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No record of Mirabella declaring money from lover. Sophie Mirabella. Photo: Glen McCurtayne IN A potential breach of electoral laws, there is no record of Liberal frontbencher Sophie Mirabella declaring any of the $100,000 in financial support she received from her then partner, Colin Howard, QC, in the lead up to her win in the seat of Indi in 2001. The Age revealed on Thursday that Mr Howard, a Queen's counsel who was 40 years older than Ms Mirabella and retired, had cashed in some of his capital assets to help her win the rural seat of Indi in 2001. Mr Howard's daughter Lesley said her father had also lent Ms Mirabella his car and supported her financially while she set up barrister's chambers in Wangaratta to use as a base. Some of the more than $100,000 the QC spent had contributed to Ms Mirabella's Liberal Party preselection campaign. But the Australian Electoral Commission website records no contributions from Colin Howard in any relevant year to Ms Mirabella or the Liberal Party.

Advertisement. Camillagate scoop raises questions for Murdoch. One of the most sensational and damaging British royal stories of the 20th century was the transcript of an illegally taped phone conversation between the married heir to the throne, Prince Charles, and his mistress, Camilla Parker Bowles. The story was ''broken'' by New Idea, the women's magazine then part of Rupert Murdoch's media empire, in January 1993.

Mr Murdoch's British papers, the rest of Fleet Street and the world media then republished with abandon. The tape achieved notoriety owing to Prince Charles's wistful remark that he'd like to be his lover's "tampon", to which she replied: "You are a complete idiot. [laughs] Oh, what a wonderful idea. " The long transcript of the intimate phone conversation from 1989 wrecked the prince's marriage to Diana, the Princess of Wales, and Camilla's marriage to Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew Parker Bowles and caused additional personal grief to the Queen, who had lamented publicly that the previous year, 1992, had been her "annus horribilis". Joint Standing Committee on Treaties_2012_05_07_1000.pdf;fileType=application/pdf (application/pdf Object)

Greens demand Australia cancel ACTA participation. News The Greens have demanded that Australia’s Government cancel its participation in the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement international treaty in the wake of an expected imminent rejection of the proposal by the European Union and significant and ongoing global protests against a number of its terms expected to harm Internet freedom. ACTA is a multinational treaty which aims to establish international standards for the enforcement of intellectual property rights, including setting a framework to tackle counterfeit goods, generic medicines and copyright infringement. It was signed last year by a number of large first-world countries such as Australia, Canada, Japan, Singapore and the United States. However, the general public has been excluded in many countries from the process of negotiating the treaty, and critics have slammed it, noting it could potentially affect digital rights, freedom of expression and privacy.

Image credit: Lukas P, Creative Commons. Terror fight costs $30 billion. Add in the costs of the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the figure is about $US4 trillion. Mark Thomson, a former Defence Department official and now an analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, is an expert on the defence budget. Drawing on budget figures, he calculates Australia has spent an extra $21.3 billion on defence and security since 2001 on top of what the government would normally have spent. The largest share has gone on the military commitments to the Iraq war ($2.4 billion), and Afghanistan ($7 billion and counting). As well, $1.5 billion has been spent on aid to Iraq and Afghanistan. A further $10.4 billion has been spent on extra security at home, mainly on the federal police and ASIO, the domestic spy agency - in a ''whole-of-government'' response. The nominal increase in ASIO's budget over the past nine years is 471 per cent, according to Mr Thomson's calculations.

When combined with the extra military spending, the tally is $26.9 billion so far. Finally, some certainty for our diggers in Afghanistan. Public left in dark over Afghanistan proposal. AUSTRALIA is five weeks away from signing a crucial strategic agreement with Afghanistan that could cost hundreds of millions of dollars and outline Australia's postwar role there, but the government has yet to inform the public of its existence.

The previously unrevealed pact, disclosed by the office of the Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, this week, is a strategic agreement that will mean Canberra provides hundreds of millions of dollars in aid in the post-2014 decade. The international community has set the end of 2014 as the deadline for all international combat operations in Afghanistan.

After that time security will be the sole responsibility of the Afghan Army and the Afghan National Police. Yesterday, the office of the Defence Minister, Stephen Smith, who visited Afghanistan this week and met Mr Karzai, said the document did not relate to his portfolio, and referred the Herald to the Foreign Affairs Minister. EA-18G Program: The USA’s Electronic Growler. Mar 11, 2014 19:07 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff EA-18G onUSS George Washington Navy has 22 EA-18Gs on wish list – will Hagel approve them for the FY15 unfunded list? ; 100th Airborne Electronic Attack kit delivered. March 11/14: Budgets. CNO Adm. Jonathan Greenert has confirmed that the Navy has placed 22 more EA-18Gs on their FY15 unfunded request submission.

March 11/14: Budgets. It’s important not to make too much of this yet. March 4/14: FY15 Budget. . , PB15 Press Briefing [PDF]. Nov 26/13: AEA #100. {click to shrink ^} EA-18G at Pax The USA’s electronic attack fighters are a unique, overworked, and nearly obsolete capability. The aging 4-seat EA-6B Prowlers became the USA’s only remaining fighter for radar jamming, communications jamming and information operations like signals interception [1].

EA-6B Prowler (click to view full) All airframes have lifespan limits, however, and the EA-6B is no exception. Displaying 539 of 14,455 words (about 37 pages) Growler: The EA-18G Program. Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. The Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is a twin-engine carrier-based multirole fighter aircraft variant based on the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. The F/A-18E single-seat and F/A-18F tandem-seat variants are larger and more advanced derivatives of the F/A-18C and D Hornet. The Super Hornet has an internal 20 mm M61 rotary cannon and can carry air-to-air missiles and air-to-surface weapons. Additional fuel can be carried in up to five external fuel tanks and the aircraft can be configured as an airborne tanker by adding an external air refueling system. Designed and initially produced by McDonnell Douglas, the Super Hornet first flew in 1995.

Full-rate production began in September 1997, after the merger of McDonnell Douglas and Boeing the previous month. Development[edit] Origins[edit] The concept of an enlarged Hornet was first proposed in 1980s, when an early version was marketed by McDonnell Douglas as Hornet 2000. Testing and production[edit] The U.S. Improvements and changes[edit] Australian Government, Department of Defence - The Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP Media Release. The Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP,Minister for Defence Printer friendly version 27 Feb 2009 The Rudd Government has invested an initial $35 million to boost the capability of the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornets the Howard Government controversially ordered in 2007. After an extensive review of the Super Hornet purchase, the Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon announced last year that the Rudd Government was left with little choice but to proceed with the $6.6 billion purchase.

“Wiring twelve of the Super Hornets as Growlers will give us the opportunity to provide taxpayers with better value for money,” Mr Fitzgibbon said. “If finally pursued, the relatively small investment will significantly enhance the Super Hornet’s capability, by giving electronic attack capacity and therefore the ability to nullify the systems of opposing aircraft. The $35 million investment has allowed 12 of the 24 Super Hornets for future fit-out while still on the production line, providing significant savings. Media contacts: New drones to be sent to Afghanistan. Australian troops fighting in Afghanistan will soon have access to new state-of-the-art unmanned surveillance drones. Defence Minister Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare announced on Thursday that a second Shadow 200 Tactical Unmanned Aerial System (TUAS) will be delivered to the army almost a year ahead of schedule.

The TUAS system, first used by the United States in Iraq, captures surveillance video during night and day which can be sent back to base up to 125km away. It can recognise targets on the ground while operating at an altitude of up to 8000ft. Advertisement The systems, purchased from the US, comprises of five drone aircraft, ground control stations, a launch and recovery element and logistics and training.

The first of the two TUAS systems was delivered in August last year to Australian troops and is currently being used during operations in Afghanistan. The two TUAS systems have been acquired at a cost of $90 million. US and Australia discuss drone flights over Indian Ocean. The US and Australia are reportedly in talks about basing Global Hawk drones on the Cocos Islands. The United States and Australia are planning a major expansion of military ties, including possible drone flights from a coral atoll in the Indian Ocean and increased US naval access to Australian ports, as the Pentagon looks to shift its forces closer to Southeast Asia, officials from both countries said.

The moves, which are under discussion but have drawn strong interest from both sides, would come on top of an agreement announced by President Obama and Prime Minister Julia Gillard in November to deploy up to 2500 US Marines to Darwin, on Australia's northern coast. The talks are the latest indicator of how the Obama administration is rapidly turning its strategic attention to Asia as it winds down a costly decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Advertisement Australia is a long-standing ally of the United States, and one of its closest partners in intelligence and military matters. Extradition and Mutual Assistance Changes Slip in under the Radar | Castan Centre for Human Rights Law. By Adam Fletcher Last Wednesday, in the aftermath of the infamous Labor leadership showdown and when all eyes were on the Carr for Canberra drama, federal Parliament passed the Extradition and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation Amendment Bill 2011. Unless I missed it, the passage of this Bill into law garnered not a single headline, but it should have, because it makes major changes to Australia’s cooperation with other countries in criminal cases. According to the Government’s press release, the Bill is aimed first and foremost at ‘streamlining the extradition process and cutting delays.’

A lot of this streamlining involves relieving the Attorney‑General of the burden of taking into account various considerations relevant to a person’s eligibility for extradition (mostly rights protections) because such consideration is said to duplicate the work of the magistrates who deal with extradition applications at first instance. Like this: Like Loading... OSDC 2011 | Nov 14-18 Canberra. WA Electoral Commission to develop telephone voting system - WA Electoral Commission (WAEC), e-voting. The WA Electoral Commission (WAEC) has commenced work on a telephone-based voting system after the the State Government withdrew funding for its internet voting system.

WAEC IT manager, Desmond Chenik, told Computerworld Australia the full internet voting system it was scheduled to develop this year, for the blind and vision impaired along with the armed forces, had been put on hold after several months of work. According to Chenik, the WAEC has put in another request with the government for the funding but even if the request is approved later this year, the internet-based system would not be ready in time for the next state election in March 2013 (the state now has fixed four year election periods).

“It wouldn’t be ready for the next election as it would probably take 10 to 12 months of development work plus another few months of going through the design work again to make sure the technology hasn’t changed and we can’t do better or whatever. ASIO cites security to block teen. The decision condemns the 16-year-old to deportation or infinite detention. Photo: Paul Harris ASIO has issued its first adverse security assessment against a child - a Kuwaiti asylum seeker who repeatedly tried suicide after being held in immigration detention for more than a year. The ASIO decision, for which no explanation has been given to his lawyers, condemns Ali Abbas, who arrived by boat as an unaccompanied 16-year-old in 2010, to deportation or indefinite detention. It also appears to contradict evidence given by ASIO to a parliamentary inquiry last month that no child had been blocked as a refugee on security grounds.

Ali was found to be a genuine refugee by the Immigration Department in April, so cannot be forcibly returned to Kuwait. Advertisement Refugee groups have condemned the ASIO decision. An ASIO spokesman confirmed to The Age the case was the first time ASIO had issued an adverse security assessment to ''an irregular maritime arrival aged under 18 years''. In Australia, a racist border war: politicians compete to keep out refugees fleeing war and persecution | Racist border war: politicians compete to keep out refugees fleeing war and persecution Jayasaker Jayrathna was a young Tamil refugee, driven to seek asylum due to the brutal suppression of Tamils by the government of Sri Lanka. The 27-year-old, whose mother was murdered by that same government, was in indefinite immigration detention. Although the government recognised Jayrathna as a refugee, it was stalling on his security clearance. In the early hours of Oct. 26, 2011, “Shooty,” as his friends called him, took his own life after two long years in jail.

Like so many other people seeking safety and a new life in Australia, he found only psychological trauma and despair in what have been called “factories of mental illness” — the immigration prisons across the country. Immigrants built modern Australia. So far this year fewer than 2,000, fleeing starvation or persecution, have arrived by sea in leaky boats. The party in power today is the Australian Labor Party (ALP).