Australia: a hotspot for drug trafficking

In the last couple of months Australia has seen more than one of its citizens convicted for drug trafficking. But the situation has become even more critical: the convictions will most likely turn into death penalties.

According to ACC (Australian Crime Commission) the number of illicit drug arrests in the country was the highest in the last decade, especially those related to cocaine. Always according to ACC data, cocaine production, together with other unknown drugs, as increased by 225 per cent and 331 per cent respectively.

The two most critical situations are those of Edward Myatt and Dominic Jude Christopher Bird.

Edward Myatt

The Edward Myatt situation took place in February: he got caught trying to import a large quantity of drugs into Bali, Indonesia. Arrested with 1.1kg of hashish and four grams of methamphetamines he is now facing three charges, including trafficking and two counts of possession. The 54-year-old showed no emotion and said little even when the court decided he could be sentenced to death if convicted on the drug-trafficking charge. Nevertheless, Edward, will be receiving some help from the law, since being a drug addict in Indonesia can lead to a lighter sentence. Mr Atmaja, Bali’s chief prosecutor, added that he was yet to form an opinion about the case, but said that the evidence against Myatt was overwhelming: the trial will be continued next Thursday, the 22nd .

The Dominic Jude Christopher Bird situation took place only one month after: the West Australian from Perth was arrested on March 1 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia confirmed that the 32 year old man was arrested for allegedly selling methamphetamines, but he was yet to be charged.

The man was caught during a raid on a coffee house just outside Kuala Lumpur’s central business district. In Malaysia, possession of more than 50g of methamphetamine is considered drug trafficking, which is punishable by death, and the australian from Perth was caught with 225g of the drug, and is now facing the death penalty.

According to the Australian Crime Commission licit drug data report, (IDDR), in 2009-10, the Australian market is a “lucrative one” for most organized crime groups. It is a problem needed to be solved through practical methods in order to be better anticipated, investigated and prevented. To steer away illegal drugs from the market, it is fundamental to understand how the drug economy operates, including all aspects: variables of product, pricing, promotion and methods of distribution – also, how these contribute, or are involved in, the effects of technology, competition and the social/cultural environment. Patterns, common trends or similar elements in these investigations will provide an important evidence base to assist decision-makers in the development of strategies to combat such a threat.

Moreover, in this report, the IDDR mentions cannabis, heroin, cocaine and other more recent drugs. Cannabis continues to be the predominant illicit drug purchased in Australia in the last decade, with 44 736 seizures nationally in 2009-10. Cocaine is also on the highest record to cause national arrests. The number of national illicit drug arrests is the highest reported in the last decade with more than 85 000 people arrested for illicit drug offences. The increase of the variety, number and speed of evolving analogue markets presents unique challenges for decision makers and law enforcement agencies.

It is crucial, according to John Lawler APM Chief Executive Officer Australian Crime Commission, for vigilance to continue and be a key to solving the problem of law enforcement action, as well as, strengthening knowledge of organized crime involvement in the illicit drug market.

The problem is out there, and illicit drugs traffic is not something that can be just wiped out from human natural societies, but these two examples are the living proof of an each time more effective system, which becomes capable of managing the detection and suppression of any kind of activity against the law. However, this is not but a fraction of the failures to comply with the laws in developed countries, so there is much to be done yet, especially in those countries where legal borders are more easily crossed, which are the countries that luck of a solid politic, economic and social structure.

The Key Man in the Pacific

Dr Brendan John Nelson (born 19 August 1958) is a former Australian politician and former federal Opposition leader. He served as a member of the Australian House of Representatives from the 1996 federal election until 19 October 2009 as the Liberal member for Bradfield, a northern Sydney seat. A doctor by profession, he came to public prominence as the Federal President of the Australian Medical Association (1993–95), and served as a Minister in the third and fourth terms of the Howard Government, serving as Minister for Education, Science and Training (2001–06) and Minister for Defense (2006–2007). Following the 2007 federal election, at which the Howard Government was defeated, Nelson was elected leader of the federal Liberal parliamentary group in a contest against former Minister for Environment and Water Resources Malcolm Turnbull, and became the Leader of the Opposition on 3 December 2007. On 16 September 2008, in a second contest following a spill motion, Nelson lost the leadership of the Opposition and the Liberal Party to Turnbull. On 25 August 2009 he announced his forthcoming retirement from politics. In September 2009, the Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced Nelson as the next Ambassador to the European Union, Belgium and Luxembourg as well as Australia’s Special Representative at the World Health Organization and NATO. He remained Member for Bradfield until officially resigning on 19 October 2009, sparking the 2009 Bradfield by-election.

Brendan Nelson is currently a key character in the pacific zone. He represents until now, the Australian foreing policy. And as we know, Australia is the larger economy in the pacific having a place in the permanent security council in the UN. Brendan Nelson is the one, who the countries have to negociate with. For example in July in 2007 Nelson had to travel to Beijing to explain to the chinese that the Defence Update, as well as growing trilateral ties between  Australia, Japan and USA, didn’t mean that Australia in any way supports a policy of containment of China. Australia and Japan signed a Joint Declaration on security Cooperation in March 2007, signed by Brendan Nelson for example.

In January 1994, Nelson joined the Tasmanian branch of the Liberal Party of Australia. On 30 January 1995, he announced his nomination for the preselection contest for Bradfield, a safe Liberal seat in which Pymble was located and held since 1974 by shadow minister David Connolly. He was supported in his bid by former AMA president Dr Bruce Shepherd, who served as his campaign treasurer. On 1 March 1995 at a Liberal gathering, he renounced his view that Labor governments had been better for Australia, and stated that he believed Medicare was unsustainable and that voluntary work programs for the unemployed would build self-esteem, and advocated a consumption tax. On 13 May 1995 he gained the party’s endorsement on a 96-to-93 vote against incumbent MP and shadow minister David Connolly, despite the latter having the support of Liberal leader John Howard and deputy leader Peter Costello. Nelson claimed his win was “a victory for liberalism”. After the preselection, Nelson worked on an Aboriginal health program for the Cape York Peninsula, and in June, following his retirement as president of the AMA, went to the slums of Nairobi, Kenya, on behalf of World Vision to hear about that country’s struggles with AIDS—only three months after losing his younger brother to the disease.

After being elected as the member for Bradfield in the federal election on 2 March 1996, at which the Keating government was defeated and John Howard became Prime Minister, Nelson worked as a government backbencher. Nelson was a vocal opponent of the views of Independent MP Pauline Hanson. On 6 October, he proposed a bipartisan condemnation of her statements along lines already suggested by Labor Opposition leader Kim Beazley. Finally, Nelson was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defense in 2001.

After the 2001 federal election he was promoted directly to Cabinet with the senior portfolio of Minister for Education, Science and Training. He introduced a series of radical changes to Australia’s higher education system that simultaneously imposed more direct government control over the management of universities while also allowing them to earn more revenue by charging higher fees to students. He extended the government’s policy of directing more federal funding to non-government schools, as well as becoming more involved in reviewing the state education systems. In 2005 he introduced Voluntary Student Unionism. He was a popular target for student activism because of these changes.

In 2005 Nelson expressed support for giving parents the option of having students exposed to the controversial subject of intelligent design. However he emphasized that evolution should always hold first place. He later said that intelligent design should only be taught in religion or philosophy classes.

After his rapid promotion to Cabinet, Nelson was spoken of as a possible future Liberal leader. On 24 January 2006, then Prime Minister John Howard announced Nelson’s promotion from the Education, Science and Training portfolio to the high profile Defense portfolio.

On 16 September 2009, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd appointed Nelson as the Ambassador to the European Union and NATO along with former Federal Labor Leader, Kim Beazley as the Australian Ambassador to the United States of America. Nelson accepted the appointment from his former rival and commended Rudd’s decision on appointing Beazley as Ambassador to the USA. Nelson officially resigned from Federal Parliament the same day, ending 13 years as the member for Bradfield.

Libya conflict hits the economy in the Pacific zone with the Black gold

As violence continues to escalate in Lybia, the federal government is drawing up plans to evacuate Australians as Libyan representatives sever ties with Gaddafi’s regime. Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the estimated 105 Australians believed to be in the North African country should get out, even the UK had offered to help evacuate Australians if necessary. “Australians are advised to avoid all travel to Libya because of the volatile and uncertain security situation,” DFAT said.

Australia is preparing for the potential defection of key diplomats from the Libyan embassy after a senior official walked away from the Gaddafi regime, declaring he now represented “the Libyan people”.

Libya’s cultural counselor signaled the nation might be on the verge of its first diplomatic defection in almost six years.

Economics

Oil prices soared above $93 a barrel in Asia as Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s grip on power in the OPEC nation weakened amid violent protests calling for his resignation. Benchmark crude for March delivery was up $7.34 at $93.54 a barrel at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Analysts are also worried the jump in energy costs could hurt consumer spending and stymie a fragile recovery in developed countries. The crisis in the Middle East and North Africa – which has brought down governments in Tunisia and Egypt and sparked protests in Yemen, Bahrain, Iran, Morocco and Jordan – has added about $10 to the price of crude, according to Capita Economics.

Petrol prices hit their highest level in more than two years last week, with the cost of 91 octane petrol rising 3c to $2.02, and 95 octane reaching $2.11 per litre. Based on current trends motorists could be paying $2.20c per litre by the end of the year, Stockdale said.

Meanwhile the impact on New Zealand exports to Libya was unclear today. Figures show $51m worth of products, including $49.7

The Ministerial Conference on Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation organized by the Korean Ministry of Finance, the African Development Bank (ADB) and the Export-Import Bank (Eximbank) of Korea, was opened on Tuesday in the Korean Capital. The conference was packaged to enable participants exchange views on how to further develop relations and economic cooperation between Africa and Korea.

The impact of Bin Laden’s death in the pacific zone.

The recent event of the Osama Bin Laden’s death, who represented the highest authority and the head of world-renowned Al-Qaeda group, has meant great questions and movements worldwide, including in the Pacific’s area that althought they just have a small influence of Muslim in their region, the conflict of terrorism may also be affect them.

Following the death of Bin Laden, the terrorist group began to reorganize and just two weeks after it had declared a new interim chief Egyptian Saif al-Adel, who joined the Al Qaeda a few years ago. The fear of terrorist attacks becomes larger to learn that He has a stranglehold on the military camp and has experience as a strategist, althought he doesn’t possess the charisma and popularity of Bin Laden. Adel seems to take seriously their role in the recent attacks in Pakistan, due to the death of former leader.

Australia has even more worries because the stepmother of the interim chief is Australian. Rabiah Hutchinson married Mustafa Hamid stepfather of the new head, in the last decade when they met in Afghanistan. Security agency of Australia had been chasing Mrs. Hutchinson before she fled to Afghanistan because the links with the terrorist group.

Australia isn’t the only country with fears, in countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines continue to appear even hundreds of radicals. One of the most threatening radical base is in Indonesia. It is suspected that they have been financed by Al Qaeda for the attacks in Bali nightclub killing over 200 people in 2002 and two suicide bombs in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta in 2009.

The last summit of the G-20 was in Korea. The meet was on last May 19th with countries such as China, Japan, Indonesia and Australia who are in the Pacific zone, along with other large economies like the U.S., canada, france, Spain, Germany, etc. One of the topics in the summit was the issue of terrorism and the situation of the Osama’s death. The meeting lasted two days, but they still are unresolved what actions thay have to take in front to this intangible threat.

Otro hombre muere ahogado al sur de Sidney

Una persona muerta y tres heridos de gravedad por las condiciones meteorológicas que acechan Australia, rescatados los sobrevivientes por los servicios de socorrismo en una playa al sur del país.

Las cuatro personas, formaban parte de un grupo de natación en la playa de Stanwell Park Beach, al sur de Sídney.

Los servicios de rescate de la playa SP llegaron al lugar en helicóptero en donde procedió al rescate de los cuatro individuos que se encontraban atrapados en las aguas. Los servicios y los socorristas trabajaron conjuntamente en el rescate y reanimación de los pacientes, pero uno de los cuatro jóvenes no pudo sobrevivir.

Leer más de esta entrada

Australia sumergida

Se ha ordenado la evacuación de algunas ciudades de Victoria porque se espera la mayor inundación en 200 años. La población de las ciudades australianas situadas al sureste del país, ha dejado sus casas ante el peligro del desbordamiento de un río. Hasta 1.500 viviendas en Kerang, en el norte del estado de Victoria, podrían verse afectadas si el río Lodden se desborda.

“Deben dejar sus casas de inmediato”, alertó el Servicio de Emergencia del Estado (SES) vía mensaje de texto. Fue enviado este pasado miércoles a los 2.500 residentes de la cuidad, a las 5:20 de la mañana (hora local). Las zonas del sureste y centro-sur de Queensland, como Gladstone, en donde se encuentra uno de los principales muelles de exportación de carbón del estado, quedaron marcadas por la destrucción y la muerte.

Leer más de esta entrada

Se denuncia la caza “científica” de ballenas

Grupos ecologistas denuncian que la caza de ballenas por parte de los japoneses tiene fines comerciales y no científicos tal y como estos afirmaban.

Estados Unidos actuó como mediador en la reunión anual de la Comisión Ballenera Internacional ante la negociación llevada a cabo entre Australia y Japón.

Australia negoció apoyar la caza comercial de ballenas en aguas japonesas si Japón accedía a reducir la caza de estos mamíferos en aguas australianas de la Antártida, y este a su vez reclamó la cooperación de Australia para actuar contra las actividades de los grupos ecologistas como “Sea Shepherd”, que lleva dos años intentando detener a los pesqueros nipones.

Leer más de esta entrada