(LONDON) AUKUS: UK/USA/Australia Tri-Lateral Statement Report: To the IAEA Board of Governors #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Nov.28: UK, USA and Australia provide details of their bi-lateral agreement on AUKUS to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) …..

#AceDailyNews GOVUK Report: The United Kingdom, Australia and the United States updated the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors about the AUKUS agreement according to

Speaking on behalf on the UK, USA and Australia, H. E. Richard Sadleir, Resident Representative of Australia to the IAEA said:

Thank you Chair.

I have the honour of speaking on behalf of Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Chair, as we have previously advised the Board of Governors, and the General Conference, in September 2021 the leaders of our three countries announced a shared ambition to support Australia in acquiring conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarines. We have been clear that Australia is, and will remain, a non-nuclear weapon state party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. To reiterate, Australia does not and will not seek nuclear weapons.

Chair, this joint effort to identify, through an 18-month consultation period, the optimal approach to the acquisition by Australia, of nuclear-powered submarines is currently in its early stages. We emphasize today our willingness and intent to proceed in an open and consultative manner, especially regarding issues of nuclear material, facilities, and activities relevant to the IAEA. We also reiterate our assurance that the trilateral cooperation between Australia, the US and the UK will be fully consistent with the three parties’ respective non-proliferation obligations – and that this cooperation will be pursued in a manner that preserves the integrity of the non-proliferation regime. Many of the programme specifics have yet to be determined. There are aspects that may be relevant to the implementation of respective safeguards and other obligations, but the full implications of these aspects are not clear at this stage. There are also a number of factors beyond the purview and scope of this Board that would be inappropriate for discussion in this body.

Chair, a Board agenda item addressing safeguards related to an Australian nuclear-powered submarine programme is premature. We believe that this Board must attend to more critical issues. As such, we have not sought to engage in a procedural debate on the agenda at this time. We view this as a one-off agenda item on this issue. When there are significant developments to report, and in the interests of transparency, we are happy to update the Board in the future under Any Other Business, as we had intended to do at this meeting. Engagement between the Director General of the IAEA, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States began prior to the September announcement. It has progressed since then and will continue. We will continue to update the Board as appropriate, noting again that we are very early in the consultation process.

Chair, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States are strongly opposed to the establishment of a ‘special committee’ into this issue. Such a proposal is nothing more than an attempt to introduce issues that are extraneous to the IAEA’s technical and legal mandate and appears intended to politicise this issue. I underline again that we are in the early stages of an 18 month consultative period. We are also deeply concerned by calls for the Director General to avoid engaging with us on these issues. Not only is it proper and appropriate, but there is a firm legal basis for the Director General and the Secretariat to engage Australia, with the support of relevant partners, on issues relevant to the prospective use of nuclear material by Australia for naval nuclear propulsion. The IAEA has a legal obligation to engage Australia on these issues under Australia’s Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol. Any suggestion otherwise risks undermining the role of the Agency.

Chair, there have been some mischaracterisations of the AUKUS partnership and Australia’s acquisition of conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarines, which we have clarified in a non-paper circulated earlier this week. We will not take up the Board’s time by detailing them here, but we do wish to once again underscore that we are well aware of, and fully committed to upholding, the commitments, obligations, and authorities under our respective safeguards agreements. We have been clear that we will undertake this effort in a way that reflects our longstanding leadership in global non-proliferation and rigorous verification standards, in close consultation with the IAEA. Comments about political, geostrategic or national security implications of any activity are clearly beyond the scope of this Board’s mandate.

Finally Chair, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States remain fully committed to peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific. Discussions on those matters are more appropriately left to other forums. We will continue to approach this discussion in an open and transparent manner. We welcome the interest and questions of fellow Member States and will continue to engage with them through the appropriate channels and mechanisms.

Thank you, Chair

#AceNewsDesk report ………….Published: Nov.28: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#aukus, #australia, #iaea, #london, #united-states

(WASHINGTON) Quad Report: Leaders of the United States, Japan, India & Australia vowed on Friday to pursue a free and open Indo-Pacific region “undaunted by coercion” at their first in-person summit, which presented a united front amid shared concerns about China #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Sept.26: We stand for the rule of law, freedom of navigation and overflight, peaceful resolution of disputes, democratic values, and territorial integrity of states,” U.S. President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a joint statement after the talks…..

#AceDailyNews according to Reuters …..Quad leaders press for free Indo-Pacific, with wary eye on China with a two-hour meeting at the White House of the Quad, as the grouping of four major democracies is called, will be watched closely in Beijing, which criticized the group as “doomed to fail.”

EPA

While China was not mentioned in the public remarks by the four leaders or in the lengthy joint statement and a factsheet issued afterwards, Beijing was clearly top of mind.

Their statement made frequent mention of the leaders’ insistence on rules-based behavior in a region where China has been trying to flex its muscles.

Source: Reuters: Click here to read more.

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Sept.26: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#australia, #china, #india, #japan, #united-states, #washington

(MELBOURNE) JUST IN: #Earthquake Report: 5.9 magnitude has rattled southeast Australia, on wednesday damaging buildings in the city and stretching as far as New South Wales #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Sept.23: Prime Minister Scott Morrison said “we have had no reports of serious injuries and that is very good news”.

#AceDailyNews says that a Melbourne #Earthquake: Tremor rattles southeast Australia on Wednesday that happened about 09:15 local time (23:15 GMT) on Wednesday at Mansfield, not far from the Victorian state capital and was also felt in neighbouring South Australia and New South Wales (NSW).

Rubble from a shop on the street in Chapel St, Victoria
Melbourne’s popular Chapel St shopping precinct was among areas damaged

It was followed by two aftershocks of 4.0 and 3.1 magnitude.

While this is one of Australia’s largest earthquakes in recent years, it has not caused significant damage.

Speaking from the US, Mr Morrison noted earthquakes were uncommon in Australia and they “can be a very, very disturbing event”.

EPAMelbourne is home to about five million people

Victoria’s State Emergency Service warned residents to be alert for possible aftershocks.

“If you are located in Victoria, you are in danger. Expect aftershocks, stay away from damaged buildings and other hazards. Avoid driving, except for emergencies,” the authority said.

Quake hit during heart operation

Surgeon Sameer Thakur said he had been performing a heart bypass operation in Geelong, near Melbourne, when the quake hit.

“We’re sort of in the crux of the operation and we just felt the whole operating table move,” he told BBC Newsday. 

“Looking around the room, all the IV poles were moving and some of the clamps that we have, they were all shaking.” 

He said “fortunately we were at a stage where we could come to a halt” until the shaking stopped, allowing them to complete the surgery.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation shared a clip of its breakfast TV presenters reacting in the studio as the earthquake hit.Watch the moment an earthquake shakes Australian TV studio

“Is it an earthquake or a structural thing?” presenter Michael Rowland was later shown asking producers. “Let’s go… that was a big one.”

Several high-rise towers and a city hospital were also briefly evacuated, residents reported. Some city tram lines had been suspended due to damage.

South Australia Premier Stephen Marshall said his state had felt aftershocks. 

One federal MP, Michael McCormack, said the “ground [was] shaking violently” in Wagga Wagga, NSW.

Large earthquakes are uncommon in Australia because the continent lies centrally on a tectonic plate.

This quake struck at a shallow depth of 10km (6.5 miles), according to Geosciences Australia. It was initially measured at 6.0 magnitude before being revised to 5.9.

The geoscience agency says Australia experiences a potentially damaging earthquake – defined as above 6.0 magnitude – about every 10 years. 

Melbourne, the country’s second largest city, is home to about five million people.

The city is currently in lockdown due to a recent wave of coronavirus cases.

#AceNewsDesk report …………Published: Sept.22: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#australia, #melbourne, #victoria

(AFGHANISTAN) #Taliban Invasion Report: According to last estimate media reports the Taliban have taken 23 of 34 provincial capitals as US, U.K. and Australia move in transport planes to take out their citizens to safety #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.15: The #Taliban have begun entering the outskirts of the Afghan capital Kabul “from all sides”, according to the Afghan Interior Ministry….

#AceDailyNews says the Taliban began entering Afghan capital Kabul from all sides and three Afghan officials said they were in the districts of Kalakan, Qarabagh and Paghman in Kabul and it comes just hours after they took control of the key eastern Afghanistan city of Jalalabad without a fight: The insurgents now control 23 of 34 provincial capitals. What’s happening in Kabul? More than a quarter of a million people have been displaced by the fighting and many have sought refuge in Kabul.

In a pre-recorded TV address on Saturday, President Ashraf Ghani said a top priority was the remobilisation of the Afghan armed forces to prevent further destruction and displacement of people.The speech came amid speculation by some that Mr Ghani might have been about to announce his resignation.

Displaced Afghan women and children from Kunduz pray at a mosque that is sheltering them on August 13, 2021 in Kabul
Many Afghans who have fled the fighting have sought refuge in Kabul

The Taliban have moved closer to retaking full control of Afghanistan, with the capital Kabul now the only major city left in government hands: On Sunday the militants took control of Jalalabad, a key eastern city, without a fight.

It followed the seizure of the government’s northern bastion of Mazar-i-Sharif just a day earlier.

The rapid collapse of government forces has left President Ashraf Ghani under growing pressure to resign.

He appears to face a stark choice between surrender or a fight to hold the capital.

Meanwhile, the US has begun evacuating members of staff from its embassy in Kabul. On Sunday morning they were being taken to the airport where they have been seen boarding six large military transport planes. The US has deployed 5,000 troops to help with the operation.

President Joe Biden has defended his decision to escalate the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, saying he could not justify an “endless American presence in the middle of another country’s civil conflict”.

What happened in Jalalabad?

Reports on Sunday morning said the Taliban overran the city, the capital of Nangarhar province, without a shot being fired.

“There are no clashes taking place right now in Jalalabad because the governor has surrendered to the Taliban,” a local Afghan official told Reuters news agency.

“Allowing passage to the Taliban was the only way to save civilian lives.”

Journalist Tariq Ghazniwal tweeted images purportedly showing the provincial governor handing over control to the Taliban.

The capture of Jalalabad means the Taliban have secured the roads connecting the country with Pakistan.It came hours after Mazar-i-Sharif – the capital of Balkh province and fourth-largest city in Afghanistan – also fell largely without a fight.Abas Ebrahimzada, a lawmaker from Balkh, told the Associated Press news agency that the national army were the first to surrender, which then prompted pro-government forces and other militia to give up.

Some who had fled areas controlled by the Taliban said militants there were demanding families hand over unmarried girls and women to become wives for their fighters.Muzhda, 35, a single woman who fled from Parwan to Kabul with her two sisters, said she would take her own life rather than let the Taliban force her to marry.”I am crying day and night,” she told AFP news agency.

Women from Taliban-held areas have also described being forced to wear burkas – one-piece veils that cover the face and body – and militants are reported to have beaten people for breaking social rules.

President Ashraf Ghani: ”The reintegration of the security and defence forces is our priority””God forbid we will see war in Kabul,” city resident Sayed Akbar, 53, told the New York Times. “People here have gone through 40 years of sorrows. The roads on which we are walking are built on people’s bones.” One 17-year-old, named only as Abdullah, told AFP news agency that he and his family had fled the northern city of Kunduz after it was seized by the Taliban and were now sleeping under a tent in a Kabul park.He said he and other youths in Kunduz had been forced into carrying rocket-propelled grenades and other munitions for the militants.

AFPAfghan police are manning checkpoints in Kabul residents have formed long queues at banks trying to withdraw their savings. Some branches have reportedly already run out of money.

There were also reports of a riot at Pul-e-Charkhi prison on the outskirts of the capital, with local residents saying gunfire was heard from the facility.

A Taliban official told Reuters the group did not want any casualties as it took charge but had not declared a ceasefire.

The militants later pledged not to take the capital “by force” as sporadic gunfire could be heard in the capital.

US embassy personnel were evacuated by helicopter and are now working from Kabul airport.

Several EU staff have been moved to an undisclosed location in the capital, US officials said.

More American troops were being sent to help in the evacuations after the Taliban’s lightning advances brought the Islamist group to Kabul in a matter of days.

US officials said diplomats were being ferried to the airport from the embassy in the fortified Wazir Akbar Khan district.

A young middle eastern man in a blue traditional suit walks in middle of street with woman on motorbike behind.
The Taliban have taken control of the majority of Afghanistan’s cities.(AFP)

Just last week, a US intelligence estimate said Kabul could hold out for at least three months:

The capture of Jalalabad followed the Taliban’s seizure of the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif late on Saturday, also with little fighting.

A man in a white head wrap speaks at a podium.
President Ashraf Ghani vowed not to give up Afghanistan’s “achievements” of the last 20 years. (Reuters)

President Ashraf Ghani, who spoke to the nation on Saturday local time for the first time since the offensive began, appears increasingly isolated.

Warlords he negotiated with just days earlier have surrendered to the Taliban or fled, leaving Mr Ghani without a military option.

Ongoing negotiations in Qatar, the site of a Taliban office, also have failed to stop the insurgents’ advance.

US President Joe Biden on Saturday authorised the deployment of 5,000 troops to help evacuate citizens and ensure an “orderly and safe” drawdown of US military personnel.

In his speech, Mr Ghani vowed not to give up the “achievements” of the 20 years since the US-led invasion toppled the Taliban after the September 11 attacks.

“We have started consultations, inside the government with elders and political leaders, representatives of different levels of the community as well as our international allies,” Mr Ghani said.

“Soon the results will be shared with you,” he added, without elaborating further.

A beautiful golden mosque with blue domes can be seen at the centre of a paved square.
Mazar-i-Sharif is Afghanistan’s fourth largest city.(ABC News: Farshad Usyan )

Many Afghans fear a return to the Taliban’s oppressive rule under a harsh version of Islamic law in which women were forbidden to work or attend school.

The group had previously governed Afghanistan under a harsh version of Islamic law in which women were forbidden to work or attend school, and could not leave their homes without a male relative accompanying them.

Salima Mazari, one of the few female district governors in the country, expressed fears about a Taliban takeover during an interview from Mazar-e-Sharif before it fell.

“There will be no place for women,” Ms Mazari said.

“In the provinces controlled by the Taliban, no women exist there anymore, not even in the cities. They are all imprisoned in their homes.”

An Afghan woman and her child photographed in Jawzjan province.
There are concerns that Afghanistan’s women will have fewer rights in a return to Taliban rule.(ABC News: Sally Sara)

In a statement late on Saturday, however, the Taliban insisted its fighters would not enter people’s homes or interfere with businesses.

It also said it would offer an “amnesty” to those who worked with the Afghan government or foreign forces.

“The Islamic Emirate once again assures all its citizens that it will, as always, protect their life, property and honour, and create a peaceful and secure environment for its beloved nation,” the militants said.

“In this regard, no-one should worry about their life.”

Despite the pledge, those who can afford a ticket have been flocking to Kabul International Airport, the only way out of the country.

Wires/ABC/BBC/Reuters/AFP/

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: Aug.15: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#afghanistan, #australia, #kabul, #troops, #u-k-u-s

(WASHINGTON) Microsoft Report: Biden administration together with 39-countries accuse China of Cybersecurity attack as they have slammed “groundless” claims that it carried out a major cyber-attack against tech giant Microsoft #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – July.20: A group of Western countries had accused China of hacking Microsoft Exchange – a popular email platform used by companies worldwide…..

#AceSecurityDesk reports that Microsoft Exchange: Cyberattack was China taking advantage of the email vulnerability in January but Chinese authorities slam ‘groundless’ hacking claims…..but ‘Five Eyes’ says they provide a ‘Clear & Present Danger’ …….

The Five Eyes – The Intelligence Alliance of the Anglosphere bringing together the group brings the UK, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand into the world’s most complete and comprehensive intelligence alliance.

Five Eyes (FVEY) Report: April 14, 2020

The Five Eyes (FVEY) is widely regarded as the world’s most significant intelligence alliance. The origins of it can be traced back to the context of the Second World War and by its necessity of sharing vital information mainly between Britain and the United States so both countries could enhance their close war effort.

The Five Eyes was formally founded in the aftermath of the Second World War, through the multilateral agreement for co-operation in signals intelligence (SIGINT), known as the UKUSA Agreement, on 5 March 1946.

Initially, compromising only the UK and the United States, it expanded to also include Canada in 1948 and Australia and New Zealand in 1956, all of these last three English-speaking countries, members of the Commonwealth of Nations and with similar political systems when compared to Britain. Thereby, the ‘Five Eyes’ term was created from the lengthy ‘AUS/CAN/NZ/UK/ Eyes Only’ classification level that included the ‘eyes’ that could have access to high profile papers and information.

Microsoft logo seen displayed on a smartphone
The Microsoft hack affected at least 30,000 organisations globally


https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-57898147

The joint statement accused the Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS) of undermining global stability and security.

China has always maintained that it opposes all forms of cyber-crime.

On Monday, New Zealand joined the group of countries including the UK, US and Australia in blaming Chinese state-sponsored actors for “malicious cyber activity” in the country, including the Microsoft attack. 

The Chinese Embassy in Wellington called the accusations “groundless and irresponsible”. 

“The Chinese government is a staunch defender of cyber security,” said a statement published by the embassy in response to a question from reporters. 

“Making accusations without [proof] is malicious.”

The Chinese embassy in Australia echoed these remarks, describing Washington as “the world champion of malicious cyber attacks”. 

A scaled up attack

The Microsoft hack affected at least 30,000 organisations globally. 

The Exchange system powers the email of major corporations, small businesses and public bodies worldwide.

Microsoft blamed a Chinese cyber-espionage group for exploiting a vulnerability in Microsoft Exchange – which allowed hackers to remotely access email inboxes.

The group, known as Hafnium, was found by Microsoft’s Threat Intelligence Centre to be state-sponsored and operating out of China. 

Western security sources believe Hafnium obtained advance knowledge that Microsoft intended to patch or close the vulnerability, and so shared it with other China-based groups to maximise the benefit before it became obsolete.

“We believe that cyber-operators working under the control of Chinese intelligence learned about the Microsoft vulnerability in early January, and were racing to exploit the vulnerability before [it] was widely identified in the public domain,” a security source told the BBC and China accused of cyber-attack on Microsoft

The hack signalled a shift from a targeted espionage campaign to a smash-and-grab raid, leading to concerns Chinese cyber-behaviour is escalating, according to Western security services.

The UK Foreign Office said the Chinese government had “ignored repeated calls to end its reckless campaign, instead allowing state-backed actors to increase the scale of their attacks and act recklessly when caught”.

The White House said it reserved the right to take additional action against China over its cyber activities.

US President Joe Biden told reporters that the Chinese government may not have been carrying out the attacks themselves, but were ” protecting those who are doing it. And maybe even accommodating them being able to do it.”

The US Department of Justice has also announced criminal charges against four MSS hackers which it said were linked to a long-term campaign targeting foreign governments and entities in key sectors in a least a dozen countries.Nato warns cyber attacks could result in a military land incursion from allies

#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: July.20: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#australia, #five-eyes, #microsoft, #u-k, #united-states, #washington

(WASHINGTON/BEIJING) US/CHINA REPORT: The U.S. is entering a period of intense competition with China as the government running the world’s second-biggest economy becomes ever more tightly controlled by President Xi Jinping, the White House’s top official for Asia said #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – May.28: The period that was broadly described as engagement has come to an end,” Kurt Campbell, the U.S. coordinator for Indo-Pacific affairs on the National Security Council, said Wednesday at an event hosted by Stanford University. U.S. policy toward China will now operate under a “new set of strategic parameters,” Campbell said, adding that “the dominant paradigm is going to be competition.”

Biden’s Asia czar says era of engagement with China is over: Chinese policies under Xi are in large part responsible for the shift in U.S. policy, Campbell said, citing military clashes on China’s border with India, an “economic campaign” against Australia and the rise of “wolf warrior” diplomacy. Beijing’s behavior was emblematic of a shift toward “harsh power, or hard power,” which “signals that China is determined to play a more assertive role,” he said.

China News: 28, 2021

China News:

Xi Jinping

The blunt comments were among several signs of fresh tensions between the two countries, even as U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He held their first phone call. Before the talks, Tai told Reuters that the two sides faced “very large challenges” and President Joe Biden announced that he had ordered the U.S. intelligence community to “redouble” its efforts to determine whether the Covid-19 virus had escaped from a Chinese lab.

Biden said in a statement Wednesday that Chinese officials needed to be more transparent, and that Beijing should join an “evidence-based international investigation and to provide access to all relevant data and evidence.” The Chinese Embassy in Washington dismissed the inquiry as a “smear campaign and blame shifting” that would hurt efforts to prevent future health crises.

China Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a regular press briefing Thursday in Beijing that the two countries “stand to gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation.”

“China-U.S. relations will naturally experience some competition, which is prevalent among other major-country relations, but it is wrong to define the relationship with competition because it will only lead to confrontation and conflict,” he said.

The two countries are also locked in disputes over Beijing’s claims over the South China Sea, human rights in the Xinjiang region, the future of Taiwan and Hong Kong and economic concerns including the deployment of 5G technology and a global shortage of semiconductors. Chinese and U.S. officials have said they see areas of cooperation, particularly on climate change, but on many other issues the relationship is far more frosty.

“The U.S. idea of engagement is one that has conditions and is about bringing China into its system, not only in economics but also in politics,” said Wang Yiwei, director of Renmin University’s Institute of International Affairs and a former Chinese diplomat. “The U.S. sees China overtaking its own economy, so it is looking to contain China and prevent it from moving up the value chain.”

Campbell knows well what it’s like to negotiate with angry Chinese diplomats. In March he was among U.S. officials who met with their Chinese counterparts in Alaska in talks that got off to a rocky start with bickering before reporters and cameras over human rights, trade and international alliances.

‘Unsentimental’ Xi

Campbell said Xi was at the heart of the U.S.’s new approach to China ties. He described the Chinese president was “deeply ideological, but also quite unsentimental” and “not terribly interested in economics.”

Since coming to power in 2012, Xi has “almost completely disassembled nearly 40 years of mechanisms designed for collective leadership,” Campbell said, adding that top Chinese diplomats such as Politburo member Yang Jiechi and Foreign Minister Wang Yi — the senior officials dispatched to the talks in Alaska — are “nowhere near, within a hundred miles” of the Chinese leader’s inner circle.

Allies will be central to U.S. efforts to push back against China in the years ahead, Campbell said. The U.S. has already tried to build up the importance of its work within the so-called Quad group of nations, which includes India, Japan and Australia. And Biden’s first meetings at the White House with foreign heads of state were with Japan’s Yoshihide Suga and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in.

“We believe that the best way to engage a more assertive China is to work with allies, partners and friends,” Campbell said, adding that “the best China policy really is a good Asia policy.” Still, he said the U.S. will need to dispel fears of American decline in Asia and offer a “positive economic vision” for the region.

“For the first time, really, we are now shifting our strategic focus, our economic interests, our military might more to the Indo-Pacific,” Campbell said.

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: May.28: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#australia, #beijing, #china, #washington

(LONDON) Five Eyes Alliance Report: They are intelligence-sharing arrangement between five English-speaking democracies: the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – May.09: It evolved during the Cold War as a mechanism for monitoring the Soviet Union and sharing classified intelligence. It is often described as the world’s most successful intelligence alliance. But recently it has suffered an embarrassing setback.

Five Eyes: Is the alliance in trouble over China? Four of the members have jointly condemned China’s treatment of its Uyghur population in Xinjiang province. They have also expressed concern over China’s de facto military takeover of the South China Sea, its suppression of democracy in Hong Kong and its threatening moves towards Taiwan, which China has vowed to “take back” by 2049. One country, though, has opted out of confronting China: New Zealand: Reuters: The Five Eyes group has successfully shared intelligence between Western powers for decades’

https://vpnveteran.com/five-eyes-countries-what-you-need-to-know/

By Frank Gardner
BBC security correspondent

Surprisingly, perhaps, for a nation that prides itself on respect for human rights, New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta declined to join in this Western condemnation of Beijing, saying “it felt uncomfortable” with expanding the alliance’s role by putting pressure on China in this way. Although New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern admitted on Monday that its differences with China are becoming “harder to reconcile”, the country still prefers to pursue its own bilateral relations with Beijing.

China’s state media has made much of this, talking of a wedge been driven between the two neighbours and allies, Australia and New Zealand.

China is New Zealand’s largest export market; New Zealand depends on China for close to 30% of its exports, mostly dairy products. So does Australia, but the two Antipodean neighbours clearly view China’s policies in a very different light. 

Australia’s federal government in Canberra has vetoed a major Chinese investment in the state of Victoria which was to be part of Beijing’s “Belt and Road” initiative, its growing acquisition of economic assets around the world. 

Meanwhile, China has imposed a series of damaging trade sanctions on Australia over the past year.

As the trade war between the two countries worsens, Australia’s wine exports to China have reportedly dropped by 96% from the first quarter of 2020 compared to the first quarter of this year, from A$325m (£181m) to just A$12m (£6.6m). New Zealand, on the other hand, has been rewarded by Beijing with ever-closer trade relations.

Getty ImagesNew Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern has taken a different China stance to Australia’s Scott Morrison

So what exactly has all this got to do with intelligence-sharing? Very little, is the answer. 

It was assumed last year by officials in the Five Eyes alliance that since all five nations broadly shared the same world view, then that view would also apply to China. In May 2020 the alliance agreed to expand its role away from just security and intelligence to a more public stance on respect for human rights and democracy. 

In November the alliance criticised the Chinese government for stifling democracy in Hong Kong when Beijing introduced new laws that disqualified elected legislators in the former British colony. A Chinese government spokesman reacted angrily, mocking the Five Eyes alliance by declaring that “those who dared to harm China’s sovereignty would find their own eyes poked out”.

Now, six months later, New Zealand’s departure from the party line on China has meant that the Five Eyes’ newly expanded role appears to have ground to a halt, prompting some to question whether the alliance is in trouble. 

But that would be an exaggeration. This was about politics, not intelligence. New Zealand is not leaving the alliance, it is only drawing a distinction between the two. In retrospect it was an overstretch of what Five Eyes was meant for: sharing secrets. 

There will almost certainly be some in New Zealand’s intelligence community who feel embarrassment at this playing out so publicly. By far the majority of intelligence shared within the alliance comes from Washington. The next biggest contributor is the UK, with input from GCHQ, MI6 and MI5. Considerably smaller contributions are made by Canada and Australia. 

When it comes to New Zealand, an intelligence review conducted in 2017 found that for every 99 pieces of intelligence NZ received through the alliance, it contributed just one. So New Zealand would clearly have much to lose if it left. 

In conclusion, then, is the alliance going to transcend into a unified diplomatic or political pressure group? Unlikely at this stage. Is its existence as an alliance for intelligence-sharing between allies in trouble? No.

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: May.09: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#australia, #canada, #china, #five-eyes, #london, #new-zealand, #u-k, #u-s

(INDONESIA) JUST IN: Officials has about 72 hours left to rescue 53 crew members of a missing navy submarine before they run out of oxygen, the navy said #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Apr.22: Six warships, a helicopter and 400 people are involved in the search: Singapore and Malaysia have dispatched ships, and the US, Australia, France, and Germany have offered assistance:

BBC Asia ‘Missing Indonesian submarine has 72 hours of oxygen left, navy says the KRI Nanggala-402 vessel is thought to have disappeared about 60 miles (100km) off the coast of Bali early on Wednesday morning’

1 hour ago

A KRI Nanggala-402 submarine performs an exercise in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia, in 2014
Indonesia’s navy is racing to find the KRI Nanggala-402, pictured here in a file image

The German-built submarine had been conducting a drill but failed to report back and contact was lost, the navy said. 

“We know the area but it’s quite deep,” First Admiral Julius Widjojono told the AFP news agency. 

Some reports said contact was lost with the submarine after it was given clearance to dive into deeper waters.

Meanwhile, an oil spill found near where the submarine dived could point to fuel tank damage, or could also be a signal from the crew, the navy said.

The missing vessel is one of five submarines operated by Indonesia. It was made in the late 1970s, and underwent a two-year refit in South Korea that was completed in 2012.

A navy spokesman told the BBC the incident was the first time Indonesia had lost one of its submarines. But similar incidents have happened elsewhere. In 2017, an Argentine military submarine went missing in the southern Atlantic with 44 crew on board.

Its wreck was located a year later and officials said that the submarine had imploded.

#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: Apr.22: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#australia, #france, #germany, #indonesia, #submarine, #u-s

(MELBOURNE, Australia.) #Coronavirus Report: Spy Agencies caught collecting #COVID19 COVIDSafe contact tracing app data a government watchdog has found #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – Nov.24: Australia’s intelligence agencies have been caught “incidentally” collecting data from the country’s COVIDSafe contact tracing app during the first six months of its launch, a government watchdog has found: From a report published Monday by the Australian government’s inspector general for the intelligence community, which oversees the government’s spy and eavesdropping agencies, said the app data was scooped up “in the course of the lawful collection of other data.”

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 18: An Australian Government CovidSafe App advertisement in North Sydney Station. New public transport restrictions in Sydney will see commuter traffic cut by 1.4 million, with a maximum of of 32 people in a train carriage at any given time due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on 18 May, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Speed Media/Icon Sportswire)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 18: An Australian Government CovidSafe App advertisement in North Sydney Station. New public transport restrictions in Sydney will see commuter traffic cut by 1.4 million, with a maximum of of 32 people in a train carriage at any given time due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on 18 May, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Speed Media/Icon Sportswire)

But the watchdog said that there was “no evidence” that any agency “decrypted, accessed or used any COVID app data.” Incidental collection is a common term used by spies to describe the data that was not deliberately targeted but collected as part of a wider collection effort:

This kind of collection isn’t accidental, but more of a consequence of when spy agencies tap into fiber optic cables, for example, which carries an enormous firehose of data: An Australian government spokesperson told one outlet, which first reported the news, that incidental collection can also happen as a result of the “execution of warrants.” According to a report

#AceHealthDesk report …………….Published: Nov.24: 2020:

#ans2020, #australia, #coronavirus, #covid19, #covidsafe, #private-data

(WORLDWIDE) Animal Scam Report: The increased demand for pets amid the #pandemic has sent puppy prices skyrocketing, and has caused a boom in pet-related fraud, such scams in the country have inflicted losses of more than US$1.5 million in Australia alone with other countries such as Canada & U.K. experiencing a sharp increase #AceHealthDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Nov.24: The country has seen a spike in pet-related fraud this year, with the numbers being at least four times higher than in 2019: The most common thing people were trying to buy when they were scammed was puppies and other pets,” the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said in a statement on Tuesday:

FILE PHOTO © Sputnik / Grigory Sysoev

Russian animal rights activists say 50,000 stray dogs & cats may have been murdered in Siberia shelter, call for federal probe

According to the watchdog, more than 2,100 cases of pet-related scams have been reported, inflicting more than AUD$2 million (nearly US $1.5 million) in damages. A predominant number of the cases are related to attempts to procure a canine from fraudsters, where the dog doesn’t actually exist:

Puppy prices have been soaring in Australia lately, particularly for compact dog breeds such as French bulldogs, pugs and dachshunds. Assorted advertisements available online promise aspiring pet-owners pure-breed puppies for prices ranging from AUD$3,000 up to a howling-mad AUD$10,000. But those ready to part with such sums risking getting neither canine nor cash as a result: Australian breeders have urged the public to be extra careful while searching for puppies online and to check whether they are actually looking for dogs via a legitimate platform. Admitting the spike in prices, the breeders warned against going for extremely high – and low – prices alike. 

“I don’t know of any of our Dog’s Queensland breeders who would be charging those sums of money,” Dogs Queensland president Ulla Greenwood told local media. “Our breeders might be charging up to maybe AUD$4,500 but I think alarm bells should go off if prices above that are being asked.”

A similar surge in puppy scams has been observed in other countries, too, as many people have apparently opted for adopting a pet amid the pandemic as more are working from home or suffer loneliness due to lockdowns:

Canada and the US have experienced a sharp increase in pet scams, figures by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) have shown. Such scams have been reported more than three times as much as in 2019, and comprised nearly a quarter of all online scams registered. At the same time, North American fraudsters turned out to be significantly less greedy than their counterparts from down under, with the average loss in a scam amounting to ‘merely’ $700, according to the BBB: Last week, Britain’s Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss urged the public to be vigilant and not to get ‘pet-phished’ ahead of the Christmas holidays:

“After a difficult year and with many of us spending more time at home, many people may be considering getting a new puppy or kitten,” Middlemiss said in a statement. “However, the lead-up to Christmas is a prominent time for unscrupulous sellers to take advantage of those looking to buy a new pet.”

#AceNewsDesk report ……………..Published: Nov.24: 2020:

#ans2020, #australia, #canada, #puppies, #scamalert, #u-k

AUSTRALIA: ‘ Earthquake 5.7-Magnitude hits Queensland

#AceNewsReport – AUSTRALIA:July.30: A rare 5.7-magnitude earthquake struck off the south-east coast of Queensland in Australia on Thursday morning, US Geological Survey (USGS) reported.

Tremors were felt in Bundaberg, the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, and the Gold Coast. The epicenter of the quake was in the Coral Sea at a depth of 10 kilometers.

The first reports began coming in at 9:41 am local time. Police said that no damage has been reported, and no tsunami threat has been issued.

The quake has been described as historic since earthquakes are very rare in this part of Australia: the previous tremor of a similar magnitude struck the area in the 1930s.

@AceNewsServices

Ace Worldwide News

#australia, #queensland, #us-geological-survey, #usgs

AUSTRALIA: ‘ Tony Abbot refuses to deny officials paid asylum boat crews to turn back to Indonesia ‘

#AceNewsReport – AUSTRALIA:June.12: Prime Minister Tony Abbott is refusing to deny claims Australian officials have paid asylum boat crews to turn back to Indonesia, saying the Government will stop the boats “by hook or by crook“.

Australian border officials reportedly handed over thousands of dollars to the captain and crew of a vessel carrying 65 asylum seekers which was intercepted off Java last week.

An Indonesian police chief was quoted as saying the six crew members said they had each been given $US5,000 by Australian officials to turn back.

Their vessel later crashed into a reef near the remote Rote Island.

Indonesia’s foreign ministry later told the ABC Indonesian police were investigating the claims.

Audio: Listen to Julie Doyle’s full report. (PM)

“This is endangering life. They were in the middle of the sea, but were pushed back,” foreign ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said.

Mr Abbott said on Friday “creative strategies” had been developed to stop the boats.

@AceNewsServices

#australia, #bangladesh, #burma, #indonesia, #new-zealand, #people-smuggling, #prime-minister-of-australia, #refugee, #rote-island, #tony-abbott

#BREAKING144′ Boy arrested over teacher stabbing’

#AceBreakingNews – #BreakingUpdate:BRITAIN:June.11: Police investigating stabbing of teacher at school in Bradford arrest boy, 14, on suspicion of attempted murder.

This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version.

Boy arrested over teacher stabbing_80201000_breaking_image_large-3.pngPolice investigating stabbing of teacher at school in Bradford arrest boy, 14, on suspicion of attempted murder. 

Earlier hunt for boy …..

@AceBreakingNews

Ace Worldwide News Group

#arrest, #attempted-murder, #australia, #bail, #beenleigh, #brisbane, #medical-state, #queensland, #stabbing, #the-police

AUSTRALIA: Deny they paid any bribes to #FIFA officials ‘

#AceNewsReport – #BreakingUpdate AUSTRALIA:June.09: Australia has denied any brides were received by them in 2020 World Cup bid.

Australia secured only one vote despite ploughing Aus$43 million (US$32 million) into its pitch. It was competing against the United States, Japan, South Korea and Qatar, which was controversially awarded the tournament.

@AceBreakingNews

#2022-fifa-world-cup, #australia, #fifa, #football-federation-australia, #frank-lowy, #japan, #qatar, #sepp-blatter, #south-korea, #sport-corruption, #united-states

AUSTRALIA: ‘ PARLIAMENT PASSES LAWS PREVENTING YOUNG PEOPLE BECOMING JIHADISTS ‘

#AceWorldNews – October 30 – Australia Legislators passed laws on Thursday aimed at preventing young people from going to fight in overseas conflicts such as those in Iraq and Syria, Reuters said.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott told parliament at least 70 Australians were fighting in Iraq and Syria backed by about 100 Australia-based “facilitators.”

The government has already cancelled the passports of about 70 people, Abbott said.

By Ian Draper: @AceNewsServices

Join: Ace News Group:   

#ANS2014 

#australia, #iraq, #syria

AUSTRALIA: ‘ DOCTOR’S SUCCESSFULLY TRANSPLANTED HEARTS THAT HAD STOPPED BEATING ‘

#AceNewsServices – AUSTRALIA – October 27 – Australian doctors have successfully transplanted hearts that have stopped beating, revolutionizing organ donation. The breakthrough is predicted to save the lives of 30 percent more heart transplant patients.

'​‘Dead hearts’ transplanted into living patients in surgical breakthrough '

‘​‘Dead hearts’ transplanted into living patients in surgical breakthrough ‘

After two decades of research, a team of surgeons at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney has transplanted three still hearts into living patients. The first two patients are recovering well, with the third, who recently underwent the surgery, still in intensive care.

Michelle Gribilas, a 57-year-old Sydney woman, was the first to undergo the surgery two months ago. She had been suffering from congenital heart failure.

“I was very sick before I had it. Now I’m a different person altogether. I feel like I’m 40 years old. I’m very lucky,” she was quoted as saying in AFP.

In collaboration with researchers at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, the team at St. Vincent’s developed the technique which allows for the resuscitation and transplant of hearts that have stopped beating up to 20 minutes earlier.

The procedure involves transferring the still heart from the recently-deceased donor into a ‘heart in a box’, a portable console in which the heart is preserved and resuscitated before being transplanted into the living patient.

“[W]e remove blood from the donor to prime the machine and then we take the heart out, connect it to the machine, warm it up and then it starts to beat,” Peter MacDonald, a medical director at St. Vincent’s, was quoted describing the technique in the Guardian.

The hearts were stored in the console for about four hours in order to make sure that they were functioning well.

“Based on the performance of the heart on the machine, we can then tell quite reliably whether this heart will work if we then go and transplant it,” said MacDonald.

Until now, surgeons relied exclusively on still-beating hearts from brain-dead donors. This meant that there was no way of knowing whether the heart would continue beating once transplanted into the recipient.

Doctors expect that the groundbreaking procedure will lead to a major increase in the number of hearts available for transplant.

“This breakthrough represents a major inroad to reducing the shortage of donor organs,” said MacDonald.

Source:

#ANS2014

#australia, #heart-transplant, #sydney

AUSTRALIA: ‘ PARLIAMENT LIFTS BAN ON ALL FACIAL COVERINGS INCLUDING BURQAS AND NIQABS ‘

#AceWorldNews – AUSTRALIA – The Australian parliament lifted a ban on Monday on facial coverings including burqas and niqabs, AP said.

A government department said earlier this month that “persons with facial coverings” would no longer be allowed in the open public galleries of the House of Representatives or the Senate.

However, hours before parliament was to resume on Monday, the Department of Parliamentary Services said that people wearing face coverings would again be allowed in all public areas of Parliament House.

Face coverings will only have to be removed temporarily at the security check point at the front door.

#ANS2014 

#australia, #burqas, #niqabs

MOSCOW: ‘ VLADIMIR PUTIN WILL ATTEND G20 SUMMIT IN AUSTRALIA IN NOVEMBER ‘

#AceWorldNews – MOSCOW – October 12 – Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend the G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, in November, despite tensions surrounding Ukraine over the course of the past year.

Australia's Treasurer Joe Hockey delivers opening remarks to the G20 meeting.

Australia’s Treasurer Joe Hockey delivers opening remarks to the G20 meeting.

“I spoke with the Finance Minister of Russia only yesterday… and he did confirm that President Putin will be coming to the G20 leaders’ summit in Brisbane,” Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey confirmed to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Sunday morning.

“That has certainly been the consensus of other members of the G20 that President Putin should attend.

And I think there will be some full and frank dialogue with President Putin at that meeting.”

#ANS2014

#australia, #brisbane, #moscow, #russian-president-vladimir-putin

IRAN: ‘ Foreign Minister Tongue Lashes Australia for Mistreating Asylum Seekers on the Death Ships’

#AceNewsServices – IRAN (Tehran) – October 07 – Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular, Parliamentary and Expatriates’ Affairs Hassan Qashqavi lashed out at Australia for mistreating asylum seekers, and warned Iranians, specially the youth, not to travel to Australia through illegal channels, particularly on “death ships” sailing from Indonesia to Australia.

' Death Ships Sailing from Indonesia to Australia '

‘ Death Ships Sailing from Indonesia to Australia ‘

“Young people travel to some regions legally and then get on these death ship to sail the way between Indonesia and Australia (illegally), which in 90 percent of the cases leads to ship sinking and their death,” he added.

He further expressed regret that even if the Iranian nationals reach Australia sound and safe, they will still lose their lives in refugee camps, and demanded Iranian families to discourage their youth from travelling to Australia through illegal channels.

Last month, the Iranian deputy foreign minister had rapped Australia for mistreating the refugees after an Iranian national died in the country due to the inhuman conditions of a refugee camp.

The "Death Ships" Sailing from Indonesia to Australia.

The “Death Ships” Sailing from Indonesia to Australia.

“The islands that Australia has considered for sheltering the refugees who intend to enter the country via the sea have hard and inhumane weather conditions and the refugees are not treated well in them,” Qashqavi said.

He referred to the Iranian refugee who lost his life after suffering septicemia and then brain death in Australia, and said, “The bad respiratory conditions in Manus Island and the impacts of this region’s sewage on people’s living conditions made the Iranian national’s health conditions grow critical and led to his septicemia.”

Noting that he had held several meetings with Australian officials and the country’s ambassador has been summoned to the Iranian foreign ministry to protest at the situation of the Iranian nationals seeking asylum in Australia, Qashqavi called on human rights activists and institutions to use their capacities to put an end to such inhumane conditions in Australia.

“Sometimes, the refugees are deliberately kept in bad weather conditions, made to suffer malnutrition and don’t receive proper medical treatment, and we have always protested at such a behaviour of the Australian government,” the deputy foreign minister stressed.

Source:

#ANS2014

#australia, #indonesia, #iran, #tehran

AUSTRALIA: ‘ Free-Speech Clamp-Down on Journalists Reporting on Terror ‘

#AceNewsServices – AUSTRALIA – October 05 – Australia’s lower house of parliament has passed the first in a series of counter-terrorism amendments toughening the country’s national security law. The new legislation could see journalists jailed for reporting on related matters.

' Aussie Journalists May End in Jail for Reporting on Terror '

‘ Aussie Journalists May End in Jail for Reporting on Terror ‘

National Security Amendments Bill (No. 1), passed by Australia’s House of Representatives on Wednesday, says a person who discloses information relating to a special intelligence operation may face from five to 10 years behind bars.

Copying, transcribing or retaining records of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) is also outlawed, which is seen as a measure taken in the wake of Edward Snowden’s leaks of documents on the US’s National Security Agency.

Reporting on national security matters is being restricted simultaneously with more powers being granted to the country’s surveillance agency, with their power to monitor computers being expanded.

AFP Photo/Welayat Salahuddin

AFP Photo/Welayat Salahuddin

The government has justified the legislation as one boosting the country’s security in the wake of terrorist threat posed by the Islamic State extremist group (IS, formerly ISIS or ISIL).

This is not, as has been wrongly suggested, about preventing the release of information that might simply embarrass the government of the day or expose it to criticism,” Justice Minister Michael Keenan said. “This is about providing a necessary and proportionate limitation on the communication of information that relates to the core business of intelligence agencies.”

One of the most ardent critics of the law is former intelligence whistle-blower-turned-federal MP Andrew Wilkie.

This is clamping down on free speech; this is clamping down on oversight of what the security agencies are up to,” he said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Another opponent of the law is Greens deputy leader Adam Bandt, who believes intelligence agents could go unpunished for any possible misconduct as a result.

If these laws pass, our security agencies could inadvertently kill an innocent bystander and journalists would not be able to report on it,” Bandt said.

However, there weren’t enough critics of the law in the lower house to prevent it from being passed. The legislation was supported by the main opposition Labor Party.

The Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York based NGO, issued a statement saying it was worried by the new Australian legislation.

This national security bill and other draft legislation raise grave concerns about the direction in which Australia is heading,” said CPJ Asia Program Coordinator Bob Dietz. “These bills would seriously hamper reporting in the public interest and we urge lawmakers to add the necessary safeguards to protect journalists and whistle-blowers.”

The controversial law is one in a series of amendments to the country’s 1979 intelligence act, which are supposed to upgrade the country’s legislation in the face of the terrorist threat the government has been concerned about. Prime Minister Tony Abbott earlier warned the amendments might shiftbalance between freedom and security.

In mid-September, Australia raised its terror alert to the second highest level in response to the activities of the extremist IS group in the in the Middle East.

Source:

#ANS2014

#australia, #australias-house-of-representatives, #national-security-amendments-bill-no-1