Corruption Risk Seen in Australian Coal Deals

first_imgCorruption Risk Seen in Australian Coal Deals FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:A new report shines a critical light on the links between mining companies, lobbyists and politicians, pointing to the Indian mining giant Adani as an example of how a company with a questionable record overseas can still gain mining approval in Australia.It warns the political mining complex in Australia’s two biggest mining states, Western Australian and Queensland, is “susceptible to corruption” due to key weaknesses in their approvals regimes, including inadequate due diligence investigation into the companies and individuals applying for mining leases.It also criticises the “revolving doors” of personnel between government and industry broadly, and political donations regimes.The report, published by Transparency International Australia (TIA), Corruption Risks: Mining Approvals in Australia, was released on Wednesday.Its authors conducted 47 interviews with experts from government, industry, civil society, academics, Indigenous traditional owners and consultants in Perth and Brisbane to gather its evidence. Its list of key weaknesses in the mining approvals regimes is long.The researchers says “industry influence” is a corruption risk in Australia, particularly with regard to large infrastructure project approvals in Queensland and WA.It notes the mining industry has disclosed donations of $16.6m to major political parties over the past 10 years (2006-07 to 2015-16), and warns the under-regulated system of political donations can allow special interest groups to attempt to influence policy-making at all levels of government.It highlights the “revolving doors” of personnel between government an industry as a risk in Australia generally.It points out 191 of 538 lobbyists (35.5%) registered by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, as of September 2016, were former government representatives.The researchers also warn government departments involved in the mining approvals process in Queensland and WA do not undertake adequate due diligence into the character and integrity of applicants for mining leases, including companies’ track records overseas, and investigations of their financial capacity do not involve an examination of beneficial ownership to understand who the real owners are.The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis also warned this week that Adani’s ambitions in Queensland faced a new risk, with the company having to refinance more than $2bn in debt on the Abbot Point coal terminal – more than it paid for the port in 2011.More: Mining companies’ links with politicians ‘susceptible to corruption’ – reportlast_img read more

‘Unspeakable horror’: the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

first_imgThe bombs The first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in western Japan on Aug. 6, 1945 by the US bomber Enola Gay.The bomb, weighing 13-16 kilotons, was nicknamed “Little Boy” but its impact was anything but small.It detonated about 600 meters from the ground, with a force equivalent to 15,000 tons of TNT, and killed 140,000 people. The attacks When the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, the first thing people noticed was an “intense ball of fire” according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).Temperatures at the epicenter of the blast reached an estimated 7,000 degrees Celsius (12,600 Fahrenheit), which caused fatal burns within a radius of about three kilometers.ICRC experts say there were cases of temporary or permanent blindness due to the intense flash of light, and subsequent related damage such as cataracts.A whirlwind of heat generated by the explosion also ignited thousands of fires that burned several square kilometers of the largely wooden city. A firestorm that consumed all available oxygen caused more deaths by suffocation.It has been estimated that burn- and fire-related casualties accounted for more than half of the immediate deaths in Hiroshima.The explosion generated an enormous shock wave that in some cases literally carried people away. Others were crushed to death inside collapsed buildings or injured or killed by flying debris.”I remember the charred bodies of little children lying around the hypocenter area like black rocks,” Koichi Wada, who was 18 at the time of the Nagasaki attack, has said of the bombing. Tens of thousands died instantly, while others succumbed to injuries or illness in the weeks, months and years that followed.Three days later, the US dropped a second bomb dubbed “Fat Man” on the city of Nagasaki, killing another 74,000 people.The attacks remain the only time atomic bombs have been used in wartime. Japan this week marks the 75th anniversary of the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which killed over 200,000 people and left many more deeply traumatized and even stigmatized.Here are some facts about the devastating attacks: Topics : The aftermath The twin bombings dealt the final blow to imperial Japan, which surrendered on August 15, 1945, bringing an end to World War II.Historians have debated whether the devastating bombings ultimately saved lives by bringing an end to the conflict and averting a ground invasion.But those calculations meant little to survivors, many of whom battled decades of physical and psychological trauma, as well as the stigma that sometimes came with being a hibakusha.Despite their suffering and their status as the first victims of the atomic age, many survivors were shunned — in particular for marriage — because of prejudice over radiation exposure. Survivors and their supporters have become some of the loudest and most powerful voices opposing the use of nuclear weapons, meeting world leaders in Japan and overseas to press their case.Last year, Pope Francis met with several hibakusha on visits to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, paying tribute to the “unspeakable horror” suffered by victims of the attacks.In 2016, Barack Obama became the first sitting US president to visit Hiroshima. He offered no apology for the attack, but embraced survivors and called for a world free of nuclear weapons. Radiation effects The bomb attacks unleashed radiation that proved deadly both immediately and over the longer term.Radiation sickness was reported in the attack’s aftermath by many who survived the initial blast and firestorm.Acute radiation symptoms include vomiting, headaches, nausea, diarrhea, hemorrhaging and hair loss, with radiation sickness fatal for many within a few weeks or months.Bomb survivors, known as hibakusha, also experienced longer-term effects including elevated risks of thyroid cancer and leukemia, and both Hiroshima and Nagasaki have seen elevated cancer rates.Of 50,000 radiation victims from both cities studied by the Japanese-US Radiation Effects Research Foundation, about 100 died of leukemia and 850 suffered from radiation-induced cancers.The foundation found no evidence however of a “significant increase” in serious birth defects among survivors’ children.last_img read more

Gary Neville gets first La Liga win

first_imgGary Neville finally has his first La Liga win as Valencia coach, 10 games and two months into his reign, as goals from Alvaro Negredo and Denis Cheryshev brought a badly needed victory which should ease the pressure for at least a while on the former Manchester United defender.Things did not seem to be going too well when, after a goalless first half low between two teams lacking in confidence, Espanyol defender Oscar Duarte headed his side in front just seven minutes into the second half.Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves, returned to the team after nine months injury absence, was at fault for Duarte’s goal. But without the Brazilian keeper it could have been much worse for Neville’s side — as he made two point blank stops in either half to keep his team in the game.For the 10th time in Neville’s 10 La Liga games Valencia were 1-0 down. The former Manchester United defender sent on Negredo to partner Paco Alcacer up top, and 11 minutes later the veteran striker had the equaliser. It came with a stroke of good fortune as his shot deflected into the net after an excellent driving run from right-back Joao Cancelo.Duarte had another free header from a corner — but missed this time — and seconds later Valencia were ahead. Cancelo was involved again down the right wing, with the cross being headed to the net by a diving Cheryshev at the back post. Before the match, Neville denied that this was a “must-win” game for him, but he must have breathed a huge sigh of relief as he finally got that first victory.–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @JoySportsGH. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more