Global Issues

Centrica sells three wind farms in £423m deal with GIB

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Scottish Gas owner Centrica has sold its stake in an Aberdeenshire wind farm as part of a £423 million deal. The Scotsman – GARETH MACKIE The group, along with 50 per cent joint venture partner EIG Global Energy Partners, has sold the 26 megawatt Glens of Foudland site near Huntly, along with two offshore wind farms in Lincolnshire, to a consortium comprising the UK Green Investment Bank Offshore Wind Fund and funds managed by BlackRock. Centrica said the enterprise value of ... Read More »

UN panel urges UK and Sweden to end Julian Assange’s ‘deprivation of liberty’

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UN working group on arbitrary detention says WikiLeaks founder should be offered compensation for being confined to Ecuadorian embassy The Guardian – Owen Bowcott Legal affairs correspondent @owenbowcott The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arbitrarily detained by the UK and Sweden since he was arrested in London in December 2010, according to aUnited Nations report. As anticipated, the finding by the Geneva-based UN working group on arbitrary detention criticises legal action against Assange by both European governments and blames them for ... Read More »

The Not-So-Frozen Conflicts on Russia’s Borders

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Of the six countries singled out by the European Union (EU) as its eastern neighbourhood partners, five are locked in disputes over regions that have claimed independence. Two of these regions have been recognised by Moscow, and Russia is closely engaged in all of them. ICG – By Magdalena Grono These standoffs, several dating back to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, are a genuine security and political challenge in a neighbourhood where the EU’s association and Russia’s integration ... Read More »

Saudi Arabia willing to send ground troops to Syria

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After recent military gains by Assad forces, Gulf kingdom ready to put boots on the ground in Syria’s escalating war. Saudi Arabia is prepared to deploy ground troops to Syria to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) if US-led coalition leaders agree to the offer. Saudi’s air force has targeted ISIL with air strikes since the campaign began in Syria in September 2014, but the Gulf kingdom is now ready to provide ground forces to defeat ... Read More »

Planning permission for €240m wind farm in Co Meath rejected

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Controversial development near Kells had been designated as strategic infrastructure The Irish Times Elaine Edwards Planning permission for a controversial €240 million wind farm development at in north Meath has been refused by an Bord Pleanála. Element Power had sought permission for the construction at Emlagh, near Kells, of three wind farm clusters of up to 46 wind turbines with a maximum tip height of up to 169 metres. An oral hearing last summer lasted for five weeks and heard ... Read More »

Canberra Uniting Church will accept appeals for sanctuary from refugees

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Canberra’s Uniting Church congregations would welcome refugees seeking sanctuary from deportation to Manus Island or Nauru as a result of Wednesday’s High Court ruling “with open doors, open hearts, and open tables”, church leaders said on Thursday. The Canberra Times – David Ellery, Reporter for The Canberra Times “It’s called civil disobedience and churches have been doing it for a long time,” the Reverend Anne Ryan of the Tuggeranong Uniting Church at Erindale said. While Canberra’s Catholic, Anglican and Presbyterian communities ... Read More »

Queensland youth justice reforms don’t go far enough: legal and family groups

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The Palaszczuk government’s plan to overhaul youth justice laws, including removing the Newman government boot camp orders, has been met with approval from the legal and community sectors – but the government has still drawn fire for not addressing Queensland’s policy of sending children to adult prisons. Brisbane Times – Amy Remeikis, Queensland political editor Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath promised a review of youth justice in Queensland during the election, following the former LNP’s changes to the act, which included boot camps, naming and ... Read More »

Why does international condemnation on human rights mean so little to Australia?

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Australia’s human rights record is increasingly subject to international critique alongside pariah states like Saudi Arabia and North Korea. On the face of it, this juxtaposition is easily rejected. But strong evidence backs the increasing weight of international sentiment opposing Australia’s record. The Conversation Author: Amy Maguire, Senior Lecturer in International Law, University of Newcastle Disclosure statement: Amy Maguire is a member of Amnesty International. Australia may already have pariah status in terms of its asylum policies. So why does its government – ... Read More »

Sanders spotlights Clinton vulnerabilities

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With every packed rally, Democrats worry the Vermont senator exposes her weaknesses. Politico – By EDWARD-ISAAC DOVERE and GABRIEL DEBENEDETTI Top Democrats aren’t worried about Bernie Sanders beating Hillary Clinton in the primaries. They’re worried about what the popular response to Sanders shows them about Clinton’s vulnerabilities in November. It’s the quiet chatter among operatives in New York, Washington and beyond—if Clinton’s got so much trouble connecting with people that she’s stuck in a long primary slog against an upstart socialist ... Read More »

Nauru: How long can we keep lying to ourselves?

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The history of asylum seeker policy in Australia will be remembered as a story of how successive governments legislated their lies to justify a world of make-believe borders and imaginary compliance. The Sydney Morning Herald – Waleed Aly, Columnist Video – CHURCH WILL LOCK DOORS TO PROTECT FAMILIES – ””” The Anglican Dean of Brisbane feels “so desperate” about the plight of asylum seekers facing deportation he is offering to protect them in the church and resist by closing the building.””” Wonderful idea, sovereignty. ... Read More »

Dangerous sex offender Warren Ugle bailed despite twice breaching conditions

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Corrective Services minister Joe Francis has warned “tinkering” with dangerous sex offender legislation in order to keep offenders behind bars for longer could have the opposite effect. WAtoday * Mr Francis addressed the issue after serial rapist Warren John Ugle was granted bail in the Supreme Court on Thursday. The dangerous sex offender committed a series of attacks between 1992 and 2007, including upon one victim who was 11 years old. Ugle was freed in November under a number of conditions that included having his every ... Read More »

Assange says he will accept arrest if UN panel rules against him

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he took refuge in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, and accept arrest on Feb. 5 if a UN panel investigating his case rules against him, he said in a statement. Hurriyet – SYDNEY – Reuters Assange, 44, is wanted in Sweden for questioning over allegations of rape in 2010 which the Australian denies. “Should the U.N. announce tomorrow that I have lost my case against the United ... Read More »

Push to stop Parliament ratifying the Trans-Pacific Partnership

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Nearly 60 community organisations are calling for an independent assessment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership before Parliament is asked to vote on ratifying the agreement. The Age – Gareth Hutchens A large alliance of groups – from World Vision and the Public Health Association, to Greenpeace, the ACTU, Catholic Religious Australia and the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network – have signed a letter warning the agreement poses “grave risks to the public interest” without being independently assessed. They want an organisation ... Read More »

United Nations panel could rule in favour of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

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London ends 24-hour guards at Ecuador embassy Assange could soon be questioned after Ecuador-Sweden deal London: The outcome of a United Nations investigation into the case of Julian Assange is set to be revealed and could rule that the WikiLeaks founder is being detained illegally. The Sydney Morning Herald Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for more than three years and has been granted political asylum by the Ecuador government. The Australian is wanted for questioning in ... Read More »

Mental health of children in Darwin’s immigration detention centre ‘worst paediatrician has ever seen’

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A Darwin paediatrician says children held in the city’s immigration detention centre have the worst mental health problems he has ever seen. ABC – By Katherine Gregory More than 50 of the 70 children who are at risk of being forcibly sent to Nauru are being held in Darwin’s Wickham Point Detention Centre. Photo: A drawing by a seven-year-old girl depicts life behind bars in detention. (ABC News: Katherine Gregory) Doctor Josh Francis said many of the children were terrified ... Read More »

Expect the War on Cash to Accelerate as Negative Interest Rates Come to the U.S.

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Like an ambush, it has to come by surprise… Whenever you hear a central banker or politician say something won’t happen, you can almost be certain it will happen. And probably soon. International Man – by Nick Giambruno, Senior Editor * Coming from a bureaucrat, the real meaning of “no, of course not” is “it could happen tomorrow.” It’s like the old saying: “Believe nothing until it has been officially denied.” These deceptions have a purpose: Politicians and central bankers have to surprise ... Read More »