Politics


Peter Dutton declares ‘game is up’ for ‘fake refugees’ living in Australia

21st May 2017

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has given 7,500 asylum seekers living in Australia until October to lodge an application for protection, or face deportation, declaring the “game is up” for “fake refugees”.

Mr Dutton said the asylum seekers had all arrived by boat under the previous Labor government, most without identity documents, and had so far either failed or refused to present their case for asylum with the Immigration Department.

“If people think they can rip the Australian taxpayer off, if people think that they can con the Australian taxpayer, then I’m sorry, the game’s up,” he said.

“They need to provide the information, they need to answer the questions and then they can be determined to be a refugee or not.”

The asylum seekers have now been given until October 1 to lodge an application for processing or they will be cut off from Government payments, subject to removal from Australia, and banned from re-entering the country.

According to Mr Dutton, the group is costing taxpayers about $250 million each year in income support alone and the deadline would ensure the Government is “not providing financial support to people who have no right to be in Australia”.

South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon said the new policy would have public support, and appeal to the Coalition’s support base, but urged the Government to take a “calm, methodical and fair” approach.

“I only hope that the Government puts as much effort into dealing with job seekers as it does with asylum seekers,” Senator Xenophon said on Insiders.

But refugee advocates have slammed the “arbitrary” deadline as “cruel and unfair”.

GetUp’s human rights director Shen Narayanasamy said while many of the asylum seekers had been in Australia for years, they were only given the go ahead to lodge an application for protection last November.

“Asylum claims are incredibly long, torturous documents,” she said.

“And what Peter Dutton has failed to tell you is that he has denied them interpreters and access to legal assistance.”

Of the 50,000 asylum seekers who arrived by boat between 2008 and 2013, 43,000 have now been processed — which means they have either been granted a visa or had their claims rejected — or are currently having their claims assessed.

However, there are 7,500 asylum seekers “outside the process” and that is the group now subject to the October 1 deadline.

Asylum seeker statistics

  • 50,000 Illegal Maritime Arrivals arrived in Australia between 2008 and 2013
  • Labor processed 20,000 of these people
  • It stopped processing IMAs in August 2012 leaving 30,500 people yet to be processed — this is known as the Legacy Caseload
  • 23,000 of the Legacy Caseload have applied for Temporary Protection Visas or Save Haven Visas
  • Of those 6,500 have been granted a TPV or SHEV
  • 3,000 have already been found not to be refugees and must leave Australia
  • 13,000 are having their claims assessed
  • Around 7,500 remain outside the process and have not presented their case for protection

Source: Federal Government

 

 

source:http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-21/peter-dutton-october-deadline-asylum-seekers-protection/8544890

Barack Obama Talked Directly with Mark Zuckerberg About Facebook Concerns

21st May 2017

Former president Barack Obama spoke directly with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during the latter’s drafting of a 5,700-word manifesto outlining the company’s future goals.

Obama was one of the instigators of the “fake news” panic that has put Facebook in the establishment’s CROSSHAIRS following the election of Donald Trump. Obama has repeatedly addressed the issue and even discussed it privately with European leaders prior to leaving office.

According to a major New York Times Magazine feature on the future of Facebook, he is also holding private discussions with Mark Zuckerberg.

Earlier that day, Zuckerberg’s staff had sent me a draft of a 5,700­ word manifesto that, I was told, he spent weeks writing. The document, “Building Global Community,” argued that until now, Facebook’s corporate goal had merely been to connect people. But that was just Step 1. According to the manifesto, Facebook’s “next focus will be developing the social infrastructure for community — for supporting us, for keeping us safe, for informing us, for civic engagement, and for inclusion of all.” If it was a nebulous crusade, it was also vast in its ambition.

According to the piece, Zuckerberg — after a “pause” — admitted that he had been in talks with former president Obama during the drafting of the manifesto.

When I asked if he had chatted with Obama about the former president’s critique of Facebook, Zuckerberg paused for several seconds, nearly to the point of awkwardness, before answering that he had.

Facebook’s spokespeople then called the New York Times Magazine reporter to clarify the CEO’s comments, which the reporter interpreted as an attempt to counter the perception that the new manifesto was “partisan” and “anti-Trump.”

Facebook’s spokespeople later called to stress that Obama was only one of many people to whom he had spoken. In other words: Don’t read this as a partisan anti-­Trump manifesto. But if the company pursues the admittedly airy aims outlined in “Building Global Community,” the changes will echo across media and politics, and some are bound to be considered partisan. The risks are especially clear for changes aimed at adding layers of journalistic ethics across News Feed, which could transform the public’s perception of Facebook, not to mention shake the foundations of its business.

 

 

source: http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2017/05/19/revealed-barack-obama-talked-directly-mark-zuckerberg-facebook-concerns/

Chelsea Manning released from prison

17th May 2017

Chelsea Manning, the army private who released a vast trove of US state secrets and was punished by the US military for months in penal conditions denounced by the UN as torture, has been released from a military prison in Kansas after serving seven years of a 35-year sentence.

Manning walked out to freedom after 2,545 days in military captivity. She was arrested in May 2010 outside a US army base on the outskirts of Baghdad, having leaked hundreds of thousands of documents and videos downloaded from intelligence databases to WikiLeaks.

The US military confirmed that Manning was released on Wednesday morning.

The disclosures included Collateral Murder, the footage of a US Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad in which two Reuters journalists and other civilians were killed.

Her seven-year ordeal has seen her held captive in Iraq, Kuwait and the US, always in male-only detention facilities. In that time, she has waged a relentless legal battle to be respected as a transgender woman, winning the right to receive hormone treatment but still being subjected to male-standard hair length and dress codes.

Barack Obama granted Manning clemency in his final days in office in January. In commuting to time served her 35-year sentence – the longest ever penalty dished out in the US to an official leaker – the outgoing commander in chief said that “justice had been served”.

Speaking from her prison cell as she prepared for release last week, Manning said: “I’m looking forward to breathing the warm spring air again.

“I want that indescribable feeling of connection with people and nature again, without razor wire or a visitation booth. I want to be able to hug my family and friends again. And swimming – I want to go swimming!”

Obama’s decision to release the soldier early leaves her with legal challenges still hanging over her. Foremost of those is the fact that her sentence from 2013 under the Espionage Act remains in full force ­– a fact that her lawyers regard as ominous given the current incumbent of the White House.

As a result, even in freedom Manning will continue to press vigorously for her sentence to be overturned. Her appeal, filed almost exactly a year ago in the US Army court of criminal appeals, argued that her 35 year sentence was “perhaps the most unjust sentence in the history of the military justice system”.

Manning’s appeal lawyer, Nancy Hollander, told the Guardian: “People keep assuming that just because someone is released their appeal is over. The rest of her case is still out there and we want to clear her name. She was convicted of crimes that I don’t believe she committed and her whole prosecution was unfair.”

A fundraising drive to help Manning raise the legal fees needed to keep going with the appeal has been launched by Courage Foundation together with the German branch of Reporters Without Borders and the Wau Holland Foundation.

Manning’s mother Susan Manning, who is Welsh, told the Press Association that she was rejoicing at news of the release. “I am so proud of Chelsea and delighted she will finally be free again.”

Manning moved to Haverfordwest in Wales in 2001 when she was 14 to live with her mother, but returned to the US where she was born and brought up after school ended.

 

 

source:https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/17/chelsea-manning-released-from-prison?CMP=fb_gu

Murdered DNC staffer ‘DID have links to Wikileaks

16th May 2017

DNC staffer Seth Rich did have contact with Wikileaks before he was gunned down in Washington DC last year, a new investigation has claimed.

Mr Rich, 27, was shot dead in the city’s affluent Bloomingdale neighborhood in the early hours of July 10 while on the phone to his girlfriend after a night out in what police claim was a ‘botched robbery’.

His father has insisted his son was not behind the mammoth leak of tens of thousands of DNC emails prior to the 2016 presidential election, including messages from seven key staffers, which led to the resignation of chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

The emails were released by Wikileaks over several months before Hillary Clinton lost the election.

And Rod Wheeler, a private investigator hired by the Rich family, claims there is evidence on Rich’s laptop which suggests he was communicating with Julian Assange’s site.

Mr Wheeler says either DC police or the FBI are holding the data analyst’s laptop as part of a conspiracy to cover up his death.

The police department nor the FBI have been forthcoming,’ said Wheeler in a report to be aired on Fox News today.

He goes on: ‘They haven’t been cooperating at all. I believe that the answer to solving his death lies on that computer, which I believe is either at the police department or either at the FBI. I have been told both.’

Mr Wheeler claimed sources have given him ‘confirmed’ evidence that Mr Rich was in contact with Wikileaks while a DC police insider has told him they were ‘told to stand down on this case’.

WikiLeaks published thousands of hacked DNC emails less than two weeks after Rich’s death.

 

source; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4509952/DNC-staffer-Seth-Rich-DID-links-Wikileaks.html?ito=social-facebook

Medical studies are almost always bogus

7th May 2017

How many times have you encountered a study — on, say, weight loss — that trumpeted one fad, only to see another study discrediting it a week later?

That’s because many medical studies are junk. It’s an open secret in the research community, and it even has a name: “the reproducibility crisis.”

For any study to have legitimacy, it must be replicated, yet only half of medical studies celebrated in newspapers hold water under serious follow-up scrutiny — and about two-thirds of the “sexiest” cutting-edge reports, including the discovery of new genes linked to obesity or mental illness, are later “disconfirmed.”

Though erring is a key part of the scientific process, this level of failure slows scientific progress, wastes time and resources and costs taxpayers excesses of $28 billion a year, writes NPR science correspondent Richard Harris in his book “Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope, and Wastes Billions” (Basic Books).

“When you read something, take it with a grain of salt,” Harris tells The Post. “Even the best science can be misleading, and often what you’re reading is not the best science.”

Take one particularly enraging example: For many years research on breast cancer was conducted on misidentified melanoma cells, which means that thousands of papers published in credible scientific journals were actually studying the wrong cancer. “It’s impossible to know how much this sloppy use of the wrong cells has set back research into breast cancer,” writes Harris.

Another study claimed to have invented a blood test that could detect ovarian cancer — which would mean much earlier diagnosis. The research was hailed as a major breakthrough on morning shows and in newspapers. Further scrutiny, though, revealed the only reason the blood test “worked” was because the researchers tested the two batches on two separate days — all the women with ovarian cancer on one day, and without the disease the next. Instead of measuring the differences in the cancer, the blood test had, in fact, measured the day-to-day differences in the machine.

So why are so many tests bogus? Harris has some thoughts.

For one, science is hard. Everything from unconscious bias — the way researchers see their data through the rosy lens of their own theses — to the types of beaker they use or the bedding that they keep mice in can cloud results and derail reproducibility.

Then there is the funding issue. During the heyday of the late ’90s and early aughts, research funding increased until Congress decided to hold funding flat for the next decade, creating an atmosphere of intense, some would say unhealthy, competition among research scientists. Now only 17 percent of grants get funded (compared to a third three decades ago). Add this to the truly terrible job market for post-docs — only 21 percent land tenure track jobs — and there is a greater incentive to publish splashy counterintuitive studies, which have a higher likelihood of being wrong, writes Harris.

One effect of this “pressure to publish” situation is intentional data manipulation, where scientists cherry-pick the information that supports a hypothesis while ignoring the data that doesn’t — an all too common problem in academic research, writes Harris.

“There’s a constant scramble for research dollars. Promotions and tenure depend on making splashy discoveries. There are big rewards for being first, even if the work ultimately fails the test of time,” writes Harris.

‘Promotions and tenure depend on making splashy discoveries. There are big rewards for being first, even if the work ultimately fails the test of time.’

This will only get worse if funding is cut further — something that seems inevitable under proposed federal tax cuts. “It only exacerbates the problems. With so many scientists fighting for a shrinking pool of money, cuts will only make all of these issues worse,” Harris says.

Luckily, there is a growing group of people working to expose the ugly side of how research is done. One of them is Stanford professor John Ioannidis, considered one of the heroes of the reproducibility movement. He’s written extensively on the topic, including a scathing paper titled “Why Most Published Scientific Research Findings Are False.”

He’s found, for example, out of tens of thousands of papers touting discoveries of specific genes linked to everything from depression to obesity, only 1.2 percent had truly positive results. Meanwhile, Dr. Ioannidis followed 49 studies that had been cited at least a thousand times — of which seven had been “flatly contradicted” by further research. This included one that claimed estrogen and progestin benefited women after hysterectomies “when in fact the drug combination increased the risk of heart disease and breast cancer.”

Other organizations like Retraction Watch, which tracks discredited studies in real time, and the Cochrane group, an independent network of researchers that pushes for evidence-based medicine, act as industry watchdogs. There is also an internal push for scientists to make their data public so it’s easier to police bad science.

The public can play a role, too. “If we curb our enthusiasm a bit,” Harris writes, “scientists will be less likely to run headlong after dubious ideas.”

 

 

source: http://nypost.com/2017/05/06/medical-studies-are-almost-always-bogus/

Unvaccinated travellers bring deadly diseases back to Australia

3rd May 2017

Australian tourists returning home from Bali make up almost half of all cases of dengue fever and rabies in New South Wales, new data has shown.

Up to 400 NSW patients catch dengue fever – a potentially deadly disease spread by mosquitos – each year, with about half picking up the disease in Bali.

Close to 303 NSW patients were affected by rabies in 2015, and close to half of those cases originated in Indonesia, mainly from Bali.

The health department told News Corp travellers were ignoring rabies warnings overseas.

“Figures for 2016 have not yet been finalised but the trend appears to be continuing despite warning to travellers to avoid dogs and monkeys while overseas,” a spokesperson said.

It comes months after a measles outbreak affected more than 20 people in Western Sydney, which was believed to have also come from Bali.

The figures come as Health Minister Brad Hazzard slammed parents who refuse to vaccinate their children, warning their decision was risking similar outbreaks.

“We need to recognise we’re a very lucky continent – we’re on an island,” he said.

“We have greater capacity than almost anybody to be able to draw the vaccination curtains around us and keep us safe. But some people, who are either not vaccinated or not vaccinated adequately, travel overseas and bring back a disease the rest of us shouldn’t be exposed to.”

“People need to understand that by failing to vaccinate their children they are exposing them to the very real risks of death or disability,” he said

 

 

source: https://tenplay.com.au/news/national/may-2017/unvaccinated-travellers-bring-deadly-diseases-back-to-australia

Trump: ‘I’m a Nationalist and a Globalist’

30th April 2017

On the eve of the 100 days in office milestone, President Donald Trump claims he is both a nationalist and a globalist — despite campaign promises that his presidency would reject globalism and put America first.

“Hey, I’m a nationalist and a globalist,” Trump told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday. “I’m both.”

“And I’m the only one who makes the decision, believe me,” Trump said.

But Trump also said that he would terminate NAFTA “if we’re unable to make a deal, but hopefully we won’t have to do that.”

Trump’s remarks come as debate swirls around his presidential campaign promise to end the North America Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA in contrast to his recent assertion that he will “negotiate” a revision of the treaty that has guided U.S. trade policy with Mexico and Canada since 1994.

The Journal reported that Trump received almost back-to-back calls from Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Following those conversations Trump said, “They’re serious about it and I will negotiate rather than terminate.”

“Meanwhile, Sonny Perdue—the agriculture secretary who took office two days earlier—and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross met with Mr. Trump and showed him a map indicating the states where jobs would be lost if the pact collapsed, according to a person familiar with the matter,” the Journal reported, noting that many of the states on the map supported Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

“Those conversations, along with a flood of calls to the White House from business executives, helped steer Mr. Trump away from an idea that some of his own advisers feared was a rash and unnecessary threat to two trading partners who fully expected to renegotiate the agreement anyway,” the Journal reported.

“I expect the administration to closely consult with Congress before such major trade-policy decisions are made,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees trade. “Withdrawing from NAFTA would have significant effects on the America economy.”

Following Trump’s election in November, Chriss Street penned a commentary for Breitbart News focused on how Trump’s “America First” message would strike a blow to “world socialism.”

“The election of Donald Trump now represents an existential threat to World Socialism across the planet,” Street wrote. “Socialists know that when President Reagan went rogue with his muscular capitalist policies, communism quickly imploded. Trump has already torn up the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would have internationalized the law covering $28 trillion in trade and investment, about 40 percent of global GDP.

“Trump seems determined to destroy “Socialist Globalization” with the same capitalist tax cuts and regulatory relief that President Reagan used to destroy communism,” Street wrote.

In an interview with conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham last month, former presidential candidate and conservative commentator Pat Buchanan said abandoning his populist economic message would be “fatal” for Trump’s presidency.

 

source: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/04/28/trump-im-a-nationalist-and-a-globalist/

Turkish authorities block access to Wikipedia

29th April 2017

Turkey on Saturday blocked all access inside the country to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, an internet monitoring group said, but it was not clear why the ban had been imposed.

A block affecting all langage editions of the website in Turkey was detected after an administrative order by the Turkish authorities, the Turkey Blocks monitoring group said in a statement.

Residents in Istanbul were unable to access any pages of Wikipedia without using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), AFP correspondents said.

“The loss of availability is consistent with internet filters used to censor content in the country,” Turkey Blocks said.

Turkey Blocks and Turkish media, including the Hurriyet daily, said the site has been blocked under a provisional administrative order that would need to be backed by a full court order in the next days.

“After technical analysis and legal consideration based on the Law Nr. 5651, an administrative measure has been taken for this website,” Turkey’s Information and Communication Technologies Authority was quoted as saying.

No reason was given for the order to block Wikipedia and other websites, including leading social media, appeared to be working normally.

Turkey Blocks said the restriction was in place with multiple Internet Service Providers..

Turkey has become notorious over the last years for temporarily blocking access to popular sites, including Facebook and Twitter, in the wake of major events such as mass protests or terror attacks.

Savvy internet users frequently resort to the use of VPNs to get around these bans although there have been complaints that the use of VPNs has now also started to be blocked.

The government says such measures are always temporary and needed for national security but critics see them as another restriction on civil liberties under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The move to block Wikipedia caused an uproar on social media in Turkey with users angrily denouncing the decision to restrict access to one of the world’s most popular websites.

Some speculated the decision may have been prompted by deeply unflattering updates by critical users to Erdogan’s Wikipedia profile after he won the April 16 referendum on enhancing his powers.

The government insists that the new presidential system – largely due to come into force in 2019 – will improve efficiency but critics fear it will lead to one-man rule.

 

 

source:http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/04/29/turkish-authorities-block-access-wikipedia

Only 2.65 Percent of Immigrants into Italy Are Refugees

24th April 2017

According to official reports, during the year 2016, only 2.65 percent of those immigrating into Italy were awarded asylum as refugees, with the vast majority staying on in the country as illegal, undocumented immigrants.

According to the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR), a total of 181,436 migrants crossed the Mediterranean Sea into Italy during 2016, a record year in recent history. This figure does not include those who were able to enter the country undetected, but only those who were officially registered either by Italian officials or NGOs.

Of these, only 4,808 were recognized as refugees and awarded asylum in Italy, a mere 2.65 percent of the total number of those making the crossing.

A disturbing statistic that has recently come to light reveals that half of the migrants arriving in the country (90,334) never even requested asylum, but disappeared into the country as undocumented immigrants, commonly referred to by the Italians as “clandestini.”

The remaining 91,902 migrants applied for asylum, and 60 percent of these (54,252) had their petitions rejected unconditionally. Another 21 percent (18,979) were awarded “humanitarian protection,” allowing them a renewable yearly permission to remain in the country, and 14 percent more (12,873) were given “subsidiary protection.”

The 4,808 immigrants who were awarded asylum represent 5.28 percent of the asylum seekers and therefore only 2.65 percent of the total number of immigrants entering in the country during the year.

Despite the fact that the vast majority of immigrants into Italy were denied asylum, fewer than 5,000 were deported in 2016, meaning that more than 175,000 remained in the country, most of them illegally.

Despite last year’s record immigration into Italy, the first quarter of 2017 registered a 30 percent jump compared with the same period in 2016. Shortly afterward, Italy received another 8,500 migrants in a single weekend as migrants poured into the country over Easter.

The leader of the Northern League (La Lega) political party, Matteo Salvini, announced that he would bring a case against government leaders for promotion of illegal immigration into the country.

“It is now clear that illegal immigration is organized and financed and for this reason we have decided to bring a case against the government, the President of the Council, the ministers and the commanders of the Navy and the Coast Guard,” Salvini said.

 

source: http://www.breitbart.com/london/2017/04/24/report-only-2-65-percent-of-immigrants-into-italy-are-refugees/