20 years for someone putting drugs in her luggage.

the judges said that based on the evidence and testimony from witnesses, the charges against Corby of importing illegal drugs into Indonesia were convincingly proven.

They said they had discounted much of the evidence, including that from Australian criminologist Paul Wilson, Corby’s own family and evidence that Australian baggage handlers may have planted the drugs.

Arseholes.

Library of stories on the verdict, and the case in general HERE.

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The Face of War – David Leeson – The Digital Journalist

A Conversation with David Leeson Gallery – The Digital Journalist:

Sadly, this photo has never been published until now. Zahraa Ali, 4, lies in the burn unit at Al Karrch Hospital in central Baghdad. She and a three-month-old sister are the only members of her family who survived an aerial bombing which struck the family as they were driving. Her mother, father, 24-year-old brother and nine-year-old sister all died. The nine-year-old died at the hospital. Before she died she told doctors, ‘We were driving peacefully and then all I remember is fire.’

My newspaper published some very hard photos. But this one seems to be too much for almost anyone. I’m pleased she is being seen now. This is the face of war.”

Read a very interesting interview with David, a war photo journalist in “The Digital Journalist:” David Leeson Has Seen Hell

Mr. Galloway Goes to Washington

Brit poli went to Washington this week and ripped into the US congress, in particular Senator Norm Coleman who accused Scottish politician and anti-war campaigner George Galloway of involvement in the oil for food scandal. Sounds like it was a laugh. Really shocked the yanks as congress is treated very seriously and dignified by the Americans. They shouldn’t have picked on this Scottish firebrand.

Mr. Galloway Goes to Washington on Yahoo! News

John Nichols
Tue May 17,11:48 PM ET

Norm Coleman is a fool.

Not an ideological nutcase, not a partisan whack, not even a useful idiot — just a plain old-fashioned, drool-on-his-tie fool.

The Minnesota Republican senator who took Paul Wellstone’s seat after one of the most disreputable campaigns in American political history, has been trying over the past year to make a name for himself by blowing the controversy surrounding the United Nations Oil-for-Food program into something more than the chronicle of corporate abuse that it is. The U.S. media, which thrives on official sound bites, was more than willing to lend credence to Coleman’s overblown claims about wrongdoing in the UN program set up in 1996 to permit Iraq — which was then under strict international sanctions — to buy food, medicine and humanitarian supplies with the revenues from regulated oil sales. Even as Coleman’s claims became more and more fantastic, he faced few challenges from the cowering Democrats in Congress.

But when Coleman started slandering foreign politicians he exposed the dramatic vulnerability of his claims that the supposed scandal was much more than a blatant example of U.S. corporations taking advantage of their powerful connections in Washington to undermine official U.S. policy, harm the national interest and profit off the suffering of the poor.

The Senate investigation that Coleman sought regarding the Oil-for-Food program has already revealed that the Bush administration failed to crack down on widespread abuse of the oil-for-food program by U.S. energy companies, and that U.S. oil purchases accounted for the majority of the kickbacks paid to Saddam Hussein’s regime in return for sales of inexpensive oil. Indeed, the report concludes, “The United States (government) was not only aware of Iraqi oil sales which violated UN sanctions and provided the bulk of the illicit money Saddam Hussein obtained from circumventing UN sanctions. On occasion, the United States actually facilitated the illicit oil sales.”

Instead of forcing the president, his aides and the executives of Bayoil, the Texas oil company that the report shows paid “at least $37 million in illegal surcharges to the Hussein regime” — money that helped the Iraqi dictator solidify his grip on power — Coleman started to make wild charges about European officials such as British parliamentarian George Galloway.

The problem for Coleman is that Coleman is not a standard-issue American politician — the kind who has nothing to say and says it poorly. He is a veteran of the rough-and-tumble politics of Glasgow and the equally rough-and-tumble politics of the British parliament. In other words, Galloway comes from places where voters and politicians do not suffer fools. And anyone who has ever followed British politics knows that George Galloway has beaten every political challenge he has faced — even those posed by British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Galloway called Coleman’s bluff and flew to Washington for a remarkable appearance before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. “I am determined now that I am here, to be not the accused but the accuser,” Coleman announced as he stood outside the Capitol Tuesday. “These people are involved in the mother of all smoke screens.”

The member of parliament tore through Coleman’s flimsy “evidence,” issuing an unequivocal denial that began, “Mr Chairman, I am not now, nor have I ever been an oil trader and neither has anyone been on my behalf. I have never seen a barrel of oil, owned one, bought one, sold one, and neither has anybody on my behalf.” He accused Coleman of being “remarkably cavalier with any idea of justice” and pointed out error after error in the report the senator had brandished against him.

For instance, Galloway noted that he had met Saddam twice — not the “many” times alleged by the report. “As a matter of fact I have met Saddam Hussein exactly the same number of times that (Secretary of Defense) Donald Rumsfeld met him,” said the recently reelected British parliamentarian. “The difference is that Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns.”

For good measure, Galloway used the forum Coleman had foolishly provided to deliver a blistering condemnation of Coleman’s war.

“Now, Senator, I gave my heart and soul to oppose the policy that you promoted. I gave my political life’s blood to try to stop the mass killing of Iraqis by the sanctions on Iraq which killed one million Iraqis, most of them children, most of them died before they even knew that they were Iraqis, but they died for no other reason other than that they were Iraqis with the misfortune to born at that time. I gave my heart and soul to stop you committing the disaster that you did commit in invading Iraq. And I told the world that your case for the war was a pack of lies,” Galloway informed the fool on Capitol Hill.

“I told the world that Iraq, contrary to your claims did not have weapons of mass destruction. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to al-Qaeda. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to the atrocity on 9/11 2001. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that the Iraqi people would resist a British and American invasion of their country and that the fall of Baghdad would not be the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning.

“Senator, in everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong and 100,000 people paid with their lives; 1600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on a pack of lies; 15,000 of them wounded, many of them disabled forever on a pack of lies.

“If the world had listened to (UN Secretary General) Kofi Annan, whose dismissal you demanded, if the world had listened to (French) President Chirac, who you want to paint as some kind of corrupt traitor, if the world had listened to me and the anti-war movement in Britain, we would not be in the disaster that we are in today. Senator, this is the mother of all smokescreens. You are trying to divert attention from the crimes that you supported, from the theft of billions of dollars of Iraq’s wealth,” argued Galloway.

Then the Brit turned the tables on Coleman and steered the committee’s attention toward “the real Oil-for-Food scandal.”

“Have a look at the 14 months you were in charge of Baghdad, the first 14 months when $8.8 billion of Iraq’s wealth went missing on your watch. Have a look at Halliburton and other American corporations that stole not only Iraq’s money, but the money of the American taxpayer,” Galloway said.

“Have a look at the oil that you didn’t even meter, that you were shipping out of the country and selling, the proceeds of which went who knows where. Have a look at the $800 million you gave to American military commanders to hand out around the country without even counting it or weighing it. Have a look at the real scandal breaking in the newspapers today, revealed in the earlier testimony in this committee. That the biggest sanctions busters were not me or Russian politicians or French politicians. The real sanctions busters were your own companies with the connivance of your own Government.”

See also
http://politics.guardian.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12956,1486231,00.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4553601.stm

Eating whales is good says Japan

“There is no such thing as an Australian whale.” says Japanese Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission, Jiro Kodera.

Mr Kodera claimed that Japanese people eating whales was on a par with Australians tucking into kangaroo.

“Here we have a difference of opinion,” he said.

“Culture is in a sense important. But despite the fact that our culture allows us to eat the whale meat, we can refrain from eating the whale meat if it means the whale is going to be extinguished.”

“Japan would never enter Australian waters [the 200-mile exclusive economic zone] to take whale without IWC [permission],” Mr Kodera said.

“If there are enough whales in the ocean to allow the cull, then they should be allowed to do so,” he said. “The important thing is we are in the same boat, in terms of conserving the whale.”

Japan yesterday predicted the May 27 meeting of the International Whaling Commission could be “a turning point”.

Joji Morishita, a senior member of Japan’s IWC delegation, said the difference between pro and anti-whaling blocs was now just one or two votes.

“If countries like Australia don’t want to eat whales, fine. But they have no right to impose their value judgments on us,” he said.

Or should that be Dirty Japs and Dirty Phil?

In relation to the last post, it looks like Japan are being even more crooked than usual:

“JAPAN has been buying votes from small island nations to force the International Whaling Commission to lift the ban on hunting humpbacks.

For the first time since a moratorium was placed on whaling in 1986, the anti-whaling nations such as Australia look likely to lose their slim majority on the International Whaling Commission.

This would mean that Japan could get the go ahead for its humpback whaling proposal in a matter of weeks.

Under the charade of scientific research, the slaughter would result in humpback meat being put on the menu in restaurants. Whale meat is sold in Japanese markets and has even been re-introduced into schools.

Japan has embarked on an aggressive buying spree of Pacific Island nations and new members to the IWC to secure support so it can resume hunting humpback whales.

It is believed that generous aid programs have been offered in return for support on the 55-member country commission, which will vote on Japan’s proposal for hunting humpbacks in a meeting in June.

Japan successfully used a similar tactic in 2001 to oppose the Australian Government’s plan to create a South Pacific whale sanctuary when it got a bloc of Caribbean island states led by Antigua and Barbuda to side with it in exchange for development aid.”

Full story at The Daily Telegraph | Harpooning votes: the hunt’s back on:

Dirty Phil helping Japs to kill Aussie whales

Japan to kill Aussie whales:

“A decision will be made in a matter of weeks at a meeting of the International Whaling Commission, which could see Japanese whaling ships enter Australian waters off Antarctica to hunt humpbacks.

At the same time, the annual migration of humpback and southern right whales will begin appearing off Sydney’s beaches.

Last night Federal Environment Minister Ian Campbell said the idea of hunting humpback whales was ‘grotesque” and any move to bring it back could cause an international outrage.

The still secret proposal by Japan will be the first time since 1966, when the harpooning of humpback whales was first banned, that a commercial take – under the guise of scientific research – could be allowed.

The State Government yesterday called for an urgent intervention by Canberra, claiming the humpback population which migrate along the NSW coastline annually will be hunted.

It is also concerned the multi million dollar whale watching industry could be threatened.

Humpback whales have only just recovered from a critically low number of 100 in 1962 to back around 4000.

However, Federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock is trying to block a Federal Court action launched by the Humane Society Internationale to stop a Japanese whaling company entering the Australian Whale Sanctuary in Antarctica set up in 2000 and protected under Australian law.

It fears that any attempts to stop Japan entering Australian waters for whaling could spark a diplomatic row because Japan does not recognise Australia’s claim to this territory.

A submission by Mr Ruddock reveals that the Government will refuse to board or prevent Japanese whaling vessels operating in Australian waters.

Japan, which still takes 400 minke whales a year, has threatened to withdraw from the IWC if it does not get its way in broadening its annual harvest.

However, it may not have to. It has managed to lobby enough of the 55 member countries to undermine – for the first time in 20 years – the majority that anti-whaling nations have had on the commission.

This means it may get approval for its plans without needing to withdraw.

Japan is attempting to use a loophole in the 1986 moratorium on all whaling – which already allows it to take of 400 minke whales for research – to resume the taking of humpbacks and sperm whales.”