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February 2016

Read in 150 Countries

29 February 2016
by John Pilger

The rape of East Timor: 'Sounds like fun'.

Secret documents found in the Australian National Archives provide a glimpse of how one of the greatest crimes of the 20th century was executed and covered up. They also help us understand how and for whom the world is run. [Read More...]

29 February 2016
by Andrew Davies

Defence white paper: Follow the money to figure out the policy

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Defence Minister Marise Payne at the launch of the white paper designed to build a defence of Australia "based in south-east Asia and the Pacific".

There's a minor industry among academics who parse the bureaucratically stiff sentences in Defence white papers looking for indications of exactly how the government thinks about various issues. I prefer to follow the advice of Sir Arthur Tange, the father of the modern defence bureaucracy, who said "if you're not talking dollars, you're not talking policy". So to see what the story of the White Paper is, we need to follow the money. [Read More...]

29 February 2016
by Geoffrey Barker

The views in this article are not necessarily those of the publisher

Australia's a lethal military force in Asia with planned big defence spend

The defence white paper includes funding for 12 new submarines and for defence spending to rise significantly

Australia will unquestionably be a much more lethal military force in the Indo-Pacific region if the federal government and its successors fully implement and fund the ambitious capability plans for the navy, air force and army, laid out in this week's defence white paper.

The paper laid out a strategy designed for an age of rising strategic anxiety and financial uncertainty.

Driven primarily by aggressive Chinese expansion in the South China Sea, and by the threat from Islamist terrorism, the Turnbull government will spend hundreds of billions of dollars over the next four decades to create "a more capable, agile and potent defence force". [Read More...]

29 February 2016
by John Kehoe

US blasts Australia over Francis Gurry scandal

United States politicians lashed the federal government for standing by Australia's most senior United Nations diplomat over allegations Francis Gurry sidestepped international sanctions to ship computers to North Korea in exchange for the rogue state supporting him at UN elections.

Likening the claims to a "FIFA" vote rigging scandal, influential Congress committee leaders probing the long-standing allegations demanded Australia force Dr Gurry to resign as director-general of the World Intellectual Property Organisation.

The spat has fuelled rare diplomatic tensions between the usually tight knit Australian and United States' political systems. [Read More...]

28 February 2016
by Babette Francis

The deconstruction of reality

Apparently a substantial number of Australian school children have no genitals.

There is a far more serious problem affecting Australian school children, and it has only recently come to light. This is a devastating medical and health problem which requires consideration at the highest level of Government and by our Health and Medical Departments. Apparently a substantial number of Australian school children have no genitals. It is not clear whether these hapless children were born without genitals or had to have them surgically removed for various reasons, but this tragedy requires the most urgent attention, and Australian parents should be most grateful to the Safe Schools Coalition for drawing attention to their plight. [Read More...]

28 February 2016
by David Tyler

Turnbull invites chaos as he attempts to ape Abbott.

As parliament resumes Monday, spectators discover an oddly familiar negativity and intellectual vacuity, not to say a little madness, perhaps even a re-run of that Abbott-era day time TV classic “good government”.

Is it just because Newspoll puts the parties each on 50 per cent, two party preferred? Peter Dutton warns the press: “The prospect of Bill Shorten leading the country is now in play.” Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce calls it a “wake-up call”. Has Turnbull’s mob dropped its bundle on its first dud poll result? Surely not.

Could it be policy? Never. “Modest, incremental reform” as a killer of a Liberal platform. It just reeks of passion and excitement. [Read More...]

13 February 2016
by John Passant

Why did Turnbull dump the proposed GST increase?

It was of course going to be the magic pudding for big business and the States and Territories – an extra $33 billion a year flowing into Commonwealth coffers as a result of increasing the GST from 10% to 15%. There was only one real problem – we punters were opposed to it. So opposed in fact that the popular Turnbull government might if it went to an election with the proposal lose what appears so far to be the unlosable election later this year.

One poll for example showed support for the ALP increasing 2.5% and that for the Coalition falling 2.5% on a two party preferred basis when the GST chatter became a roar in the last few weeks. It would still not, yet, be enough for Labor to win but they were edging a hell of a lot closer than Turnbull, and some very worried Government backbenchers, would want. All that GST pain for no electoral gain, or even electoral loss saw Turnbull effectively dump a GST increase from ten percent to 15% during the week. [Read More...]

13 February 2016
by Brett Evans

For the love of money

Change agent: Dollar Bill, the star of an animated TV ad used to promote decimal currency in 1965 and early 1966.

Fifty years ago, Australia’s currency went decimal. But the long-awaited transition wasn’t without its problems.

For many years Gordon Andrews was the most popular artist in Australia. We coveted his work with a passion; we spent our days pursuing it, and our nights dreaming about it. We sacrificed and scrimped to get more of it. Some of us even stole it. We couldn’t get enough of the stuff.

Though Andrews was hardly a household name, we all knew his most famous works: the Brown Bomber, the Sick Sheep, the Pink Snapper, the Blue Heeler, and the Red Lobster.

Gordon Andrews was, of course, the man who designed Australia’s banknotes when the nation shifted to decimal currency in February 1966. So appealing were they that the nation accepted them with alacrity, and soon bestowed upon them the greatest Australian compliment: nicknames. (And there were many of them. A Lobster – as the $20 bill is sometimes called – was also known as a Red Drinking Voucher on my teenaged Saturday nights.) [Read More...]

12 February 2016
by Atreyee Chowdhury

The terror of vaccines and the part that Big Pharma plays

In an astonishing revelation in a report on sott.net, it has been established that vaccines have been causing more harm than help to infants and babies.

Now, the animal and plant cells derive energy from the incumbent mitochondria to function the biological chemical processes. Three distinct research done on mitochondria assert that vaccines are causing a lot of induced iatrogenic mitochondrial diseases, or diseases caused by neurotoxins present in them. This should make the doctors accountable for the danger in which they have put the kids in. [Read More...]

12 February 2016
by Mark Kenny

Barnaby Joyce elected Nationals leader

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull congratulates Deputy Prime Minister designate Barnaby Joyce and Deputy Nationals Leader Fiona Nash after the Nationals leadership ballot on Thursday night.

Barnaby Joyce is Australia's new Deputy Prime Minister after being elected unopposed as the Nationals new leader in a late evening meeting of the Nationals party in Canberra.

His elevation, following the resignation of long-standing Nationals leader Warren Truss, sets up a whole new power dynamic in the government between the urbane Malcolm Turnbull as a Prime Minister popular in middle Australia and Mr Joyce, a happy-go-lucky populist deputy well-known and highly regarded as an authentic representative of regional Australia. [Read More...]

11 February 2016
by Laura Tingle

John Howard's bastard tax turns up to ruin the Coalition party

Some of the biggest questions in the lead-up to the unveiling of John Howard and Peter Costello's 1998 tax package were how the government would get the states to agree to the introduction of a GST and the removal of some state taxes, and what could be done to address the states' diminishing revenue base.

Howard's outside-the-square solution was to do something no one expected: offer to give the states all the revenue that a GST would raise. [Read More...]

11 February 2016
by Mark Kenny

Ministerial exodus unbalances Malcolm Turnbull's team

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during question time. He wants a referendum worded to 'sing' to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

What's going on? Suddenly, the smooth and toboganable brow of the Turnbull government has been furrowed by ministerial crises and resignations. Order has given way to a faint air of chaos.

It wasn't meant to be this way at all. After a strong start propelled by the power of positive thought and the rigour of orderly process, Malcolm Turnbull's administration looks slave to events rather than the other way around. [Read More...]

11 February 2016
by Craig Murray

Hillary Clinton IS The Guardian

Hillary Clinton is American, owned by financial interests to whom she is completely in thrall, a rabid neo-conservative warmonger, completely uncritical of Israel and focused for any claim to be progressive entirely on identity politics. Which is also a precise description of today’s Guardian newspaper. The once august and intellectual title is now a shrill cheerleader for far right Blairites and wealthy American feminists.

The Guardian is as unabashed in its support for Clinton as in its support for the Blairites. The stream of “feminist” articles about why it would advance the cause of women to have a deeply corrupt right winger in the White House is steadily growing into a torrent. It is a perfect example of what I wrote of a month ago, the cause of feminism being hijacked to neo-conservative ends. [Read More...]

10 February 2016
by Phillip Coorey

Beware Chinese billionaires bearing gifts

Chinese Billionaires Don't Give Fakes

In June 2013, Chinese billionaire Li Ruipeng from the firm Liguancheng Group was in Canberra. There was a dinner at Parliament House and representing the then-federal Opposition was leader Tony Abbott, his chief of staff Peta Credlin, opposition industry spokesman Ian Macfarlane, and opposition spokesman for defence, science, technology and personnel, Stuart Robert.

All were given designer watches by Li as a goodwill gesture. There were also watches for Abbott's wife and Robert's wife, who were not in attendance. [Read More...]

09 February 2016
by Giles Parkinson

Queensland inquiry’s big fail on rooftop solar and battery storage

Here’s a quick test. Imagine you are a government, or a pricing regulator, or an independent advisory body, and you have been charged with addressing issues surrounding the soaring cost of electricity: Where would you focus your efforts – on the biggest source of those price surges, or a minor addition labelled green?

In the case of Queensland, and the Queensland Productivity Commission’s inquiry into electricity pricing, there is no prize for guessing: pretty much ignore the main contributor and hit the small guys labeled “environment”. That is exactly what is happening in the latest report, like so many others in Australia. [Read More...]

09 February 2016
by John Passant

Memo to the Australian Tax Office: You offshoring jobs is the same as business offshoring profits

The Turnbull government is outsourcing or planning to outsource public service jobs offshore. Noel Towell in an article in The Canberra Times in January titled ‘Manila calling: Public Service’s Philippines frolic revealed‘ said that ‘the Commonwealth [was] openly canvassing the idea of following the lead of the NSW government and sending some of its work to India.

In the same report Towell details via an Australian Tax Office spokeswoman what the ATO has been up to. He says:

‘The spokeswoman told Fairfax that the present arrangement, where Accenture is helping to develop new IT capabilities for the office, was temporary and had been in place for several months.

“Earlier this financial year the ATO commenced a short-term arrangement with Accenture to use their Philippines Delivery Centre to increase our IT capability in application development for new policy implementation,” she said:

“This additional capability is being used at peak times to temporarily support the ATO’s workforce and existing onshore arrangement with Accenture.

“The offshore development is being conducted in a secure facility that has been inspected by ATO staff and conforms to government physical and data security requirements. [Read More...]

09 February 2016
by ANR

ASIC abuse terrorism laws to harass and intimidate a political party founder to serve a malicious political vendetta

ASIC has stooped to new lows in its dirty tricks campaign against McIntyre, the CEO of the 21st Century Group and political party founder.

ANR has gathered third party eyewitness evidence of ASIC abusing its powers to try and intimidate McIntyre every time he departs or returns to Australia.

ASIC and McIntyre are tied up in a high profile court battle over land banking where ASIC alleges property options are a financial services product, even though no law change that made them such.

Many observers say it’s a sham allegation to tie McIntyre up in court and tarnish his reputation for politically motivated reasons. [Read More...]

08 February 2016
by Heath Aston

Flux Party offers radical new model for democracy

Founders of the Flux Party, Max Kaye, left, and Nathan Spataro.

When Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull encouraged Australia's young innovators to go out and disrupt traditional industries, he may not have been expecting anyone to propose an alternative model to the entire party-political system.

But two Bitcoin consultants want to make a mark on the 2016 election with a promise of "democracy reimagined" through a market-based online "ecosystem" that allows voters and sectional interests to exert direct control over elected representatives. [Read More...]

08 February 2016
by Fleur Anderson

Micro parties' revenge a dish best served Green

An alliance of left-leaning minor political parties says it will release a flood of candidates into the inner-city seats of Sydney and Melbourne that the Greens want to win in the next federal election if the Greens support the Turnbull government's planned overhaul of the Senate voting system.

The Turnbull government is currently locked in talks with the Greens and independent Senators Nick Xenophon and David Leyonhjelm over changes to the Australian Electoral Commission rules that allow micro parties to construct complex backroom deals allowing Senate candidates to win seats on tiny primary votes. [Read More...]

08 February 2016
by Finian Cunningham

Saudi invasion of Syria: The bluff that could ignite World War III

The Saudi plan to send ground troops into Syria appears to be just a ruse. But this is precisely the kind of reckless saber-rattling that could ignite an all-out war, one that could embroil the United States and Russia.

Saudi rulers have reportedly amassed a 150,000-strong army to invade Syria on the alleged pretext “to fight against terrorism” and to defeat the so-called Islamic State (also known as ISIS/ISIL). Saudi officials told CNN that in addition to Saudi troops there are ground forces from Egypt, Turkey, Sudan, Morocco, Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. [Read More...]

07 February 2016
by Marianna Papadakis

Woolworths hit with $3.057m penalty for unsafe products

Woolworths has been slammed with $3.057 million court penalty for selling faulty products it knew were unsafe and for failing to immediately issue recalls after it became aware customers who bought the products had been injured.

Federal Court Justice James Edelman handed down the penalty, which he said was by consent of both parties, during a short hearing on Friday.

The retailer will also have to put $50,000 towards some of the ACCC's legal costs, upgrade its product safety compliance program and provide details on its website including how to report safety incidents and products recalls over the past 12 months. [Read More...]

07 February 2016
by Craig Murray

Assange – A Fundamental Vindication

Julian Assange has never been charged with any offence. His detention has been unlawful since his very first arrest in the United Kingdom in 2010. There has never been any genuine attempt by the Swedish authorities to investigate the allegations against him. Those are the findings of the United Nations.

The UK and Swedish governments both participated fully, and at great expense to their taxpayers, in this UN process which is a mechanism that both recognise. States including Iran, Burma and Russia have released prisoners following determination by this UN panel, which consists not of politicians or diplomats but of some of the world’s most respected lawyers, who are not representing their national governments.

Countries who have ignored rulings by this UN panel are rare. No democracy has ever done so. Recent examples are Egypt and Uzbekistan. The UK is putting itself in pretty company. [Read More...]

06 February 2016
by James Eyers

Blockchain and how it will change everything

Richard Branson's Necker Island was the site for an exclusive meeting to discuss blockchain.

In May, British billionaire Richard Branson invited a select posse of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and technology advisers to his Caribbean residence for an exclusive pow wow on an issue occupying some of the top markets minds in the world.

The topic for discussion on the picturesque Necker Island was the "blockchain".

Every now and then, something comes along that might just change everything. And this is one of those moments.

[Read More...]

06 February 2016
by Esther Addley

Julian Assange: 'sweet' victory soured by British and Swedish rejection

WikiLeak’s founder, Julian Assange, holds up the UN panel’s report as he addresses supporters and the media from the embassy balcony.

No release in sight despite UN panel deciding WikiLeaks founder is being arbitrarily detained at Ecuador embassy

A UN panel may have found that Julian Assange is subject to “arbitrary detention” and called for him to be allowed to walk free, but the WikiLeaks founder remains exactly where he has been for the past 44 months – inside Ecuador’s London embassy and locked in a three-nation war of words.

Britain and Sweden immediately rejected the UN report, which declared that Assange had been “arbitrarily detained” since his arrest in 2010 and during his lengthy stay in the embassy, where he sought asylum in June 2012. The British foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, described the findings as “ridiculous” and the Australian as a “fugitive from justice”. [Read More...]

05 February 2016
by Peter Brent

Yes, we have no bananas

Misremembrance of things past: former treasurer and prime minister Paul Keating.

Former prime minister and treasurer Paul Keating penned an article for Fairfax papers on Wednesday this week, a spirited polemic against raising the GST from 10 to 15 per cent. Opposition to such a hike being a central plank of Labor’s 2016 election strategy (regardless of whether it is part of the Turnbull government’s plans), Bill Shorten and his team gleefully threw snippets of the column at the Treasury benches in parliament on the same day.

Keating was the dominant political figure of his time, and as treasurer and prime minister he achieved many good things. When today’s leaders are found wanting in comparison, that’s not just because of rosy views of the past. But Keating, even more than most politicians, could also skilfully purvey snake oil, and this week’s effort dripped with it. He described the GST as a “socialist tax” and a “bang you over the head tax [which puts] the tax weight onto the wrong people.” [Read More...]

05 February 2016
by Daisy Dumas

Matt Barrie's tirade against Sydney's night-time lockout laws touches a raw nerve

Matt Barrie, the head of Freelancer.com, is one of Australia's most successful entrepreneurs.

In a blistering attack on a succession of "incompetent" NSW governments, one of Australia's most successful entrepreneurs has lamented the death of Sydney's night-time economy at the hands of leaders whose "moralistic crusade" has turned the city into an "international joke".

Matt Barrie's essay, Would The Last Person in Sydney Please Turn The Lights Out, has gone viral, with more than 200,000 readers in under 24 hours, a global ranking of No.1 on LinkedIn and most-read on Sydney's reddit site.

In the 8400-word LinkedIn feature, the head of Freelancer.com cites a grim set of statistics that paint a picture of Sydney's mortally wounded nightlife, once-famous bars that have been forced to close, near-empty former night-time precincts and a neighbourhood that is now the playground of property developers. [Read More...]

05 February 2016
by Esther Addley

Julian Assange is in arbitrary detention, UN panel finds

Julian Assange argued he was illegally confined to the embassy because he risked arrest.

A United Nations panel has decided that Julian Assange’s three-and-a-half years in the Ecuadorian embassy amount to “arbitrary detention”, leading his lawyers to call for the Swedish extradition request to be dropped immediately.

A Swedish foreign ministry spokeswoman confirmed that the UN panel, due to publish its findings on Friday, had concluded that Assange was “arbitrarily detained”.

The WikiLeaks founder sought asylum from Ecuador in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden to face questioning over rape and sexual assault allegations, which he denies. [Read More...]

04 February 2016
by David Wroe

RAAF now being routinely challenged by Beijing in South China Sea

A People's Liberation Army J-11 fighter on exercises over the South China Sea.

Australian air force patrols flying over the South China Sea are now being routinely challenged by the Chinese military in a sign of the growing stranglehold Beijing has over the strategically vital waters.

The Chief of the Air Force, Air Marshal Leo Davies, said on Wednesday that Australian surveillance patrol flights over the regional flashpoint had increased "slightly" and the RAAF would continue doing so as was its right under international law. [Read More...]

04 February 2016
by Kate Aubusson

Centrelink investigators nab welfare cheats via social media

Welfare fraudsters are being caught out via their social media posts.

Centrelink investigators are trawling the social media accounts of people on welfare to catch out fraudsters, the federal government has confirmed.

Contractors employed by Centrelink to scan the Facebook pages, Twitter streams and eBay accounts of customers have dredged up more than $2 million in fraud. [Read More...]

04 February 2016
by Mercedes Ruehl

Billionaire Jerry Schwarz in Mexican stand-off over abandoned monorail station

Billionaire Jerry Schwartz is caught in the middle of a Kafkaesque stand-off over the monorail station attached to his Rydges World Square hotel in Sydney.

Decommissioned in 2013, there are now five remaining disused and vacant former monorail stations in the CBD. Dr Schwartz wants to incorporate one of the largest, the World Square station shell on Liverpool Street, into his new corporate headquarters.

The vision is for a quirky conference room, potentially using the glass part of the station as a large fishtank like Dr Schwartz has done elsewhere in some of his hotels. [Read More...]

03 February 2016
by Phillip Coorey

Government moves on Senate reform as Turnbull threatens early poll

The Turnbull government is considering moving quickly to change voting rules to stop micro-parties gaming the preference system to win Senate spots, in a move that would keep in play the option of an early election.

While still keen on going the full term and holding the next election in the spring, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told Coalition MPs on Tuesday that an early, double dissolution election remained a "live option". [Read More...]

03 February 2016
by John Passant

Hey unions – how about fighting for big wage increases as compensation if the GST goes up from 10% to 15%?

Scott Morrison this week likened a possible GST increase to turning back the boats.

Tough, but needed, and he is, he said modestly, just the man to do it. Of course an alternative view might be that the bastard who brutalised refugees is moving on to brutalising poor people and workers, made confident in this by the very support he has received in locking up asylum seekers and refugees on the Manus Island and Nauru concentration camps. [Read More...]

03 February 2016
by Rossleigh

A Double Dissolution – The Non-talking Point!

Ok, so let me see if I’ve got this right. Turnbull is threatening to call a double dissolution if Labor and The Greens don’t pass legislation to re-establish the Howard government-era industrial watchdog the Australian Building and Construction Commission. And the reasons for this are based on a secret report from the Royal Commission in Union Corruption written by Justice Heydon.

Justice Heydon, one remembers, found himself completely unbiased after considering the matter for several days. He asked himself if he could be perceived as biased and concluded that only people on the wrong side of politics could conclude that and, as they were all thugs, crooks and liars, he could just ignore what they thought. [Read More...]

03 February 2016
by GA

England set to face Australia in pre-Euro 2016 friendly

Roy Hodgson’s team are likely to face Australia a fortnight before the European Championship starts in France.

England will play Australia at Newcastle or Sunderland as one of three warm-up games for Euro 2016, two of which will take place away from Wembley, according to reports.

The Football Association is finalising plans to take one friendly fixture to the north-east of England and another to the north-west at the request of Roy Hodgson, who wishes to recreate a tournament feel. [Read More...]

02 February 2016
by Anthony Colangelo

Nick Xenophon Team beats Labor in SA: poll

Nick Xenophon could go to the polls with a big advantage over Labor.

The political party is making waves in South Australia, while Clive Palmer looks all but gone in Queensland.

In its first Morgan Poll, the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) has outpolled Labor in South Australia, according to the latest figures released on Monday.

Having recently announced it would be standing candidates in eight of the 11 South Australian lower house seats, NXT polled 22.5 per cent of votes, putting it ahead of Labor (21.5 per cent) by one per cent. [Read More...]

02 February 2016
by Brian Morris

New poll on religion and the Australian Constitution

Changes to the Australian constitution are infrequent. One amendment that many would like to see concerns the head of state, and Australia becoming a republic. But perhaps there's a more immediate issue that is now supported by 78% of the population, in a new January poll. It relates to a minor constitutional clause that will formally remove the influence of religion from the business of government -- an official separation of church and state.

It's been forty years since the last constitutional amendments - following Gough Whitlam's dismissal as Prime Minister by Governor General Sir John Kerr, back in 1975. Amendments were made two years later to codify the conventions for filling casual senate vacancies. [Read More...]

02 February 2016
by John Passant

Noel Pearson and the myth of the radical centre

On Australia Day Noel Pearson told us of the need for a ‘radical centre’ in Australian politics. This ‘sensible’ centre would balance between the mad right and the loony left and come up with ‘solutions’ to problems that the nutcases to the left or right couldn’t because they are trapped in the language and practice of ideology. Well, that is my summation of what Pearson said. You can read an edited extract of his speech in the well know centrist newspaper (sarcasm alert) The Australian.

There is nothing new about what Pearson is arguing. In fact he has been sprouting the need for a radical centre for a decade or so. It seems his attempts at setting up just such an enterprise have floundered on the shoals of reality. If the radical centre is where all the sensible people with their sensible solutions are why has Pearson made absolutely no progress in the last ten years in setting up this political Shangri-La? [Read More...]

02 February 2016
by Alan Austin

Corruption under Turnbull: An international embarrassment

January has been another bad month for corruption in Australia. Alan Austin reports, in what is now becoming an embarrassingly regular series.

Burgeoning corruption under the Coalition is now perceived outside Australia as well as within.

The influential global corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI) released its 2015 report last Wednesday. It listed five "big decliners" — Libya, Australia, Brazil, Spain and Turkey. In that order. [Read More...]

02 February 2016
by Jacob Greber

Labor's tobacco plan worsens structural budget problem, say experts

Leading budget experts say Labor's plan to use higher tobacco taxes to pay for fast-growing social programs is misguided and potentially unsustainable.

The Labor opposition expects to raise $47.7 billion over 10 years by increasing tobacco excise dramatically until 2020 and generating a surge of revenue it has earmarked for education, budget repair and other still-to-be announced measures. [Read More...]

01 February 2016

01 February 2016
by Phillip Coorey

Australia backs US in latest South China Sea stoush

Australia has emphatically backed the latest incursion by the United States into the South China Sea and has hinted at naval and air missions of its own.

Following Saturday's exercise in which the US guided missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur angered Beijing by sailing near a disputed island in the South China Sea, Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne said the US was upholding international law. [Read More...]