of the Totten ice shelf. Credit: Australian Antarctic DivisionSource: Climate Central East Antarctica is remote even by Antarctic standards. Harsh winds and ocean currents have largely cut off the region from the rest of the world. That’s left its massive stores of ice largely intact, especially compared to West Antarctica where a massive meltdown is underway that could raise seas by 10 or

06:38

The lost creative writing generation of Papua New Guinea "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

PhilPHIL FITZPATRICK

IMAGINE a country with a talented pool of writers but no commercial publishers and virtually no bookshops. Add to that an indifferent government offering no support to those writers and even seeking to suppress what they write.

And if you are thinking about some tiny tin pot dictatorship in the nether regions of Eastern Europe, Asia or Africa, think again.

Because the situation I describe is just to our north in Papua New Guinea, a country that, before the advent of the Manus Island detention centre, hardly registered on most Australians’ radar.

Papua New Guinea has a rich tradition of oral literature which continues to exist. But it wasn’t until 1970 that the first novel by a Papua New Guinean writer was published, The Crocodile by Vincent Eri.

While The Crocodile was the first novel, if you go back much you’ll find the first book written by a Papua New Guinean - the New Ireland writer Ligeremaluoga (also known as Osea).

The book, The Erstwhile Savage, sometimes dismissed as missionary propaganda with no real literary merit, was originally written in the Kuanua language but was translated and published in English in 1932. It was republished under a different title, An Offering Fit for a King, in 1978.

YoungVincent Eri’s novel came out of a concerted push by the then new University of Papua New Guinea to promote Papua New Guinean literature...

06:00

Bougainville youth have historic role in building its future "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Young women's leadership training program at Chabai, south BougainvilleANTHONY KAYBING

BOUGAINVILLE’S future depends on the ability of its young generation as it will increasingly engage with the global community, says chief secretary Joseph Nobetau, who is encouraging young Bougainvilleans to play a bigger role in the province’s future.

“You are not tarnished by history or prejudice – your journey is just beginning,” Mr Nobetau told a recent graduation ceremony. “As young people you each have a role in writing part of our future.

“You have the opportunity to take on leadership roles and help build a stronger, united and more prosperous future for us all.

“You can do this regardless of the path that you choose to take, whether as young corporate leaders, public servants, community leaders, academics, members of your church and so on.”

Mr Nobetau said that by committing to a collective future, youth can play an important role and he was confident they will make a significant contribution.

“Ask yourselves what you have done to demonstrate leadership and ask yourselves what you can do in the future.

“The world is very much your oyster and I encourage you to be creative and explore all opportunities,” he said.

“Leadership comes from within and each of you has demonstrated leadership through your scholarly work and your commitment to education.”

“As you can see, leadership is not something that is static – it is based on individuals taking responsibility for others with the intention of helping them to learn, improve and grow.

"As each of you embark on your next chapter, whether that be going to university, undertaking additional training, or joining the workforce you too will need to show leadership....

05:27

So Much for Pennsylvania. "IndyWatch Feed National"

pennsylvania-sign

Well, the Pennsylvania electoral voters all seem to have their heads firmly lodged up their asses.

One elector, Ash Khare, said he and each of the 19 others have been assigned a plainclothes state police trooper for protection.

“I’m a big boy,” said Khare, an India-born engineer and a longtime Republican from Warren County, who estimates he receives 3,000 to 5,000 emails, letters, and phone calls a day from as far away as France, Germany, and Australia. “But this is stupid. Nobody is standing up and telling these people, ‘Enough, knock it off.’ ”

[…]

“I take my job as an elector very seriously, and in Pennsylvania, Donald Trump won,” said Mary Barket, a Northampton County resident and president of the Pennsylvania Federation of Republican Women. “So any argument thereafter, especially about the nature of him being a president, is not going to have an effect on me.”

Barket said she has been inundated with phone calls and emails and letters over the last month. Some tell her to read the Federalist Papers or express fear over Trump becoming the country’s commander-in-chief.

But she said she generally doesn’t open the messages.

“I don’t have the time, first of all,” she said. “Second of all, there’s really not much to be said that’s going to do anything to change my mind.”

[…]

In interviews last week, a number of electors said there was no chance anyone will defect.

“There is zero chance of that,” said elector Lawrence Tabas, a Philadelphia lawyer and general counsel for the state GOP. “If you want to place a bet on that in Vegas, you can make enough money to retire.”

[…]

Khare said he understood that the country is deeply divided and that emotions are running high, but said he was clear on where he stands.

“I will not change my mind,” he said.

Richard Stewart, a Cumberland County resident and the state Republican Party’s assistant treasurer, said he has received probably more than 60,000 emails and hundreds of letters about his role as an elector.

He described the people contacting him and other electors as “sincere but ill-informed and uneducated with respect to the process.”

He has not engaged.

“If Hillary Clinton had....

05:00

Respect me "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Papua-New-Guinea-WomanBUSA JEREMIAH WENOGO

Respect me for I am a woman
Without me what would become of life?
Respect me for I am a man in a woman
Without me what would become of man?

Respect me for I am God
Without me what would become of God?
Respect me for who I am
Without me what would become of love?

Respect me for how I look
Without me what would become of beauty?
Respect me if you are a father to a daughter
Respect me if you are a son to a mother

Respect me if you are a husband to a wife
Respect me if you are an uncle to a niece
Respect me if you respect yourself.
Without me there is no you.

04:15

Word of the day "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The word for today is… mansuetude (noun) –  Gentleness of manner; mildness. Source : The Free Dictionary Etymology : “Tameness, gentleness, mildness,” late 14th century., from Latin mansuetudo “tameness, mildness, gentleness,” noun of state from past participle stem of mansuescere “to tame,” literally “to accustom to the hand,” from manus “hand” + suescere “to accustom, […]

The post Word of the day appeared first on Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media.

03:57

Birds’ feathers in human society, exhibition "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

This video from the Museum voor Volkenkunde in Leiden, the Netherlands, is about putting together their exhibition A World of Feathers.

The museum says about it:

The exhibition A World of Feathers will be on display from 14 October.

People wear feathers to make an impression. They have done so all over the world for centuries. Feathers are dazzling, they are distinctive and yet they also connect; they are seductive, exclusive and stylish. The greatest couturiers use them, they are worn by royalty all round the world and they have given many indigenous peoples – from Papua New Guinea to North America – iconic status. The museum’s most beautiful feather objects are now on display to the public for the first time. Fashion lovers will delight at the feathered creations of leading couturiers like Jean Paul Gaultier and Thierry Mugler.

This 8 December 2016 video is about the exhibition.

This 29 September 2016 video from the exhibition is about the role of feathers in the fashion designing by Pierre Antoine Vettorello.

I went to the exhibition on 18 December 2016.

Part of it is the history of birds’ feathers in human society. Traditionally, indigenous people in many countries have used feathers for many purposes. Inuit people of Greenland used...

02:17

Strong and shallow M6.1 earthquake hits near Yap Island, Micronesia "IndyWatch Feed National"

A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.1 hit near Yap Island, Federated States of Micronesia at 09:47 UTC on December 18, 2016. The agency is reporting a depth of 13.2 km (8.2 miles). Geoscience Australia is reporting M6.3 at a depth of 0 km....... Read more »

00:22

Sogavare: Demi West Papua, MSG akan luaskan dukungan "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Jayapura, Jubi – Perdana Menteri Kepulauan Solomon, Manasseh Sogavare menegaskan bahwa Melanesia Spearhead Group (MSG) akan mengikutsertakan Mikronesia, Polinesia, dan negeri-negeri Afrika untuk berjuang melawan pelanggaran HAM di West Papua. Sogavare mengungkapkan hal tersebut di hadapan Parlemen Kepulauan Solomon ketika ditanyakan oleh Pemimpin Oposisi, Jeremiah Manele, Kamis, (15/12) seperti dilansir Solomon Star Jum’at (16/12/2016). Menurut…

Sogavare: Demi West Papua, MSG akan luaskan dukungan was originally published on PAPUAPost.com

Continue reading

00:05

13 people died when Indonesian C-130 owned by Air Force hits mountain "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

All 13 people on board a Hercules C-130 plane owned by the Indonesian Air Force died after it crashed into a mountain near the town of Wamena in the eastern Papua province not far from the airport on Sunday. The US-made transport plane departed from the city of Timika at 22:35 GMT and was set to arrive at Wamena airport at 23:13 GMT. However, contact with the aircraft was lost some ten minutes before the scheduled landing, and search and rescue crews were dispatched to the area.

Sunday, 18 December

22:13

Syria hands over evidence of mustard gas attack by rebels on civilians to OPCW "IndyWatch Feed National"


Syrian authorities have handed over a batch of documents with the evidence of a rebel use of banned chemical agent against civilians near Aleppo to the international chemical watchdog. Samples from the shell containing mustard gas are to be delivered to The Hague. The documents were handed over in Damascus to the mission of the Technical Secretariat of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The mission, comprising eight experts from the US, the UK, Australia, Slovakia and Slovenia has been working in Damascus at the request of the Syrian government since December 12. “We have provided all the documents to the mission, they were vetted and accepted. The mission will come to Syria one more time to collect samples, which will be subsequently analyzed,” said Samer Abbas, spokesman for the Syrian National Authority monitoring the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement. The samples are expected to be delivered to The Hague, the site of the OPCW headquarters, by a charter flight in January next year. The samples will be stored in Syria until all financial difficulties linked to their transportation to Europe will be solved. The mortar shell with the chemical was recovered near the village of Maarat Umm Hawsh in Aleppo province on November 16 by Russian experts, who were demining the area. Upon closer inspection, the unexploded crude homemade 240-mm round was found to contain dark liquid. Russian chemical experts took samples and confirmed that the agent in question was mustard gas. The poisonous substance was widely used during the WWI-era and has been outlawed since 1923. The shell is believed to have been used in a September 16 attack on the village, in which over 40 civilians were injured, and later treated in the Yusuf al-Azma military hospital in Damascus for symptoms of mustard gas poisoning. In November, the Russian military handed over all the evidence concerning the attack, including the samples to the Syrian authorities. At the time, the Defense Ministry said that the evidence suggested the gas was homemade rather than supplied by a third party, but did not rule out the possibility. Officers from the Russian Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defense troops in Syria previously produced evidence of chlorine and white phosphorus usage by militants in Aleppo province. In November, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that the expert found “nine selected samples which confirmed [that the terrorists] had used chlorine and white phosphorus munitions to fill their ammunition.” The traces of the agents were on the fragments of mines, shells and soil from the craters to the southwest of Aleppo, Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said. Russia has repeatedly called on OPCW specialists to participate in....

19:29

What Chance One Nation Seats In The Tasmanian Parliament? "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Recently there have been some noises about Pauline Hanson's One Nation trying to break into Tasmanian state politics at the next election.  The next state election still could be 15 months away, if the parliament goes full term, and before then we'll have the WA and probably the Queensland elections, which both look like fertile ground for the resurgent party.   But anywhere might be fertile ground if a recent ReachTEL in Victoria that had the party on 9.4% there is to be taken even half-seriously. One Nation's current national surge might fall in a big heap by the time Tasmanians next go to the polls, but let's suppose it doesn't.  I thought it was worth a detailed look at the sort of chances the party might have, supposing that it makes a serious effort.

The case for One Nation as a threat is pretty easily stated.  The party very nearly won a seat in the state at the Senate election, albeit when competing for one of twelve seats rather than one in five per electorate.  Its primary vote was low (2.57%) but it received about another 2% in preferences from micro-parties that might reasonably be expected not to contest the state election.  Throw in regional variation and it's easy to project One Nation above 6% in both Lyons and Braddon.  Throw in that the party's national polled support is running close to double what it polled in the Senate and something like 10% in these seats starts to look pretty viable.

One Nation might appeal to some voters who are displeased with the current state government but would hate to go back to another minority government where the Greens hold the balance of power.

Two Recent Populist Failures


Tasmania First polled 5.1% statewide, peaking at 9.9% in Lyons.  However, 0.6 of a quota in Lyons wasn't enough.  The ALP...

18:45

Oh No!! Indonesian Air Force Plane Crashes In Papua, Kills All On Board "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

An Indonesian air force transport plane has crashed into a mountain killing all 13 on board.

The crash happened during a training exercise in the remote region of Papua, a search and rescue agency official said earlier this morning.

The Hercules C130 plane had taken off from the city of Timika before crashing near its destination of Wamena at around 6.15 a.m. local time (23:15 GMT), said Ivan Ahmad Riski Titus, operational director of Indonesia's Search and Rescue Agency.

The crash site on Lisuwa mountain had been found and the bodies of the victims were being brought back to Wamena, he said.

This is so SAD!! May their souls rest in perfect peace.

17:26

Video: Getting real news from Aleppo "IndyWatch Feed National"

From the Ron Paul Liberty Report Independent journalist Vanessa Beeley talks about what she saw as an eye witness in East Aleppo and contradicts manufactured...

The post Video: Getting real news from Aleppo appeared first on The Pen.

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