from Crikey .....
Why is there no media scepticism about these terror raids?
Greg Barns writes:
The world renowned journalist, author and film-maker John Pilger has been awarded the 2009 Sydney Peace Prize. The jury's citation reads:
"For work as an author, film-maker and journalist as well as for courage as a foreign and war correspondent in enabling the voices of the powerless to be heard. For commitment to peace with justice by exposing and holding governments to account for human rights abuses and for fearless challenges to censorship in any form.'
Over the weekend, the government has identified another way to embarrass itself.
Karen Steyn is the barrister representing David Miliband, who has been arguing that we must suppress evidence of torture in the case of Binyam Mohamed. On Saturday, the high court judges sent the foreign secretary a transcript of their interrogation of Steyn for him to confirm in writing whether he really means what she says.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Treasurer Wayne Swan have been cleared by the auditor-general of any wrongdoing in the OzCar affair.
But the auditor-general has criticised the public servant who sparked the investigation - Godwin Grech - and says he faces serious questions as to whether he breached the Public Service code of conduct.
The release of today's report coincides with the admission by Mr Grech that he created the fake email at the centre of the scandal and showed it to Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull.
Mr. Biden has now supplied evidence for two plotlines - a deep rift within the administration, or a "sophisticated game," said Andrei V. Ryabov, a political analyst at Moscow's Carnegie Center. This ambiguity, he said, plays into the conviction of Mr. Putin and his team that real events take place far from view, among a handful of powerful individuals, and that public politics are "no more than puppetry, decoration in the theater."
Burma's isolated military junta is building a secret nuclear reactor and plutonium extraction facilities with North Korean help, with the aim of acquiring its first nuclear bomb in five years, according to evidence from key defectors revealed in an exclusive Herald report today.
The secret complex, much of it in caves tunnelled into a mountain at Naung Laing in northern Burma, runs parallel to a civilian reactor being built at another site by Russia that both the Russians and Burmese say will be put under international safeguards.
week in review july 31
Write them off as impromptu indiscretions, or as off-the-cuff remarks not to be taken as formal expressions of policy, but diplomatic time-bombs tossed casually in the past month by his Vice President and his Secretary of State are exposing President Barack Obama to something dangerously close to ridicule on the international stage.
At best Obama is presiding over an undisciplined cabinet; at worst, he is facing mutiny, publicly conducted by two people who only a year ago were claiming that their qualifications to be in the Oval Office were far superior to those of the junior senator from Illinois.
A judge ruled Thursday that one of the youngest detainees brought to Guantanamo Bay is being held illegally and must be released - 6½ years after the detainee from Afghanistan says he was tortured into confessing at age 12.
U.S. District Judge Ellen Huvelle's order does not end the case of Mohammed Jawad, however. Deputy Assistant Attorney General Ian Gershengorn told the judge that as the State Department negotiates with the detainee's home country for his return next month, the Justice Department also is pursuing a criminal investigation.
Picture by Gus.
When it comes to conservation, I have been somewhat at the forefront of it, soon after I arrived in this country — Australia... Sure I have made some errors at times, but I have made up for these in many ways. For example, I have strongly argued, scientifically, with creationists about evolution, in the 70s.
from Crikey .....
Canberra correspondent Bernard Keane writes:
Move over weightlifting, shift aside professional cycling, and make some room you Olympic sprinters. We think we've found a sport that makes you three, regular gold, silver and bronze medallists in the title for least-credible sport, look positively sensible and well run.
America, it seems, can't wait to get back to business - risky business - as usual. No matter how atrocious business has been.
Newsweek's latest cover story declares that The Great Recession is over. A Merrill Lynch report concurs, saying, "The recession is over ... We are bullish on global equities." Goldman Sachs is placing riskier bets on the market than it did before the financial meltdown (and setting aside huge amounts of money to pay its executives).