Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Roundup of news on the Panama global financial corruption scandal

corruption 1Panama Papers: Mossack Fonseca labels leak a ‘crime and attack’The revelation of the Panama Papers detailing the off-shore structures of many wealthy clients is a “crime” and an “attack” on Panama, the law firm at the heart of the scandal has said.http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-04/mossack-foncesa-says-panama-papers-a-crime-and-attack/7296858

Panama Papers: FIFA officials, Lionel Messi, Michel Platini named in secret offshore files Disgraced FIFA officials, suspended UEFA chief Michel Platini and Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi were amongst the names found the Panama Papers — leaked documents which reveal offshore financial dealings of the world’s rich and famous.http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-04/fifa-officials-and-lionel-messi-named-in-offshore-files/7296140

Panama Papers leak: Australian security company Wilson linked to Hong Kong corruption scandalLeaked documents have revealed that two brothers embroiled in a massive Hong Kong corruption scandal were ultimately in control of an Australian security company that earned roughly half a billion dollars in lucrative government contracts.http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-04/australian-company-wilson-linked-to-hong-kong-corruption-scandal/7291178

Panama Papers: Tax office investigating 800 Australians identified in financial record leak The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is investigating 800 Australian residents named in a massive leak of tax and financial records known as the Panama Papers. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-04/tax-office-investigating-800-australians-in-panama-papers-leak/7296512

Panama Papers: Iceland PM Gunnlaugsson urged to resign amid Mossack Fonseca data leak By International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and ABC staffPressure is mounting for Iceland’s Prime Minister to resign after an unprecedented leak of data revealed accusations he used an offshore company to hide millions of dollars in investments in Iceland’s major banks.http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-04/iceland-pm-urged-to-resign-amid-panama-papers-scandal/7295742

Panama Papers: Vladimir Putin associates, Jackie Chan identified in unprecedented leak of offshore financial records An unprecedented leak of more than 11 million documents has revealed the hidden financial dealings of some of the world’s wealthiest people, as well as 12 current and former world leaders and 128 more politicians and public officials around the world.http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-04/unprecedented-leak-of-offshore-financial-records-exposes-secrets/7293524

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ): The Panama Papers: Exposing the Rogue Offshore Finance Industry Leak of more than 11 million documents show heads of state, criminals and celebrities using secret hideaways in tax havens.https://panamapapers.icij.org/

Panama Papers: Greens call for Wilson Security to be stripped of contracts after corruption scandal links exposedThe Greens have called on the Federal Government to strip Wilson Security of its contracts for offshore immigration detention centres after revelations the company has links to a Hong Kong corruption scandal. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-05/greens-call-for-wilson-security-sacking/7299736

Panama Papers: Here’s who has been caught in the fallout of the Mossack Fonseca leak The unprecedented leak of more than 11 million documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca has revealed some of the hidden financial dealings of the world’s rich and powerful.

Here’s a look at some of the more high-profile people feeling the heat after the scandal broke.http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-05/who-has-been-caught-in-the-panama-papers-fallout/7299666

Panama Papers: Iceland PM Gunnlaugsson refuses to resign over tax leaks; protesters take to streets Iceland’s Prime Minister is refusing to resign after leaked tax documents known as the Panama Papers revealed accusations he and his wife used an offshore firm to allegedly hide million-dollar investments. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-05/icelandic-pm-refuses-to-resign-over-panama-papers-leak/7298944  (Actually I think that he has now resigned)

Panama Papers: Fraudsters, former tax officials among Australians identified in Mossack Fonseca leak Convicted fraudsters, directors banned by the corporate regulator and former Australian Tax Office (ATO) officials are among hundreds of Australians linked to companies incorporated by Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonsecahttp://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-05/australians-identified-in-mossack-fonseca-panama-papers-leak/7297964

(Read more about this investigation by ICIJ journalists and more than a hundred other media partners at:https://panamapapers.icij.org/about.html – and check out the videos and reading list.)

Advertisements

April 6, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

France’s nuclear authorities anxious about the safety of China’s nuclear power programme

safety-symbol“the state of conservation” of large components like pumps and steam generators at Taishan “was not at an adequate level” and was “far” from the standards of the two other EPR plants, one in Finland and the other in Flamanville, France

 in a rare public comment about safety concerns, China’s own State Council Research Office three years ago warned that the development of the country’s power plants may be accelerating too quickly.

Critics of China’s nuclear safety regime, including Albert Lai, chairman of The Professional Commons, a Hong Kong think tank, says that lack of information risks eroding confidence in safety controls in what’s set to be a 14-fold increase of atomic capacity by 2030.

“The workings of China’s atomic safety authority are a ‘‘total black box,’’ said Lai. ‘‘China has no transparency whatsoever.’’

flag-ChinaChina Regulators ‘Overwhelmed’ as Reactors Built at Pace, Bloomberg  ,   , June 20, 2014June 19 (Bloomberg) — China is moving quickly to become the first country to operate the world’s most powerful atomic reactor even as France’s nuclear regulator says communication and cooperation on safety measures with its Chinese counterparts are lacking.

In the coastal city of Taishan, 100 miles (160 kilometers) from the financial hub of Hong Kong, Chinese builders are entering the final construction stages for two state-of-the-art European Pressurized Reactors. Each will produce about twice as much electricity as the average reactor worldwide.

France has a lot riding on a smooth roll out of China’s EPRs. The country is home to Areva SA, which developed the next-generation reactor, and utility Electricite de France SA, which oversees the project. The two companies, controlled by the French state, need a safe, trouble-free debut in China to ensure a future for their biggest new product in a generation. And French authorities have not hidden their concerns. Continue reading

August 16, 2015 Posted by | INTERNATIONAL | Leave a comment

Churchill and USA planned a massive nuclear strike on USSR

Atomic-Bomb-LUnthinkable as it may seem, Churchill’s plan literally won the hearts and minds of US policy makers and military officials.

These “first-strike” plans developed by the Pentagon were aimed at destroying the USSR without any damage to the United States.

The 1949 Dropshot plan envisaged that the US would attack Soviet Russia and drop at least 300 nuclear bombs and 20,000 tons of conventional bombs on 200 targets in 100 urban areas, including Moscow and Leningrad (St. Petersburg)

the Kennedy administration introduced significant changes to the plan, insisting that the US military should avoid targeting Soviet cities and had to focus on the rival’s nuclear forces alone.

 

Post WW2 World Order: US Planned to Wipe USSR Out by Massive Nuclear Strike, Sputnik News. Ekaterina Blinova. 15 Aug 15,  Was the US deterrence military doctrine aimed against the Soviet Union during the Cold War era really “defensive” and who actually started the nuclear arms race paranoia?

 Just weeks after the Second World War was over and Nazi Germany defeated Soviet Russia’s allies, the United States and Great Britain hastened to develop military plans aimed at dismantling the USSR and wiping out its cities with a massive nuclear strike.

Interestingly enough, then British Prime Minister Winston Churchill had ordered the British Armed Forces’ Joint Planning Staff to develop a strategy targeting the USSR months before the end of the Second World War. The first edition of the plan was prepared on May 22, 1945. In accordance with the plan the invasion of Russia-held Europe by the Allied forces was scheduled on July 1, 1945.

Winston Churchill’s Operation Unthinkable The plan, dubbed Operation Unthinkable, stated that its primary goal was “to impose upon Russia the will of the United States and the British Empire. Even though ‘the will’ of these two countries may be defined as no more than a square deal for Poland, that does not necessarily limit the military commitment.” Continue reading

August 16, 2015 Posted by | INTERNATIONAL | Leave a comment

Mururoa Nuclear Test Veterans seek answers to health problems

Mururoa nuclear testing witness spent years in pain, group seeks answers, Mururoa Veterans, SIMON EDWARDS, August 17 2015 There’s no doubt in Christine Hapuku’s mind that her late brother’s health problems stemmed from his exposure to fallout from the French nuclear testing at Mururoa Atoll.

At the weekend Christine and Alec Gage’s wider family unveiled his headstone at Wainuiomata’s Memorial Garden, a year ago almost to the day since his death.

……..Gage was a sailor on HMNZS Otago, which with the frigate Canterbury sailed to Mururoa in 1973 to protest the nuclear testing by France.   He and his brother Bob, who was also on board, would talk about standing on the ship’s deck wearing metal discs around their necks that were to measure how much radiation they absorbed.  The pair said the atmospheric testing fall-out was like fine rain, Hapuku said.

“Even the French acknowledged the bombs were a lot stronger than they were meant to be.

“Those discs were collected and never seen again.”

…….Christine Hapuku said medical researchers used to talk to Alec when he was in hospital but they never heard anything more.  She is hoping further research being pursued by the Mururoa veterans’ group might give the family some closure.

The Mururoa Nuclear Veterans Group is searching for all those who sailed to Mururoa Atoll in 1973 aboard HMNZS Canterbury and HMNZS Otago. The group, formed in 2013 and registered as a Legal Society, monitors the medical conditions that have affected not only the personnel aboard the two frigates but also their children and grandchildren.

The group’s president, Wayne O’Donnell, said because there was no full list of the veterans who served at Mururoa they need the public’s help.

“Unfortunately over the years contact has been lost with the widows and children of those who have ‘crossed the bar’ and we need to make contact with these people so they can be informed of any findings.”

The group established a trust fund to enable the medical testing of the veterans’ children and grandchildren. “It is hoped the results will establish the truth of the genetic transfer of illnesses related to the nuclear exposure encountered by the crews,” O’Donnell says.
……Anyone with information should emailadmin@mururoavets.org.nz

August 16, 2015 Posted by | INTERNATIONAL | Leave a comment

Very worrying questions about that massive explosion in China

Tianjin explosions ignite barrage of questions, The Age,  China correspondent for Fairfax Media, August 14, 2015  Tianjin: As fatalities continue to mount, so too have questions around the cause, response and potential health effects of the terrifying explosions at a toxic chemicals warehouse that tore through the port city of Tianjin, China, on Wednesday night.

Chinese authorities have dispatched more than 200 military nuclear and biochemical materials specialists to the site of the blast, as well as a team from the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Beijing environmental emergency response centre.

But some 36 hours after the explosions, municipal and environmental officials said they were still unable to determine the specific substances held in the warehouse which likely triggered the blast which killed dozens, injured hundreds, and ignited a fireball so large  it was captured by orbiting satellites.

The owner of the warehouse, Ruihai International Logistics, is a  firm which specialises in handling hazardous cargo, state news agency Xinhua said. It is licensed to handle dangerous and toxic chemicals including sodium cyanide, compressed natural gas, phosphoric acid, potassium nitrate and butanone – an explosive industrial solvent.

“So far, we are not able to provide the detail of type and amount of these dangerous items,” Gao Huaiyou, the deputy director of Tianjin’s work safety administration bureau, said on Thursday. “There is quite a big inconsistency with information provided by the company’s management and their customs declaration.”

Though a pungent smell and visible smog hung in the vicinity of the blast, officials said 17 emergency air monitoring stations indicated air quality in the city remained within a normal range, aided by easterly winds which blew toxic plumes from the fires out to sea.

Readings of cyanide and chemical oxygen demand – a measure of water quality – some three to eight times normal levels were detected near two underground discharge pipes, though officials said the pipes had been sealed off and posed no danger to health or the environment of the surrounding area.

Xinhua said 1000 firefighters and more than 140 fire trucks were struggling to contain the blaze in a warehouse which stored “dangerous goods”.

“The volatility of the goods means the fire is especially unpredictable and dangerous to approach,” it said….http://www.theage.com.au/world/tianjin-explosions-ignite-barrage-of-questions-20150814-gizjw9.html#ixzz3ir0wfaMy

August 15, 2015 Posted by | INTERNATIONAL | Leave a comment