Two Australian MPs with guts & conscience visit Julian Assange in prison, argue against extradition

See also: Protest Melbourne Friday 6:30pm to stop extradition of Julian Assange by outlaw U.S. regime (19/2/20)

Courageous Australian MPs, Andrew Wilkie and George Christensen, visit Julian Assange in jail and call on the UK government to stop his extradition to the US, warning about the WikiLeaks founder's deteriorating condition. Below is a link to the excellent Australian ABC interview with Christensen (LNP) and Andrew Wilkie (Independent), who defend Assange extremely well. https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/australian-mps-visit-wikileaks-founder-julian-assange-in-prison/11978894

Interview with George Christensen in this news-video from RT.

Turkish military op in Idlib only 'matter of time’, Erdogan warns Damascus

Hot-head President Erdogan seems to be threatening a full-scale invasion of Syria, which would risk major conflict between Russia and the United States. Erdogan is obsessed with the idea of heading up a new Ottoman Empire. These ambitions and Turkey's geographical location make him susceptible to manipulation by restless world powers with a variety of geopolitical interests in the region. We republish this article from https://www.rt.com/news/481179-erdogan-idlib-operation-imminent/ where it first appeared on 19 Feb, 2020 09:14.

A new Turkish military incursion into Syria’s Idlib governorate has been planned and may start at any moment, President Recep Erdogan has warned, ramping up a tense standoff with Damascus.

Ankara will not “leave Idlib to the Assad regime and its backers,” Erdogan vowed, referring to the Syrian government and, apparently, to Russia and Iran. Speaking to lawmakers on Wednesday, he said his words were “a final warning.”

Complaint of ABC bias in 7.30 Report on Housing - Article by Bob Couch

Why, once again, does the ABC avoid the issue of population growth, the primary cause of housing affordability. It is simply a fantasy to believe that adding another 400,000 people to Australia's population every year is not relevant

7.30 Report bias and omission on Australia's population and housing crisis

On the nights of February 11, 12 and 13, 2020, the ABC has shown three related 15 minute pieces in its 7.30 Reports, on the subject of housing. These segments have stressed the cost of housing and the gulf that exists between those who are able to afford or who own their house, comparing the situation of people who cannot afford a house, and who are thus obliged to rent. These programs have, however, completely failed to talk about Australia's extremely rapid population growth, which now requires the construction of the equivalent of a Canberra every year, [corrected 15.2.20] just to preserve the ratio of housing supply to housing demand. Most flagrant omission of all, the ABC says nothing at all about the fact that this is intentional government policy. We publish a letter of complaint which was sent to the ABC on this matter.

Stop work call: Plant pathogen associated with Walker developments at Kew Cottages

Brian Walsh, President, Kew Cottages Coalition, today called on Heritage Victoria to halt work at the State Government site overlooking Yarra Bend Park in order to test for the deadly plant pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi, which appears to be the likely cause of the death a large rare tree, and which has been previously linked to construction works at Kew Cottages. "Stopping the current works is necessary to prevent more damage to heritage listed trees", Mr. Walsh said. Public Meeting 26 February. Details inside.

Bulldozers for tanks: list of companies operating in illegal settlements in the West Bank

The U.N.'s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva has compiled and released a list of companies which operate in the illegal settlements in the West Bank, which is a chunk of land east of Israel, formerly Palestine, of which Israel took military control in 1967. Israel has encouraged property development in the region and for Jewish settlers to move in, but Palestinians (and most of the international community) consider it illegally occupied Palestinian land. The tragic political impasse between Israel and Palestine has recently been highlighted by property developer and US President Donald Trump's so-called "Deal of the century," involving his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is also a real-estate developer. The 'deal' advocates for Israel further fragmenting what land remains to Palestinians and further reducing their exiguous political rights. Palestinians were not included in the consultation surrounding this 'deal', although they are its object.

"About 600,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements built since Israel's occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967. The settlements are widely considered illegal under international law, though Israel has always disputed this. The Palestinians have long called for the removal of the settlements, arguing that their presence on land they claim for a future independent Palestinian state makes it almost impossible to make such a state a reality." (BBC https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-51477231"

The role that property development plays in this and other land-grab conflicts is striking.[1] The materials used in construction are also excellent vehicles for money laundering. Property developers take over many of the roles of government, driving massive immigration, and birth rates where they can, in order to keep up demand and maintain land-price inflation. Property development is often mistaken for a constructive activity, but the reality is that bulldozers trash both nature and democracy, just like tanks. Planning requires strict control by citizens. Putting it in the hands of vested interests destroys self-determination. Australia is the victim of similar land-grabs and erosion of democracy, although at this point, Australians are still free to move within their continent. Australian state governments, Australian property developers, and Israel have and seek mutual investments in property development and population growth engineering. [2]

Submissions sought: House committee to examine homelessness in Australia

More than 116,000 people were estimated to be homeless in Australia on Census night in 2016. Among them were people living in severely crowded dwellings, people living in temporary accommodation, and rough sleepers.

To examine this issue, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs has launched an inquiry into homelessness in Australia.

US-NATO press lies again about Idlib to prevent peace in Syria

You probably didn't fall for the latest western-corporate press nonsense about Russia and Syria 'brutally attacking Idlib Province in Syria', but you may wonder what is really happening. This is how it appears to us: Turkey and the US want to retain a foothold in Idlib, Northern Syria, along with their terrorist proxies, so that they can sell arms, loot the place, and cause chaos in the region. Turkey is playing Russia and the US for whatever it can get out of them. President Erdogan wants to reestablish the Ottoman Empire in his own name and that is part of his plan for trying to acquire territory in Syria. The US has put some sanctions on Turkey because it purchased weapons from the Russians recently, instead of from the US. Turkey is kind of like a major political prostitute for NATO and anyone else with a mutual short-term aim, including ISIS. The Syrian Arab Army (the Syrian government forces) and the Russians are trying to free the terrorists' human shields in Idlib and restore it to order. Against all odds, the Syrian government has managed to take back nearly all of Syria from the terrorists. (Syrian Arab Army Cleans 16 Towns in 24 Hours from NATO Terrorists in Idlib and Aleppo (8/2/20) by Arabi Souli | SyriaNews) This is probably because it is the only force that has massive support from Syrians. The syndicated western press, which trots out guff about Syria attacking its own people, is a mouthpiece for weapons manufacturers, war, US expansionism and neocolonialism, all major investment stocks. By the way, Iran has opened a criminal case against the US for using terrorists to destabilise the region and for multiple murders and war crimes. Meanwhile the US pretends that it is combatting aggression from Iran. See
Iranian lawyers file lawsuit against US over fighters killed in Syria, Sunday, 09 February 2020

Paul Kelly Song: Sleep,Australia, Sleep - Ecological catastrophe

How can Australians unite against the corporate and government forces that are failing to avert ecological catastrophe on Australia? We are an increasingly dispersed and disorganised colonial people, without a talking stick of our own.

Protest Melbourne Friday 6:30pm to stop extradition of Julian Assange by outlaw Trump regime

Title was: "Australian action to help Assange as extradition hearing approaches". Donations can be made to: gofundme.com/f/melbourne4wikileaks-bringassangehome.

Julian Assange’s extradition hearing starts on Monday 24th of this month. To mark the occasion and to help increase awareness in his hometown of Melbourne, Melbourne4WikiLeaks is holding a rally at the State Library of Victoria at 6:30pm on the evening of Friday 21st February.

We feel that it is important to keep pressure on the Australian Government to intervene with both the UK and US in order to stop the extradition and bring Julian home.

Uralla has no potable water - Resident asks fellow Australians to help - What future for dry overpopulated Australia?

Is this how our politicians and economists deal with water shortage?
Oliver Trymble of Uralla writes: "Dear All, I have just emailed the Premier and Barnaby Joyce to tell them that I am starting a social media campaign. (I don’t actually know how to do this, being the wrong generation...). Perhaps you can help.

We have no drinking water in Uralla. [Uralla is an inland town in NSW.] We have to fetch bottled water from out the back of our local shop. For the house-bound and the elderly, this is inadequate.
The state government is building sporting facilities in the city. They are intent on spending millions moving the Powerhouse Museum. Why is drinking water for NSW citizens not a burning priority?

We have no water.
WE HAVE NO WATER.
How can I make my voice heard? And the voices of Merle and Phyllis and Maggie and all the older people of this town?
Please help us."

Absurdistan Melbourne: Vested interests prevent Melbourne City Council quorum on minimum sunlight

In our article, "Melbourne Planning: Minimum sunlight for parks in city of growing shadows," we noted that Melbourne City Council intended to form a special committee to evaluate submissions already received on this matter. We have a new absurd and revealing update (and include a relevant email from MCC below, filled with unintended or inescapable ironies). Tragically and hilariously, the majority of Melbourne City Councilors have a vested interest in the matter of minimum sunlight (i.e. in property development) and so are unable to form a quorum (!!!). They have needed to excuse themselves on a basis of conflict of interest. What Melbourne City Council intends to do now is to get the council staff to write a report for the consideration of a small 'independent' committee made up of planners (and not including people who want to protect parks). Although planners will doubtless have vested interests as well (if only in keeping their jobs - but most the city goes to are developers) they are considered 'independent' because they are not employed or officiating on the council! Of course, the point about being independent is not whether or not one is associated with the council, but whether one has a commercial interest in a matter under consideration. We are living in such dumbed-down and dishonest times, however, that this meaning has been lost, especially to government. Maybe professional developers and planners and their associates, who always have professional and vested interests in development, should be excluded from councils. Mayor Sally Capp comes to mind.[1] [Illustrations added by https://candobetter.net.]

Mornington Peninsula Shire Koala Forum March 26 - Registrations now open!

The new year is promising to be a big one for koala and wildlife conservation on the Mornington Peninsula. Cr David Gill has invited the public to attend a koala/ wildlife forum on 26 March 2020 at 6 pm in Mornington. The event is free but you need to register and obtain your tickets. This event is a great opportunity to collaborate and provide feedback to the Shire and other agencies as well as hearing from local koala experts. Details of how to register inside article.

Dead matter taking over Melbourne

In the Beginning …
Earth’s atmosphere was unbreathable to humans. But that was okay, since there were no humans. Photosynthesising cyanobacteria used sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into food, incidentally producing oxygen. The many microbially-mediated rocks (stromatolites) the bacteria left behind from their halcyon days indicate a cyanobacteria population explosion so vast that it seems likely that simple metabolism accidentally transformed the atmosphere to the one we love and overuse today. This ‘oxygen holocaust’ probably also brought about the fossil status of our inadvertent benefactors around 2.5 billion years ago.

Frankston Green Wedges wins against Cr Hampton's motion for development

At Frankston Council meeting on 29 January 2020, Cr Hampton sought by means of a Notice of Motion (NoM) to overturn council's decision of 14 Oct 2019 to adopt a revised Draft Green Wedge Management Plan. The NoM sought to investigate an excision of part of Frankston's Green Wedge for an expansion of the Carrum Downs Industrial Precinct. The NoM was voted down by Crs McCormack, Aitken, O'Connor, Toms and Mayor Mayer, (five of the nine). Cr Bolam abstained. [Ed. Note: A correction to this article on who voted it down was made on 30 January 2020.]

Melbourne Planning: Minimum sunlight for parks in city of growing shadows

Planning Policy, City of Melbourne, has recently solicited submissions and submissions about submissions ostensibly to establish guidelines for minimum sunlight for parks. Whilst it claims to be protecting the parks, it is obvious that it is really seeking to establish minimal sunlight rules so that it can continue to add to the bristling thicket of skyscrapers that is presently engulfing the city in shadow at the behest of the property development and immigration lobby/state government and town hall. We attach a submission from the Secretary of Protectors of Public Lands Victoria on sunlight and public parks. It's a fairly simple matter, but can be made complicated. There has been one round of submissions. Now there is a call for verbal submissions on those submissions [1] and for an 'independent' committee to evaluate those submissions, presumably until the opposition to sunlight-theft falls away from exhaustion in the face of the well-paid forces of darkness. [Ed. See update here: https://candobetter.net/node/5934"]

Frankston asks for help re Green Wedge Protection vs Cr Hampton drastic development motion

Planning Backlash writes: We have an urgent matter in Frankston as Cr Hampton is putting up a Notice of Motion (NOM) at next Tuesday's meeting on 28 January 2020 to reverse Council's decision on the Frankston Green Wedge Management Plan of 14 October 2019 to allow instead industrial expansion in the Green Wedge as well as subdivisions for residential use. See happy outcome here.

Wildife rescuer asks Minister D'Ambrosio to cease roo shooting after fires

Update: Subsequent to the bush fires, both the South Australian and Victorian governments have suspended kangaroo harvest in their respective states. That's what it took to get their attention. Here is a letter from past president of Australian Wildlife Protection Council requesting this. To: lily.dambrosio@parliament.vic.gov.au

Zoos Vic have set up a Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund

The impact of the bushfires on Australia's communities, precious wildlife and their habitat is difficult to fathom. Across the country, it is estimated that more than 500 million animals, including critically endangered species, have already perished in the fires. The full impact is impossible to determine at this early stage. Zoos Victoria has been directed by the Victorian Government's Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to provide frontline veterinary support and long-term care to the wildlife affected by the bushfires. [Candobetter dot net Editor: Readers please also note that DELWP have declared open-season all year round on Victoria's kangaroos, and that their planning section is driving the population growth that is destroying wildlife habitat.]

ABC podcast: Controlled burns destroy ecosystems and may not reduce fire risk

Some of you may have noticed how 'debate' about the terrible bushfires has, as usual, turned into a 'backburning and fuel reduction' vs 'greenies'. The mass media is in general promoting a firebug economy. Other voices are not heard, even in Victoria, this most cleared state. We have already published Joel Wright, aboriginal historian's argument that there is no record of big controlled burns by aboriginals in Australia, Jill Redwood, "Firebug economy," and Bob MacDonald on the contribution of wildlife to fireproofing the forests. This ABC recording from Professor Kingsley Dixon is a real voice of sanity in an otherwise truly incendiary debate.

Will Donald Trump be held to account for ordering the assassination of Qasem Soleimani?

The assassination of Qasem Soleimani, ordered by United States' President Donald Trump was a criminal act. Any country, including the United States, which claims to uphold the rule of law, should spare no effort to bring to justice President Donald Trump, and all the other perpetrators of that crime including Mike Pompeo and Mike Pence.

Qasem Soleimani, unlike the United States' Army had, with the Iraqi Kata'ib Hezbollah paramilitaries, effectively fought against ISIS in Iraq. Those paramilitaries are connected to the country's Popular Mobilization Forces that are part of Iraqi government's armed forces. Qasem Soleimani was adored by most Iraqis.

See also : Donald Trump Murdered Qasem Soleimani (10/1/20) | by James Risen | The Intercept_, US legal experts say Soleimani assassination violated international law (4/1/20) | PressTV

Australia alight on New Year's Eve

Our city was alight last night as was the countryside
the first, an exhibition the latter ecocide.

IPAN: Bushfires a National Security Threat

Bushfires in Australia a real national security issue in contrast to talked up threats of hostile nations in our region. Climate change a significant cause of the fires. [Illustrations by Sheila Newman.]

Bushfires in Australia are a real national security issue in contrast to talked up threats of an alleged hostile nations in our region, according to the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN).

Australians are heading into a Christmas day of smoke, fires, death and devastation, with no significant rain projected for weeks, anxiety is rising about when this catastrophe will end.

Flying Scales - Story of a family of Ospreys

Very early on I made a decision that I wanted to understand a few birds rather than know a little about a lot. In my area, the three birds I loved were the Little Egrets, Spoonbills, and the Osprey. This focus stayed with me till the last photo taken. Any other photo of any other bird came about due to the fact they were in the area of these three birds.

Emergency chiefs claim to step into leadership vacuum on bushfire emergency but mainly call for 'fuel reduction'

People in charge of emergency services in New South Wales have scheduled a call for a national bushfire summit, claiming that Australia's political leaders are failing to deal with the NSW bushfire crisis, which their press release ascribes entirely to climate change. Unfortunately, it does not note the services to climate that forests provide. Nor does it note the many other impacts on forests that are drying them out - but could be mitigated - aside from overall climate change. These causes of drying are land-clearing for population expansion, thinning of old-growth forest, and the predations of pyromaniacs or electrical equipment, which are the chief causes of bushfires. And, in the appendix to their press release, they prioritise 'fuel reduction', rather than protection of forests and ways of keeping them wet. Their press release does mention the danger to wildlife as well as to property.

Assad: Europe was the main player in creating chaos in Syria-video

Monica Majioni of RAI Italia TV interviews Syrian President Bashar Assad. In the face of a politicized media and deluded self-censorship that undermine the remaining credibility of Italian public TV, it was the Syrian government that broadcast on state TV the interview we present to you on video and in the transcript edited by the Syrian State Press Agency SANA. There is a full transcript of the interview in English, plus the video is set or can be set to English subtitles (as well as the automatic arabic ones) on the youtube version.

IPAN Statement on interference in the internal affairs of Australia

The escalating tensions between US and China are directly impacting on Australia militarily, economically and politically and threaten to drag Australia into another imperialist war, according to the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network. IPAN calls for an independent foreign policy from all big powers, and that includes independence from both China and US; an independent foreign policy that promotes friendship with people from all countries.

Video & transcripts from event: "What is Happening to Julian Assange & Journalism?" (4 Dec 2019 )

Suelette Drefus, Julian Burnside, Kristinn Hrajnsson, and Lizzie O'Shea were the main people in this event. I have transcribed some of Suelette Drefus, Technology Researcher and Author's excellent summary of Julian Assange's contributions to the public internet and free software. She also displayed courage in criticising powerful people on stage. At around 1h 44m into the video she has the courage to criticise corporate media journalist, Peter Grest, for his repetition of opinions used to slur Julian's credentials as a journalist and publisher. Interesting to wonder why Grest was released without explanation after an international outcry from the same western block that is either persecuting Assange or leaving him to rot.

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