Friday, July 13, 2018

WA police apologise to Aboriginal people

Western Australian police commissioner Chris Dawson has formally apologised to the state’s Aboriginal people for historic mistreatment at the hands of police. Speaking at police headquarters in Perth as part of NAIDOC Week, Dawson said he “would like to say sorry to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for our participation in past wrongful actions that have caused immeasurable pain and suffering”. He said that “as the legislated protectors of Aboriginal people, police played an important and significant role in contributing to a traumatic history which continues to reverberate today”. While the apology was cautiously welcomed by Aboriginal rights and legal justice groups, Carol Roe, whose grandchild died after being locked up for unpaid fines, remained sceptical. “Is that going to be a concrete, solid, ‘sorry’? Or just a light ‘sorry’, like they did with the Stolen Generations?” Roe asked in an interview with NITV. Roe’s 22-year-old granddaughter, Ms Dhu, died in police custody in 2014.

Independent federal MP Andrew Wilkie has called on the Australian Federal Police to investigate Australian intelligence services over their bugging of the East Timorese cabinet rooms in 2004. Last month Wilkie used parliamentary privilege to reveal the federal government had charged whistleblower Witness K and lawyer Bernard Collaery with seeking to publicly release information about intelligence operations. In a letter jointly signed by senators Nick McKim, Tim Storer and Rex Patrick, Wilkie asked the AFP to investigate allegations that “then-director general of the Australian Security Intelligence Service, David Irvine, instructed Witness K to place covert listening devices in Timor-Leste government buildings”.

Australia has committed to new military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan at the NATO summit in Brussels. A Canada-led mission in Iraq will commit Australian defence personnel to “train the trainers” who teach Iraqi soldiers how to defuse IEDs, while Australian aviation advisers will help Afghanistan set up a fleet of Blackhawk helicopters. United States president Donald Trump threatened to pull out of the military alliance if other countries did not raise defence spending to 4 per cent of GDP by 2019, and claimed “Germany is a captive of Russia”.

And a company owned by live animal exporter, Emanuel Exports, has had a second licence suspended, preventing a shipment of 60,000 sheep from being sent to the Middle East. In a statement, the department of agriculture said EMS Rural Exports would have its licence suspended “pending a full review”. Emanuel and EMS director Graham Daws stepped down from both companies this week, with his son Nicholas taking over in an effort to sidestep the ban. Emanuel is under criminal investigation over conditions on one of its ships, the Awassi Express.

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More recycling wont solve plastic pollution

“Recycling plastic is to saving the Earth what hammering a nail is to halting a falling skyscraper. You struggle to find a place to do it and feel pleased when you succeed. But your effort is wholly inadequate and distracts from the real problem of why the building is collapsing in the first place. The real problem is that single-use plastic is an incredibly reckless abuse of technology.”  scientific american

‘They will die in Tallinn’: Estonia girds for war with Russia

“The idea that Estonia – whose entire population isn’t much bigger than Russia's standing army, and which has little on its own in the way of air power and armor – could withstand a Russian assault might seem like a silly discussion from the far side of the Atlantic. But Estonia has resources that are as much in demand in the alliance as TOW missiles and tanks: will and a mobilised population.” politico

Forget killer robots: autonomous weapons are already online

“In the last decade, security researchers have demonstrated that basically any device with a digital component – including heart implants and modern cars – can be targeted. Societal vulnerability to cyber attacks will likely only increase as smart-home devices, and eventually self-driving car technologies, become widespread. Attackers no longer need access to military long-range aircraft or missiles to threaten the homeland – they only need a computer and internet access.”undark



Where can we find these abused dogs a home?

“The RSPCA has uncovered a grave containing the remains of nine greyhounds in Sydney's west. The organisation said the grave was discovered on the property of a licensed greyhound trainer. Twelve other greyhounds were removed from the property suffering emaciation, with parasites, pressure sores and severe dental disease. WARNING: This story contains a graphic image of dog carcasses in a grave.”  abc


Let’s drop them off at Luke Foley’s office.

“More than 50 greyhound trainers have been caught drugging their dogs since an inquiry into the industry was appointed in May 2015, including a woman who posed with the opposition leader Luke Foley at a rally against the ban on the sport. Goulburn trainer Kim Mulrine stood beside Foley to protest the ban on greyhound racing in August, a month after she was suspended from racing greyhounds because one of her dogs tested positive to cobalt.”  fairfax (from 2017)


and finally:

Nails in the coffin: man with world’s longest fingernails finally cuts them off

“They took 66 years to grow but only a couple of minutes to chop off. On Wednesday, Shridhar Chillal from Pune, India, who holds the Guinness World Record for the longest fingernails ever recorded on a single hand, finally cut his nails. Or rather, a technician wearing a face mask and wielding a power tool carefully removed them during a ‘nail clipping ceremony’ in New York.” guardian us