Mar 17, 2018

Remember Daniel Ellsberg, author of The Pentagon PapersPeter Hannan, Environment Editor at the Sydney Morning Herald has written a review of his new book The DoomsDay Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. Ellsberg recounts the occasions during the Cold War when the world came close to a catastrophic all-out nuclear war, triggered not by politicians but by technical errors and misinterpreted signals. Attention has been focussed on North Korea, but there are at least seven other states with nuclear weapon capability – France, India, Pakistan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Writing in the New Yorker, John Cassidy compares Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminium with the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Act, a misguided protectionist policy that contributed to rounds of retaliatory actions by other nations, aggravating the damage of Depression, and in turn contributing to the tensions that led to the 1937-1945 War.

“The term ‘sovereign risk’ is the kind of econobabble bullshit that is destroying public debate” writes Richard Denniss in the Fairfax media. In trying to stymie economic reform, powerful interest groups put up the bogey of  ‘sovereign risk’ as an argument to preserve their privilege.

Trump’s new Secretary of State has received most money from Koch Industries – RenewEconomy

Trump and Abe: Golf and Gold – New York Review of Books.

Mismanagement and corruption have left the Darling River dry – the Age.

How Barnaby Joyce came undone – the ABC. He’s been described by colleagues as a loner, a genius, authentic, and a narcissist. Here’s the story of how the former Nationals leader ended up on the backbench.

The guns crisis in the United States – New York Review of Books

Saturday Extra, March 17th Geraldine Doogue is looking at how the issue of human rights can be discussed diplomatically in international dialogues such as this weekend’s ASEAN meeting with Elaine Pearson from Human Rights Watch; Rajesh Walton, AUSTRAC’s Director of Innovation discusses the challenges facing the region in combatting cyber-attacks, terrorism financing and money laundering; Vladimir Putin and his foreign policies and interactions and how will he handle this area in his new term with Ivan Nechepurenko, a Moscow based writer and journalist and Leonid Petrov from the ANU; R& D in Australia, budgets and attitudes with Bill Ferris, Chair of Innovation and Science Australia and Alan Finkel, Australia’s chief scientist and continuing with our March series, historian Billy Griffiths on his book about this ancient land or ours, Deep Time Dreaming.



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