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Lots of Rain in Dapto on Saturday, 18th November 2017

18 Nov

Peter went outside to save some of our strawberries:



While I ‘m at it I’ll insert some more of our recent pictures. First here are some pictures that Peter took the other day when we went for a little walk in the morning:


Peter took this picture of a Jacaranda Tree in Figtree, a Wollongong Suburb.

Only last Wednesday Peter went to see his ophthalmologist in Figtree. His eye pressure turned out to have somewhat deteriorated, and she prescribed him some stronger eye-drops.

I had some Chai and a slice of lovely warm banana bread at the Gossips Coffee Lounge while I was waiting for Peter to return from his appointment. The Gossips Coffee Lounge is in the Figtree Grove Shopping Centre. They have a huge Fruit and Vegetable Shop where a lot of produce is offered at reasonable prices. Before we drove home, we used the opportunity to buy some fresh things.

Last Tuesday Peter saw hiss oncologist in Wollongong. Peter is doing well, but for a little infection that was detected in his urine she prescribed for him precautionary some antibiotics. But he was allowed to continue with his BCG treatment in Wollongong Hospital. It was his fourth treatment in this series. Everything went well. So this was then last Thursday. He parked in the Hospital Carpark in a special area that is set aside for cancer patients. The parking is free for him.

At the hospital  I stayed with Peter only for a couple of hours. Then I caught a bus in front of the hospital. This bus took me to Ribbonwood Centre in Dapto where I always have on a Thursday at 12,30 with about a dozen other seniors a ‘slow movement exercise class’. After the class I waited for Peter at the centre. He arrived after his treatment a bit after 2 o’clock to pick me up. It is always good to be back home after an outing like this.

Last Thursday I had taken a sandwich with me for lunch. I always take some water with me too. The other Thursday I bought at the Hospital Coffee Shop some lunch: A Gourmet Salad! It was very much to my liking:



Peter had to be at the Cancer Care Centre of Wollongong Hospital by 9,30 in the morning. We arrived early and I had a cup of tea in the waiting room. Peter was of course not allowed to have any drink before his treatment.

The other day a nice tea lady gave me a delicious biscuit. I took a picture of the wrapping to remember the brand name for I want to try and buy it somewhere. It tasted so very nice.!


From 2 pm to nearly 5 pm I played Scrabble and Rummy with my lady friends. (Same as always on a Friday.)  I was back home by 5 pm. Then from around 6 pm to 11 pm we had constant thunder and lightning. Sometimes it came very, very close! Peter and I gave TV a miss last night and just spent some time with playing Rummy with our Rummy tiles. Peter won this time. This made him very happy!

It rained through the night and most of the morning. Very good rain for the garden!



My November Diary continued

17 Nov



Above are some previous pictures of the jacaranda tree in out neighbourhood. It is the only one close by and has not got very many blooms left. However I noticed this week wonderfully flowering trees in different towns of the Illawarra. At this time of the year they all seem to be still in full bloom and look very lovely. Unfortunately I never had my camera with me whenever I came near some of these beautiful flowering jacarandas.

The other day I went with Peter for a little walk near our house. It was early morning.  Looking up into the sky we could still see the moon. Peter tried to take a picture of it, alas with not much success.



DSCN3482 (2)DSCN3482



Peter took this picture of me. It was a beautiful morning for a bit of a walk.

Explosive footage from inside Manus

16 Nov
Posted by GetUp!

For years, successive Australian Governments have desperately tried to hide the truth about Manus. But no more.

Smuggled in under cover of darkness, we just recorded explosive new footage from inside the Manus detention centre.

Six hundred men are sick, starving and thirsty. Just to sleep, they drag their mattresses out of crammed steel sheds to escape the searing heat. They’re living without power, water or medicine. And for all that, they fear even more where they could be taken next.

The GetUp Human Rights Directors, Matthew Phillips and Shen Narayanasamy, are human rights experts with refugee crisis experience in places like South Sudan — what they witnessed was the worst they’d ever seen.

Our Government’s fences and walls, their gag rules and media blackouts, have all been designed to hide these appalling conditions from the Australian people — to prevent the tide of public outrage that could sweep down this abusive regime.

This heart-wrenching footage has the power to shame our parliament into action — The Daily Telegraph and other News Corp tabloids are running these images as front page stories calling the conditions horrific.

Now we need to turn that outrage into action.

People are about to become seriously ill or die, and only the Australian Government has the capacity to evacuate the camp.

New Zealand, the US or Canada and other safe countries may be willing to resettle these men, but we can’t wait months for a resettlement process – evacuation must happen now.

Can you help shame our Parliament into immediate action by signing this people-powered petition demanding they evacuate Manus immediately?


My Diary nearly halfway through November 2017

14 Nov


I just published the above post and talked to Peter about it. He says I should say in my own words what I feel about it. It is good advice for I have some rather passionate feelings about it,especially since Peter pointed out to me how the ADANI company is presumably involved in all these dealings. How so?

As far as I know, quite a significant number of Indian power stations are still operated with coal. When I looked under “coal” in THE HINDU, I noticed this article from November 01, 2017:

I understand that the Indian Government wants to see to it that a sufficient power supply is guaranteed.

I have not found out yet, whether at present Australia does export coal to India. But I found in THE HINDU a recent article that Australia wants to export ADANI coal to China:

I found the following article from June 2016:

“Adani may abandon Australian coal mine project
PTI MELBOURNE, JUNE 05, 2016 12:56 IST
In this June 23, 2015 photo, Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani speaks with Australia’s Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb at the Australia India CEO Forum in New Delhi.
Gautam Adani tells “The Australian” that the project was yet to receive the green light after six years of environmental assessments and court battles.

Bogged by a six-year delay, Adani may pull out from the proposed $21.5 billion rail and mine project in Australia amid a series of legal challenges from environmental groups against the Indian energy giant’s plans to build one of the world’s largest coal mines.

Stating that he was “disappointed”, the company’s founder and chairman Gautam Adani told The Australian newspaper that the “pit to plug” project was yet to receive the green light after six years of environmental assessments and court battles.

“You can’t continue just holding. I have been really disappointed that things have got too delayed,” Mr. Adani said.

Mr. Adani said he hoped the court challenges to Australia’s largest proposed coalmine would be finalised in early 2017.

However, with one court case yet to be heard in the Federal Court, and at least two groups threatening High Court action, Mr. Adani warned he could not wait indefinitely.

Mr. Adani said that he was already scouting alternatives to feed his power stations in India.

Confirming he had met Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull in December 2015 to seek to deliver greater certainty on such projects, Mr. Adani said, “We were suggesting how to bring in the certainty of the timing.

“We were asking how we get certainty of the time schedules… that is the most important for us in committing all of our resources.”

“It’s just covering up the real fact that what is damaging the reef is an increase in the temperature of the seas through climate change,” he said.

Another new Federal Court challenge to the mining lease for Carmichael, issued by the Palaszczuk Labour government, will be heard this year.

Mr. Adani said he originally believed the approvals process would take two to three years and that he has already spent $3 billion buying the tenements and the Abbot Point port lease.

The company is still exploring the financing issue of the project.

Mr. Adani said if there were no more unexpected delays, he had confidence that the project would get financing and “still be competitive” against other alternative sources of coal in India and Indonesia.

Adani Australia chief executive Jeyakumar Janakaraj said the co-ordinated campaign by anti-coal activists to block the mine had damaged Australia’s international reputation.

He said the business community in India had expressed concern about future investment in Australia. “I think it has already turned off a lot of switches. I am not saying it is going to be permanent, but there has been damage.”

Mr. Turnbull’s office did not comment on Saturday about Mr. Adani’s call for greater certainty to the approvals process. But the government has argued that all commonwealth approvals are in place and there are no remaining federal obstacles to the project proceeding.

Adani’s coal mines plan in Australia has been hampered time and again. A federal court in August 2015 had revoked the original approval due to environmental concerns.

In October 2015, the project got a new lease of life after the Australian government gave its re-approval.

Australia’s Queensland State government in April 2016 gave Adani permission to mine coal reserves estimated at 11 billion tonnes and to build roads, workshops, power lines and pipelines associated with the mine.

Environmentalists are fighting the approvals, saying the project will jeopardise the State’s future and destroy national treasures like the Great Barrier Reef.


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File picture shows Gautam Adani, Chairman and Founder, Adani Group with Australia’s Investment Minster Andrew Robb during the India-Australia CEOs Forum Meeting, in New Delhi recently. Photo: V. Sudershan
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File picture shows Gautam Adani, Chairman and Founder, Adani Group with Australia’s Investment Minster Andrew Robb during the India-Australia CEOs Forum Meeting, in New Delhi recently. Photo: V. Sudershan
Australian court revokes environmental nod for Adani’s $ 16-bn coal mine project

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Burning for over 100 years, Jharkhand’s underground fire affects 5 lakh (500000) people

14 Nov

Jharia coal field has been burning underground for over a hundred years, as residents living across 250 sqkm sit on a ticking time bomb. .  .  .”


Yesterday we saw in a program of the “Deutsche Welle” this story which I copied and published in my blog page:

The question is: Why are these fires not being extinguished?

India creates a record, allows Jharia coalmine fires to burn for a century

Jayanta Gupta| TNN | Feb 10, 2016, 12.18 PM IST

I found the following in the above article. I ask myself, why are governments so weak and are unable or unwilling to do what is necessary for the people and for the environment?

So here I copy the last part of the above article by Iavant Gupta:

“It was recognized by BCCL that some of the fires not only cause severe environmental threat through emission of steam, smoke and noxious gases but also pose a serious health hazard to inhabitants.

 “They bring forth irreplaceable damage to land and scarce water resources. And above all, it endangers surface structures and human lives with the potentiality to cause disaster. The existing fire scenario in Jharia Coalfield continue to be alarming and there is urgent need to address the problem in right perspective,” was admitted by BCCL in 2014, when it invited Expressions of Interest from companies across the world.
Only two companies participated in the process. One of them was from India and the other from Germany. On April 24, 2015, a meeting of the technical committee of BCCL was held in Dhanbad, Jharkhand. The participating companies were asked to clarify queries and give presentations regarding their experience and expertise in the presence of 39 experts from BCCL. The only participant was the company from Germany that has been quenching coal mine fires since 1880.
 “We have quenched coal mine fires in Germany and also in China. In India, we have tracked fires in the Nimcha and Samdih mines of West Bengal under Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL). With our expertise, these fires were extinguished. During the presentation, we made it clear that resources can be mined progressively even as the fires are extinguished. No relocation of the population will be required either. Our company would only be providing the technical support.

All other work would be carried out by Indians. It has been over nine months now but we have received no communication from BCCL. Finally, we wrote to the Prime Minister and were directed by his office to take the matter up with the coal ministry. On communicating with the coal ministry, we were asked to get in touch with Coal India Ltd and BCCL. This makes no sense. They were the ones who have remained silent after the 2014 meeting. We are running around in circles here. Now we are hearing convoluted statements that there is no technology in the world to deal with such fires. This is incorrect. The truth is that there seems to be a lack of will in tackling the fires, We could have been told earlier and would not have wasted our efforts here” said a member of the DMT Group of Germany that had participated in the EoI.”


The hellish coal fields of Jharia

13 Nov

Savitri Mahto’s morning begins with her shift at the coal mine. There the 17-year-old toils away for hours every day in order to support her family. The toxic fumes are destroying Savitri’s health, but she cannot afford to see a doctor.

Jharia in the Indian state of Jharkhand is home to around 600,000 people. It’s in the middle of the country’s largest coal field. Jharia, named after the city and region of the same name, also has a devastating number of coal seam fires – locally and globally one of the biggest causes of environmental pollution. Coal fires pump enormous quantities of carbon dioxide into the air. Savitri Mahto toils away every day in this toxic atmosphere before going to school. DW reporter Sonia Phalnikar has the story. The Hellish Coal Fields of Jharia A Report by Sonia Phalnikar



Joint Statement by the President of the United States and the President of the Russian Federation

13 Nov


Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
November 11, 2017

President Trump and President Putin today, meeting on the margins of the APEC conference in Da Nang, Vietnam, confirmed their determination to defeat ISIS in Syria. They expressed their satisfaction with successful U.S.-Russia enhanced de-confliction efforts between U.S. and Russian military professionals that have dramatically accelerated ISIS’s losses on the battlefield in recent months.

The Presidents agreed to maintain open military channels of communication between military professionals to help ensure the safety of both U.S. and Russian forces and de-confliction of partnered forces engaged in the fight against ISIS. They confirmed these efforts will be continued until the final defeat of ISIS is achieved.

The Presidents agreed that there is no military solution to the conflict in Syria. They confirmed that the ultimate…

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