Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear news this week – Australia and beyond

A bit of good news.  Australia – the leper of world climate politics, – is a leper no more. Beyond all expectations, we turfed out the corrupt and anti-environment Morrison Liberal Coalition government. The driving forces in this election were the Greens, and the very climate conscious ”teal” independents.  It seems that intelligent Liberals who care about the environment defected to the ”teals”, while intelligent Labor people who care strongly about the environment defected to the Greens. Either way –   Australia at long last will have a government that might work for the cause of a clean planet, and for addressing global heating, and climate justice.

Pandemic–  WHO chief: The COVID pandemic is ‘most certainly not over

Climate – New IPCC Report: Addressing Climate Change Is Now About Damage Control 


Will Anthony Albanese and Labor have the guts to free Julian Assange?

Nuclear More scathing comments from readers, about Scott Morrison’s foolish nuclear submarine deal. Clive Palmer and his United Australia Party guarantee a nuclear reactor for South Australia if they hold the balance of power..

 Climate.      Albanese, Wong to take South-East Asia and climate policies to Quad meeting.    Labor’s election win – Green investors tip renewable revival          Climate voters herald an irrevocable change to politics 

Australians have voted for bolder climate action and integrity in politicsThe teals and Greens will turn up the heat on Labor’s climate policy. Here’s what to expect.        Australia’s rightwing government weaponised climate change – now it has faced its reckoning.         Painful defeat of Australia’s right-wing Morrison government, as new Labor government vows action on climate change. National Party to dictate Liberal Coalition policy on climate – Nats set to dictate Coalition policies 

Albanese pledges to get Australia out of climate ‘naughty corner’. A new climate politics: The 47th parliament must be a contest of ideas for a hotter, low-carbon Australia, In a year of endless floods, why isn’t disaster governance front and centre in the election campaign?

 Bushfires, reef bleaching, animal extinctions — Australia’s environment is under threat. But are our politicians paying attention?It’s election time! For one party the environment is not a priority. For the other, it’s not something to talk about. — Sustainability Bites

Former Kiribati president slams Australia’s ‘politicisation’ of climate action and power of fossil fuel lobby


Extraditing Julian Assange would be a gift to secretive, oppressive regimes.

War in Ukraine is getting complicated, and America isn’t ready 

Ukraine War Has No End in Sight.    Ukraine Contact Group: war used to expand global NATO.

NATO doubles members since 1999, completes sweep of Nordic nations IT IS FOOLISH FOR FINLAND AND SWEDEN TO JOIN NATO.      Up to 100 U.S. nuclear weapons surround Russia’s border.       Disinformation’ Label Serves to Marginalize Crucial Ukraine Facts.

Switzerland: NATO swallowing Europe’s few remaining former neutrals .

Nuclear Bomb Blast Map Shows What Would Happen if One Detonated Near You.

New book – does nuclear power have a future?. Tritium isn’t harmless.

The Arctic Council (AC) and NATO aims conflict with no climate change mitigation.

 COP26: No countries have delivered on promise to improve climate plans. 1.2 billion people threatened by escalating heat due to climate change. Climate change: The global climate crisis is also a health crisis

UKRAINE. Chernobyl nuclear fears as forest near Exclusion Zone in FLAMES – emergency triggered      Ukraine controlled by US and UK – Russia. Injured troops to be evacuated from Azovstal – Moscow. Nuclear lobby happily predicts a bright and beautiful future for new nuclear reactors in Ukraine.

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May 23, 2022 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Will Anthony Albanese and Labor have the guts to free Julian Assange?

I am astonished that in all the brouhaha of Labor kicking out the truly awful Morrison Liberal Coalition government, so far no media noise about the scandalous persecution of Australian citizen Julian Assange.

OK, kindly, I suggest that there’s a lot to digest, a lot to overturn and untangle, in the state of corruption left by the Morrison government.

But now, if ever, is the time for Australia to stop cringing, and stand up to our supposed friend, the USA.

War atrocities happen. Right now there’s a legal case on, all about atrocities committed by Australian soldiers. We have to face up to that. America should have the decency to face up to atrocities committed by its military, instead of viciously persecuting the journalist who revealed them.

Australia could stop its pathetic subservience to the uSA and UK, and stand up for an Australian journalist.

We kowtowed 75 years ago, when Australian journalist Wilfred Burchett revealed the humanitarian horrors of Fukushima. Now, with a decently oriented Labor government, Australia could do the right thing and demand Assange’s freedom. The USA and UK might even respect us for that.

May 23, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Extraditing Julian Assange would be a gift to secretive, oppressive regimes

Handing over the WikiLeaks founder to the US will benefit those around the world who want to evade scrutiny

Peter Oborne 22 May 22, more

In the course of the next few days, Priti Patel will make the most important ruling on free speech made by any home secretary in recent memory. She must resolve whether to comply with a US request to extradite Julian Assange on espionage charges.

The consequences for Assange will be profound. Once in the US he will almost certainly be sent to a maximum-security prison for the rest of his life. He will die in jail.

The impact on British journalism will also be profound. It will become lethally dangerous to handle, let alone publish, documents from US government sources. Reporters who do so, and their editors, will risk the same fate as Assange and become subject to extradition followed by lifelong incarceration.

For this reason Daniel Ellsberg, the 91-year-old US whistleblower who was prosecuted for his role in the Pentagon Papers revelations, which exposed the covert bombing of Laos and Cambodia and thus helped end the Vietnam war, has given eloquent testimony in Assange’s defence.

He told an extradition hearing two years ago that he felt a “great identification” with Assange, adding that his revelations were among the most important in the history of the US.

The US government does not agree. It maintains that Assange was effectively a spy and not a reporter, and should be punished accordingly.

Up to a point this position is understandable. Assange was anything but an ordinary journalist. His deep understanding of computers and how they could be hacked singled him out from the professionally shambolic arts graduates who normally rise to eminence in newspapers.

The ultimate creature of the internet age, in 2006 he helped found WikiLeaks, an organisation that specialises in obtaining and releasing classified or secret documents, infuriating governments and corporations around the world.

The clash with the US came in 2010, when (in collaboration with the Guardian, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, the New York Times and other international news organisations) WikiLeaks entered into one of the great partnerships of the modern era in any field. It started publishing documents supplied by the US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.

Between them, WikiLeaks and Manning were responsible for a series of first-class scoops that any self-respecting reporter would die for. And these scoops were not the tittle-tattle that comprises the daily fodder of most journalism. They were of overwhelming global importance, reshaping our understanding of the Iraq war and the “war on terror”.

To give one example among thousands, WikiLeaks published a video of soldiers in a US helicopter laughing as they shot and killed unarmed civilians in Iraq – including a Reuters photographer and his assistant. (The US military refused to discipline the perpetrators.)

To the intense embarrassment of the USWikiLeaks revealed that the total number of civilian casualties in Iraq was 66,000 – far more than the US had acknowledged.

It shone an appalling new light on the abuse meted out to the Muslim inmates at Guantánamo Bay, including the revelation that 150 innocent people were held for years without charge.

Clive Stafford Smith, the then chairman of the human rights charity Reprieve who represented 84 Guantánamo prisoners, praised the way WikiLeaks helped him to establish that charges against his clients were fabricated.

It’s easy to see why the US launched a criminal investigation. Then events took an unexpected turn in November 2010 when Sweden issued an arrest warrant against Assange following allegations of sexual misconduct. Assange refused to go to Sweden, apparently on the grounds that this was a pretext for his extradition to the United States and took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Sweden never charged Assange with an offence, and dropped its investigation in 2019.

This was an eventful year in the Assange story. Ecuador kicked him out of the embassy and he was promptly arrested for breaching bail: he’s languished for the past three years in Belmarsh prison. Meanwhile the US pursues him using the same 1917 Espionage Act under which Ellsberg was unsuccessfully prosecuted. Assange’s defence, led by the solicitor Gareth Peirce and Edward Fitzgerald QC, has argued that his only crime was the crime of investigative journalism.

They point out that the indictment charges Assange with actions, such as protecting sources, that are basic journalistic practice: the US alleges that “Assange and Manning took measures to conceal Manning as the source of the disclosure of classified records”. Any journalist who failed to take this elementary precaution when supplied with information by a source would be sacked.

The US stated that Assange “actively encouraged Manning” to provide the information. How disgraceful! No wonder Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, has warned that: “It is dangerous to suggest that these actions are somehow criminal rather than steps routinely taken by investigative journalists who communicate with confidential sources to receive classified information of public importance.”

Despite all this, there’s no reason to suppose that Patel will come to Assange’s rescue – though there may yet be further legal ways to fight extradition.

Even if Patel wasn’t already on the way to winning the all-corners record as the most repressive home secretary in modern history, the Johnson government, already in Joe Biden’s bad books, has no incentive to further alienate the US president.

If and when Assange is put on a plane to the US, investigative journalism will suffer a permanent and deadening blow.

And the message will be sent to war criminals not just in the US but in every country round the globe that they can commit their crimes with impunity.

May 23, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, politics international | Leave a comment

War in Ukraine is getting complicated, and America isn’t ready — The New York Times Author Valery Moiseev, 22 May 22,

The Senate passed a $40 billion emergency aid package for Ukraine, but with a small group of isolationist Republicans loudly criticizing the spending and the war entering a new and complicated phase, continued bipartisan support is not guaranteed. This is stated in an editorial published in The New York Times (NYT).

Avril Haines, the director of national intelligence, warned the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that the war in Ukraine could take “a more unpredictable and potentially escalatory trajectory”, with the increased likelihood that Russia could threaten to use nuclear weapons.

The newspaper also notes that there are many questions that President Biden has yet to answer for the American public.

Is the United States, for example, trying to help bring an end to “this conflict” (as the newspaper calls the war in Ukraine) through a settlement that would allow for a sovereign Ukraine and some kind of relationship between the United States and Russia? Or is the United States now trying to weaken Russia permanently? Has the administration’s goal shifted to destabilizing Putin or having him removed? Does the United States intend to hold Putin accountable as a war criminal? Or is the goal to try to avoid a wider war — and if so, how to achieve this?

Without clarity on these questions, the White House not only risks losing Americans’ interest in supporting Ukrainians — who continue to suffer the loss of lives and livelihoods — but also jeopardizes long-term peace and security on the European continent, the NYT says.

The authors of the article believe that Americans “have been galvanized by Ukraine’s suffering”, but popular support for a war far from U.S. shores will not continue indefinitely. Inflation is a much bigger issue for American voters, and problems in global food and energy markets are likely to intensify.

“It is tempting to see Ukraine’s stunning successes against Russia’s aggression as a sign that with sufficient American and European help, Ukraine is close to pushing Russia back to its positions before the invasion. But that is a dangerous assumption.”

The article says that Russia remains too strong, and Putin has invested too much personal prestige in the invasion to back down.

“Unrealistic expectations could draw the United States and NATO ever deeper into a costly, drawn-out war. Russia, however battered and inept, is still capable of inflicting untold destruction on Ukraine and is still a nuclear superpower with an aggrieved, volatile despot who has shown little inclination toward a negotiated settlement.”

The NYT says that it is the Ukrainians who must make the hard decisions: they are the ones fighting, dying and losing their homes to Russian aggression, and it is they who must decide what an end to the war might look like. “If the conflict does lead to real negotiations, it will be Ukrainian leaders who will have to make the painful territorial decisions that any compromise will demand.”

But as the war continues, “Biden should also make clear to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his people that there is a limit to how far the United States and NATO will confront Russia, and limits to the arms, money and political support they can muster. It is imperative that the Ukrainian government’s decisions be based on a realistic assessment of its means and how much more destruction Ukraine can sustain.”

Confronting this reality may be painful, but it is not appeasement, the NYT stresses. This is what governments are duty bound to do, not chase after an illusory “win.” Russia will be feeling the pain of isolation and debilitating economic sanctions for years to come, and Putin will go down in history as a butcher. The challenge now is to shake off the euphoria, stop the taunting and focus on defining and completing the mission.

May 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ukraine Contact Group: war used to expand global NATO

NATO becoming more bloated

  Defense News May 22, 2022,  Rick Rozoff, m

More nations expected to sign up for Pentagon’s Ukraine aid group

A group of international defense chiefs convened by U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to coordinate military aid for Ukraine is likely to expand when it meets for the second time on Monday.

The Ukraine Contact Group, which included 40 member countries at the inaugural gathering at Ramstein Air Base in Germany on April 26, has since attracted more interest….

“In its first iteration, you had countries from the Middle East, you had countries from the Indo-Pacific,” he said. “It wasn’t just Europe, and it certainly wasn’t just NATO….”

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, co-organizer of the push, is expected to make an opening statement along with Austin and a Ukrainian delegate, according to a British official, who spoke on condition of anonymity….

At the last meeting, Germany agreed to provide 50 Cheetah air-defense vehicles to Ukraine. The vehicles are slated to be delivered in July, German broadcaster ZDF reported. The British government also agreed to provide Ukraine with anti-aircraft capabilities, along with Canada’s offer of eight armored vehicles.

Austin will hold a call with Ukraine’s defense minister, Oleksii Reznikov, to discuss its military requirements in advance of the contact group meeting, Kirby said….

May 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Home Secretary Priti Patel, who will soon decide whether to extradite Julian Assange to the US, has been a political adviser to – and been funded by – a right-wing lobby group which has attacked Assange in the British media for a decade. DECLASSIFIED UK, MATT KENNARD, 29 MARCH 2022   

  • Patel sat on advisory council of Henry Jackson Society (HJS) with Lord Arbuthnot, whose wife later made two key legal rulings against Assange
  • Former CIA director James Woolsey has been an HJS patron since 2006
  • HJS has hosted three other ex-CIA directors in London since 2014
  • Patel was paid £2,500 by HJS to fly to Washington for a “security” programme in the US Congress
  • Patel ignores Declassified’s request for clarification of her role in HJS

Priti Patel sat on the Henry Jackson Society’s (HJS) advisory council from around 2013-16, although the exact dates are unclear as neither the HJS nor Patel responded to Declassified’s requests for clarification. 

She has also received funds from the HJS, and was paid £2,500 by the group to visit Washington in March 2013 to attend a “security” programme in the US Congress. 

Patel, who became an MP in 2010 and was appointed Home Secretary in 2019, also hosted an HJS event in parliament soon after she returned from Washington. 

After the UK Supreme Court said this month it was refusing to hear Assange’s appeal of a High Court decision against him, the WikiLeaks founder’s fate now lies in Patel’s hands. He faces life in prison in the US. 

The HJS, which was founded in 2005 and does not disclose its funders, has links to the CIA, the intelligence agency behind the prosecution of Assange and which reportedly developed plans to assassinate him. 

One of the HJS’s international patrons is James Woolsey, CIA director from 1993-95, who was in this role throughout the period Patel was advising the group. Woolsey’s affiliation to the HJS goes back to at least 2006, soon after it was founded. 

In 2014, the group hosted General David Petraeus, CIA director from 2011-12, at a UK parliament meeting from which all media were barred

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May 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Leaked emails expose UK Home Secretary Priti Patel’s connection to MI6-style ‘research and influence operation’AND to extraditing Julian Assange

British Home Secretary Priti Patel is due to imminently decide on whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is extradited to the US, where he faces life imprisonment for journalistic activities.

Patel sat on the advisory council of the neoconservative Henry Jackson Society think tank alongside Lord James Arbuthnot – a former Conservative Minister of Defence whose wife, Lady Emma Arbuthnot, made two key rulings against Assange in 2018, before being forced to step aside due to a “perception of bias.”

it is safe to assume the intelligence cabal bringing its influence to bear on Patel would strongly favor his extradition to the US.


A deeply anti-democratic MI6-linked cabal’s apparent influence on Priti Patel raises serious questions about her fitness to rule on Julian Assange’s extradition to the US.

  • Cabal now managing MI6-inspired “research and influence operation” 
  • Effort may be funded by intelligence agency actors
  • British Home Secretary implicated in plot
  • Green advocates and perceived Chinese agents targeted
  • Home Office infiltrated by cabal’s civil service mole
  • Cabal seeks to seize power over energy policy and “displace” government minister
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May 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Painful defeat of Australia’s right-wing Morrison government, as new Labor government vows action on climate change.

Anthony Albanese, Australia’s new Labor prime minister, vowed to end the
country’s “climate wars” after he ousted Scott Morrison’s conservative
government on Saturday night. For the first time in nearly a decade, the
Labor party will lead Australia after a general election that delivered a
bruising defeat to Mr Morrison’s Liberal-National coalition.

At the latest count on Sunday afternoon, Labor had won 72 seats – just four short of the
half-way mark required to form a majority government in the 151-seat lower
house. It is likely that they will have to go into coalition with
independents – who performed particularly well – or the Greens Party to get
over the line. Morrison suffered the most painful defeat at the hands of
climate-focused independent candidates in a string of once ultra-safe
conservative urban constituencies including
Josh Frydenberg, the deputy leader of the Liberal Party,

. So-called “teal independents”, campaigned on
demands for tougher action on climate change, a major political issue in
Australia, which has suffered severe drought, catastrophic bushfires and
major flooding in recent years. Labor intends to cut its emissions by 43
per cent within the decade, well in excess of the Liberal Party’s goal.

Telegraph 22nd May 2022

May 23, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Climate voters herald an irrevocable change to politics 

Climate voters herald an irrevocable change to politics .

Phillip Coorey

The Coalition, which has weaponised climate change at every election since 2010, found itself for the first time on the receiving end, with brutal consequences.

May 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The teals and Greens will turn up the heat on Labor’s climate policy. Here’s what to expect

The teals and Greens will turn up the heat on Labor’s climate policy. Here’s what to expect

Anna Skarbek and Anna Malos

Public concern over climate change was a clear factor in the election of Australia’s new Labor government. Incoming Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has committed to action on the issue, declaring on Saturday night: “Together we can take advantage of the opportunity for Australia to be a renewable energy superpower”

May 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australians have voted for bolder climate action and integrity in politics

Australians have voted for bolder climate action and integrity in politics

Statement from the Australian Conservation Foundation’s (ACF) Chief Executive Officer, Kelly O’Shanassy

“ACF congratulates Anthony Albanese and the Labor Party on their election to government. The trends across the country show a majority of Australians care deeply for bolder climate action and integrity in politics – it is a huge win the environment, at a time when nature needs us most.”

May 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Green investors tip renewable revival 

Green investors tip renewable revival 

Labor’s win will help turbocharge spending on wind and solar farms, according to major clean energy investors.

May 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Albanese, Wong to take South-East Asia and climate policies to Quad meeting

Albanese, Wong to take South-East Asia and climate policies to Quad meeting

Labor is hoping to have a greater focus than the Morrison government on South-East Asia, given its proximity to China and the growing economic growth and power of the region.

May 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

National Party set to dictate coalition policies on climate

Nats set to dictate Coalition policies 

Senior Liberal and Nationals frontbenchers have acknowledged growing differences between urban and regional communities, as well as ongoing conflicts over climate change.

May 23, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment