Signs of the Times

16.04.11 7:58 am



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Population Immigration & Citizenship Clippings 12 February 2011-2011 Week 7

Geoff Dickinson
23.02.11 7:42 am

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The message to potential Gunns’ JV partners

Mike Adams
19.02.11 7:14 am


This message has been sent UPM and other potential JV partners…

If I were you, I wouldn’t bother…A pulp mill in Tasmania is not a very good idea.

Subject: 10,000 people marched

Are you really serious? Do you want this kind of opposition?

The marchers were unpaid, unlike the pro mill marchers (1,600) who were ...

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Politics | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | Society

Moscow environmentalist detained with her children

Top News via Jon Sumby
15.02.11 8:31 am

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February 13, 2011
Moscow environmentalist detained with her children
By Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian environmental activist was detained Thursday with her children, colleagues said, claiming she is the latest victim in a campaign to silence opponents of a new Moscow–St. Petersburg highway that is tearing up the old–growth Khimki forest.
Following a wave of public protests, President Dmitry Medvedev in August ordered the highway construction suspended so the route could be reassessed, but in December the Kremlin decided to allow the highway to go ahead along the original route. Those involved in the construction are reported to have high–level government connections, and highway construction is one of the most corrupt industries in Russia.
Alla Chernysheva’s detention Thursday with her daughters, aged 3 and 6, came on the same day as authorities announced highway construction will begin in March.
Chernysheva, 35, was arrested on suspicion of taking a fake bomb to a Feb. 1 protest rally, according to police. Her supporters said she is innocent, and called the detention the latest attempt to make sure the start of the construction isn’t threatened.
“It’s all a lie,” said Yevgeniya Chirikova, the leader of the group defending Khimki forest. “We are seeing the start of a new trend against our movement ... only Hitler would use such tactics.”
Police spokesman Yevgeny Gildeyev told The Associated Press that Chernysheva was in custody but hadn’t been officially arrested.
“It’s not an arrest, it’s just her delivery to the police station for clarification,” he said, adding that Chernysheva wasn’t cooperating. “She’s playing the fool.”
Gildeyev said the children were at the police station at their mother’s insistence only.
Chirikova said police dispersed the Feb. 1 rally, which both she and Chernysheva attended, because of a bomb threat. Chirikova said there was an unattended plastic bag at the protest but no one at the rally came near it.
Journalists reporting on the Khimki forest have been brutally beaten, their skulls cracked and limbs broken.
Environmentalist Konstantin Fetisov remains hospitalized and unconscious since being severely beaten in November.
Oleg Kashin, a reporter for the newspaper Kommersant, was hit some 50 times by two thugs in an attack last year that was caught on a security camera and outraged the nation.
Mikhail Beketov, the founder and editor of a Khimki newspaper, was among the first to raise the alarm about the destruction of the forest and suspicions that local officials were profiting from the project. In November 2008, Beketov was beaten so viciously that he was left brain–damaged and unable to speak.

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Population Immigration & Citizenship Clippings 12 February 2011-2011 Week 6

Geoff Dickinson
15.02.11 7:40 am

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Pulp mill start aim next month!!!

11.02.11 5:56 am

Invite all your Face Book friends to join this group, then when the word goes out for action, it will reach as many people as possible. Go to the group and click on “Invite People To Join”, I’m sure you will find a bunch that aren’t already in the group.
Also go to;
“Pulp The Mill” organise peaceful community protest against the Mill, you can sign up on their web site to be part of action against the mill.

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Politics | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | Society


08.02.11 8:06 am

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At least some governments have removed heads from the sand, and appreciate the world is changing . . .


A recognition we are over-fishing the oceans might help . . .


If everyone was able to watch the US doco ‘Food Inc.’ factory farming would be much, much less acceptable. At least one would hope so . . .

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Politics | Economy | Environment | Society

Population Immigration & Citizenship Clippings

Geoff Dickinson
08.02.11 7:41 am

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Picture: From HERE

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Politics | Environment | Society

Have you entered the 2010 Tasmanian Media Awards??

Anna Magnus Regional Media Awards Events Coordinator
06.02.11 6:42 am

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Have you entered the 2010 Tasmanian Media Awards??

• Entries close Friday 11th February - this is your final weekend to submit your entry

• All hard copies of entries must be at Tasmanian Media Awards office (379 Elizabeth St, Hobart)  by 5 pm Friday 11, February 2011


• This is the most prestigious Media Awards program in the state.

• Visit

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Media | What's On

Life behind bars ...

Geoff Dickinson
05.02.11 8:35 am

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I send this clippings list out weekly.

Purgatory in Provincial Germany:- Life Behind Bars Drives Asylum Seekers to Desperation
Germany Europe Spiegel Dialika Krah 27.1.11
Asylum seekers come to Germany hoping to find freedom and prosperity. Instead, they often end up in soul-destroying detention camps in the middle of nowhere, with nothing to do except wait to be deported. But the system suits many in Germany very well.~
~Asylum seekers have become the subject of public debate in Germany again, ever since people began fleeing from war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan and visa requirements were lifted for countries like Serbia and Macedonia. It is fuelled by the fact that the number of asylum seekers in Germany has gone up again, by 49.5 percent in 2010. The public debate revolves around issues like appropriate housing for asylum seekers, the amount of space a refugee should have, the quality of meals and whether detainees should have access to lockable cupboards.
The central questions are how long can people be expected to stay in camps, and what should be done with those people Germany does not want: Can they be deported, and if so, to which countries? For example, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière recently decided that refugees can no longer be sent back to Greece, because the asylum procedures there do not conform to German human rights standards.
It is also about two worldviews that collide with each other. The first is that of the asylum seekers, who argue that Germany has so much of everything—security, prosperity, human rights—that it can afford to be generous. The second is that of those who say that Germany can only preserve its security and prosperity if it only accepts those people who can be useful to the country. Everyone else should be housed in detention centers, deported or “tolerated” (a term that refers to those foreigners who do not have the right to stay in Germany, but whose deportation has temporarily been suspended).
These views lead to two opposing conclusions: Either the asylum seekers expect too much of the country, or Germany deals with them too harshly.~,1518,741691,00.html#ref=nlint

What’s New - Recent changes to the Australian Parliamentary Library’s site.
Australia - Links at pdf’s hyperlink
21 January 2010 -Seeking Asylum: Australia’s humanitarian program [PDF 723KB]
14 January 2011 -Asylum seekers and refugees: what are the facts? [PDF 302KB]
13 January 2011 -Ways forward in the population and environment debate [PDF 1.45MB]
8 December 2010 -Population growth and sustainability [PDF 177KB]

Iraq refugee returns fell in 2010: UNHCR
Iraq AFP Jacques Clement 19/1/11
BAGHDAD — Fewer Iraqis displaced inside and outside the country returned to their homes in 2010 than in the previous year, largely as a result of Iraq’s prolonged political deadlock, the UNHCR said on Friday.
The UN refugee agency said in its December 2010 statistical update that a total of 118,890 Iraqi refugees and internally displaced persons returned to their country and homes, a 40 percent drop compared with 2009.
“It was a year on hold,” Daniel Endres, Iraq representative for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, told AFP by telephone.  “People wanted to wait and see a bit—before you take such an important decision, you want to be sure” that the situation in the country is stable, he added.
According to UNHCR figures, the number of Iraqis returning to their home country peaked in March, with a total of 17,080 returns in the same month Iraq held its second parliamentary polls since dictator Saddam Hussein was ousted~

Urban sprawl threatens lifestyle
Australia Ben Packham, The Australian January 25, 2011
JULIA Gillard’s vision for a sustainable Australia is under threat from immigration-linked urban sprawl that will more than double the size of the nation’s capital cities by 2050.
Research for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship has warned of dramatic effects on quality of life and cuts to food production unless immigration levels are reduced.
The National Institute of Labour Studies report finds that Sydney and Melbourne will each require more than 430,000ha of new land for housing if net overseas migration remains above 260,000 a year.
The loss of productive land will slash agricultural output under higher immigration scenarios, forcing the import of key staples including fruit, nuts, oil and pigmeat.
“Even for dairy, lamb and vegetable categories, net imports are required by 2050 for the 260,000 net overseas migration level,” the report says.~ Even without any immigration, the state capitals will grow in size by roughly 50 per cent, costing residents an extra $1000 a year from added congestion within two decades.
Under current migration rates, each capital would grow up to 1 1/2 times bigger within 50 years, causing massive gridlock-induced costs. “The magnitude of the impacts at all net overall migration levels suggests that, unless substantial and timely actions are taken to address these impacts, some impacts have the potential to disrupt Australia’s economy and society,” the paper warns. Creating a “sustainable Australia” became a Labor mantra at the last election after the Prime Minister veered sharply from Kevin Rudd’s “Big Australia” plan. The tactic helped to sandbag crucial western Sydney seats amid a storm over asylum-seeker arrivals, but the government is yet to flesh out the detail of its plan.
The 335-page Long-term Physical Implications of Net Overseas Migration: Australia in 2050 report was quietly posted on the Immigration Department’s website before Christmas.
Population Minister Tony Burke released a discussion paper about the same time on creating a sustainable population strategy, which did not refer to the NILS report.~
NZ Press report
Actual Report 345 pdf

Unions fear spread of civil unrest to Europe
Europe Matthew Allen, in Davos 28/1/11
The current wave of social unrest in North Africa may spread to Europe unless more jobs are found, according to the international trade union umbrella organisation.  Philip Jennings, secretary-general of the Nyon-based UNI Global Union, told that a chronic shortage of work was one reason behind the so-called Jasmine Revolution that recently unseated the Tunisian president.
With unemployment rates around ten per cent in the European Union, European governments should rethink austerity policies and form a new social contract with workers, Jennings said.
Speaking at the 41st World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Jennings also praised Switzerland’s labour relations model as a system to be “treasured”.~

People smugglers operate as ‘open secret’
Australia Afghanistan Sydney Morning Herald Russell Skelton January 29, 2011
SOPHISTICATED people-smuggling syndicates charging clients about $12,000 for a one-way trip from Afghanistan to Australia are preying with apparent impunity on Hazara communities in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide.  The syndicates, which use GPS tracking and mobile-phone messaging systems, boast they can reunite family and friends with relatives living in Australia within months, if not weeks.
A well-placed source within the Afghan community told the Herald this week: ‘‘The syndicates are an open secret within the Hazara community; everybody knows who runs them, who to approach and who makes the money. It is astonishing they can operate so openly.’‘
It is claimed the top smugglers move around with ease, have Australian citizenship and travel unimpeded between Australia and Afghanistan. This week Indonesian police detained an Australian citizen, Haydar Khani, allegedly responsible for smuggling almost 100 asylum seekers on board the ill-fated SIEV 221 which broke up on rocks off Christmas Island in December.
The biggest smuggling operation in Australia is believed to be run from a series of nondescript shopfronts in Dandenong, in Melbourne’s south, home to thousands of Afghan refugees, many of them Hazaras. It is believed to have generated tens of millions of dollars in profits in the past two years.
Inquiries by the Herald have revealed: - ~

A waxing crescent Islam is growing. But ageing and slowing. That will change the world
UK World The Economist 29/1/11
ARE Muslims taking over the world, or at a minimum, transforming Europe into Eurabia? Whatever your hopes or fears for the future of the world’s religions, a report published this week has plenty to stoke them. “The Future of the Global Muslim Population”, produced by the Pew Research Centre, a non-profit outfit based in Washington, DC, reckons Muslim numbers will soar from 1.6 billion in 2010 to 2.2 billion by 2030. In other words, from 23.4% to 26.4% of the global total.
At the heart of its analysis is the ongoing effect of a “youth bulge” which peaked in 2000. In 1990 Islam’s share of the world’s youth was 20%; in 2010, 26%. In 2030 it will be 29% (of 15-to-29-year-olds). But the Muslim world is slowly heading towards paunchiness: the median age in Muslim-majority countries was 19 in 1990. It is 24 now, and will be 30 by 2030. (For French, Germans and Japanese the figure is 40 or over.) This suggests Muslim numbers will ultimately stop climbing, but later than the rest of the world population.
The authors call their calculations demographic, not political. Drawing on earlier Pew research, they say conversion is not a big factor in the global contest between Islam, Christianity and other faiths; the converts balance out. Nor do they assess piety; via the imperfect data of the United Nations, the European Union and national statistics, they aim simply to measure how many people call themselves Muslim, at least culturally, if asked.~

Holy cow! Indian AP students get cattle tags in US
India USA Hyderabad, Jan. 29 2011
The fate of hundreds of Indian students enrolled in various programmes at Tri-Valley University seem to be getting from bad to worse. According to a federal complaint filed in a California court, the University, which was raided and shut down last week, helped foreign nationals illegally acquire immigration status.
The Tri-Valley University in Pleasanton, a major suburb in San Francisco Bay Area, has been charged by federal investigating authorities with being part of an effort to defraud, misuse visa permits and indulge in money laundering and other crimes.
Now as if that was not bad news, the latest one is that some students have been RFID-tagged (radio frequency identification) so as to keep track of their movements by the US federal authorities. These microchip-embedded tags are used for pets like cats and dogs so that they don’t go missing. They are also used in some western countries to keep a tab on prisoner-movements.
Human Rights supporters have called the move “degrading and inhuman.~

Hundreds protest cuts to immigration services
Canada Toronto Sun TOM GODFREY, January 27, 2011
A frustrated Simon Zhong is one of hundreds of Toronto settlement workers being laid off or affected by funding cuts to 24 GTA organizations that help newcomers and immigrants.
Zhong was emotional at Toronto City Hall on Thursday as he voiced his anger against a federal immigration $40,000 cut to the budget of Toronto Community and Culture Centre that he operates.
“We don’t know what to do,” Zhong told hundreds of immigrant aid workers at a meeting. “We have all these people and don’t have the money to help them.”
He and about 300 others, including some high-profile politicians, urged immigration minister Jason Kenney to stop the $53 million cuts, of which $43 million is aimed at the Toronto area.
Tibetan monk Nawang Choedon said hundreds of young people from his community will be left out in the cold if the programs are axed.
“We have hundreds of young people in our community who are receiving assistance,” Choedon said. “The newcomers of our community are the ones who will suffer the most.~

Immigration fuelled Canada’s population growth in Q3
Canada Daily Commercial News JOHN CLINKARD January 27, 2011
Driven by a net inflow of international immigrants (+84,200), Canada’s population increased by an estimated 129,300 (1.5% quarter over quarter at annual rates) in the third quarter of 2010.
Following a sharp drop in the second quarter of 2009, and coincident with the recovery of the economy, Canada’s rate of population growth has steadily accelerated since the third quarter of 2009.
As a result of the latest gain, the largest since the first quarter of 2009, Canada’s population reached 34,238,000 in Q3/2010, up 1.2% from the third quarter of 2009.
Across the country, Prince Edward Island recorded the fastest population growth in the third quarter (+2.8% q/q at annual rates). In the quarter, PEI’s population increased by 975 to 143,200.~

Our population problem requires sustainable plans
Uganda Sunday Monitor Anthony Bugembe January 27 2011
As the elections draw closer, several pledges and promises are being made to the electorate.
This year’s elections come at a time when the country is grappling with the challenges of a rapidly growing and largely youthful population amid limited resources. Uganda’s population stands at about 33 million with at least 1.2 million people added to it every year. About 56 per cent of our population is under the age of 18 and therefore largely dependent on the small working populace.
Our population is growing rapidly mainly because of the high fertility levels. On average, a mother in Uganda gives birth to seven children. At the same time, 41 per cent of married women are not using contraceptives.
Candidates at all elective levels must prioritise population issues. Politicians have always considered a big population as a potential source of votes, paying little attention to improving its quality to make it more productive. Time has come for our leaders to work closely with population and development experts to find ways of managing the ever increasing population.~

Overpopulation and Climate Change – The Deadly Duo
Australia Woodford Folk Festival Kelvin Thomson MP Speech 29 December 2010 speech woodford folk festival overpopulation and climate change.pdf

Greek asylum mess stops return of refugee
Pakistan Europe Pakistan Daily Times 28.1.11
BRUSSELS: A growing number of European states have stopped sending asylum seekers back to Greece after a top human rights court denounced the squalid conditions they endure in the Greek immigration system.~
~Europe’s rights court ordered Belgium to pay the equivalent of a comfortable annual salary in damages to the Afghan migrant, saying that by returning him to Greece, “Belgian authorities knowingly exposed him to detention and living conditions that amounted to degrading treatment.” Asylum seekers are systematically placed in detention facilities and often face police brutality, the court charged, while failures in the Greek system for dealing with them meant they could be arbitrarily deported. The ruling created a legal precedent opening the door for asylum seekers to challenge their deportation back to Greece. “Governments are scared because thousands of complaints could be filed,” said a European official who requested anonymity. Greece welcomed the decisions of countries to stop returning asylum seekers to its hands as a “positive” development on “the question of lifting Dublin II.” Afp\01\28\story_28-1-2011_pg4_8

Home Office explains cuts to asylum charities
UK Tania Mason 27 Jan 2011

The Home Office has issued a Q&A to explain the reduction of funding to voluntary sector agencies that support refugees and asylum-seekers.
Q. Why have these grants to the voluntary sector been reduced so significantly?
A. Given the seriousness of the financial situation, it is not possible for us to make the voluntary sector organisations (funded by UKBA to provide advice & support to asylum seekers and refugees) exempt from the cuts that are facing the UK Border Agency. We also believe it is important to look at how we can refocus the advisory services to ensure they support the Government’s wider objectives, especially in the context of a much reduced intake of asylum seekers.
Q. Why is UKBA imposing a significantly greater cut on the voluntary sector partners than it is facing as a result of the Comprehensive Spending Review outcome? ~

Which countries match the GDP and population of America’s states?  US equivalents
World Jan 13th 2011 by The Economist online
IT HAS long been true that California on its own would rank as one of the biggest economies of the world. These days, it would rank eighth, falling between Italy and Brazil on a nominal exchange-rate basis. But how do other American states compare with other countries? Taking the nearest equivalent country from 2009 data reveals some surprises. Who would have thought that, despite years of auto-industry hardship, the economy of Michigan is still the same size as Taiwan’s?

Govt to cut population growth to below one percent
Indonesia January 25, 2011
Jakarta (ANTARA News) – The government will make efforts to reduce population growth to below one percent from currently 1.5 percent, Coordinating Minister for People`s Welfare Agung Laksono said here on Monday.
“The government is striving to cut population growth to below one percent,” he said adding it had so far been quite high, namely 1.5 percent.
He said the efforts to be made by the government would be among other things revitalizing the family planning program. “There must be revitalization of the family planning program. There must be special efforts to control population growth,” he said.~

UAE to draft population strategy to address ‘imbalance’
Emirates The National Kareem Shaheen Jan 26, 2011
Abu Dhabi // The government is close to completing a population strategy that may define an ideal demographic mix between Emiratis and expatriates in the UAE’s population, according to the Minister of Interior.
In a letter to the Federal National Council, Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, who also heads the Federal Demographic Council, said a strategy to address the imbalance was nearly ready. It would be presented to the FNC when complete, he said.
His statement came in response to a question by Sultan Saqr al Suwaidi, a member from Dubai, on what proportion of the population should be Emirati under the government’s 2021 strategy.~

91 boat people heading to Australia stranded in Indonesia
China Indonesia Australia 2011-01-26
JAKARTA, Jan. 26 (Xinhua)—Ninety-one illegal immigrants from the Middle East heading to Australia for seeking asylum have been stranded in eastern Indonesia as their boat was hit by huge waves, according to Wednesday’s media report.
The immigrants had been stranded since Tuesday evening on Naikliu village of Kupang district of East Nusa Tenggra province and then they were brought to a local police station of Amfoang Utara and being taken care by International Organization of Migration (IOM), said the Tempointeraktif online.
Rindang Napitapulu, an immigration official, said 68 of the immigrants were from Afghanistan, 14 from Iraq, six from Pakistan, and three from Iran.  Indonesian water has been a favorable way for those illegal migrants from the Middle East, Afghanistan and other Asian countries~

Berlin Aims to Attract Unemployed Europeans
Germany Spiegel Online 25/1/11
With Germany facing a lack of skilled workers, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is looking into ways to attract the unemployed from Southern and Eastern Europe. The plan would stop short of recruiting workers from too far afield.
With the German economy recovering rapidly from the recent crisis, employers have once again begun voicing concerns about finding enough qualified workers to fill their needs. Indeed, Klaus Zimmermann, head of the German Institute for Economic Research, recently forecasted that Germans may soon face a 45-hour work week if the situation doesn’t improve.
Ulrich Blum, president of the Halle Institute for Economic Research, agreed. He said that the only way to address the problem would be to increase immigration to Germany.
That, it would seem, is exactly what Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives are now looking to do. Specifically, her Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), are looking into ways to entice young people to move to Germany from debt-burdened European Union countries like Portugal and Spain. Both countries are experiencing high unemployment, with Spain’s jobless rate currently over 20 percent~,1518,741201,00.html#ref=nlint

Jordan, PLO clash on refugee issue
The PLO appears to be vigorously defending its right to solely decide on the refugee issue with Israel.
Jordan Israel Palestine Aljazeera Ali Abunimah 24 Jan 2011
Leaked documents reveal that Jordan had a serious disagreement with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) over the latter’s approach to negotiating with Israel over the rights of Palestinian refugees. Jordanian officials felt the PLO’s approach could compromise Jordan’s and the refugees’ rights to seek full remedies under international law.
In early September 2008, the Jordanian government drafted a letter, to be sent to Israel, expressing objections to the potential solutions to the refugee issue that were being discussed between Israel and Palestinian negotiators.
Jordan was concerned that the “international mechanism” which Israel and the PLO had agreed on to act as the sole forum for handling refugee claims would prejudice Jordan’s rights to pursue claims for the costs it says it has borne as a host country, and potentially damage the ability of Palestinian refugees living in Jordan to exercise their individual rights as refugees.
Under proposals whose major outlines were agreed between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators, refugees’ options would be limited to financial compensation, with the right of return for refugees to homes now in Israel limited to all but a symbolic handful of individuals~

Immigration raid nets dozen at Glen Waverley restaurant
Australia Waverley Leader (Melbourne) 24/1/11
DINERS at a Glen Waverley restaurant witnessed an immigration raid last Friday night during which 12 of the 14 staff were arrested.
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) compliance officers, with Victoria Police, raided the unnamed eatery and took away 12 illegal workers during the busy Friday night dinner rush.
In a statement, a DIAC spokesman said the haul was believed to be the largest number of illegal workers yet located during a single-restaurant compliance operation in Victoria.  “Of the eight men and four women detained, 11 were Malaysian nationals and one a Chinese national,” the spokesman said.~

Canada’s decision on Tamil refugee claims, unrealistic
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Guardian 24/1/11
Canada rushed to take its stance on Sri Lanka just days before the Canadians were preparing for their holidays in December. Tamils, now, no longer have the right to seek refugee status in Canada. Canada no longer considers the Sri Lankan government a threat to the Tamil people. The Canadian government feels the human rights situation on the island has improved since mid-2010, just a year after the Sri Lankan armed forces claimed to have eliminated the Tamil Tigers’ war for an independent Tamil State.
Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) introduced the new policy on Tamils who seek political asylum in Canada on the grounds that although the refugee board adjudicators are not forced to follow the new guidelines, for the IRB such notes “are offered to members as models of sound reasoning that may be adopted in appropriate circumstances.” This is really a frightening decision of the IRB as it demonstrates that the Canadian government led by Stephen Harper has made such a hasty decision without knowing what is really happening on the ground in the Tamils areas in Sri Lanka. ~       

Refugee and Asylum Policy Reform
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY : Refugee and asylum law is overdue for reform. It has strayed far from its original and altruistic intent of offering protection to those who face a credible fear of persecution at the hands of their governments, based on reasons of race, religion, ethnicity, or political belief. That commitment to helping others in distress, that is understood and supported by the public, has been hijacked by political interest groups seeking to advance their own narrow agendas and by non-governmental organizations with lucrative government contracts that pay them to resettle refugees in the United States.
The U.S. refugee program has been expanded to admit persons who were already protected in U.N.-supported refugee camps. The U.S. asylum program has been expanded through judicial advocacy of immigration lawyers who represent asylum claimants. These activists relentlessly seek to expand the definition of asylum to include people who live in failed or dysfunctional nations to the extent that the definition of asylum is now distorted. It now includes people who simply live in nations experiencing social and political turmoil; people who face social ostracism; people in dysfunctional and violent personal or marital relationships; people who live in nations facing environmental degradation or natural disasters; and other circumstances that have little or nothing to do with government repression. All of these people face compelling situations of human misery, but such a broad expansion of the grounds for political asylum could, quite literally, make billions of people around the world eligible for protection in the United States.~
42 page pdf report

Resolution Calling to Amend the Constitution Banning Corporate Personhood Introduced in Vermont
USA Alternet Christopher Ketcham 24/1/11
On the anniversary of the Citizens United decision, Vermont politicians are moving to deny corporations the rights that humans enjoy.  A year ago today, the Supreme Court issued its bizarre Citizens United decision, allowing unlimited corporate spending in elections as a form of “free speech” for the corporate “person.” Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the dissent, had the task of recalling the majority to planet earth and basic common sense.
“Corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires,” wrote Stevens. “Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their ‘personhood’ often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of ‘We the People’ by whom and for whom our Constitution was established.”
Fortunately, movements are afoot to reverse a century of accumulated powers and protections granted to corporations by wacky judicial decisions~

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Politics | Personal | Society

Ryan Foster’s record run

31.01.11 8:36 am

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How the Tasmanian devil broke a four decades-old record ... finally cracking Randall Markey’s Tasmanian mark.

Watch HERE

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Part-time Examiner

31.01.11 8:12 am

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Hag emailed the Ex office to place an ad for Green Fairy Absinthe and got this:


Tuesday to Friday – 10.30 to 2.30pm

Outside these hours, please direct your enquiries to:

CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING:  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) DISPLAY ADVERTISING:  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) GENERAL ENQUIRIES .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Good god, are they gettin a bit hard-up? Or do they want a long weekend every weekend? Or have they finally realised they are simply a small, insular, provincial rag. Or is the Net revolution really laying waste? Hag - an ancient old thing - can remember when there were five (5) dedicated Examiner journos assigned just to cover state parliament ... and the office was personed seven days a week. good heavens, what’s happened?

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Oh what a dreamer’s web he wove

Garry Stannus
23.01.11 2:12 pm


Response to your “Mona, Masterpiece”

My god!  I’ve been waiting these several years for MOA (Museum of Antiquities) to reopen and now I find it’s morphed into MONA.  Curiously, I managed to snap ma femme in company with Lisa at the Palais in Paris recently. 

What’s in a name? 

I also recall an earlier misunderstanding with a cab driver in NYC.  I had asked to be taken to the Museum of Modern Art (from the village) and he told me he knew where to go and would drop me in th street/at the station outside MOMA.  I argued, but it was useless, and eventually I gave in and let him take me there to MOMA.  I figured when I got out of the cab I’d find my own way from this ‘MOMA’ to the actual museum where I was going.  He was right, I was wrong. 

Maybe I’ll get down to MONA soon. 

Are there any antiquities left?

Incidentally, the La Gioconda is fabulous.  I’ve heard about/seen her smile, but from postcards, or from pix in books, it always looked a bit awkward.  I used to think that it was a pretty plain portrait that was only famous because of who painted it.  But ...  I kid you not.  When I saw the real thing, I got a glimpse of a woman who was alive, with life in her eyes and face, the ‘smile’ coming from within.  In my ignorance, I’d equated a smile with a particular position of the lips/mouth.  Gees, Leonardo did create a masterpiece!  He got her personality.  I don’t know how, and - sorry for stumbling around with words - if was as if he captured her live, like as in a moment in time, as a camera can sometimes do.  Now I’m left to wonder how he did it.

Oh what a dreamer’s web he wove
with paint and board, what was it?  Love?

This comment also appears as comment, HERE

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Thoughts for the day ...

Jim Wilson Founding member of the Association of Rugged Mountain Men (ARMM) Tasmanian Division. Pirate Squad! Arr. via Nick
19.01.11 7:54 am

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I’m not cheap ... but I am on special this week

All my life, I always wanted to be somebody…
Now I see that I should have been more specific…

My second favourite household chore is ironing.
My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint

If you can’t fix it with a hammer,
you’ve got an electrical problem

If you don’t agree with me,
it means you haven’t been listening.

I try to take one day at a time.
But sometimes several days attack me at once.

It’s better to have loved and lost
than to live with a psycho
for the rest of your life.

You only need two tools in life - wd-40 and duct tape.
If it doesn’t move and should, use the wd-40.
If it shouldn’t move and does, use the duct tape

I’ve nearly reached the age where the happy hour is a nap

How many roads must a man travel down before he admits he is lost?

Why is it there are so many more horse’s asses than there are horses?

The cardiologist’s diet:
if it tastes good, spit it out

Why should anyone suffer in silence,
when you can moan, whimper, cry and complain?

A careful study of economics has recently revealed
that the best time to buy anything is last year.

“The problem with internet quotes
is that it is difficult to discern which ones are genuine.”
~ Abraham Lincoln

Never miss a good chance to shut up

No matter where you go, you’re there

The colder the X-ray table,
the more of your body is required to be on it.

If at first you don’t succeed,
destroy all evidence that you tried

For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism

The severity of the itch is proportional to the reach

The hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit;
Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad

I just got lost in thought.
It was unfamiliar territory…

A friend is someone who doesn’t like the same people you do

A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother

Handle every stressful situation like a dog. Piss on it and walk away

A man is incomplete until he is married.
After that, he is finished

Wouldn’t it be ironic if you choked on a lifesaver?

Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says
“If an emergency, notify:” I put “DOCTOR

The voices in my head may not be real,
but they have some good ideas!

I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way.
So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness

There is no problem so big or complicated that it can’t be run away from.

Scientists have discovered that 75%
of all work place stress is caused
by resisting the urge to punch someone
who really deserves it…

How do you tell when you’re out of invisible ink?

Just try explaining the value of statistical summaries
to the widow of the man who drowned
crossing a stream with an average depth of four feet

I cna ytpe 300 wrods pre mniuet!!

Why do fat chance and slim chance mean the same thing?

When women are depressed they either eat or go shopping.
Men invade another country.

Don’t believe everything you think

I almost had a psychic girlfriend, but she left me before we met

Support bacteria - they’re the only culture some people have

Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy

Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now

If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?

Is it possible to be totally partial?

The only problem with mornings
is that they happen too early in the day

I’m going South for Winter..actually..
some parts of me are headed there already

For high blood pressure sufferers ~
simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes,
thus reducing the pressure on your veins.
[remember to use a timer.]

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Read this NOW!X

18.01.11 3:21 pm

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A case of: Why did we never learn . . . . ?


And if tests were done on Australian pregnant women I bet the result will be
exactly the same


The lessons of history. But will we learn them?


Odd how it always comes back to the use of chemicals . . . .

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Top Reads!

10.01.11 7:05 am

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Confirming suspicions about the aftermath of BP oil spill?


Chemical cocktail anyone . . . ?


The price of keeping up with the latest technology . . . .


The size is surely academic, it shouldn’t be there at all . . . .


From pristine to polluted. A good-paying job at the pulp and paper mill in Pictou County, Nova Scotia, set a family up for life. But along with the pulp mill came Boat Harbour. In 1967, residents were assured the wastewater from Boat Harbour would be fit to drink, swim and fish in. But it was polluted with a toxic cocktail of dioxins, furans, chloride, mercury and other heavy metals. St. John Telegram, New Brunswick.


<b></b>And, from deco99:
It seems forests are nowhere safe with a very familiar argument growing in Britain - albeit with the spectre of druids:

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Politics | Economy | Environment | Society


03.01.11 1:08 am

Dioxins, remember, are what the proposed pulp mill will be spewing out, at a great rate, into our marine environment . . . .


Global warming? You decide . . .,8599,2039777,00.html?xid=rss-mostpopular


2010 in review - from an environmental perspective


Could this herald a pandemic for bees?

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Anastomoo’s new face ...

Jesse Shipway
17.12.10 6:17 am

Anastomoo has a new face and a new project


Jesse Shipway

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Education boss and the English language ...

ABC Online via Peter
17.12.10 6:05 am

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Says Thorpe: ““One of the things that we’d be loathed to do….”

Early teacher exit cash offer

Posted 2 hours 19 minutes ago
The Government expects about 100 teachers to take the early retirement offer.

The Government expects about 100 teachers to take the early retirement offer. (ABC News)

The Tasmanian Government is offering senior teachers a one-off payment of $20,000 to retire early.

The Education Minister Lin Thorp says the move is part of a push to make positions available for newly qualified teachers and is not about getting rid of dead wood.

“One of the things that we’d be loathed to do would be to lose the expertise and experience and dedication of our older teachers,” she said.

The offer will not be available to teachers in subjects where there is a skills shortage.

The Education Union supports the move.

Leanne Wright says since the announcement the union has been inundated with calls from senior teachers wanting out.

“Teaching is a job that requires a lot of energy and enthusiasm it can be exhausting; as people get older some probably find it hard to maintain that.”

It is envisaged about 100 teachers will go.

But the Liberal’s education spokesman, Michael Ferguson, says it is policy on the run.

He says if it is about recruiting graduate teachers for next year, then it is too late.

“Many of the very best graduates who were looking for work in October of this year have since, of course, found employment probably interstate and with non-government schools and the Minister is late for school, she’s missed the boat,” he said.

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Spinners in $250,000 pitch for the task of explaining broadband plan

The Australian via Peter
17.12.10 5:59 am

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Mitchell Bingemann
The Australian
16 December 2010

THE government will spend more than $250,000 to hire a public relations firm to help promote its $36 billion National Broadband Network.

Last week the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy heard pitches from five firms—understood to include Hill & Knowlton, Ogilvy Public Relations, Weber Shandwick, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Royce—with a brief to demonstrate how they would “sell the NBN” to the public.

It is understood each firm was allowed only one delegate to deliver a 20-minute pitch.

It is expected the government will appoint one of the agencies soon.

A spokeswoman for Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said the department ran the select tender using agencies listed on the commonwealth communications multi-use list.

The list was created by the Department of Finance and Deregulation as a whole-of-government roster to engage communications experts interested in working on government advertising and information campaigns.

The spokeswoman said the tender was not completed, so costs and details of the services were yet to be finalised. However, consultants are only selected from the roster when the expenditure for a campaign exceeds $250,000.

The successful tenderer will be contracted until June 30 next year.
They will be expected to conduct advertising, market research and public relations campaigns for the department.

“There is a real hunger for information in the community about what the NBN will mean for consumers, for small business and for health and education delivery,” Senator Conroy’s spokeswoman said. “The NBN will reach all Australians no matter where they live, so an effective communication strategy that can reach all individuals and all businesses is necessary.”

The successful firm will play a vital role in explaining the benefits of the taxpayer-funded NBN to a public still not fully aware of how the massive infrastructure project will affect them.

The government has struggled to sell the vision of its multi-billion-dollar project in Tasmania, where it was set up to test the design.

Only half of the households in the test towns of Smithton, Scottsdale and Midway Point have had the fibre network connected. This has translated to an overall service activation rate of 11 per cent.

Acceptance has been better on the mainland, where about 80 per cent of homes have connected, but there is no indication how many of these will purchase services once the network is switched on.

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Politics | National

The wood chip cost discrepancy

Hakan Ekstrom, Wood Resource Quarterly
17.12.10 5:47 am

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The wood chip cost discrepancy between pulp mills in Western and Eastern Canada was the lowest it has been in 10 years in the 4Q/10, reports the North American Wood Fiber Review
Over the past 20 years, pulp mills in Eastern Canada have consistently had higher wood fiber costs than the mills in the Western provinces with the exception of a short period in 1995, according to the North American Wood Fiber Review. In the 4Q/10, softwood chip prices had fallen in Quebec and Ontario and increased in British Columbia and Alberta resulting in the smallest cost gap between the two regions in 10 years.

Download the full article .....


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Drunk dispute over God leaves two dead

14.12.10 12:20 pm

Posted 4 hours 45 minutes ago

A dispute over the existence of God between four Russians, drunk on a litre of pure alcohol, resulted in two of them being killed, news agencies reported.

The disagreement began over the weekend when the female house owner, her son, a male roommate and undisclosed male relative drank the litre of pure alcohol, “which they downed with snow,” a police investigator told RIA Novosti.

“Soon after the drinking session, the suspect [the son] and the two other men got into a fight about the existence of God,” the police official in the western Siberia region of Tomsk reported.

The son ended up attacking both men with a knife, killing them both, the report said.

The suspect, who has a prior conviction record, faces life in prison if found guilty.



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Tell Quaker, Kellogg’s and others: “Stop misleading us” ... and a risks wrap ...

via Anne, Ali
05.12.10 7:51 am

Image for Tell Quaker, Kellogg’s and others: “Stop misleading us” ... and a risks wrap ...

Tell the FTC: GMOs are not “Natural” or “Green”

Sign the petition today.

Join us in telling the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that it is misleading for companies to classify genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as “Natural” or “Green.” We have until December 10th to let the FTC know, as they are revising their Green Guides.

Genetic engineering doesn’t happen in nature. Scientists force genes from bacteria and viruses into plant DNA, which result in dangerous side effects. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine urges all doctors to prescribe non-GMO diets to everyone.

GMOs are not “Green.” GMOs use far more herbicides, damage soil and marine ecology, harm beneficial insects, and cross pollinate. Their self-propagating genetic pollution will outlast the effects of climate change and nuclear waste!

Tell Quaker, Kellogg’s and others: “Stop misleading us”

Quaker’s “Natural” Granola contains corn flakes and soy lecithin. Kellogg’s Kashi brand “All Natural” Frozen Chicken Florentine uses soy flour and canola oil. Surprise! These are derived from GM plants.

The FTC should insist that these and other companies either remove their “Natural” claim, or better yet remove their GMOs altogether. Furthermore, no company should proclaim GMOs as “Green.”

Sign the petition today:

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Exposure to polluted air early in life led to an accumulation of abdominal fat and insulin resistance in mice even if they ate a normal diet, according to new research.
Animals exposed to the fine-particulate air pollution had larger and more fat cells in their abdominal area and higher blood sugar levels than did animals eating the same diet but breathing clean air.
Researchers exposed the mice to the polluted air for six hours a day, five days a week for 10 weeks beginning when the animals were 3 weeks old. This time frame roughly matches the toddler years to late adolescence in humans.

The exposure levels for the animals subjected to polluted air resemble the fine-particulate pollution that can be found in urban areas in the United States.
“This is one of the first, if not the first, study to show that these fine particulates directly cause inflammation and changes in fat cells, both of which increase the risk for Type 2 diabetes,” said Qinghua Sun, an associate professor of environmental health sciences at Ohio State University and lead author of the study.
The research appears in the December issue of the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.
Sun and colleagues fed the mice with either a normal diet or a high-fat diet and exposed them to either filtered air or air containing at least seven times more fine particulates than the ambient air in Columbus, Ohio. On average, the ambient air contained 15.8 micrograms of fine particles per cubic meter, compared to 111 micrograms per cubic meter in the concentrated air to which the mice were exposed.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, roughly one out of every three people in the United States is at a higher risk of experiencing health effects related to the presence of polluted air. Because of their tiny size—2.5 micrometers or smaller in diameter, or about 1/30th of the average width of a human hair—these particles could reach deep areas of the lungs and other organs in the body.
For this study, researchers obtained baseline measures of the mice for their weight, blood sugar and body fat at the start of the experiment. After exposing the animals to polluted or filtered air for 10 weeks, researchers analyzed the mice for a number of risk factors associated with obesity and insulin resistance, the hallmark of Type 2 diabetes.
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Mice exposed to pollution, regardless of which diet they ate, also had higher blood levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, a protein involved in systemic inflammation, than did mice breathing clean air.
As expected, mice on the high-fat diet gained much more weight than those on the normal diet. But mice exposed to polluted air and eating the normal diet had more significant elevations in glucose—sugar in their blood—than did normal-diet mice that breathed clean air. They also showed more signs of insulin resistance based on an index that measures both sugar and insulin in the blood at the same time.
Insulin resistance results when the presence of insulin does not initiate the transfer of glucose from the blood into the tissues, where it is used for energy.
Mice exposed to pollution—regardless of which diet they ate—also had higher blood levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, a protein involved in systemic inflammation, than did mice breathing clean air.
In addition, both abdominal and subcutaneous (under the skin) types of fat were increased with exposure to pollution in mice, even in animals that ate the normal diet. Mice eating a high-fat diet also had more fat, but their exposure to polluted air did not exacerbate those effects.
“These findings suggest that fine particulate pollution exposure alone, in the presence of a normal diet, may lead to an increase in fat cell size and number, and also have a proinflammatory effect,” said Sanjay Rajagopalan, senior author of the study and the John W. Wolfe Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Ohio State.
Fat cell size and quantity is important in many diseases because the tissue made up of fat cells begins to secrete molecules that send out complex signals. This process can lead to inflammation and, in turn, to insulin resistance or diabetes, as well as other disease conditions. Abdominal, or visceral, fat in particular is closely associated with the development of cardiovascular disease.
The scientists do not yet know whether these effects would be sustained over adult life if air quality circumstances were changed, or if they are otherwise reversible.
“We really wanted to see how this air pollution affects obesity with this early life exposure,” Sun said. “In a real-world scenario, it would be very difficult to escape from the pervasive influence of dirty air, an influence that begins very early on in life.”
 To explore the physiological mechanism behind the pollution’s effects on fat cells and inflammation, the researchers tested the same exposure levels in mice that had been genetically modified so they don’t carry a gene called p47phox. This gene is a subunit of an enzyme linked to free radicals that lead to the accumulation of inflammatory cells in artery walls and plaque, known as atherosclerosis.
Mice without this gene that were exposed to pollution did not show most of the effects of that exposure that normal mice showed, Sun said.
“When you knock out p47phox, it pretty much alleviates the effects of air pollution,” he said. “What this gives us is a potential for future therapeutic options that might target this gene.”
More research would be required to further define this mechanism, he noted.
These same researchers do plan to continue studying the effects of fine particulate pollution on health, and have designed a study in humans that will take place in Beijing, China. The project, led by Rajagopalan, will test the effects of air pollution on metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance in patients. Participants will wear personal monitors to gauge their exposure to pollution.
This research is supported by the National Institutes of Health and the Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation.
Additional co-authors of the paper are Xiaohua Xu, Zubin Yavar and Matt Verdin of the Division of Environmental Health Sciences in Ohio State’s College of Public Health; Zhekang Ying, Georgeta Mihai, Thomas Kampfrath and Aixia Wang of Ohio State’s Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute; and Mianhua Zhong, Morton Lippmann and Lung-Chi Chen of New York University School of Medicine.


A study with mice finds the reproductive health effects of dioxin last for generations, reducing fertility and increasing the chances of premature delivery. The results support findings from prior animal and human studies that show dioxin can affect fertility, especially if exposures occur at key times of life. This study further shows subsequent generations are at risk, especially from preterm birth, a growing problem for women around the world. More…

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Politics | Environment | Health | Society

Atlantis discovered ...

David Mackenzie Online Communities Save Our Marine Life
05.12.10 7:05 am

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Less than 1% of Australia’s South West marine environment is protected, despite being home to a far greater level of unique species than the Great Barrier Reef.

Did you know Australia’s biggest mountain range is underwater; that there are deep-sea “restaurants” where the endangered blue whale feeds; or that we have our own “Grand Canyon” buried beneath the waves next to an Australian city?

Just as the Environment Minister is making major decisions about the future of our marine life, a spectacular new online interactive ‘flipbook’ Atlantis Found; Underwater Icons of Australia’s Unique South West has arrived. With an introduction from writer Tim Winton, Atlantis Found guides you through 10 iconic hotspots for marine life, uncovering Australia’s largely unknown South West marine environment.

Through stunning photos, this new ‘book’ reveals an underwater world rich with life, including Australian sea lions, green turtles, deep-diving sperm whales, endangered blue whales, and vulnerable reef fish such as the dhufish and breaksea cod.

But these 10 special ‘hotspots’ are not protected.

In fact less than 1% of the South West is protected from major threats such as over-fishing and oil spills.

Within weeks Environment Minister Tony Burke will make the most significant decision about the future of our marine life and oceans since the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park was created.

Tell him that large sanctuaries are needed now if our fish stocks are to rebuild and our oceans stay healthy for future generations to enjoy.

David Mackenzie
Online Communities
Save Our Marine Life

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Leon replaces Tim Cox?

ABC Online
02.12.10 7:32 pm

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30 November, 2010 10:46AM ACSTLeon Compton moves on

By Emma Sleath (Cross Media Recorder)After 7 years with the ABC in the Top End, Mornings presenter Leon Compton is heading south for a new challenge in the icy extremes of Hobart
Print Email this Share Permalink “I’m going to be moving on to some colder pastures!” jokes Leon, who’s heading to 936 ABC Hobart to take on the position of Mornings presenter at the other end of the continent.

Leon spilled the beans on 105.7 Mornings today, thanking his listeners and looking ahead to his final two weeks on air in the Territory.

“I’ve enjoyed myself immensely over the last 7 and a half years,” he said.

“Every morning droves of you call in and text, make the airwaves crackle with life…it certainly makes it a pretty easy job to turn up to and a very hard job to leave.”

Leon has developed a strong connection with the local radio audience during his time up north - working every on-air shift at 105.7 Darwin, including his main role for the last three years as the presenter of the Mornings Show and The Guestroom.

A highlight was in 2009 when he travelled to Dili to present a live program commemorating East Timor’s ten year anniversary of the vote for independence.

Leon’s final day on air will be Friday the 10th of December, but you can still catch him in the chair for the national Nightlife program on ABC Local Radio over Summer.

In 2011, Leon will be replaced by Kate O’Toole, formerly of triple j’s Hack program and ABC Rural

Read more with cute pic, HERE

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Read too!

26.11.10 9:28 am

A little reading all sorts of bits and pieces.
The real mill would be even dodgier than this model appears to be..

Treasurers everywhere beware!!

another use for forests. who would have thought of having a party there !!! away from neighbours etc..

They think big and ahead over in Circular Head,,

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Hemp: So why on earth aren’t we using it?

25.11.10 9:34 am

Image for Hemp: So why on earth aren’t we using it?

So why on earth are we not using it . . . . ?


You have to wonder why we bother having Environmental Departments, (or government ministers responsible for matters environmental if it comes to that)


SOS art . . . But will governments take note?


Plenty of parallels for Australia here, so could someone please tell our pollies . . . ?

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Politics | Economy | Environment | Society

Wow, what you find on Tas Times!

Elizabeth Perey
22.11.10 2:25 am

Image for Wow, what you find on Tas Times!

Patti Smith

Thank you Tasmanian Times; you just made my day!  I worked with Patti in New York in the 60s. What a character!

Rocker Patti Smith takes nonfiction prize at National Book Awards: Patti Smith, the legendary rocker with a celebrity star power not often seen at literary events, received a National Book Award on Wednesday night for “Just Kids,” a memoir of her close relationship with artist Robert Mapplethorpe .,0,5196901.story

Check out this review: 

Patti used to read her latest poems to us in the tea room in the basement in Scribner’s.

She was wise then too. And as an artist she just keeps getting better. Politically we have followed some of the same paths in the last 45 years… she has supported Ralph Nader’s campaigns and we have both supported the Greens. No doubt we will continue to make a disturbance!

Picture HERE

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Arts | Books

Co-operative to fill Japan’s GM free canola demand

ABC Online
22.11.10 1:42 am

Image for Co-operative to fill Japan’s GM free canola demand

[This is the print version of story ]]

Co-operative to fill Japan’s GM free canola demand

Updated June 3, 2008 11:56:39

A small farmers’ cooperative on the Australian island state of Tasmania is taking advantage of the demand in Japan for genetically-modified free canola.

Presenter: Bo Hill reports
Speakers: Michiyo Koketsu, No! GMO campaigner, Consumers Union of Japan; Keith Pengilley, Tasmanian Agricultural Producers; David Crombie, President, National Farmers Federation; Peter Lloyd, Emeritus Professor, Faculty of Economics, Melbourne University
HILL: More than 10 years ago, the Japanese government approved the introduction of genetically modified soy bean, maize and canola. The same year, the No! GMO Campaign was launched by the Consumers Union Of Japan. Part of the campaign’s efforts are focused on the GM-free canola suppliers of Australia - convincing farmers to remain GM-free for the 80 per cent of Japanese shoppers who the Consumers Union says do not want GM products on their supermarket shelves. Michiyo Koketsu, a No! GMO campaigner with the Union travelled to the southern Australian state of Victoria in February to lobby farmers to remain GM-free. She will be attending forums in Western Australia next month to repeat the message.

KOKETSU: We told them Australian canola is very important for Japanese consumers because only Australia supplies GM-free canola in the world. We want Australian farmers to continue to cultivate GM-free canola.

HILL: While most states and territories in Australia remain genetically modified free, the two eastern states of Victoria and New South Wales lifted their ban earlier this year. Most farmers have yet to take up the option, but Ms Koketsu says the move has changed Japan’s supply focus to those states which continue to be completely GM-free. A local farmers cooperative on the island state of Tasmania has capitalised on the demand. Keith Pengilley from the Tasmanian Agricultural Producers told ABC Radio in Tasmania that opportunity came knocking.

PENGILLEY: They came to us and said we’re looking for a reliable area to grow canola, a state that looks as though it will not be going down the GM line in the near future and they identified Tasmania as a reliable area to grow canola. So they came to us and said - this is what we do, can you produce canola to meet our specification which is GM-free which we can market in Japan as Tasmanian-grown canola.”

HILL: The Tasmanian Agricultural Producers Cooperative, along with other local suppliers, produced a harvest of 800 tonnes this year and are looking at increase that two-fold over the next year. But it doesn’t meet the 5000 tonne requirement in Japan. Supply will continue to come from other GM-free states as well as GM-free crops in Victoria and New South Wales where some farmers have begun planting GM canola crops. This has Michiyo Koketsu, from the No! GMO Campaign in Japan, worried.

KOKETSU: Of course we are very concerned because we know if the GM canola plant contamination definitely happen of course, so we are very concerned about the contamination from these two states.

HILL: Australian National Farmers Federation president, David Crombie, says the industry is already well-equipped to avoid contamination.

CROMBIE: If the Japanese market specifically says they want GM-free product - that’s fine they should specify that and then its up to the canola industry and the canola industry, the grains industry has developed a stewardship plan and this is a stewardship plan for handling GM canola through-chain to prevent cross-pollination and to prevent contamination.

HILL: Professor Peter Lloyd is Emeritus Professor at the Faculty of Economics at Melbourne University. He agrees with David Crombie that the Australian agricultural industry has an excellent record of segregation and says the advantages of genetically modified canola could see further states of Australia lift GM bans.

LLOYD: Genetically-modified canola has a number of agronomic advantages leading to higher yields for farmers and almost all of the canola produced in Australia is used for domestic consumption, mainly canola oil. Both GM canola and GM-free canola can be sold in Australia without any difficulty. I think the other states - Western Australia in particular and South Australia being major grain-growing states may very well follow suit.

HILL: Japanese consumer campaigner, Michiyo Koketsu, is concerned about the potential lack of completely GM-free areas. She says she will use her visit to Western Australia next month to lobby farmers to protect the shrinking supply.

KOKETSU: No other country can supply GM-free canola now, only Australia.

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Politics | State | Economy | Environment | Health

GE Food… is it safe?

Nanda Propaganda
21.11.10 8:26 am

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Genetically modified food is our future. Actually, we already eat a lot of it.  Is it safe?

“- Media are invited to join Monsanto and other industry stakeholders for the official Grand Opening of the new, state-of-the-art Monsanto Canada Breeding Centre, located adjacent to Monsanto’s existing Canadian Head Office at the University of Manitoba’s Smartpark.Tues, November 23, 201010:30 am to 1:00 pm (lunch provided)”

Um… I’d skip the lunch.

GMO crops are the main contributing factor in Colony Collapse Disorder which is decimating bee populations worldwide. We’re in for a future of eating gruel if we don’t do something fast.  The mainstream media, big business and governments must stop whitewashing GMO science.

Somebody from the media needs to crash this party and ask the tough questions!

Need motivation? Check these out:

American Academy of Environmental Medicine calls for immediate moratorium:

The World According to Monsanto:

David vs. Monsanto:

The Future of Food:

Food, Inc.:

Vanishing of the Bees:

RoundUp causes cancer:

Join the protest outside the event.

Please tell a friend.

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Politics | Economy | Environment | Society