Friday, August 10, 2018

Indonesia quake toll rises

The Indonesian island of Lombok has been hit by another strong earthquake amid reports the death toll from an earlier quake has more than tripled. The latest quake yesterday afternoon ‒ the third to hit the tourist island since July 29 ‒ caused several buildings to collapse and further complicated rescue and relief efforts. Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency was working to verify conflicting death record updates issued by the Indonesian military, the National Search and Rescue Agency and the governor of West Nusa Tenggara, putting the number of dead between 164 and 381. More than 156,000 people have been displaced by the quakes, which caught Australian home affairs minister Peter Dutton on the 12th floor of a Lombok hotel-restaurant.

Mining company Adani and the Queensland government knew that coal-contaminated water leaking into wetlands from an Adani-owned coal terminal was in breach of environmental standards, according to documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws. The ABC’s Four Corners reports that Adani sought an extension on a temporary pollution licence in March 2017 as Cyclone Debbie made landfall near the Abbot Point coal port. Communications between Adani and the Queensland environment department suggested Adani knew it would breach the licence, allowing water nine times dirtier than the regulatory limit to spill into the nearby Caley Valley wetlands.

Amnesty International has urged state and territory governments to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 14. The human rights group used the United Nations International Day for the Recognition of Indigenous Peoples on Thursday to draw attention to the incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in youth detention. Meanwhile, at a march in Sydney, seven Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak bodies called for the state government to engage with the Makarrata process proposed at the 2017 Uluru summit and for NSW to overhaul the state’s approach to child protection. A Productivity Commission report released in May found the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care had doubled since the 2008 apology to the Stolen Generations.

And the New South Wales Greens will vote on whether to disendorse state MP Jeremy Buckingham as a candidate at the state election due in March following allegations of sexual harassment. A motion “to remove Jeremy Buckingham from the Greens NSW legislative council ticket, pending completed results of an investigation into any/all harassment allegations” will be moved at the party’s state council at the weekend. Speaking to the ABC’s 7.30 earlier this month, Greens member Ella Buckland alleged Buckingham touched her inappropriately in 2011. Buckingham has denied the allegation, claiming it is part of an “ongoing factional attack” against him.

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Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jew.

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Japan begins to embrace the 100-year life

“Like a grandfather finally admitting that he needs bifocals, Japan has embraced the idea of the 100-year life as an overarching policy directive. It has long seen the more terrifying implications of that in surging healthcare costs and the emergence of ‘dementia towns’, where a fifth of residents are suffering from cognitive decay.”financial times ($)

Inside the very, very controversial business of dog cloning

“The baby’s head pops out, followed by its tiny body. Nurses soak up fluids filling its mouth so the tyke can breathe. The surgeon cuts the umbilical cord. After some tender shaking, the little one moves his head and starts to cry. Looking triumphant, the surgeon holds up the newborn for the students to see – a baby boy that isn’t given a name but a number.”  VANITY FAIR

Why is The New York Times so interested in Australia?

“Australia’s existing media obviates the need for a Breitbart or Infowars equivalent because it so regularly indulges in the kind of gutter-level race-baiting and open hostility to difference which would be considered gauche in most portions of the mainstream US media. The hand-wringing about normalising white nationalism through a limp mouthpiece like Tucker Carlson doesn’t really exist here, as that sort of commentary is regularly bandied about by mainstream commentators on both sides of the aisle.” the outline



What could Canada possibly do to stop human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia?

“Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said he would keep pressing Saudi Arabia on civil liberties amid a major diplomatic dispute ... Saudi Arabian foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir – infuriated by Canada’s demand last week that jailed rights activists be released immediately – said on Wednesday that there was no room for mediation, adding that Ottawa knew what it needed to do to ‘fix its big mistake’.”  reuters


Stop sending them armoured cars, for a start.

“The future of the $15 billion deal by Canada to supply Saudi Arabia with armoured vehicles is unclear ... In 2017, Canada exported nearly $1.5 billion of goods to Saudi Arabia, including armoured vehicles, machinery and mineral ores. And Canada imported more than $2.6 billion of goods including oil, ores and aluminum, the department of global affairs said.”  the globe and mail


and finally:

Cry, my beloved and sadly divided country

“I’m not sure what exactly the catalyst has been, but in recent years we have debased ourselves to the point where race, religion and gender – the very fibre of personal identity – has become the currency of the most partisan of politics, something to be weaponised and used regardless of the collateral damage.”  the courier mail. i know! ($)