Syria sarin capitalism and war

Written By: - Date published: 10:34 am, April 9th, 2017 - 60 comments
Categories: capitalism, Syria, war - Tags: , ,

The dirty truth behind many of the wars that our political / media world gets itself so excited about is that they wouldn’t be happening without the arms that we (the “western” world) sell so copiously. Amnesty International has a page, appropriately titled Killer Facts, on the extent of the arms trade:

Killer Facts: The scale of the global arms trade

The top 10 exporters of conventional arms (excluding small arms/ light weapons – SALW) 2010-15

USA US$55.006 billion
Russia US$42.404 billion
China US$9.943 billion
Germany US$ 9.467 billion
France US$ 8.932 billion
UK US$ 7.627 billion
Spain US$ 5.310 billion
Italy US$ 4.360 billion
Ukraine US$ 4.156 billion
Israel US$ 3.280 billion

Total arms sales from the top 100 arms-producing and military services companies in the world (excluding China) rose by 104% from 2002-2013 and in 2013 stood at US$401 billion. …

War is great for business. Case in point, the brutal sarin attack in Syria, The Guardian asks an uncomfortable question:

Could Britain have sold sarin chemicals to Assad’s regime?

Evidence that the sarin nerve agent was used in the chemical attack that killed more than 80 and injured hundreds of others in Syria’s northern province of Idlib last week has triggered awkward questions for the government over the part played by the UK in the Assad regime’s development of a chemical weapons programme.

Human rights groups and arms control campaigners have highlighted the government’s own admission that in the 80s the UK exported the chemicals necessary to make sarin to the Syrian regime. The UK also sold specialist equipment after the millennium which it now appears was diverted to the chemical weapons programme.

Export data collected by Campaign Against the Arms Trade, which dates back to 2008, provides no evidence that any chemicals were supplied to Syria in the last nine years.

However, in July 2014 the then foreign secretary, William Hague, confirmed to parliament that the UK had indeed exported chemicals that “were likely to have been diverted for use in the Syrian programme”.

Hague revealed that the exports included several hundred tonnes of the chemical dimethyl phosphite (DMP) in 1983 and a further export of several hundred tonnes in 1985; several hundred tonnes of trimethyl phosphite (TMP) in 1986; and a quantity of hydrogen fluoride (HF) in 1986 through a third country.

Hague told parliament: “All these chemicals have legitimate uses, for example in the manufacture of plastics and pharmaceuticals. However, they can also be used in the production of sarin. DMP and TMP can also be used for the production of the nerve agent VX. That is why the export of such goods is strictly prohibited under the UK export regime introduced since the 1980s and progressively strengthened.”

He added: “From the information we hold, we judge it likely that these chemical exports by UK companies were subsequently used by Syria in their programmes to produce nerve agents, including sarin.” …

Outrage over the attack is perfectly appropriate. So is outrage over the obscene profits that business makes from selling dangerous materials and weapons.

60 comments on “Syria sarin capitalism and war ”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    The World Bank estimated NZ’s arms exports (measured in 1990 US$) at $75M in 2012.

    That’s $16 per head. Twice as much as China.

    Lots of potential for these figures to be skewed, but still.

  2. Andre 2

    Mention arms sales in connection with Middle East wars and the thought always occurs to me: if we weren’t so dependent on oil then we would find it a lot easier to ignore what happens in the Middle East, just as we ignore nasty shit happening in Africa.

    Without the money to buy the fancy toys and weird substances, I suspect the wars would still happen. They just wouldn’t be quite as big and sophisticated, and wouldn’t get as much publicity.

    • Pretty much. But I dont know why the MSM and western govts are leaping to the conclusion it was Assad after all. It may just turn out it was Saudi Arabian supplied gas to the rebels so negotiations would be derailed.

      I think we are being given the mushroom treatment here.

      • Red 2.1.1

        Need to get some of Those mushrooms your on WK

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2

        You have blinkers on. It’s been explained several times why a ground-based stockpile can be discounted. You just aren’t prepared to listen.

        • WILD KATIPO 2.1.2.1

          How many times do people have to be extricated from the gullible and naive. ?

          Lets go back to Middle eastern religious motives and USA oil / energy reserves, shall we?

          Try a little Saudi Arabia being Sunni majority and backing ISIS, ( who are also Sunni ) throw in a little bit of Clinton Foundation channeling Saudi Arabian , Qatar, and Bahrainian cash for ISIS.

          Try a little Russian support for a secular Syria and support for Shiite Muslim Iraq ,…

          Throw in a little of Trumps need to seem ‘ tough’ with China and the South China seas and how that relates to North Korea…

          Perhaps a little bit of seeming to act tough with Putin to deflect domestic criticism of Russia interfering with the USA elections… handy stuff even though they had agreed to move both Syrian and Russian troops out of harms way before the attacks …just leave a few jet fighters there for a cinematic effect…

          But still ,… the plebs wont know that… they will just follow the MSM private media scam… all good. Get em all riled up and wanting to go serve King and country and spill their guts for some rich fat bastard.

          Yeah right , ya fucker.

          Or we could even talk about royalty’s from a Russian oil pipeline through Syria. That’d more than pay for a cheap bombed out Airfield in Syria… Assad would be in clover…all for the price of a few old jet fighters subsidized from the USA in the first place.

          Cheap PR , if ever there was…

          Maybe we could even surmise Israel feeling good about bombs going off in Syria… that’d make sure the Israeli population feels good.. and Trump as well…he gets to ingratiate himself with the bible belt and Israel at the same time- ‘ God bless America and the whole world’…

          Yet as we all know – or like to think we know… Obama didn’t attack ISIS because they were backed by Saudi Arabia, so Obama just did the drone strikes. Far less agressive looking than bad ass troops on the ground…

          Obama didn’t want to upset the Clinton Foundation because it brought in shit loads for the USA military / industrial complex. All that shit load of cash from those middle eastern outfits… and good cash donations to the Democrats.

          Whats a few beheading’s between friends?

          What does it take to convince those of the Left – or even those closet right wingers pretending to be of the Left …

          OF THE FUCKING FACTS ?!!?

          HOW LONG WILL YOUR TRIBALISM AND DISHONESTY AND LIES SUPERSEDE BASIC MORALITY AND HUMAN DECENCY ?!!?

          ARE YOU REALLY THAT DEVOID OF FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN VALUES ???

          FFS!!!

          USE YOUR BRAINS !!!!

          • WILD KATIPO 2.1.2.1.1

            Matter of fact…

            Screw you , ‘ Red’… your a fake… like a lot on this site.

            There’s a lot of ‘ wannabe’s I’m discovering who want to wear the ‘Left ‘ label.

            They really want the title without the substance Im discovering. And that’s disgusting. They are no more better in principle than the so called right wing against which they rail. Hypocrites.

            So here’s something to focus you back on yourself. I hope it sets you back to an earlier age of being a free human being.

            George Harrison- “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” (live recording …
            Video for while my guitar gently weeps george harrison▶ 5:29

          • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2.1.2

            🙄

          • Psycho Milt 2.1.2.1.3

            Well, that was certainly a lot of words. However, “It’s been explained several times why a ground-based stockpile can be discounted.” Did you miss that bit?

        • Reenmac 2.1.2.2

          Then how come the US military said they deliberately didn’t target the building they said housed sarin when they deployed cruise missiles on the Syrian airfield “because they could have facilitated the release of stored sarin gas and killed civilians”
          What a load of hogwash
          So the “rebels” can’t store sarin but the SAA can?
          In 2013 a UN report confirmed that the “rebels” were in possession of and had used sarin on Syrian soldiers and civilians,,,and of course while the Syrian govt was compelled to give up its CW, it was impossible to compel the “rebels”

          • Psycho Milt 2.1.2.2.1

            Multiple citations needed.

            • Puddleglum 2.1.2.2.1.1

              Here’s one at least:

              Attacking one airfield — at least one of the two runways were still in use Friday — hardly diminishes President Bashar Assad’s military capability. And whatever cache of poison gas or other chemical agents the Syrian government has remains intact, including one at the air base that the Pentagon deliberately didn’t target for fear of spreading a toxic cloud.

              And these comments from Carla del Ponte may be what Reenmac was referring to about the 2013 UN ‘report’:

              “According to the testimonies we have gathered, the rebels have used chemical weapons, making use of sarin gas,” del Ponte, a former war crimes prosecutor, said in an interview with Swiss radio late on Sunday.

              “We still have to deepen our investigation, verify and confirm (the findings) through new witness testimony, but according to what we have established so far, it is at the moment opponents of the regime who are using sarin gas,” she added.

              • A link to a second person making the same assertion isn’t really a “citation,” but I’ll assume Los Angeles Times reporters wouldn’t be asserting it in an opinion piece if they didn’t have a citation for it.

                The thing is, the reasons “why a ground-based stockpile can be discounted” don’t involve any claim that blowing up a gas storage facility wouldn’t release a gas cloud – of course it would. It was discounted for several reasons:

                1. The gas at Khan Sheikhun was distributed over a wide area, not centred on a single building.

                2. A lot of nerve agent would be needed to cover such a wide area. Destruction of a storage facility with high explosive would destroy much of the nerve agent in the facility, and it’s unlikely rebels would have much to start with.

                3. Nerve agents are stored in their component parts until needed. Only a storage facility that was readying sarin for imminent use would have sarin in it – that applies to the air base store for obvious reasons, but not to any fictional store at Khan Sheikhun.

                4. The Guardian sent a reporter to Khan Sheikhun and there is no destroyed chemical storage facility there.

                Those are pretty good reasons, none of which either Wild Katipo or Reemac have argued against.

              • Re the UN report, it’s clear that both sides have used chemical warfare. That tells us nothing about this latest attack.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2

      The problem with oil is that whoever has the most has a massive conventional warfare advantage: tanks on the ground, planes in the air.

      When you consider the people who will be looking for more tanks on the ground and planes in the air, it’s clear that ignoring oil is problematic.

      • Andre 2.2.1

        Imagine an alternate reality where, say, Jimmy Carter had won in ’80 and pushed hard for de-oiling the US with support from Congress. Imagine that by now most ground-based energy users are electrified. In that fantasy, the US has plenty of it’s own oil for aviation, shipping, and military adventures. Add in Mexican and Canadian reserves, and there would definitely be no reason to be empowering the Middle East with oil money.

        Sadly, our reality is that even if we all got serious right now about getting off fossil fuels, that kind of scenario is at least twenty years away.

        • McFlock 2.2.1.1

          But then how would they stop someone else getting the ME oil?

          Geopolitics is kindy rules: it’s not what you got so much as what someone else has

          • Andre 2.2.1.1.1

            If there’s viable alternatives for energy, then the oil isn’t anywhere near as valuable. Then nobody would care if someone else got the Middle East oil.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Yes, we would, because that person would have more tanks on the ground and planes in the air.

        • rocco siffred 2.2.1.2

          “Sadly, our reality is that even if we all got serious right now about getting off fossil fuels, that kind of scenario is at least twenty years away.”

          The US is just about a net exporter of energy right now. Why do you think the oil price has tanked?

          • Andre 2.2.1.2.1

            How much lower do you think oil prices would be right now if the only users were the plastics/chemicals industry and those that desperately needed the energy density of liquid fuels and didn’t have an alternative. Setting aside cost and looking purely at technological feasibility, long haul aviation is about the only large-scale application I can think of that strictly requires liquid fuel’s energy density.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1.2.1.1

              the energy density of liquid fuels

              Equals [insert your favourite dictator] with more tanks and planes than you.

              • McFlock

                especially as aircraft engines make fine tank engines

                • Draco T Bastard

                  No they don’t.

                  Many of the M1’s reliability failures can be traced to its turbine engine.

                  That’s from 1990 but I doubt if it’s changed much. Turbines are great for aircraft but not so great for ground vehicles where there’s a lot more dust getting in.

                  • McFlock

                    Yes they fucking do.

                    Even ignoring the fact that the gas turbine is still the engine of choice to move that behemoth around, there’s the Rolls Royce Meteor engine (derived from the merlin), nuffield liberty (derived from the liberty L12), and the Wright R975 were all derived from aircraft engines. And that was from a single google search (although I already knew the merlin one)

                    The reason is pretty obvious: although they generally need a cooling system added to compensate for lack of airflow, aircraft engines emphasise power to weight and rpm/torque. These are things you also want in a tank, moreso than reliability or even fuel efficiency, depending on your logistics situation. The yanks use a gas turbine because they have fuel to burn. Others go for diesel because of their reliability and fuel efficiency.

                    • exkiwiforces

                      Sorry McFlock, Draco is right aircraft engines are shit when they are fitted inside tanks.

                      Yanks fitted Gas turbine engines to their M1’s the idea behind was to go to a single type of fuel to reduce cost’s and more importantly a reduce logistic tail which has a Holy Gail for most post WW2 Armies.
                      The yanks case fuel consumption went through the roof, as did maintenance cost and so call reduce logistic tail didn’t really produce any real savings. In fact the Australia M1’s performs a lot better than its America counter part both in Oz and State side.

                      The other 3 engines you mention are petrol engines really not that good if your tank gets hit. The Germans during the WW2 used to the America and British tanks the “Tommy Cooker”. The fitting of the Meteor to the Centurion Tank has been describe a failure in some quarters because of its high fuel consumption, low power to weight ratio, the type of fuel used and the meteor was a right pig to work. Centurion really came of age when Israeli Armoured Corp re-engine the Cent with deasil engine and re-gun it with the L7 105mm.

                      In the 1960’s the Pom’s look at Multi fuel engine for its Chieftain Tank needless to it didn’t really work because of its high fuel consumption, low power to weight ratio and low speed.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, I reckon you’re overstating it a bit, but I also think “fine” was a bit much from my end.

                      It depends on the design priorities, and they’re a valid choice depending on requirements.

                    • exkiwiforces

                      In during WW2 aircrafts engines were the only thing going at time for tank production. One old tankie told me the wrong type of engine is better than no engine in a Sherman, but having wrong type of gun on your tank is!

                    • McFlock

                      fair call
                      I’ll have a think. 🙂

                    • Halfcrown

                      “Rolls Royce Meteor engine (derived from the merlin),”

                      With respect McFlock I think you will find those are Petrol combustion engines not gas turbines I think I am right as those engines were fitted in the Centurion tanks we had when I was in the army. If my memory serves me right it was a dog.

                      I have just noticed exkiwi has more or less said the same thing.

              • Andre

                If the US decouples itself from fossil fuels for domestic civilian uses, their own domestic reserves will be more than plentiful for all the military adventures the likes of Rumsfeld, Cheney, Clinton, Trump et al could ever dream up. Without even starting to consider biofuels. Europe may or may not be the same, depending on how fast the North Sea reserves are being extracted.

                • McFlock

                  And the first adventure would still be to stop anyone else getting ME oil, and a couple of decent wars in the area will keep the uncooperative in the area from getting too strong.

                • exkiwiforces

                  Unless you are Norway with their sovereign wealth fund, there’s a smart country.

            • exkiwiforces 2.2.1.2.1.2

              The Poms during the 50′ and 60’s when they were looking into Hypersonic, Ramjets and Missiles looked at alternative fuels for some of their Hypersonic research aircraft such as Cryogenics and Exotic Fuels such as Shelldyne type fuels.

              Ref: British Secret Projects, Hypersonic, Ramjets and Missiles
              Chapter 11, Page 141-143.

              The reason why some these types of fuel isn’t commonplace within the aviation sector is some of these Aircraft would big and the penalty big aircraft is drag. To overcome drag you need a bigger engine which means you need bigger aircraft which equals more weight and more drag, As can you can see it starts to get out of hand very quickly as the poms found out.

              Anyway the book is a very good read if you are into that stuff.

    • McFlock 2.3

      Not as sophisticated, maybe.
      In Rwanda they killed 800,000 in a few weeks, mostly by hand.

      But then race has a lot to do with the news’ ability to ignore events, too.

    • rocco siffred 2.4

      “They just wouldn’t be quite as big and sophisticated, and wouldn’t get as much publicity.”

      Wars in Africa are plenty big, 5m dead in Congo, a couple more in Sudan, it’s no one really gives a damn. Millions dead from Ak-47’s, starvation, and machetes does not make much of a headline.

  3. Heather Grimwood 3

    I visited an elderly distant relative in Oxfordshire in 1993, not long after protesting in Auckland the Gulf war. This definitely reactionary gent was surprisingly ferocious about UK’s supplying of arms to the area and to the Balkans, as lived in flight path of nearby military airbase, and certainly knew the manufacturing companies….longterm establishments I guess.

  4. reason 4

    …… and the tax haven / secrecy jurisdictions network goes hand in hand with the weapons trade and conflict …..

    https://www.tni.org/en/publication/tax-evasion-and-weapon-production

  5. Penny Bright 5

    BREAKING REPORT (!!!)
    Petraeus Working Behind the Scenes With McMaster to Put Troops on the Ground in Syria

    “The McMaster-Petraeus plan calls for 150,000 American ground troops in Syria.”

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/04/breaking-report-petraeus-working-behind-scenes-mcmaster-put-troops-ground-syria/

    Cristina Laila Apr 8th, 2017 11:41 pm 247 Comments

    According to a report by independent journalist, Mike Cernovich, current National Security Advisor, H.R. McMaster is manipulating intelligence reports given to President Trump regarding Syria.

    Via Mike Cernovich:

    McMaster is plotting how to sell a massive ground war in Syria to President Trump with the help of disgraced former CIA director and convicted criminal David Petraeus, who mishandled classified information by sharing documents with his mistress.

    As NSA, McMaster’s job is to synthesize intellience reports from all other agencies. President Trump is being given an inncurate picture of the situation in Syria, as McMaster is seeking to involve the U.S. in a full scale war in Syria.

    The McMaster-Petraeus plan calls for 150,000 American ground troops in Syria.

    ….”

    • So, if I understand this correctly, according to someone, someone else is supposedly suggesting something really stupid, which will totally happen as long as other people accept a plan to do something really stupid. Fuck me, better start digging that fallout shelter just as soon as I can be arsed doing it.

    • Wayne 5.2

      First, I am skeptical about the truth of this report, or at least that McMaster is serious about it.

      Second, neither Trump or Congress will buy it. There is no real reason for the US to do this.

      What happened this week is no precursor. Bombing an isolated airfield is far removed from a full on ground invasion of Syria. It had no risk of US casualties, in fact it appear the whole operation was designed to minimise Syrian casualties as well. But an invasion is likely to result in several thousand US casualties and many more Syrian casualties including civilians.

      But the real question is what would the US gain? Another dysfunctional state like Iraq. I don’t think the US would see that as much of a reward.

      Any such invasion would also have to leave the Russian bases, and their surrounding territory, intact. Effectively they would become a statelet within a state.

      One of the outcomes would be Russia annexing the Donbass region of the Ukraine. Mind you that might at least might finish that war.

      • Andre 5.2.1

        On one hand, the report comes from Mike Cernovich. If that name doesn’t immediately ring “fake news” alarm bells, look him up.

        On the other hand, the final decision maker is Trump. So any kind of rational analysis or cost-benefit assessment seems to be moot.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    You know what really pisses me off about reports like this?

    It’s that it’s implied that a massive amount of high tech stuff is needed to produce these chemicals and guns.

    Guns have been around for centuries. All that’s needed to produce one is some basic engineering and access to iron.

    Chemicals are actually easier once you get to 19th century level tech. Once you got the ability to refine elements and compounds reasonably reliably all you have to do is mix and match and you’ll be developing poisons left, right and centre. Sarin was first developed in 1938 while looking for better pesticides.

    The high tech that everyone assumes is needed simply isn’t.

    • McFlock 6.1

      yes dear.

      You might be able to cook it up in your back shed, yet when most try to do it, they seem to fuck it up. Even when they get it good enough to work, it never works as well as advertised.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        But if a nation gets something that works then they can a) use it and b) refine it. They’ve got the resources to do that.

    • exkiwiforces 6.2

      What most people don’t know or don’t think about it? Is that they are conducting chemical warfare in their houses every time they use a can of Fly spray etc and if they use to much of the stuff in confined space you will feel the effects of the spray. Those effects from the spray is what you would feel if someone attacked you with a nerve agent.

      • Macro 6.2.1

        Which is why I would rather smack an errant fly with a fly smacker than use fly spray! The pour on “drench” for cattle is also closely related to nerve gas. Trouble is it remains in the cow shit and the biological agents which traditionally broke the shit down are killed by the drench so the shit remains on the paddock. Worm counts in organic farms are way higher than “conventionally” farmed pastures. (One of the reasons our water ways are becoming so contaminated). Its raw shit that is being washed in folks. Also farmers are not supposed to sell cattle recently drenched for slaughter for similar reasons.
        http://rawbrown.com.au/pdf/livestock/esi-cattle.pdf

        • exkiwiforces 6.2.1.1

          Yes, all insecticides do have very small traces of some sort of nerve agent and yes they do build up in the ground and eventually leach into the ground hence there are strict protocols in handing, spraying regimes in place, regular testing of products prior to it being slaughter or prior picking and from memory there were 3 testings regimes that had be carry out by law.

          As a worker driving the spray units we were had to have blood tests prior to the start of spraying season, during and at the end of spraying season for build up of insecticides in our blood steam.

          In our first year of my cadetship it was 80% classroom base at CHCH polytec we studied the effects of soil leeching and the possible long term effects it could have on environment and why crop rotation is important especially in places with light soils eg Canterbury plans and even now I still can’t get my head around with all these dairy farms on the plains. Yes there were some dairy farms in the city fringe, but was for domestic use as the plains were always describe as mixed cropping used only not industrial size dairy farms and its no wonder the river systems are stuff. What’s going to happen CHCH’s world famous water supply in the future?

          • Incognito 6.2.1.1.1

            Yes, all insecticides do have very small traces of some sort of nerve agent …

            I’d like to see a citation for this one also as I believe you’re misinformed.

            • exkiwiforces 6.2.1.1.1.1

              I teach CBRND warfare, also a conduct reconnaissance surveys, agent detection surveys and between 91 and 94 worked in the Agriculture/ Horticulture sectors prior to joining NZ Army 94-98.

              All commonly available insecticides used by Agriculture/ Horticulture sectors etc attacks the insects nervous system incl your humble fly spray. What the boffins found during their reseach post WW1 that by mixing chemicals with the humble insecticide to improve the current lethalness in attacking the poor old insect so the farmer can achieve better yields. The boffins found by accident that increase the strength and modifying the insecticide they found they could attack the human nervous system which they then could weaponized it. The German companies such Bayer, BASF were main lead in this research into chemical warfare followed by the famous British company ICI and few other companies who I can’t remember. So your humble every day insecticides forms the basic compound with a heap of other nasty chemicals to form a nerve agent.

              On cse they teach the history of CBRND warfare, the theory into making CBRN weapons and its effects on humans/ the environment (Some instructors go nuts with this part with scientific formulas from a Bio agent to building Nuke), To identify signs and symptoms of CBRN attack and conduct reconnaissance surveys, agent detection surveys.
              The CBRND advisors cse is really more in depth such as running decom stations, mapping CBRN attacks and whole of other stuff.

              • Incognito

                Hi exkiwiforces,

                Thank you for your reply.

                Although you know much about this topic the average TS reader won’t.

                Indeed, the history of insecticides is colourful and checkered because it is intertwined with that of nerve agents.

                Indeed, most insecticides interfere with the nervous system of insects albeit through interaction with different components and via different mechanisms of action.

                However, the term “nerve agent” is generally used for a specific group of closely related compounds that all work through the same single specific mechanism of action; Sarin is one of those “nerve agents” and mentioned in the OP.

                As such, the typical household insecticides do not contain “nerve agents”, not even “traces”. In fact, they often contain a mixture of pyrethrins or pyrethroids that have replaced and superseded the organophosphates, which include analogues of Sarin, as safer and effective insecticides. To be clear, and to my knowledge, Sarin has never ever been used as an insecticide.

        • Incognito 6.2.1.2

          The pour on “drench” for cattle is also closely related to nerve gas.

          In what way is it closely related? Can you please back that up with a citation?

  7. New Zealanders; farmers, council staff, householders etc, regularly use chemicals to kill beings other than human; insects, mammals, trees, fungi, molluscs, you name them, we poison them. In the same way we look at children who abuse pets as potential abusers of humans when they get older, we could look at those who wage chemical war against non-human beings with concern, yes?

  8. KJT 8

    If it was Sarin, how come the ungloved and unsuited rescuers were not affected?

  9. John L 9

    “Evidence that the sarin nerve agent was used in the chemical attack”

    What evidence?

  10. exkiwiforces 10

    This was on the ABC’s 7:30 report tonight. David Kilcullen, former Australian soldier, counter-insurgency expert and has spent time on the ground throughout the Middle East Region in the 10plus years. His last book “Blood Year, Islamic state and the Failures of The War on Terror” is worth reading.

    http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2017/s4651587.htm

  11. Antoine 11

    Bit of a sausage fest in here

  12. exkiwiforces 12

    Found this on news.com.au

    “Samples taken from the poison gas site in Syria’s Idlib governorate tested positive for the nerve agent sarin, the British delegation at the OPCW said on Thursday.
    UK scientists have analysed samples taken from Khan Sheikhoun. These have tested positive for the nerve agent sarin, or a sarin-like substance,” the delegation said during a special session at the OPCW in The Hague.”

    http://www.news.com.au/world/breaking-news/uk-scientists-find-sarin-used-in-syria/news-story/96b14a30a002a6a6ddaa97ac172'c

  13. exkiwiforces 13

    From the BBC’s, Chemical weapons specialist (Didn’t know they had one?)

    Syria ‘chemical attack’: What can forensics tell us?

    bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-39513193

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Auckland & Transport Minister Simeon Brown's insanity
    Excuse me, but I just don’t feel like being polite today. What is going on with Simeon Brown? I mean, really? After spending valuable Ministerial time, focus, and government resources to overturn tailored speed limits in school and high fatality zones that *checks notes* reduces the risk of deaths and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    8 hours ago
  • Were scientists caught falsifying data in the hacked emails incident dubbed 'climategate'?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Were scientists caught falsifying data in the ...
    9 hours ago
  • What Happened to David D'Amato's Millions?
    Today’s podcast episode is for paying Webworm members — and is a conversation seven years in the making. Let me explain.Hi,As I hit “send” on this newsletter, I’m about to play my 2016 documentary Tickled to a theatre full of about 400 Webworm readers in Auckland, New Zealand.And with Tickled ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    11 hours ago
  • Voting as a multi-order process of choice.
    Recent elections around the world got me to thinking about voting. At a broad level, voting involves processes and choices. Embedded in both are the logics that go into “sincere” versus “tactical” voting. “Sincere” voting is usually a matter of preferred … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    14 hours ago
  • Women in Space.
    Count downThree twoI wonderIf I'll ever see you againI'm 'bout to take offI'm leaving youBut maybeI'll see you around somewhere some placeI just need some spaceA brief reminder that if you’re a Gold Card holder you can subscribe to Nick’s Kōrero for 20% off. You’re also welcome to use this ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    16 hours ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 13
    Auckland waterfront, July. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 13 are:The National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government watered down vehicle emissions standards this week, compounding the climate emissions damage from an increasingly ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    18 hours ago
  • Dems need to ask the right question about Biden as his age now defines the campaign
    Midway through the news conference that many American political commentators had built up as critical to Joe Biden’s re-election chances, the US president said European leaders are not asking him not to run for a second term, “they’re saying you gotta win”.The problem for Biden and his advisors is that ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    20 hours ago
  • Govt flounders while ocean temps soar
    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items of climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer, most of which they discussin the video above. According to experts, the rate of ocean surface warming around New Zealand is “outstripping the global ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    23 hours ago
  • Learning From Brexit
    Whether Britain leaving the European Union was right or wrong, good or bad is for the Brits to decide. But there are lessons about international trade to be learned from Brexit, especially as it is very unusual for an economy to break so completely from its major training partner.In Econ101 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Friday, July 12
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of Friday, July 12 are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Hot Damn! It's The Soggy Bottom Boys!
    Good morning lovely people, and welcome to another weekly review. One which saw the our Prime Minister in Washington, running around with all the decorum of Augustus Gloop with a golden ticket, seeking photo opportunities with anyone willing to shake his hand.Image: G News.He had his technique down to overcome ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • When an independent expert / advisory group is anything but ..
    OPINION: Yesterday, 1News reported that the Government's "independent" advisory group had recommended Kiwirail offload its ferries to another entity.Except this wasn't entirely new news at all, besides that it came formally from Nicola Willis’s advisory team.TVNZ is under significant cost pressure, and earlier this year, after expressing strong discontent with ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 12
    Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 9:00 am on Friday, July 12 are:Scoop: Ministerial group advises KiwiRail no longer run Cook Strait ferries 1News’ Julia RodenNews: ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 12-July-2024
    Kia ora and welcome to another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! The week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Scott delivered a delicious disquisition on donut cities, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 12
    Photo by Dominik Scythe on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Friday, July 11 are:Climate: Transport Minister Simeon Brown said in a release the Government's plan to reverse New ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 12
    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s climate strategy ‘pamphlet’, its watering down of Clean Car Standards and its general lack of coherence;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Casey Costello strikes again
    Summary: A track record of deception is becoming evident in the Government’s Coalition alliance. Ministers across all parties have been found to either lie without contrite, and/or act unlawfully and unreasonably. The rails are coming off quicker than a marshmallow induced fantasy train ride as the conductors throw caution to ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #28 2024
    Open access notables Antarctic Bottom Water Warming, Freshening, and Contraction in the Eastern Bellingshausen Basin, Johnson et al., Geophysical Research Letters Cold winds blowing over polynyas (areas of ice-free water) on the Antarctic continental shelf create sea ice, forming very cold and somewhat salty, hence very dense, waters. These dense ...
    2 days ago
  • We're back! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashWe’re back after a three-week mid-winter break. I needed a rest, but back into it. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s gas fantasy
    Yesterday the government released the advice on its proposal to repeal the offshore fossil gas exploration ban, including a Climate Implications of Policy Assessment statement, Cabinet paper, and Regulatory Impact Statement. I spent some time looking at these last night, and the short version is that the government's plan is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A criminal minister
    RNZ reports that cancer minister Casey Costello has been reprimanded and forced to apologise by the Ombudsman for acting "contrary to law" in her handling of an OIA request: Associate Health Minister Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced to apologise for trying to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Luxon in the NATO pressure cooker
    New Zealand is one of six countries invited as onlookers to this week’s NATO summit in Washington. As such, PM Christopher Luxon will be made aware of the pressure on the 32 NATO member states (a) to increase their Defence spending (b) to become less militarily dependent on the US ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    3 days ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus for Thursday July 11
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of July 11 are:Climate: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts issued the National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government’s climate strategy yesterday, including a three-page document with five bullet ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • By George! Splendid streets take shape down south
    The revitalisation of Auckland city centre, especially around Wynyard Quarter, Te Komititanga, and Queen Street, is top of mind for Greater Auckland readers – but other cities around Aotearoa New Zealandare installing people-friendly streets. This guest post by Jessica de Heij, who grew up in the Netherlands and is an ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:30 am on July 11 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister acted 'contrary to law’. Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Thursday, July 11 are:Economy: Te Pūtea Matua The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) announced its Monetary Policy Committee decided to hold the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Farmers’ revenge meets Green resistance
    If there was one issue that united farmers in opposition to the Labour Government, it was the battle of the waterways between farmers and Environment Minister David Parker. Parker won the first round with his 2020 National Policy Standard on Freshwater Management (NPSFM) which imposed tough new standards on waterways ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • Personal Reflections: 10th July
    Please note: This is a personal reflection and does not refer to politics. These entries are not sent to subscribers.Text within this block will maintain its original spacing when publishedHubris and Pride Out of the fire and into the frying pan? Swimming with the big sharks Tonight, I am excited. ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • Oh Vienna
    Nothing can warm your heart like the sight of your daughter stepping off a train. Mary-Margaret arrived on Saturday to ride with us to Vienna.You know your way around a bike? the guy at the hire shop asks her. Yep. She’s ridden them on rail trails, Auckland’s mean streets, commutes ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand forges deeper ties with NATO
    Christopher Luxon is finding his foreign policy feet. Now eight months into the job, New Zealand’s Prime Minister is in Washington DC this week to attend the NATO summit. It is the third year in a row that Wellington has been invited to the annual gathering of the North Atlantic ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s carbon capture fantasy
    As the climate crisis has grown worse, the tactics of the polluting industries have shifted. From denying climate change, they then moved on to pushing "carbon capture" - dumping their emissions underground rather than in the atmosphere. It's a PR scam, intended to prolong the life of the industry we ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Harsh Truths.
    The Way We Were: An indelible mark was left upon a whole generation of New Zealanders by the Great Depression and World War II; an impression that not only permitted men and women of all classes and races to perceive the need to work together for the common good, but also ...
    4 days ago
  • Explainer: Simeon Brown's CCUS Announcement
    Sources for the data and research:Peter Milne: Time’s up on Gorgon’s five years of carbon storage failureSimon Holmes a Court: "Does best CCS power station in world provide model for Australia?" Chris Vanderstock: "The truth about Carbon Capture and Storage"   "Sunk Costs": documenting CCS's failure to meet every, single, target, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • The Kiwirail Interislander saga continues
    This morning, 1 News is reporting that the cancellation of the i-Rex ferries has so far cost taxpayers $484 million.That's almost half a billion dollars. That could probably fund thousands of new doctors, maybe complete a few hospital rebuilds, or how about money for our experienced police so they don’t ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Wednesday, July 10
    As foreshadowed in legislation passed quietly under urgency just before Christmas, the Transport Minister has personally watered down standards for car imports in a way expected to add millions of tonnes to our climate emissions Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Christopher Luxon's business acumen
    It’s April, and the relatively new Prime Minister of New Zealand is on his first overseas mission to South East Asia.Christopher Luxon walks into the room. A warm smile on his face. A hand extended to his counterpart.“We are open for business,” he says confidently. “New Zealand is under new ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Meet New Zealand's Russell Brand?
    Hi,There is an all too common story within the guru community, and we see it play out again and again. The end is nearly always the same — a trail of victims and confusion left in the guru’s wake.As seen in the recent case of Russell Brand, the guru simply ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • Why is the Government flooring it on unsafe speeds?
    Feedback closes midnight Thursday 11 July, on the draft speed-setting rule. See our previous post on the subject for details, and guidance on having your say. Among other things, it proposes to raise speeds in cities back up to a universal 50km/h (with no option of 30km/h), and will restrict safe ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • American Boy
    Take me on a trip, I'd like to go some dayTake me to New York, I'd love to see LAI really want to come kick it with youYou'll be my American boy…Love letters straight from the heart. Hmm, I think that’s a different tune, but that’s where we’ll begin. With ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Jannis Brandt on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am are:Investigation: Benefitting from the misery of others. Over 40% of emergency housing funding went to a concentrated group ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Mr Cup / Fabien Barral on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:30 am on Wednesday, July 10 are:Climate: Minister for Transport Simeon Brown announced changes to the Clean Car Importer Standard that ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • How rural families are saving thousands with electric vehicles
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons (Photo credit: Automotive Rhythms / CC BY-NC 2.0) Some people thought Juliana Dockery and her husband Sean were being impractical when they bought an electric vehicle in 2022. Why? Like one in five Americans, they live in a rural area ...
    4 days ago
  • Love to complete it all
    Photo credit: Rob DickinsonThis is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: What’s left of the Emissions Reduction Plan?
    In 2019, Parliament, in a supposed bipartisan consensus, passed the Zero Carbon Act. The Act established long-term emissions reduction targets, and a cycle of five-yearly budgets and emissions reduction plans to meet them, with monitoring by the independent Climate Change Commission. In theory this was meant to ensure that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The President They Have Got.
    “This cannot be real life!” Confronted with the choice of recommitting themselves to the myth of Joe Biden, or believing the evidence of their own eyes, those Americans not already committed to Donald Trump will reach out instinctively for the President they wish they had – blind to the President they ...
    5 days ago
  • Has Progressivism Peaked?
    Let’s Go Crazy! AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) rarks-up the voters of New York’s 16th Congressional District.HAVE WE MOVED past peak progressivism? Across the planet, there are signs that the surge of support for left-wing causes and personalities, exemplified by the election of the democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC) to the US House ...
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Dawn Chorus for July 9
    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Labour may be looking at signing up for an Irish style 33% inheritance tax instead of or as well as a capital gains tax;Sam Stubbs has proposed the Government sell ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Mr Luxon goes to Washington.
    Once fastened servile now your getting sharpMoving oh so swiftly with such disarmI pulled the covers over him shoulda' pulled the alarmTurned to my nemesis a fool no fucking godTuesday morning usually provides something to write about with a regular round of interviews for the Prime Minister across Newshub, TVNZ, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Kiwirail at Councils Transport & Infrastructure Committee
    Last week at the Council’s Transport and Infrastructure Committee, Kiwirail gave an update about the state of the network and the work they’re doing to get it ready for the opening of the City Rail Link. There were a few aspects that stood out to me so I’ve pulled them ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 9
    Photo by City Church Christchurch on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six links elsewhere I’ve spotted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 8:00 am are:Scoop: Waipareira Trust political donations probe referred to Charities Registration Board NZ Herald-$$$’s Matt NippertScoop: Migrant whistleblowers speak out after ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on the...
    This article by Robin Kundis Craig, Professor of Law, University of Kansas is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Federal Chevron deference is dead. On June 28, 2024, in a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court overturned the 40-year-old legal tenet that when a federal ...
    5 days ago
  • The folly of retreat in the face of defeat
    Note: This is a long readPolitical discourse on social media taught me that bad faith operators and tactics are not only prevalent, they are widespread and effective.Thanks for reading Mountain Tui! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.Their objectives are much narrower than one might imagine.The ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • The Parent Zone
    Hi,I am about to wing my way back to New Zealand for the Webworm popup this Saturday in Auckland — can’t wait to see some of you there! In the meantime, I highly recommend the latest pet thread over on the Webworm app. All I’ll say is that readers here ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Tuesday: The Kākā’s Journal of Record for July 9
    Photo by Alex Zaj on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, news conferences reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 9 are:Politics: Full news conference: 'Please resign', Chloe Swarbrick tells Darleen Tana RNZ VideoPaper: Increasing speed ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Breaking up is so hard to do
    The fundamental weakness of the waka jumping legislation is once again on display, as the Greens seem reluctant to trigger it to remove Darleen Tana from Parliament altogether. Tana has been suspended from the Greens Caucus while it had barrister Rachel Burt investigate allegations that she had been involved in ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the privatising of state housing provision, by stealth
    Kāinga Ora’s “independent review” was carried out by the same National Party leader whose own administration’s inadequate housing build – and selling of state houses- had caused Kāinga Ora to embark on its crash building programme in the first place. To use a rugby analogy, this situation is exactly like ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • “Laser focused on the cost of living crisis”
    Cartoonist credit: Christopher Slane ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the elections in France, Iran and Britain
    As Werewolf predicted a week ago, it was premature to call Emmanuel Macron’s snap election call “a bitter failure” and “a humiliating defeat” purely on the basis of the first round results. In fact, it is the far-right that has suffered a crushing defeat. It has come in third in ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The UK needs proportional representation
    Like a lot of people, I spent Friday watching the UK election. There's the obvious joy at seeing the end of 14 years of Tory chaos, but at the same time the new government does not greatly enthuse me. In order to win over the establishment, Starmer has moved UK ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Chorus for Monday, July 8
    TL;DR: Thanks for the break, and now I’m back. These are the top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so:Chris Bishop’s pledge to ‘flood the market’ with land to build new houses both out and up remains dependent ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • French Left Wins Big
    Usually I start with some lyrics from the song at the end of the newsletter, to set the mood. But today I’m going to begin with a bit of a plea. About six weeks ago I decided to make more of my writing public with the hope that people would ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Satire: It's great our Prime Minister is so on the ball
    ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • This is the real reason David Seymour needs to reinterpret the Treaty of Waitangi
    This is republished from an earlier write upDavid Seymour is part of the ACT Party. He's backed by people like Alan Gibbs, and Koch money. He grew up as a right wing lobbyist - tick tick tick. All cool and fine - we know.What's also been clear is a fervent ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Going for Housing Growth: Filling the housing donut?
    Hot take: it should be affordable to live in Auckland. You may not be surprised to learn I’m not the only one with this hot take. Indeed, the Minister of Housing recently took the notable step of saying house prices should come down, something common wisdom says should be a politically ...
    Greater AucklandBy Scott Caldwell
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Monday July 9
    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Monday, July 9, the top six links elsewhere I’ve spotted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so are:Scoop: Probation officer sacked for snooping is linked to alleged spy Jian Yang. Corrections dismissed Xu Shan over his ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • What has the Government done for you so far?
    List effective 1 July 2024Consumer and household (note: road and car costs are under infrastructure)Cancelled half-price public transport fares for under-25s and free fares for under-13s funding, scrapping the Labour government-era subsidies. The change will not affect pre-existing discounts funded directly by councils.Cut funding for free budgeting services. One third of the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 8
    Photo by Amador Loureiro on UnsplashTL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Monday, July 8, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days were:Local Government Minister Simeon Brown announced the Coalition Government would not be responding to ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 15 and beyond
    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 15 include:PM Christopher Luxon is travelling to Washington this week to attend a NATO meeting running from Tuesday to Thursday. Parliament is not sitting this week.The RBNZ is expected to hold the OCR on ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 30, 2024 thru Sat, July 6, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is brought to us by Dr. Ella Gilbert, a researcher with the British ...
    6 days ago
  • The Great Splintering: Thoughts on the British Election
    I can remember 1997. Even living on the other side of the world, having a Scottish father and Welsh grandfather meant I acquired a childhood knowledge of British politics via family connections (and general geekery). And yes, I inherited the dark legends of that evil folk-devil, Margaret Thatcher. So when ...
    6 days ago
  • 2% royalties for mining? Deal!
    Snapshot postToday, Shane Jones was courageous enough to front Q&A with Jack Tame. Thanks for reading Mountain Tui ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.Jack Tame is a bit of a legend. And that’s only because he strikes me as a good journalist i.e. well ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Aotearoa Says – No Diggity.
    Strictly biz, don't play aroundCover much ground, got game by the poundGetting paid is a forteEach and every day, true player wayOne month ago tens of thousands of Kiwis took to the streets to protest against the coalition’s Fast Track legislation. Concerned that it would prioritise some people making a ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Strangers and others
    For a moment yesterday I thought I might have been trailing my old friend Simon Wilson across the Danube, over cobbled stones, and into the old town square of Linz. Same comfortable riding style, same jacket, same full head of hair, but no, different friend of cycling.There is a kindred ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Killing the Golden Goose of New Zealand's economy
    IntroductionIn New Zealand, the National party generally retains a reputation of being pro-business and pro-economy.Thanks for reading Mountain Tui ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.The underlying assumption is National are more competent economic managers, and by all accounts Luxon and his team have talked ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Newshub Signs Off
    Wait for the night, for the light at the end of an era'Cause it's love at the end of an eraThe last episode of Newshub, the final instalment of TV3 News, aired last night. Many of us who took the time to watch felt sad and nostalgic looking back over ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago

  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • District Court judges appointed
    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins
    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended
    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance
    New compliance funding in Budget 2024 will ensure Inland Revenue is better equipped to catch individuals who are evading their tax obligations, Revenue Minister Simon Watts says. “New Zealand’s tax debt had risen to almost $7.4 billion by the end of May, an increase of more than 50 per cent since 2022. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Taking action to reduce road cones
    The Coalition Government is taking action to reduce expenditure on road cones and temporary traffic management (TTM) while maintaining the safety of workers and road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  Rolling out a new risk-based approach to TTM that will reduce the number of road cones on our roads.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Celebrating 100 years of progress
    Te Arawa Lakes Trust centenary celebrations mark a significant milestone for all the important work done for the lakes, the iwi and for the Bay of Plenty region, says Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka. The minister spoke at a commemorative event acknowledging 100 years ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week.    “New Zealand enjoys warm and enduring relationships with both Korea and Japan. Our relationships with these crucial partners is important for New Zealand’s ongoing prosperity and security,” says Mr Peters.    While in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says today is another important step towards establishing charter schools, with the application process officially opening.  “There has already been significant interest from groups and individuals interested in opening new charter schools or converting existing state schools to charter schools,” says Mr Seymour. “There is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Decreasing gas reserves data highlights need to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    MBIE’s annual Petroleum Reserves report detailing a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural gas reserves shows the need to reverse the oil and gas exploration ban, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says.“Figures released by MBIE show that there has been a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further sanctions as part of the Government’s ongoing response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.    “Russia’s continued illegal war of aggression against Ukraine is a direct and shocking assault on the rules-based order. Our latest round of sanctions targets Russians involved in that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • OECD report shows New Zealand is a red tape state
    Minister for Regulation David Seymour says that the OECD Product Market Regulation Indicators (PMRI) released this morning shows why New Zealanders sorely need regulatory reform. “This shocker result should end any and all doubt that the Government must go to war on red tape and regulation,” says Mr Seymour.  “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government unveils five-point climate strategy
    The coalition Government is proud to announce the launch of its Climate Strategy, a comprehensive and ambitious plan aimed at reducing the impacts of climate change and preparing for its future effects, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “The Strategy is built on five core pillars and underscores the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • National Bowel Screening Programme reaches 2 million life-saving screening kits
    The National Bowel Screening Programme has reached a significant milestone, with two million home bowel screening kits distributed across the country, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.   “This programme, which began in 2017, has detected 2,495 cancers as of June 2024. A third of these were at an early ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Granny flats popular with all ages
    More than 1,300 people have submitted on the recent proposal to make it easier to build granny flats, RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk say. “The strong response shows how popular the proposal is and how hungry the public is for common sense changes to make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $25 million boost for conservation
    Toitū te taiao – our environment endures!  New Zealanders will get to enjoy more of our country’s natural beauty including at Cathedral Cove – Mautohe thanks to a $25 million boost for conservation, Conservation Minister Tama Potaka announced today.  “Te taiao (our environment) is critical for the country’s present and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand increases support for Ukraine
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have announced a further $16 million of support for Ukraine, as it defends itself against Russia’s illegal invasion. The announcement of further support for Ukraine comes as Prime Minister Luxon attends the NATO Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC. “New Zealand will provide an additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Country Kindy to remain open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says that Country Kindy in Manawatu will be able to remain open, after being granted a stay from the Ministry of Education for 12 weeks. “When I heard of the decision made last week to shut down Country Kindy I was immediately concerned and asked ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government lifts Indonesian trade cooperation
    New export arrangements signed today by New Zealand and Indonesia will boost two-way trade, Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. Mr McClay and Dr Sahat Manaor Panggabean, Chairman of the Indonesia Quarantine Authority (IQA), signed an updated cooperation arrangement between New Zealand and Indonesia in Auckland today. “The cooperation arrangement paves the way for New Zealand and Indonesia to boost our $3 billion two-way trade and further ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Carbon capture framework to reduce emissions
    A Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) framework has been released by the Coalition Government for consultation, providing an opportunity for industry to reduce net CO2 emissions from gas use and production, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says. “Our Government is committed to reducing red tape and removing barriers to drive investment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Faster consenting with remote inspections
    The Government is progressing a requirement for building consent authorities to use remote inspections as the default approach so building a home is easier and cheaper, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Building anything in New Zealand is too expensive and takes too long. Building costs have increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Revision programme presented to Parliament
    A new revision programme enabling the Government to continue the progressive revision of Acts in New Zealand has been presented to Parliament, Attorney-General Judith Collins announced today. “Revision targets our older and outdated or much-amended Acts to make them more accessible and readable without changing their substance,” Ms Collins says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government aligns Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia to reduce vehicle prices for Kiwis
    The Government will be aligning the Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia in order to provide the vehicle import market with certainty and ease cost of living pressures on Kiwis the next time they need to purchase a vehicle, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“The Government supports the Clean Car Importer ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZQA Board appointments
    Education Minister Erica Stanford has today announced three appointments to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Kevin Jenkins has been appointed as the new Chair of the NZQA Board while Bill Moran MNZM has been appointed as the Deputy Chair, replacing Pania Gray who remains on the Board as a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More support for Wairoa clean-up
    A further $3 million of funding to Wairoa will allow Wairoa District Council to get on with cleaning up household waste and sediment left by last week’s flooding, Emergency Management and Recovery Minister Mark Mitchell says.  In Budget 24 the Government provided $10 million to the Hawke’s Bay Region to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister thanks outgoing Secretary for Education
    Education Minister Erica Stanford has today thanked the outgoing Secretary for Education. Iona Holsted was appointed in 2016 and has spent eight years in the role after being reappointed in May 2021. Her term comes to an end later this year.  “I acknowledge Iona’s distinguished public service to New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister concludes local government review
    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has concluded the Future for Local Government Review and confirmed that the Coalition Government will not be responding to the review’s recommendations.“The previous government initiated the review because its Three Waters and resource management reforms would have stripped local government of responsibility for water assets ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Consultation begins on new cancer medicines
    Associate Health Minister for Pharmac David Seymour says today’s announcement that Pharmac is opening consultation on new cancer medicines is great news for Kiwi cancer patients and their families. “As a result of the coalition Government’s $604 million funding boost, consultation is able to start today for the first two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 50 years on, Niue and NZ look to the future
    A half-century after pursuing self-government, Niue can count on New Zealand’s steadfast partnership and support, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says. “New Zealand and Niue share a unique bond, forged over 50 years of free association,” Mr Peters says. “We are looking forward to working together to continue advancing Niue’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Upgrading system resulting in faster passport processing
    Acting Internal Affairs Minister David Seymour says wait times for passports are reducing, as the Department of Internal Affairs (the Department) reports the highest ever monthly figure for digital uptake in passport applications.  “As of Friday 5 July, the passport application queue has reduced by 34.4 per cent - a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Roads of National Significance moving at pace
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news that the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is getting on with the Government’s first seven Roads of National Significance (RoNS) projects expected to begin procurement, enabling works and construction in the next three years.   “Delivering on commitments in our coalition agreements, we are moving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New school for Flat Bush
    The Coalition Government is building for roll growth and easing pressure in Auckland’s school system, by committing to the construction of a new primary school, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. As part of Budget 24’s $456 million injection into school property growth, a new primary school (years 1-6) will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Dr Shane Reti's speech to Iwi-Maori Partnership Boards, Rotorua
    Dr Shane Reti's speech to Iwi-Maori Partnership Boards, Thursday 4 July 2024    Mānawa maiea te putanga o Matariki Mānawa maiea te ariki o te rangi Mānawa maiea te Mātahi o te tau Celebrate the rising of Matariki Celebrate the rising of the lord of the skies Celebrate the rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Announcement of Mental Health Targets and Mental Health and Addiction Community Sector Innovation Fu...
    Kia Ora Koutou, Tena Koutou, Good Morning. Thank you Mahaki Albert for the warm welcome. Thank you, Prime Minister, and thank you everyone for coming today. When I look around the room this morning, I see many of our hard-working mental health and addictions workforce from NGO and Community groups, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Expert panel appointed to review Public Works Act
    An independent expert advisory panel has been appointed to review the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk has announced.  “The short, sharp review demonstrates the Government’s commitment to progressing critical infrastructure projects and reducing excessive regulatory and legislative barriers, so ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Resources Minister heads to Australia with message – ‘NZ is open for business’
    A trip to Australia next week to meet mining sector operators and investors will signal New Zealand is once again open for business, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. The visit is also an opportunity to build relationships with Australian state and federal counterparts and learn from their experiences as New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s scholarships awarded
    New Zealand’s ability to engage with key trading partners is set to grow further with 20 scholarships awarded for groups to gain education experiences across Asia and Latin America, Tertiary Education and Skills Minister, Penny Simmonds says. Of the 20 scholarships, 12 have been awarded to groups travelling for study ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Next steps for Northwest Rapid Transit underway
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed progress on Northwest Rapid Transit, as the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) confirms next steps on the preferred option, a busway alongside State Highway 16 from Brigham Creek to Auckland City Centre. “The Government is committed to a rapid transit system that will support urban development, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Targets will drive improvement in mental health
    Reflecting the Government’s priority to improve the public services Kiwis rely on, including mental health care, Minister for Mental Health, Matt Doocey has today announced five mental health and addiction targets.  “The targets reflect my priorities to increase access to mental health and addiction support, grow the mental health and addiction ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

Page generated in The Standard by Wordpress at 2024-07-13T16:46:11+00:00