“We are going to terminate the agreement and then we are going to develop the weapons” unless Russia and China agree to a new deal, Trump said on Saturday.
“You have scientists on both sides of it. My uncle was a great professor at MIT for many years, Dr. John Trump,” the president said. “And I didn’t talk to him about this particular subject, but I have a natural instinct for science, and I will say that you have scientists on both sides of the picture.”
Trump boasted that he could shoot someone down walking in the street on 5th Avenue and his fan base would not care. Strong men around the world heard him joking about murdering political opponents.
Trump urges crowds to menace journalists, calls them the ‘worst people,’ and just praised Montana congressman Greg Gianforte for body-slamming a young journalist, Ben Jacobs, and breaking his classes, for which Gianforte was fined by a court.
Trump wants to introduce political libel laws into the US, such that a politician could sue anyone who crticizes him for defamation. The Saudis don’t do anything so formal as instituting court proceedings, but political libel is very much a crime in Saudi Arabia and it is used to silence critical voices and journalists.
When asked about Putin’s own notorious assassinations of his critics, Trump gave the Russian strong man a pass, saying that the US also whacks people. Well no doubt it does, but not Washington Post journalists, or at least not openly and regularly.
When Trump made a state visit to Saudi Arabia in May of 2017, he said to his audience there, “We are not here to lecture you. We are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be or how to worship.” You couldn’t find a clearer mandate for strongman rule in the Arab world or a clearer promise that
“Trump and the Prince finally got their story worked out”
Activists on Friday delivered a petition to the U.S. State Department demanding justice for journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul nearly three weeks ago. (Photo: Ford Fischer/News2Share)
“We call BS,” declared CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin on Friday after the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia finally confirmed that Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul—but also claimed he died in “fistfight” gone wrong rather than the widely suspected grisly torture and assassination by a hit team acting on orders from the highest levels of Saudi leadership.
The Kingdom later updated its explanation, according to a CNN reporter, to say that Khashoggi was killed in a chokehold during a fight. Turkish officials, meanwhile, have alleged to the press that a team of Saudi agents—including a doctor specializing in autopsies—brought a bone saw into the consulate, where they tortured, killed, and dismembered Khashoggi.
Asked about Saudi Arabia’s new claims late Friday, Trump told reporters he has confidence in the “fistfight” explanation and called the supposed findings a “good first step.”
When Barnaby says he isn’t after the leadership we believe him because politicians on this side always tell the truth about these things
In supporting One Nation’s Senator Pauline Hanson’s toxic bilge that it’s “okay to be white”, the facile but dangerous Morrison Government deserves to lose not only today’s Wentworth by-election, but also the pending Federal election.
They are unworthy of our vote. They are unworthy of Australia. We are surely capable of better. No longer can we tolerate what is being said and done in our name by these belligerently racist and desperate buffoons, who shamelessly lie, cheat and steal from us by masquerading as a government.
Ok, I was watching Sky’s coverage of the election.
We cut from the winner’s speech to the Liberal event because the Prime Minister was speaking.
Just to be clear, that’s still Scott Morrison … Although it may be Peter Dutton by the time you read this …
Anyway, after telling us that the Liberals were angry – meaning the voters – he then said that the Liberals – meaning the party he leads – would win the next election because of what they believed. He then reminded us that there’ll be a fair go for those who have a go and the best form of welfare is a job and …
Yes, you get the idea. It was just the repetition of all the cliches that lost them the by-election. He then put his arm round Josh Frydenberg and left. Strangely, I thought of this:
These are ominous signs for Abbott’s future. The former prime minister played a key role in the demise of Turnbull, and has led the charge against any substantial policy to reduce Australia’s emissions. Who can forget Abbott once said the science behind climate change was “absolute crap”?
Warringah sits across the other side of Sydney Harbour to Wentworth, but has some remarkably similar demographics. While the Liberal Party risks losing Wentworth from what should be a very safe margin of nearly 18 per cent, Abbott holds Warringah by a much smaller 11.1 per cent.
Let’s not sugar coat this, the outcome in the Wentworth byelection is a disaster for the Liberals. Counting isn’t over yet, but the anti-government swing in this contest will be north of 20%, which is the biggest swing ever recorded against a government at a byelection.
It is a repudiation. A repudiation of a chaotic period in government characterised by self-obsession and self-harm. A repudiation of the party’s lurch to the right, and the hollowing out of the sensible centre.
He was Abbott’s Puppet (ODT)
If you find it breathtaking that Scott Morrison’s Liberal Party has managed to lose one of its bluest of blue-ribbon seats in what appears to be the biggest by-election swing against a government in Australian political history, it might conceivably have even been worse.
Imagine the level of devastation the furious voters of Wentworth might have served up if the party’s “let’s get rid of Malcolm Turnbull” strategists had got what they wanted in the first place – a Peter Dutton government.
Morrison, as has become clearer by the day, has proved to be a prime minister with the instincts of a door to door salesman, trying to be an everyman for everyone.
Earlier this month, it was revealed that the Israeli private intelligence company Psy Group had met with Rick Gates, who was a senior member of Trump’s presidential campaign staff in 2016, and offered to use social media, fake accounts, and surveillance in order to swing the election for a Trump victory. The New York Times reported that apparently Psy Group’s offer was rejected by Trump. Jeremy Scahill of The Intercept was among the few journalists who cover the reality that Trump’s alleged collusion with foreign agents during his presidential campaign was not just about Russia, but involved other countries, as well. Jeremy Scahill explains here the role of the Israeli group Psy Group.
Live Bullett Injuries (ODT)
The Trumps were typically way more than mere licensors or bystanders in their often-troubled deals. They were deeply involved in these projects. They helped mislead investors and buyers — and they profited handsomely from it.
White House Direct (ODT)
Proving, once again, that there is no bottom, no low that is too low to go and that they’re willing to do anything, no matter how depraved if it’s in defense of Dear Leader, the right has now launched a smear campaign against murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi, basically attempting to paint him as a terrorist.
It started with Trump Jr. boosting a smear from the right wing website PJ Media, and now it’s spread to members of Congress, more far-right web sites, and of course, Fox “news.”
Trump Jr. Boosts Smear Tying Missing Journalist Jamal Khashoggi to Islamic Terrorism:
plenty of Washington think tankers and pundits, not to mention senior members of the Trump administration, are reluctant to speak out against Saudi Arabia and have been busy smearing Jamal Khashoggi instead. Much of this has to do with Donald Trump’s financial interest in Saudi Arabia, as well as the fact that Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are obsessed with Iran, and are bent on going after Iran, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is their key ally in that aggressive endeavor. In this week’s episode, Mehdi Hasan is joined by The Intercept’s D.C. bureau chief, Ryan Grim, and the founder of the National Iranian American Council, Trita Parsi, to deconstruct the evil Justice League of Donald Trump, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Mohammed bin Salman.
Georgia secretary of state and gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp improperly purged more than 340,000 voters from the state’s registration rolls, an investigation charges.
Greg Palast, a journalist and the director of the Palast Investigative Fund, said an analysis he commissioned found 340,134 voters were removed from the rolls on the grounds that they had moved – but they actually still live at the address where they are registered.
Independent Kerryn Phelps has ended the Liberal Party’s dominance in the blue-ribbon Sydney seat of Wentworth, plunging Prime Minister Scott Morrison into minority government.
The swing against government was so significant, at least 20 per cent, that within 90 minutes of polls closing it was clear that Liberal candidate Dave Sharma could not win the seat.
The results show that if every Australian adult lined up in a row, the middle person would have a net worth of $US191,453 – about $270,000 at Friday’s exchange rate.
Australia is also home to the 10th biggest cluster of “ultra-high net worth” individuals in the world – people who have accumulated more than $US50 million ($70 million).
Globally, there are 149,890 such fortunate individuals, of whom 70,540 call America home. Australia is home to 2910.
The globally renowned journalist was writing about the circumstances in his homeland, and in other Arab states. But he could have been writing about much of the world, where freedom of expression, and the democratic promises that extend from it, are under murderous assault. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calculates that 57 journalists who were employed by media outlets (including six in the United States) have been killed so far this year, along with 10 citizen journalists and four media assistants. At the same time, 167 journalists, 150 citizen journalists, and 19 media assistants are imprisoned—including 28 Saudi Arabians.
ON TUESDAY, Donald Trump made a bold declaration, declaring victory. Only two days later, that lie was proven deadly wrong.
That’s what US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday.
But fast forward to today and we hear reports that far from being defeated, Islamic State has this week captured 700 hostages and says it will kill 10 of them a day unless the group’s demands are met.
It’s understood that members of IS attacked a refugee camp last week, leading to the hostages being taken. Among them are Europeans and US citizens.
That a free press underpins British democracy is an enduring myth that has been allowed to go unchallenged, up there with unicorns and the Loch Ness Monster.
Because if a clutch of right-wing reactionary billionaires owning the bulk of a nation’s major newspaper titles and media constitutes a free press, the word ‘free’ has been stripped and shorn of all meaning.
Yet, while the aforementioned – let’s be kind here – ‘anomaly’ has long been understood by anyone of adult years with the ability to put their underpants on the right way round in the morning, the extent to which the British establishment press and media has been penetrated by intelligence services and acts as a conduit for their agenda is less well known.
Take Con Coughlin, for example, Defence Editor at The Daily Telegraph (more colloquially and accurately known as The Daily Torygraph). Coughlin is a product of a private school production line that has unleashed more knaves on the world than spittle on a dentist’s chair. While his outing as an MI6 asset may have been a long time coming, now that it has, it marks yet another nail in the coffin of a media class whose relationship to truth and objectivity belongs in the box marked non-existent.
Population Minister Alan Tudge has suggested that Melbourne and Sydney are experiencing significant pressure from excessive population growth. He’s probably got a point, but his ‘solution’ — forcing immigrants to live in areas with less population pressure for at least five years after permanent residency is granted — demonstrates Tudge’s complete lack of knowledge of the subject matter he is responsible for implementing on behalf of the Australian Government.
The Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison government has a long history of dog whistling to turn opinions against those who don’t look like them (generally middle-aged to elderly white men). First we had ‘stop the boats’, then the ‘gangs of African youths terrorising Melbourne’ and now the same people are being blamed for failures of politicians over the past 40 years to argue the case for additional capacity when expensive infrastructure is built. Because in the long term it’s cheaper to build it once with some growing room — just like the 2-year old’s new t-shirt.
It’s time to call Tudge’s thought bubble out for what it is — racism.
What do you think?
Last week Peter Costello accused Malcolm Turnbull of failing to develop an economic narrative to unite the Coalition. Turnbull promised this when he challenged Tony Abbott for the leadership of the Liberal Party, but, said Costello, it never came, and the result is a government struggling to manage deep differences over social issues. There was “jobs and growth”, but this is really just a goal without much of a story about how to get there, except for the company tax cuts.
The big question, though, is why the government does not have a coherent economic narrative.
One possible answer is that it has been too preoccupied with social issues such as religious freedom and before that, same-sex marriage, to give the economy sufficient attention. There is something in that.
The stakes could not be higher ahead of the Wentworth byelection on Saturday, yet Liberals and Nationals are falling over themselves to display their chaos to voters. They do this even though they know they could lose a seat that should be unassailable.
It is all going terribly well. The government fumbles a One Nation motion that it is OK to be white, starts a dispute with the bush over a farm worker visa, tells Pacific Island leaders they are no more than beggars and infuriates Indonesia with a sudden shift on Israel.
The desire for Malcolm’s presence is one of those strange paradoxes. If Turnbull is not that good at politics, he’s hardly needed, but if Turnbull can help boost the votes by campaigning, it begs the question: Why did you dump him?
From massive inequality to the climate crisis, these powerful corporations “are able to demand that governments do their bidding”
The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, warned, on Wednesday, that transfer of population in an occupied territory constitute war crime.
Yemen is a country of some 29 million persons, but over a third of them are at risk of starvation if Saudi and UAE bombing campaigns continue. Lise Grand, the United Nations coordinator for Yemen, has warned that the world has only 3 months to halt the slide toward catastrophe.
She seems to think that an immediate armistice must be called in the war to avoid this dire outcome. The Trump administration provides logistical and other help to the Saudi and UAE belligerents, and so the United States is embroiled in any human rights disaster there.
The Zaydi Shiite Houthi militia took control of the most populous parts of Yemen in 2014. Although the Zaydis are closer to Sunnism than other Shiites (such as the Twelvers of Iraq and Iran), the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia hate them with a passion and have been trying for three decades to convert them to Wahhabism with their oil wealth. The Houthi revivalist movement arose in part as a reaction against that Wahhabi missionary drive and search for Saudi hegemony in Yemen.
The Saudis accuse the Houthis of being puppets of Iran, but that is a vast exaggeration. They are a largely indigenous movement.
(MENA Tidningen) – For the past week, the news cycle on the Middle East has been focused, for obvious reasons, on the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Kashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Turkish authorities claim that they have hard evidence for the murder, which the Saudis are finding it increasingly hard to deny. The hired propaganda media of the Saudis are spinning a post-denial alibi of “rogue elements” to salvage the reputation of MBS as a great reformer. In this they are aided by President Trump, who would rather sell billions of dollars worth of weapons than reflect on the multiple human rights abuses of the kingdom. The Arab states who feast on Saudi money are, understandably in the Hobbesian sense, defending their royal oil daddies.
Perhaps history serves us better when it is able to contest, not confirm our certainties. And that is one, unsettling message that the critical study of any lasting civilisation teaches us.
The Wentworth byelection is the testing ground of one of the main tenets of the federal Liberal party’s thought leadership – and one that Malcolm Turnbull pushed back on during his term – that we need to attract the disenchanted rightwing vote.
The view held by some in the party is that the emergence of independent conservative parties have stolen our vote and we need to court them back. The internal counter-argument is – well, yes, but you will lose the rest of the country.
Australia is just not America, as much as some wish it was.
The Australian Conservatives have not gone off like fireworks and One Nation polls on a national average that is consistently below the Greens. Does that mean we have more environmentalists than conservatives?
The Coalition’s decision to protect a global arms manufacturer’s commercial interests by suppressing criticism of a $1.3bn military deal risks setting a dangerous precedent that limits independent scrutiny of government, the auditor general has warned.
On any given spring day around Australia you can spot cyclists and pedestrians ducking, weaving and running for cover to avoid swooping magpies.
Securing the funding is a win for President Donald Trump, who has complained about how much the United States spends abroad and has tried to get allies to foot more of the bill. But the timing of the money’s arrival raised eyebrows even among some of the bureaucrats whose programs will benefit from the influx of cash.
“The timing of this is no coincidence,” said an American official involved in Syria policy who spoke on condition of anonymity. The official confirmed that the money arrived on Tuesday.
Trump had aligned US foreign policy with Saudi Arabia’s vision of the Middle East. This has unleashed a dangerous recklessness from the Gulf state
Someone didn’t like the vision of Black elderly voters dancing with joy in anticipation of boarding a bus to vote in Louisville, Georgia. Someone didn’t think Black people who had suffered through segregation and Jim Crow in the Deep South should publicly declare their votes mattered. Someone decided to try to scare some senior citizens in their nineties (NINETIES) from daring to be free and open in their equality as voters.
Fear mongering about climate change mitigation by the Liberals, the IPA and mining/coal lobbyists is not based on evidence or the examples of nation-states on this planet. Climate change disharmony (evidenced by increasing global heatwaves, and abnormal climate events) on the other hand, are increasingly apparent. Scientists and experts at these conferences have for decades repeatedly warned us, time is running out, and we need to act soon and fervently. If big business lobbying and political ideology are all that stands in the way of averting a climatic breakdown, then we as Australians need to vote out of office anyone who even remotely risks the future of our planet, in preference for greed and power.
But these Ramsay/IPA people are dogged and they have plenty of bucks, some of which came from Gina Rinehart who is like both Koch Bros rolled into one. Thanks to Australia’s ridiculous disclosure laws, we have no idea just how much dark money is behind the libertarian conspiracy, but you can bet it is heaps, enough to keep the tenacious ideological bludgers going for years.
Instead of accepting free tickets to attend sporting and cultural events, instead of posing for photographs, instead of marketing your family, instead of calling yourself by a nickname and putting your arm around anyone you are standing next to, how about you get back to the office and do the job you are being paid to do.
When winning is all that counts( ODT)
Indonesia’s relationship with Australia could be “thrown under a bus” following Canberra’s provocative move to consider relocating its embassy in Israel, a trade expert is warning.
Right -wing Paranoia (ODT)
It is not clear why Dr Montana was arrested — although one source said Nauru authorities suspected her of leaking information about the health of refugees on the island.
The source also said the Nauru Government was becoming “increasingly paranoid” and it was unlikely Dr Montana would have been feeding information to journalists or advocates.
In addition to the lack of accountability, we have inundation of the airwaves with lies and misinformation. Those two things often go hand in hand in this administration, and journalists are increasingly at a loss to find a way just to manage them both. Furthermore, David Zurawik predicted that the lower Trumplestiltzkin’s ratings get, the angrier and more unpredictable and frenetic he’ll be, leading to an even more difficult job for journalists, and a more chaotic time for people they’re trying to inform.
US President Donald Trump says “rogue killers” may have been behind the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Palestinians have been marching weekly to the fence in order to highlight the impacts of the siege on Gaza, as well as to re-center the issue of Palestinian refugees. Since protests began on March 30, Israeli soldiers have killed at least 205 Palestinians, and wounded tens of thousands of others. Last Friday, Israeli soldiers shot dead seven Palestinians — including two teenage boys — during the protests, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.
Powerful corporations have been allowed to swallow the state; they have, as economist James Galbraith explains, created a “predator state,” which they naturally exploit for their own expansion. There is no frame of reference with which we can more convincingly define the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Politicians please read the small print and beware, if you sign up to the TPP you will be selling Australia down the river.