Category: Threat

90 Seconds to Midnight? –

90 seconds to midnight clock display.

When Common Sense no longer exist individual interests prevail.

To put it bluntly, soon Russia will be in a position where a single ship could, in a matter of minutes, fire 16 nuclear armed hypersonic missiles at the United States which not only cannot be intercepted by anything in the US arsenal, but also would impact their respective targets before any meaningful evacuation could be conducted. It is, literally, a decapitation weapon. Current Russian nuclear doctrine does not allow for a nuclear first strike; indeed, Russian President Vladimir Putin has made it clear that Russia would not be the first nation to use nuclear weapons in any future nuclear conflict. But he also emphasized that Russia would not be the second, either, meaning that Russia would release its nuclear arsenal without waiting for any US first strike to impact Russian soil.

Source: 90 Seconds to Midnight? –

Dangerous Precedents and Hypothetical Threats: The Deportation of Novak Djokovic – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Australia’s treatment of Novak Djokovic, the tennis world number one, has been revelatory. Unintentionally, this has exposed the seedier, arbitrary and inconsistent nature of Australia’s border policies. The approval by the Australian Federal Court of the Immigration Minister Alex Hawke’s decision to re-cancel the prominent Serb’s visa left the country a heaving precedent that will be invoked, in future, with relish.

Source: Dangerous Precedents and Hypothetical Threats: The Deportation of Novak Djokovic – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Tax Havens and Other Tricks Let U.S. Firms Steal $180 Billion

TOPSHOT - This photograph taken late August 11, 2018, from the French mountain of Saleve shows a nightime view of the city of Geneva at the end of Lake Geneva with its landmark Fountain which is known as "Jet d'Eau". (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

Tax havens — the most significant include Ireland, Singapore, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Hong Kong, and Bermuda — serve two purposes.

The first is tax evasion by individuals, which is illegal. Think of Russian or Nigerian plutocrats transferring their assets to small Caribbean nations with strict banking secrecy laws, freeing them from the dreary necessity of paying taxes in their home countries.

The second is tax avoidance by huge multinational corporations, which — as long as the lawyers are doing their jobs — is perfectly legal. Here imagine Apple using various forms of accounting chicanery to claim that tens of billions of its profits generated in countries with normal corporate tax rates were actually all made in Ireland, where Apple had negotiated a special 2 percent tax rate for itself. (Apple has on occasion gone even further, asserting that some of its profits were made, for the purposes of taxation, in no country at all.)

Zucman conservatively estimated in his book that tax avoidance and evasion translate into hundreds of billions of dollars in unpaid taxes every year — money that, for the most part, ends up in the pockets of the world’s wealthiest people.

via Tax Havens and Other Tricks Let U.S. Firms Steal $180 Billion

‘A form of intimidation’: inside Australia’s most secretive law enforcement body | Australia news | The Guardian

A federal court prosecution over evidence to the Australian Crime Commission reveals some of the practices that take place in its closed interrogations

Source: ‘A form of intimidation’: inside Australia’s most secretive law enforcement body | Australia news | The Guardian

Manifesto for a pogrom: hostility to resettled refugees grows on Nauru Refugees settled on Nauru woke on Monday to find an ominous letter, signed “Youth of Republic of Nauru”, had been delivered overnight. Copies had been left at shops, homes, workplaces employing refugees…

Nauru’s culture of hospitality once applied to all, including the asylum seekers who arrived in 2001 to a dance of welcome, a tradition depicted on this stamp. Refugee resettlement has changed all that. Author provided

Refugees settled on Nauru woke on Monday to find an ominous letter, signed “Youth of Republic of Nauru”, had been delivered overnight. Copies had been left at shops, homes, workplaces employing refugees and a restaurant, as well as at Fly Camp where male refugees are held and at the family camp and houses where young unaccompanied refugees live. Copies were thrown over the detention centre fence, erasing the distinction between recognised refugees settled outside and those still in detention under an agreement between the Australian and Nauru governments.

The distribution of the letter points to an orchestrated campaign, rather than a spontaneous individual act of intimidation.

The letter states:

“… we warn Refugees to Go Away of our country and just to hell with all your concerns if not, get ready for the bad things happening and waiting ahead.

It contains disturbing resentments and accusations:

Our women, girls and daughters are having contact with refugees and having affairs with them and we can never see our women having fun with refugees and neglecting locals.

It warns that:

… we can see clearly in near future refugees will be the leading and ruling people and will make local community people their slaves.

Such charges are characteristic of hate manifestos designed to mobilise communities against targeted groups. They are recognisable as the grievances that historically inform racist propaganda. The aim is to scapegoat and intimidate target groups and incite violence against them with the objective of removing them from the community.

We warn our Corrupt Government as well Australian Government to take away your rubbish (refugees) and leave our country, otherwise there can be worse situations for refugees as you can see these days.

The letter threatening refugee settlers, which was circulated on Nauru. Author provided
Click to enlarge

The reference to “rubbish” articulates precisely the logic of ethnic cleansing.

The phrase “as you can see” is a chilling reference to acts of thuggery against unaccompanied juvenile refugees, to whom a particular duty of care is owed. Living on their own in isolated locations, these vulnerable young refugees have reported being harassed, intimidated and physically beaten by groups of men on motorbikes.

These attacks were reported to authorities, including police and Save the Children, which is contracted to care for the refugees.

After seeing the letter, refugees again reported their fears to these authorities. The government has dismissed their concerns. They have not received any guarantees to safeguard their welfare and remain in great fear.

Australia in denial of its responsibility

Nauruan authorities reportedly responded that Australia’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) should be the one to address the refugees’ concerns. Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has already washed his hands of his obligations. His spokesman has stated that any attack on a person settled on Nauru “is wholly a matter for Nauru”.

This is a blatant abrogation of responsibility. In the international context, it demonstrates a total disregard for the spirit of the Refugee Convention. Regionally, it evidences a disturbing indifference to the volatile and increasingly violent conditions that Australian policy has generated in neighbouring states such as Papua New Guinea and Nauru.

By exploiting its political and economic power over former Australian protectorates for domestic political ends, Australia has created conditions that serve to foment unrest with potentially lethal consequences.

The letter states:

… we cannot see and tolerate that Australia Government headache (refugees) [is] making our lives crashing and bringing down to the ground.

In other words, even as the letter scapegoats refugees, it holds Australia responsible for the new elements introduced to “our small and congested community”. It argues that:

Nauru is a conservative country, it is not a multicultural country so resettling refugees means that inducing [sic] culture from different countries and we think that we are never been ready for that.

Tony Abbott and his government share responsibility for policies that are poisoning Nauru’s friendly culture. AAP

Detention camps and their social and physical infrastructure – personnel, equipment, environmental features – are visible markers of Australian power. Their imposition compounds the legacy of Australia’s colonial impositions, one of irreversible environmental destruction and serious economic and political damage.

A once welcoming culture poisoned

In diagnosing the nativist sentiment of this letter, we wish to emphasise the dangerous conditions Australia has irresponsibly engendered in a small and vulnerable neighbour. Already disadvantaged, Nauruans are being called upon to assume Australians’ responsibilities. Our failure to fulfil our international obligations to refugees within our own expansive borders and our outsourcing of these to small, resource-poor societies lies at the heart of the ugly and violent sentiments expressed in the letter.

Such sentiments represent an erosion of Pacific communities’ traditional values of hospitality. At a recent Australian Studies conference, colleagues from the region voiced distress at this perversion of core aspects of their societies and cultures. In 2001, when the first asylum seekers landed on Nauru under the Pacific Solution, Nauruans greeted them with a welcome dance. Today Nauru and Australia are both harsher and lesser societies.

The cultivation of nativism in place of values of generosity has taken a disturbing turn on Nauru. Several refugees have expressed the sense that underlying political agendas are driving it: “we are just being kicked around for politics”.

We call on Minister Morrison and DIAC to assume their ethical and legal responsibility to protect unaccompanied minors and other recognised refugees whom the Australian government has placed on Nauru. Australia should immediately reassess a policy that has proved so destructive in its effects, as refugees continue to be resettled in a climate of fear and uncertainty.

The letter campaign is the latest chilling symptom of the toxic effects of Australia’s “no advantage” policy. That it invokes the horrific spectre of ethnic cleansing is an indictment of the great wrong we have perpetrated in our region.

Islamaphobia is promoted in our ‘free market’ economy. Do we create anti-Islamic trade policies, education, live meat export to or do we just threaten all small business. Bolt would have us do nothing with Islam as part of his part of his ‘free speech’ in a ‘free economy’ drive unless Tony told him otherwise. That’s Team Australia

Fleurieu Milk Company

Fleurieu Milk and Yoghurt Company loses $50,000 Emirates deal after bowing to pressure to drop Halal certification

An aggressive social media campaign pushing for a boycott on Halal products has forced a South Australian company to drop the accreditation and ditch a deal that was worth $50,000 a year.

The Fleurieu Milk and Yoghurt Company came under fire last week on its social media page with people suggesting the fee it paid to become Halal-certified was being used to fund terrorism.

Sales and marketing manager Nick Hutchinson said because of the campaign and a wish to avoid negative publicity the company decided to end its yoghurt supply deal with Emirates on Friday.

“The publicity we were getting was quite negative and something we probably didn’t need and we decided we would pull the pin and stop supplying Emirates Airlines,” Mr Hutchison said.

“Ninety per cent of it has been social media, but I have received calls from people that are quite unhappy, I guess, about our decisions and so forth, and [we have also received] a lot of emails.”

While many of these complaints came from interstate, and overseas, Mr Hutchinson said the company was worried the negativity would affect local customers.

“When our small customer base in South Australia are reading this and starting to question us we thought, yeah maybe the negatives outweigh the positive,” he said.

Our farmers, they are just trying to be viable. They don’t deserve this hate mail, and neither do a lot of the other businesses that are getting it.

Nick Hutchinson, Fleurieu Milk and Yoghurt Company

The company began about eight years ago, and about two years ago was presented with the opportunity to begin supplying Emirates with yoghurt.

But in order to secure the contract the company had to pay a $1,000 fee to become Halal certified.

“We thought this was a great coup for the company, it would bring great publicity, great advertising and we decided to go ahead with it,” Mr Hutchinson said.

“It’s been quite successful for the company, but unfortunately over the last few days, a lot of negative publicity has come in about this Halal certification and where this money, where we are paying fees is being spent.”

Mr Hutchinson found the criticism quite harsh and said local businesses did not deserve to be bullied by these social media compaigns.

“The social media laws are quite hard to police,” he said.

“You can get on there and say whatever you like in fake accounts, but what we are trying to put across is these business that you are approaching, in our case, our farmers, they are just trying to be viable.

“They don’t deserve this hate mail, and neither do a lot of the other businesses that are getting it.”

Losing Emirates deal will have financial impacts

Losing the Emirates deal will impact on the business financially and Mr Hutchinson said some employees may lose some hours.

However he hoped the company could save its deal with Emirates, as its products do not contain gelatine.

I’ve received a lot of feedback to say they’re disappointed we’ve caved in to this kind of thing. We understand that, people are going to have their own opinion I guess, unless you’re in the shoes we were in.

Nick Hutchinson, Fleurieu Milk and Yoghurt Company

“Milk as a dairy product does not have to be Halal certified by law, and neither does yoghurt, which we were supplying, unless it contains gelatine,” he said.

“Now our yoghurt doesn’t contain gelatine so we can definitely argue the fact that it doesn’t need to be certified for Emirates [but] they play it safe. Anything that goes on their planes needs to be certified, so if they’re asked, they can automatically answer ‘yes’.

“What we are going to try and do is get our products tested, get some certificates that prove that our products don’t contain gelatine and try to continue to supply Emirates, if they’ll give us permission without the certification, but I mean that is unlikely.”

Now that the company has announced it will drop its Halal accreditation, Mr Hutchinson said he had received feedback from people who were disappointed the company had “caved in” to social media bullying.

“I’ve received a lot of feedback to say they’re disappointed we’ve caved in to this kind of thing,” he said.

“We understand that, people are going to have their own opinion I guess, unless you’re in the shoes we were in.”

Attacks fall under ‘Islamophobia’

The Islamic Society of South Australia, which provides companies with Halal certification, say the attacks against Halal products fall under the banner of “Islamophobia”.

The society’s Dr Waleed Alkhazrajy believed more explanation of Halal would ease the negativity.

“We are happy as well to help these companies engage in discussion or explanation for these members of the community that send these negative remarks and we say ‘look this is what it is, this what the process is’ and I’m sure that will alleviate their concerns or misunderstanding,” Dr Alkhazrajy said.

Dr Alkhazrajy said he did not think the attacks would take hold, and had not seen many companies drop their accreditation because of the anti-Halal campaigns.

“In fact, to a certain extent there is a boom because of the export of Australian products to south-east Asia, especially to Indonesia and Malaysia,” Dr Alkhazrajy said.

“Malaysia is taking a lot of food products from Australia and the companies that are exporting to these regions, they have increased their request for certifying their products.

“I don’t think there has been an increase in negative sentiments to these companies.”

Halal, in reference to food, is the dietary standard set out for Muslims in the Koran.

It governs food preparation techniques, as well the foods and ingredients that can be consumed under Islamic rules.