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Sunday, 08 April


Fiesta Cubana "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

Saturday 7th Apr, 7.00pm 11.00pm, Meeniyan Town Hall

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Thursday, 15 March


The dark side of fluoride explored "IndyWatch Feed National"

The dark side of fluoride explored

Dr Robert C Dickson is a community physician in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Photo supplied.

Dr Robert C Dickson

In both Canada and Australia, pro-fluoridation advocates have had a field day, citing claims that seemingly support their position to fluoridate water. Many of those claims are misleading or erroneous and incorrect.
In the early to mid 1900s, dentists noticed several communities where people, and particularly children, had white and brown staining on their teeth and fewer cavities. Their water contained natural calcium fluoride, which is ub...


Australia Warns of Scammers Collecting Taxes in Bitcoin "IndyWatch Feed National"

Australias official tax authority has warned the public of scammers purporting to be tax agents demanding cryptocurrencies like bitcoin for tax payments. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is alerting citizens of fraudsters impersonating the tax agency to seek payments of faux tax debts from unsuspecting victims in cryptocurrency. The scammers who purport to be ATO Continued

The post Australia Warns of Scammers Collecting Taxes in Bitcoin appeared first on CCN


How Oil Drives The South China Sea Conflict "IndyWatch Feed National"


South China Sea


While its no secret that China has been intensifying its building frenzy, including military installations on islands, reefs and inlets in the heavily disputed South China Sea, it is also becoming increasingly clear that Beijing is not afraid to draw a line in the sand over these mostly dubious claims.

Late last week, while downplaying his countrys geopolitical ambitions, Chinas foreign minister Wang Yi still couldnt resist plugging the party line.

Beijings resolve to protect the peace and the stability of the South China Sea cannot be shaken, Wang said, adding that the problems in the region are due to foreign forces which have sent fully armed warships and fighters to the South China Sea to flaunt their military might.

His reference to so-called foreign forces include increased freedom of navigation voyages by the U.S. Navy in the South China Sea, which is for all intent and purposes, an U.N.-mandated international waterway.


Lately, Australia and even the U.K. have started to challenge Beijings claims in the troubled water way. China, which has over-lapping territorial claims in the South China Sea with the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei, claims nearly 90 percent of the sea in what is commonly referred to as its nine-dash line.


Figure 1: Chinas Nine Dash Line in South China Sea, Source: US Central Intelligence AgencyRelated: UK Gas Crisis: Out Of The Frying Pan Into The Fire

Taking a step back from the constant rhetoric and even at times sabre rattling over the matter, its fair to ask why would the worlds newest super power and second largest economy be willing to jeopardize its reputation and standing with not only its neighbors in the Asia-Pacific region, but also its image before an increasingly alarmed and watching international community? The an...


Julie Bishop Refuses To Help Australian Journalist Imprisoned in Cambodia! "IndyWatch Feed National"

I know, this is nothing new, we know that money & power come first before the people's welfare. They have totally ignored the genocide of our WW2 West Papua Allies. This journalist was just doing his job, but perhaps because of something he saw he is now in prison & our government true to it's total corruptness is going to leave him there to die!
I have asked this many times over the years, "when are the majority of Australians going to get up on their hind legs & say ENOUGH, we are not standing for this anymore". I suppose in their own way, the majority of Australians are also corrupt. They have it sweet, & they don't want to rock the boat. I find that hard to swallow. We have come a long way from the Eureka Stockade!!!

Julie Bishop refuses to help dad - but is meeting Cambodian PM!
Roxanne Holmes
Sydney, Australia


Gillard's "under the table" legal work for Wilson and Ludwig commenced in 1990 "IndyWatch Feed National"

Prior to posting the second instalment of our work on Slater and Gordon's work on the sackings of Mick Baker, Sue Ellery, Len Gandini et al, I thought it might be useful to refresh our memories on GILLARD's "under the table" legal work for Wilson in the "stalking" of AWU...


Its quite not what the doctor ordered, Mr Premier "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

THE Wonthaggi hospital will get $1.9 million to undertake critical upgrade works according to an announcement made by the Premier Daniel Andrews in Wonthaggi this morning, Thursday, March 15.

It comes on top of $3 million for Bass Coast Health in the first allocation from the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund (RHIF) and an increase of $5.4 million this financial year in overall funding for the health service.

The latest funding has been warmly welcomed by Bass Coast Health.

Local MP Brian Paynter has also welcomed the funding while also reinforcing his commitment to having the hospital upgraded to sub-regional status.

And despite a jibe directed at the Federal Member for Flinders, Greg Hunt, the Turnbull Government Cabinet Minister has also welcomed the Premiers announcement (see quotes below).

However, while the local community was expecting the State Government to finally commit even more significant funds to the complete redevelopment of the hospital, in line with its sub-regional status, it may be that Mr Andrews was simply re-announcing funding his colleague Harrier Shing had released three days earlier, building on works last year which forced the temporary closure of the hospitals maternity service.

Ms Shing said on Monday, March 12 that health services in Gippsland would receive $3,923,680 between them through the first round of the Labor Governments new RHIF fund a feature of which was $1.65 million for the Foster hospital and Bass Coast Health $1 million for the following:

* Replacement medical air and installation of medical air backup with auto change over switch $205,600,

* Replacement five air handling units in patient care areas $512,000,

* Replacement fire panel and installation colour graphics system $287,000.

Today, the Premier joined hospital staff to announce that Bass Coast Health would receive a $1.9 million funding boost to fit Wonthaggi hospital with the latest air handling systems, alongside other crucial safety upgrades to boost patient outcomes and improve working conditions for staff.

The announcement almost certainly includes the allocations detailed by Ms Shing three days earlier, and then some.

Both Ms Shing earlier, and the Premier today, said the funding was part of the Labor Governments $200 million Regional Health Infrastructure Fund (RHIF) the largest of its kind in Victorian history rebuilding regional...


March 15 On This Day in Australian History "IndyWatch Feed National"

1806 - Sealers from the ship George massacred Aborigines at Twofold Bay.

1806 - Things were crook in Tallarook... and everywhere else after the Hawkesbury River ran a banker and washed away houses, stock and crops which left the colony to face a savage diet reduction starvation.

1821 - At the Native Institution, Parramatta, Michael Yarringuy, a native constable at Richmond, wed Polly, while Robert Naringguy [Bobby Nurragingy], son of Nurragingy or Creek Jemmy, married Betty Fulton. Both girls are from the Native Institution, now at Black Town.

1824 - Dig up those tins of pennies under the patio, Aunty Maud...The Bank of Van Diemen's Land opened its doors for business in Hobart.

1848 - Ohhh no need to throw away the injured and dying now that the Melbourne Hospital was open.

1870 - After Captain Charles Sturt swanned through the area with the help of local Wiradjuri guides a mere 41 years later Wagga Wagga was incorporated as a municipality.

1877 - The first cricket Test was fought between Oz and England at the MCG with the home grown colonial lads showing the visitors how it was done with a win of 45 runs.

1887 - A group of blokes (who obviously didn't get out much) got all hot and bothered over some other blokes sheep shearing machine thingie.
Yeah, men and their sheep....

1901 - The Australian Historical Society had its first knees up.
Was later dubbed Royal Australian Historical Society.
But the cream teas never lived up to that first meeting.

1901  - The (Hysterical) Historical Society of NSW held its first meeting.

1909 - The Toronto Branch Railway Line (NSW) was closed.

1924 - The squadron of British warships, which had been visiting Adelaide for four days, sailed for Melbourne. The two battleships, Hood and Repulse, and five light cruisers, Delhi, Dauntless, Dragon, Danae and Dunedin, were on a ten-month world tour. The two huge battleships had to anchor off Glenelg, but the cruisers were berthed at Outer Harbour and open for inspection.

1927 - Today the Register, a South Oz newspaper, related the tale of how the nickname "Crow Eater" came to be dubbed onto those from the state of South Australia.
" The following is the most feasible explanation, and is, I believe, the correct one: In 1851 my father and uncle travelled overland to the Bendigo diggings. On their arrival they were accosted with the words, 'some crow-eaters.' It appeared that a short time before they arrived, a party of South Australians had arrived in a very hard-up state, being   without food and looking very much knocked up. While crossing the 90-mile desert they ran out of tucker, and were forced to shoot crows for food, as nothing better could be obtained. On relating the...


The radical potential of a universal basic income: a reply to Ben Kunkler "IndyWatch Feed National"

An increase in leisure time once a central goal of the labour movement is sorely needed in western societies. In Australia, working hours for full-time employees increased throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and have only declined slightly since, despite significant increases in productivity. To add insult to injury, workers real wages in Australia are no longer rising in line with increased output.


Friday mental health forum: Coping during drought "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

DROUGHT is not isolated to the northern parts of the country. In fact, the Hunter region has been severely affected of late, and other parts of NSW continue to dry off at a rapid rate.

During Fridays Friday Forum at 12pm, The Land and the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) are partnering to bring together the Rural Resilience Workers, RAMHP, NSW Farmers and a researcher to answer your questions, including the warning signs someone isnt coping; how to prepare mentally for drought; signs of depression; practical ways to stay mentally healthy, and getting farmers to talk openly about mental health.
See more at:


Democracy Is The Biggest Victim In Turnbulls War On Charities "IndyWatch Feed National"

The intent of stalled legislation being pushed by the federal government is clear to weaken the capacity of charities, particularly environmental groups, to oppose government excesses. Dr Kyla Tienhaara and Professor John Dryzek explain.

Reasonable people dont associate charities with espionage and other cloak-and-dagger activities usually reserved for spies and foreign agents.

So why is the Turnbull Government trying to jam through legislation that treats all of these actors alike, in much the same way as many authoritarian countries do?

Stranger still, why are they doing it while ignoring the more obvious threats to our democracy like well-funded corporate lobbying groups who not only interfere in policy-making, but also brag about forcing the government to bend to their will?

Governments in Australia have been waging a not-so-silent war on the not-for-profit sector, and particularly environmental NGOs, for some time. Tactics have ranged from attacks on the charitable status of groups to efforts to criminalise protest.

But in recent months, the battle has become more covert and more insidious with the introduction of a suite of foreign interference laws that has the potential to substantially disrupt the ability of NGOs to engage in political advocacy.

Proposed bills currently before Parliament include: changes to the definition of espionage that make it broad enough to capture the normal activities of international NGOs such as Human Rights Watch and Greenpeace; a ban on foreign donations to certain NGOs; and extensive limitations on the administration and use of foreign funding by registered charities.

There is also a new requirement for charities that receive any kind of support or donation from outside Australia to register in a Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme (a phrase that would be at home in a dystopian novel like 1984) or face serious criminal penalties.

The purported justification for this suite of bills is the need to curb foreign influence over the political system, particularly in the wake of the Chinese donations scandal that resulted in the resignation of Senator Sam Dastyari. However, numerous legal experts have pointed out that, in their current form, the bills are unlikely to properly address corruption or foreign influence.

Former Labor Senator Sam Dastyari.

In fact, the legisla...


Australian Tax Office Warns Public About Bitcoin Scammers "IndyWatch Feed National"

The ATO has officially warned the public to beware of scammers demanding fake tax payments in the form of Bitcoin.

ATO Doesnt Take Bitcoin Yet Mate

It is a scenario that is most often related to the elderly. A scammer calls on the phone and delivers a line about back taxes or some tax refunds due, then asks for a credit card number to go ahead and clear up the problem. The old scam has taken on new currency though as reported by the Australian Tax Office on their official website.

Assistant Commissioner Kath Anderson was quoted in the online notice as saying We became aware of scammers seeking payment in Bitcoin last year. So far we have seen over $50,000 paid in Bitcoin to scammers claiming fake ATO tax debts,

Though it should seem obvious that the tax office isnt yet taking cryptocurrency to settle debts the site lists even stranger, less legitimate ways people have been tricked into making payments. Some of the other most frequently reported methods people have been hoodwinked into paying with are iTunes, pre-paid Visa gift cards, and even direct deposit into third-party bank accounts.

Even more concerning at the moment is that more than half of all losses are a result of scammers convincing taxpayers to make deposits or transfers directly into third-party bank accounts. Roughly $1.2 million was reported lost in this way in 2017.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies prove to be especially popular with online scammers due to the anonymity inherent in the transactions from one owner to another. Once the coin has been transferred it is almost impossible to track down either the location or the identity of the recipient.

Scammers Prey on Greed

There is a whole online economy now based on crypto scams which mostly entail convincing someone that are going to increase their Bitcoin holdings overnight somehow.

Two prevalent scams are Bitcoin flipping and Bitcoin pyramid. Flipping scams usually will offer holders of Bitcoin the highest possible rate in cash for their coin after a small registration fee is paid. The cash, of course, is never paid and very often the Bitcoin is stolen as well.

Bitcoin pyramids work like any other pyramid scheme except the pay in is in Bitcoin, the payout is nothing except for the scammer that started it and then it is everything. Bitcoin or any of the top cryptocurrency names are often used as bait...


Australian Dollar and Bitcoin "IndyWatch Feed National"

1.00 AUD = 0.00010 BTC
0.00010 BTC = 1.05 AUD


Stephen Hawkin made a huge contribution to the world "IndyWatch Feed National"

Contributed by Joe Montero

The death of Stephen Hawkin is significant loss to the world. His contribution to understanding physics and how the how the universe works is outstanding. No one has equalled his stature since Albert Einstein.

His work led to a turning point in modern physics, playing itself out in the closing months of 1973, when Dr. Hawking set out to apply quantum theory, the weird laws that govern subatomic reality, to black holes.

In a long and daunting calculation, Dr. Hawking discovered to his befuddlement that black holes those mythological avatars of cosmic doom were not black at all. In fact, he found, they would eventually fizzle, leaking radiation and particles, and finally explode and disappear over the eons.

Not quite so well known known, is that Stephen Hawkin fought through his life as a defender of science, against the ignorance peddled by those forces, wanting to discredit science for other purposes. Science, he believed, should be regarded as a resource to be used to lift humanity, and its opponents as agents of backwardness.

He took issue with organised religion when it acts to promote ignorance and deny the existing evidence. And he had little tolerance for those who like to cherry pick and claim this proves their argument. True science depends not on picking what suits at the moment, but on consideration of the whole weight of evidence.

For instance, he railed against those who insist that human activity is not warming the planet, pointing out that the scientific evidence is overwhelming. Deniers were accused of trying to discredit science, to push an agenda. He attacked US President Donald Trump over the withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement.

From the BBC News

To Hawkin, science lifts the understanding of the world we live in. It is neither good or bad. It is how human beings use it that determines its effect.  The effect is determined by human beings.

Unlike the science caused apocalypse often portrayed by Hollywood, or the claims that technology destroys jobs and causes poverty, the great physicist argued that science can be applied to have positive effects.

He said, the problem is not in the knowledge, but in the greed that has become the driving force of society. This is why only last week he told a Reddit  session, that economic inequality will skyrocket  as more jobs become automated, because the rich owners of the technology will refuse to share the wealth that is created.

It is therefore a case of who is in control. If the knowledge is owned by......


Worlds Highest Capacity Grid Battery Might Be Built in Colorado "IndyWatch Feed National"

300 MWh. Via: Electrek: After breaking a few energy storage records with its battery system projects in Australia, Tesla looks to come back to the US to build a new worlds largest Powerpack battery system in Colorado. In South Australia, Teslas 100MW/ 129MWh Powerpack project is known as the most powerful battery system []


Australia To Offer Asylum To White South African Farmers "IndyWatch Feed National"

Australia is ready to offer special visas to white South African farmers who are currently being tortured and murdered as their corrupt government illegally seize their land.  Peter Dutton, Australias home affairs minister, said his [...]


Satanism Is the Ruler of the World and Needs Mind Control To Do It "IndyWatch Feed National"

by Mary W Maxwell

If you live outside South Australia you should be speaking to your travel agent about coming here to the Adelaide Fringe on Sunday, March 18, shouldnt you? The play at 2.30pm is called My Best False Memories. It is meant as a refutation of the academic theory known as False Memory Syndrome. FMS was a ruse the CIA came up with in the 1990s it quite effectively persuaded the public not to listen to the astonishing tales being told by survivors.

The play in Adelaide (or to be exact, in the Burnside Library this weekend), wont be a rip-roaring coverage of Satanism. It is a very dignified presentation by three survivors of MK-Ultra and two targeted individuals as played by actors.

You will find great satisfaction in the way the survivors shirtfront an academic named Bob. I call him a generic academic. He refers to the M...


Cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia data visualisations [AIHW] "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released a new web report with data visualisations:

Cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia presents the latest available information on national population screening programs, cancer incidence, survival, prevalence and mortality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, compared with non-Indigenous Australians. Information is available to explore by sex, age, state and territory, remoteness area and trend.

Latest findings:
* Between 2009 and 2013, an average of 1,279 new cancer cases were diagnosed each year in Indigenous Australians
* Between 2011 and 2015, there was an average of 551 cancer-related deaths each year for Indigenous Australians
* In 2007-2014, Indigenous Australians diagnosed with cancer had a 50% relative chance of surviving five years
* In 2009-2013, Indigenous Australians were 1.1 times as likely to be diagnosed with cancer as non-Indigenous Australians
* In 2011-2015, Indigenous Australians were 1.4 times as likely to die from cancer as non-Indigenous Australians
* In 2007-2014, Indigenous Australians had lower five-year relative survival compared with non-Indigenous Australians

Download web report: Cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia<<a href="">>

Media release: Indigenous Australians more likely to be affected by cancers associated with preventable risk factors and are 1.4 times as likely to die from cancer as non-Indigenous Australians<<a href="">>


What it means to turn back a boat "IndyWatch Feed National"

We applaud the Sri Lankan Governments devotion to human rights and their devotion to democratic pluralism, Abbott said flatly, after touching down in Sri Lanka. Just days before, the BBC had released the culmination of four years of research: an hour-long report on the human rights nightmare that was the final push of the Sri Lankan Civil War. As a result, even close allies felt compelled to condemn Sri Lankas human rights record. That is, except for us.


Needle Paw with Nai Palm is Eastside Radios Album Of The Week "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Taking a step back from her band Hiatus Kaiyotes, Nai Palm released her first solo album, Needle Paw in October 2017.

This album has a compilation of R&B and soul and truly digs deep into emotion. Acoustic guitars meets Palms smooth voice for an album of pure emotion.

Based out of Melbourne, Haitus Kaiyote rose up in 2011. Their first album was released in 2012 called Tawk Tomahawk and in 2015, they released their second album Choose Your Weapon.

Nai Palm is a two-time Grammy Nominated Artist. While her sophisticated soul sound is present in the album Needle Paw, it still has its significant differences from Haitus Kaiyote. However, Palm stays true to the sound her fans all know and love.

We here at Eastside implore you to hear this great release any way you can. You can listen back to the Album Of The Week show here and purchase the album from Sony Classical Records here.

Be sure to tune in to Album Of The Week every Thursday from 1:30 pm on 89.7FM or streaming live via

The post Needle Paw with Nai Palm is Eastside...


10 awesome Brisbane gigs you cant miss this March "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

One of the worst things about being a music fan is the horrible sinking feeling you get when you realise that awesome gig that you heard was coming actually turned out to be last night. Thankfully, weve compiled a gig guide so that you can make sure you wont be missing any more unforgettable nights of music.

With plenty for everyone coming up this month, theres bound to be something here that will turn your plans of a quiet night in into a memory youll never forget.


One of the finest purveyors of alternative hip-hop going around, Astronautalis delivers a refreshing blend of indie-rock and rhymes. Back in the country for his third visit, Astronautalis is set to hit up the Miami Shark Bar on March 24th for one of the most impressive shows youll see this month.

Saturday, March 24th
Miami Shark Bar, Miami, QLD
Tickets: Oztix

Hockey Dad

Hockey Dad are going gangbusters right now, having scored the highest-placing Aussie album on the ARIA charts recently, and scoring triple js Feature Album this past week. Now, to celebrate the release of their second album, Blend Inn, the Windang boys are heading off on tour. Sadly, with all their shows sold out, heres hoping youve already got yourself a ticket. With the boys playing four shows from March 17th-19th at the Woolly Mammoth, these shows are going to go off.

Saturday-Monday, March 17th-19th
Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane, QLD

Prophets Of Rage

On paper, Prophets Of Rage are an unstoppable force. Comprised of members of Public Enemy, Cypress Hill, and Rage Against The Machine, this rap-metal supergroup are set to make their Aussie debut at the inaugural Download Festival Australia in Melbourne. Thankfully, the group are stopping off at Brisbanes Riverstage for one sideshow that is going to be full of brutal riffs, pounding rhythms, and socially-conscious lyrics. Dont miss it!

Monday, March 26th
Riverstage, Brisbane, QLD (LIC/AA)


Videos from our recent forum on women and the TPP "IndyWatch Feed National"

15 March, 2018: On International Womens Day AFTINET and ActionAid Australia hosted a successful forum on the impact that the TPP would have on women across the globe. The forum was moderated by Jill Biddington from APHEDA- Union Aid Abroad and Dr Patricia Ranald (AFTINET), Michelle Higelin (ActionAid Australia) and Jane Brock (Immigrant Womens Speakout Association) all gave short presentations. A video recording of the full forum has been posted here, thanks to ActionAid Australia.

Michelle screened a video featuring ActionAid Vietnam Country Direct Hoang Phuong Thao, which discussed labour rights, unpaid care work, public services and privatisation. The video is available online to watch here.


Greater Gliders going down! Take action "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

In the Queensborough river forests of far East Gippsland protected habitat for the Greater Glider is being logged.

Community surveys reported a population of Greater Gliders in a logging coupe earlier this week triggering legal protection of the forest.

The Victorian Labor government are continuing to log where protected Gliders have been found. Locations where Greater Gliders were reported have now been logged.


Qld town wants asylum seekers back home "IndyWatch Feed National"

The residents of a small Queensland town have banded together to bring an asylum seeker family back home.

More than 60,000 people have signed a petition to return Tamils Nadesalingam, Priya and their two Australian-born daughters to Biloela.

Border force officials removed them last week and put them in a Melbourne detention centre.

Tamil Refugee Council spokesman Ben Hillier said they were handcuffed and taken in separate vans to Melbourne Airport on Tuesday, flown to Perth and placed on a flight to Sri Lanka.

But a last-minute legal intervention resulted in them being removed from the plane before it took off.

Its understood the couple came to Australia separately by boat in 2012 and 2013, following Sri Lankas civil war.

They settled in Biloela on a bridging visa, which has since expired.

Biloela resident Angela Fredericks started the petition, which calls on Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to let the family return to the town.

The community also held a vigil for the family on Wednesday night.A Department of Home Affairs spokesman said the familys case had been assessed over many years.

They have consistently been found not to meet Australias protection obligations, he said.

The post Qld town wants asylum seekers back home appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Pollies probe NSW govts stadium plan "IndyWatch Feed National"

How the NSW government spends its money particularly the controversial plan for Sydneys stadiums could be on the hit list of an unlikely political alliance.

The two committees, made up of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party with support from Labor and the crossbench, will investigate capital works projects and the states finances.

The governments polarising $2.7 billion stadiums policy will likely fall into the sights of the capital works committee, marking another hurdle for Premier Gladys Berejiklians implementation of the project.

Meanwhile the second committee on public works has the scope to investigate the controversial WestConnex and light rail projects.

The premier brushed off concerns about the committee, saying the parliament already had the power to investigate such projects.

The post Pollies probe NSW govts stadium plan appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Australia Warns of Fake 'Tax Collectors' Demanding Bitcoin "IndyWatch Feed National"

The Australian Taxation Office issued a warning Monday alerting residents not to send cryptocurrencies to scammers claiming to be tax collectors.


Details of Pell case emerge in open court "IndyWatch Feed National"

A hearing about the historical sex offence charges against Cardinal George Pell is open to the public after several days of closed court evidence from his accusers.

Pell returns to Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday for a committal hearing that will determine if he stands trial over charges involving multiple complainants.

The pre-trial hearing began on March 5 but was closed to the public as the complainants gave evidence as required by law in sex offence cases.

The hearing opened to public on Wednesday afternoon, with volunteer researcher and retired academic Bernard Barrett giving evidence about his work with victim advocacy group Broken Rites.

Defence barrister Robert Richter QC accused Mr Barrett of making up allegations and trying to pin historical sex offences on Pell.

You advocate publicly and you rile publicly against the Catholic Church in particular, he said.

You make up representations on the website and elsewhere accusing the church of covering up sexual abuse, is that right?

We dont rile or make up accusations, we just state the facts, Mr Barrett replied.

Mr Richter also suggested Mr Barretts volunteer work with Broken Rites involved trying to pin something on Pell.

Would you have considered it a considerable victory if you could pin something on Cardinal Pell as doing something wrong? Mr Richter said.

As many as 50 people, including the complainants, will be called as witnesses during the month-long hearing.

Magistrate Belinda Wallington will then decide if there is enough evidence for the case to go to trial in the Victorian County Court.

Pell, 76, was charged on summons in June 2017 while he was in Rome.

He has taken leave from his position as Vatican treasurer to return to Australia to fight the charges.

The post Details of Pell case emerge in open court appeared first on Echonetdaily.


The Real Know Before You Go "IndyWatch Feed National"

Theres nothing better than taking the path less travelled. Our intrepid hearts strive for niche experiences that stray from the clich, and yank us right out of our cosy comfort zones. We push boundaries and cross borders both literal and metaphorical.

But what about when those borders are dangerous?

A high school friend of mine recently competed in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. A small group of my mates went to support him, brave the sub-zero temps, and live it up in the athletes village after his inevitable podium finish (Shout out to Matt Graham, the most successful thing to come out of Narara). Id been banking on going too, but my bank account said otherwise. I wanted to go to the Games, check out Seoul, and hang out in a region of Asia Ive never visited before. Maybe head up to North Korea, too. When I floated the idea with the group, it went over like a lead balloon.

North Korea?
Yeah, why not? Its just over the border.
Nah, Im right. All yours.

I couldnt wrap my head around why they didnt want to go. Wed be so close you may as well, right? What were they seriously worried about?

In 2015, 22 year-old American tourist, Otto Warmbier, was detained in North Korea, for allegedly attempting to steal an item that featured North Korean propaganda. After 17 months, Warmbier was released on humanitarian grounds after US diplomatic intervention. He died just days later.

Warmbiers travel companion, whose name has not been released, said in an interview with the Guardian that youd have to be a lunatic to travel there. Id heard tragic stories like this involving foreigners. Wrongful detention, strict laws and naive tourists. But I wasnt yet put off. I still wanted to visit North Korea.

Similarly, Ive always wanted to visit Egypt and the Middle East. How magical to see the Pyramids of Giza and float in the Dead Sea. But, it always seemed so far away, and so, the idea was shelved. That was until I finished a semester of study in London. Tel Aviv was five hours away,...


I told you so "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

At this rate, its going to take nearly 400 years to transform the energy system

Here are the real reasons were not building clean energy anywhere near fast enough.

Is it possible to accelerate by a factor of 20? he asks. Yeah, but I dont think people understand what that is, in terms of steel and glass and cement. 

by James Temple  Originally published at Technology Review


Fifteen years ago, Ken Caldeira, a senior scientist at the Carnegie Institution, calculated that the world would need to add about a nuclear power plants worth of clean-energy capacity every day between 2000 and 2050 to avoid catastrophic climate change. Recently, he did a quick calculation to see how were doing.



Kaikura, New Zealand UFO sighting still flummoxing locals 40 years later "IndyWatch Feed National"

Forty years on from an unidentified flying object (UFO) sighting that put Kaikura in the international spotlight, those who witnessed the strange occurrences are still confused by what they saw. Three bright lights appeared in the Kaikura sky in December 1978, bewildering those to witness it - including air traffic controllers John Cordy and Andy Herd. It was even caught on camera by an Australian film crew who was in the area trying to capture footage of them. Journalist Quentin Fogarty said they were transfixed by the mysterious lights, some of which were the size of a house.


Lorraines off to the Games "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

In late 2017, Lorraine Dowson and Gavin Butler took out the Inverloch Mixed Pairs champions. Lorraine said theyd been trying to win the event for about six years.

By Matt Male

AN umpire from the Inverloch Bowling Club will be keeping a watchful eye over the best bowlers internationally this year at the Commonwealth Games.
Umpire and keen bowls player Lorraine Dowson has been picked as one of the umpires for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Lorraines the only qualified international umpire in Gippsland, starting at the Inverloch Bowling Club 14 years ago.
I used to live half-way between Inverloch and Wonthaggi, she said.
I was just learning to bowl and I met a lady who played at Inverloch and I thought it was a good, friendly club and very supportive so I went there.
About three years ago, she was accredited as an international bowls umpire.
Recently, she was announced as one of the umpires for the Commonwealth Games.
Its a bit unbelievable, she said last week.
I thought this sort of thing only happens to city people.
Then I had to keep it a secret for four months. I couldnt divulge. It was like keeping the gender of your baby a secret.
Now Lorraine regularly gets a wave and congratulatory hug when she bumps into someone on the street whos heard of the wonderful news.
Its actually a little funny for me to say it too. Im just a little girl from South Gippsland.
The umpire went up against 41 other applicants for the 20 umpiring positions in the Gold Coast games.
Its based on your experience and what youve done during the year.
As for advice for other bowls players, Lorraine says: I think, and this is with all sports, you should start young.
On the international level, you get a lot of people in their 20s playing, although at a local level its often retirees.
Umpiring at Inverloch Bowling Club, there are usually two umpires; one on the green answering questions and another working off the green, making decisions on law and measuring.
But with international, youre doing all of that, Lorraine said.
On a local level, the public can walk within centimetres of players, but at the Commonwealth Games, theyre kept in the stands.
Although you can walk in and out of games, youre kept to the public stands; you cant just walk around where the pla...


Adani opponents hit by $80,000 worth of fines "IndyWatch Feed National"

Contributed by Ugly

Fourteen opponents of the Adani rail line shipping coal to Abbot Point, have been fined a total of $80,000, because on 18 January they took part in an action that blocked access to the terminal for several hours.

The rail access is part of the Carmichael coal mine project in the Galilee Basin in central Queensland.

Four of the charged appeared in court yesterday in Bowen. They are Coffs Harbour locals from the Coffs Coast Climate Action Group. They had chained themselves to the project and fined $8,000 each.

Ella Skerrett, Daniel Skerrett, John Ross and Liisa Rusanen all pleaded guilty to three charges including trespass, interfering with port operations and contravening police direction.

When fines of this size are ordered against people, who have only protested what they consider a great wrong and have done nothing to put any other person at risk, the court has acted in a way that is grossly disproportionate. When this happens, one just has to ask, is it politically motivated?  On the face of it, the simple answer is yes.

It is not hard to see why this is the case. The whole Adani matter has been a great embarrassment to the Queensland government and the federal government in Canberra has affected too. Then there is Adani himself, well known for splashing around gifts and making friends in high places.

The truth of the matte is that the Adani projects are extremely unpopular, so much so, that even the banks have shied away from providing funding. They fear losing a lot of customers.

Given this context, the use of big fines is a means to try and intimidate activists. Perhaps Adani and his supporters hope that if enough are scared off, the wheels might fall off the campaign to stop the projects. It is not working.

Ella Skerrett, a horticulturalist from Bonville, said she was surprised by the size her $8000 fine

While Im disappointed with the fine, I feel it was worth the effort and personal sacrifice. The fine is nothing compared to the damage that coal is causing by fuelling climate change, she said.

For John Ross, nurseryman and bookshop owner, it was his second arrest protesting Adani.

The movement to stop coal is growing and I felt really well supported at todays court case. Im more determined than ever to find ways to push for stronger action on climate change, Mr Ross said.

With our government failing to take the action needed to stop climate change, ordinary people like us are taking peaceful direct action to keep coal in the ground. For the sake of my children and all of us who will suffer the consequences of the climate crisis, we have a duty to act, but were running out of time, Liisa Rusanen said....


White privilege "IndyWatch Feed National"

From my social media reading I know that plenty of people think that white farmers in South Africa are in danger of their lives and their livelihoods, and that a Zimbabwe-style persecution is starting there. 

It's not a story that the BBC has been particularly interested in but it's certainly caught their attention today. 

Why? Because Australia has said that it might provide visas for white South African farmers to help them escape that "persecution" - a move you could bet your bottom euro that the BBC would strongly disapprove of. 

And disapprove it quite clearly does.

The BBC News website report about it today puts the South African government's dismissal first and, very strikingly, uses this as its halfway sub-headline:

Note that it isn't even in quotation marks.

And then the BBC then lays out its own opinion (including a Reality Check ruling) under that very headline:

So that's the Australian government told!



Potential Illinois Bill Could Allow Tax Payments with Cryptocurrency "IndyWatch Feed National"

A bill introduced in Illinois could soon allow state residents to pay their taxes using cryptocurrency. Illinois State Representative Michael J. Zalewski introduced Ilinois House Bill 5335 on March 5. The bill, assigned to the states Revenue & Finance committee, []

The post Potential Illinois Bill Could Allow Tax Payments with Cryptocurrency appeared first on The Global Mail.


Australia: Call for Contributions Paper Chained 2018 Prison Writings Journal "IndyWatch Feed National"

Paper Chained is a journal of writings and artistic expressions from individuals affected by incarceration. We are currently seeking
contributions from prisoners, ex-prisoners and family members of prisoners for our second journal publication. Please circulate this
callout throughout your networks.

If you are currently in prison, have experienced time in prison or have a loved one in prison, we welcome your contributions to this journal! If you know somebody who might be interested in contributing, please pass this information on to them.

Attached is an information sheet that can be printed and mailed to prisoners and a poster you are welcome to share on online media as well as print and display in your neighbourhood, workplaces, schools and other community hubs.

Read the first journal online:


More info:

in German


United Nations Censors Dissent, Censors Syria, Censors Facts "IndyWatch Feed National"

Ever since the beginning of the Syrian crisis in 2011, the Western corporate media has been alight with insidious and downright absurd propaganda regarding the nature of the Syrian government, military, society, and, of course, its president. In Europe and Australia the propaganda has been heavily pushed as well. However, while the independent and alternative []

The post United Nations Censors Dissent, Censors Syria, Censors Facts appeared first on The Last American Vagabond.


All Fire and Fury in Ukraine "IndyWatch Feed National"

The still decidedly volatile situation in Ukraine is worth revisiting for a number of reasons. With the fourth anniversary of the coup just gone, the sudden passing of investigative journalist Robert Parry and Consortium News founder/editor affords even greater impetus for doing so. This is especially given his incisive body of reportage on the crisis since 2014. Australian writer/blogger Greg Maybury reports.


Was tut eigentlich der VW-Dieselskandal-Fix?Der Australische ... "IndyWatch Feed National"

Was tut eigentlich der VW-Dieselskandal-Fix?

Der Australische Autoclub AAA hat mal getestet. Ergebnis:

Emissions analysis commissioned by the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) has found an affected VW diesel vehicle to be using up to 14 per cent more diesel after recall, and still emitting noxious emissions more than 400 per cent higher than levels observed in laboratory testing.
Oh, ach? Na sowas! Also DAMIT konnte ja wohl NIEMAND rechnen!

Tja, wenn man ein Geschftsmodell auf Lug und Trug aufbaut, ist das nicht unbedingt auf Zuruf reparierbar.

Ich finde ja die Parallelen zu Meltdown und Spectre an der Stelle mal wieder echt auffallend :-)


My Conversation with Chris Blattman "IndyWatch Feed National"

The very very highly rated but still underrated Chris Blattman was in top form, here is the transcript and audio.  We had a chance to do this one when he was in town for a week.  We talked about the problem with cash transfers, violence, child soldiers, charter cities, Rene Girard, how to do an Africa trip, Battlestar Galactica, why Ethiopia is growing rapidly, why civil war has become less common, why Colombia and the New World have been so violent, the mysteries of Botswana, and Chriss favorite Australian TV show, among other topics, including of course the Chris Blattman production function.  Here is one excerpt:

BLATTMAN: Theres this famous paper on Vietnam veterans in the US where they find that being conscripted into fighting in Vietnam had positive effects on the wages of blacks and negative effects on the wages of whites. The reason was, it was really down to, what was your alternative labor market and training experience in the absence of this war?

We found something similar in Uganda, something eerily familiar, which is that the women economically werent so worse off. I wouldnt say they were better off, but they werent necessarily affected adversely in an economic sensethey were adversely affected in other ways 5 or 10 or 15 years down the roadwhile the men were.

It spoke to just how terrible womens options were. Being conscripted and abducted to be a rebel wife, to some degree, wasnt that different than what your marriage opportunities looked like if there wasnt a war.

For men, it just meant that you were out of the civilian labor market, getting a bunch of skills that had turned out not to be very useful. It was bad for them. A different war...


United Nations Censors Dissent, Censors Syria, Censors Facts "IndyWatch Feed National"

Ever since the beginning of the Syrian crisis in 2011, the Western corporate media has been alight with insidious and downright absurd propaganda regarding the nature of the Syrian government, military, society, and, of course, its president. In Europe and Australia the propaganda has been heavily pushed as well. However, while the independent and alternative media have thoroughly debunked much of the propaganda coming primarily from the United States, UK, Germany, and Australia, little has been said of the propaganda coming from the United Nations.

Unfortunately, the U.N. has a reputation among many people of being a voice and a vehicle for peace. However, the United Nations is anything but, and instead has played an active role in the destabilization, breaking, and destruction of states in the aim of the same agenda that has taken full hold of governments in the West.

One such example of U.N. propaganda is the incessant droning on regarding the humanitarian catastrophe in East Ghouta while nothing but the sound of crickets comes from the U.N. in regards to the humanitarian condition of Damascus or virtually anywhere in Syria where terrorists occupy or have occupied.

This latest hypocrisy and obvious double standard in regards to situation in East Ghouta versus the situation in Damascus and other areas under siege by terrorists is both stunning and revealing. Take, for instance, the recent statement by the UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Geert Cappelaere, entitled The War On Children In Syria: Reports Of Mass Casualties Among Children In Eastern Ghouta And Damascus. This statement stands as one of the least professional statements of outrage ever made on the part of a UN staff attempting to use emotion and marketing techniques to nudge public opinion to the anti-Assad narrative and support some heavier sustained isolation of the Assad government.

The statement contained no text, only blank lines after the preface which read No words will do justice to the children killed, their mothers, their fathers and their loved ones. In the footnotes, the report says UNICEF is issuing this blank statement. We no longer have the words to describe childrens suffering and our outrage. Do those inflicting the suffering still have words to justify their barbaric acts?

The UN offices report thus goes hand in hand with the insane and hysterical hyperventilation coming from the Western media outlets and the governments they serve regarding East Ghouta which has suffered under...


22 National Science Academies Urge Government Action On Climate Change "IndyWatch Feed National"

As some of the world's biggest polluters resist efforts to address climate changemost glaringly, the United Statesthousands of scientists from countries that make up the Commonwealth of Nations say their governments need to take bolder steps to lower greenhouse gas emissions. On Monday, the national science academies of 22 Commonwealth countries, including from the UK, Canada, India and Australia, issued a "Consensus Statement on Climate Change," declaring that the "Commonwealth has the potential, and the responsibility, to help drive meaningful global efforts and outcomes that protect ourselves, our children and our planet." The statement comes one month before the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London, where leaders intend to discuss sustainability and climate change.


The Attacks on Me Just Ensue "IndyWatch Feed National"

Obviously they dont much care for my blog as they are trying to sign me in so many times that it is locking me out.

They are- as always- on top of me to try and shut me up. I am also getting sent screen shots about YouTube lowering my numbers on my videos. Not that it matters but it is interesting.

Our govt is doing their best to shut me down. Their DEW weapon is on me full blast non stop and though our media acts like they have no idea what hit Cuban officials- I have shared definite proof as to what these weapons are and the fact that they DO exist.

Our media doesnt care as well as our FBI AND our Dept of Justice- as they have all been contacted and each has just ignored it. And again- all of this is happening to me because I tried to get my parents investigated for being involved with child trafficking.

We are so concerned about Russia killing spies but our govt is killing average American citizens who are simply trying to do the right thing. Children matter no matter WHAT they believe.

No one wants the attention all of this has brought to me. Most have no clue and the attention I am receiving is in the form of constant attacks and murder attempts as well as a huge group of evil buttheads spreading lies about me- making it all about me in order to deflect what I have tried to do.

The truth is if our law officials would have done what they are paid to do in the first place- none of this would have been necessary. But there are some things in life that are worth taking a stand for and I believe the safety of our children is one of them.

Obviously I stand alone in this.

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IndyWatch Bairnsdale VIC All Topics Summary Today.

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Wednesday, 14 March


Our Government will never want to talk about it here at this Council: Turnbull Government taken to task over offshore detention at the UN "IndyWatch Feed National"

In a statement delivered in the United Nations overnight, the Human Rights Law Centre has called on the UN Human Rights Council to hold the Turnbull Government accountable for the continued suffering of 1800 refugees still languishing on Manus and Nauru after almost five years.

Behrouz Boochani, a refugee, journalist and filmmaker currently held on Manus Island said:

"We are asking the international community and the UN to put pressure on the Australian Government to take serious action and give us freedom."

"We have been in prison camps for five years. We are so tired of living in limbo. It's so important for us to see real action, said Mr Boochani.

Daniel Webb, a Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, is at the UN in Geneva and delivered the statement overnight. Mr Webb said that while it was only two weeks into Australias first ever session as a member of the UN Human Rights Council it was already clear that domestic injustices risked tainting the Governments credibility throughout its three-year term.

The plight of these 1800 innocent human beings is the massive elephant in the room whenever our Government tries to talk to anyone about human rights, said Mr Webb.

I just cant reconcile our Governments words here on the world stage with the awful human suffering I have seen on Manus. The bottom line is that while our Government can blow its own trumpet all it likes, it will lack credibility and moral authority on human rights until it stops punishing people for seeking freedom and safety, said Mr Webb.

This week the UN Human Rights Council also heard about chemical weapons attacks in Syria, the persecution of human rights defenders in Iran and the unfolding genocide in Myanmar. Mr Webb told the Council that the Australian Government is currently warehousing people fleeing these horrors on Nauru and Manus indefinitely.

"The Rohingya families being burned alive in their homes in Myanmar. The children dying in chemical weapons attacks in Syria. The journalists rotting in prisons for speaking truth to power. While the international community has been desperately sounding the alarm, our Government has been imprisoning people fleeing these very atrocities, said Mr Webb. 

Mr Webb said that while some countries like Russia and China were seeking to directly undermine international human rights standards, abuses like the Australian Governments offshore detention regime posed an insidious threat to human rights principles.

"Victims of cruelty and injustice all over the world desperately need governments like ours to be part of the UNs principled spine, not a corrosive influence gnawing away at the very foundations of universal human rights with hollow words and unprincipled actions," sai...


Berejiklian Government allows open slather on wildlife "IndyWatch Feed National"


Conservation groups and an increasingly aware public are aghast at the latest efforts by the Berejiklian Government to allow open slather on the environment and wildlife. Read More


A 2015 Take on the Website Obesity Crisis "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Maciej Ceglowski, proprietor of the Pinboard bookmarking site, spoke back on October 29, 2015, at the Web Directions conference in Sydney, Australia about the problem of increasingly bloated web pages. His talk describes the nature of the bloat problem, fake attempts at pretending to fix it, the bloat that advertisements contribute, mishandling of images, unreasonable crufty javascript frameworks, time wasting layouts, sluggish backends, and why it is important to address these issues. The reasons to do so go well beyond just aesthetics and efficiency.

Here's the hortatory part of the talk:

Lets preserve the web as the hypertext medium it is, the only thing of its kind in the world, and not turn it into another medium for consumption, like we have so many examples of already.

Lets commit to the idea that as computers get faster, and as networks get faster, the web should also get faster.

Lets not allow the panicked dinosaurs of online publishing to trample us as they stampede away from the meteor. Instead, let's hide in our holes and watch nature take its beautiful course.

Most importantly, lets break the back of the online surveillance establishment that threatens not just our livelihood, but our liberty. Not only here in Australia, but in America, Europe, the UKin every free country where the idea of permanent, total surveillance sounded like bad science fiction even ten years ago.

He closes with an appeal to address these concerns in order to improve general accessibility of the WWW, which correlates with its general awesomeness.

From The Website Obesity Crisis (transcript)
The Website Obesity Crisis (video)

[Ed note: Though some of the admin functions for SoylentNews use Javascript, the user-facing side is entirely Javascript-free; everything is done with straight HTML and CSS. --martyb]

[TMB note: I wish. We never could figure out a way to do collapsible comment trees how we wanted to entirely without Javascript and it's also required for subscriptions paid through Stripe.]

Original Submission

Read more of this story at SoylentNews.


What are Novichok nerve agents and did Russia do it? "IndyWatch Feed National"

By Alice Klein

Military personnel investigating the poisoning of Sergei Skripal on 11 March in SalisburyThe poison used to target ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury was a Novichok nerve agent, UK prime minister Theresa May revealed yesterday.

The chemical was identified by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down, May told the House of Commons.............

Detective work
Identifying the Novichok agent would have been a painstaking process, says Martin Boland at Charles Darwin University in Australia.

If someone shows signs of nerve agent poisoning, the first thing to do is to check for decreased acetylcholinesterase activity. This reveals if a nerve agent has bound to the enzyme.

Next, the specific nerve agent must be identified. A telltale sign of poisoning with sarin, for example, is unnaturally high blood levels of fluoride, which is used to make the nerve agent.

Because no standard test exists for Novichoks, defence officials may have taken fluid from the Skripals spinal cords, isolated the acetylcholinesterase enzyme, and analysed the structure of the nerve agent attached, says Boland. Western intelligence agencies probably have knowledge of the exact Novichok structures, allowing them to detect a match, he says.


Australia - Letters to editor: Fluoride should be a matter of your choice "IndyWatch Feed National"

AH, so Kempsey Council is considering adding fluoride to the water of the shire.
While the dental health benefits seem to have been established over time the real facts are that to the human body as a whole fluoride is toxic, it is dangerous, it is not natural to our body. So if we consider fluoride as a dental medicine this will be the only medicine that is added to a public water supply, what about all the other ailments that we humans suffer?
It is interesting that this fluoridation of public water supplies seems to be an American thing but go elsewhere, like Europe, and public water is not fluoridated.


Community Billboard 15th of March 22nd of March "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

This weekly community billboard is proudly sponsored by the City of Sydneys Plan for the future Sydney 2030 making our city more green, global, and connected.

The post Community Billboard 15th of March 22nd of March appeared first on 89.7 Eastside FM.



Refugee Action Coalition MEDIA RELEASE GOVERNMENT ATTEMPTS TO REMOVE BILOELA TAMIL FAMILY FROM AUSTRALIA Although court documents had been lodged in the Federal Circuit Court for the Tamil family, and a directions hearing scheduled for early May, last night (Tuesday) the government attempted to remove the Tamil family of four from Australia.  Concerns escalated in(...)


Australian Facebook UFO pages "IndyWatch Feed National"

Dear readers,

We are now close to the end of the Australian summer, and it has been a hot one. Folks who say that global warming isn't real, should come and live in Australia. Having said that, friends in Europe and Canada tell me they have been having some very cold spells. 'Global weather changes' would be a better name than 'global warming' I think.

This week's post is early as the family is going away on a well deserved trip out of the city,  to the Victorian Central Highlands. I am looking forward to some clear night skies, to remind myself of our place in our galaxy. A small blue dot in a vast universe.

Australian group websites

I have now visited all the Australian UFO group websites which turned up using a browser search. There may be others which I haven't visited. If you know of one please drop a comment in the comments section of this blog. Thank you.

Today's post is designed to answer the question 'If you are the 'person in the street' how do you find out about the UFO subject in Australia?'

Monthly meetings

After visiting a website, I guess you might decide to go along to one of the monthly meetings held by such groups as UFO Research (Qld) Incorporated (Brisbane); UFO Research (New South Wales) Incorporated (Sydney); or the UFO and Paranormal Research Society of Australia (South-Western Sydney.) However, what if you live in other states, particularly in remote localities?


I looked at the five main Australian UFO websites, and none give figures for how many people go to their monthly meetings. Some do show photographs of these meetings so I could get some idea of numbers. I doubt whether the total number attending regular monthly U...


Phone Treasurer Tim Pallas - VicForests sole shareholder "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas is the sole shareholder of government logging agency VicForests. 

He has the power to direct VicForests to stop logging in protected wildlife habitat and comply with the law. 


Kurt Elling "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Grammy Award Winning Jazz Vocalist Tours Australia

As one of the worlds foremost jazz vocalists, Kurt Elling has won the DownBeat Critics Poll for 14 consecutive years and has been named the Male Singer of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association on eight different occasions. The New York Times declared him the standout male vocalist of our time.

Kurt Elling breathes new life into old favorites for todays audiences as a renowned artist of vocalese and the heir to jazz pioneers such as Eddie Jefferson, King Pleasure, and Jon Hendricks. He has released a total of six albums with Blue Note Records, been nominated for a Grammy Award on ten occasions, and won Best Vocal Jazz Album for his 2009 album Dedicated to You.

Australias Queen of Jazz, Sydneys own Emma Pask, is joining Elling on his Australian tour. She is best known for her collaboration with Australian virtuoso James Morrison and her appearances on The Voice.

What: Kurt Elling

When: Friday 8 June, 2018, 8:00 pm

Where: City Recital Hall

To Find Out More and Book Online, Click Here



Lamers leads Diggers to glory "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

Clubs Josh Williams blasts a cover drive before being run out for 10 against OMK in the under 16s grand final. Z051118

OMKs Ethan Lamers was awarded man of the match from umpires Alan Jordan and Ken Scrimshaw. Lamers made 51 runs to help the Diggers post a strong first innings score of 7/149 on a tough batting deck at the Leongatha turf. Z061118

OMKs Mitch Sawyers combined with captain Ethan Lamers for a vital partnership to help get the Diggers score to 7/149 at the end of 50 overs. Z041118

LDCA president Russ Matthews presents OMK captain Ethan Lamers with the Cup after the Diggers defeated Wonthaggi Club by 50 runs in the under 16s grand final. Z071118


Sergio Mendes "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Brazilian Legend Sergio Mendes Comes to Sydney

Three-time Grammy Award winner and Brazilian legend, Sergio Mendes, will be live in concert at the Sydney Opera House in April. With over 55 releases and a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2012, Mendes brilliantly blends bossa nova, jazz, and funk.

Mendess first album with A&M Records, Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66, went platinum and debuted his biggest hit, a cover of Mas Que Nada by Jorge Ben, that he later re-recorded with the Black Eyed Peas in 2006.

Join Sergio Mendes and his 8-piece band as they perform all of his timeless classics, from Bossa Nova to Latin jazz, Samba, and beyond!

For me, it is a great pleasure to go back to Australia, a country that I admire so much and that has always treated me and my band so well! Sergio says.  I am looking forward to playing for the great Australian audiences! Lets all celebrate life together.

What: Sergio Mendes

When: Sunday 8 April, 2018, 8:00 pm

Where: Sydney Opera House

To Find Out More and Book Online, Click Here



Advantages of a Flintlock Muzzle-Loader Post TEOTWAWKI. "IndyWatch Feed National"

Advantages of a Flintlock Muzzle-loader.
1)   Ammo is less expensive than a modern equivalent calibre firearm.
2) ...


Their ABC on 1st woman CIA chief - "Trump's pick for CIA ran secret torture prison in Thailand" "IndyWatch Feed National"

What was the torture? Only ABC 24 on the televisions? If Obama had appointed her it'd be "tough woman chief". Where are Gillard, Hillary, Tanya et al in congratulating President Trump for this glass ceiling fissure?


PERTH Ex-Docker acquitted of unlawful wounding "IndyWatch Feed National"

snip .

Ex-Docker acquitted of unlawful wounding .

March 14, 2018 at 01:11PM .

a man with a broken bottle outside a Perth pub. The ex-AFL footballer had been charged with unlawful wounding over the incident outside the Westfield Tavern in Camillo in July 2015. He was due to stand trial in Perth Magistrates Court on Wednesday but was acquitted and awarded costs of $5500. .



Press Council was mislead by Slater and Gordon over Mark Baker article in The Age "IndyWatch Feed National"

IN September 2013 the Press Council upheld a complaint by Slater and Gordon over Mark Baker's stories published in The Age and SMH. The news report Slater & Gordon complained that two statements in the report inaccurately and unfairly implied it was concealing the existence of a file about...


Appearance and reputation over education: on Monash Universitys arts cuts "IndyWatch Feed National"

An increasingly common experience is the phantom lecture. This is when surplus students cant fit into the main lecture theatre and are told to go to a second theatre where theyll find the main lecture streamed onto a screen. Except, that is, in the first week of this semester, when the university forgot to hire someone to set up the stream in the second lecture theatres and students were left staring at a blank screen.


Queensland rooftop solar reaches 2GW, but NSW now biggest market RenewEconomy "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Rooftop solar reaches 2GW mark in Queensland, but latest monthly installations sees NSW pipping sunshine state as biggest market in February.

via Queensland rooftop solar reaches 2GW, but NSW now biggest market RenewEconomy


Facebook Course in Sydney 2018 Workshop With Laurel Papworth "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Just a quick note to say that there are a couple of spots left for the 2 Day Facebook Intensive Course in Sydney CBD in a few weeks. One person transferred to a later course and another one, well TBH Im not sure what they are doing LOL. Well figure it out.

Curriculum for the Intermediate Facebook 2 Day Workshop in Sydney CBD 2018

Anyway, if you want to learn Facebook, bring your laptop and your Facebook questions eg:

  • Facebook Content Creation, posting, creating, images, videos, livestream, when to post?Facebook 2 Day course in Sydney CBD with Laurel Papworth
  • Facebook Analytics, Insights, KPIs and writing Measurement reports?
  • Facebook Ads: Understanding the Facebook Framework (F8), Advertising platform(s) including Power Editor, Pixel retargeting
  • Facebook Optimisation (FBO)Developing Content that works with the Facebook Algorithm (FBO) ensuring it is seen and engaged with by Preferred Audience, Lookalike Audience and target Social Graph?
  • Facebook Business Apps: Adding Apps to your Facebook Page including a shop for selling within the Facebook Page, email such as Mailchimp apps and Instagram and Youtube integrations?
This course is not for the absolute beginner unless you are very confident! We do go quickly through the basics on day one but speedily move into intermediate areas of Ads and Analytics, Algorithms and so on.

Tickets for the Facebook Education Workshop in Sydney 2018

If you are interested in attending the March 2018 course please go to the Facebook Course information page. There really are only a couple of spots left but if you miss out there is a 3 Day Social Media Professionals Advanced course in April and another Facebook course in June 2018. These are public courses in Sydney CBD if you have 8 or 10 or more people I can come to you!


M196 Curator "IndyWatch Feed National"

Australian National Maritime Museum


Aussie market heading to a May high "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

If youve got a bad neck, you might want to avoid George Street in Sydney in the near future.

Real estate groups Mirvac and Coombes Property are going to develop a super tall apartment tower. It will be 260 metres high and could have an end value of more than $1 billion.

This is important. The property developments just keep coming in Australia. This feeds into construction jobs and service firms.

Its not as if this project is the only news recently. Listed property firm GPT Group just won approval for a new office block in Parramatta, in Sydneys west. GPT expects completion of the tower in mid-2020.

Other states besides NSW are showing life here as well. In Victoria, John Holland, a construction company, is building a new office tower at 180 Flinders Street. Thats also due to open in 2020.

In Queensland theres plenty of money being splashed about as well. Theres a first high-rise apartment tower for Chevron Island on the Gold Coast. Thats due to begin construction soon, scheduled for completion in three years.

Staying in Queensland, a property in Noosa could set a record with expectations that it will sell to a private equity interest for a cool $22 million.

No wonder pay packets in property are booming. The Australian reports that wages in this sector are outstripping other sectors of the economy. Some companies are even shifting to quarterly pay reviews to stop their staff being poached.

In light of all this, is there any good news for the humble equity market?

Well, yes

Check out this profitable repeat since 2010

You might recall last month that the market got spooked after US government bond yields started to push towards 3%.

At the time, I urged calm. Things appear to have settled down for the moment. The 10-year yield seems to be getting comfortable around 2.88%.

Well keep monitoring any danger signs.

But I did like a little statistic I happened to come across yesterday. Over the past eight years, bank shares have exhibited an average gain of 13.7% from their February lows to their May highs.

One suggestion to explain this is that dividend payments gushing into investor pockets are heading straight back into the market for the next batch of cash due after the end of the financial year.

I believe theres a high probability of this repeating.

The banks do need to show some strength to see the market move up strongly. Presumably theyre in for a constant barrage of bad press as the Royal Commission goes about its work.

However, if bank shares rise regardless, it w...


Video: Big business has too much power "IndyWatch Feed National"


This advertisement is part of the new Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) campaign to change the rules and should be seen by everyone. This is how toadys reality feels to millions of Australians.


Video from Stand Up Speak Out Come Home


It's Time To Change The Rules

The rules are broken.

Posted by Stand Up Speak Out Come Home on Saturday, March 10, 2018


The post Video: Big business has too much power appeared first on The Pen.


Tropical Cyclone "Linda" forms between Australia and New Caledonia "IndyWatch Feed National"

Tropical Cyclone "Linda" formed in the Coral Sea, east of Australia on March 13, 2018 as the 7th named storm of the 2017/18 Australian region tropical cyclone season. The cyclone is expected to stay off the coast and generate large waves and dangerous surf...... Read more


Why is the Premier visiting Wonthaggis hospital? "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

THE Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is coming to Wonthaggi tomorrow, Thursday, March 15.

And its not often youd have the Premier in town without a major announcement.

Fingers crossed!

His main port of call is the Wonthaggi Hospital, operated by Bass Coast Health, which has been petitioning the State Government for its commitment to developing Wonthaggi as the sub-regional hospital for the Phillip Island, Bass Coast and South Gippsland region.

Big bucks are required. Millions.

With early polling allegedly indicating that former Bass Coast Shire Mayor Jordan Crugnale, the endorsed Labor candidate for the burgeoning Bass Electorate, has a genuine chance of unseating the incumbent Brian Paynter of the Liberal Party, it might be payday for Bass Coast and its hospital.

After funding the rebuilding of the senior campus of the Wonthaggi Secondary College recently, the redevelopment of the Wonthaggi hospital as the sub-regional centre remains the main outstanding project in the southern region of the Bass electorate.

The Premier is apparently having lunch with Ms Crugnale and key business and political leaders after the expected announcement at the hospital.

Insert photo: The Premier Daniel Andrews is also meeting with ALP candidate for Bass Jordan Crugnale after visiting the Wonthaggi hospital tomorrow.

The post Why is the Premier visiting Wonthaggis hospital? appeared first on South Gippsland Sentinel-Times.


Government fights to keep Philip Morris costs secret "IndyWatch Feed National"

14 March 2018: The Australian government has appealed a directive from the Australian Information Commissioner to release the total legal costs in the Philip Morris tobacco plain packaging ISDS case. Although Australia won the case, it took over four years and Australia reportedly spent $50 million in legal costs. As we have previously reported, both the proportion and the total costs were blacked out of the final decision in that case, and the government has refused to release the details.

In February, the Australian Information Commissioner gave the Federal government 28 days to release the total legal costs, or lodge an appeal. That directive followed a long FOI battle waged by Senator Rex Patrick (NXT). Senator Patrick described the Department of Healths appeal to prevent the disclosure of the costs as a delaying tactic. He is worried that the rebranded Comprehensive Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, which contains ISDS, could lead to other ISDS cases against Australia with huge costs.  He said Hiding relevant information from the parliament is not a good tactic. Ill be keeping an eye on how much the taxpayer ends up paying for this AAT appeal, too.


Shoo roo "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

POLICE are seeing a recent increase in the occurrences of wildlife, particularly kangaroos, being hit by motorists.
It is most likely due to the dry conditions the area is experiencing at the moment; with no available feed in the paddocks animals are being attracted to the road verges where there is more grass.
Police are asking that motorists be aware of this and slow down largely at night, particularly at dusk and dawn.
Motorists who collide with animals can contact wildlife rescue services, or can call 000, if they require police assistance.


Gambling losses hit home "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

OBLEM gambling can result in gamblers losing their homes, as well as not having enough money for everyday essentials.
That was the message delivered at a forum held by Gamblers Help at Leongatha Community House last Wednesday.
A small group of attendees heard of the significant losses to poker machines in South Gippsland Shire.
In 2016-17, $6.57 million was lost on the 105 machines at four venues, equating to an average of $18,016 a day.
Gamblers Help community educator Lauren Sewell said problem gamblers face the real prospect of losing their homes by not being able to afford repayments.
People with a low and moderate risk of becoming a problem gambler are at risk of not having enough money left for recreational activities or are not able to afford new clothes, she said.
While South Gippsland Shire has four venues that have pokies compared to other municipalities that might have 10 venues, the losses across those four venues are still huge.
Ms Sewell said the audience at Leongatha Community House was surprised to learn of the extent of gambling losses in the shire.
Ms Sewell said warning signs of a gambling habit becoming a problem include people gambling money they would usually save and gambling more money than they can afford.
They also start spending less time with family and friends because of their gambling behaviour, she said.
Gamblers can often increase their alcohol consumption because poker machines are often located where alcohol is sold, and alcohol can also help relieve stress gamblers incur when they spend more than they can afford.
Given the shires population is widespread, people can also turn to online gambling to overcome feelings of social isolation.
Anyone can be affected by gambling. There is not a particular gender or socio-economic type who can only be impacted, Ms Sewell said.
Community house coordinator Eunice Donovan said houses support people through life.
So when they are struggling with something that is a problem in their lives, the community house is an opportunity for them to get assistance, she said.
Leongatha RSL is one of the local venues with poker machines.
Assistant manager Ricky McNaughton defended the presence of poker machines, saying people are not forced to play them.
Theyre there as a source of entertainment, as is horse racing, bingo, etc, but those figures are never exposed to the public, he said.
Take gaming out of our venue, and probably 30 of the 40 locals we employ wouldnt be working there.
Almost all of the profits we make have to be given back into our community through donations and sponsorships.
Mr McNaughton said he has worked in gaming for 22 years.
Yes, you see some sad situations, but everyone forgets about old Mabel down the road whose family has also...


FixedIt: he was not charged with sex "IndyWatch Feed National"

The Australian reported that Ian Stuart McAlpine is on trial in the WA District Court charged with 17 offences, including rape and indecent assault, which were allegedly committed between 1988 and 1990.

McApline denies all the charges and the trial is ongoing. The court will determine his guilt or innocence but the headline in the Australian is not an accurate representation of the charges against him. He is not on trial for sex. He is on trial for alleged rape and indecent assault.

Sex and rape are not words that can be used interchangeably. Sex requires consent and where consent exists, it is not a crime. Rape and indecent assault occur when there is no consent and, if proven, are serious crimes.

Journalism is supposed to keep people informed about what is happening in their society. When it confuses sex and rape in its reporting it contributes to confusing the two words in the public mind. Words matter. They need to be used carefully and accurately at all times but particularly when it comes to allegations of crimes against children.

FixedIt is an ongoing project to push back against the medias constant erasure of violent men and blaming of innocent victims. If you would like to help fund it even $5 a month makes a big difference please consider becoming a Patron

Sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling and support.
24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 
Ph: 1800 737 732 

Suicide Call Back Service
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Ph: 1300 659 467

Kids Helpline
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Phone: 1800 55 1800

MensLine Australia
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Phone: 1300 78 99 78

Child Wise National Abuse Helpline
Mon-Fri: 9 am 5 pm
Ph: 1800 99 10 99


Protected Greater Gliders being logged! - Take Action "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

A colony of protected Greater Gliders has been found in VicForests logging coupe 892-507-0020 in the Queensborough river forest. Surveys conducted by GECO and Fauna and Flora Research Collective have documented a 'high density' of Greater Gliders triggering legal protection of the forest.


Burra Foods may expand "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

KORUMBURRA milk company Burra Foods could expand into Victorias Western District.
The company may assess whether to submit an offer to buy Murray Goulburns Koroit milk plant.
Canadian dairy company Saputo will look to sell the Koroit plant in order to obtain Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) clearance for its purchase of Murray Goulburn.
Burra Foods managing director Grant Crothers said, Im not in a position to comment regarding the commentary of others on Burras possible expansion.
We, as Im sure many others, were interested to learn of the ACCCs guidance regarding MGC Koroit. We regard it as a high quality asset with considerable processing capacity. Like other complementary assets when a sale process is run, we will consider the opportunity and decide on suitability and affordability.
The sale of Murray Goulburn will remain subject to an ordinary resolution of MGs voting shareholders, which is expected to occur at an extraordinary general meeting on Thursday, April 5.
If the ACCC has not provided clearance for the sale by April 4, MG will postpone the meeting.
Upon revision, MG has increased its estimate of the net value per share/unit which shareholders could receive as a result of the sale. The estimated net value is now $1.15 to $1.20, an increase of five cents.
As a result, the initial distribution to be paid shortly after completion of the sale has been increased by five cents to $0.80 per share/unit.
MG currently expects the sale to complete on May 1


Woman walks away from this and then milks cows "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

THE wombat came from nowhere and Patricia Ludgate could not swerve to avoid it.
The Wonthaggi woman was on her way to work when her vehicle collided with the wombat and then hit a tree on the side of the Bass Highway at Leongatha South recently.
The force of the impact crashed the side of her Nissan Pathfinder, caving in the passengers door and footwell, and leaving the bonnet buckled.
Somehow, despite suffering bruising and scratches, and vomiting from the stress of the ordeal at 4.45am, Ms Ludgate found the energy to continue on to work milking cows at a Boorool farm, after her husband Tony collected her.
The horrible thing about it was that I had four cars pass me and no-one stopped, she said.
I was standing on the side of the road, but you would have thought someone would have stopped and asked if I was okay.
Despite her vehicle spinning around 180 degrees and glass falling over her, Ms Ludgate said she felt protected.
It was like I had someones arms wrapped around me like a guardian angel, she said.
I reckon it was my late grandparents. We were always close.
Im grateful to still be alive considering it could have been a lot worse.
Ms Ludgate urged motorists to watch for wildlife on the roads, particularly near where her accident occurred, not far from Zotti and Dowels Road. Nearby bush provides habitat for wombats, wallabies, kangaroos and koalas.
Just take it easy. I was not speeding when the accident happened. I just see a lot of people speeding past me because theyre in a hurry, she said.
I see so much stupid driving.



Risky Business #490 -- North Korea, "cyber norms" and diplomacy "IndyWatch Feed National"

On this weeks show were taking a look at how an acceleration in 24-carat bonkers state-sponsored hacking is leading to calls at senior levels of government for some actual norms to be established. Weve got Russia hacking the planet with NotPetya, North Korea owning central banks and cryptocurrency exchanges, China owning the CCleaner supply chain and well.. its all getting a bit much.

So in this weeks feature segment were going to zero in on one norm-breaking country, North Korea. Well hear from John Hultquist of FireEye and Adam Meyers of Crowdstrike on that.

As youll hear, countries like North Korea are pushing the limits of what they can get away with on the Internet and friendlier states are desperately trying to establish what the boundaries for good faith actors should actually be. Well hear from Australias cyber ambassador Tobias Feakin on that part of the discussion, courtesy of some audio gifted to the Risky Business podcast by Australian journalist James Riley. Thats a fun package and its coming up after the news.

This weeks sponsor interview is with Zane Lackey of Signal Sciences. Zane joins us to talk about a few things how developer teams are increasingly making their own security decisions and how thats actually a good thing well also talk about companies that have found themselves operating on multiple cloud platforms even though they didnt plan for it.

Adam Boileau, as usual, is this weeks news guest.

We cover:

  • The AMD bugs
  • Chinas tightening grip on security research
  • Slingshot APT
  • Christopher Wrays mind bogglingly daffy comments on key escrow

The show notes/links are below, and you can follow Adam or Patrick on Twitter if thats your thing.

Australia: ASEAN Summit Should Promote Rights "IndyWatch Feed National"

Expand Southeast Asian leaders pose for a picture with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during the ASEAN-Australia Biennial Summit in Vientiane, Laos, September 7, 2016.  2016 Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images (Sydney) Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull should make human rights a central and public focus of the upcoming summit with [...]


New RSL complex still on the table "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

THE prospect of a new RSL complex for Leongatha is still on the table.
That is the message from the new Leongatha sub-branch president, Ken Wanklyn.
The former Navy commander, and now Korumburra resident, was elected to the top job at the RSLs annual general meeting last Wednesday, after previously serving as secretary.
Last year, the Leongatha RSL flagged the possibility of building a new RSL on the corner of Smith Street and Michael Place in Leongatha. The new complex was to include a restaurant, accommodation, function centre and on-site parking.
The RSL proposed to buy the former Carinos office complex now owned by South Gippsland Shire Council and sell the existing RSL site in Michael Place to council.
But the RSL withdrew its proposal in October 2017, despite the RSL and council entering into a Memorandum of Understanding to start talks about a land swap earlier that year.
The Star understands the Leongatha RSL withdrew its proposal after the complex did not receive unanimous support from the RSL committee. The project could require the community to raise many millions of dollars.
Mr Wanklyn said the RSL board wished to revisit the project and consider whether it was indeed affordable.
There is a lot more work to do on the development, he said.
We always want to contribute to enhancing these premises for the membership of the sub-branch by way of improving what we have got and then in the longer term, down the track, depending on how our finances pan out, there is scope on doing further work.
In the mean time, Mr Wanklyn said the sub-branch is looking forward to turning 100 on January 3, 2019 and holding a commemorative event worthy of the occasion.
We want to get the community involved with it because the RSL is a significant part of Leongathas history and the area, he said.
Mr Wanklyn is adamant the sub-branch will continue to service veterans through its veterans resource hub by providing a drop-in centre with social facilities and assistance with veterans affairs claims.
He wants to reach out to younger veterans, those who served in such conflicts as Iraq and Afghanistan, to help them adjust to civilian life and enjoy a social link with the community.
His own military experience in the Middle East gave him an empathy for the sort of stress other veterans experience.
Mr Wanklyn also wants to increase the sub-branchs membership by making the community more aware of the sub-branchs activities.
He was formerly secretary of the Leongatha RSL and served in the Royal Australian Navy, as a sailor, in operational logistics and then commander. He served in the first Gulf War as officer in charge of the logistics support element in the Middle East.
Other members of the new Leongatha RSL committee are secretary John Schelling, treasurer Mark Carruthers, senior v...


MACKAY Trafficking accused free on bail "IndyWatch Feed National"

MACKAY March 14, 2018 at 03:03AM ,

Trafficking accused free on bail

March 14, 2018 at 03:03AM ,

A MAGISTRATE has described drug trafficking allegations levelled against a Mackay man revolving around drugs discovered in a bin as circumstantial at best. Christopher James Duval, 43, was released on bail on Monday after facing Mackay Magistrates Court by videolink from prison. Duval, who

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Catalan stalemate continues as both sides eyeball each other "IndyWatch Feed National"

Contributed by Joe Montero

The ongoing face-off between the Catalan Government re-elected last October and Madrid entered a new phase by the end of last week.

The leader of the victorious pro-independence parties, Carles Puigdemont, remains in exile and would be arrested if he returns. This means that his re-election as the Catalan President has been effectively blocked. Puigdemont backed off last Monday week, in favour  of Jordi Sanchez, who is the former leader of the grass roots organisation called the Assemblea Nacional Catalana (Catalan National Assembly). The Catalan parliament has agreed.

Puigdemont said he was provisionally stepping aside. It means while bowing to the inability to set foot in Spain for now, he is leaving a door open for a future return.

Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images: Carles Puigdemont

At the hands of the pro-Madrid Supreme Court, Sanchez has been remanded in custody for five months without bail, and faces being charged with rebellion and sedition. A consequence of the imprisonment is being prevented from turning up at the Catalan parliament to vote and be voted for and sworn in.

The grounds given by Judge Pablo Llarena for blocking Sanchez were, that although he might have the rights to be released, vote, be voted for and inaugurated, it is legitimate to withdraw these rights, if there is a risk that he would re-offend.  The judge ruled that such a risk exists.

Photo from Simfalogic.News: Jordi Sanchez

Another Spanish court sentenced two young Catlans to 15 months in prison for burning a photograph of King Juan Carlos I and his wife S...


Top class "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

SOUTH Gippsland schools have hit the mark with some exceptional outcomes from the newly released 2017 NAPLAN results.

And one of the big improvers is St Laurences Primary School in Leongatha.

St Laurence OToole Primary School was recognised by the Australian Curriculum Reporting and Assessment Authority as one of the highest performing schools based on the students growth of improvement. The Grade 5 students who sat the test in 2017 achieved higher scores in reading than when they sat the test in Grade 3.

The 2017 Grade 3 students also performed well in reading, with an above average core score.

School principal Kate Dourley said reading had been a key focus for the school for the past three years, and it had met its objectives.

Grammar and punctuation was identified as an area for improvement. Ms Dourley said the school would continue to focus on their reading, which would springboard the students into learning to write about books, and use grammar and punctuation effectively.

The children at St Laurences Primary School said they found some of the questions on the NAPLAN test challenging, but felt confident in the practice they had done in school, as well as the extracurricular reading they had done at home.

NAPLAN results, released last Wednesday, revealed impressive literacy and numeracy outcomes in many local schools.

Primary schools across Bass Coast and South Gippsland have produced particularly high scores in reading and writing.

St Laurence OToole Primary School in Leongatha and Wonthaggi Primary School returned above average scores in reading, which Tarwin Lower Primary School achieved substantially above average scores in reading for the third consecutive year.

Korumburra and Wonthaggi primary schools each performed well in reading.

The secondary colleges delivered average scores across the board, suggesting students are on track as they prepare for their VCE years.

Korumburra Primary School experienced exceptional growth in 2016. The Grade 3 students hit the above average mark in writing, and the Grade 5 students had impressive results in reading, grammar and numeracy.

In 2017, the Grade 5 students maintained those high results with above average scores in writing, grammar and numeracy.

Wonthaggi Primary School achieved exceptional results with Grade 3 students producing a substantially above average score in grammar.

The Grade 3 students were above average across the board, while the Grade 5 students recorded above average scores in reading and grammar.

These results were similar to those the school received in 2016.

Wonthaggi Primary S...


F1 legend suffered a severe head injury and was left in a coma,updates from Schumacher very scarce for 4 years "IndyWatch Feed National"

Formula 1 legend driver Michael Schumacher suffered life-threatening injuries following a ski accident in the French Alps over four years ago.

The motor sport icon was left in a coma after sustaining a severe head injury in the incident four years ago on December 29, 2013.

Earlier this year, a Hamburg court ruled German outlet Bunte must pay Schumacher 50,000 for false claims that he could walk again two years after the accident.


Koala park forest blockade forcibly ended "IndyWatch Feed National"

Greens MP Dawn Walker at the Sunny Corner logging bloackade, near Bellingen. Photo NSW Greens

The Greens and conservation groups have condemned the forcible ending of a forest blockade in a high-use koala area near Bellingen after 30 days of sit-ins and lock-ons prevented the removal of old-growth logs.

The Sunny Corner blockade had been in operation for nearly five weeks and had successfully prevented large logging machinery gaining access to high-value koala habitat in Gladstone State Forest.

Gladstone is contained within the proposed Great Koala National Park, and the blockade was triggered by the finding of hundreds of koala scats in 2017 highlighting the importance of the area for koalas.

National Parks Association CEO, Alix Goodwin said, the need for the Great Koala National Park was now self-evident.

How would we react if the Ugandan Government logged gorilla habitat, or the Chinese Government logged panda habitat? Yet, for some reason, the NSW government appears to be indifferent to logging koala habitat.

There is something wrong when a country like Australia allows logging to occur in an area of forest that has been clearly demonstrated to be occupied by koalas, Ms Goodwin said.

How would we react if the Ugandan Government logged gorilla habitat, or the Chinese Government logged panda habitat?

Yet, for some reason, the NSW government appears to be indifferent to logging koala habitat, despite koala populations in northern NSW plummeting over the last 20 years.

It is a national shame that the commonwealth koala conservation strategy lapsed in 2014, and were still waiting for the NSW koala strategy after the NSW recovery plan lapsed in 2013, Ms Goodwin said.


Tarneen Onus-Williams: I was inspired by young blackfullas making media for black audiences "IndyWatch Feed National"

Share this Post I often think about what made me political. Of course my family had a huge influence. My nan Sandra Onus and my mum Tracey Onus would always take me to rallies or protests. I remember when I was 19, I went with my mum and aunties and jumped in the car and we drove to Ngunnawal country ...


The Strange Case of the Alleged Russian Spy, Sergei Skripal "IndyWatch Feed National"

Sergei Skripal (L) In custody in Russia, and (R) surveillance footage in Salisbury

By James ONeill*

The suspected nerve agent attack upon a Russian former intelligence officer, Sergei Skripal, which also affected his daughter in the English city of Salisbury last Sunday has given rise to much speculation, too much hysteria, and too little analysis or insight. It has provided ammunition for the rabidly Russophobic

Western media to make thinly veiled accusations that it was another example of Russia in general and Pu...


On The Brink: When Will The Destruction Of Gaza Matter? "IndyWatch Feed National"

After years of sustained assault by Israel, predictions that Gaza could be unliveable by 2020 could prove to be wrong. The fragile region may collapse even earlier. Michael Brull explains.

The media in Western countries regularly address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and politicians are more likely to engage with it than many other conflicts around the world. Discussions within the mainstream typically operate within certain types of lines. On the right, and parts of the centre left, one finds uncritical support for the Israeli government.

At the ALP extreme left of the mainstream discussion, one will find arguments like recognising settlements as contrary to international law, or recognising the state of Palestine. There is a simple way to test whether public debate is based purely on the facts, or limited by other factors, by considering Gaza.

Many of us have argued for many years that the Israeli siege on Gaza begun in 2006, with the election of Hamas, and tightened in 2007 has been cruel, and its predictable result was to devastate the Gazan economy, and make life awful for the people of Gaza.

UK Minister of State for International Development, Alan Duncan MP, visits Gaza, 10th December 2012. He is the first British minister to visit Gaza since the ceasefire entered into force on 21 November. (IMAGE: UNRWA/Shareef Sarhan, Flickr).

This result was more or less predicted and documented by numerous NGOs (Oxfam, Amnesty, Red Cross etc), the United Nations, human rights specialists, academics, activists, Israeli organisations (BTselem, Gisha) and so on.

In 2008, a former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights observed that, Their whole civilisation has been destroyed, Im not exaggerati...


Premiere: DEN break their silence with Into The Ether "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Photo by Jazmine Brooking

Sydney genre-bending, post-punk outfit DEN have just unveiled their sinister new single Into The Ether, premiered on Up For It with Ruby Miles this morning.

Much unlike their collective sound, Michael Grossman, Tomas Nunez, Michael Hassett and Greta Balog (Greta Now) have been rather quiet since the release of DENs debut album DEN C/S in 2016. Having spent last year regrouping and working on new sounds, theyre back with the gnashing, industrial clatter of album number two well on its way.

Exploring black metal, post punk and goth on Into The Ether, DEN have given us a serious taste of whats to come. Due out in a few months time on 12 vinyl, the entirety of new album Deep Cell was written in a WWII bunker outside Sydney. Pretty fitting, really.

Get Into The Ether below, featuring cover artwork by Serwah Gyekyewah (Dispossessed, Nasho).



Into The Ether by DEN is out now via Paradise Daily Records.


The post Premiere: DEN break their silence with Into The Ether appeared first on FBi Radio.


No Joke: Capitalism, Australian Identity and The Threat to Unity "IndyWatch Feed National"

Each year, Australia Day ushers in the political calendar. And each year, the polity is more divided. A lot of people seem to feel left out of the party. And it isnt only Indigenous Australians, writes Mike Dowson.

A Barkindji man, from Darling River country in western New South Wales, once told me a joke.

In this joke, a truckie is driving a road train through outback Australia. Squinting through the heat haze, he notices a shape beside the road ahead. As the truck approaches, the shape becomes a man, and the driver recognises a priest. The giant rig groans to a halt, the passenger door swings open and the priest climbs aboard.

The two drive on in silence through the baked expanse, mechanically cocooned, retreating into private worlds.

After a time, the truckie notices another shape beside the road ahead. As the truck approaches, he makes out an Aboriginal man.

His hands tighten on the wheel as he prepares to steer onto the road verge and collide with the Aboriginal man. At the last minute, he remembers the reverend sitting beside him in the cab. With a violent thrust, through a cloud of red dust, he swings the rig back onto the tarmac.

Turning to the reverend, he says: Struth, that was close.

Too right, says the priest. If I adnt opened me door, we wouldve missed im altogether.

Having delivered this punchline, Mick tipped his head back and roared with laughter. My face was frozen in a weird grimace. Why had my friend told me this joke? Why was he laughing so hard? And what was the right response?

Indigenous Australians seem to be quite clear-eyed about the world they live in. Bruce Pascoes scholarly work, Dark Emu, shows this was true before European settlement, evinced by sophisticated custodianship of variable natural resources. And I think its evident in Aboriginal peoples circumspection of the dominant settler culture today.

Renowned Aboriginal author, Bruce Pascoe.

The same cannot be said of that settler culture. Through its organs in politics and the media, the mostly white establishment operates a factory of self-delusion.

Its in the toothpaste smiles of talk show panellists, the confected outrage of the shock jocks, the glib assertions of politicians...


Support brave people standing up to stop Adani "IndyWatch Feed National"

Contributed by Ben Wilson

Australia does not want the Adani Carmichael mine in Queensland to go ahead. This has been made clear. But too many of Australias politicians keep on being mesmerised. At best,  by the promises of big money made by the tycoon. At worst, by the murky waters of corruption.

The Coalition parties (and far from all their traditional supporters) support Adani. Unfortunately, the Queensland Labor government has also been up to its neck in it.

But thanks to the large body of campaigners, determined to keep on going for the long haul, the issue has been  brought into public consciousness and  the opinion of Australia has turned. Consequently, Adani and his supporters have been isolated and pushed into a corner. They are desperately looking for a way to turn this around and resurrect the prospects for the Carmichael mine

The standoff has led to a body of Adani opponents facing court cases.

This is why Frontline Action on Coal and #StopAdani have come in to support those facing charges.

Legal means have been adotpted as a major weapon by the others side.

As they say, people from all walks of life and hundreds of groups continue to take action every week and have managed to hold back this carbon bomb for years. This has involved individuals putting their bodies on the line, in peaceful acts of civil disobedience.

A campaign is underway to raise enough money to pay for legal costs. Mounting a serious defence for those charged is an important part of the battle to stop Adani. There is also the possibility that the scene could be set for private companies to sue organisations and individuals, if these charges stick.

This is therefore a critical moment to consolidate and encourage further involvement by those who agree that Adani must be stopped.

One way to answer the call is to join and become active in a local group dedicated to the campaign. Another is to  donate money for the legal defence.






The post Support brave people standing up to stop Adani appeared first on The Pen.


PM using pensioners as shield: Shorten "IndyWatch Feed National"

ALP leader Bill Shorten. Photo AAP

CANBERRA, AAP Bill Shorten has accused Malcolm Turnbull of using pensioners as a human shield as the major parties battle it out over a tax loophole for investors.

The opposition leader is trying to sell his decision to overhaul the franking credits system, which his colleague Chris Bowen has admitted will impact more than 200,000 pensioners.

The original scheme was introduced under Paul Keating to make sure company profits arent taxed twice once with corporate tax and again via personal income tax.

But changes under John Howard in 2000 allowed investors to get a cash refund from the government if their tax imputation was more than the tax they owed.

Labor will abolish the refunds if elected.

We cant afford to pay out $8 billion of taxpayer money for mums and dads to people who pay no income tax, Mr Shorten told the Nine Network on Wednesday.

Ive got to choose hospitals and schools and aged-care facilities over paying people refunds for income they havent paid.

Treasurer Scott Morrison has lashed the proposal, describing it as Mr Shortens latest tax smack.

He rejected the suggestion such investors are asset rich, arguing it is a cruel con by the opposition.

Were focused on what people have to live on, he told Sky News.

But Mr Shorten hit back insisting he is choosing the battler over the top end of town.

Mr Turnbull is using a few pensioners as human shields to justify feather bedding the very rich who are getting a tax loophole which is simply unsustainable, he said.

Former Treasurer Peter Costello insists the Labor Partys plan will not affect high-income earners but rather those on low incomes.

If Mr Shortens proposal goes through, their tax refund will be taken by the government, he told News Corp.

This will affect millions of retirees, age-pensioners and part-pensioners. This is a tax rise for them.

Labors latest announcement is part of a suite of measures in the lead-up to the next election, including a linked plan to give businesses an instant $20,000 as...


FLASHBACK: Meet Gabriele Kuby: The sociologist exposing the Western-led 'gender agenda' "IndyWatch Feed National"

On 14 October last year, a play called FEAR premiered in Berlin. The play, written and directed by Falk Richter, centres around five "zombies", who are five pro-family women known to Germans for their public rejection of gender ideology. The "actors" poke out the zombies' eyes, and at one point a character says "to shoot them in the brain, as only then will they be really dead". The curtains close to loud applause. Not surprisingly, life soon imitated art and there were arson attacks on two of the women. One, Hedwig von Beverfoerde had her van firebombed, the fire spreading to the headquarters of her family business, destroying it. One of the five is Gabriele Kuby, German sociologist, writer and mother of three. She is author of the book The Global Sexual Revolution: Destruction of Freedom in the Name of Freedom, published in English translation in 2015. She visited Australia in October, sponsored by Parousia Media, to warn of the dangers of gender-ideology and legalisation of same-sex marriage.


March 14 On This Day in Australian History "IndyWatch Feed National"

1805 -  Bennelong and Nanbarry each spear the Cow Pastures (Camden) leader Cogy in a revenge battle on the road between Prospect and Parramatta. For three weeks, Cogy walked about with a spear shaft sticking out of his body.

1831 - Surprise! No, really... Surprise, the first paddle steamer knocked together by the chippies in Sydney, was launched.

1836 - Charlie Darwin took his bat and ball and left our shores when HMS Beagle set sail for the horizon.

1863 - The grand town of Goulburn went from lovely provincial village to lovely but oldest provincial city today when a wand was waved above it (via Royal Letters Patent creating the Anglican See).

1869 - The 3rd Maori War ended when Titokowaru was defeated.

1883 -  Today was to be a gala day for the people of Aldgate as the official opening of the first section of the railway line to Nairne was to take place.

1888 - Queen's College, of Melbourne University, was officially opened with 18 students.

1894 - Columbian tightrope walker Juan Caicedo made his first appearance in Adelaide fresh from his triumphs in Melbourne and Sydney

1899 - The first narrow gauge railway line openedwas from  Wangaratta-Whitfield (Vic).

1905 - The Odontological Society of Queensland was such a wilde and crazy bunch of bods that they officially formed  The Odontological Society of Queensland on this day.
 The objectives of the Society were to be the promotion of good fellowship and the advancement of the dental profession generally.
With much flossing in between times.

1908 - From flood prone Pinkenba Police Station Constable James Reville wrote on this day;
I made a mounted patrol (on police horse Bismark) throughout the division to ascertain if any of the residents were in danger from the flood waters or needed assistance. Although Pinkenba, the Serpentine Country and portion of Eagle Farm presented the appearance of a huge lake, the residents were not in any actual danger as owing to the flat level nature of the country, the water broke over the Pinkenba flats into the Brisbane River and over the Myrtle Town flats into the bay when it had reached an average height of 20 inches in Pinkenba township

1912 - Geelong was dragged into the arcky-sparky age when electric trams began whizzing about her streets.

1919 - The Register (a South Oz fish wrapper by any other name) carried an article regaling readers about the Aboriginal peoples of the North with a great many claims by a Protector of Aborigines who planned to turn these tales into a healthy bank account via book sales.

1932 - A completely frivolous piece of garden equipment was unveiled by the Mayor of Sydney in Hyde Park when the Archibald Fountain, donated...


Jordan Peterson: Fellow traveller in the search for meaning "IndyWatch Feed National"

I want to start by saying: if you don't have a ticket to see Jordan Peterson while he's in Australia, run and get one. Beg, borrow and steal to get one. Except you can't. Peterson arrived in Australia this week for what, to their dismay, local organisers - a small company, True Arrow Events - immediately recognised is a too-short series of lectures in too-small theatres, on too few dates. He is sold out everywhere. People can't get enough of the 55-year-old psychologist. So, what will you be missing?


Jordan Peterson: Hate speech will be policed by 'last people in the world you would want to' "IndyWatch Feed National"

He's a "rock-star" psychologist and author with an almost religious following on YouTube - and he has a blunt message for young people. Depending on who you ask, Professor Jordan B. Peterson is either the most influential public intellectual in the western world at the moment, or an "alt-right" figurehead who peddles "pseudo-facts" and conspiracy theories. But there's no denying that the Canadian clinical psychologist and author, currently in Australia for a sold-out lecture series in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to promote his best-selling book 12 Rules for Life, has struck a nerve.

Jordan Peterson: Hate speech will be policed by 'last people in the world you would want' "IndyWatch Feed National"

He's a "rock-star" psychologist and author with an almost religious following on YouTube - and he has a blunt message for young people. Depending on who you ask, Professor Jordan B. Peterson is either the most influential public intellectual in the western world at the moment, or an "alt-right" figurehead who peddles "pseudo-facts" and conspiracy theories. But there's no denying that the Canadian clinical psychologist and author, currently in Australia for a sold-out lecture series in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to promote his best-selling book 12 Rules for Life, has struck a nerve.


Damnthematrix is ten years old.. "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Ive been so busy preparing for the momentous house slab pouring next Saturday, that the also momentous tenth anniversary of this humble blog passed almost un-noticed. And that would be a shame really.

In February 2008, I started Damthematrix with an opening salvo I had published in our local rag back in Cooran. It contained this graphic:

Anyone following this blog will instantly know what it means, and nothing has changed. Mind you, nothing has happened either. Back then, I was thoroughly convinced that by now the world would be a very different place, and it is, just not the kind of different I then believed in.

Of course, my own personal situation is entirely different. I can tell you that ten years ago, me living in Tasmania was not on the radar. The Hinterland Voice is long gone, its editor now lives in England. But while I was predicting collapse would have started by now, the powers that be have gone to lengths I could neve have predicted back then to paper over all the cracks, making them almost invisible to most people, especially if they read mainstream media.

I was basically asked in a recent comment why do I bother? To be honest, I also ask myself this question. Ten years ago, I had zero followers; at last count, I have 754. Have I even changed 754 peoples attitudes? Does it make any difference if I have? Does anything make a difference? In a recent podcast, I heard John Michael Greer rightfully boast that when he closed The Archdruid Report, he had a readership of close to a third of a million. Did that make a difference? In 2014, Chris Martensons Peak Prosperity website had 10,000 twitter followers. Does he make a difference?

Is blogging about making any difference?



Adelaide tightening "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Vacancies down in February

Something I've been flagging for a little while, Adelaide's vacancy rate is steadily tightening, now down to 1.4 per cent in February 2018, according to SQM Research's latest figures. 

Vacancy rates ticked down in Brisbane, Perth, and Canberra during the month, as seasonally higher January vacancies were filled. 

Sydney's vacancy rate was flat over the month at 2.3 per cent, but notably higher than the 1.8 per cent seen a year earlier, as a high number of apartment completions hits the market.

Melbourne's rapid population growth continues to overwhelm near-record levels of construction, with the vacancy rate dropping from 1.8 per cent to just 1.4 per cent in February.

Asking rents jumped accordingly in Melbourne.

Although Hobart's vacancy rate ticked higher to 0.5 per cent, it remains by some margin the tightest rental market for now, and here too median asking rents were seen to be rising. 

Canberra's rental market is also tight, with a vacancy rate of just 0.8 per cent recorded in the month, as workers returned to the nation's capital. 

Smoothing the figures on a 6mMA basis, although not accounting for the Christmas seasonal impacts, gives an interesting picture of the trends by capital city through this record construction boom. 

Nationally there were 69,727 vacancies, well down from 78,029 a year earlier.

You can find SQM Research's more detailed commentary...


Solving America's Homeless Crisis "IndyWatch Feed National"

I was over at Bayou Renaissance Man's blog, reading about New York City dumping their detritus on other towns in up-state New York. They offer one year 'free' rent to bums if they leave town and live somewhere else.

Let's face it, the police move the homeless from place to place more informally. They do things like suggest that the food is better or the town is more welcoming on the other side of the tracks.

Many years ago, the Los Angeles Police Department used to offer a one way bus ticket to Austin, Texas or Detroit, Michigan. The drunken bum would be ushered into the back of the Greyhound and would sleep his way to Albuquerque, where he might get off - or take the ride all the way. Illegal? No. And at the time, nobody complained.

Times have changed.

It is time to change the national dialog and to round up all homeless and ship them (may be cheaper by ship) to California, land of opportunity, the Golden State, where are they are wanted, where they will get single payer healthcare, where they will get MORE welfare benefits than in any other state.

I'm not suggesting that we should turn California into a penal colony - but a homeless colony? Yes. The difference is that California wants them (the shiftless, the insane, the chronically stupid) to vote Democrat and will use their station in life to force the matter as they do now by only offering them Democrat Party voter registration. In fact, I'm sure that they'd register them before the ship barfed up its human cargo on the San Francisco shore where the climate is really good. They...


OPINION: Be proud you survived it "IndyWatch Feed National"

OPINION: As more people publicly disclose accounts of child sexual abuse through the media, how does that affect adult survivors who may relive their own traumas, wonders True Crime News Weekly correspondent and child abuse survivor, Gary Johnston [READ MORE]


Journalism and Climate Change "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

In the 1930s a young Wilfred Burchett was clearing scrub on the family farm at Poowong. He went on to become one of Australias most controversial and well known journalists and commentators. He rose to fame with the journalist scoop of the twentieth century in Japan at the end of World War II. Whilst every other war journalist in Japan went with the flow and attended the signing of the peace treaty on USS Missouri, Burchett went against the flow deciding that the real news story was elsewhere.

Following his hunch he made a difficult and dangerous journey to Hiroshima and was the first journalist to witness the destruction of a city caused by a single bomb. Newspaper headlines flashed around the world; everyone who could read now knew about the Atomic bomb and the insidious radiation sickness that followed in its wake.

Like the nuclear age that burst on an unsuspecting world, man-made climate change is in a similar, but different, position in the world of news. It can be seen like that well-worn clich as the elephant in the room. Paradoxically climate change is well known but little understood. Vested interests have successfully muddied the waters and distorted the science. People in Gippsland generally, and some journalists, have accepted the distortion that our current climate change is natural and that therefore nothing can be done about it. The priority for the local media becomes the road accident at Briagolong or a drug bust in Mirboo North.

Many journalists and commentators still confuse weather and climate. From Alan Jones down some crow their disbelief every time there is a massive snow storm in the eastern USA (forgetting of course the record hot temperatures in the Arctic) or when there is a record frost in Bairnsdale. Normal weather patterns dictate that there will be both hot and cold records but not in a ratio of six hot ones to every cold. It is also becoming clearer over time that global warming is influencing all weather in many ways from warmer winters to longer fire seasons.

Amongst current mainstream media journalists working on climate Peter Hannam of the Sydney Morning Herald is a standout. Others such as Tristan Edis of News Corp lost his position some time ago as his work was continuously running counter to the political thrust of his organisation. The campaign of opposition, distortion and misinformation emanating from News Corp, the major print media organisation in Australia, is bordering on criminal. The Guardian by comparison is light years ahea...


"Butterflies..." "IndyWatch Feed National"

"I think humans might be like butterflies; people die every day without many other people knowing about them, seeing their colors, hearing their stories... and when humans are broken, they're like broken butterfly wings; suddenly there are so many beauties that are seen in different ways, so many thoughts and visions and possibilities that form, which couldn't form when the person wasn't broken! So it is not a very sad thing to be broken, after all! It's during the times of being broken, that you have all the opportunities to become things unforgettable! Just like the broken butterfly wing that I found, which has given me so many thoughts, in so many ways, has shown me so many words, and imaginations! But butterflies need to know, that it doesn't matter at all if the whole world saw their colors or not! But what matters is that they flew, they glided, they hovered, they saw, they felt, and they knew! And they loved the ones whom they flew with! And that is an existence worthwhile!"
- C. JoyBell C.


CIA agents who were 'on the ground' prior to invading Iraq, knew it was going to be a disaster "IndyWatch Feed National"

Months before war was declared, a covert team of CIA paramilitaries and Green Berets slipped unnoticed into northern Iraq. They surveyed the battlespace, struck a deal with the enemy - and foresaw the disaster to come. On March 20, America will be celebrating - if that's the right word for it - the 15th anniversary of our invasion of Iraq, one of the most well-executed projections of U.S. military might in history. Despite fears that we were underestimating Saddam Hussein's capabilities (not to mention an elaborate $250 million dress rehearsal during which the team playing the enemy quickly decimated the U.S. fleet), a coalition including American, British, Australian and Polish armed forces managed to seize control of the country within a mere 21 days, with relatively few casualties on either side. Leaving aside the difficulties presented by the subsequent occupation, Operation Iraqi Freedom was an impressive feat of war fighting, arguably every bit the "cakewalk" that one widely mocked column predicted it would be. But while military textbooks attribute the campaign's success to careful planning and coordination, an ability to improvise, superior personnel, air supremacy, and the deployment of overwhelming force, less commonly acknowledged is the role of a minuscule advance team made up of CIA special activities division forces and special forces operators, who spent nine full months in Iraq before the Tomahawks started flying, carefully preparing the battle space. Meanwhile, they also got a preview of the U.S. military's misguided view of the Iraqi Army, which would later lead to the undoing of so much good work.


Australian Mining Company defends Eritrea at the UN "IndyWatch Feed National"

As the United Nations debates Eritreas troubled human rights record, an Australian mining company has taken the extraordinary step of appearing with the Eritrean regime to help it defend its actions.

Western Australian Danakali Resources runs a potash mine in partnership with the Eritrea government. Its Chairman, Seamus Cornelius, spoke at the event Demystifying Eritrea: The Ground Reality, Mining and Human Rights, along with a representative from Canadian miner Nevsun Resources.

Eritreas human rights record has come under constant criticism at the UN, with a 2016 Inquiry finding the regime responsible for widespread and systematic crimes against humanity.

Keren Adams, a Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, said given Eritreas notoriety, it was deeply concerning that an Australian company would seek to promote its record in this way.

Eritreas human rights record has come under consistent criticism at the United Nations. Eritrea is known as the North Korea of Africa. An estimated 5,000 refugees flee the countrys repressive policies every month. In these circumstances, for an Australian company to participate in a staged public relations exercise for the Eritrean Government is staggering.

Eritrea is particularly notorious for its widespread use of forced labour through its indefinite military conscription program. In 2014, a lawsuit was brought in Canada against Nevsun by three Eritrean refugees who allege they were forced to work in slave-like conditions at Nevsuns Bisha mine.

Danakali denies that it has ever relied on forced labour, yet when pressed as to its control over labour standards at the project, Mr Cornelius was unable to rule out that it could be an issue in future, saying, I cant guarantee it will never happen. Mr Cornelius also admitted that the company had not conducted any form of human rights risk assessment on the project.

Ms Adams said that irrespective of whether Danakali was directly profiting from forced labour, the companys partnership with the Eritrean government and its failure to ask questions about the consequences of that relationship risked making it complicit in the regimes human rights abuses.

It is unacceptable that an Australian company will not guarantee that people wont be forced into labour to in...


Australia's untapped 'solar superpower' potential "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Australia is one of the sunniest and windiest places on earth; it should waste no time escaping the "death spiral" of coal and instead becoming a global renewable energy superstar, said experts at a recent conference in Sydney.

Tuesday, 13 March


Australia to stress international law in South China Sea dispute "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will on Tuesday hail the role of international law in settling regional conflicts, comments apparently aimed at bolstering Australian efforts to build a coalition against Chinese assertiveness.

Image may contain: 1 person

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop talks during a news conference with Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto (not pictured) in Budapest, Hungary, February 22, 2018. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo


SYDNEY: Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will on Tuesday hail the role of international law in settling regional conflicts, comments apparently aimed at bolstering Australian efforts to build a coalition against Chinese assertiveness.

Bishop, in a speech ahead of a special meeting of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Sydney, will not name China but will argue that international law will stabilise a region strained by rival claims in the South China Sea.

The rules-based order is designed to regulate behaviour and rivalries of and between states, and ensure countries compete fairly and in a way that does not threaten others or destabilise their region or the world, Bishop will say in Sydney, according to a leaked draft of the speech seen by the Australian Financial Review.

It places limitations on the extent to which countries use their economic or military power to impose unfair agreements on less powerful nations.

China claims most of the South China Sea, an important trade route which is believed to contain large quantities of oil and natural gas, and has been building artificial islands on reefs, some with ports and air strips.

Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, all of which are members of ASEAN, and Taiwan also have claims in the sea.

Australia, a staunch U.S. ally with no claim to the South China Sea, has long maintained its neutrality on the dispute to protect economic relationship with China.

But with Australias relations with China souring in recent months, Bishops comment underscore a new Australian tactic.

Australia is trying to get ASEAN on side with the notion that China is a rule-breaker that everyone would be better served by abiding by, said Nick Bisley, profe...


Fluoridated Australia "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

School's and childcare centres are implementing tooth brushing lessons in New South Wales schools Supervised tooth brushing lessons to run in schools to show parents and children how to scrub their teeth because of increasing levels of decay
The supervised tooth brushing lessons will run in New South Wales schools
Lessons will show parents and children how to brush their teeth properly
For regions that are at high-risk of dental disease or don't have fluoridated water
By Greta Levy For Daily Mail Australia

Schools will run supervised tooth brushing classes to battle high levels of tooth decay in New South Wales.
The state's health department has announced their first action to help areas that are without fluoride.
School's and childcare centres will run supervised lessons in a push to reduce tooth decay. School's and childcare centres are implementing tooth brushing lessons in New South Wales schools +2
School's and childcare centres are implementing tooth brushing lessons in New South Wales schools

Regions that are at a high risk of dental disease or don't have access to fluoridated water will run the programs aimed at introducing oral health care into their daily routine.The programs will target high-risk groups such as rural and remote communities, Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders and low income earners.
Fluoride toothpaste and toothbrushes will be handed out to the areas and teachers will be trained in the correct way to brush teeth.
School's can also host fluoride mouth-rinse programs.



VWs using more diesel, failing pollution tests after recalls: study "IndyWatch Feed National"

Volkswagen vehicles recalled and fixed after the worldwide "dieselgate" emissions cheating scandal are using more fuel and still failing pollution tests, according to a study by Australia's peak motoring body released Monday.

National Geographic has acknowledged its 'appalling' racist coverage of people of colour, including Indigenous Australians, in the past. "IndyWatch Feed National"

"For decades, our coverage was racist" reads the forthright headline for National Geographic as the iconic magazine looks back at its coverage of people of colour.


Jet are hitting the road for the 15th anniversary of Get Born "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Cast your mind back to 2003 for a moment. Brisbanes Festival Hall closed its doors, Powderfinger and Delta Goodrem won big at the ARIA Awards, and Jet released their landmark debut albumGet Born. Now, 15 years later, the group are hitting the road to celebrate the records anniversary.

Yes, this September marks 15 years since Jet unleashed the garage-rock majesty of Get Born upon us, instantly sending Jet into superstardom across the board. In addition to the album scoring the group chart placings around the world and six ARIA awards, lead single Are You Gonna Be My Girl served as the soundtrack to an iPod commercial and topped the 2003 Hottest 100.

Now, the group are set to embark on a national tour which will see them playing the album in full, as well as a few of their other beloved hits as well. Kicks off at the end of May, Jet will hit up Newcastle, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, and Adelaide before a homecoming show at Melbournes Forum Theatre on June 11th.

In celebration of the tour, Jet are also releasing a brand new live album to give fans a reminder of what to expect on these shows. Titled Live At The Forum, the album captures a ferocious set from the group back in 2004 which has just sat in the vaults for all these years.

Click here to pre-order a copy of Live At The Forum, and head along to Live Nation for ticketing details in regards to Jets Get Re-Born tour.

Check out Jets Are You Gonna Be My Girl:

Jet Get Re-Born Tour 2018

Tuesday, May 29th
NEX, Newcastle, NSW (18+)

Thursday, May 31st
Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW (18+)

Saturday, June 2nd
UC Refectory, Canberra, ACT (18+)

Monday, June 4th
The Tivoli, Brisbane, QLD (18+)

Thursday, June 7th
Metro City, Perth, WA (18+)

Saturday, June 9th
Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA (18+)

Monday, June 11th...


A slew of Aussie up-and-comers have joined the Bluesfest sideshows "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Were really only a matter of days away from Bluesfest now, folks, which means that were even closer to a number of sideshows for some of the festivals biggest acts. Now, weve discovered the local musos who will be serving as the support acts for these stunning shows.

Just a month ago we reported on who will be opening the show for a number of the upcoming sideshows, with acts such as Jade Imagine, Mojo Juju, and Tracy McNeil announced for the Melbourne and Sydney sideshows. But wait, we hear you say, what about the sideshows in all the other cities? Well, now Bluesfest have revealed the information that youve been waiting for.

With sideshows for Gomez, Newton Faulkner, Canned Heat, The New Power Generation, and Morcheeba taking place over the coming weeks, fans expect to see a wide variety of unique Aussie acts opening the evenings proceedings.

Lucky punters checking out Gomez in Sydney and Melbourne will be lucky enough to witness the amazing work of Tia Gostelow, while Riley Pearce & Carla Geneve will do the honours in Perth, leaving Cosmo Thundercat and MANE to warm up the crowd in Adelaide.

Meanwhile, acts such as Timberwolf, ILUKA, James Bennett, Tom Richardson, and The Hunting Birds will be seen as the lead-in to Newton Faulkner around the country, while Frank Sultana will be seen by punters checking out The New Power Generation, and Canned Heats Sydney show.

Miss Rene Simone will be at the front end of Morcheebas Sydney show, while PJ OBrien, James Bennet, The Sugarcanes, and JJ Fields will be supporting Canned Heat in Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne, and Adelaide, respectively.

For a full list of the support acts, read our list below, and if youre keen on picking up a ticket to Bluesfest, or any of these sublime sideshows, make sure you head over to the Bluesfest Touring website as soon as possible.

Check out the full list of support acts:

Tia Gostelow supports Gomez in Sydney and Melbourne

Riley Pearce & Carla Geneve support Gomez in Perth



Passenger on Carnival Spirit Assaulted After Wrongly Identified By Ship Security as a Pedophile "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Carnival SpiritAn Australian cruise passenger, Mr. Sun, sued Carnival Australia after the cruise line falsely accused him of exposing himself to two young girls on the Carnival Spirit.

According to an Australian new station, the incident occurred during a cruise from Sydney to New Caledonia in December 2016.

Ship security personnel were notified that a man had "exposed and then touched himself" in front of young girls on the Carnival cruise ship. 

The security staff showed one of the girls, and the parents of the girl, photographs of Mr Sun. The girl apparently misidentified Mr. Sun as the culprit. The girl's father then took matters into his own hands, accusing Mr. Sun of exposing himself to his daughter as he physically assaulted and battered Mr Sun in his own stateroom in front of Mr. Sun's wife and child. 

The news report article states that when Mr. Sun called security for assistance, they instead escorted him to a room where they interrogated him for one-and-a-half hours and intimidated him from leaving.

The ship security finally showed Mr. Sun CCTV footage of the incident footage of the incident, which showed that the pedophile in the video was not heavily tattooed like him and exhibited other obvious physical differences from Mr. Sun.

Security eventually allowed Mr. Sun back to his room but denied him medical attention for the physical assault. 

Carnival was recently in the news following a series of brawls on its cruise ships leaving from Australian ports. Its security guards are shown in certain trending videos violently kicking passengers and trying to stop bystanders from videotaping the melees.  The lack of training and heavy handed tactics of the Carnival security are painfully obvious in the videos.

This latest fiasco seems again to be due to a lack of training by Carnival of its shipboard security personnel. 

Have a thought? Please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page. 

Photo credit: Hpeterswald - CC BY-SA 3.0, commons / wikimedia.

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