APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, August 10, 2009

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"APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, August 10, 2009", APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, August 10, 2009, https://nautilus.org/apsnet/apsnet-10-august-2009/

APSNet 10 August 2009

  1. Rio spied for six years: China
  2. Australia, Indonesia in carbon trading plan
  3. Call for licence to spy on citizens
  4. A failure to deal with Fiji blots regional forum’s copybook
  5. Migration, security linked: MP
  6. US court clears way for class action against big miner
  7. [Afghanistan] Militants ‘waiting out the coalition’
  8. Military says it’s happy to assist police, but wants role spelled out

1. Rio spied for six years: China, John Garnaut, SMH, 2009-08-10

China accused Rio Tinto of stripping $123 billion from the country through a six-year program of commercial espionage, as it signalled it was broadening its spy blitz beyond the four mining employees detained in Shanghai. The allegations published on an official website all but kill hopes that the Australian executive Stern Hu and his three Chinese colleagues will avoid convictions and lengthy jail terms.

2. Australia, Indonesia in carbon trading plan, Tom Arup, Age, 2009-08-10

Australia and Indonesia will make a submission on using rainforests to offset carbon emissions from polluting industries at climate change talks beginning today in Germany. The submission, obtained by The Age, states Australia is building a satellite receiving station near Darwin to monitor deforestation in Asia and the Pacific.

3. Call for licence to spy on citizens, Patrick Walters, Australian, 2009-08-08

The Defence Signals Directorate should be given new powers to spy on Australians at home or overseas to deal with evolving security threats including terrorism and cyber warfare, according to a leading national security expert. Ross Babbage, an adviser to the Rudd government, says the DSD’s charter, which strictly prohibits it from spying domestically on Australian citizens, should be changed to reflect the more fluid and dynamic outlook facing Australia.

4. A failure to deal with Fiji blots regional forum’s copybook, Jenny Hayward-Jones, Age, 2009-08-07

Australia assumes the chair of the forum this week, which gives Canberra the formal right to guide the region’s agenda for the next year. It will also be under pressure to maintain the unity and viability of the regional group as it struggles to weather the storm of last year’s food and fuel price surges, the impact of the global economic crisis, the negative effects of climate change and the problem of Fiji.

5. Migration, security linked: MP, Daniel Flitton, Age, 2009-08-08

The soaring number of migrants coming to Australia threatens to overwhelm authorities’ ability to carry out security checks, a long-serving Labor politician has warned. In comments that have drawn immediate criticism from multicultural groups and the ire of Immigration Minister Chris Evans, Melbourne MP Kelvin Thomson linked the arrests this week of terror suspects to the country’s migrant intake.

6. US court clears way for class action against big miner, Anne Davies, SMH, 2009-08-08

A class action in the United States against the mining giant Rio Tinto, in which islanders of Bougainville are seeking massive damages for what they claim were human rights abuses stemming from operations at the Panguna copper mine, has cleared a procedural hurdle and could proceed to trial within two years. After years of litigation, the US District Court in Los Angeles ruled it was not a prerequisite for the plaintiffs, a group of Bougainville Islanders, to exhaust their legal rights in PNG. It said the alleged crimes were of such ”universal concern” that the US would hear them under the Alien Tort Claims Act.

7. Militants ‘waiting out the coalition’, AFP, Australian, 2009-08-07

Taliban insurgents were exploiting popular frustration with the Afghan government and trying to hold out until NATO-led forces left the country, an Australian counter-terrorism expert said. “The Taliban strategy seems to be one of exhaustion to basically wait us out until we get tired and go home,” said David Kilcullen, who advised the US military on counter-insurgency strategy in Iraq. The militants are mostly avoiding direct confrontation with US and coalition forces and biding their time, Mr Kilcullen told a Washington audience at the US Institute for Peace.

8. Military says it’s happy to assist police, but wants role spelled out, Markus Junianto Sihaloho, Jakarta Globe, 2009-08-10

Military Chief Gen. Djoko Santoso said that coordination between military and police commanders in conducting antiterrorism operations was running well, despite the absence of a law on the matter. Djoko said the military wanted the government to endorse the national security bill, which would specifically task the military, also known as the TNI, with working with the police and State Intelligence Agency (BIN) to deal with terrorist threats.

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