Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s new Prime Minister backs the UN Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty

 https://icanw.org.au/new-prime-minister-backs-the-ban/?fbclid=IwAR0PloEtGAvJE3z3fK3Lvb01JmlIbIJ2MXeAoT4KBjIBe3AMTGretVOISV8 24 May 22, The election of the Albanese Labor Government heralds a new era in Australia’s approach to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. While the previous government shunned the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the Australian Labor Party has committed to sign and ratify it in government. Recent polling demonstrates ¾ of the Australian public support this action. 

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is a long-term champion of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, inspired by his late mentor Tom Uren, a former Labor Minister who witnessed the atomic bombing of Nagasaki as a prisoner of war. In proposing the resolution committing to the treaty in 2018, he said the new policy is “Labor at its best” and that “nuclear disarmament is core business for any Labor government worth its name”. In 2016 Albanese launched the Tom Uren Memorial Fund with ICAN, and has spoken out in support of the treaty in parliament, at public events and demonstrations since its negotiation in 2017.  

A majority of the new government members have signed the ICAN Parliamentary Pledge to work for Australia to sign and ratify the Treaty. It has been backed by two dozen unions, including the national peak body, the Australian Council of Trade Unions. The Victorian, Tasmanian, Australian Capital Territory, South Australian, Northern Territory and Western Australian Labor branches, as well as over 50 local branches have passed motions declaring their support and calling upon Australia to join the ban without delay. Many have called for signature and ratification to be completed in the first term of the new government.

Following a decision of the Australian Parliament, signature and ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons can now proceed under the Albanese Labor Government. 

In addition to the incumbent signatories of the ICAN Parliamentary Pledge, we are delighted to welcome the following new parliamentarians that have committed to work for Australia to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons:

Boothby, SA         Louise Miller-Frost, Labor

Bennelong, NSW          Jerome Laxale, Labor

Chisholm, VIC          Carina Garland, Labor

Cunningham, NSW          Alison Byrnes, Labor

Goldstein, VIC         Zoe Daniel, Independent

Higgins, VIC         Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah, Labor

Hunter, NSW          Daniel Repacholi, Labor

Kooyong, VIC          Dr Monique Ryan, Independent

North Sydney, NSW         Kylea Tink, Independent

Pearce, WA          Tracey Roberts, Labor

Robertson, NSW          Gordon Reid, Labor

Wentworth, NSW          Allegra Spender, Independent

ENATE, ACT          David Pocock, Independent

SENATE, QLD          Penny Allman-Payne, Greens

SENATE, NSW          David Shoebridge, Greens

SENATE, SA          Barbara Pocock, Greens

SENATE, VIC          Linda White, Labor

May 24, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Pressure Mounts on British Home Secretary Patel Over Assange Decision

New Australian Government 

The election on Friday of just the fourth Labor government in Australia since the Second World War may bode well for Assange. The new prime minister, Anthony Albanese, has said publicly that Assange should be returned to his native Australia. 

Pressure Mounts on Patel Over Assange Decision,  https://consortiumnews.com/2022/05/22/pressure-mounts-on-patel-over-assange-decision/

The British home secretary is under pressure as she’s about to decide whether to extradite WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange. By Joe Lauria
in London

Special to Consortium News
, 23 May 22,

At some point during the next nine days, British Home Secretary Priti Patel will decide whether or not to extradite imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange to the United States to face espionage charges for publishing accurate information revealing U.S. war crimes.

Pressure is building from both sides on the home secretary.  Press freedom and human rights organizations, a Nobel laureate, the Council of Europe’s human rights commissioner, journalists and Assange supporters have appealed to Patel to let Assange go. 

While it would be deemed improper for outside influence to be brought on judges, it would not be fanciful to imagine that behind the scenes Patel is getting the message from the U.S. Department of Justice and possibly from U.S. and U.K. intelligence services about what is expected of her.

The home secretary should know without prodding what the U.S. and British governments want her to do. Patel is a highly-ambitious politician who no doubt will calculate how her decision will impact her career. 

“Politicians think about their next election, they think about their voters … that’s what makes them tick,” Kristinn Hrafnnson, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief, told Consortium News at a protest outside the Home Office in London last Wednesday. “For the first time it’s in the hands of a politician, and Priti Patel, if she wants to think about her legacy … she should do the right thing.”

“Politics is a strange beast,” Hrafnsson said. “Anything can happen. I’m hoping this is something that will be taken up in the Cabinet here. Let’s not forget that Boris Johnson was a journalist. He was part of the media community and should have better understanding of this case than many others.”

Patel is acting after the U.K. Supreme Court refused to hear Assange’s appeal of a High Court decision to overturn a lower court ruling barring Assange’s extradition on health grounds and the danger of U.S. prisons. The High Court decided solely on conditional U.S. promises that Assange would be well treated in custody.

With the courts no longer involved and the decision solely in Patel’s hands, the case now is purely political, meaning political pressure can be brought to bear on the home secretary. 

“The home secretary has the discretion to block this extradition, and there is a lot of pressure from civil society and press freedom groups for her to do so,” said Stella Assange at a film screening on Thursday. 

She said the “heaviest” pressure had come from Dunja Mijatovic, the human rights commissioner for the Council of Europe, “urging Patel to block it.” Mijatovic wrote to Patel on May 10, saying:

“I have been following the developments in Mr Assange’s case with great attention. In the judicial proceedings so far, the focus has mainly been on Mr Assange’s personal circumstances upon his possible extradition to the United States. While a very important matter, this also means, in my opinion, that the wider human rights implications of Mr Assange’s possible extradition, which reach far beyond his individual case, have not been adequately considered so far.

In particular, it is my view that the indictment by the United States against Mr Assange raises important questions about the protection of those that publish classified information in the public interest, including information that exposes human rights violations. The broad and vague nature of the allegations against Mr Assange, and of the offences listed in the indictment, are troubling as many of them concern activities at the core of investigative journalism in Europe and beyond.

Consequently, allowing Mr Assange’s extradition on this basis would have a chilling effect on media freedom, and could ultimately hamper the press in performing its task as purveyor of information and public watchdog in democratic societies.”

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Adolfo Pérez Esquive has also written to Patel. “I join the growing collective concern about the violations of the human, civil and political rights of Mr. Julian Assange,” the Argentine wrote. He called the extradition request “illegal and abusive” and said it imperiled press freedom and could bring “potentially fatal consequences” to Assange. 

Amnesty International released a statement at the end of April calling on Patel to deny extradition. “If the Home Secretary certifies the US request to extradite Julian Assange it will violate the prohibition against torture and set an alarming precedent for publishers and journalists around the world,” Amnesty said. It went on:

“Prolonged solitary confinement is a regular occurrence in the USA’s maximum-security prisons. The practice amounts to torture or other ill-treatment, which is prohibited under international law. The assurances of fair treatment offered by the USA in Julian Assange’s case are deeply flawed and could be revoked at any time. Extradition to the USA would put Assange at risk of serious human rights violations, and hollow diplomatic assurances cannot protect him from such abuse.

If the UK government allows a foreign country to exercise extraterritorial criminal jurisdiction to prosecute a person publishing from the UK, other governments could use the same legal apparatus to imprison journalists and silence the press far beyond the borders of their own countries.” 

“There has been a huge mobilization all over Europe in many countries and 1,800 journalists have written an open letter to Priti Patel saying that this case should be blocked because it affects their safety because of the implications for global press freedom,” Stella Assange said.

Reporters Without Borders submitted a petition to Patel on Thursday with 65,000 signatures. It was delivered to British embassies in eight countries, Assange said.  More than  700,000 Australians have also signed a petition.

New Australian Government 

The election on Friday of just the fourth Labor government in Australia since the Second World War may bode well for Assange. The new prime minister, Anthony Albanese, has said publicly that Assange should be returned to his native Australia. 

May 24, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties | Leave a comment

The 2022 climate election: unpacking how climate concerned Australians voted

The 2022 climate election: unpacking how climate concerned Australians voted

Climate Council

Votes are still being counted, but one thing is indisputable: climate action is the winner of this election. Millions of Australians put climate first at the ballot box, and the politicians who dragged their heels on the most important challenge of our time are paying a price for that. It’s clear the Australian Parliament is now set for an unprecedented shake up, and all eyes are on what climate action will be achieved by the incoming government.

May 24, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The political and media establishment ignored climate – but voters didn’t — RenewEconomy

Media outlets and big political parties ignored climate change. Will they recognise their mistake, as the issue gets bigger for voters? The post The political and media establishment ignored climate – but voters didn’t appeared first on RenewEconomy.

The political and media establishment ignored climate – but voters didn’t — RenewEconomy

May 24, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Albanese commits Australia to stronger 2030 target, starts climate reset — RenewEconomy

Anthony Albanese hits reset on Australia’s international climate stance, formally committing Australia to a stronger 2030 emissions target. The post Albanese commits Australia to stronger 2030 target, starts climate reset appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Albanese commits Australia to stronger 2030 target, starts climate reset — RenewEconomy

May 24, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia has the resources to be a renewable energy superpower, now it needs a plan — RenewEconomy

The last federal government has left a considerable mess in the electricity sector for the incoming Labor government to clean up. The post Australia has the resources to be a renewable energy superpower, now it needs a plan appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Australia has the resources to be a renewable energy superpower, now it needs a plan — RenewEconomy

May 24, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Alice Springs tests potential for remote control of home solar and batteries — RenewEconomy

A team at Charles Darwin University will test the ability for solar and battery inverters to provide “essential support services” to the Alice Springs grid. The post Alice Springs tests potential for remote control of home solar and batteries appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Alice Springs tests potential for remote control of home solar and batteries — RenewEconomy

May 24, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Under-prepared on all fronts:” Australian renewables exposed to supply and cost crunch — RenewEconomy

Major report from global insurer warns of tough road ahead for Australian renewables market feeling effects of supply-chain “long Covid.” The post “Under-prepared on all fronts:” Australian renewables exposed to supply and cost crunch appeared first on RenewEconomy.

“Under-prepared on all fronts:” Australian renewables exposed to supply and cost crunch — RenewEconomy

May 24, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Biden’s nuclear comments send shock waves through Northeast Asia — Anti-bellum

China DailyMay 23, 2022 Biden’s ‘nuclear deterrence’ remarks send shock waves Also see: War for Taiwan, nuclear war for Japan: Biden pushes two-front campaign against China, Russia United States President Joe Biden sent shock waves on his first Asian trip by committing to “nuclear deterrence” for the Republic of Korea, wider military exercises and weapon […]

Biden’s nuclear comments send shock waves through Northeast Asia — Anti-bellum

May 24, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Biden says he would be willing to use force to defend Taiwan against China

https://www.reuters.com/world/biden-meets-japanese-emperor-start-visit-launch-regional-economic-plan-2022-05-23/ By Trevor Hunnicutt and Sakura Murakami

  • Summary
  • White House official says no change in policy
  • China says U.S. should not defend Taiwan independence
  • U.S. wants to toughen policy without provoking Beijing – analyst
  • Biden in Japan for first Asia trip of presidency

TOKYO, May 23 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden said on Monday he would be willing to use force to defend Taiwan against Chinese aggression in a comment that seemed to stretch the limits of the ambiguous U.S. policy towards the self-ruled island.

While Washington is required by law to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself, it has long followed a policy of “strategic ambiguity” on whether it would intervene militarily to protect Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack.

After Biden made the remark at a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo, an aide said the president’s statement represented no change in the long-standing American stance to the island that China claims as its own.

A reporter asked Biden if the United States would defend Taiwan if it were attacked. “Yes,” the president answered.

“That’s the commitment we made,” said Biden, who helped build an international coalition trying to thwart Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We agree with a one-China policy. We’ve signed on to it and all the intended agreements made from there. But the idea that, that it (Taiwan) can be taken by force, just taken by force, is just not, is just not appropriate,” he said.

Biden added it was his expectation that such an event would not happen or be attempted.

But the comment was likely to be closely watched in a region worried about China’s rising influence. China has been a key topic for Biden on his inaugural trip to Asia. 

A White House official later said there was no change in policy toward Taiwan, a point reiterated by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at a Pentagon briefing.

“As the president said, our ‘one China’ policy has not changed,” Austin said. He said Biden had stressed the U.S. commitment under the Taiwan Relations Act “to help provide Taiwan the means to defend itself.”

China considers the democratic island its territory, under its “one China” principle, and says it is the most sensitive and important issue in its relationship with Washington.

China has no room for compromise or concessions on matters relating to its sovereignty and territorial integrity, foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told a news briefing.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry thanked Biden for his support

May 24, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

War for Taiwan, nuclear war for Japan: Biden pushes two-front campaign against China, Russia — Anti-bellum

The White HouseMay 23, 2022 Japan-U.S. Joint Leaders’ Statement: Strengthening the Free and Open International Order Today, Japan and the United States affirm a partnership that is stronger and deeper than at any time in its history…. …President Biden commended Prime Minister Kishida’s global leadership, including in the Japan-Australia-India-U.S. (Quad) Summit meeting. As global partners, […]

War for Taiwan, nuclear war for Japan: Biden pushes two-front campaign against China, Russia — Anti-bellum

May 24, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

May 23 Energy News — geoharvey

World: ¶ “Canada Storms: Nearly A Million Homes Lose Power In High Winds” • Nearly 900,000 homes in southern Canada were left without power on Saturday after a severe storm hit the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Power company Hydro One, which covers Ontario, said it would take several days to reconnect every home that […]

May 23 Energy News — geoharvey

May 24, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Former Sect. of State Kissinger says U.S. should get along with China

Gary Clifford Gibson, Blog and Books, 23 May 22, Former Sect. of State Henry Kissinger; 99 years old, spoke at an economic forum on the need to get along with China. If the Biden administration had its oars in the water on international affairs it would understand that mentioning the U.S. would go to war if China invades Taiwan is a diplomatic faux pas.

There are other ways to let China know what the administration thinks about Taiwanese independence and U.S. support for that without using a bludgeon, in a manner of speaking.

 The Democratic President and his party leadership are used to forcing whatever they want into being, since the U.S. is regarded as the most powerful nation on Earth militarily and financially and party leadership realizes that force can get what they want done sometimes. Yet nuclear war with either Russia or China shouldn’t be an option; and it is for Democrats as an escalation from conventional war implicitly. Having peaceful and mutually prosperous relations with China is advantageous for the world and the world environment. Intelligent leadership needs to find a way to return international affairs to order as soon as possible including ending sanctions on Russia directly if they sign on on halting the Ukraine venture in place and sign off on a permanent peace……….. https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/53114755/posts/13350

May 24, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Expanding NATO – it’s a $quillion bonanza for the U.S. weapons industries!!

Expanded NATO Will Shoot Billions To US Defense Contractors, Forbes,  Jon Markman

Analyzing tech stocks through the prism of cultural change. 23 May 22,   Two more Nordic countries are joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The real winners are American defense companies.

Finland and Sweden officially applied last week to join NATO. If admitted they would join their Nordic neighbors in the alliance, and open up a big new market for American defense contractors.

It would be a big win for Raytheon (RTN), Lockheed Martin LMT +2.1% (LMT) and Northrop Grumman NOC +3% (NOC).

……… Treaty obligations will a mean significant increase in defense spending. Finland has already ordered 64 new F-35 warplanes, the elite joint strike fighter developed by Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems (BAESY). The JSFs cost between $110 million and $135.8 million.

More importantly, aligning with NATO is a commitment to interoperability with the American defense ecosystem. This directly benefits the big U.S. contractors. The market for their goods is expanding and they will face no competition for the foreseeable future.

……… President Biden signed last week a $40 billion Ukrainian war package. The United States is sending existing equipment to the war-torn country. Those systems will later be replenished at an additional cost to U.S. taxpayers……………………….  https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonmarkman/2022/05/23/expanded-nato-will-shoot-billions-to-us-defense-contractors/?sh=14715533189f

May 24, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why environmentalists are pushing back against nuclear energy 

Yahoo Finance, 23 May 22,

”…………………….The recent Russian takeover of a nuclear plant in Ukraine exposed the potential vulnerabilities of nuclear power. This only adds to the public perception of nuclear energy as dangerous following several famous disasters. Several security issues, from warfare and economic collapse to climate change, have made the development of new nuclear plants even more troublesome. The potential for the creation of WMDs using nuclear energy must also be considered.

The argument that there have been several technological advances since the Chernobyl incident is largely undermined by Fukushima, which showed that natural disasters could have a devastating effect if they hit an area with a nuclear power plant.

As well as the security concerns involved, environmentalists and energy experts worldwide simply argue that nuclear energy cannot possibly be considered “green”, meaning it is unfit for a renewable energy transition…..  some believe the high cost of nuclear power and security concerns cannot compete with low-cost, safe renewable sources such as wind and solar power.

Meanwhile, Germany has actively opposed the EU decision to label nuclear power as green, with the country’s economy and climate ministry stating “The Federal Government has expressed its opposition to the taxonomy rules on nuclear power. This ‘no’ is an important political signal that makes clear: Nuclear energy is not sustainable and should therefore not be part of the taxonomy.”

As several world powers quickly push through new energy strategies that include the development of new nuclear power plants, environmentalists, experts and public figures worldwide continue to oppose the increase in nuclear power due to safety concerns, expense, uncertainty around nuclear waste disposal, and the simple fact that it is not ‘green’.


May 24, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment