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Government plan to fast-track refugees in exchange for potential $19,000 fee

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A refugee’s visa application would be fast-tracked if they paid a potential $19,000 fee and their family in Australia promised to cover health and welfare costs, under proposals the Abbott government is weighing to cut resettlement costs. WAtoday – Nicole Hasham, Environment and immigration correspondent Refugee advocates say the measures, based on a pilot established by the former Labor government, ... Read More »

Ebola vaccine is ‘potential game-changer’

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BBC – A vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus has led to 100% protection and could transform the way Ebola is tackled, preliminary results suggest. By James Gallagher Health editor, BBC News website There were no proven drugs or vaccines against the virus at the start of the largest outbreak of Ebola in history, which began in Guinea in December ... Read More »

 Inside the Effort to Kill the Iran Deal

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The rhetoric coming from Iran hawks is increasingly out of touch with public opinion. The Nation – By James Carden In response to the successful conclusion of the P5+1 talks in Vienna, the Israeli government, leading members of the congressional “war party” and an influential claque of neoconservative journalists have joined forces, working overtime to torpedo the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) ... Read More »

Schäuble: Commission must give up power

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German minister reportedly wants the EU executive body to get back to basics. Politico – By Stephen Brown German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble would like to remove some European Commission powers, such as oversight of competition rules and the internal market, and give them to independent authorities, a German paper reported Thursday. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, citing unnamed diplomats in Brussels, ... Read More »

Eurostat says State control over Irish Water ‘exceptional’

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Agency details why utility not viewed as independent, says €100 grant is State support The Irish Times – Cliff Taylor Eurostat, the EU statistics agency, has comprehensively rejected the Government’s case to classify Irish Water as an independent entity, according to its detailed ruling published on Thursday. The level of charges households are being asked to pay are outlined as ... Read More »

Venezuela: Unnatural Disaster

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Caracas/Bogotá/Brussels, ICG – Latin America Briefing N°33 The full briefing is also available in: Spanish OVERVIEW The accelerating deterioration of Venezuela’s political crisis is cause for growing concern. The collapse in 2014 of an incipient dialogue between government and opposition ushered in growing political instability. With legislative elections due in December, there are fears of renewed violence. But there is ... Read More »

Senior ministers ‘ropeable’ over Bronwyn Bishop’s scandal they say is damaging the Government

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There is a growing feeling among Coalition frontbenchers the Speaker’s position is untenable, but little confidence that Bronwyn Bishop can be prevailed on to resign. Mrs Bishop has been engulfed in a furore over her use of taxpayer-funded political entitlements, after it was revealed that she spent $5,227 on a charter helicopter to travel a short distance from Melbourne to ... Read More »

U.S. economy expands at 2.3 percent in second quarter, picking up speed

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The U.S. economy rebounded between April and June, new government data showed Wednesday, expanding at an annualized rate of 2.3 percent. The Washington Post – By Chico Harlan Growth in the second quarter remained modest, particularly compared with the breakneck pace seen in much of 2014, but it also signaled a bounce-back from a surprisingly sluggish winter when the economy ... Read More »