During his visit to Sri Lanka, Australian immigration minister Peter Dutton said the transfer of refugees to Cambodia would “happen very shortly”. Dutton said he wanted to send “a small group” to the south-east Asian country to “send a clear message to the remaining people on Nauru that Cambodia is an appropriate option to consider to start a new life”. The Australian government has been trying to persuade refugees held on Nauru to volunteer to settle in Cambodia, which signed a deal with Australia to take refugees in exchange for aid.
A north-west NSW food bowl is under threat from a proposed open-cut coalmine that was approved by the state government. But a legal challenge by the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) is using the local koala population to put a stop to it. The proposed Watermark coalmine project in the Liverpool Plains of NSW would produce up to 10 million tonnes of coal a year for 30 years, the project’s owner Shenhua Australia Holdings said.
In The Company Of Cowards: Bush, Howard & Injustice at Guantanamo Michael Mori Viking, 2014 292 pages, $29.99 (pb) Murder At Camp Delta: A Staff Sergeant’s Pursuit Of The Truth About Guantanamo Bay Joseph Hickman Simon & Schuster, 2015 245 pages, $29.99 (pb) Major Michael Mori was a Republican-leaning, US military lawyer who “embraced the values I had been taught in scouts, sports, high school, college, law school and the Marines” — above all the ideal of fair play.
Financial evidence in the Queensland Land and Environment Court hearing on the proposed Carmichael coalmine in the Galilee Basin points to a venture that would operate at a loss and not result in projected increases in public revenue. Evidence was presented by Rajesh Gupta, Adani’s local financial controller and Tim Buckley, financial analyst called by Land Services of Coast and Country (LSCC), the environmental group seeking to block the mine. Gupta agreed under cross-examination the company would look to minimise its tax obligations within the law.
Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party won a clear victory in Britain's May 7 general elections. In Scotland, however, the Scottish National Party dramatically rose from six seats to 56 out of 59, in a clear sign of opposition to the brutal austerity backed by the major parties in Westminster.
The Global Tamil Forum issued a statement on May 1 evaluating the first months of in office of Sri Lanka's new president Maithripala Sirisena. In presidential elections in January, Sirisena defeated the incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa, who had presided over a genocidal war against the Tamil people and then kept them under military occupation. The GTF praised Sirisena for amending the Sri Lankan constitution to cut the power of the president and increase the power of parliament.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott's harsh regime of cutbacks and user-pays charges has been rejected by the Australian people in poll after poll. But this has not stopped the pro-business media from trying to wear people down and pressure Labor and the Greens to accept some of the government's demands. Typical of this drumbeat was the widely reported Deloitte Access Economics report, which likened the growing budget deficit to a novel by horror writer Stephen King. In an effort to massage a consensus for cutbacks it demands, "For our budget to be sustainable, our politics has to be sustainable".
The University of Western Australia (UWA) cancelled the contract for Bjorn Lomborg’s Consensus Centre on May 8 after a "passionate emotional reaction" to the plan. In a statement, UWA Vice Chancellor Paul Johnson said the creation of the centre had attracted "mixed reactions" from staff, students and the general public. "The scale of the strong and passionate emotional reaction was one that the university did not predict," he said.
Samba Co-written & directed by Olivier Nakache & Eric Toledano In cinemas now Nobody could say that French film makers Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano — and their actor of choice, Omar Sy — shy away from heavy subjects. In their 2012 international hit The Intouchables, they dived straight into questions of disability, racism and class. Now in Samba they have tackled the question of illegal migrants struggling to survive without papers in contemporary France.
Anti-WestConnex protesters ‘fine’ Roads Australia Anti-WestConnex activists protested at the annual Roads Australia dinner, with attendees being handed a $15 billion penalty notice for the folly they are about to inflict on Sydney. Members of WestConnex Action Group set up a toll booth at the entrance, next to the red carpet. Guests, including the father of WestConnex, Nick Greiner, were made to run the anti-WestConnex gauntlet on their way into Sydney Town Hall.
War planes from the US and its allies bombed the village of Birmehli in northern Syria on the night of April 30. US Central Command spokesperson Major Curtis Kellogg claimed that at least 50 fighters from the self-styled Islamic State (IS) group were killed and there was “no indication that any civilians were killed”. However, human rights groups, including the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), have reported that all the casualties were civilians: 64 people, including 31 children.
Unions have warned that electricity consumers will be hit by worse services, reduced maintenance and slower emergency response times, after a decision by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) in late April. The AER decision, which takes effect from July 1, sets revenues that the publicly owned NSW network companies Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy, TransGrid and Essential Energy can charge private power retailers.