A U.K. court is set to rule Friday on whether WikiLeaks publisher and journalist Julian Assange can be extradited to the United States, an impending decision that led press freedom advocates and human rights campaigners to redouble their calls for his immediate release. “We fully believe that Assange has been targeted for his contributions to journalism.” “Freedom should be the only possible outcome for Assange,” Kristinn Hrafnsson, the editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, said Thursday.
So much for AUKUS, CHUKUS seems a more apt term for this immediate agreement where China the UK, and the US are in step, Why? It’s patently clear. But not so for the A in AUKUS. However, given China hasn’t invaded anyone recently and the LNP has why are they acting as if China has? How embarrassing for Morrison whose been left out of the loop not advised of 30 secret meetings his besty has had. He will feel the sting of his do-nothing climate policy in the near future well before he gets any submarines. Because America China, and the UK will invest in climate cooperation which translates into much wider cooperation and they will leave the climate laggard, Morrison’s Australia, out in the wilderness.
The US-China competition is much more like European rivalries in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, as between France and Britain or Britain and Germany, where capitalist countries competed for entry into foreign markets on the most favorable terms and for diplomatic and military spheres of influence. Despite President Xi’s sabre rattling, China isn’t at the point where it has taken over other countries (as the US did most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan).
It’s amazing how our mainstream media seems to be reportion through the prism of Scott Morrison whereas the US, France and the UK seem to see it and Morrison very differently.
Lord Deben says there is ‘no indication’ Scott Morrison has a plan to deliver the net zero commitment ‘we’ve squeezed out of him’
The UK government’s climate change adviser has launched a scathing attack on Australia’s net zero commitment on the eve of critical talks in Glasgow.
Lord Deben, the Climate Change Committee chair, told the BBC on Saturday there was “no indication” that the Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, had a plan to deliver on the commitment to net zero that was “squeezed out of him”.
“It’s very sad that a great country like Australia should change our climate,” he said.
The United States also says it will not object to Assange serving any custodial sentence he may receive in Australia. Summers cited a case in which the U.S. reneged on its assurances that Spanish drug trafficker David Mendoza Herrarte could serve his prison sentence in Spain if he was first extradited to the U.S. for trial. The U.S. retorted that the prosecutor had just assured that Mendoza could apply for a transfer to Spain and the DOJ denied the application. Moreover, the U.S. cannot guarantee that Australia would consent to host Assange’s incarceration. It will be several weeks before the High Court issues its ruling on Biden’s appeal. The losing party can ask the U.K. Supreme Court to review the case. More than two dozen press freedom, civil liberties and international human rights groups, and people around the world, are protesting the persecution of Assange. This case is a bellwether for the future of investigative journalism and the survival of the First Amendment right to freedom of the press.
“Almost comical”. Experts lambast Scott Morrison’s “crazy” AUKUS deal to buy nuclear submarine tech from parlous UK and US programs. Marcus Reubenstein finds a real prospect Australia will be used to “underwrite” the foundering foreign submarine industry.
Nearly 5000 people who attended a music festival in Cornwall have tested positive for coronavirus. Health officials are investigating 4700 cases after the Boardmasters event, headlined by Foals and Gorillaz. The event, which ran in the Newquay area from August 11-15, was attended by about 76,000 people.
London: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been savaged for allegedly sucking up to China and turning her back on the Five Eyes alliance during a historic debate in which British MPs unanimously declared that China was carrying out genocide and crimes against humanity.
There has long been an alignment of interests between those who despise the EU and those who despise the BBC for its publicly funded journalism. This confluence has also been demonstrated by British newspaper owners and their editors; now two new television ventures are providing a fresh outlet.
Never has the prospect of an independent Scotland seemed more plausible. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s approval ratings in the region have dropped to all-time lows. Brexit, deeply unpopular in Scotland to begin with (the region voted 62 percent to 38 percent to remain), has become even more so. Independence campaigners comfortably lost their 2014 referendum. But fourteen polls in a row have shown a plurality of its residents now support independence.
A new coronavirus variant has been detected in four travellers from Brazil’s Amazonas state, Japan’s Health Ministry says, the latest new mutation of the virus discovered. Studies were now underway into the efficacy of vaccines against the new variant, which differs from highly infectious variants first found in Britain and South Africa that have driven a surge in cases.
The UK, having adopted a position as Washington’s proxy jailor, is not about to quit its sordid role. Assange’s wellbeing and health continue to be jeopardised by his stay in Britain’s most notorious prison, where determined despair, as Baraitser herself has acknowledged, can take their toll.
Abbott’s chasing his Knighthood he can no longer get one in Australia (ODT)
And amid the current round of negotiations between Australia and Great Britain, there stands good reason for the reunited strange bedfellows of Abbott dealing with the Morrison government, according to the ACTU, for the following anti-worker characteristics: • No adequate protections for local workers and their jobs • Unregulated exploitation of vulnerable migrant workers • Deregulation of public services • and Investor-State Dispute Settlement provisions that allow foreign corporations to sue governments for changes to domestic law.
Britain was reported to be considering whether to impose a new lockdown across the country, after new COVID-19 cases almost doubled to 6000 per day, hospital admissions rose and infection rates soared across parts of northern England and London.
Labor has demanded the Morrison government explain how former prime minister Tony Abbott will manage conflicts of interest as he advises the United Kingdom on trade deals with countries including Australia. Mr Abbott confirmed his appointment as an unpaid adviser to the UK Board of Trade on Saturday morning after a firestorm of criticism over his past comments on women and gay people.
It’s not as if our standards are wonderful. But by comparison to the revolting practices in the US, our food rules, laid down by the European Union, are a haven of sanity. As well as washing chicken flesh with chlorine to compensate for the filthy conditions in which it is raised and processed, and injecting dangerous substances into cattle and pigs, Big Farmer and Big Food in the US use 72 pesticides that are banned in the UK and food colourings that have been linked to hyperactivity in children, impose no limits on the amount of sugar in baby food and permit cow’s milk to contain twice the amount of pus that the UK allows.
In the week ending April 17, 22,351 people died in England and Wales – double the five-year average for that time of year and the highest weekly death toll since comparable records began in 1993.
Of the 11,854 deaths above the five-year average, 8758 were related to coronavirus. This leaves 3096 unexplained ‘excess’ deaths. Experts warned these deaths could be the result of people being reluctant to seek treatment in hospital for conditions unrelated to COVID-19.
The problem no addressed here is the involvement and irresponsible incitement by Murdoch Media to incite back to work demonstrations in the English speaking world. The demand to go back to the normal rather than progress to a very different economy. The talk of 28 years of GDP growth doesn’t begin to address the increasing income and wealth gap that helped generate it and the public austerity measures that accompanied it leaving us ill-equipped to deal with emergencies we face. Yes, Australia has fared better but I’d suggest it’s more a sake of good fortune than intent. We have always been some years behind first following the British and now the Americans last in line but nevertheless over that cliff. We aren’t our own masters we do have a level of solidarity but when the Oligarchs, LNP IPA and News Corp hold the wealth and power and are now assisted by the ALP what chance is there of a progressive peoples bailout and not just a corporate one in the future? (ODT)
Morrison government setting itself for an aggressive pro-business plan for our post-pandemic economy. Specifically, that means tax breaks for businesses and even a big swing at industrial relations. It’s the road that leads to lower wages, worse conditions and limited tax revenue. And while some of that might end up being an economic necessity, if that’s not done perfectly, it’s a road of austerity and increasing inequality that has proven so destructive elsewhere.
Obviously, all that will depend on the detail. But we should take this chance to heed the warning from those nations that are presently unravelling. Sacrifice a basic level of equality for economic growth and you risk social and political fracture. There will be much we can’t afford after this, but one of them is losing the threads of social solidarity we still have left, because we’ll need them desperately when the next crisis hits.
A new analysis of British media’s coverage of foreign policy has found that, by and large, the UK press acts as “an appendage of the state” and has been “misinforming the public” and “failing to report” completely on key issues.
The statistical analysis was carried out by Declassified UK, a new “public service journalism” project investigating Britain’s foreign,military and intelligence policies and run by journalist and historian Mark Curtis.
In the UK, television news is governed by impartiality rules but our press is fiercely partisan, predominantly towards the right, and it is important that people understand this.
Sign up to the Media Briefing: news for the news-makers
But the current undermining of public trust in media, fuelled by President Donald Trump’s attacks on “fake news” and now mimicked by the UK government, goes far beyond scepticism or challenge. When research shows 72% of people in Britain believe television news to be accurate, it is right to be angry that Mr Johnson spurns it in favour of a union-flag-bedecked turn on Facebook.
As for the UK economy, on the macro-economic scale (external business) obviously when you are part of a large trading block you surf the wave of the clout that a block of 28 nations has when it does its deals, but you can also do your own, which people in the UK do not understand apparently, because all the “benefits” the Brexiteers crow about, the UK already has, only the people are too stupid or misinformed to know it. On the macro-economic scale with micro-economic effects (internal business) if you are part of a large trading block with which you do half your trade for free (paying the administrative costs as in any business) when you leave the block, lose the benefit of collectiveness (called synergy) and start paying to do trade, then you pay more for what you import (meaning higher prices, meaning inflation); your exports, being more expensive, are therefore less attractive so you sell fewer goods, which means you make less money. It means less revenue in taxation for the kitty, which means fewer resources available for the delivery of public services. Less money for schools and hospitals.
On a purely micro-economic scale, this is all translated into already tight margins squeezed to the point of no return, which means factories closing, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises failing, which means massive unemployment, which means within a few years technologies will have moved on making the unemployed chronically unemployable, which means higher costs in social benefits payments, which means fewer resources for public services. Less money for schools and hospitals.
Britain is on track to use more electricity from zero-carbon sources such as wind, solar and nuclear than from fossil fuel plants this year, the country’s National Grid said. Key points:
Last week Britain became the first G7 country to commit to net-zero commissions by 2050 The successful transition has been largely due to a huge increase in Britain’s wind power capacity It plans to phase out all coal-fired power generation by 2025
Nobody seems to agree with what Trump is doing. When politics overruns reality who needs enemies when you have the Americans. The Kurds, Trump’s allies have been abandoned and given over to a battle with the Turks,(ODT)
But a former adviser to the US military and counter-insurgency strategist said Mr Trunp’s victory declaration was premature.
“There are still several thousand [Islamic State] fighters astride by Syria and Iraq,” David Kilcullen told ABC News.
“This is a group that grew from an insurgent organisation and has basically just dropped back below the radar to sort of guerrilla mode and they can effectively sustain that more or less forever.
“So I think that to describe them as defeated is, at best, wishful thinking at this point.”
It’s a defensive acquisition with an aggressive price.
Comcast is clearly looking to massively increase its geographical reach and swell its subscriber numbers, across the US, UK and Europe which this deal will achieve.
It would appear that this bulking up is what Comcast sees as its salvation – and its management was crowing loudly over the weekend about Sky TV’s great platform, it’s wonderful brand and talented management.
Young British Jews are facing a torrent of hatred from their own community for expressing solidarity with Gaza. And yet, more British Jews are struggling to see the values they hold reflected in the Israeli government.
Supporters of Israel among Britain’s ruling elite tend to recite mantras about the two nations sharing the same values.
If theft and plunder were regarded as values, the mantras would have a ring of truth to them.
Expecting full honesty and transparency from Theresa May’s government would, however, not be realistic. So it comes as little surprise that one of her cabinet colleagues has wished Israel a happy 70th birthday, while trumpeting its commitment to “justice, compassion, tolerance.”
The greeting – from Gavin Williamson, Britain’s defense secretary – was delivered at a time when unarmed protesters were being massacred in Gaza.
Britain’s ruling elites have never atoned for their role in enabling the 1948 dispossession of Palestinians. Rather, they have prolonged and exacerbated the suffering of Palestinians, while pretending to believe in justice.