Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Kimba nuclear waste dump Bill due in the Senate (again) on February 17

Kazzi Jai,  15 Feb 21, Fight to stop nuclear waste in the Flinders Ranges
Finally the “Week Ahead for the Senate” has been released for next week!
So according to the listing, the Bill will come up on next Wednesday 17th February 2021.https://www.facebook.com/groups/941313402573199

February 14, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Australian government’s brazen duplicity concerning Julian Assange

What Assange and WikiLeaks said about Australia, https://www.smh.com.au/culture/books/what-assange-and-wikileaks-said-about-australia-20210129-p56xyo.html

By Jessie Tu  February 4, 2021 He has been called “truth-telling hero”, “evil and perverted traitor”, “heroic, trickster, mythical – reviled”. Robert Manne called him the “most consequential Australian of the present time”. The new US President has called him a “high-tech terrorist”.

The protean narratives of Julian Assange, who will be 50 in July, have been brewing since 2010, when his website published “The Afghan War Diaries”, “Iraq War Logs” and “Collateral Murder”, a video showing the US military killing two Reuters employees in Iraq.

December marked 10 years since Assange has been “arbitrarily detained” in Britain, according to Felicity Ruby and Peter Cronau in their introduction to A Secret Australia – a collection of 18 essays that survey the impact WikiLeaks has had on Australia’s media landscape and the consequences of our government’s attraction towards America’s intelligence and military empire.

The potpourri of authors and thinkers includes Julian Burnside, Antony Loewenstein, Scott Ludlam and Helen Razer, who critique “the powers opposed to openness and transparency” and examine the evidence, “not the likelihoods, the probabilities, the suspicions, and assumptions” around the “subversive, technology-based publishing house”.

WikiLeaks invented a “pioneering model of journalism” – one that embodied the “contemporary spirit of resistance to imperial power”, says Richard Tanter, from the school of political and social sciences at the University of Melbourne. It brought renewed debates on free speech, digital encryption and questions around the management and protection of whistleblowers who risk their lives to expose covert, deceitful actions by governments.

The documents exposed the “brazen duplicity” of the Australian government towards its citizens and presented “off-stage alliance management conversations”, Tanter writes. They invited the layperson into the green room of the performance that is politics and international diplomacy.
WikiLeaks unmasked reports that showed governments recommending media strategies to deceive the public, demonstrating their unethically utilitarian approach to international diplomacy and governance and “enlightened the public on the dark corners of wars”, writes journalist and author Antony Loewenstein.

Assange is still in a cell at London’s Belmarsh Prison, facing an appeal by the United States in its bid to extradite him to face charges for the 2010 publications. He is continuing to be “denied adequate medical care” and “denied emergency bail in light of the COVID-19″, says Lissa Johnson, a clinical psychologist and writer for New Matilda – one of the few Australian publications that have paid genuine attention to the WikiLeaks saga.

In Australia, there’s been a “striking absence of a solid debate on WikiLeaks in the mainstream public discourse”, according to Benedetta Brevini, a journalist and media activist who insists that our concerning “lack of a thorough and sustained debate” is incomprehensible. Loewenstein calls Australia’s lack of journalistic solidarity with Assange “deeply shameful”. He says we have an “anodyne media environment” – perhaps not unsurprising, considering our highly concentrated media market, one of the most severe in the world.

Most of the essays expostulate on the same things: Assange is a journalist, not a hacker. He’s won a Walkley Award (at least six mentions of this). We have an undeniable legal obligation to him. His persecution is a “gruesome legal experiment in criminalising journalism” – a long and tortured legal process that Ludlam declares “has degenerated into an unworkable shit-show”.

The standout essays come from Guy Rundle and Helen Razer – whose amusing voice cuts through the somewhat parched tenor of cold academic-speak that lightly threads through the other essays. Her addition is a breath of fresh air in the middle of a chain of same-same arguments.

The most useful essay is Rundle’s take on the historical basis for WikiLeaks. He surveys the swirling currents of Australian history that led to its founding, identifying WikiLeaks as a continuation of political activist Albert Langer’s resistance to capital.

“We need a whole new organisation of how recent Australian history is told,” Rundle concludes, seconding Lissa Johnson’s opinion that we demand citizens who “cut across the acquiescence and consent, remove the deadbolt on the torture chamber door, turn down the music and expose what is going on inside”. This collection of polemics, though at times repetitive, takes us closer to a future where these demands no longer seem beyond reality.

A Secret Australia: Revealed by the WikiLeaks Exposes,  Eds., Felicity Ruby & Peter Cronau, Monash University Publishing, $29.95

February 14, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, media, politics international, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Press freedom hangs on the fate of Julian Assange

Sabine von Törne   14 Feb 21, 

What happens to Wikileaks founder and publisher #JulianAssange who remains unlawfully imprisoned at High Security Prison Belmarsh for exposing US war crimes and corruption of powerful elites matters to all of us.
Yesterday, on 12th of February 2021, the Biden administration submitted an appeal against Magistrate Baraitser’s decision to refuse extradition to the U.S. on humanitarian grounds.
This struggle is far from over. #TheWorldIsWatching with our eyes on #London. We must speak up for Julian’s human rights, for press freedom, free speech, the public’s right to know what those who govern us are up to in our name and thereby for the most basic principles of democracy. Keep fighting. We can win this. #FreeJulianAssange

February 14, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

Biden administration presses for Julian Assange to be extradited to USA

Biden administration files appeal pressing for Assange extradition, Yahoo News, Sat, 13 February 2021  The administration of US President Joe Biden has appealed a British judge’s ruling against the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, a Justice Department official said Friday.

A brief filed late Thursday declared Washington’s desire to have Assange stand trial on espionage and hacking-related charges over WikiLeaks’ publication of hundreds of thousands of US military and diplomatic documents beginning in 2009.

The Justice Department had until Friday to register its stance on Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s January 4 ruling that Assange suffered mental health problems that would raise the risk of suicide if he were sent to the United States for trial.

“Yes, we filed an appeal and we are continuing to pursue extradition,” Justice Department spokesman Marc Raimondi told AFP.

After Baraitser’s decision, which did not question the legal grounds for the US extradition request, Donald Trump’s administration moved to appeal.

But Biden’s stance was not clear, and he was pressured by rights groups to drop the case, which raises sensitive transparency and media freedom issues.

After WikiLeaks began publishing US secrets in 2009, then-president Barack Obama, whose vice president was Biden, declined to pursue the case.

Assange said WikiLeaks was no different than other media constitutionally protected to publish such materials.

Prosecuting him, too, could mean also prosecuting powerful US news organizations for publishing similar material — legal fights the government would likely lose.

But under Trump, whose 2016 election was helped by WikiLeaks publishing Russian-stolen materials damaging to his rival Hillary Clinton — the Justice Department built a national security case against Assange.

In 2019 the native Australian was charged under the US Espionage Act and computer crimes laws with multiple counts of conspiring with and directing others, from 2009 to 2019, to illegally obtain and release US secrets……….

Assange has remained under detention by British authorities pending the appeal.

Earlier this week 24 organizations, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International USA and Reporters Without Borders, urged Biden to drop the case.

“Journalists at major news publications regularly speak with sources, ask for clarification or more documentation, and receive and publish documents the government considers secret,” they said in an open letter.

“In our view, such a precedent in this case could effectively criminalize these common journalistic practices.”

Assange’s fiancée Stella Moris said in a statement that Baraitser’s January decision that Assange was a high risk for suicide and that US prison facilities were not safe remained a strong reason to deny extradition.

Baraitser “was given clear advice by medical experts that ordering him to stand trial in the US would put his life at risk,” she said.

“Any assurances given by the Department of Justice about trial procedures or the prison regime that Julian might face in the US are not only irrelevant but meaningless because the US has a long history of breaking commitments to extraditing countries,” she said  https://au.news.yahoo.com/biden-administration-files-appeal-assange-171637702.html

February 14, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, legal, politics international | Leave a comment

New developments at Kakadu National Park

Chief announces power plant for Jabiru, digi portal for business

Construction of a new hybrid power station at Kakadu National Park’s largest town will begin within weeks, the Chief Minister will reveal on Monday…..  [subscribers only]

Let the work begin: Kakadu Master Plan sign-off to breathe new life into our World Heritage Park [$]

The blueprint to breathe new life in to the Territory’s international jewel, Kakadu National Park, has been signed off on and released starting a new chapter for the tourist attraction……..  [subscribers only]

February 14, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Leak at a Nuclear Power Plant concern after Japanese Earthquake

Leak at a Nuclear Power Plant concern after Japanese Earthquake,  eturbo news,  Juergen T Steinmetz, February 13, 2021

  1. Strong Earthquake in Japan 10 years after the devastating tsunami in 2011
  2. 7.3 strong, the earthquake reports little damage
  3. A leak in a nuclear plant and widespread power outage are initial concerns

The 7.3 magnitude quake which hit near Fukushima on Saturday night 11.04 pm local time hit off of Fukushima just weeks before the 10th anniversary of a quake on March 11, 2011 that devastated northeast Japan…………

, most concerning are reports of a leak at Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power plant, according to public broadcaster NHK – though this has been denied by the facility owners.

Pool water used for storing spent nuclear fuel may have leaked and contaminated the surrounding area, the outlet said.

However, reports also suggest the risk to workers and the surrounding area is low as the level of radiation is not an extreme risk………. https://eturbonews.com/2899572/leak-at-a-nuclear-power-plant-concern-after-japanese-earthquake/

February 14, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

USA military leaders were unaware of risks to Pence’s ‘nuclear football’ during Capitol riot

Military officials were unaware of potential danger to Pence’s ‘nuclear football’ during Capitol riot, By Barbara Starr and Caroline Kelly, CNN, February 12, 2021  Military officials overseeing the authorization process to launch nuclear weapons were unaware on January 6 that then-Vice President Mike Pence’s military aide carrying the “nuclear football” was potentially in danger as rioters got close during the violent Capitol insurrection, according to a defense official.

The vice president is always accompanied by a backup of the “football,” which contains the equipment to carry out orders to launch a nuclear strike. It must be ready at all times and is identical to what the president carries, in case he becomes incapacitated.
US Strategic Command became aware of the gravity of the incident after seeing a video played at the Senate impeachment trial Wednesday showing Pence, his Secret Service agents and a military officer carrying the briefcase with classified nuclear launch information running down a flight of stairs inside the Capitol to get to safety, the official said.
“As the rioters reached the top of the stairs, they were within 100 feet of where the vice president was sheltering with his family, and they were just feet away from one of the doors to this chamber,” Del. Stacey Plaskett, one of the impeachment managers, explained in the senate trial on Wednesday. In one video, the crowd can be heard chanting “Hang Mike Pence” as they stand in an open doorway of the Capitol.
It is not clear if other national security elements of the government such as the National Security Council or top officials at the Pentagon were aware of the gravity of Pence’s position and those of his team.
On January 6 the military officer was able to maintain control of the backup “football” at all times and the President was inside the White House, the official said. Even if the rioters had gotten hold of it, they could not have used any of the information because of the security controls on the system, the official said.
Since they never lost control of the “football” and then-President Donald Trump was safe, they didn’t have to deactivate Pence’s system. But the incident raises the question of whether the “football’s” status was sufficiently accounted for at all times.
“The risk associated with the insurrectionists getting their hands on Pence’s football wasn’t that they could have initiated an unauthorized launch. But had they stolen the football and acquired its contents, which include pre-planned nuclear strike options, they could have shared the contents with the world,” Kingston Reif, an expert on nuclear weapons policy at the nonpartisan Arms Control Association, told CNN.
“Such an outcome would have been a security breach of almost incomprehensible proportions,” Reif added. “And it ought to raise further questions about the rationale for the anachronism that is the football.”
The Pentagon has declined to comment on the Pence video because of the sensitivity surrounding nuclear weapons issues. The National Security Council also declined to comment………https://edition.cnn.com/2021/02/11/politics/military-officials-were-unaware-pence-nuclear-football-riot/index.html

February 14, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

WA Libs fills Labor’s energy policy void with a coal exit and green hydrogen — RenewEconomy

The Liberals know where to take WA energy but probably not how to do it. Labor is on top of the detail but shy of facing the inevitable. So close to a bipartisan approach, will our political class blow it? The post WA Libs fills Labor’s energy policy void with a coal exit and green…

WA Libs fills Labor’s energy policy void with a coal exit and green hydrogen — RenewEconomy

February 14, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tremors continue in northeast Japan — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

February 14, 2021 People in northeastern Japan remain vigilant as several tremors have followed the magnitude 7.3 earthquake that struck late on Saturday night. The Meteorological Agency warns that jolts as strong as the initial one could occur over the next week or so. The initial quake registered six-plus on the Japanese scale of zero […]

Tremors continue in northeast Japan — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

February 14, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

February 14 Energy News — geoharvey

Science and Technology: ¶ “Using Mathematical Models To Enable Transportation Decarbonization And Combat Climate Change” • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Agency for International Development, assessed the potentials for electric transit fleets in two Mexican cities. The study examined combinations of GPS speed traces with electric bus models. [CleanTechnica] BYD electric buses in […]

February 14 Energy News — geoharvey

February 14, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Radioactive poisoning of the environment: France’s nuclear legacy of wastes in Algeria

Impact of France’s nuclear tests persists: Algeria  https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/impact-of-frances-nuclear-tests-persists-algeria/2143751

Algerian Foreign Minister said nuclear tests were three to four times the size of US bombing of Hiroshima in Japan,  Abdul Razzaq Bin Abdullah   |13.02.2021   ALGIERS

France’s nuclear experiments in the Algerian desert in the 1960s were three to four times equal to the Hiroshima bombing in Japan, Algerian Foreign Minister Sabri Boukadoum said on Saturday.

In a Twitter post on the occasion of the 61st anniversary of the first French nuclear explosion in the Algerian desert, on Feb. 13, 1960, Boukadoum described the impacts of the tests as “catastrophic”.

“On this day in 1960, imperialist France carried out the first nuclear explosion in the Reggane region in the Algerian desert, in a process code-named ‘Gerboise Bleue’ (Blue Desert Rat),” Boukadoum said.

He added that the French nuclear explosion yielded a force of 70 kilotons (kt) and its catastrophic radiological repercussions still persist.

The first atomic bomb dropped 75 years ago by the United States leveled Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, and killed an estimated 140,000 people with many more dying in the following years from the effects of radiation. Three days later, Washington dropped another atomic bomb on Nagasaki, killing around 70,000 people and forced Japan to surrender six days later.

According to French officials, the colonial authorities carried out 17 nuclear experiments in the Algerian desert in the period between 1960 and 1966. Algerian historians, however, put the number at 57.

On Feb. 13 1960, France conducted its first nuclear test, code-named “Gerboise Bleue” (Blue Desert Rat) in the Sahara Desert, southwest of Algeria.

The French nuclear experiments have caused the death of around 42,000 Algerians and injured thousands due to nuclear radioactivity, in addition to the extensive damage to the environment.

France has rejected Algerian demands to reveal the location of the nuclear waste as well as compensating the victims and those suffering from permanent disabilities due to the harmful effects of nuclear radioactivity.

During the course of the struggle for independence, nearly five million Algerians were killed, while hundreds of thousands more injured. *Ibrahim Mukhtar in Ankara contributed to this report

February 14, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment