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Melbourne School Children Climate Change march - time to go local

The marches yesterday were really impressive, but there is a way that school children could be many more times effective in carving out their future on these issues. Australian and State governments are pretty resistant against democratic protests, and anyhow, our governments at all levels don't have much of a clue about what to do about providing energy to our increasing populations. Schools and schoolchildren could exert much more pressure and constructive effort at a local level and we hope they will.

RSPCA fails to attend where much needed at Bunyip bushfires 2019

"A hundred kangaroos, some dead, others badly injured." Barry Tapp, Senior Inspector for Animal Cruelty Australia Hotline, and other animal rescuers and carers say that the RSPCA failed to respond to requests to deploy the Mobile Animal Vet van to the bushfire areas where it was much needed (notably round Bunyip) and that they thereby failed to honour the commitment they gave the Victorian Government after the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into RSPCA Victoria. We publish below the Government Response to that Inquiry. Warriors4wildlife provided the photos via Barrie Tapp.

ISIS buys safe passage from USA with tens of tons of gold - Syrian report

Syrian sources local to the al-Jazeera region recently reported that the United States has done a deal with Daesh (ISIS) in return for tens of tons of stolen gold, according to Hazem Sabbagh.

This Sunday in Melbourne: Demand the Australian Government act to free Julian Assange from illegal and inhumane detention!

At 1:00pm on Sunday 10 March (originally, incorrectly the given date was 10 May - Ed) outside the State Library in Swanston Street Melbourne, supporters of investigative journalism, free speech and human rights will rally to demand that the Australian government act to free journalist Julian Assange from the arbitrary imprisonment he has faced inside the London Ecuadorian embassy since October 2012 when he sought asylum, that is more than 6 years ago.

Assange's living conditions inside the narrow confines of the Ecuadorian Embassy were already poor. They have been deliberately made worse by the new Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno. This is consistent with President Moreno's treatment of the Ecuadorian people to whom he made many promises in the election 19 February 2017, which he subsequently broke.

As described below by John Pilger in his address to the Sydney rally of last Sunday 3 March, Assange's health and even his life are now at risk. So, the need for the Australian government to act to protect one of its citizens is even more urgent.

Helpful suggestion in letter on ABC bias to Ita Buttrose Chair of ABC Board

The letter writer suggests that the ABC should publish on its website complaints and its responses so that anyone can see them. This would help to ensure transparency and would allow the public to judge whether the ABC exhibits bias on particular issues. (The letter writer also claims that the ABC shows consistent bias in dealing with Australia's policy of rapid population growth.)

Video: Should ISIS brides return home - Analysis from Syria

Syriana Analysis journalist, Kevork Almassian, writes, "It seems that Syrians have to suffer twice: once when the multinational terrorists travelled without facing any difficulties from the airports of Europe and elsewhere in the world to Turkey and then to Syria. Second, ISIS terrorists and their wives will most probably go back to their home countries without receiving serious punishment." If you commit a crime in a country then you should be judged by the laws of that country. Kevork Almassian also gives an opinion on why European citizens may have joined ISIS.

Peace movement: Australian government funds weapons manufacturers whose wares end up in the hands of countries accused of war crimes

The Australian Peace movement has reacted to news that Australian government funds weapons manufacturers whose wares end up in the hands of countries accused of war crimes. "There is nothing admirable about aspiring to be in the world's top 10 arms exporters."

Venezuelan soldiers face intimidation attempts from Guaido supporters at Colombian border


Guaido supporters attempt to intimidate Venezue-
lan Army soldiers who are defending their
country's border

The attempt by supporters of American puppet 'President' Guaido to take across the Venezuelan border truckloads of supposed humanitarian aid - and, who knows what else? - has failed, according to a report before 9:30pm Venezuelan time (UTC-8).

The soldiers of the Venezuelan Army stood firm and prevented the truck and its acompanying Guado supporters from crossing the bridge (except for three who had commandeered an armoured car and had recklessly driven that armoured car into a crowd of soldiers and civilians who were defending the border, injuring at least one female civilian).

See also : Venezuela crisis: Border clashes, ‘masked thugs’, torched ‘aid’ & fake Red Cross (24/2/19 | RT, ‘PR stunt to justify intervention in Venezuela’: Experts slam US regime change ‘gangsterism’ (23/2/19 | RT, Australian Venezuela Solidarity Network Facebook page

No War on Venezuela - Endorsing International Campaign -Melbourne meeting 23 Feb 2019

Below is a list of only some signatures from international organisations and individuals endorsing the campaign No War on Venezuela. Full list on web page. Action plan for Melbourne organised by the Australian-Venezuelan Solidarity coalition on Saturday 23 February, 11am at Trades Hall.

Koalas on brink of apocalypse in Queensland - urgent rescues needed

We cannot let an internationally famous Australian icon become extinct in its natural habitat. South East Queensland has entered the final phase of the extinction of its biodiversity, with mega-developments gone mad and the loss of Koalas mounting as Koalageddon increases exponentially. Eastern Australia was a recognised international hotspot for biodiversity and unfortunately is now part of an internationally recognised de-forestation hotspot ! The only one in the "developed" world. How could this happen in Australia??? This is simply not acceptable to many people.

Russia takes steps to survive global internet shutdown with its own web – MPs

Russia is preparing itself to be disconnected from the World Wide Web. The Lower House of Parliament passed in the first reading a law ensuring the security of the Russian part of the internet. The bill envisions the ‘Runet’ – the Russian segment of the internet – being able to operate independently from the rest of the world in case of global malfunctions or deliberate internet disconnection. The measures to ensure internet stability include the creation of a national DNS system that stores all of the domain names and corresponding IP numbers. (Article first published at RT on 13 February 2019.)

Mackay: BHP ignores pleas to help starving crew

Crew aboard a ship at a BHP terminal in Queensland claim they are being starved and underpaid, in yet another instance of the coal giant’s veil of secrecy over its operations in Australian waters. A seafarer aboard an 80,000-tonne bulk carrier, the Villa Deste, contacted the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) pleading for help (email below). The starving crew claims to have no food and no onboard wages, and being fed on a $4 food budget per day.

Careful using that f-word to describe dingoes

A UNSW Sydney study says more evidence is needed before declaring the dingo a feral animal, casting a shadow over state governments’ justification for culling Australia’s largest carnivorous mammal. There is no conclusive evidence that the Australian dingo was once domesticated, UNSW scientists reveal, challenging the notion that the animal is therefore feral.

Spirit of Eureka Statement on US intervention in Venezuela and an Independent Australian Foreign Policy

Spirit of Eureka condemns the Morrison government and the ALP Opposition’s compliant endorsement of the US intervention and preparations for a “regime change” in sovereign Venezuela. This points to the urgent need for an independent Australian foreign policy that upholds and promotes the sovereignty and independence of countries to determine their own destiny.

MEETING TONIGHT 20 FEB: Australia must condemn United States sanctions and threats of military intervention in Venezuela

The next Meeting of IPAN in Victoria will be on 20 February, Level 4 Trades Hall at 5.30 pm. This meeting will commence earlier due to a small overlap with a meeting on Venezuela on the same night, at 7pm in the Trades Hall, at which the Venezuelan Consul will be speaking. IPAN meeting will be at 5.30pm – 7pm to enable people interested to learn more about the situation in Venezuela to attend.
Just when you thought all your co-citizens were asleep at the wheel on Australian Government support for America's latest regime change initiative, the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) has issued a response. IPAN reminds us that this is not our decision, nor the USA's to make, but is a decision for the Venezuelan people. IPAN has made several recommendations, including that Australian needs to develop an independent foreign policy.

Video & transcript: Clifford Hayes Maiden Speech to Victorian Parliament 5 Feb 2019

"My objective, with your help, honourable members, is to make Melbourne, and even Victoria, a great place to live. Not merely a great place in population size or area to rival such places as Shanghai, New York, London or Sao Paulo. Such greatness would be mere obesity, with all the disadvantages of such. Not a city or a state where people are crammed into dogbox apartments, living on crowded and congested streets in an environmentally unfriendly concrete heat island. But a spacious city with open skies, open and tree-filled streets, with gardens. An environment where children can play safely, where the car is not king but a servant.
Walkable patchworks of various styles of housing, where one would enjoy walking, cycling or travelling through by public transport. A city of learning, education, the arts and self-supporting industry, where families and communities can thrive. Where the less fortunate who may be living on lower incomes are not segregated into high-rise towers but live in affordable detached or medium-density housing spread throughout the suburbs. Where their children have the same opportunities as other children. Where ghettos of crime and despair are not created. A city where the environment—the living environment—is prized and of prime importance. A sustainable city or cities in a sustainable state. This can only happen when people are proud of their neighbourhoods and where they, as citizens, have control over what they create—the built form, the environment, the infrastructure. This is what, I believe, we as a Parliament can achieve." (Clifford Hayes, Extract from speech.)

Migration shills tie themselves in job knots - Article by Houses and Holes

"What this debate is really about is not who gets what jobs but which elements of capital win along the way. McDonald and Richardson are obsessed with supporting the immigration-led urbanisation sectors to the detriment of tradables and wider community living standards as infrastructure fails to keep up, wages are crushed by the rush of cheap foreign labour and house prices shoot to stupid levels. McDonald is a demographer not economist so has no idea. Richardson has simply lost the macro plot. Before these dills came along with their immigration voodoo Australia and its labour market fared just fine and it will afterwards as well. In fact it will be better in time as the permanent supply shock of cheap foreigners killing wages and productivity ends, boosting income."

Queensland land-clearing responsible for 80% Australia's Greenhouse Gas emissions

Land-clearing policy in Queensland has had a significant impact on rates of vegetation clearing. Over recent decades changes in land-clearing regulations in Queensland have led first to a
decrease in vegetation clearing (when strong laws were enforced) and then to an increase in vegetation clearing (when laws were relaxed). Relaxation of land-clearing regulations in 2013
in Queensland led to a significant increase in the vegetation clearing rate. More than one million hectares of woody vegetation, of which 41% was remnant vegetation, were cleared in Queensland
between 2012-13 and 2015-16.

Australian universities’ dependence on overseas students: too much of a good thing - Article by Birrell & Betts

In November 2018 The Australian Population Research Institute (TAPRI) published an analysis of the higher education overseas student industry. It was framed around the remarkable growth in the share of commencing overseas university students to all commencing students over the years 2012 to 2016. This share increased from 21.8 per cent in 2012 to 26.7 per cent in 2016.

Syrian Army ‘raises flag’ in country’s Kurdish province for first time since start of civil war

The Syrian Kurds have asked Syria to help them because Turkey is threatening them. President Erdogan treats them as an extension of the Kurds in Turkey who want independence from Turkey. During the main part of the war in Syria (which seems to be tailing off now) the Kurds fought the Takfiri rebels. The United States, which supplied a lot of the so-called rebels including ISIS (indirectly at least) at times appeared to support Kurdish independence, using them as a lever against the Syrian Government. The Kurds had been offered control of their own department by the Syrian Government, but not actual independent state status. The US rewarded a Kurdish independence movement against Syria, although it is not clear that all Kurds in Syria really wanted this. The region also contains substantial minorities of Arabs and others whom a separate Kurdish state might not have suited. Until Russia intervened in the war (at the invitation of the Syrian Government) it looked like the United States backed terrorists were going to tear the country apart. The UN and NATO and its allies, including Australia, all supported this with a policy of removing President Assad and splitting Syria into many little states. The western public and corporate media provided propaganda to support this. Western readers were given no critical comparison with the prior destruction of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, states destroyed by the same kind of tactics. YouTube gave great comfort to these lies when it suddenly removed all of the Syrian Presidency's interviews, claiming some breach of advertising. [Suddenly some of them are back, as the wind is changing.] Since the insurgency began in 2011, Turkey provided a covert base for terrorists to attack Syria from. After Russia intervened with the invitation of Syria, the US, which was an illegal and unwelcome presence in Syria, tried to get Turkey to support it. As it was also promoting the idea of the Kurds having an independent state, Turkey's support could never be relied on. Turkey could always align itself with the Russians, although, in the end, it seemed to prefer to be independent and it has its own ambitions to dominate the region. By outing the murder of the journalist, Kashoggi, in the Saudi Embassy in Turkey, Turkey has made itself look a bit respectable, but it is not inconceivable that Erdogan is supporting the ruling elite in Saudi Arabia against the Crown Prince, for strategic purposes. No-one really knows. Whilst Turkey is not a Wahabist state, Erdogan is a leader in the Muslim Brotherhood, which wants to establish a new Muslim caliphate in the Middle East and much of Europe. Syria is a multi-religion state which includes many Christians and it does not support a Muslim caliphate. This editorial is by Sheila Newman and James Sinnamon, candobetter editors. We have republished the following report on the state of the war in Syria from RT.

Perfect fish fossil offers a glimpse into Devonian period

The discovery of a new fish at a famous WA fossil site is in such good condition that it provides an exciting fresh glimpse into the evolution of species from 380 million years ago. The new fish - named Pickeringius acanthophorus (honouring the late Museums Victoria fossil collection manager David Pickering) - lived in the Late Devonian Period. Its beautifully preserved fossil skeleton was discovered by Flinders University’s Professor John Long at the Gogo Formation, in the Kimberleys of Western Australia. This has become a world famous fossil site, containing superb 3-dimensional preservations of entire fishes in limestone nodules, and has so far yielded more than 50 species.

Belgium: Thousands try to storm UN to protest migration pact

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel's stubborn endorsement of the UN Global Migration Pact has brought his government to its knees and caused massive demonstrations against the Pact in Belgium. Charles Michel now governs with a minority, because the center-right Flemish N-VA has walked out over the PM's move to have Belgium support a UN migration pact. The Prime Minister is now trying to govern with assorted and reshuffled Liberals and Christian Democrats. The upcoming Migration Pact has divided international alliances: Austria, Hungary, the US, Israel, Australia and several other states rejecting the accord. [1]Belgium's migration minister, Theo Francken, commented on Thursday, "It's way too pro-migration. It doesn't have the nuance that it needs to have to also comfort European citizens." He said that, although it was not legally binding, it was also not without legal risks. He said that wide interpretation of human rights laws in EU courts were "tying the hands of migration policy-makers." [2]

Australian party leader praises ‘strict immigration policy’ of tribe that killed US missionary

Pauline Hanson, the leader of One Nation, an Australian political party, says the Sentinel Island tribe that killed US missionary John Allen Chau with bows and arrows, should be praised for their immigration policies. Good to see one politician in Australia has respect for non-agricultural peoples. Inside find most of an article reporting this from https://www.rt.com/news/444962-australia-hanson-tribe-missionary/

Neuroscientist discovers potential treatment for ‘chemobrain’

In a discovery that could one day help breast cancer patients, Dr Adam Walker from Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and UNSW Sydney has found a potential treatment for ‘chemobrain’, a condition that affects up to 60 per cent of women after receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer.[i]

The study published today in PLOS-ONE and funded by the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) has the potential to transform cancer treatment research and eradicate the negative side-effects of cancer and chemotherapy.

Dr Walker says that up until now, scientists believed that chemotherapy was the only cause of cancer-associated cognitive impairment such as memory, learning and concentration difficulties, commonly dubbed as ‘chemobrain’.

China's terrifying social credit system - and how it's already happening in the West!

In China's 'smart cities' there are video cameras spying everywhere. Paul Joseph Watson points out how tech giants in the West are bringing the same kind of thing to internet media platforms, from which you may be banned if you stray outside the prescribed norms.

Cliff Hayes of Sustainable Australia Party wins seat in Victorian Senate

Sustainable Australia Party's Southern Metropolitan region Upper House candidate Clifford Hayes appears to be elected to the Victorian Upper House, according to various media reports. For those of you reeling at the thought of a Labor Government, second time round, with the bit between its teeth on immigration, land-clearing and the scent of developer money in its nostrils, this news of a win by SAP, may give some hope. We need more SAPs in government, as fast as possible.

115 plastic coffee cups kill whale - a new normal?

The discovery of a dead 31ft sperm whale with 6kgs of plastic in its stomach off the coast of Indonesia is further indication of the grave future our oceans and aquatic wildlife face as a result of marine plastic pollution. (Boomerang Alliance director Jeff Angel.)

Frankston: Danger for people and nature if kayaking in old mine site goes ahead in Frankston Nature Conservation Reserve

Please see attached pdf call for submissions to kayaking at Frankston Nature Conservation Reserve. "[...] I nor the friends received this directly. It was forwarded to me from the equally outraged Frankston Environmental Friends Network. The Regulations specific for the reserve which were put in place by the Minister for the Environment in 2015 were revoked on 1 February 2018, making the reserve a free-for-all. All of the protection work for the reserve, fought for many years has been ignored and overridden by the Andrews Labor Government. Accordingly, Paul Edbrooke will find his place last on my ballot paper," writes Frankston Councillor, Quinn McCormack.

Video: Ami Horowitz: The Truth Behind the Caravan

Ami Horowitz journeys to Mexico to find out the real reason why there is a caravan of migrants on its way to the United States’ border with its southern neighbor. The caravan is being orchestrated and logistically supplied like a military operation by some very wealthy people and the UN. This looks like an invasion, organised by members of the US power elite, under a thin pretense of humanitarian aid. Some interesting comments under the video, including about how Venezuelans are crossing the border to Brazil to escape famine, but there is no sign of the UN or other AID programs there.

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