APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, October 19, 2009

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"APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, October 19, 2009", APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, October 19, 2009, https://nautilus.org/apsnet/apsnet-19-october-2009/

APSNet 19 October 2009

  1. Aid given to Sri Lanka to stem people smuggling
  2. Unplugged Australian oil spill leaking into protected Indonesian waters
  3. Australian and Chinese military chiefs admit to ‘issues’
  4. Gates seeking allies’ help on Afghanistan war
  5. Australia brings Israel, Iran together
  6. Peter Beattie warms to nuclear energy

1. Aid given to Sri Lanka to stem people smuggling, Yuko Narushima and Jonathan Pearlman, Sydney Morning Herald, 2009-10-16

Australia is preparing to provide police assistance to Sri Lanka to help combat people smuggling, including training for local officers. The Government is also paying Indonesia to hold more asylum seekers in Indonesia. The Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O’Connor, said the Australian Federal Police could support training for Sri Lankan police officers and provide logistical aid, such as computers, cameras and evidence collection kits. Over the next four years Australia will pay Indonesia more than $14 million to help stop asylum seekers coming here, including $1 million to ”enhance capacity” at its two detention centres and $5 million for community housing.

2. Unplugged Australian oil spill leaking into protected Indonesian waters, Fidelis E Satriastanti, Jakarta Globe, 2009-10-18

As attempts to contain an oil spill from a well operated by Thai and Australian companies proved futile, a conservationist warned that the disaster would not only affect local people but also threaten the country’s largest marine conservation area. The Montara oil well began spewing a reported 400 barrels of oil a day into the ocean on Aug. 21, creating an oil slick at least 100 times the size of Sydney Harbor.

3. Australian and Chinese military chiefs admit to ‘issues’, Mark Dodd, Australian, 2009-10-16

Top Chinese and Australian military commanders have acknowledged “a few difficulties” in the bilateral relationship during annual talks involving the visiting head of the three-million strong People’s Liberation Army. The Chief of General Staff of the world’s largest military force, General Chen Bingde was briefed on Australia’s new defence white paper. Kevin Rudd has also expressed worries about China’s military expenditure, calling for greater transparency from Beijing.

4. Gates seeking allies’ help on Afghanistan war, Lara Jakes, Washington Post, AP, 2009-10-18

The Pentagon’s Robert Gates is undertaking the tricky task of trying to persuade allies to remain committed to the war in Afghanistan even as the Obama administration debates whether to send more troops to fight. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is undecided on whether to order more forces to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan, as his top commander there has requested, or to focus more narrowly on al-Qaida terrorists believed to be hiding in Pakistan. Gates departed on a weeklong mission to Japan, Korea and Slovakia — in part to ask NATO partners and Asian allies for continued contributions to a war now in its ninth year.

5. Australia brings Israel, Iran together, Daniel Flitton, Age, 2009-10-16

Australia has helped accomplish the seemingly impossible – bringing Israel and Iran into the same room for high-level talks on nuclear weapons. The meeting took place with little public fanfare in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, last month as part of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, an expert panel assembled by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to help rid the world of nuclear arms.

6. Peter Beattie warms to nuclear energy, Jamie Walker, Australian, 2009-10-17

Another Labor luminary has opened the door to nuclear power, with former Queensland premier Peter Beattie saying it could be part of a “mixed bag” of energy sources for Australia. While Mr Beattie is lukewarm about a nuclear future, his comments yesterday show how far thinking in the ALP has progressed about the once-unthinkable energy option. Mr Beattie’s chief reservation about nuclear power is not on principle or safety grounds — it is the expense of building reactors.

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