Merkel’s North Sea “Alcatraz” for Refugees

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Heligoland – 50km from German mainland

By Berlin, Germany correspondent D. Wolfgang Spitz-Bubel reporting from Frankfurt/Main

Frankfurt-based refugee advocates medico international have received a copy of a top secret analysis by German Chancellor Merkel’s government to incarcerate thousands of “problematic” refugees offshore to a detention camp on the isolated Heligoland Islands in the North Sea.

The total land area of Heligoland is just 1 km², the weather is often unfriendly and the surrounding waters of the North Sea; treacherous.

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Basslink to Become Bassland

By Canberra, Australia correspondent Erica Quarterbee on assignment in Launceston

Australian experts have been scratching their heads on how to fix the electrical power link between Tasmania and the mainland since it failed in December but a permanent solution may be at hand from the opposite side of the planet. The Basslink undersea cable has been problematic from the outset and finally failed shortly after Tasmania’s hydroelectric generators tried to use the link to export electrical power to the mainland.

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Sweden’s Vattenfall is proposing a sustainable solution that will provide Australia’s eastern seaboard with reliable, baseload, renewable energy capacity.

Bass Strait is a relatively narrow, shallow sea passage that separates Tasmania from the mainland by a few kilometres. It is infamous for its rough seas and high winds.

Vattenfall propose to exploit its experience in wind and hydro-power, deploying a chain of wind turbines, wave, tidal and pumped storage within Bass Strait. The ambitious plan is to build two land-bridges joining Cape Otway in Victoria to Cape Grim in Tasmania, via King and smaller Islands to the East; and Wilsons Promontory in Victoria to Cape Portland in Tasmania, via Flinders, Cape Barren and minor islands. Continue reading

600,000 Migrants “Disappear” in Germany

By Berlin, Germany correspondent D. Wolfgang Spitz-Bubel

German and other European press are starting to report that nearly half the recent migrants registered into Germany have disappeared without a trace. Earlier reports didn’t reveal the extent of the problem. While it’s possible that a few thousand of the more than a million recent migrants could go missing simply due to bureaucratic accidents, the scale of the disappearances suggests that a system has been created to move the migrants on.
Wolfsburg, VW Autowerk, Kraftwerk

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Australia Seeks Chief Engineer

By Canberra, Australia correspondent Erica Quarterbee

A draft advertisement for the position of Chief Engineer is circulating through the corridors of power in Canberra.

Bureau of the Chief Engineer AustraliaThe Chief Engineer is to run an independent Bureau to advise on policies relating to technologies and to audit spending on infrastructure and deployment of technologies within all of government. The Bureau of the Chief Engineer will operate as an independent, professional, “corporate consultancy and inspectorate” to the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Australia has lacked a Science Minister since the installation of the current government. It’s understood that the Prime Minister’s Office wants to install a permanent mechanism by employing independent professionals who are able to interpret the science and technology for relevance and effectiveness.

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PM Abbott Announces Team Aussie-COP21 for Paris

By Australian correspondents Erica Quarterbee and Jennie Drimmof.

Greg Hunt

Greg Hunt

Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott MP BEc LLB MA has instructed the Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt MP BA LLB MA to form the best possible team to represent Australia at the IPCC Olympics later this year, culminating in the COP21 Games in Paris.

A total budget allocation of $412,786.24 means that the Minister has had to cut some corners in terms of team numbers, travel and accommodation arrangements. The budget has to stretch to 2 sets of games, the 4-day UN-FCCC ADP preliminaries in Bonn, Germany in mid-October and then the 14-day finals in Paris, France starting at the end of November. Continue reading

Tap into TEPZILLA

By Yokohama, Japan correspondent Ishni Sunshi

Just over 4 years after the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi and its cash-strapped owner TEPCO has spun off a marketing division to start selling its low-radiation water from its 300,000 tonne stockpile of ALPS-treated water under the TEPZILLA brand. While TEPCO isn’t permitted to dump the purified water into the rather more radioactive ocean, the treated water meets all the requirements of safe bottled water for human consumption.
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Canadian Refugees Frozen in Wisconsin

By Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA correspondent Laverne Kosnowski

Spring brought a few surprises to Manitowoc residents returning across the ice on Lake Michigan last month. The rapid approach of the winter seems to have outrun a few polar bears that’ve been found in the ice by residents digging down to the front doors of their houses through up to 10 feet of snow. Continue reading

Turnbull Turns on Aunty

By Sydney, Australia correspondent Jennie Drimmof

Lissajous-Figur_1_zu_3_(Oszilloskop)

Image from Wikipedia

Less juice for thin Lissie.
The now former Friend of the ABC, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull last night announced a halving of the ABC’s budget over 3 years. Mr Turnbull said community feedback has strongly shown that the national broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, was delivering much more than what the taxpayers should be paying for and using taxes to compete against private operators in radio, TV and online. Continue reading

Au Revoir Eiffel Tower. Bonjour Moulin Tricolore

by European correspondents Ahmed Butrosghali (Calais), Yvonne Rückenkratzer (Vaduz), Menno van Spijkergraf (Hilversum), Dieter Ditteldiestel (Düsseldorf) and Sven-Erik Østermark (Wroclaw)

EiffelTricolore

The quarter of Paris to be rejuvinated and energised.

The Eiffel Tower is to be dismantled in the lead up to IPCC’s COP21 at the end of November this year, symbolising France’s contribution to the lowering of carbon emissions.

France’s President François Hollande was delighted to announce planning approval has been granted by the City for a more appropriate 300-metre tall, 12 megawatt wind turbine tower to be installed in its place. Already dubbed Moulin Tricolore by passionate and popular acclaim, the structure is to be completed and opened to the public on Bastille Day, 2020. The complete success of the two wind turbines installed within the old Eiffel Tower earlier this year had encouraged government, environmentalists and city planners to tackle climate change in a big way. Continue reading