Police officer Mark Follington jailed over assault of trannie in Liverpool pub

Bigotry against trannies highly likely to have been involved. Cops do it hard in jail so big efforts will be made to get him off

A NSW police officer who violently assaulted a woman and then falsified evidence related to the event will spend at least 18 months behind bars.

Senior Constable Mark Follington unlawfully arrested Anya Bradford at a pub in Liverpool in Sydney's west in May 2019 while he and another officer were checking IDs as part of an anti-drug crackdown.

Ms Bradford, who was sitting in the gaming room, declined to show her identification and attempted to leave the premises.

CCTV footage played in court showed Follington grabbing Ms Bradford's arm and slamming her head into an ATM, before following her into the lobby of a parole office and continuing to attack her.

Another officer, Constable Mark Brown, used a pepper spray and taser on her.

Later that day, Follington lied in a police report, claiming that Ms Bradford had assaulted him. The CCTV footage contradicted his story.

He pleaded not guilty to two charges of common assault, one count of tampering with evidence with intent to mislead a judicial tribunal, acting with intent to pervert the course of justice and modifying restricted data, but was found guilty in May this year.

At the sentencing hearing at Sydney's Downing Centre on Wednesday, Magistrate Michael Crompton sentenced Follington to 30 months behind bars with a non-parole period of 18 months.

He said the crime of falsifying information "struck at the very heart of the criminal justice system" and warranted a sentence that would significantly deter others.

He described the assaults as "quite violent" and "in the mid-to-high range of objective seriousness for assault of that kind".

He said the crime was aggravated by Follington abusing his position of trust and authority and noted his not guilty pleas. "On the evidence before me there is no evidence of remorse," he said.

Ms Bradford was not present in court but In a victim impact statement said the assaults had left her mentally and emotionally scarred. "I spent a night in pain in a jail cell," the statement said, adding that she regularly experienced traumatic flashbacks and no longer trusted police.

His lawyer argued that Follington, who had been suspended from his role without pay, was likely to have a more arduous time behind bars than an ordinary citizen.

"Once a police officer goes into the four walls of any institution… history has shown that police officers, because of their position, are the subject of assaults, serious assaults", he said.

Follington's legal team confirmed he will appeal against the verdict

Actor defaces George Floyd monument

This is only fair. The Left approve of attacks on monuments that conservatives value

New York City's George Floyd statue has been defaced by a struggling actor who has apparently been in small roles on series such as "Parks and Recreation," "CSI: New York," and "That's So Raven." The actor was arrested and charged with defacing a George Floyd statue in the city.

Micah Beals, 37, was charged with criminal mischief in connection with an incident earlier this month involving the George Floyd monument, according to USA Today. According to the New York Police Department's hate crimes Twitter feed, surveillance footage from the area shows "a guy on a skateboard sprayed gray paint over the face and base of a monument of George Floyd." Beals was detained and charged with the offense on October 25, according to the story.

As previously reported by The Daily Wire, the monument was on display as part of Confront Art's "SEEINJUSTICE" exhibition, which also included two other statues and was unveiled to the public last Friday evening. According to the New York Police Department, the Floyd statue was damaged with paint at 10 a.m. Sunday.

“There’s video footage police were able to ascertain,” detective Frances Sammon told CNN. “They show a male ducking down under one of the statues. He then mixes something together, and, as he skates away, he throws a container of paint at the statue.”

Volunteers gathered in record breaking time to remove the paint. By the time Andrew Cohen, co-founder of Confront Art, arrived, the statue had already been cleaned and was ready to be reinstalled.

“They went to the hardware and bought supplies out of their own pockets,” he told CNN. “This is inspiring teamwork and support from the community.”

One of those volunteers, Harmony Seaburg, told the outlet that cleaning the statue was “very emotional” for her.

“It was really hard to see this larger-than-life man like this,” Seaburg said. “We’re trying to get all the paint off his face, but it’s very emotional.”

Floyd became a household name on May 25, 2020, when he was killed by Minneapolis police officers during an attempted arrest. Derek Chauvin, a former police officer, was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison for Floyd's murder.


Australian University professor avoids jail after admitting sending threatening letters and underwear to HERSELF

Fake hate speech.  It happens in America too

A former university dean has been spared jail time over her 'bizarre' fake letter campaign and will serve her custodial sentence within the community. 

Judge Ian Bourke sentenced Diane Jolley on Friday in the District Court to serve an intensive corrections order of two years and six months for committing her 'somewhat bizarre offences,' he said. 

The judge said he was unable to arrive at a clear conclusion as to why the academic had gone 'to such extreme measures' as cutting up her own clothes and sending herself her own underwear. 

He could not find she had shown genuine remorse given she proclaimed to have only sent herself one of the fake letters, despite a recorded phone call of her admitting to being 'naughty twice'. 

The former University of Technology Sydney professor was found guilty in July of 10 charges of conveying information likely to make a person fear for their safety, knowing that it was misleading. 

The 51-year-old academic was also found guilty on one charge of causing financial disadvantage by deception to her work after UTS spent more than $127,000 in security measures protecting her. 

For months Jolley pretended to find alarming notes, one reading: 'Goodbye, cya and good luck,' with her photograph and a red line drawn through her face. Another read: 'Chop our future we chop yours'. 

The elaborate ploy between May and November 2019 included shredding nearly $2000 worth of her own clothing, and sending herself underwear. 

Her employer racked up an expensive bill providing CCTV cameras installed in her home and office, monitoring alarms, private security chaperoning her around the university, and hire cars driving between home and work. 


Junked food! Toxic compounds used to make industrial tubing and rubber gloves are found in 80% of McDonald's, Burger King and Pizza Hut food: Dangerous chemicals are linked to asthma, infertility and smaller testicles, study finds

Not the old phthalates scare again!  This has been thoroughly debunked.  The fact is that phthalates have all sorts of bad effects when fed in high doses to rats but have NO ill-effects in humans.  See here for details

It's not just the cholesterol, calories and carbohydrates in fast food that people have to worry about: burgers, pizza and burritos are crawling with toxic 'forever chemicals,' according to a new study.

Researchers at George Washington University ordered dozens of items from McDonald's, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Domino's, Taco Bell and Chipotle.

According to their analysis, they found phthalates, which are used to make plastic pliable, in over 80 percent of the samples.   

Phthalates are also known as plasticizers, and are used in hundreds of products, from vinyl flooring and plastic packaging to soaps and shampoos. 

In addition, they have been linked to numerous health problems, including cancer, liver damage, infertility, thyroid disease, asthma and even smaller testicles, as well as learning disabilities, behavioral issues and attention-deficit disorders in children.

People are exposed to phthalates by ingesting foods and beverages that have contacted products containing phthalates or by breathing phthalate particles in the air directly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Exposure is a particular risk for kids, the health agency said, because children crawl around touching things and put them in their mouths. 

The researchers chose the restaurants and menu items — hamburgers, fries, chicken nuggets, chicken burritos and cheese pizza — based on market share and best-selling items.

Items made with meat had higher levels of phthalates, while French fries and cheese pizza had the lowest, according to their findings, published in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology. 

Of the food they ordered, 81 percent contained a phthalate called DnBP, which has been linked to a heightened risk for asthma, and 70 percent contained DEHP, which has been tied to reduced fertility and other reproductive issues.

As concern over phthalates grows, alternative plasticizers have been developed, and the scientists found one such substitute, called DEHT, in 86 percent of the junk food.

The full health impact of these alternative plasticizers are not yet known, the researchers said.

The burgers, McNuggets and milkshakes could have come into contact with phthalates and replacement plasticizers anywhere along the food-supply chain, the researchers said, from processing and packaging equipment to the plastic gloves worn by employees.

The FDA doesn't set limits for phthalates in food, according to the Post, but the levels detected in the 64 fast-food items purchased from franchises around San Antonio, Texas, were all below the EPA's current acceptable thresholds.

Still, the FDA told the Post that it would review the George Washington study and consider its findings.


Perth's October rainfall record broken after storm moves over west coast, bringing hail

Why is this of note? Because leading Warmist Tim Flannery predicted in 2004 that Perth would cease to exist because of prolonged drought. Another Greenie false prophecy. Perth is in fact thriving

Perth has recorded its wettest October since records began, after a low-pressure system delivered heavy downpours and hail to the south-west corner of the state last night. 

According to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), which takes its official records from its Mt Lawley site, the previous record for the month was 96.4 millimetres, set in 1999.

The Perth site officially surpassed that figure during the night, with total rainfall for the month currently at 119 millimetres, and there is more to come.

BOM forecaster Pete Klegg said it was the wettest October in more than 50 years if taking previous measuring stations into consideration.

"It's the wettest October, if we're looking back at previous sites, since 1965," he said. "So if we're going back that far, then it's obviously quite an unusual situation to get that much rain in the month," he said.


Weather disaster-related deaths are down — but warming could undo that trend

What a laugh! Greenies are always pretending that warming is bad for you. Now they admit that the warming so far has not been. But it still COULD be, they say. Aerial pigs could happen too

Vastly better response times to natural disasters have reduced deaths, but ever-worse weather events might undermine that progress.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) published a report in August containing some rare good news about extreme weather: Despite a sharp increase in the number of weather- and climate-related disasters reported worldwide over the past 50 years, the number of deaths tied to those disasters has dropped nearly threefold.

To disaster researchers, that’s no surprise. While natural hazards like extreme rainfall and heat waves are becoming more frequent and severe as the planet heats up, our scientific understanding of those hazards, and the early warning systems that safeguard communities, have improved significantly over recent decades. As a result, disasters related to weather and climate have become less deadly over time.

There’s no guarantee, however, that this positive trend will continue forever. While we are better equipped than ever before to save lives during disasters, it will be a challenge to deploy existing solutions at the pace and scale needed to protect growing populations in a warming climate.

“If we are not continually investing in warning systems, if we are not building differently at the same time that we have intensification or changes to these hazards, that could very easily lead to increased deaths,” says disaster researcher Samantha Montano, the author of the recent book Disasterology: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the Climate Crisis, who was not involved in the WMO study.

Caveats notwithstanding, when researchers take a bird’s- eye view of the human toll of mass disasters, they see some positive trends.

The recent WMO report drew on EM-DAT to assess the impact of storms, droughts, floods, heat and cold waves, wildfires, and landslides from 1970 to 2019. It found that mortality from these types of disasters has fallen decade after decade, from over 50,000 deaths per year in the 1970s to fewer than 20,000 in the 2010s. At the same time, the number of reported disaster events rose sharply, a trend the WMO believes is partly due to climate change but also due to better reporting, says Cyrille HonorĂ©, director of the WMO’s disaster risk reduction department.

Less reporting in the early part of the record—where several large droughts and storms in South Asia and Africa dominate the death toll—suggests that the actual drop in deaths over time from weather- and climate-related disasters might be even steeper.

A key reason for this trend, HonorĂ© says, is the immense progress societies have made in developing early warning systems. Our ability to accurately forecast weather and climate hazards has “improved drastically,” he says, thanks to the proliferation of sophisticated satellite sensors and rapid advances in computer models.

Disaster researchers emphasize that this positive trend is no reason to be complacent about the grave toll disasters take today, or the risks civilization faces going forward due to climate change. According to the recent WMO report, 91 percent of deaths from weather- and climate-related disasters over the past 50 years occurred in developing nations . As climate change tips the scales toward more extreme weather, those regions of the world are likely to bear the brunt of the toll in terms of lives lost.


Reaching global climate deal will be tough, Cop26 president says

The amusing thing about this article is the totally honest graphic wich accompanies it.  It is just a regular HADCRUT graph but it is frankly labelled and clearly calibrated.  The author relies of readers knowing nothing about graphs.  Its presentation is a really crude piece of deception

It does at first sight look alarming, with warming leaping up the page in the postwar era.  Then we notice two things:  It is calibrated in TENTHS of one degree Celsius and it does not show absolute temperature but rather the departure in temperature from an arbitrary point in time. 

Both things make a mickle into a muckle, to be Scottish about it.  In plain English, they make a really tiny effect into an apparently huge effect. Anyone who is used to working with graphs would be in danger of dying laughing at such a basic fraud.  

A graphic calibrated in simple degrees Celsius (normal scientific practice in this field) would  essentially show a flat horizontal line with NO alarming leap upwards.  The sheer propaganda of the global warming claim would be exposed for what it is

Securing a global climate deal in Glasgow will be “really tough”, Cop26 president Alok Sharma has warned. He said sealing any agreement to reduce emissions with be harder “on lots of levels” than signing the Paris Agreement of 2015.

Countries are under pressure to increase their greenhouse gas emission cuts as the world is far off track to meet globally agreed targets to limit temperature rises and curb dangerous warming.

The Cop26 summit, which starts in Glasgow on October 31, is the effective deadline for countries to bring forward more ambitious national climate plans in a five-year process under the Paris climate treaty.

Mr Sharma told The Guardian: “What we’re trying to do here in Glasgow is actually really tough.

“It was brilliant, what they did in Paris, it was a framework agreement, (but) a lot of the detailed rules were left for the future.

“It’s like we’ve got to the end of the exam paper and the most difficult questions are left and you’re running out of time, the exam’s over in half an hour and you go, ‘how are we going to answer this one?’”


More on Pru Goward

Her essay on the "underclass" has been widely condemned so I thought I might reproduce exactly what she said:

"As a shopkeeper’s daughter, I understood poor people; they obeyed the law, worked hard, sent their kids to the same primary schools I attended and were equally ambitious for their children. But the underclass, small as it then was, behaved differently"

So she was clearly NOT talking about the poor in general, only the dysfunctional segment of the poor. But all commentators that I have seen write as if the had condemned poor people in general, which she carefully said she did NOT do. But the Left chracteristically see only what they want to see so we should not be surprised by the response to Goward

She has not formally replied to her critics but The Guardian records a brief comment from her:

"Goward told Guardian Australia she was “deeply disappointed” that her column had been “so badly misunderstood”. But, she said, opinion pieces are “meant to provoke and I hope it’s helped the readers of the AFR think differently about those at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder”.

“I have applied a Marxist analysis which some might say is old fashioned but which explains to me why people judge others as unworthy,” she said.

Goward said Shoebridge was ignoring “all the wonderful things we did for vulnerable children” when she was a minister."

She is perfectly right. Marxists do define everything in terms of class and that is perfectly respectable among sociologists. There is a large literature on the "proletariat" or "underclass" so she is being perfectly routine in referring to that much-studied population segment. Her description was perfectly mainstream sociology. Coming from a Marxist it would pass without notice

Huge backlash to essay by Pru Goward suggesting some poor people lack discipline and are 'appalling' housekeepers

She has been condemned for something she didn't say.  She said SOME poor were like that, not all.  And that is simple realism

A former Liberal MP and the mother of model Tziporah Malkah [Kate Fischer] has been blasted in Parliament for suggesting poor people lack discipline and housekeeping skills.

Pru Goward, who until 2019 was the NSW minister for community services and social housing under former premier Gladys Berejiklian, has been widely condemned for an opinion piece in The Australian Financial Review about social divides.

The 69-year-old former ABC journalist and federal sex discrimination commissioner said she 'understood poor people' growing up as the daughter of a shopkeeper.

But Ms Goward recalled there was an underclass among the poor who 'behaved differently' and in her mother's words were 'not very nice', especially to social workers.  'Of course, they are always seen as a deficit,' she said.

What Pru Goward said:

'Social workers, traditionally good young men and women who thought it would be nice to be kind for a living, despair of their appalling housework, neglect of their children and, notably, their sharp and unrepentant manner when told to lift their game by the patronising do-gooder'

'Their children languish in the growing number of behavioural support classes in general high schools where they learn little and teachers itch to send them to the local TAFE to do some form of home-schooling and get them off their books'

Premier Dominic Perrottet condemned his former cabinet colleague.  'I completely disagree with it. I thought the entire premise of it was terrible,' he said on Thursday.

One Nation's New South Wales leader Mark Latham said Ms Goward's column was a 'slurring of all the children' from families that live in outer south-west Sydney.

'It's disgraceful that Pru Goward would write this generalisation, writing off a whole generation, not knowing these success stories,' he told the Legislative Council on Thursday. 'So out of touch, so arrogant, so condescending, so elitist.'

Mr Latham, who lives in south-west Sydney near where he grew up, likened Ms Goward to a Jane Austen novel from the early 19th century. 'You've written an article that is sort of out of Pride and Prejudice, sitting there like someone in a Victorian-era parlour room sneering at the poor,' he said.

In August 2019, Western Sydney University appointed Ms Goward as Professor of Social Interventions and Policy, which Mr Latham said should be reviewed. 'She shouldn't be at that university and she should actually be removed from that position,' he said in Parliament. 

Ms Goward's column saw Mr Latham heap some rare praise on his old Labor Party, which he led from December 2003 to January 2005 when he was the federal member for Werriwa.

He gave a special mention to former state Labor housing minister Craig Knowles, who held the overlapping electorate of Macquarie Fields for more than a decade and oversaw the successful redevelopment of public housing at Minto.

'It's a great tribute to that former Labor government and the member Craig Knowles - the Minto project showed the way forward,' he said.

'Because of the renewal of the public housing estate and uplifting of the school, Minto Public, which parents had avoided, now had out-of-area enrolments.'

Mr Latham, who used to campaign against Labor's left faction at party state conferences, found common ground with left-wing state Labor upper house MP Rose Jackson, who had campaigned to have him expelled from the ALP.

'"They are damaged, lacking in trust and discipline, and highly self-interested." No, former NSW Govt Minister Pru Goward isn’t talking about politicians, it turns out this is what Liberals really think about poor people,' Ms Jackson said.

Ms Goward's daughter Tziporah Malkah was previously a model known as Kate Fischer and was the product of her first marriage to Adelaide-based economics lecturer Alastair Fischer.  The mother and daughter have had a strained relationship. 

Her second husband David Barnett was a press secretary to former Liberal prime minister Malcolm Fraser. 


Is "renewable" electricity now economical?

If you ignore the capital costs it probably is.  But the capital costs are mostly subsidized from taxes so that is free money, right?  Wind turbines in particular are hugely expensive. They could never pay off their costs or even deliver a market  return on capital invested

Thanks to a storm of innovation and competition, business and industry has made renewable power more ubiquitous and affordable than even its greatest proponents dared to hope.

“It’s just staggering,” former chief scientist and now special Adviser to the government on low emissions technology Dr Alan Finkel said.

“If you went back to 2010 and looked at all the predictions of battery price for 2050 and now pick up a catalogue, you will see we’ve achieved those 2050 predictions already,” Dr Finkel said.

“We’re seeing the same with solar. Nobody back in 2000 or 2010 predicted solar and wind would be as cheap as they are today. Ninety per cent reduction in the cost of solar electricity per unit in a 10 year period or 11 year period from 2010 to now.”

In other words even just a decade ago it wasn’t even predicted — let alone known — that renewables would be so competitive and cheap.

And so when it comes to power bills, for example, there is no longer a question of any hip pocket pain for environmental gain. Instead it is a clear win-win.

Likewise when it comes to jobs and industry there is now an economic argument for net zero every bit as powerful as the environmental one.

That is why even green groups like the Australian Conservation Foundation are now pressing the industrial case for things like renewable-powered hydrogen, aluminium and steel.

“A target for Australia to reach net zero by 2050 is meaningless without a credible plan with policies and targets to drive down emissions this decade,” CEO Kelly O’Shanassy said.

“The solutions I’ve outlined are part of that credible plan because they address the reason the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister have so often used to not take greater action: the economic cost.

“These solutions will create wealth and wellbeing, replacing the jobs and industries lost as the world moves away from fossil fuels. Harnessing these solutions is good for our climate, our economy, our jobs and our communities.”

And of course there is also the obvious fact that there is a growing global consensus in the lead up to the Glasgow summit that means that whatever the politics or ideology, Australia needs to act simply to preserve its international trading partners.

Plus there is clear political momentum within the Coalition government and geopolitical pressure from our closest allies in the US and UK.

All of this and more has led to a moment where after years of torturous inaction which Labor, the Liberals and the Greens all brought upon themselves there is now an unprecedented alignment of environmental benefit, economic prosperity and political will.

A moment that might finally bring an end to Australia’s climate wars.



Mike Cannon-Brookes launches world’s largest solar farm in NT

A power cable from Darwin to Singapore sounds very vulnerable to attacks and accidents

Take 125 square kilometres of solar panels, a battery that’s 150 times bigger than the biggest in the country, three billion people and a giant extension cord. Then call it “Sun Cable”.

It sounds like a sci-fi scheme cooked up by a Bond villain. In fact it is Mike Cannon-Brookes’ plan to power Asia with energy from the Australian sun and it is fast becoming real.

The Atlassian co-founder and tech guru is an investor in the world’s biggest solar farm in the middle of the Northern Territory and what is literally a giant power cable from the Simpson Desert to Singapore.

Once complete the project will give the 5.5 million-strong island metropolis up to 15 per cent of its total power needs but for Cannon-Brookes that is only the first step.

He says the AAPowerLink project will just be the first of many. He predicts that soon there will be power lines from Australia to all over Asia, selling them our cheap and abundant solar energy.

“Think about it as a giant extension cable that runs from our sunny deserts up to Asia,” Cannon-Brookes said. “There are two or three billion consumers that want cheap energy and want a lot of that energy and we have it and can provide it. “I’m hopeful it’s the first of many, many, many cables that we string across to neighbouring countries.”

If the scale of the ambition seems staggering, that’s because it is. But everything about the Sun Cable project is on a staggering scale.

The initial stage of the project alone involves 5,000 kilometres of power lines stretching from the middle of the NT to Darwin and then 4,200km underwater past the full length of Indonesia to Singapore.

This alone will be the world’s longest High Voltage Direct Current cable system.

There it will provide up to 15 per cent of the island city-state’s electricity needs – all clean, all green and all from a single power plant in Australia.

As well as being the world’s largest solar plant, it will also feature the world’s largest battery, capable of storing 36 to 42 gigawatt hours. By contrast Australia’s so-called “Big Battery” in South Australia is just 129 megawatt hours, currently being expanded by 64.5 MWh.

In other words, when Cannon-Brookes says his is 150 times bigger he is actually underestimating it.

The whole project is expected to cost upwards of $30 billion, with construction to start in 2024. Sun Cable says it will be providing power to Darwin just two years later in 2026 and to Singapore the year after that, with the whole project to be completed by 2028.

If true that would be an astonishingly fast build.

Approximately 2,000 direct jobs are expected to be created in the development, construction and operation alone and over $8 billion of investment is expected to be ploughed directly into Australia.

Once complete the project is expected to generate up to $2 billion in energy exports for Australia per year.

As well as being a cheap energy source for the giant Asian market, it will also flood the Australian market with cheap energy, starting with far cheaper rates in the NT.

“Australia should have the cheapest power on the planet,” Cannon-Brookes said. “We have so many resources opportunities in our sun and wind. We are the lucky country in terms of where we sit geographically in the world and our natural resources when it comes to renewables. “We can turn that into by far the cheapest energy anywhere in the world – which we should have, by rights.”

And when it comes to exports, Cannon-Brookes said Australia had all the ingredients needed to be an energy superpower.

“We have, as I mentioned, these two to three billion consumers to the north of us who are rapidly coming up the economic curve and what happens when a country gets wealthier is its average salary goes up and its energy consumption also goes up, and energy consumption goes up faster than salary,” he said.

“And so that is the market for it. Think about us creating this energy and then we have that market right up close to us.

“That is just a beautiful position to be in, and we should take advantage of that. I would say it’s the biggest economic opportunity than Australia has ever seen. It’s such an amazingly large opportunity.”



JobKeeper payments made to school linked to ‘extremist cult’

The Left have hated the Brethren ever since they advertised in favour of John Howard in 2004.  EVERY other religion at that time advocated for the Labor party.  Howard won that election in a landslide.

The Brethren are very Bible-based.  Their talk about being separate from "the world" is straight from the words of Jesus Christ. e.g. John 15: 18,19.  Jesus would be called a cultist by some if he were alive today.  The Sanhedrin certainly saw him that way

A private school linked to the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church, a group once described as an “extremist cult” by former prime minister Kevin Rudd, has received an estimated $9 million in JobKeeper payments.

In addition, the OneSchool Global network, which provides education for the children of the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church members from the ages of eight to 18 years, also received $34 million in federal and state government grants last year, or about $16,000 per student.

The Plymouth Brethren Christian Church was established in the early 19th century in southern England and is now led by multi-millionaire Sydney businessman Bruce D. Hales, who is known by his congregation as the Elect Vessel, or the Man of God. It follows a strict doctrine, known as “separation”, under which church members are discouraged, on pain of excommunication, from eating, drinking, forming friendships or communicating with outsiders, except to do business with them.

They aim to live a life apart from worldly pleasures and associations, refer to themselves as the “saints” and to outsiders as “worldlies”.

However, under another doctrine called “spoiling the Egyptians”, the church is also assiduous about seeking as much public funding as is legally available. In 2004, Mr Hales told his global flock: “You charge the highest possible price to the worldly people. That’s the way to get ahead, I mean, materially, you’ve got to spoil the Egyptians. It doesn’t belong to them anyhow, so we’ve just got to relieve them of it!”

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age have retrieved the accounts of the OneSchool Global network that operates 31 schools across six states, and has 2413 students. Children under the age of eight attend government schools.

In the year to December 31, 2020, OneSchool Global declared a total of $13.3 million in “other revenue, JobKeeper and cash-flow boosts”. It’s estimated that almost $9 million of that is stimulus payments, such as JobKeeper.

A OneSchool Global spokesman said 70 per cent of the schools’ operation costs were staff wages. “The COVID-19 pandemic impacted on the schools’ revenue base,” the spokesman said. “The schools were eligible for, and complied with, all the obligations set out by the government in relation to the JobKeeper program.”

The Plymouth Brethren Christian Church, which was once known as the Exclusive Brethren, has been the subject of intense scrutiny and controversy over the past two decades because of its alleged treatment of former members, and also accusations that some of its members have been involved in campaigns against political parties, even though its members are not allowed to vote.

They grew close to former prime minister John Howard, and visited him in his office before the 2007 election, while Mr Rudd criticised the group as an “extremist cult” that “breaks up families”. Some church members who have left the group have also referred to it as a cult.

Members of the church have donated to the Liberal Party, and some members became involved in anti-Green and anti-gay advertising. When Helen Clark was New Zealand’s prime minister, she said members of the group ran a smear campaign against her.

On its website, the church states it has never made political donations nor instructed any of its 15,000 Australian members to be politically active. The church has about 50,000 members worldwide.

However, NSW Liberal Party records seized by the Independent Commission Against Corruption show that in December 2010, dozens of PBCC members donated individual payments of less than the disclosure threshold, which together made up $67,000. The Liberal Party operatives who accepted the donations labelled the sheet recording the payments as having come from “friends”.

OneSchool was one of 700 private schools that were eligible for the federal government’s $89 billion JobKeeper program, which has been controversial. On Monday, the federal Treasury disclosed that $27 billion of JobKeeper payments were to recipients that didn’t experience the requisite 30 per cent decline in turnover.

But in that calculation, the Treasury excluded not-for-profits, new businesses or those too small to submit a quarterly activity statement to the tax office, and subsidiaries of larger businesses. This means the actual payment to businesses that didn’t meet the requirements to be eligible for JobKeeper could have been as much as $40 billion.

According to Australian Tax Office data, 700 private schools received $750 million in JobKeeper payments. Among the many non-government schools that received stimulus payments, including JobKeeper, were Melbourne’s Wesley College which received $18.2 million, and Sydney’s Moriah College, which qualified for $6.8 million.

When students graduate from OneSchool Global, they can enrol at university but only through distance education because they are not permitted to attend campuses in person. Many complete certificate-level courses in office studies and accountancy at school, then typically go to work in businesses run by members of the church.

Businesses run by its members operate in sectors as varied as building, manufacturing and aged care, and according to the church’s website, generate a combined turnover of $22 billion. The church is also linked to a charity, the Rapid Relief Team, which has provided assistance in regional areas in recent years to drought-affected farmers and families affected by bushfires.

Former Greens leader Bob Brown has accused the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church of having a contrived and cruel religious dogma.

The church came to greater public attention during Mr Howard’s prime ministership, after its members spent $370,000 on anti-Greens campaigns at the 2004 election. They also met with then Greens leader Bob Brown after he unsuccessfully called for an inquiry into the group.

In his book Optimism, Mr Brown dedicated a chapter to the PBCC, a group which he wrote had a contrived and cruel religious dogma. He quoted Mr Hales as telling his members: “You come in touch with worldly people, you’ll have some sense of defilement … and you’re in control, you’re superior, I mean morally.”

Mr Brown also wrote of how Mr Hales advised church members to scorn, disdain and hate the principles of the outside world.

In that chapter Mr Brown also told of how he had met several former members who reported harrowing stories of excommunication from the church, including from their spouses, children, siblings, parents and grandparents.

The church has said it follows up on members who decide to leave the congregation.



Jussie Smollett's Last-Ditch Effort to Dismiss Criminal Trial Ends in Failure as Judge Delivers a Reality Check

They tried to get him off lightly for his false racism claim but it  won't wash

Jussie Smollett will finally face a trial for his 2019 stunt in which he claimed he was the victim of a racist, homophobic attack in Chicago.

On Friday, Judge James Linn rejected arguments from the actor’s lawyer that the charges against him should be dismissed, according to Fox News.

The claim being made was that under a deal with Cook County prosecutors in which charges were dropped without a trial taking place, Smollett performed community service and forfeited a $10,000 bond.

However, amid a firestorm of controversy over the deal, a special prosecutor was appointed who levied additional charges of lying to police against Smollett. On Friday, Smollett’s attorney sought to wriggle out from under those.

To have Smollett “hauled back into court again” would violate Smollett’s due process rights, attorney Nenye Uche said, according to USA Today. “It’s as clear as day – this case should be dismissed because of an immunity agreement,” Uche said. “A deal is a deal. That’s ancient principle.”

Sean Wieber, an attorney with the special prosecutor’s office, said the claim should be “summarily dismissed.”

“We have already dealt with this before,” he said. “Nothing we’ve heard today changes one iota (of the case). This can be comfortably denied.”

Linn said that he had heard it all before and dismissed those claims, saying he would not change now. “I’m denying the motion to dismiss,” he said.

In a July hearing, Linn explained his reasoning. “There was no trial in this case, there was no jury empaneled, no witnesses were sworn, no evidence was heard, no guilty pleas were ever entered … nothing like that [ever] happened,” Linn said of the case, according to WGN-TV. “There was no adjudication of this case,” he said then.

Smollett’s trial will begin on Nov. 29.

Smollett claimed two masked men approached him as he was walking home on Jan. 29, 2019, and “made racist and homophobic insults, beat him and looped a noose around his neck before fleeing,” Fox News reported. However, the account has since been discredited by the two men Smollett reportedly paid to conduct the “racist and homophobic” assault — Abel and Ola Osundario.

The two men alleged that Smollett transferred the sum of $3,500 to them in exchange for the jumping, hoping to “raise his profile,” according to Fox News.

The actor called the charges brought against him a “dog and pony show,” the outlet reported.



It's great to see Jordan Peterson back in form

His illness really knocked him around but he now at last seems as sharp as ever. The episode below was recorded on September 9th.

Psychologist Dr. Jordan Peterson and John Anderson exchange ideas about individual freedom, lockdowns and mandatory vaccines in Australia. Dr. Jordan shares his experience with policies while Anderson discusses why Australians have accepted severe restrictions fairly willingly.

John Anderson is a sixth-generation farmer and grazier from New South Wales, who spent 19 years in the Australian Parliament, partly as a National Party deputy Prime Minister

Protest comes to Brisbane

See below: The Covid restrictions have long been very mild in Brisbane -- not remotely as severe as what the people of NSW and Victoria have had to suffer. So protests been muted so far. But, as Peterson and Anderson discuss in the video above, the instinct for freedom has not been suppressed among Australians. So it is heartening to see anti-lockdon protests rising up despite much official and Leftist opposition.

I have myself been vaccinated some time ago but I think compelled medical treatment of any sort stinks to high heaven. Governments have frequently got health policies wrong so they should never be allowed to enforce their ideas

A great example of that is the case of Jehovah's Witnesses who would not let their children have blood transfusions. So laws were passed to compel transfusions anong children. But a study of adult survival after heart surgery showed that no Jehovah's Witness died of it but many others did. They have certainly had the last laugh -- and in consequence blood transfusions are now much more sparingly prescribed than they once were. Transfusions are themselves stressors to the body

Conflicting beliefs on the Covid vaccine have attracted thousands of people into Brisbane’s CBD as pro-vaccine protesters gathered near an anti-vaccine World Wide Freedom Day rally.

The pro-vaccine group stood at the front of Brisbane Botanical Gardens wearing masks and chanting “pro vax, pro health, anti fascist” and “anti vaxxers you can’t hide, you’ve got Nazis on your side”.

Anti-vaccine protesters stood behind a barricade of police officers. One anti-vaccine protester yelled back at the opposing side “the government is the real disease”.

Around 1500 showed up to the anti-vaccine rally along with a strong police presence.

T-shirt stalls were set up around the rally selling merchandise with slogans like “realise, real eyes, real lies”.

Anti-vaccine group The People’s Revolution ran the rally.

The group marched from QUT gardens about 1.30pm, down George St through the city to eventually loop back. Streets in the CBD were temporarily shut down by police for the march.

How you could become mega-rich by investing in these companies

This is a classic mistake often made by amateur investors. Because something is popular or in big demand, the assumption is that shares in it with be a good buy. They rarely are.

The big peril is over-entry. Suppliers see a goldmine and rush in to supply the assumed demand. But the increased supply cuts the price and most of the new suppliers will go bust.

And there are other perils. China is already an efficient producer of lithium and could increase their supply to the market any time -- thus undercutting and bankrupting other suppliers.

Mining shares of any kind are risky and lithium is one of the riskiest. A cautious investor buys nothing unless it has a solid track record

Australian share market investors are perfectly positioned to benefit from the transition to net zero carbon emissions despite the nation being a major coal exporter to China.

The International Monetary Fund said the surging demand for renewable energy in the coming decades would be good for Australia because the nation has plentiful supplies of lithium, cobalt and nickel.

The minerals are particularly important for battery storage power that will underpin the success of solar and wind energy eventually replacing coal-fired power stations.

In a new report on the World Economic Outlook, the IMF singled out Australia for special mention along with Chile, and to a lesser extent Peru, Russia, Indonesia, and South Africa.

'Countries that stand out in production and reserves include Australia for lithium, cobalt, and nickel,' it said.

Bell Direct senior market analyst Jessica Amir said now was the time to consider investing in lithium miners before more governments around the world, including Australia, introduced more substantial electric vehicle subsidies.

'This is a huge investment opportunity and this will be the hot investment opportunity for the next decade,' she told Daily Mail Australia. 'Thirty per cent of an EV car is the battery and there's a huge lack of supply of lithium and then you've got the world pivoting and pushing to being carbon neutral.

'Clean energy must have a place in investors' portfolios because we're going to see a huge amount of government stimulus going to it, we're going to see a huge uptick in consumer demand.

'You have to remember the basics of investing: a company is based on its future earnings potential, this means that companies that are in this area, they're going to see future earnings growth and share price growth.'


Sacked climate sceptic loses High Court case in Australia

The amazing thing about this verdict is that the court agreed it is wrong to criticize your colleagues. How could science progress without disagreements?  Criticisms are the springboard to new knowledge

A marine physicist sacked after challenging his colleague’s views on climate change and the Great Barrier Reef, along with the university’s attempts to discipline him, has lost his High Court battle against James Cook University in a mixed decision for academic freedom.

Peter Ridd had been a long-serving professor at the university when he was fired in 2018 after forming the view that the scientific consensus on climate change overstated the risk it posed to the reef and vigorously arguing that position.

He took a parting shot at the university as he informed his supporters “with a heavy heart” on Wednesday that the High Court had dismissed his appeal over his sacking.

“So JCU actions were technically legal. But it was, in my opinion, never right, proper, decent, moral or in line with public expectations of how a university should behave,” he said in a statement posted to Facebook.

“It has cost me my job, my career, over $300K in legal fees, and more than a few grey hairs. All I can say is that I hope I would do it again – because overall it was worth the battle, and having the battle is, in this case, more important than the result.”

Dr Ridd, the libertarian Institute of Public Affairs and the left-wing National Tertiary Education Union argued that whatever the merits of Dr Ridd’s views, he was protected by a right to academic freedom in the university’s collective pay agreement with staff.

The university argued that Ridd was not sacked for his views but instead breached its code of conduct which required staff to act in a courteous and respectful way, and then further breached confidentiality requirements about the disciplinary procedure.

On Wednesday five justices of the High Court unanimously found that intellectual, or academic, freedom as contained in the university’s pay deal “is not qualified by a requirement to afford respect and courtesy in the manner of its exercise”.

The justices said that, as a result, an initial censure in 2016 against Dr Ridd was not justified and quoted the famous 19th century philosopher John Stuart Mill in their reasoning.

“Whilst a prohibition upon disrespectful and discourteous conduct in intellectual expression might be a ‘convenient plan for having peace in the intellectual world’,” the justices held, “the ‘price paid for this sort of intellectual pacification, is the sacrifice of the entire moral courage of the human mind’.”

However, that did not result in an overall victory for Dr Ridd because the court found that his conduct extended well beyond the expression of opinion within his area of academic expertise. Had his conduct related only to his area of expertise or criticism of JCU decisions through proscribed processes it would have been protected by intellectual freedom. Because his case was run on an all or nothing basis, that meant Dr Ridd lost.

“This litigation concerned conduct by Dr Ridd far beyond that of the 2016 censure, almost none of which was protected by the intellectual freedom... That conduct culminated in the termination decision, a decision which itself was justified by 18 grounds of serious misconduct, none of which involved the exercise of intellectual freedom.”

The Institute of Public Affairs, which had helped Ridd run his case via crowdfunding and public relations support, said the decision showed Australia’s universities were mired in a crisis of censorship.

“Our institutions increasingly want to control what Australians are allowed to say and what they can read and hear,” executive director John Roskam said in a statement that also announced Dr Ridd would be joining the institute as an unpaid research fellow to work on “real science”.

Ahead of the decision on Wednesday, federal Education Minister Alan Tudge announced that all 41 Australian universities were now compliant with the French model code on free speech, proposed by former High Court chief justice Robert French.

“This has taken two years to get to this point, but each university now has policies which specifically protect free speech,” Mr Tudge said.

The federal government has also legislated a definition of academic freedom into university funding laws - a push led by former education minister Dan Tehan who said last year that he’d received legal advice that Mr Ridd would not have been sacked had the definition been in place at the time.

The definition, which was also based on wording recommended by Mr French in his government-commissioned review of free speech at Australian universities, includes “the freedom of academic staff to teach, discuss, and research and to disseminate and publish the results of their research” and “to contribute to public debate, in relation to their subjects of study and research.”


A TikToker has claimed that interracial relationships, particularly between white men and Asian women, are a by-product of American imperialism and the United States' roles in wars

This guy needs to get a grip. The reason why Asian women in Western countries often marry Western men has nothing to do with history. It is that, like all women, they like their men to be tall and well-built. And most such men in Western countries are Caucasian. There are plenty of Chinese men around but they are mostly physically slight.

And if the lady sets her sights on a Caucasian man, she often gets him.  Why?  Mainly because she is very obliging to him and does not spout feminist nonsense

The American TikToker, who goes by username @youngqim and is known as Young Kim on Instagram, argued women were not easily granted access to the US under strict immigration rules as the US didn't want 'Asian people to start families here'. 

Young, who says he is a history student, said this changed in the 20th century when women were exempt from restrictions if they were married to an American soldier, which he said led to interracial relationships and Asian women being 'fetishized'.

He went on to claim that the Korean War and the Vietnam War then prolonged global conflicts, leading to more interracial relationships, when American soldiers married Asian women after serving on the frontlines and brought them back to the US. 

His video started with a short clip from TikToker @virtualflop, also known as Elise, who mouthed to along to a voiceover about interracial relationships, which poster Elise said she had used as a 'joke'.

The voiceover said: 'Interracial relationships are not natural. 'Y'all are gonna [sic] hate me for this one, but I don't give a f**k. It's the truth.'

Alongside the comments, reads the caption: 'Writing my paper about how romantic relationships between yt [sic] males and Asian females wouldn't be as common in society if it weren't for US involvement in wars.'

Responding to the TikTok, Young says that he is going to 'elaborate' on Elise's claims by talking about federal laws that restricted immigration from Asian countries, which he claimed saw hardly any Asian women moving to the United States.

He claims: 'Throughout most of American history, immigration from Asia had been limited to exclusively men.

'The biggest reason for that was they didn't want Asian people to start families here. We were considered an "undesirable element".'

In the 1850s, young single men were recruited as laborers and the Chinese made up 20 per cent of California's labour force by 1870, but were only 0.002 per cent of the entire US population, according to Asia Society.

Young goes on to talk about the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which was a federal law signed by President Chester Arthur barring the immigration of Chinese laborers to the United States


Bizarre moment protests against Australia's lockdowns break out in London accompanied by John Farnham's 'You're the Voice' - just days after New Yorkers staged a 'free Down Under' demonstration

What people overseas do not realize is that it is only NSW and Victoria where the lockdowns have been oppressive. In Queensland one has mostly been able live a pretty normal life, I am pleased to say

NSW has just abandoned most of its restrictions and Victoria seems on the brink of doing so

International rallies against Australia's lockdowns and hard borders have continued with protesters gathering outside the country's flagship building in the heart of London.

Dozens of people attended Australia House in The Strand in central London at the weekend to demonstrate against the country's ongoing lockdowns, with John Farnham's iconic anthem You're The Voice blasting through speakers.

The rallies come just days before the country's most populated state, NSW, is set to break out of its 100+ day stay-at-home order, with Victoria weeks off hitting their own 70 per cent vaccination milestone.

Londoners were locked down for 201 days throughout the pandemic, the fourth-longest in the world behind Melbourne, Buenos Aires and Dublin.

On Sunday, dozens gathered outside Australia House to continue to push an anti-lockdown agenda, which was followed days later by a similar rally in New York City.

The international movement under the 'Save Australia' mantra has seen protesters flood the streets opposing the country's ongoing restrictions while the rest of the world returns to a sense of normalcy.

Footage from London shows people with British accents arguing with police over human rights.

Several British protesters holding Australian flags attempted to block traffic on the main road in The Strand, while others stuck posters of support on the building.

One sign read 'jail Dan Andrews' referring to Victoria's premier who has overseen the longest lockdown in the world. 

The rallies were accompanied by similar demonstrations in New York, with people marching down its iconic streets with messages of support for locked down Aussies.

'What's going on in Australia is not just going to be Australia. So when it shows up on our doorstep, we're going to punch it in the f**king teeth,' a man with a loudspeaker announced during the New York demonstration.

The timing of the rallies coincides with an accelerated vaccine roll-out across Australia - with more than 90 per cent of adults having received a single dose. 

NSW will come out of lockdown on Monday October 11, authorities confirmed. 

Victoria, the other locked down Australian state, will hit its 70 per cent threshold in the final week of October, which will see the entire country free from the stay-at-home orders.

International travel is also set to resume in November, with an easing of the hard border and hotel quarantine system.


Research seeks to determine how much extra carbon dioxide can trees absorb to reduce greenhouse emissions

The doubts expressed about this experiment are absurd.  They pretend that we don't know what plants use CO2 for.  But we know that perfectly well. They use it to build up theirown structure.  They turn it into wood etc.  So they will STORE in their own tissues the extra CO2 that they take in

The University of Oxford has erected towers in an old oak forest and then bathed the 175-year-old trees with carbon dioxide to mirror what CO2 levels will be like in 2050. 

When they measured the amount of photosynthesis that was occurring, it had increased by 30 per cent.

Trees absorb CO2 and give out oxygen, so their ability to manage rising CO2 levels is critical to human survival on a warming planet.

According to Professor Rob MacKenzie, it is a promising result, founding Director of Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR).

"We are sure now that the old trees are responding to future carbon dioxide levels."

"How the entire forest ecosystem responds is a much bigger question."

The research was carried out at the Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) facility of the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR), and together with a similar project run by the Western Sydney University, they are the world's two largest experiments looking at the effect of climate change on nature.

Australian researcher Professor David Ellsworth thinks the results are significant. "The temperate zone is where a lot of the CO2 occurs, up in the northern hemisphere, and we need to know the trajectory of the uptake into the future to know what's going to happen with atmospheric CO2."

"They could be really important sinks for the CO2 into the future or perhaps they're already saturated; they take up more, but they don't store more."

When a similar experiment was conducted on a red gum forest in Australia in 2019, the trees photosynthesised just 20 per cent more CO2, so the UK result surprised Professor Ellsworth.

"That's quite a bit higher than our eucalyptus forests, and that was quite a surprise."

"Our eucalyptus trees have very high rates of photosynthesis … but they don't end up storing very much of that, so the CO2 goes back out into the atmosphere.

Researchers in the UK are now looking at the leaves, wood, roots, and soil in their old oak forest to find out where the extra carbon captured ends up and for how long it stays locked up.

"The CO2 being taken up by the trees is a good thing, but if it is taken up by the trees, metabolised internally and then shot back out to the atmosphere, then there really isn't any net storage or net savings of CO2 in that system," Professor Ellsworth said.

Other results from the UK experiment show that the increase in photosynthesis was greatest in strong sunlight.

The overall balance of key nutrient elements carbon and nitrogen did not change in the leaves, and keeping the carbon to nitrogen ratio constant suggests that the old trees have found ways of redirecting their elements or found ways of bringing more nitrogen in from the soil to balance the carbon they are gaining from the air.

The research will help governments work on how to respond to climate change and how to manage the existing forests.

"Old trees account for the vast majority of the land base in Australia, so we need to understand how much are they taking up now, how much are they going to take up in the future.

"Not only are they taking up CO2 in the present day, but if we cut them down, something happens with all the carbon that's been bound up in them, and we don't want that to go back up in the atmosphere."


International farm subsidies the next target in Australian plan on carbon

Clever.  If other countries in the developed world accuse Australia of not doing enough carbon reduction, Australia can embarrass them by pointing to an area where they could do much more.  The upshot could be an informal agreement not to criticize one-another's CO2 emissions

Australia will back a push to slash farm subsidies overseas worth $740 billion a year in the hope of achieving deeper cuts to carbon emissions at the upcoming United Nations climate summit, declaring the payments encourage waste and hurt the environment.

The federal government is joining other big countries in vowing to tackle the subsidies after UN agencies said the spending could balloon to $2.5 trillion and undermine the Paris target to cut greenhouse emissions by 2030.

The campaign promises benefits for Australian farmers who suffer from their competitors being paid mammoth subsidies in the European Union and the United States, helping Prime Minister Scott Morrison seek a climate deal with the Nationals as soon as next week.

The Australian position, put by Trade Minister Dan Tehan in talks in Europe on Friday, joins calls from Brazil and Indonesia for cuts to subsidies that offer the biggest payments to farmers in wealthy countries and do the most harm to those in the developing world.

Mr Tehan raised the issue with US climate envoy John Kerry in a step toward getting the US, EU and the World Trade Organisation to acknowledge the problem and put it on the agenda at the climate summit that begins in Glasgow on November 1.

“If countries are serious about addressing climate change they have to address all aspects of reducing emissions,” Mr Tehan said in an interview.

“We cannot leave an issue untouched when it ultimately accounts for 25 per cent of emission reduction. “We’re looking at this and other countries need to do the same.”

Mr Tehan spoke to US trade representative Katherine Tai, European Commission Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis and World Trade Organisation Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala about setting up a climate group to pursue the issue in trade talks after the Glasgow summit.

Australian governments have long opposed the scale of the US and EU subsidies on the grounds they punish food producers elsewhere, but the climate talks build a stronger case to unwind decades of payments that encourage over-production.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation and other UN agencies estimated last month the subsidies cost $US540 billion ($740 billion) this year and would rise to $US1.8 trillion ($2.5 trillion) by 2030, hurting efforts on climate change.

“These are inefficient, distort food prices, hurt people’s health, degrade the environment, and are often inequitable,” they said.

The EU is promising to reform its subsidies as part of its action on climate change, given agriculture accounts for about 10 per cent of EU emissions.

Agriculture accounts for about 13 per cent of Australian emissions but has been a big source of carbon reductions since 2005, leading Nationals deputy leader and Agriculture Minister David Littleproud to warn that the sector cannot do as much “heavy lifting” in the future.

Mr Tehan acknowledged the campaign on farm subsidies meant Australia would have to accept concerns about fossil fuel subsidies from other countries when Mr Morrison and the federal government are being accused of doing too little to cut emissions.

“If questions are going to be asked about fossil fuel subsidies, which they are, then what we need to be saying is: OK, if we need to take action against fossil fuel subsidies – and the Australian government acknowledges that this is an area that there needs to have action on – then why not do the same on agricultural subsidies?” he said.

The Trade Minister also noted this in remarks to an Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development meeting on the “green economy” in Paris on Thursday, attended by Mr Kerry, before heading to a meeting of G20 trade ministers in Rome.

The value of the fossil fuel help is forecast to be much more than the farm assistance, the International Monetary Fund estimating last month fossil fuel subsidies are worth about $US6 trillion a year, with 70 per cent made up of “undercharging” for environmental costs.

Mr Tehan expects to raise the subsidy campaign with his Indonesian counterpart, Muhammad Lutfi, in the G20 talks in Rome in the belief developing nations also want the issue on the agenda in Glasgow.

“What this would do is enable developing countries, and countries like Australia, to be able to transition in a way which would help us set ambitious targets when it comes to emission reduction,” he said.


Plan to bring thousands of nurses and doctors into ‘Fortress Australia’

An interesting sidelight of this is that the immigrants will be forthcoming.  For many Brits, any opportunity to immigrate to sunny Australia will be seized

Australia will allow 2000 overseas nurses and doctors to enter the country for work under a plan being finalised by the Commonwealth and states to ease a healthcare staffing crisis.

With Melbourne and Sydney’s hospital beds jammed with COVID-19 patients and the health systems of other states also under strain, the reinforcements will be flown in over the next six months and predominantly dispatched to outer suburban and regional hospitals and GP clinics.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said doctors and nurses who had already applied to come to Australia would be able to sidestep travel restrictions to secure flights and take up critical jobs in our pandemic response.

“This will be a one-off boost to provide additional support,” Mr Hunt told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. “The Commonwealth is committed to it and the states are working constructively with us on it.”

The airlift is likely to be made up largely of migrants from Britain, Ireland and other countries where nursing and medical qualifications are recognised by regulators as being equivalent to those in Australia. This means they can start working shifts as soon as they arrive.

Details of the plan emerged as Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Brett Sutton, expressed optimism that the state was nearing the peak of its current wave of infections and as NSW, where COVID-19 hospital admissions have begun to ease, prepares to take its first steps out of lockdown.

Concerns had previously been raised with Mr Hunt by the Australian College of Nursing and health service employers that the so-called “Fortress Australia” approach to the pandemic had isolated us from an important source of health workers at a time of urgent need.

The International College of Nurses estimates there is a global shortage of 5.9 million nurses. The UK’s Royal College of Nursing estimates there are more than 39,000 vacant nursing jobs in England alone. Australian College of Nursing chief executive Kylie Ward said there were more than 12,200 vacant nursing positions in Australia.

Australia entered the pandemic with 337,000 registered nurses and produces about 20,000 nursing graduates every year. It is also increasingly reliant on skilled migration to bring in experienced nurses to supplement the workforce and do harder-to-fill jobs in regional areas and aged care.

Figures provided by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation show that skilled migrants make up 21 per cent of all newly registered nurses. In Victoria, overseas-trained doctors make up 23 per cent of total doctors and 30 per cent of doctors in regional areas.

The Victorian Health Department estimates that since the start of the pandemic, the number of healthcare migrants joining the state’s workforce has plummeted by about 40 per cent. A department spokesperson said this was due to the difficulty of recruiting doctors, nurses and allied health professionals from overseas while navigating border closures and quarantine arrangements.

Ms Ward said this could create a longer-term problem for Australia’s healthcare. “If we don’t do something to secure our new graduates as well as keep the international pipeline, we are going to get caught in the worldwide shortage that is coming,” she said.

Despite the federal government including nursing on its list of priority occupations for skilled migrants and offering more than 3100 special medical visas to doctors and nurses to come here to work, would-be healthcare migrants have been refused travel exemptions and visas and bumped from flights.

The impact of this is being acutely felt in our hospital wards, GP clinics and nursing homes and also in the university and college courses where, until the pandemic, a steady stream of nurses from countries like India and the Philippines enrolled in three-month bridging courses to gain registration in Australia.

La Trobe University confirmed its entry program for international nurses had been “severely disrupted” by international border closures and it had no intake of students this year. 

At Central Queensland University, enrolments for its graduate certificate in nursing have fallen from 70 students last year to just three this year. Southern Cross University used to train nearly 300 international nurses a year at its Lismore campus in NSW. It currently has none enrolled.

Although this is partly due to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia changing its entry requirements for overseas nurses, it suggests that many overseas nurses are giving up on Australia. In 2019, the Australian College of Nursing had a waiting list of 3000 people to do its course. The waiting list is now down to 300 and its current intake has just two nurses from overseas.

There is a split between the College of Nursing and the nurses’ union over the extent to which Australia should rely on overseas nurses, particularly those from poorer countries. The union argues it is unethical for Australia to draw on nurses from low-income countries facing their own shortage of healthcare workers.

“Overseas recruitment should not be the primary strategy to overcome workforce shortages in Australia or as an alternative to education and recruitment opportunities for the existing domestic workforce,” the union wrote in a recent submission to government.

The Australian College of Nursing’s Ms Ward said although Australia needed to do better to support and retain its own graduates, it should also keep its doors open to overseas nurses from diverse backgrounds.

“It is a female-dominated profession, so you are giving opportunities to women they wouldn’t otherwise get. Who are we to say no if they meet the criteria? We are part of a global system and should encourage diversity and opportunity.”

Mr Hunt agreed it was important for Australia to keep attracting healthcare workers from all parts of the world. He also said that in its urgency to attract more doctors and nurses to respond to the immediate pressures of the pandemic, Australia could not compromise on the standard of practice it required. “Safety remains, as always, the number one priority,” he said.


In One Place, For One Fish, Climate Change May be a Boon

In the past Greenies have agonized about global warming cutting salmon numbers

On a mid-july afternoon, when the tide was starting to come in on the Naknek River, the Bandle family’s commercial fishing nets lay stretched across the beach, waiting for the water to rise. With the fishing crew on break, Sharon Bandle emerged from a tar-paper-sided cabin that serves as kitchen and bunkhouse with a plate of tempura salmon and a bowl of cocktail sauce. Everyone dug in.

Here in southwestern Alaska’s Bristol Bay, the Bandle family has fished by setnet for nearly 40 years, anchoring nets hundreds of feet long on the beach, then stretching them perpendicularly into the river’s current. The webbing hangs like a curtain from a line of softball-size corks, intercepting sockeye salmon as they swim upstream to their spawning grounds. Crews of two or three in small aluminum skiffs pick the salmon from the nets; processing plants on the far side of the river head and gut the catch, then ship the bulk of it to China and elsewhere for additional processing.

Bristol Bay’s sockeye harvest has long made up about half of the global catch of this species, in a seasonal blitz as short as it is enormous: The fishery lasts a mere six weeks. Each summer, 15,000 seafood processors, boat-based fishermen, and setnetters—including families such as the Bandles—gather here to support an industry worth more than $2 billion in 2019. Some fishermen will net enough cash to live on until the fish come back the next year. And this year, Bristol Bay outdid itself, notching the largest sockeye run in the region’s recorded history with an astonishing 66 million returning fish. Even more astonishing, this season capped nearly a decade of extraordinarily high salmon returns in Bristol Bay, where sockeye harvests have reached more than 50 percent above the most recent 20-year average.


Incredible Covid trend in Japan baffles experts as cases suddenly plummet

I think I have a fair idea of what is going on.  Delta is highly infective but only for a minority of people. So once it has infected them it dies out

Despite our enjoyment of the Olympics from afar, there was a debate around whether or not the games should have gone ahead, given what was happening in Japan at the time.

The nation of 125 million had done reasonably well for a country of its size and population density before then, keeping Covid cases relatively under control and preventing deaths from the virus.

But then, almost in tandem with Australia, things started to head south in July with the introduction of the Delta strain.

It was terrible timing for Japan, with the Olympics about to bring athletes and dignitaries from all around the world into the country just as cases began to take off.

Many residents and health experts wanted the games to be called off.

Things were not looking good after athletes returned home either, as infections kept rising.

By the end of August, Japan — which has the world’s third largest economy — was clocking up more than 24,000 cases a day. Deaths began to climb too, with the seven-day average hovering around 50-60 for several weeks.

However, something truly remarkable has happened since then, and experts around the world can’t believe what they are seeing.

As other parts of Asia are seeing their cases rise, infections in Japan have plummeted to their lowest levels in nearly a year.

New daily cases in Tokyo dropped to just 87 on Monday, the city’s lowest tally since November 2 last year and a massive decline from the thousands of new cases each day seen just a matter of weeks ago.

Other cities around the nation are seeing the same trend, with the average number of daily new infections falling by more than 8000 in the past three weeks.

Experts scratching their heads

The huge decline in cases is obviously welcome news to everyday Japanese residents, but the reasons behind it are leaving experts around the world perplexed.

Professor Mark Woolhouse, epidemiologist at the University of Edinburgh, said the plunge was probably because the Delta variant appears to “move faster through populations”.

“Spikes for the Delta variant tend to be spikier. They go up faster, and they come down faster,” he told the UK’s inews.

Although the drop in cases itself is not a “particular surprise”, cases have come down “fast”, he said.

“We first saw that in the first wave of Delta which hit India and that had the same characteristic; it went up very fast, and it came down very fast,” he said.

He added that is because the Delta variant has a shorter “generation time”, meaning how long it takes one infected person to infect another.

He and government experts in Japan have put the drop in cases largely down to vaccinations and recent restrictions linked to the state of emergency.

Much of Japan has been under virus emergency measures for a large part of the year, with the restrictions finally lifting last week due to the decline in infections.

Other experts, like Kyoto University’s Hiroshi Nishiura, say the recent spike in cases has ended because of changes in the flow of people, with fewer travellers now holidaying and socialising in Japan.

Mr Nishiura believes infectivity, as measured by the effective reproduction number, is correlated with holiday breaks.

“During the holidays, we meet persons whom we seldom meet up with, and moreover, there is a substantial chance to eat together in a face-to-face environment,” Mr Nishiura, a top infectious disease modeller advising the government, told Reuters.

He said recent record cases in South Korea and Singapore may be connected to some mid-year holidays, and a convergence of Asian and Western holidays at the end of the year could lead to a “nightmare”.

Another school of thought is that the virus comes in vicious cycles, fuelled by one particular age demographic.

Jason Tetro, a Canada-based infectious disease expert and author of The Germ Code, said different age cohorts become “fuel” for the virus to spread, depending on vaccination rates and prior infections, at different times.

“Without elimination of the virus, we will continue to see spikes until 85 per cent of the population is immune to the dominant strain,” he told Reuters.
“This is the only way to get out of these vicious cycles.”

Another theory is that Covid-19 and its variants tend to move in two-month cycles, though Mr Tetro argued the cycles were “more a factor of human nature than mother nature”.

Fears as Japan heads into winter

Although cases have dropped significantly, there are fears of another wave as the nation heads into winter.

More than 60 per cent of the population is now fully vaccinated, but there are concerns that the healthcare system could easily become overwhelmed again, should a new wave emerge.

Japan’s vaccination rollout was initially slow compared to other G7 nations. Frontline health care workers were jabbed on February 17, but the rollout to older people did not start until late April.

However, Japan picked up quickly and now more than 158 million doses have been administered, with 63.5 per cent of people aged 12 and over double jabbed. That’s 57 per cent of the total population.


Boris Johnson to use conference speech to reveal that ALL of the UK’s electricity will come from green sources by 2035

Where is it going to come from on nights when the wind isn't blowing?  Offshore wind farms seem to be the hope but doldrums are not confined to the tropics

Boris Johnson is set to announce all of Britain’s electricity will come from green sources by 2035, it emerged last night.

The Prime Minister will reportedly reveal the new policy this week as he seeks to reduce the country’s dependence on gas and other fossil fuels.

He will use his conference speech to commit the Conservatives to plans to invest significantly in renewable and nuclear energy, The Times reported.


China shoots itself in the foot

While Australian coal exports go from strength to strength

China is facing an ongoing power crisis and rolling outages as it sticks to its snub of Australian coal, with exports dropping to less than one per cent of what it was.

The coal ban has been described as a “disastrous failure” by one foreign policy expert who said desperate Beijing could be forced to temporarily lift its unofficial sanction and pay for Aussie coal at inflated prices due to the risk of blackouts it wants to avoid.

Just $24.8 million in metallurgical coal, used for making steel, was traded to the super power in the first quarter of the year, compared to $2.04 billion the year before, according to Department of Industry responses to Senate estimates questions.

New data shows that no Australian thermal coal was exported to China in the first quarter of this year, compared to $1.04 billion in the same time 2020.

China has been facing power shortages and turned to rationing electricity in some parts, as Chinese industry ramps up production in the wake of the pandemic, and demand increases as winter approaches, combined with a coal shortage in the country.

Australian Strategic Policy Institute director Peter Jennings said while politically China would want to source its coal from elsewhere, other markets it would normally turn to like Mongolia and Indonesia are dealing with supply issues.

“This demonstrates the failure of Beijing’s attempts to coerce us,” he said.

“The intent was to punish Australia and to make us submit ourselves, but it hasn’t worked. It helped a lot of our industries diversify and it’s punished Chinese consumers.

“As much as they may not want to do it, they may considering taking Australian exports at that bubble price.

“It’s been a disastrous police failure for (China’s President) Xi Jinping.”

But Mr Jennings warned local producers that any new purchases would likely only be short term.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg last week said Australia had found new markets for 90 per cent of its product.

Resources Minister Keith Pitt said Australian thermal coal was already fetching record prices, topping $US200 a tonne, saying it was in demand as a reliable, dispatchable energy.

“Our coal sector has done a remarkable job in the face of challenges over the past year opening up new markets, and expanding existing ones, and is now reaping the rewards,” he said.

“The shortfall in coal exports to China has now been balanced out by increases in sales to other markets, particularly throughout Asia.

“Forecasts released last week indicated Australian resources and energy exports will hit a record high of close to $350 billion this financial year and coal will be a significant contributor to that.”


China expected to stop phosphate exports, food production prices set to rise

There are huge deposits of phosphate in North Africa so China is the main supplier only because they do it more cheaply

China's economic planning body, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), is moving to restrict the production and export of phosphates until the middle of next year. 

Phosphorus is an essential plant nutrient. Australian grain farmers use the granulated fertiliser at planting to establish crops. 

The fertilisers are made from phosphate rock reserves mined mainly in China, Morocco, Western Sahara, the US and Russia. 

Last year 65 per cent of the mono ammonium phosphate (MAP) fertiliser used in Australia came from China. 

Phosphates editor with fertiliser market publication Argus, Harry Minihan, said US import duties on Moroccan and Russian origin phosphates had caused the product's price to double in the past year. 

He said restricting its production and export would serve China in two ways in this high price environment. 

"The Chinese government want to make sure there is enough product in the country for farmers, and they are also trying to reduce emissions as well." 

However, this will cause pain for other nations. 

"China is the top phosphate supplier into Australia, and if there is a restriction in exports, it's going to have some real significant impact on Australian buyers."  

Not a trade issue
While a phosphate shortage will drive up costs for Australian farmers, Mr Minihan said restricting exports was not related to trade tensions between the two nations. 

"This is going to have severe effects on other major importers as well," he said.

"It is not just Australia that is going to be affected.

"India is the world's largest DAP importer, and they still have significant requirements for their winter rabi season." 

Difficult purchasing decisions

Wes Lefroy, senior agriculture analyst with Rabobank, said prices were also high across the range of farming inputs, including chemicals.

"From a glyphosate perspective as well, prices out of China have more than doubled this year, and around 65 per cent of the globe's glyphosate comes from China, and that represents a large chunk of Australian supplies."

Mr Lefroy said there was no reason to expect fertiliser prices to fall before next season.

Currently, urea and phosphorous fertilisers are trading either side of $1,000 a tonne, much higher than usual levels. 

"We're expecting prices to remain elevated into 2022, which puts farmers in a difficult position ahead of next season," he said


London police chief Cressida Dick told to resign to restore women’s confidence in police

She was known to be incompetent long before she was parachuted into the top job.  She was in charge of the operation which led to an innocent Brazilian electrician being shot and killed on a tube train by London police

So why was she given such undeserved preference?  She is an open lesbian and that puts her into a protected class

Cressida Dick must resign to restore women’s confidence in the Metropolitan Police, senior politicians said on Thursday after details emerged of the failures that led to an officer falsely arresting a woman to kidnap and murder her.

The chair of parliament’s women and equalities committee, Tory MP Caroline Nokes, joined former Labour justice secretary Harriet Harman and a chorus of others in calling for the commissioner to step down over Sarah Everard’s killing.

The Met chief was forced to admit the crimes of Wayne Couzens had broken the bond of trust between the public and police.

“There are no words that can express the fury and overwhelming sadness that we all feel about what happened to Sarah,” she said outside the Old Bailey where Couzens was given a whole life-sentence. “I am so sorry.”

Couzens, who murdered Ms Everard after kidnapping her in south London under the guise of an arrest, had been known by police colleagues as “the rapist” because of his behaviour – and had already been questioned about an alleged sex offence shortly before he killed his victim.