Tuesday 1st of December 2015

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by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2015-12-01 19:59

The case of the disappearing island

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop thought she had found a chink in Tanya Plibersek's armour during Question Time today. 

According to the transcript of a radio interview Ms Plibersek conducted last month, the island of Eneko had "literally disappeared into the sea". 

Ms Bishop gleefully told Question Time, Eneko Island still exists and held up a photo to prove her point. 

But since then Labor has pointed out that its own transcript was wrong. 

Ms Plibersek was speaking about another island, Anebok, as the audio file confirms. Double whoops.

by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2015-12-01 19:54

Tony Abbott says he would have died happy with his government's achievements if he had been accidentally killed on the morning of the day that he was removed as prime minister.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-i-would-have-died-happy-20151130-glbule.html#ixzz3t3quLwxc 
Follow us: @smh on Twitter | sydneymorningherald on Facebook


Delusion of self-importance is the privilege of those who don't have anything to loose because they achieved nothing.

by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2015-12-01 19:47

The Turnbull government repackaged its existing spending on helping poor nations combat climate change and implied it was a new commitment in a "deeply disappointing" move on the world stage in Paris, according to the peak body for Australian aid agencies.

In a closely watched address to 150 world leaders at the UN's climate summit overnight, Mr Turnbull said Australia would spend $1 billion over five years helping developing countries, especially those in the Pacific, to cope with climate change impacts and cut emissions.

"Some of the most vulnerable nations are our Pacific neighbours and we are helping them to build resilience through practical action and assistance," Mr Turnbull said.

He conceded the money was not additional spending, and would be drawn from the existing foreign aid budget.

Australian Council for International Development chief executive Marc Purcell, whose organisation is the peak body for the nation's overseas aid organisations, said Australia already spends close to $200 million a year on climate change aid.

He said the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed this figure on Tuesday. The department has been contacted for comment.

Mr Purcell described Mr Turnbull's announcement as "deeply disappointing" and said he was "repackaging announcements".

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/this-is-not-new-money-turnbull-government-accused-of-repackaging-climate-aid-gift-20151201-glc845.html#ixzz3t3qJSDf3 
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by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2015-12-01 19:41

The former prime minister told Fairfax Media it was "false" that Ms Bishop had warned him of a phone call where Malcolm Turnbull was making plans for a post-Abbott government seven months before he challenged for the leadership.

The call was a clear sign that Mr Turnbull, then communications minister, was considering a leadership strike against Mr Abbott.

In the February 8 call, Mr Turnbull offered Scott Morrison the treasurer's post in a future Turnbull government, as disclosed by Fairfax Media's Shirtfronted series this week.

Ms Bishop was in the same room as Mr Turnbull at the time, a silent participant in the call. The three continued to serve in the Abbott cabinet for another seven months and six days.

When Ms Bishop was asked on Channel Nine on Tuesday whether she had told Mr Abbott about the call, she responded: "Of course, of course." 

But Mr Abbott said: "The claim that Julie Bishop made on Channel Nine that she told me about the conversation between Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison that she witnessed is false."

On a second point, Mr Abbott said it was not true that Ms Bishop had urged him to appoint two more women to his first cabinet.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-unleashes-public-attack-on-julie-bishop-accusing-her-of-telling-falsehoods-20151201-glcn3k.html#ixzz3t3mh8lSK 
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Between you, me and a Peta memo, the chances of Tony Abbott lying are far bigger than the 99.9 per cent eradication of germs by a well-known antiseptic advertised on TV. Tony's memory is linked to a permanent bullshit porkie distributor, itself attached to the right wing spruiker-press and shock-jocks who wants to stir the pot. Already Abbott has broken his promise not to stir the pot about 20 times. Idiot, resentful idiot who is still full of his own caca (you should notice that I promised I would not use the word "turd", in relation to Abbott from the time he was kicked out, but the word caca is permissible under my own rule). 

by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2015-12-01 19:28

It seemed like a powerful counterpoint to the perception of Donald Trump as intolerant: A hundred black ministers and religious leaders would endorse him at his offices in Manhattan, vouching for his sensitivity and broad-mindedness.

But within hours of the announcement a few days ago, furious backtracking, denials and finger-pointing were underway.

By Monday afternoon, the supposed declaration of support from a cross-section of African-Americans seemed to crumble as several pastors insisted they had never agreed to attend or back Mr. Trump. In the end, his political debut with black leaders was refashioned into a private meeting with a smaller group that played down talk of endorsements.

A few of those who showed up sounded uncomfortable. “It appears as if he’s a possible racist based upon some of the things he said about black America,” said Brehon Hall, a preacher from Toledo, Ohio, as he headed into the meeting at Trump Tower.


read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/01/us/politics/love-and-disbelief-followdonald-trump-meeting-with-black-leaders.html?_r=0

by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2015-12-01 19:22

In September 2015, IS seized the last major oilfield under Syrian government control in a desert area north-west of the ancient city of Palymra and a region that holds Syria's main natural gas fields and multi-million dollar extraction facilities.

Since taking control of key areas of Syria and Iraq last year, IS has developed an illicit trade in oil sales.

Many security analysts believe there is a huge black market for IS oil in the West.

"Islamic State's barbaric conquests are financed by collaborators among the business and financial circles of the West," wrote Dr Norman Bailey, of the Centre for National Security Studies and Geostrategy at Haifa University in Israel.

"Buyers are readily found in the West and tanker trucks are permitted to reach ports where oil tankers are waiting to load it.

"All this requires ready, willing and able collaborators among the business and financial circles of the West as well as surrounding countries."

Dr Bailey was reluctant to name the ports or countries involved.

"This is not the place to name names, but the buyers and the facilitators and the financiers are not that difficult to identify, so that if the opponents of Islamic State were really serious about doing something about it, along with the occasional bombing raid, the IS could be starved of funds," he wrote.

read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-01/is-turkey-is-buying-oil-smuggled-by-islamic-state/6991526

by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2015-12-01 18:23

Mal Brough faces fresh parliamentary pressure over his role in the downfall of the former speaker Peter Slipper, after his attempt to walk away from a key admission was undermined by 60 Minutes releasing the unedited interview exchange.

The Nine Network published transcripts of its interview with Brough and released video after the special minister of state accused the program of selectively editing a question about his contact with Slipper’s former staffer James Ashby.

Labor pressed Brough again in parliament on Tuesday – the second week he has faced question-time scrutiny stemming from Australian federal police executing a search warrant on his Sunshine Coast home in November.

With Malcolm Turnbull due to return from overseas climate talks on Wednesday and parliament scheduled to rise for the summer break at the end of the week, Labor has stepped up its calls for prime minister to act and argued his government colleagues knew Brough’s position was untenable.

Brough has pointed to extracts of a federal court decision setting aside a previous decision throwing out a sexual harassment case against Slipper brought by Ashby.

But in question time on Tuesday, the shadow attorney general, Mark Dreyfus, suggested the judgment “was handed down before the minister admitted on national television to procuring copies of the former speaker’s official diary”.

Brough told parliament: “In relation to the 60 Minutes interview, what was put to air was not the full question.”

The program, which went to air in 2014, broadcast the journalist Liz Hayes asking: “Did you ask James Ashby to procure copies of Peter Slipper’s diary for you?”

It broadcast Brough’s reply: “Yes I did.”

Following Brough’s claim on Tuesday, Guardian Australia sought a copy of the relevant exchange from 60 Minutes. The Nine Network provided a lengthy transcript of the interview, which included this exchange:

Q: Um why then also did you um assis, seek well, [plane noise] did you ask James Ashby to procure um copies of Peter Slipper’s diary for for you?

M: [10:32:19] Yes I did.

Q: Why did you do that?

M: [10:32:22] Because I believed Peter Slipper had committed a crime. I believed he was defrauding the commonwealth ...

The transcript suggests the omission of the false start at the beginning of the exchange did not materially affect the substance of the proposition to which Brough was agreeing.

read more: http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/dec/01/mal-brough-full-60-minutes-transcript-undermines-selective-editing-claim

by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2015-12-01 16:31

'We Were Too Dumb'

Interview Conducted By  and 

Without the Iraq war, Islamic State wouldn't exist today, former US special forces chief Mike Flynn openly admits. In an interview, he explains IS' rise to become a professional force and how the Americans allowed its future leader to slip out of their hands.

Michael Flynn, 56, served in the United States Army for more than 30 years, most recently as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, where he was the nation's highest-ranking military intelligence officer. Previously, he served as assistant director of national intelligence inside the Obama administration. From 2004 to 2007, he was stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq, where, as commander of the US special forces, he hunted top al-Qaida terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, one of the predecessors to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who today heads the Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq. After Flynn's team located Zarqawi's whereabouts, the US killed the terrorist in an air strike in June 2006.

In an interview, Flynn explains the rise of the Islamic State and how the blinding emotions of 9/11 led the United States in the wrong direction strategically.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: In recent weeks, Islamic State not only conducted the attacks in Paris, but also in Lebanon and against a Russian airplane over the Sinai Peninsula. What has caused the organization to shift its tactics and to now operate internationally?

Flynn: There were all kinds of strategic and tactical warnings and lots of reporting. And even the guys in the Islamic State said that they were going to attack overseas. I just don't think people took them seriously. When I first heard about the recent attacks in Paris, I was like, "Oh, my God, these guys are at it again, and we're not paying attention." The change that I think we need to be more aware of is that, in Europe, there is a leadership structure. And there's likely a leader or a leadership structure in each country in Europe. The same is probably similar for the United States, but just not obvious yet.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: You mean something like an emir or regional leadership?

Flynn: Exactly. In Osama bin Laden's writings, he elaborated about being disperse, becoming more diffuse and operating in small elements, because it's harder to detect and it's easier to act. In Paris, there were eight guys. In Mali, there were 10. Next time, maybe one or two guys will be enough.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Can an attack of that scope even take place without being coordinated and authorized by the IS leadership in Syria?

Flynn: Absolutely. There's not some line-and-block chart and a guy at the top like we have in our own systems. That's the mirror imaging that we have to, in many ways, eliminate from our thinking. I can imagine a 30-year-old guy with some training and some discussion who receives the task from the top: "Go forth and do good on behalf of our ideology." And then he picks the targets by himself, organizes his attackers and executes his mission.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Islamic State's leader is the self-proclaimed Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. What kind of leader is he?

Flynn: It's really important to differentiate between the way Osama bin Laden or Ayman al-Zawahiri represent themselves when they come out in public and how al-Baghdadi represented himself when he declared the caliphate. Bin Laden and Zawahiri sit in their videos, legs crossed, flag behind them, and they've got an AK-47 in their laps. They are presenting themselves as warriors. Baghdadi brought himself to a mosque in Mosul and spoke from the balcony, like the pope, dressed in appropriate black garb. He stood there as a holy cleric and proclaimed the Islamic caliphate. That was a very, very symbolic act. It elevated the fight from this sort of military, tactical and localized conflict to that of a religious and global war.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: What would change if al-Baghdadi were killed?

Flynn: We used to say, "We'll just keep killing the leaders, and the next guy up is not going to be as good." That didn't work out that way because al-Baghdadi is better than Zarqawi, and Zarqawi was actually better than bin Laden.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: So killing Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi wouldn't change much?

Flynn: Not at all. He could be dead today, you haven't seen him lately. I would have much preferred to have captured bin Laden and Zarqawi because as soon as you kill them, you are actually doing them and their movement a favor by making them martyrs. Zarqawi was a vicious animal. I would have preferred to see him live in a cell for the rest of his life. Their logic is still hard to understand for us in the West.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: What differentiates al-Baghdadi from Zarqawi, who led al-Qaida in Iraq between 2003 and 2006?

Flynn: Zarqawi tried to bring in foreign fighters, but not in the way that al-Baghdadi has been able to do. At the peak of Zarqawi's days, they may have been bringing in 150 a month from a dozen countries. Al-Baghdadi is bringing in 1,500 fighters a month, from more than 100 nations. He's using the modern weapons of the information age in fundamentally different ways to strengthen the attraction of their ideology. The other thing is how they target. Zarqawi was absolutely brutal -- he randomly killed guys lining up for jobs in downtown Baghdad. Al-Baghdadi is much smarter and more precise in his target selection, but still very vicious.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Who is running the military wing of the Islamic State?

Flynn: I think that al-Baghdadi or the current leader of the Islamic State is very hands-on when it comes to parts of the military, but it's a very flat, networked organization. Inside Syria and Iraq in the Levant area, my belief is that he has a couple of subordinates who are responsible for military operations, logistical, financial, etc.; they represent a combination of Egyptians, Saudis, Chechens or a Dagestanis, Americans and Europeans. We know from debriefings that they have actually broken Raqqa down into international zones because of language barriers. They have put interpreters in place in those international zones in order to communicate and get their messages around. For example, the Australians alone have about 200 people. There's even an Australian sector in Raqqa, and they're tied into the other English speakers because not everybody shows up speaking Arabic. This requires a military-like structure with military-like leadership.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: How does IS treat people who volunteer?

Flynn: They document everything. These guys are terrific about it. In their recruiting and in interviews, they ask "What's your background? Are you good with media? With weapons?" It's this kind of well-structured capability they have that then evolves into a very, very unconventional force.


read more: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/former-us-intelligence-chief-discusses-development-of-is-a-1065131.html

by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2015-12-01 16:19

While all contributions from the 195 countries at the UN’s global climate change summit in Paris will be important, three are critical. China, the United States and India hold the key to large-scale global progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

So far, the UN climate process has faced the challenge of rallying all countries behind one unified resolution. While this remains crucial, efforts to build global consensus are increasingly varied, emphasising the role that multilateral, national and subnational policies can play in responding to the unique circumstances faced by societies around the globe. The Paris meeting reflects this shift, as the UN increasingly looks to shape the individual national commitments of countries around the world into a new, dynamic global compact. This approach creates encouraging possibilities for China, the US and India – which together make up roughly 40% of global carbon emissions – to become global leaders in a new and more sustainable energy future.


by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2015-12-01 13:00


Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused Ankara of shooting down a Russian warplane to protect supplies of oil from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group to Turkey.

"We have every reason to think that the decision to shoot down our plane was dictated by the desire to protect the oil supply lines to Turkish territory," Putin said during a news conference on Monday on the fringes of UN climate talks near Paris.

"We have received additional information which unfortunately confirms that this oil, produced in areas controlled by [ISIL] and other terrorist organisations, is transported on an industrial scale to Turkey."

Putin's strongly worded statement came hours after Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu again refused to apologise for the downing of the plane near the Syrian border last Tuesday.

read mor: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/11/putin-turkey-shot-jet-protect-isil-oil-supply-151130191513006.html


It's likely that the oil is paid in weapons going from Turkey to the terrorists......