Translation of French Foreign Minister interview re Oz-French-US-submarine debacle

"Biden is like Trump without the Tweets." The British are known for their "permanent opportunism." "Boris Johnson is like a fifth wheel." US State Department falsely claimed it communicated with the French. China is attempting to make the China Sea into a kind of internal sea. Australia is losing sovereignty to America. US submarines would arrive ten years later than the French ones, so urgency cannot be the reason for breach of contract. (French Minister for Foreign Affairs).

Australians speak out against nuclear submarines and AUKUS

Australia cannot become a staging point for the U.S. military, we cannot abrogate our sovereignty to the U.S., we cannot encourage nuclear proliferation and risk environmental catastrophe.

Australian peace, environmental and other activists and organisations are opposed to the Morrison Government decision to join the trilateral security agreement between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States (AUKUS) and the development of nuclear submarines.

This authoritarian decision, taken without consultation or engagement of the Australian public, undermines Australian sovereignty, wastes taxpayers money, damages the environment and poses a threat to peace in the region and to global peace.

Video: John Pilger on Afghanistan withdrawal: US military is a killing machine!

On this episode of Going Underground, Afshin Rattansi speaks to Australian journalist and filmmaker John Pilger about the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban. Pilger demonstrates a really solid grip on history here, rendering almost irrelevant most other discussions of recent events in Afghanistan. He describes the US military as a killing machine and discusses why the Afghanistan war must be viewed through the lens of Western imperialism, the scale of civilian casualties, and destruction of Afghanistan by NATO countries, how the US created today’s situation by supporting Afghan jihadist forces against the Soviet Union throughout the Cold War, the social progress and progressive reform lost to history with the fall of the Soviet-backed PDPA government in Afghanistan, and much more!

Aukus’s nuclear submarines threaten global peace and Australia’s independence - IPAN

- Monumental foreign policy decisions cannot be made without any public engagement behind closed doors.
- A nuclear-powered submarine fleet will represent a fundamental threat to global peace.
- Aukus cements Australia as a subordinate of the U.S.
(Independent Peaceful Australia Network - IPAN)

"The shocking announcement of a trilateral security partnership between the U.S., U.K. and Australia (Aukus), which will be tied to Australia receiving nuclear submarines, is a blow to Australia’s independence and peace in the region.

The security partnership, Aukus, was announced without any public scrutiny or engagement.
While China was not mentioned in the announcement it is clear that this partnership is designed to confront and contain China, in a belligerent and dangerous manner." (IPAN)

Oz Doctor group call on the TGA to immediately reverse ban on Ivermectin off-label prescriptions

Candobetter Editor: We have been reluctant to get into any COVID-19 treatment controversies, because we figure it is hard enough dealing with a pandemic, without the additional stress of wondering about unproven treatments. Recent framing of Ivermectin as dangerous horse-medicine, however, is unfair and misleading. Ivermectin has been long been used to treat humans as well as other animals. This treatment might be controversial, but it should not be that controversial. We would make the case that, since people will take Ivermectin, whether or not it is prescribed by a doctor, it would be better for it to be prescribed and supervised by a doctor, to avoid the very unlikely risk of major overdose and serious consequences.

SPA welcomes near ZPG national figures despite state baby booms

Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) has welcomed the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) that show population growth has fallen to near zero (0.1 per cent) despite an apparent baby boom. Yesterday, the ABS released figures for the year ending March 31. Australia’s population grew by 35,700 or 0.14 per cent. Annual natural increase was 131,000 and net overseas migration (NOM) was -95,300. This news came not long after NSW Health announced more than 19,000 babies were born in NSW hospitals from April to June this year, a nine per cent increase on the same period last year.

Victoria is also experiencing a baby boom with the maternity system stretched to “breaking point”, according to the Victorian health minister, Martin Foley.

US Democrats and press speak up for Assange

This series of video quotes came out in February 2021, but it is still a useful item for helping people who only watch mainstream newsmedia to understand Assange's plight.

9-11 victims ill-served in pretext for continuous war

The deaths of about 3000 United States citizens and residents, however individually tragic, pale into insignificance against the hundreds of thousands, and possibly millions of deaths, resulting from continuous wars the United States has launched, using 9-11 as a pretext. The 2021 western-media commemoration hype, solely deploring the 2001 New York events, seems obscenely disproportionate, when considering the far greater human costs in ongoing economic, ecological, and political destruction, and looting of resources, in Central Asia and the Middle East, set in motion by a purported hunt for Osama-bin-Laden.

This ‘manhunt’ has resulted in a shocking cascade of Western invasions and sieges built on shocking lies, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran – with further targets in Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe.

"Overpopulated," song by Alaa Wardi, Iranian-born, Saudi-raised

Here is an Arabic song about overpopulation (lyrics and translation provided). On the same page, by the same artist, just above the original Arab lyrics for "Overpopulated," is an hilarious rendition of Pharrell Williams's song, "Happy." Aala Wardi, Iranian-born, Saudi-raised, and currently said to be living in Riyadh, provides completely new forms of Arab music. He studied music in Jordan and is a sound engineer as well as a performer and creator. He performs, produces, and presents all this music, much of which is very funny, as well as brilliant.

Long COVID ‘brain fog’: neurocognitive tests to harmonise global methods

An international taskforce created by a UNSW Science psychology researcher has recommended a set of neurocognitive and mental health questionnaires to harmonise the assessment of patients with long COVID.

The recommended tests and questionnaires, published in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, can be used internationally and in a variety of cultural settings.

"The LARGEST Planning changes in decades are about to be secretly thrust upon all Victorians" - Ratepayers Victoria

The Labor State Government of Premier Daniel Andrews is secretly consulting under confidential terms with Council Staff across the state and has proposed to:

- Significantly remove local objection rights on all large developments (not just the ministers own "captains picks")
- Establish a state planning panel that approves these decisions bypassing any local council involvement
- The planning panel will not be subject to ANY appeal process - their decisions will be final
- Effectively removing Council and resident objections to quicken development led state construction recovery

Covid lockdown fever dream ...

I was talking to someone on the phone about something I had to do. She suggested that I go up and stay in The Lodge with Scott Morrison and work on it with him. She checked with "Scott" and got back to me immediately, that it was OK.

Lib/Lab team up to wipe out minor parties - SAP needs new members

"Today, with little warning and a lot of malice, the Liberal and Labor parties teamed up to pass legislation requiring minor parties to prove they have over 1500 members within the next three months - up from 500 - before the 2022 federal election." (William Bourke, President Sustainable Australia Party, 27 August 2021)

Will Australia's Parliament ever allow a debate on Julian Assange?

Update, Wed 11 August: I have submitted the included Open Letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison as an attached PDF file through his "Contact Your PM" form at https://www.pm.gov.au/contact-your-pm. What you can do: Contact Scott Morrison, your local MP and your state Senators and tell them that you think it is about time Julian Assange was properly debated on the floor of our Parliament.

Whilst millions around the world have been protesting for Julian Assange almost nothing has been said for years on the floor of the Parliament of the country of which Julian is a citizen - Australia. This is not because Julian Assange has no support in Parliament. In fact, the "Bring Julian Assange Home" has 26 members. But arcane parliamentary procedural rules have, so far, made it impossible for those 26 supporters of Julian Assange to put his case to the floor of our Parliament. Twice so far, in June and again in August, the Parliamentary Selection Committee has prevented Julian Hill from putting to Parliament his motion (see below) in support of Julian Assange.

Britain: Shocking misuse of courts to shut up whistleblowers on political crime

In this extraordinary interview, revealing more political abuse of the British legal system, Chris Hedges talks to Craig Murray, the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, who was removed from his post after he made public the widespread use of torture by the Uzbek government and the CIA.

Murray has since become one of Britain’s most important human rights campaigners, a fierce advocate for Julian Assange and a supporter of Scottish independence. His coverage of the trial of former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, who was acquitted of sexual assault charges, saw him charged with contempt of court and sentenced to eight months in prison. The very dubious sentence, which upends most legal norms, was delivered, his supporters argue, to prevent him from testifying as a witness in the Spanish criminal case against UC Global Director David Morales. The company founder is being prosecuted for allegedly installing a surveillance system in the Ecuadorean Embassy when Julian Assange found refuge, that was used to record the privileged communications between Assange and his lawyers. Morales is alleged to have carried out this surveillance for the CIA.

Long time no see family because of COVID-19: Repatriation in a pandemic

It's been a long time since I have seen my friends and family, who live interstate in Australia. There have been unprecedented border closures and, even when we could travel, it's been too risky, because we could pay dearly for our trip with two weeks isolation on our return. No doubt, due to the current COVID-19 situation, there will be those we will not see again. Some grandparents may never see their interstate grandchildren. Many special occasions will be missed.

Defending Australia without defending war: Alternatives to the Australia-US Alliance

This article describes, among other things, the relationship of the property development industry with war. The Independent Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) recently asked for public submissions to its “People’s Inquiry Exploring the case for an Independent and Peaceful Australia.” It called for a “a people's-led national conversation about the US-Australia Alliance, including the social, political, military and defence, economic and environmental impacts.” The concept of a “people’s inquiry” implies a new attempt at democratic representation, assuming that Australians cannot be sure of being represented in a government-run inquiry, which will always be influenced by powerful groups. This article is based on my submission.

e-petition against local councils accepting unsolicited land proposals

"In Victoria, this practice has started with Banyule Council's deal with Woolworths, who approached council to purchase an additional 828sqm of public land that wasn't on the market.
It introduced the influence of private developers over and above transparency to the public, and puts every piece of public land at risk. The Woolworths deal was well over 2 years in the making before it came to light. Imagine if you discovered that our parklands or even a local park was negotiated for sale 2 years ago - now is the time to act before the precedent is set. Public land should stay in public hands." (Excerpt from petition).

Bees, trees, and disease - Pandemics - you ain't seen nothing yet, Australia

The mainstream media has given a great deal of coverage to the COVID-19 pandemic - as it should - but interwoven among the stories on poor vaccination rates, conspiracy theories, and the people ignoring quarantine, there is a consistent run of horror stories on the impact of lockdowns, often with a message that we must get back to the pre pandemic "normal" life. This is understandable, businesses are going broke, unemployment is rising, domestic violence and mental illness are increasing. It is an unpleasant situation, but returning to the old norm is not a solution. This, after all, was the lifestyle that created human movement into wilderness areas, bringing us into contact with pathogens that we have little resistance to combat.

Halcyon Close - Grab this townhouse opportunity! - Article by Sally Pepper

I knew it was my lucky day. Returning home from a walk this afternoon I removed the clutter of advertising material from my letter box. A rather subdued, tasteful card caught my eye as I shuffled through the assortment of catalogues and lost kitten notices. I noted the heading on a sage green coloured card - "Halcyon Close" - featuring a double storey, apparently newly built, modern styled townhouse complex. The verso showed the interior and outdoor living areas of one of these hallowed retreats, the living room suffused with light through floor- to -ceiling windows, onto neutral-coloured walls and soft furnishings, the outdoor living area dappled with sunlight, through a hint of greenery, on a neutral-tiled patio and beige outdoor furniture.

Sir Humphrey Covid

It's interesting how so many sentences and ideas now trail off into the inevitable denouement "… but that didn't happen because of Covid"…"We had to change plans because of Covid." It's as though Sir Humphrey Covid is some VIP, for whom doors must be opened and the seas must part. Or, as though Covid is an unexpected first born baby to a couple in their 40s whose lives are now utterly transformed. "We couldn't celebrate Henry's birthday this year because of … Baby Covid." "Covid" could be anything or anyone terribly important - one's mother in law arriving from Europe or a visitation from a long dead relative. All must stop … for Covid!

Intergenerational report (IGR) 2021: Sustainable Population Australia responds

Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) believes there is nothing to fear from the downward projection of population size in the Inter-Generational Report (IGR) from 40 million to 38.8 million by 2061. National President Jenny Goldie says what is to be feared are the environmental, social and economic cost of adding another 13 million people to the population.

EveryAGE Counts: "Smaller, older Australia need not be feared if we can crush ageism"

The new Intergenerational Report (IGR) has projected Covid will make Australia’s population smaller and older than earlier predicted, but that need not be a problem if we can take real steps to end the blight of ageism, according to the EveryAGE Counts campaign. EveryAGE Counts is funded by the The Benevolent Society

In launching the IGR, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the government remains committed to funding essential services while maintaining a sustainable tax burden. EveryAGE Counts Campaign Director Marlene Krasovitsky, said the key to achieving these goals is making a concerted effort to fight ageism.

"Ageism is now a huge drag on our economic growth," Ms Krasovitsky said.

Lighting and green spaces Speaker Event 27 June Prahran, Victoria

Walk in St Kilda Rd & Environs presents Planet Ark National Tree Day Nature Care Event 2021: "Lighting and Green Spaces - an Expert Panel Presentation on new research and challenges," Sunday 27 June 2021, 2.30pm – 4.30pm, Prahran Mechanics Institute, 39 St Edmonds Rd, Prahran VIC 3181

This Friday: Two Melbourne Protests for Julian Assange - British Consulate 7:30am and Flinders Street 6:30pm

Tomorrow (Friday 18 June) from 7:30AM until 9:00 AM outside the Melbourne British Consulate, Supporters of Julian Assange will be protesting against his illegal continued imprisonment by the British government. Apparently, Julian Assange, who has not been found guilty of any crime after more than two years imprisonment in solitary confinement 23 hours per day in Belmarsh Prison, is being kept there awaiting the lodgement of the United States' appeal against Judge Vanessa Baraitser's ruling of 6 January 2021 to disallow the extradition of Julian Assange - an outrageous abuse of procedure. Then from 6:30pm outside Flinders Street Station, other Melbourne supporters of Julian Assange will be holding their weekly vigil.

The inordinate length of time that the US prosecution is taking to lodge its appeal seems to be an indication that they are struggling to come up with any arguments that would hold any weight in the British Appeals court. That the British Judicial system has apparently not set a deadline for the US prosecutors can only be wilful negligence on its part. It is long past time that the Australian Government should have acted to bring this outrage to an end.

Inquiry:Finding the "balance" between heritage and industry (Northern Territory)

The Northern Australia Committee will hear from a range of "stakeholders" to listen to their perspectives on finding the right balance between protecting cultural heritage and allowing industry to operate in Northern Australia.

Representatives of the North Queensland Land Council, Queensland Resources Council, Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation, Jack Green, Nurrdalinji Native Title Aboriginal Corporation, Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining and Queensland University will be appearing.

The public hearing is part of the inquiry into the destruction of Indigenous heritage sites at Juukan Gorge and will be held by video/teleconference to continue the committee’s investigation of cultural heritage issues in Queensland and in the Northern Territory.

DFAT to appear at first hearing for the Trans-Pacific Partnership inquiry

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will appear at the opening public hearing today for an Australian parliamentary inquiry looking at the merits of expanding the membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. The CPTPP agreement signed in 2018 is a trade bloc of 11 countries that includes Australia and is an export market of 500 million consumers worth nearly $14 trillion. The parliamentary inquiry will examine the scope for expanding the TPP beyond the existing membership of Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia and Peru to include new members. Find out how to view the inquiry by video at http://www.aph.gov.au/jfadt

Julian Hill MP to put crucial Motion for Julian Assange to the Australian Parliament this coming Monday 21 June - how you can help

Update, 16 June: (see comment) The House of Representatives Selection Committee has ruled that Julian Hill's motion cannot be put this coming Monday 21 June. That motion will now have to wait almost 7 weeks, until 9 August, in the next (joint - both Senate and House of Representatives) sitting of Parliament, before it can be put and debated!

New important initiative. Labor MP Julian Hill's private motion may finally force Australian parliamentarians to take sides for or against Julian Assange and lead to his being freed. Whether this motion is heard and debated depends on whether the House of Representatives Selection Committee allows it. We urge Australians to contact their local members and each other to get behind Mr Hill's motion, which calls for Assange to be set free from his illegal imprisonment, noting that he is the recipient of many awards for journalism, detained for political reasons through an abuse of power. If the motion is allowed through, then both sides of the house will be obliged to vote or abstain, and the Australian public will finally see what they are made of.

What's changing with Medicare? It's really hard to find out ...

"On the 1st of July, just a few weeks' time, we're going to see the biggest changes to the Medicare Benefits Schedule that we're aware of in the history of Medicare. Over 900 items are changing and this has a significant potential impact on patients. The problem that we're seeing, and the problem that we're calling out today is that Government have only just released these new changes to the schedule in the last week or so, leaving only a few weeks for doctors, health funds and others to determine what their fees are and what the arrangements will be for the future.

Now, the changes to the schedule are quite significant, including very significant cuts to some rebates that patients may expect for their surgery as a result of rule changes within the MBS. But the bigger problem is the chaos that's going to ensue because doctors can't tell patients how much they can expect to receive back from their health fund because they simply don't know. It's not the fund's fault. They haven't had a chance yet to develop their own fee schedules. It's not the doctors' fault because they've just got no information around which to have a conversation with their patients for surgeries that have already been booked post first of July. So our message to patients having orthopaedic surgery, also cardiac and general surgery, is that if you do receive a bill that is not what you're expecting, if your doctor is unable to tell you what your fees are, it's not the doctor's fault. It's not the health funds fault on this occasion, it's the Government's fault." (Omar Khorshid, President Australian Medical Association.) Read more on the AMA's site at "Dr Omar Khorshid - MBS changes and comments on quarantine," 6 Jun 2021.

Law Council queries secret trials in Australia and case of 'Alan Johns'

According to the recently publicly released summary of offending, it is still unknown what offences Mr Johns pleaded guilty to, why he was given a term of imprisonment, exactly why the proceedings were conducted entirely in camera, and why even the ACT Attorney-General was never made aware that he was imprisoned in a correctional facility which the Attorney ultimately oversees,” Dr Brasch QC said.

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