Tag Archives: Australia

Investigating the investigative reporters: Bad news from Down Under

Australian federal police entering the Australian Broadcast Company headquarters on June 5, 2019. A.B.C. screenshot from videotape

Michael J. Socolow, University of Maine

Sometimes the best journalism tells us the worst news.

The United States has a tradition of learning troubling news through extraordinary reporting efforts from combat zones. During the Vietnam War, award-winning journalism revealed the slaughter of Vietnamese civilians by American soldiers at My Lai. More recently, reports describing the torture and abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in Iraq embarrassed the U.S. government.

Such investigative reporting ultimately helped American citizens hold accountable those charged with acting in their name. But that didn’t mean the news was welcome, or even appreciated, at the time. Continue reading

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Tom Price Bought Drug Stocks. Then He Pushed Pharma’s Agenda in Australia

by Robert Faturechi ProPublica, June 1, 2017, 8 a.m.

Tom Price. Photo: Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

In the spring before the 2016 presidential election, the Obama administration’s 12-nation trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, was still alive. Negotiators worked on details as Congress considered whether to ratify the pact.

The Australian government was getting in the way of one change demanded by U.S. pharmaceutical companies. Makers of cutting-edge biological drugs wanted to have data from their clinical trials protected from competitors for 12 years, as they are under U.S. law 2014 not the roughly five years permitted under the TPP. Australian officials insisted that an extension would deprive consumers of cheaper alternatives for too long. Continue reading

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2015: When Global Governments Trampled Human Rights in Name of National Security

Rights ‘are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world’

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 2-24-2016

Protesters in London take part in a November 2015 action to protest a visit by Egypt's president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. (Photo: Alisdare Hickson/flickr/cc)

Protesters in London take part in a November 2015 action to protest a visit by Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. (Photo: Alisdare Hickson/flickr/cc)

Governments worldwide in 2015 capitalized on supposed national security threats to trample over human rights.

That’s Amnesty International’s assessment of global human rights in its latest report.

“Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International. Continue reading

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Mining Giant Credits Activists with Possibly Saving Great Barrier Reef

Indian mining giant Adani lashes out at environmentalists who sought to block giant coal mine—and succeeded

By Lauren McCauley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 8-11-2015.

With two major financial backers withdrawing support, and a federal court revoking its license, Adani's proposed Carmichael mine appears to be sunk. (Photo: Richard Ling/cc/flickr)

With two major financial backers withdrawing support, and a federal court revoking its license, Adani’s proposed Carmichael mine appears to be sunk. (Photo: Richard Ling/cc/flickr)

Fierce environmental activism is being blamed—and credited—with spurring the potential demise of Australia’s controversial Carmichael coal mine project.

Indian mining giant Adani on Tuesday lashed out at activists, accusing them of causing delays that prompted financial backers to withdraw their support for the vast Queensland mine and port expansion along the Great Barrier Reef (GBR).

The project, which environmentalists have long warned would irreparably harm the GBR, has faced significant hurdles, the latest being the announcement by the London-based Standard Chartered bank on Monday that it was withdrawing from its advisory role on the project. Continue reading

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A Sharp Contrast

Over the last couple months, there’s been a worrisome trend happening in the German city of Dresden. Every Monday night for the last nine weeks, a group named PEGIDA, or Patriotic Europeans Against Islamization of the West, has held a rally and a march through Dresden.

The rallies started in October in response to clashes between Kurds and Sunni Muslims over the West’s intervention in Syria. What started as a fairly small protest rally of 200 people the first week has grown over time. On Monday, 15,000 people marched through the streets carrying banners bearing slogans such as “Zero tolerance towards criminal asylum seekers”, “Protect our homeland” and “Stop the Islamization”.

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