Duroyan Fertl

Twenty-three years too late, the real truth is finally being told about the Hillsborough disaster of April 15, 1989, which killed 96 football fans and injured hundreds more.

A new 354-page report, released by the Hillsborough Independent Panel after accessing more than 400,000 pages of secret documents, has implicated the police, media and British government in what has been described as “the biggest cover-up of British legal history”.

Elections in the German state of Saarland on March 25 have dealt a heavy blow to the federal coalition government of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) kept its 12-year hold on power, holding steady at 35.2% of the small state’s voters. But Merkel's allies at a federal level ― the neoliberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) ― were wiped out at the state polls.

The FDP’s share of the vote dropped from 9.2% in 2009 to 1.2%, well below the 5% required to enter parliament.

German President Christian Wulff resigned on February 17 after prosecutors applied to have his presidential immunity stripped in a corruption scandal.

Wulff has been accused of having received kickbacks from businessmen, including a home loan of 500,000 euros (paid via an anonymous bank cheque) in 2008.

When German tabloid Bild threatened to publish the allegations, Wulff left voice messages on the editor's phone threatening "war".

Germany’s domestic spy agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), has been exposed for spying on left-wing MPs.

German magazine Der Spiegel said on January 23 that the BfV spied on MPs from Germany's biggest left-wing party, the socialist Die Linke ("The Left").

Der Spiegel said the intelligence agency had 27 of Die Linke's members in the Bundestag ― more than one third of its federal MPs ― and a further 11 members of state parliaments, under surveillance, costing 390,000 euros a year.

Elections in the city-state of Berlin on September 18 delivered another serious blow to the government of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, even as her party’s vote increased.

Merkel’s centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) came in second place in the Berlin election, winning 23.4% of the vote – up from 21.3% in 2006.

Elections in the eastern German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania on September 4 resulted in another humiliating defeat for the conservative government of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
 
Merkel's centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) had already suffered five election defeats this year.
 
The Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania defeat was particularly galling for Merkel because the state includes her own constituency.
 

The debate over genetically modified (GM) food has flared up again recently, after Greenpeace destroyed an experimental CSIRO wheat crop in Canberra on July 14.
 
The Australian Federal Police is now investigating Greenpeace over the incident, which CSIRO scientists claim has set their research back by up to a year.
 
Greenpeace argued the crop posed a threat to the environment and human health. Plans are underway for human trials of the GM wheat before tests are conducted on animals.
 

Shortly before noon on July 21, officers from the Australian Federal Police raided the Sydney office of Greenpeace Australia Pacific, confiscating material but making no arrests.

The raid was conducted in relation to an “alleged trespass and property damage” on July 14, when Greenpeace activists in Hazmat suits used whipper-snippers to destroy a CSIRO trial of genetically modified (GM) wheat being grown in Canberra’s north.

Greenpeace claimed that the wheat was planned for secret human trials and had already caused allergic reactions in mice.

The German government announced on May 30 that Germany’s 17 nuclear power stations would all be permanently shut down by 2022.

Germany’s seven oldest nuclear power stations ― temporarily switched off after public outcry following the Fukushima disaster ― will remain off-line and be permanently decommissioned. An eighth was already off line, and will stay so.

Six of the remaining nine stations will be shut down in 2021 and the final three will be turned off in 2022.

Voting across Britain on May 5 resulted in a rejection of changes to the electoral system, but election results in Scotland may herald the end of Britain as we know it.
 
The referendum on introducing an “Alternative Vote” voting system (much like the preferential voting system in Australia) to replace the current “First Past The Post” system was decisively defeated. With a turnout of only 42%, 67.87% voted against the change.
 

Pages

Subscribe to Duroyan Fertl