From Russia without kid gloves

by on July 20, 2018

WHILE President Trump dissembles over whether he can’t see “why it would be Russia” or why it “wouldn’t be” and prefers Vladimir Putin’s denial over his own intelligence services, all the evidence points to Russia. First, why, one might ask, would anyone trust the US intelligence services, after the post 9/11 call on Iraq’s so-called weapons of mass destruction? [click to continue…]

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Boris Johnson and a female cyclist

The resigning British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that, as mayor of London, he could not save female cyclists’ lives because the EU would not legislate to lower truck-window heights when every arm of the British Government wanted action, and that this had convinced him to support Brexit.

Bunkum. It has the same credibility as President Donald Trump saying the rising stock market proves that his economic policy is correct. But the two are related. It all comes down to regulation and duping the population. [click to continue…]

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IN THE week that former Prime Minister Tony Abbott called for Australia to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change, it is worth reminding readers that legs of lamb can be bought in Whyalla for under $100. Indeed, this week you can click and collect a 1.8kg leg at Coles Whyalla for $16.20. [click to continue…]

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A COUPLE of recent Australian developments show that xenophobic fury and trade wars are not the answer to foreign businesses taking domestic profits and jobs, as President Donald Trump thinks. The answer is to either just to accept the benefits of the cheaper goods and services that foreigners provide or to go out in active competition. [click to continue…]

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THIS week’s pledge by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to counter-balance China’s power push in the Pacific with a greater Australian presence on the ground offers a sliver of hope in an otherwise grim international outlook. There has been much wringing of foreign-policy hands recently over threats to the rules-based international order. The sources of that threat can be distilled to three. Russia is unabashedly using an arsenal of weapons of mass deception. China is expanding its program of weapons of mass construction. And, meanwhile, the United States has slowly and unilaterally disarmed itself of great portions of its diplomatic power. [click to continue…]

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SOCIAL media has been such a game changer that NSW is to have a look at how the 2005 uniform defamation law is coping. But some things remain constant: humans like to be liked, like to be respected and like to be trusted. It is in our evolved genes. So we should be careful. [click to continue…]

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EAST Hope Island, about 35km south-east of Cooktown, is one of the prettiest small tropical islands in the world. It is ringed with coral and a white-sand beach with rich bird and fish life. You can walk around it in 15 minutes, which I did on World Environment Day this week.

But something stood out on that pristine beach: a plastic soft-drink bottle. [click to continue…]

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RETIREMENT income has for too long been part of class and political warfare in Australia. The responses to the Productivity Commission’s damning indictment of the $2.6 trillion (and growing) industry suggest it is still alive and well. [click to continue…]

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VERY few inquiries – parliamentary, statutory or independent – get as many as the 16,500 submissions received by the review into religious freedom being conducted by former Attorney-General Philip Ruddock, whose report was handed to the Government last week. It rather puts the lie to the almost invariable response politicians, particularly those in government, give when questioned about freedoms, human rights and constitutional change – that these are second-order issues and that Australians are really most concerned with jobs and economic growth. [click to continue…]

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THE political equation is clear. On one hand, every year nearly everyone pays rego and third-party and mentally puts it down as a government-imposed charge. On the other hand, only a few hundred in the ACT and a few thousand nationally are injured seriously enough in road crashes to warrant a compensation claim. And thus, to dilute the blame for the former, the rights of the latter are made expendable. It is happening in the ACT. It has already happened in other jurisdictions. [click to continue…]

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