Tag Archives | Australia

Australia’s Drone War: The ‘Kill Chain’

Reports ABC News:

A senior Australian Defence Force officer has revealed details of how the Royal Australian Air Force deploys Israeli-owned drones for battlefield surveillance and to target anti-government Islamic fighters in Afghanistan.

Wing Commander Jonathan McMullan says Australia is “just buying hours” on the Heron drones from a Canadian company that in turn “leases them from IAI” (Israel Aerospace Industries), which is wholly owned by the Israeli government.

While enthusiastically endorsing the Heron’s capabilities, Wing Commander McMullan was highly critical of the quality of training provided by Israeli and Canadian instructors to Australian drone crews.

The unarmed Israeli Herons first entered RAAF service in Afghanistan in December 2009. They are the centrepiece of the ADF’s rapidly expanding drone warfare capability that has so far cost an estimated $550 million. Australian Defence Force chief General David Hurley told a Senate estimates hearing in Canberra late last month: “I wouldn’t discount the fact that we might have armed UAVs thinking through our force structure review into the future.”…

More: ABC News

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Human Arrival Blamed For Extinction Of Australia’s Giant Creatures

P1030968Imagine if our ancestors hadn’t stumbled upon Australia, and the continent were still populated with its magically large fauna of thousands of years ago. UPI writes:

Human hunting caused the extinction of ancient giant animals, or “megafauna,” in Australia about 40,000 years ago, scientists say. A study has put the blame for the extinction of 600-pound kangaroos and birds twice the size of modern emus on humans rather than on climate change as was once thought.

“The debate really should be over now,” John Alroy, from Macquarie University in Sydney, said. “Hunting did it, end of story.” The researchers studied fungi found in the dung of large herbivores in cores of sediment from a fossilized swamp in Queensland dating back 130,000 years.

The study shows numbers of megafauna species were stable until 40,000 years ago despite two periods of climate change, the researchers said, suggesting newly arrived humans hunted the animals to extinction.

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Aussie Scientist … and CIA Spy?

Australian conspiracy theorists are in overdrive per this report in the Sydney Morning Herald:
''I am definitely not a CIA spy.'' So said one of the country's leading CSIRO scientists last night as politics in Canberra took a definite turn to barmy. Research into legumes might not seem an obvious front to conceal a spy ring, but then again, the spooks are trained to hide in plain sight. Why else would the Rockefeller Foundation - the American philanthropic fund accused by mining magnate Clive Palmer of plotting with CIA backing to silence Australia's mining boom - have invested $142,118 in scientist TJ Higgins?...
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All I Saw On Australia Day Was Police Aggression; How About You?

311px-Australian_Coat_of_ArmsThe 26 January 2012 incident where Australia’s Prime Minister Gillard was dragged away by security forces to a car and speeded away has been portrayed by the media as an attack or riot on Australia Day.

Selective scenes have been used to give people the impression of a violent mob threatening the Prime Minister and the  opposition leader. When the video footage failed to display evidence of such violence, they then replaced some video footage with photo images of the Prime Minister dragged almost on the ground by the security officer to create the right atmosphere to justify their narration.

The police said that they will not charge anybody over the incident, and some writers begin to compare the Australia Day incident with the 2005 racially motivated Cronulla Riot; and then believe that it is unfair not to arrest the “rioters” over the incident.

The truth is that while the protesters may be noisy by chanting slogans with a small number patting on the restaurant glass window, they are not violent at all and I cannot see any video footage presented by the Australian media showing any evidence of protesters slamming or smashing the glass window.… Read the rest

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‘X’ Now A Gender Option In Australian Passports

737450-3x2-940x627A forward-thinking move, as the gender-ambiguous can now classify themselves as ‘X’. Still no “android” or “monkey-man” passport options, though. Associated Press reports:

Australian passports will now have three gender options – male, female and indeterminate – under new guidelines to remove discrimination against transgender and intersex people, the government said Thursday. Intersex people, who are biologically not entirely male or female, will be able to list their gender on passports as “X.”

Previously, gender was a choice of only male or female, and people were not allowed to change their gender on their passport without having had a sex-change operation. The U.S. dropped the surgery prerequisite for transgender people’s passports last year.

Any country that complies with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s specifications for machine-readable passports can choose to introduce a gender “X.”

“‘X’ is really quite important because there are people who are indeed genetically ambiguous and were probably arbitrarily assigned as one sex or the other at birth,” Pratt said.

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Inside Australia’s Reincarnated Jesus Cult

Alan Miller is an affable young Aussie who claims to be Jesus Christ returned to Earth. (And his girlfriend says she's Mary Magdalene to boot.) Miller has amassed several dozen worshipers, "television soap stars" among them, who have moved onto his sixteen-acre woodland compound in Queensland to be closer to their prophet. Being the son of God, he naturally has some entertaining life stories up his sleeve, including the time he gave relationship advice to Gandhi (in heaven). Add in a George Harrison hairdo, and you can see the appeal:
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Evidence of Murdoch’s Newspapers Distorting News to Fuel Racism

Media disinformation and negativity against non-Western cultures in Australia is a terminal disease spreading into the bloodstream of the mainstream media industry in Australia. The following incident demonstrated how easy it is to demonize a Chinese restaurant in Melbourne through the manipulation of news using the techniques of factual omission, misleading heading, misleading bullet-point-highlight, misleading bold-highlight and the editorializing of content using a series of subjective and strong wordings to sell the personal opinion of the journalist or editor as news.

How did Murdoch’s Newspapers demonise a Chinese Restaurant in Melbourne?

Can you tell the problem with the following report by the Herald Sun?

St Kilda Chinese restaurant food bill handed to man in ambulance

By Jessica Craven    From: Herald Sun April 26, 2011 7:21PM

  • Man suffered seizure while dining at Chinese restaurant
  • Man given bill as he was being loaded into ambulance
  • Restaurant manager said someone had to pay for meal

A CHINESE restaurant that slapped a customer with the bill as he was being loaded into an ambulance has defended its actions.

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Australia’s Military Loses Its UFO X-Files?

Truth Is Out ThereVia Reuters:
Australia's military has lost its X-Files, detailing sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects, or UFOs, across the country, a newspaper report said on Tuesday. After a two-month search in response to a newspaper Freedom of Information (FOI) request, which forces government officials to release documents of public interest, Australia's Department of Defence had been unable to locate the files, the Sydney Morning Herald said. "The files could not be located and Headquarters Air Command formally advised that this file is deemed lost," the department's FOI assistant director, Natalie Carpenter, told the paper. Defence officials could not be contacted by Reuters. The only file Defence had been able to locate was a folder called: "Report on UFOs/Strange Occurrences and Phenomena in Woomera," a military weapons testing range in the center of Australia's vast outback, Carpenter said.
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