Articles

NATION: Unemployment hits highest since 2002. Hewson warning. Abetz, Visa fraud ...

Phil na Champassak. Pic: of Tony Abbott. Pub: Aug 7
10.08.14 5:00 am

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Latest ABS figures released today shows the jobless rate has leapfrogged from 6.0 per cent in June to 6.4 per cent in July, the highest level since Australia’s China-driven mining boom began, and the highest since 2002. To put it in another perspective, the abysmal figures also reveal that Australia’s unemployment rate has overtaken the US for the first time since the Global Financial Crisis.  We have gone from a robust and stellar OECD economy that rode out the GFC and avoided recession to dunce – the latter in terms of wasted opportunities.

Fairfax: The best of Sarah Ferguson’s 7.30 interviews

Fairfax: Eric Abetz draws link between abortion and breast cancer before World Congress of FamiliesABC: AMA criticises Senator Eric Abetz comments linking abortions to breast cancer

Fairfax: Visa fraud suspects fled after wiring $1m overseas

• Alison Bleaney, in Comments: I can hardly believe the comments made by Eric Abetz. Yet again a person as a government spokesperson who espouses their own personal ‘beliefs’ and inflicts those ‘beliefs’ publicly on the rest of us; causing distress to many. Why politicians are allowed to do this is beyond me…so much for speaking and acting in the public interest.

Rebecca White: Abetz must discredit wrong health claims

Rebecca White: Abetz must discredit wrong health claims

news.com.au: John Hewson says Joe Hockey’s unpopular budget won’t fix soaring unemployment figures

The Greater Fool: An open letter to Nick Xenophon Independent Senator for South Australia. AND Independent Australia: Aussie politicians and their $300 million property portfolio

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Writers | Phil na Champassak | Politics | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | Society

Peter Sculthorpe’s death a ‘huge loss, but he leaves such a big musical legacy’

Guardian
09.08.14 4:45 am

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Classical composer Peter Sculthorpe has been lauded as a musical giant following his death. The 85-year-old died in Sydney on Friday morning after a long illness.

Vanessa Goodwin: Paying tribute to Peter Sculthorpe

• John Hayward, in Comments: As Peter Sculthorpe revered nature and the quality of kindness,  I would prefer my own tribute not be involuntarily channelled via a party which clearly despises them both.

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Arts | Tribute

Mt Wellington winds would have shut cable car

Bob Burton. Photo: Bob Burton. Pub: Aug 7
07.08.14 4:59 am

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Strong winds on kunanyi/Mt Wellington in southern Tasmania on Wednesday would have shut down the proposed Mt Wellington cable car. Bureau of Meteorology observation data from Wednesday reveals that for much of the day wind gusts in excess of 100 kilometres an hour were common with a gust of 156 km/h recorded at 2.30pm. With significant variations in wind speed within a short period of time, it is likely that a cable car would have been forced to shut down for the bulk if not all of the day.

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Writers | Bob Burton | Politics | Local | State | Environment | Planning/Heritage | Mt Wellington Cable Car

Hobart Baroque Festival

Will Hodgman, Premier Minister for Tourism, Hospitality and Events Media Release.Pic*
06.08.14 7:53 pm

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The Liberal Government is a strong supporter of the arts and events in Tasmania.

Hobart Baroque: Stunning!

Scott Bacon: Wrong message to tourists on TMAG

Ed: Although a tech glitch shows a reading of 0 comments ... there are comments on this article ... Add to ‘em!x

• Jane Rankin-Reid, in Comments: Don’t Go Leo! We don’t always agree about matters of artistic taste, but for Tasmanian music lovers and visitors, your’s has been a magnificent contribution. And yes it hurts like hell to have your brilliant idea knocked back by local arts funding bodies after you’ve worked so hard and gained so much trust in this community to support your vision.

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Politics | Local | National | State | Arts | Opinion | History | Society

Abbott fiddles as the nation burns

Phil na Champassak. Satire: Kudelka, http://www.kudelka.com.au/ Used with permission. Pub: August 5
06.08.14 6:00 am

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When the News Corp National Economics Editor Jessica Irvine writes that “Australia is sleep walking its way toward economic demise”, readers should be afraid ... very afraid. More importantly, federal parliamentarians should take notice and act immediately to reverse this slide towards a ‘banana republic’.

Nearly three months after Treasurer Joe Hockey delivered the budget, only two elements (repeal of the carbon tax and future of financial advice - FOFA) that have little consequence on the budget repair, have passed the Australian Parliament. Indeed, Hockey chose to take a holiday to Fiji in the first half of July instead of burning the midnight oil to implement and bed down the budget he created. ‘‘You can’t declare a budget emergency and then go on holiday in Fiji,’’ says a disgruntled Liberal MP.

Prime Minister Abbott also appears to disown the budget by focusing government resources on foreign distractions like the MH17 disaster instead of assiduously negotiating the budget through parliament.

ALONG SIMILAR LINES:

Chris Berg: Abbott needs to hit the reset button

AND:

WAtoday.com.au: Official: budget unfair and its architects knew it

Fairfax: Government’s VIP jet travel bill hits close to $900,000

Good Samaritan Vessel: Monitoring and reporting on the safety of Asylum Seekers at sea

Guardian Australia exclusive: Doctor responsible for mental health of people in detention becomes the most senior figure to condemn system from within, saying immigration department deliberately harms vulnerable detainees in a process akin to torture

Peter Martin, The Age: Sorry, Treasurer, but your tax figures are a long way wide of the mark

WAtoday: The many houses of Parliament: property-rich pollies ‘have vested interest’ in high prices

Madeleine Ogilvie: Backdown on bigotry welcomed

Peter Whish-Wilson: Time to put Trojan horse provisions in trade deals out to pasture

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Writers | Phil na Champassak | Politics | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Health | Opinion | History | Society

Taswater’s $1.1 million spend on consultants ... ‘Speak up and you’re sacked’ ...

Tasmanian director of Professionals Australia Luke Crowley. Media Release. Pub: Aug 5
06.08.14 5:45 am

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Professionals Australia has condemned TasWater’s spending of $1.1 million on consultants in the past year, at the same time the corporation was treating local employees poorly

ABC: TasWater has confirmed it spent a considerable amount on external consultants during its restructure, but would not give details.  Acting CEO Dean Page defended those two HR payments last month, saying they was justified because TasWater was undergoing a complex restructure, impacting on more than half of the company’s 860 employees.  The company is yet to respond to the latest claim.

• TasWater’s Internal memorandum. • And the union’s response: ‘Speak up and you’re sacked ...

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Politics | Local | State | Economy | Opinion | History | Society

Social media post ‘damaging and unprofessional’

Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesperson, Rodney Croome Media Release. Pict: screen shot
06.08.14 5:40 am

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Tasmanian gay rights advocates say a social media post from a youth worker and school chaplain that suggests he believes homosexuality is abnormal and a choice is damaging and unprofessional and have called for all youth workers and chaplains to be educated and to be governed by strict guidelines.

Rodney Croome: Sacking of youth worker and chaplain welcomed

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19 comments

Writers | Rodney Croome | Politics | State | Education | Opinion | History | Personal | Society

TMAG Decision to Ensure a Sustainable Future

Vanessa Goodwin, Minister for the Arts Media Release
06.08.14 5:29 am

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The Liberal Government is a strong supporter of the arts in Tasmania.

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7 comments

Politics | State | Arts | Economy | History | Society

Ripping off hospitals

Martyn Goddard. Pub: Aug 4
06.08.14 5:00 am

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Tasmania’s hospitals are among the most costly in Australia. That means fewer patients can be treated for the same amount of money.

Cassy O’Connor: Health Minister needs to open the books

Michael Ferguson: Another report highlights the Labor-Green health mess

• Garry Stannus, in Comments: Tasmanian Times got a plug on ABC radio ‘Mornings’ just a few minutes before the Mon (Aug4) 9:00am morning news.  Martyn Goddard was explaining his “Deaths, Costs and GST” report [Link to it here within Martyn’s article] and finished by telling listeners that they could ‘read all about it’ on ”tasmaniantimes - that’s one word” (he said) - “dot com”!

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Writers | Martyn Goddard | Politics | Local | National | State | Economy | Editor's Choice | Health | Opinion | History | Society

Logging can ‘greatly increase’ fire severity for 50 years, researchers say

ABC. Pub: Aug 5
06.08.14 4:15 am

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Logging practices can “greatly increase the severity of fires” in extreme weather conditions such as Black Saturday, Australian researchers have said.

How severe will the next El Nino be?

• Read for yourself ...

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39 comments

Politics | International | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | Health | Opinion | History | Society

In politics, keeping one’s word is sacrosanct

Phil na Champassak*. ABC Pic of Will Hodgman. Pub: Aug 4
06.08.14 4:00 am

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Honour alone could catapult Will Hodgman to a second term in 2018.

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7 comments

Writers | Phil na Champassak | Politics | National | State | Forestry | Economy | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | History | Society

Reducing Youth Homelessness

Anglicare Tasmania’s Social Action & Research Centre
05.08.14 5:00 am

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Advice from young people on how to reduce homelessness in Tasmania Even though you’re in a shelter, it’s still classed as being homeless. And you’ve got a roof over your head, but it’s still not a nice feeling. (Samantha, 17 years, not pictured)

Cassy O’Connor: Anglicare Youth Homelessness Report Paints Confronting Picture

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Politics | Local | National | State | Economy | Health | Opinion | History | Society

ROCC calls on Cascade Brewery to give ‘cable car land’ back to the city

Ted Cutlan ROCC (Residents Opposed to the Cable Car) Media Release
04.08.14 4:55 am

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On the back of today’s announcement by Cascade Brewery and the City of Hobart to commence a joint planning project to develop a long term strategy for the bushland in South Hobart that is currently owned by Cascade Brewery, Residents Opposed to the Cable Car (ROCC) called for all land that is contiguous with the Wellington Park to be incorporated into the park. Importantly, this should include the land that is being considered for the increasingly unpopular proposed cable car.

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Politics | Local | State | Environment | Opinion | Planning/Heritage | Mt Wellington Cable Car

How does the Renewable Energy Target affect your power bills?

Dylan McConnell, University of Melbourne
04.08.14 4:50 am

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The review of the Renewable Energy Target is due to be handed to the federal government any day now, yet amazingly there are still conflicts over whether the policy makes electricity more or less expensive. Amid claims that the target raises power prices, most people will want to know what will happen to their bills if the scheme is wound back or scrapped. The economic analyses carried out so far have delivered wildly differing results. The most recent report says bills will fall if the target is scrapped, while others say the exact opposite ... But at the end of the day, “who is right” actually misses the point of the RET: reducing emissions and encouraging Australia’s renewable energy industry.

John Thirgood: Thank solar owners for power reductions

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Writers | Bob Burton | Politics | International | Local | National | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

Aiding and Abetzing

Mike Seccombe, The Saturday Paper
04.08.14 4:40 am

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So why would a government return to such a scheme? (Employment Minister Eric Abetz’s hardline welfare reforms).

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10 comments

Politics | National | Economy | Education | Environment | Editor's Choice | Opinion | Society

Australian government now engaged in psychological torture of its citizens

Bill Mitchell – billy blog. Modern Monetary Theory … macroeconomic reality. Pic*
04.08.14 4:30 am

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This year marks the 50th anniversary of the US legislation – Economic Opportunity Act – introduced by Democrat president Lyndon B. Johnson. The law created the so-called local Community Action Agencies, which were directly regulated by the US Federal government.

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12 comments

Politics | National | Economy | Opinion | Society

This is insane

Chris Harries
04.08.14 4:20 am

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I travelled on the Spirit in July and (whoooppeee) as a result I’m now going to get a $3 rebate cheque in the mail. This is insane. How much would it cost them to process?

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4 comments

Writers | Chris Harries | Politics | National | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Science | Society

Launched in Launi: James Dryburgh’s Essays (and all the speeches)

Lindsay Tuffin, Tim Thorne, James Dryburgh
04.08.14 3:59 am

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Launch Speech, James Dryburgh, Essays from Near and Far (Walleah Press, 2014) The late great Hunter S Thomson claimed that he was the only journalist to ride with both Richard Nixon and the Hell’s Angels.  James Dryburgh is probably the only journalist to have interviewed both Ingrid Betancourt and Martin Lynch.  The inclusion of both these in the book shows another dimension of his talent.  It is a remarkable achievement to be able to present the experiences and the ideas of these two quite disparate people without intruding his own personality, yet at the same time to use his intelligence and insight so as to shape the interviewing process into a coherent and memorable work. 

Read both Tim Thorne and James Dryburgh’s speeches…

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Writers | James Dryburgh | Politics | Arts | Books | Media

Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis

The Independent
04.08.14 3:50 am

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Germany and Russia have been working on a secret plan to broker a peaceful solution to end international tensions over Ukraine.

Sic Semper Tyrannus: For some time, the veteran journalist Robert Parry has been suggesting that what U.S. intelligence analysts know about the shooting down of the Malaysian flight MH17 on 17 July does not mesh with official claims that there is unambiguous evidence that the insurgent forces were responsible.  Yesterday, he claimed that U.S. intelligence analysts now believe that the atrocity was likely to have been the result of a deliberate attempt by extremists in the new regime in Kiev to shoot down a Russian plane.

• Peter, in Comments: Revelations of German Pilot: Shocking Analysis of the “Shooting Down” of Malaysian MH17. “Aircraft Was Not Hit by a Missile” http://www.globalresearch.ca/german-pilot-speaks-out-shocking-analysis-of-the-shooting-down-of-malaysian-mh17/5394111

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Politics | International | National

Mother Mountain: The Symphony of Birdsong (23)

Don Knowler, http://donaldknowler.com/ Pic: Alona Hunter
04.08.14 3:45 am

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The “Respect the Mountain” forum ( here, here, and here ) at the Hobart Town Hall earlier this year prompted Don Knowler to return to a diary he compiled after daily rambles on Mt Wellington during the previous year. In what promises to be a momentous year in the modern history of Kunanyi, the weekly diary gives the mountain and its wildlife its own voice. All Don’s Mother Mountain columns - and much more by this superb writer - can be found under the Category, Don Knowler, here

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Writers | Don Knowler | Politics | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

Ten Days looks to the future

Ten Days Executive Director and Producer, Marcus Barker
04.08.14 3:30 am

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It’s now hard to imagine Tasmania without its vibrant festival and events calendar.

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Politics | State | Arts | Economy | Society | What's On

And it was brilliant ...

Bronwyn Williams
04.08.14 3:15 am

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Reviewed! ... here

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Tasmania’s newest attraction - a barren pit in the Tarkine

Tom Ellison. Pic: Matt Newton, http://matthewnewton.com.au/Commercial/People/1/ Pic* Pub: August 1
02.08.14 6:30 am

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Indian mining wannabee Shree released its quarterly report late yesterday ... and nobody will be surprised to hear the news isn’t pretty. Having been forced to finally admit mining had been suspended in June, Shree has now published data which shows a good chunk of the easily accessible iron ore has now been dug up, shipped to Burnie and sold at a loss, with no money left over to look for more reserves.

Read Tom Ellison’s brilliant essay on false hopes: IT’S ALL LIES, here, including more Matt Newton pics

Scott Jordan: Shree Minerals relinquishes Rebecca Creek exploration licence in the Tarkine

Kim Booth: Shree Minerals false hope exposed

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10 comments

Writers | Tom Ellison | Politics | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Opinion | History | Society

NATION, STATE: Refugees, Asset Aales, Jobs, LOGGERS/FSC, LENNON ... Have your say ...

ABC. Mercury. Pub: July 31. Pic*
02.08.14 6:00 am

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VENT if you wish over these ABC (and Mercury) story links ... and add a few of your own in Comments below (Remember to include full urls and no more than two per comment)

Immigration detention inquiry: Government tried to cover up asylum seekers’ mental health problems, inquiry told

Sell assets, says Tony, and we’ll give you money

Eric hints at backdown on job applications

Logger escapes conviction for punching protester

Jenny Weber: Violence is never the answer: logger in court for assaulting forest protester in Tasmania

Bryan Green: Abbott attempting to blackmail Tasmania on assets

Mercury: Former Tasmanian premier Paul Lennon ejected from Melbourne’s Crown Casino

Daily Mail: ‘While being wrestled out of the venue, the witness said that Mr Lennon said, ‘Don’t you know who I am’ to the guards

Mercury: THE Forest Stewardship Council has hosed down State Government assurances Forestry Tasmania’s bid for top environmental certification is safe under revised forest policy. 

Sign the petition protesting at the government’s protest bill ...

Guardian: The Great Barrier Reef and the coalmine that could kill it

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31 comments

Politics | National | State | Forestry | Economy | Environment | History | Society

Organ Pipes ‘under threat’

Ted Cutlan, Spokesperson for ROCC Residents Opposed to the Cable Car Media Release. Pic: Bob Burton
02.08.14 5:49 am

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The announcement today by the Wellington Park Management Trust should be of concern to everyone with a love of our wonderful mountain.  The iconic organ pipes are under threat from the proposed cable car.

• Jason Turvey: Respect The Mountain outraged ...

Alderman Jeff Briscoe, Hobart City Council: Calls for expression of interests in a development at the Springs on Mt Wellington

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18 comments

Politics | Local | State | Economy | Opinion | History | Society

TT on ABC

Editors
01.08.14 6:23 am

Download:
140814ABCBreakfastSth.mp3

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Writers | Bob Burton | Lindsay Tuffin

O&A (Objections & Answers) Why should Dr Bob Moles be heard by MPs?

Andrew L. Urban. Four Winds, yacht at the centre of the case ...
01.08.14 4:15 am

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Why should Tasmanian Parliamentarians accept the invitation to attend the August 19, 2014 Parliamentary briefing on the controversial case of Sue Neill-Fraser by Dr Bob Moles?

Court of Criminal Appeals decision. Read for yourself, here

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139 comments

Politics | State | Opinion | History | Legal | Personal | Society

Isla MacGregor’s First Day of the Month

Isla MacGregor
01.08.14 4:00 am

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*Pic: Ribbon grass in Big River on Flinders Island.

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And Nothing Changes (3)

Martyn Turner, Irish Times. Used with permission. Pub: July 30
31.07.14 7:30 am

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NZ Herald: Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed

Guardian: ‘World stands disgraced’ as Israeli shelling of school kills at least 15 • UN condemns IDF attack on sleeping children as violation of international law • Strike on crowded market in Shujai’iya during ceasefire kills 17 • Death toll now more than 1,300 after three weeks of fighting

MEANWHILE, in UKRAINE:

The Washington Post: Obama announces expanded sanctions against Russia as E.U. aligns

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Politics | International | National | Satire

WikiLeaks gag order: open justice is threatened by super-injuctions

Richard Ackland, http://www.justinian.com.au/
31.07.14 6:45 am

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Australian courts have increasingly been issuing suppression orders preventing the publication of legal proceedings – and an implicit dislike of the media is partly to blame.

First published in Guardian Australia, here

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Politics | International | National | Opinion | Legal | Society