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HH Kuwait Amir congratulates Saudi King on successful Hajj season

Canadian Foreign Minister thanks Bassil for Lebanon's efforts to release Canadian citizen from Syria

Australia must not 'concede ground' to China

Morrison beefs up Australia’s special forces with $3 billion

UAE Prince Visits Saudi, Urges Dialogue to Solve Yemen Tensions

GEAGEA Condemns Israeli Army Practices Against Palestinians

Aus companies pledge $3bn to Indigenous suppliers

Pell compares his struggle with that of Jesus Christ in leaked letter

Solution to Sydney water demand is ‘dams, not desalination plants’

Rate cuts supporting the economy: RBA

Media executives decry 'state of secrecy'

University debt and limited job prospects mean learning a trade at TAFE is better for income, report finds




HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah

HH Kuwait Amir congratulates Saudi King on successful Hajj season

12/08/2019

KUWAIT-- His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sent on Monday a cable of congratulations to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud on the end of the Hajj season.

In the cable, His Highness the Amir lauded the success of the Hajj (pilgrimage) this year. His Highness Sheikh Sabah also expressed gratitude for King Salman and his government's strenuous efforts in addressing the needs of pilgrims, wishing persistent prosperity for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its people.

His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah have sent similar cables to King Salman.

 Image result for Canadian Foreign Minister thanks Bassil for Lebanon's efforts to release Canadian citizen from Syria

Canadian Foreign Minister thanks Bassil for Lebanon's efforts to release Canadian citizen from Syria

12 Aug 2019

Lebanon - Foreign Affairs and Emigrants Minister, Gebran Bassil, received Monday a telephone call from his Canadian counterpart, Chrystia Freeland, thanking him for Lebanon's efforts to free Canadian citizen, Christian Le Baxter, who was detained last year in Syria.

Bassil and Freeland praised the relentless efforts of General Security Director General, Abbas Ibrahim, that led to Baxter's release.

It is to note that the Canadian state had earlier requested Lebanon's intervention to ensure the release of its detained citizen.

 Image result for Australia must not 'concede ground' to China

Australia must not 'concede ground' to China

12/08/2019

Australia must be prepared to take a short-term economic hit in order to stand up to China's growing authoritarian influence in the Asia-Pacific, according to security expert John Blaxland. Liberal MP Andrew Hastie drew the ire of the Chinese embassy last week when he warned Beijing posed an unprecedented economic and national security threat to Australia. While Trade Minister Simon Birmingham rebuked the comments, Labor MP Anthony Byrne said many parliamentarians “shared” Mr Hastie’s concerns about China’s growing authoritarian influence in the Asia-Pacific. Professor Blaxland told Sky News Beijing was “throwing its weight around” in order to silence critical voices. He said Australians could not “back down” when it came to its “willingness to support the United States and its objections to China’s actions in the South China sea".

  Image result for Morrison beefs up Australia’s special forces with $3 billion

Morrison beefs up Australia’s special forces with $3 billion

12/08/2019

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has unveiled a $3 billion funding boost to beef up Australia’s special forces under a 20-year program called Project GREYFIN. The funding, which coincides with rising tensions between Australia, China and the United States in the Asia-Pacific, will help special forces respond to threats. The first stage will see $500 million spent over four years for upgrades such as new combat systems, unmanned vehicles, body armour, parachuting and diving technology. Speaking about the project, Mr Morrison said “we’re for an independent, sovereign Indo-Pacific”. It’s the “biggest single commitment to upgrading the capability of our defence forces since the Second World War” and “forms part of our commitment to increasing defence spending to two per cent of GDP”.

 Image result for UAE Prince Visits Saudi, Urges Dialogue to Solve Yemen Tensions

UAE Prince Visits Saudi, Urges Dialogue to Solve Yemen Tensions

12 Aug 2019

{AFP} - Abu Dhabi's powerful crown prince visited Saudi Arabia on Monday and called for dialogue to resolve tensions in Yemen, after deadly clashes there between government loyalists and UAE-backed forces.

The fighting in Yemen's second city Aden pitted Saudi-backed government forces against the UAE-trained Security Belt Force, both of which have been fighting Huthi rebels since 2015.

While both are technically supported by a Saudi and Emirati-dominated military coalition, the Security Belt is largely made up of fighters who oppose President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and seek an independent south Yemen.

Speaking after meeting Saudi Arabia's King Salman near Mecca on Monday, Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan said dialogue was "the only way to resolve differences between Yemenis".

In a statement carried by the Emirates' official WAM news agency, the crown prince during his brief visit backed a Saudi call for an urgent meeting between the warring parties, saying it "embodies the common concern for Yemen's stability".

Prince Mohammed also urged Yemeni factions to "seize this opportunity, and carry out talks to reach a consensus that is in the best interest of Yemen and its people."

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who also attended the meeting, held separate talks with his Emirati counterpart, according to a Saudi foreign ministry tweet.

They "reviewed the close relations between the two brotherly countries", the situation in Yemen and "the various efforts towards achieving security and stability", it said. - [AFP]

 Image result for GEAGEA Condemns Israeli Army Practices Against Palestinians

GEAGEA Condemns Israeli Army Practices Against Palestinians

12 Aug 2019

Lebanon -  - Lebanese Forces Party Chief, Samir Geagea, denounced via his Twitter account on Monday the Israeli army's actions against unarmed Palestinians, saying "I strongly condemn this army's attack on worshipers at the Aqsa Mosque premises during al-Adha, and I call for a swift international and Arab move in order to keep a hopeful chance for a peace that accords everyone their rights."

    Image result for Aus companies pledge $3bn to Indigenous suppliers

Aus companies pledge $3bn to Indigenous suppliers

12/08/2019

Some of the biggest companies in Australia have committed to buying $3 billion in supplies from Indigenous companies. The Business Council's Raising the Bar initiative - to be launched by the Minister for Indigenous Australians - so far has the backing of 16 members. The companies, including Qantas, Microsoft and Commonwealth Bank, will aim to spend three per cent of ‘annual influenceable spend’ on Indigenous business by the program's fifth year.

 Image result for Pell compares his struggle with that of Jesus Christ in leaked letter

Pell compares his struggle with that of Jesus Christ in leaked letter

12/08/2019

A leaked letter reportedly written by disgraced Cardinal George Pell is being investigated after it emerged on a social media site. In the letter, which emerged on Friday night, the Cardinal's suffering is compared to that of Jesus Christ. Cardinal Pell reportedly wrote the letter but did not know it would be posted online. Victorian prison officials banned inmates posting letters online via third parties in April. Cardinal Pell is serving at least three years and eight months in prison for child sex abuse.

 Image result for Solution to Sydney water demand is ‘dams, not desalination plants’

Solution to Sydney water demand is ‘dams, not desalination plants’

11/08/2019

Liberal MP Craig Kelly says Sydney will need more dams, not desalination plants, as the city’s population rises. Sydney's desalination plant, which turns seawater into drinking water, has only been operating for a few months but there's already talk of doubling its output. A growing water crisis has forced the New South Wales government to begin planning for an expansion of the plant in the next couple of years — if significant rain doesn't fall. Mr Kelly told Sky News on Sunday “going down the path of desalination plants in a temperate climate like Sydney is just complete and utter madness”. “If you look at rainfall records across Sydney going back to the 1840s, the peer-reviewed research, the climate, the rainfall has not changed.”

 Image result for Rate cuts supporting the economy: RBA

Rate cuts supporting the economy: RBA

August 13, 2019

The Reserve Bank says its twin cash rate cuts have helped support the economy by lowering borrowing costs for businesses and consumers, most notably for new mortgage customers.

Assistant governor Christopher Kent says RBA data shows the average outstanding variable-rate housing loan fell by 23 basis points in June and was likely to fall by a similar amount in July, suggesting lenders have passed on the bulk of the central bank's two 25 basis point cuts.

Dr Kent told an audience in Sydney that reducing the cash rate to a record low 1.0 per cent had also helped support the economy by weakening the Australian dollar, which last week hit a 10-year low of 66.77 US cents.

 Image result for Media executives decry 'state of secrecy'

Media executives decry 'state of secrecy'

August 13, 2019

Media chiefs have raised concerns about a "creeping secrecy that shrouds Canberra" as they demand changes to laws criminalising journalism.

A dozen senior executives from Australia's major media organisations are appearing before federal parliament's powerful intelligence and security committee in Sydney on Tuesday.

They are demanding changes to national security laws that inhibit journalism.

News Corp executive chairman Michael Miller spoke of politicians stamping documents "secret" and hiding behind laws that keep Australians in the dark.

"We have many laws that criminalise journalism. They are creating a secret society that most Australians would not recognise as our own," Mr Miller told the committee.

"We may not be living in a police state, but we are living in a state of secrecy.

"The package of law changes that we are seeking will put a stop to the creeping secrecy that shrouds Canberra."

ABC managing director David Anderson called for stronger protections for whistleblowers, while Nine chief executive Hugh Marks described recent police raids as "a real wake up call".

"We're here to talk about laws - old and new laws - that are being used to unreasonably and unnecessarily inhibit the media," Mr Marks told the committee.

"Issues of national security are clearly important, but so is truth."

 Image result for University debt and limited job prospects mean learning a trade at TAFE is better for income, report finds

Photo: Liam Mills said he always thought he would go to university, but found he was better suited to TAFE. (ABC News: Brendan Esposito)

University debt and limited job prospects mean learning a trade at TAFE is better for income, report finds

12 Aug 2019,

The earning capacity of many young Australians would be significantly higher if they learned a trade instead of going to university, a new report has found.

The Grattan Institute report found that for men, particularly those who scored lower ATARs at school, vocational qualifications in engineering, construction and commerce resulted in higher average earnings than a degree qualification.

The number of students enrolling in university has swelled by more than one-third over the past decade, with more students with lower ATARs and those from diverse backgrounds now attending.

That increase has come at the expense of vocational education, with the number of students taking up a place in those trades-based courses down 43 per cent in the past five years.

The Federal Government made the issue a key focus of COAG talks last week amid concerns about critical skills shortages. It has also commissioned a review of post-secondary school pathways.

Grattan's higher education program director Andrew Norton said some university graduates were struggling to get jobs, especially if they studied generalist degrees in humanities and science.


 














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