Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

JUDGE BLOCKS ASSANGE EXTRADITION, PENDING US APPEAL — Rise Up Times

Magistrate Vanessa Baraitser on Monday rejected a U.S. extradition request on both indictments for WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

JUDGE BLOCKS ASSANGE EXTRADITION, PENDING US APPEAL — Rise Up Times

January 4, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

January 4th – news for a nuclear-free 2021

“News” is by its nature , all about the bad stuff, while the majority of people, trying to live a decent, co-operative, life, are not reported. No surprise the, that 2020 news has been all about the bad stuff.

And bad it has been, and still is, with world-wide coronavirus cases heading to 90 million, and economic disruption resulting from the situation. At the same time, global heating moves on inexorably, with polar ice melting changing the world ecosystem.

The pandemic and global heating have been, still are, the defining problems of our time.  BUT, the nuclear danger is equally important, and it is the one that could be addressed, if the deceptive propaganda of the nuclear industry were to be countered. The industry has done a great job of keeping its issues out of the public eye, with its subtle theme that only technical experts can have an opinion.

That’s why, reluctantly, I decided to concentrate on nuclear issues, and leave those other critical topics to the media.

This month is especially important, with the coming into force of the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, on January 22.  There will be voices rubbishing this Treaty. But it complements existing agreements, and most significantly it will make nuclear weapons look, (like chemical and biological ones), unacceptable and immoral as well as illegal 

Some bits of good news  -Amid 2020’s gloom, there are reasons to be hopeful about the climate in 2021.

What went right in 2020:  some big wins for the environment, society and culture, human rights, even health.

AUSTRALIA.

The Australian government’s shameful record in the Kimba nuclear dump fiasco.

The decay of mainstream media in Australia – and the rise of new independent media.  Rupert Murdoch’s News Corpse rises in ABC Insiders .

INTERNATIONAL

Legal case on extradition of Julian Assange is an alarming precedent for freedom of speech.

Pandemic, climate, nuclear weapons – lessons for survival in 2021.This is the sort of letter that citizens need to be writing – in support of the nuclear weapons ban.

Mary Olson on the 6 mentors who guided her on gender and radiation study.

The Nuclear Industry’s Really Bad Safety Analysis.

How the USA and Soviet Union planned to use nuclear radiation as a weapon.

Get ready for a 2021 barrage of pro nuclear spin, from a desperate industry.

January 4, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The decay of mainstream media in Australia – and the rise of new independent media

Faustian Pact: no way back from public relations for News and Nine, Michael West Media by Michael West | Dec 31, 2020 Old media caps off annus horribilis 2020 with its traditional horrible week. Michael West, standing in for Michael Tanner, looks at the fall of Fairfax, PR masquerading as journalism, who guards the Guardian, Seven News’ calls for war with China and how Scott Morrison’s media team has the game sown up.

Independent. Always.

Ahem …

How about Independent. Sometimes.

As annus horribilis 2020 shudders to its Covid-ridden close, the once venerable Australian media properties, the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, have spruced up their advertising.

We refer not to their advertising for the Liberal Party, or even the heavy editorial influence of their beloved corporate sponsors, but rather the advertising of their own unseemly decline.

The shining example of the week was this Op-ed piece penned by a Liberal Party PR person and lobbyist Parnell Palme McGuinness.

Your humble essayist was once, long ago, a cadet at Fairfax – now Nine Entertainment. Reading this slavering panegyric to Gladys Berejiklian, which kicked off with a gratuitous swipe at Jacinda Adern, approximated the feeling one gets when scraping one’s fingernails across a blackboard.

It wasn’t just the tacky story. More the creepy incursion of political PR people into what purports to be independent journalism.

Since when is it de rigueur for a media organisation to run propaganda clickbait by Liberal lobbyists who benefit from limited-tender contracts from the Liberal Government? Answer: since Fairfax (now Nine newspapers) installed Liberal editorial management.

To be fair, the decline has been afoot for more than a decade – well before the Nine Entertainment takeover. And many fine journalists remain there – albeit cowed and interfered with – and feeble management and the global decline of a business model are largely to blame. Still …

Two days later, The Age sallied forth with a piece by a sociology professor who writes for The Australian and Quadrant claiming Dan Andrews was “heading the most incompetent Australian administration in living memory”.

This bloke must have a very short living memory. Incompetence is endemic to government and there are plenty worse than Dan Andrews.

Mainstream media train wreck

If the basic task of a media organisation is to hold both sides of politics to account, particularly the side in government, most of the mainstream media in this country has failed miserably.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp gave it up long ago. The Australian, the state tabloids and Sky News are little more than agitprop – their daily daggy a capellas to government merely the thing of a propaganda machine to further the power and financial interests of a US billionaire.

And although still insisting forlornly it is independent, still touting the “Independent. Always.” slogan on its mastheads, replete with emphatic full stops, Fairfax has now joined the choir; the shrill descants of the News Corp sopranos ringing above the melodic Fairfax bass, all perfectly complemented by the altos of talk-back radio and the reliable tenors of commercial TV – together as one – singing the praises of the most corrupt government in Australian history.

Independent. Always.? What a clear breach this is of Trade Practices law; truth in advertising, if anybody could be bothered to prosecute the case………….

By changing the law to allow Nine to take over Fairfax, former Minister for Communications Mitch Fifield did a big favour for his government, as well as News, Nine and Fairfax.

Now “Mitchell Peter Fifield is the Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations”. Thanks Mitch, job well done – for the Coalition, which relies on an obsequious and beaten Fourth Estate to stay in power.

It is a symbiotic relationship to be sure; a marriage counsellor would call it co-dependent. So tightly in the clutches of Murdoch is Mitch’s successor, Paul Fletcher, that he and his office can’t, or wont’, answer questions about where Rupert Murdoch has taken control of Foxtel.

Neither can his regulator ACMA, the Australian Communications and Media Authority. Undaunted, ACMA pinged Four Corners earlier this month for its investigation into the dodgy Murray Darling Basin Authority because government refused to be interviewed – and because they refused to be interviewed, the show was not balanced, according to ACMA.

Elsewhere, Fletcher was busy harassing anybody at ABC who would listen, even browbeating chairman Ita Buttrose over the Four Corners episode, which exposed a couple of ministers for engaging in the act of extra-marital canoodling.

All this punctilious intervention and regulatory fussing over nothing while Rupert, the world’s dominant media mogul, took his government grants and scurried off to Delaware with Foxtel. To the sound of crickets from Fletcher and ACMA.

Where will it all go this year? What will the Government do to protect its machinery of public relations? If the trend is any indication, mainstream media will get even closer to governments and their corporate sponsors. It will get worse.

The formula is simple: you tickle my feathers, I’ll tickle yours………….

Doing journalism was an old-fashioned formula that seemed to take Fairfax by surprise. As its new, even more hopeless and sycophantic, editorial leadership under Nine tripped over themselves firing journalists such as Michael Pascoe, Peter Martin and yours truly and replacing them with pro-business toadies from News Corp, devising new ways to kowtow to governments and corporations, the biggest winner has been The Guardian. ………….

What then does 2021 hold for media? Younger Australians have deserted mainstream media in droves. Commercial TV, newspapers, MSM websites; they simply don’t trust them. It’s mutual.

For its part, the mainstream operators have clearly picked sides; they have picked the side of governments and corporate advertisers, and in so doing, cannot improve the public interest value or the authority of their products. This is immensely frustrating for the real journalists among them, and although the management agendas will continue to be interspersed with bona fide stories by reporters doing the right thing, the cultural malaise cannot be reversed.

The Faustian Pact has been struck. There is no turning back. Credibility can only ebb further as they rely on fewer larger advertisers to survive. The government will continue to come up with schemes to subsidise friendly media such as the attack on the digital platforms. The bright news is that, where there is demand, there will be supply. There is demand for the truth, demand for courageous and uncontaminated journalism, and that will be supplied as new independent sources of media flourish. https://www.michaelwest.com.au/faustian-pact-no-way-back-from-public-relations-for-news-and-nine/

January 4, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

Assange hearing outcome could set an “alarming precedent” for free speech

January 4, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, legal, media, secrets and lies, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Kimba could become like Quirra, Sardinia, a radioactively contaminated environment

January 4, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2020


World Nuclear Industry Status Report 31st Dec 2020.  The Global Launch of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2020

(WNISR2020) took place on 24 September 2020 with two online events.
The first was hosted by Chatham House, London, for timezones compatible with European watches. The second was hosted by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in Washington D.C. for timezones that fit American clocks.
Greg Jaczko, former Chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), commented during the second release event:
“First of all, I think the report is fantastic. It is probably the best collection of publicly available data for the nuclear industry. I have to say, I use a lot of the information quite often in talks and in teaching [at Princeton University]. So I think it is an excellent report, and I think it does paint a very clear picture of the status of the industry right now.
It is the data that does not necessarily comport with the story that the industry is wanting to tell right now on what the status of the industry is. So I think it is very valuable to have this kind of information and to have the accurate analysis and assessment. Really, I applaud the work, it is a tremendous effort.
Further online events around the WNISR2020 findings are planned with partners in Beijing (China), Beirut (Lebanon), Paris (France), Taipei (Taiwan), Zürich (Switzerland). Media attention has been extraordinary and many outlets continue to quote, refer to or reproduce graphics from WNISR2020.

https://www.worldnuclearreport.org/Video-PPT-of-WNISR2020-Global-Launch-and-Press-Book.html

January 4, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corpse rises in ABC Insiders !

What’s happening with ABC ‘Insiders’?  Independent Australia, By Alan Austin  2 January 2021  The capture of ABC Insiders by Murdoch’s minions was a topic of debate all year, with this April Alan Austin piece attracting in excess of 35,000 unique views.

…………Has the ABC’s Insiders program become a vehicle for the promotion of News Corp? Alan Austin has been watching with interest and alarm.

AN INTRIGUING development in Australia’s media landscape this year is that it appears ABC’s Insiders, a substantial television program paid for by taxpayers, has become a vehicle for the rehabilitation and promotion of Rupert Murdoch’s tawdry media empire.

The first 12 Insiders episodes since Speers’ arrival as host, have featured 36 guest appearances. Of these, 12 have been current News Corp employees and another four, recent departees. So 44 per cent of all guests from one stable.

There is no need for the ABC to reference anything from News Corp — certainly not as the key source of information. Australia has more than 30 important media organisations. It is itself a well-resourced generator of news and news analysis. Murdoch’s minions are entirely dispensable.

News Corp a legitimate news organisation?

News Corp is not a reliable source of information. It has long since abandoned any commitment to media codes of ethics. The Australian Press Council routinely finds News Corp outlets violate media codes of ethics. Fact-checkers in the UK and the USA have found the same.

Murdoch’s Fox News in the USA is the go-to outlet for President Donald Trump whenever he wishes to share his fabrications and falsehoods. According to the Washington Post, the U.S. President told 16,241 clearly identified lies in his first three years in office. Many of these were Fox exclusives.

In Australia, several senior Murdoch employees have been found guilty of serious falsehoods — and were then rewarded by their employer.

In the celebrated racial discrimination case Eatock v Bolt, Murdoch’s Andrew Bolt was found to have concocted at least 19 damaging false assertions against the Indigenous people he was attacking.

In the wrongful dismissal case of former editor Bruce Guthrie, the judge found two senior News Corp executives had been untruthful in their testimony before the court.

In Britain, Murdoch’s publications have lied, cheated, bribed police and engaged in an extensive range of criminal misconduct. A British Parliamentary Inquiry in 2012 found that Rupert Murdoch was ‘not a fit person’ to run a company in Britain.

As a result of police investigations into Britain’s phone-hacking scandal, a large number of News Corp personnel were arrested and convicted of criminal offences.

Political bias and the ABC

News Corp outlets spruik the commercial interests of the owners, which almost inevitably means supporting right-wing political parties. Normally this is not a great problem. Political biases are fine, provided they are balanced by other political biases. The issue with News Corp is much more insidious than just bias, as shown above.

Ruthless and remorseless

Among Australia’s most profound wrongdoings in recent times have been The Australian’s malicious condemnations of men and women who have served the nation well.

Professor Robert Manne of La Trobe University wrote this of the recent campaign against the Australian Human Rights Commission and its former president:

The attack launched by The Australian on Gillian Triggs and the Human Rights Commission has been obsessive, petty, relentless, remorseless and ruthless. In ‘Bad News‘ I documented similar campaigns – against Larissa Behrendt and Julie Posetti. But neither reached either the level of malevolence or the cultural significance of the current anti-Triggs campaign … What is happening to Gillian Triggs – a fine lawyer, a fine Australian, a fine human being – must be resisted with all the moral and rhetorical muscle liberal Australians can muster.

Other prominent people The Australian has sought to tear down with its frenzied campaigns of hate, include Carmen LawrenceJoan KirnerWendy BaconNatasha Stott Despoja, Margaret SimonsChristine NixonRoz Ward, Clover Moore, Margo KingstonAnna Bligh, Kristina KeneallyJulian DisneyEmma HusarYassmin Abdel-MagiedJulia Gillard and Jacinda Ardern. ………  https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/4-top-story-of-2020-whats-happening-with-abc-insiders,14657

January 4, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

European Union should join ban treaty — Beyond Nuclear International

Europe should fan, not dampen, the great “beacon of hope” that is the ban treaty

European Union should join ban treaty — Beyond Nuclear International

January 4, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Into 2021 with some interesting analysis – Nuclear is Not Needed and it is Reducing!! —

Here at Radiation Free Lakeland we like to do our own research and citizen science – that is what science is all about after all observing, examining and questioning the existing status quo. So in that spirit of inquiry we kick off 2021 with some great analysis by one of our members David Autumns who […]

Into 2021 with some interesting analysis – Nuclear is Not Needed and it is Reducing!! —

January 4, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trespassers on Native land — Beyond Nuclear International

An unsung warrior confronts the US genocide against Western Shoshone peoples

Trespassers on Native land — Beyond Nuclear International

January 4, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Glenn Greenwald: Julian Assange’s Imprisonment Exposes U.S. Myths About Freedom — Rise Up Times

“Censorship, like most repression, is reserved for those who dissent from majoritarian orthodoxies, not for those who express views comfortably within the mainstream.”

Glenn Greenwald: Julian Assange’s Imprisonment Exposes U.S. Myths About Freedom — Rise Up Times

January 4, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

January 3 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Dogger Bank’s Giant Turbines Herald A Wind Of Change In UK Industry” • Beyond the horizon off the coast of North Yorkshire, a quiet revolution is emerging from the waves of the North Sea. More than 80 miles from land, hundreds of the world’s most powerful wind turbines are being built in the […]

January 3 Energy News — geoharvey

January 4, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment