SIDNEY SIEGE OVER

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15.12.14 – Sputnik

The police operation to rescue hostages from the Lindt cafe in Sydney is over with three people confirmed dead and four injured.

MOSCOW, December 15 (Sputnik) — Australian police say the hostage rescue operation has ended with three people dead.

Gunfire erupted 2 a.m. local time (3:00 p.m. GMT on Monday) at the Lindt cafe in Sydney where a gunman was holding an unknown number of hostages.

Earlier several people had managed to escape the cafe.

A swarm of heavily armed police stormed the downtown cafe in an attempt to free the hostages.

Medics moved in and took away several injured people on stretchers, but it was not clear whether they included the gunman who had been named by a police source only minutes earlier as Man Haron Monis.

The NSW police confirmed via Twitter “the operation is over” but would not release any further details.

After the police moved in, one weeping woman was helped out by the officers and at least two other people were wheeled out on stretchers, Associated Press reports.

Police later officially confirmed the identity of the assailant as Man Haron Monis, a 49-year old Iranian refugee and self-styled Sheikh Haron, who is facing dozens of charges of sexual assault, Retures reported citing a police source.

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Police identify Sydney assailant as Iranian refugee facing sexual assault charges. http://reut.rs/1zohrLQ 

Monis, also known as Manteghi Boroujerdi and Mohammad Hassan Manteghi, was found guilty of sending extremely offensive and threatening letters to relatives of Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan and victims of terrorism, according to media reports.

Australia’s New South Wales Police Force have confirmed the death of three people including the gunman, who died in hopital. The other two casualties include a 34-year old man and a 38-year old woman, who were fatally wounded while held hostage in the cafe and pronounced dead after being taken to a hospital, police stated at a press conference.

Four hostages were injured during a police recue operation, according to the police statement;  two women in non-life threatening condition, a woman shot in the shoulder, and a male police officer suffering from face wounds.

The police made a call to storm the Lindt cafe after hearing shots inside, Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said, adding that a critical incident investigation has been launched.

“We need to actually find out what’s happened here and what’s happened inside that cafe. It’s not time to speculate or to develop theories. We are going to work through facts and we will advise you as soon as we can,” the Guardian cited him as saying.

In repsonse to a question regarding whether the hostages were shot by the gunman or by the police, Scipione did not provide a clear answer.

“Again, as a result of an exchange of gunfire inside those premises, police moved in. At this stage as I’ve indicated we have a number of people that are injured and certainly we’re working through that as part of the critical incident,” he said.

The police estimate that there were 17 hostages held at the cafe during the seige.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott released a statement following the Sydney siege, Mirror reported. “The National Security Committee of Cabinet will meet shortly to review the situation,” Prime Minister was quoted as saying.

Political Scientist Says Western Sanctions Will Not Change Russian Mentality

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Russians, like most great powers, fight tooth and nail to protect what they see as their vital national interests, the expert stated.

MOSCOW, September 2 (RIA Novosti) – Sanctions imposed on Russia by Western countries over the crisis in Ukraine are unlikely to change the mentality of Russia, Tom Switzer, research associate at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, told Radio VR.

“Ukraine is a vital interest of Russia. The Russians, like most great powers, fight tooth and nail to protect what they see as their vital national interests and will doggedly guide what they perceive as their sphere of influence,” the editor of Spectator Australia and American Review explained.

Moreover, “there is fundamental misreading in Washington and Brussels about Putin’s motivation,” the expert stressed. They blame Russia for the escalating conflict in Ukraine and seem to ignore the fact that Russia’s conduct has largely been defensive. “Given the main narrative in the West, it’s not surprising that countries feel that they can punish and isolate Moscow in order to make Mr. Putin change.”

Switzer recalled Henry Kissinger’s opinion piece in the Washington Post reaffirming that Ukraine should indeed become a buffer state between the East and the West. The expert also said that Ukrainian President Poroshenko has to respect the rights of ethnic minorities that populate eastern regions of the country. Switzer is convinced that will put an end to the crisis. However, “that requires a complete transformation in the thinking in Washington and Brussels.” Regrettably, at this stage that seems unlikely.

Switzer also pointed out that sanctions are counterproductive – the point Moscow has repeatedly made -and primarily affect Western Europe. “The heavy lifting will mainly come from Western Europe if the sanctions are to have any impact.” As a result, some Western European countries “are splintering away from both Washington and Brussels largely because [they] are so dependent on Russia” and likely to pay a higher price than Moscow.

The Eurozone economy has been sluggish since the financial crisis of 2008. Already there is evidence that some countries in the Eurozone are heading back into recession. “Why on Earth would those countries want to punish Russia at a time when they will have to pay a higher price?” the expert asks. That’s why in the coming months some Western European countries may well soften their position” regarding Russia’s role in the Ukrainian crisis.

Australia’s Abbot Announces New Sanctions Against Russia

Commenting on the latest round of sanctions announced by Australia on Monday, Switzer said that “when all things are considered, the renewed round of sanctions will have little consequence because the two-way trade between the countries is only about $200 million.” Indeed, Russia is not a major market for Australia or for that matter for the US.

Switzer is convinced that “tit-for-tat sanctions ultimately don’t satisfy anyone.” However, there have been several calls for the government of Tony Abbott to refuse to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to the upcoming G20 summit in Brisbane. This is in retaliation not so much for the situation in Ukraine but for the Malaysia Airlines tragedy. Although there is no evidence to support that, some hold Moscow responsible for the MH17 plane crash that left 298 people including 38 Australians killed. “This is an issue that resonates with a lot of Australians.”

Switzer stated that “the point of the institutions like the G20 is not that they are a reward for making other states conform to Western expectations. They provide the means to deal with common challenges.” Therefore, banning Putin from participating in the G20 summit in November will be a mistake, the expert asserted. “There is more to be lost than gained by banning him.”

Breaking off ties with Moscow would be unwise for Australia and the West in general. But isolating Russia is a dead-end strategy, Switzer warned. “Isolating Russia will drive Moscow closer to China and that’s not in the interest of Australia or our great and powerful friend, the United States,” the expert said.

It’s all About Russia and Putin Again…

by Nick Hubble / on July 22, 2014 at 4:51 pm

in Global Economy

flag_660Today, it’s all about Russia and Putin again. The Western press is full of condemnation and puffery from pollies around the Western world. Which seems a little odd to us. Who created the mess in Ukraine again? Was it Russia that supported the take down of the government in the Ukraine? Not to mention Syria, Iraq, Libya…

For some reason, it remains a surprise that supporting instability in a country leads to instability. But to blame that instability on someone else is a matter, of course, for the US and those pandering to its will. One journalist in today’s Australian Financial Review even called the mess in Ukraine ‘Russia’s quasi-war’.

Let’s rewind history a little and begin the story a few months before today’s papers do.

The EU and US went ahead and backed a revolution in Ukraine. Well, actually the Americans largely decided to go it alone after one of their diplomats was caught saying ‘F*** the EU’. Nationalists took over in Kiev. Russia fought back by supporting its own nationalists in the eastern part of the country.

Since then, the US and EU supported government has killed 250 people in the breakaway region, including 20 in a bombing raid the day after the crash of the Malaysia Airlines flight, according to an article by former US politician Ron Paul. Most were civilians, but the US and EU support the effort. A US government spokesperson even called the attacks ‘measured’!

The evidence for Russia’s involvement in the attack comes from YouTube videos. Well, the politicians just skip past mentioning any evidence. But that’s the only supporting information anyone can find to back up the accusations of Barack Obama and his cronies. YouTube videos of rocket launchers, black boxes found by separatists and the appalling state of the crash site.

As with the chemical weapons attacks in Syria and the WMDs in Iraq, one by one, this evidence is discredited. Of course, relying on YouTube, which Edward Snowden showed is probably manipulated by Western governments, is pathetic in the first place.

So far the video of the rocket launcher supposedly used to shoot down the flight turned out to be outdated…and it was in the wrong place too. Not to mention that the Ukraine owns their own set of the same missiles, which were being moved around according to Russian intelligence images, despite the fact that the Russian separatists have no aircraft to shoot down. The black boxes that Russian separatists are supposedly delivering to Moscow, according to Western media, are also being delivered to Malaysia at the same time according to the Malaysian PM.

And now Russia is coming up with counter evidence. It calls into question a bundle of assumptions made by the West and adds a decent list of alternative possibilities for what happened. It’s probably just as dodgy, but at least Russia isn’t relying on social media to make its case.

Oh wait, it is. A mystery Spanish air traffic controller working in Ukraine supposedly tweeted that Ukrainian jets shot down the flight after the Ukrainian military took over the air traffic control system. Pepe Escobar has an amusing summary here.

Having been in Spain recently, it wouldn’t surprise us if the Spanish air traffic controller was entirely to blame for the whole thing. He seems to have disappeared since.

Only the Chinese seem to be keeping a clear head. Their media are pointing out what Agatha Christie’s Poirot and Ms Marple would. In the end, Russia and its supporters have nothing to gain from attacking civilians. Russia and Putin were winning the propaganda war over Ukraine, Syria, Iraq and America’s other messes until recently. Many political commentators were lambasted in the Western media for pointing this out before the plane was shot down.

The Ukrainians and the West have a lot to gain from an attack. Well, the politicians do. Nobody outside the political sphere does.

But still, it’s all Putin’s fault if you ask the Western politicians and their media. So he needs to secure the area for an investigation. So says a new UN Security Council resolution put forward by Australia.

–Now, first of all, asking Russia to secure the evidence of its own alleged crime seems rather stupid. But more importantly, the crash site is in, you guessed it, Ukraine. As Russia’s Ambassador calls it, the ‘sovereign territory of another state’.

If we were Putin, we’d agree to the UN resolution to secure the crash site in the Ukraine… by suggesting a few Russian tank divisions could do so quite nicely.

Anyway, your media and politicians are feeding you utter tripe. And, just like in Syria, it will be discredited behind closed doors and then disappear.

But why? Why is the world condemning Putin without evidence? Surely premature antagonism will prevent the truth.

What’s really at work here is a trend we predicted more than three and a half years ago in our speech at the After America conference. Politicians don’t actually care about the shot down plane. Well, they care about the opportunity to promote their career far more. They want to be on page one no matter what the topic.

So today’s message is simple: Get used to it. Geopolitical tensions will overrule economics in coming years. As China’s star journalists explained in a Global Times article, ‘Those unwilling to work with Western interests will often find themselves in a tough position.’

This leaves Australia with large economic imbalances, such as a housing bubble, but on the right side of geopolitics. We’re an economic province of China and a geopolitical province of America. Only one editor in the office has come out with a definitive call on how the two clashing forces will play out for Australia.

Of course, the typical Aussie punter couldn’t care less about geopolitics. Overseas, politics can be a matter of life, death and prosperity. Here in Australia very different matters are at hand in the political sphere. For example, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman decided to reverse a key policy after losing a by-election. He will no longer legislate for imprisoned bikies to wear pink.

That policy might just work on those Russian separatists though.

Nick Hubble
for The Daily Reckoning Australia

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Tame Impala, Arctic Monkeys, Mumford & Sons, Phoenix,Vampire Weekend, Portishead, Rolling Stones, More Set for Glastonbury
Bryce Dessner of The National & The Long Count – Interview
Bands That Changed The Sound That Made Them Famous
Pearl Jam’s Concert @ Madison Square Garden, NYC
Atoms For Peace – AMOK + Radiohead documentary 10/10
Should 66-Year-Old Cher Be Wearing an Outfit Like This?
Is Fashion Racist?
Heart: Fanatic – Album Review
The Untold Story Of A Great American Band: Pearl Jam Twenty (12 videos)
Unruly Hearts YouTube Channel: Gojira’s L’Enfant Sauvage Video
After the Show: The Many Faces of the Creative Performer – The Creativity Post
An Ex-Byrd’s Album Is Given New Flight – The NYT
Matt Taibbi Quits Rolling Stone to Join Omidyar’s First Look Media
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St. Vincent On Her New Album – Interview + Videos
Damon Albarn Solo LP ‘Everyday Robots’ Inspired by Elephants, Eno.
Rap Lyrics on Trial
Get Ready Music Lovers: Upcoming Music Releases 2014
The iconic L.A. ‘X’ punk band – The Unheard Music: Silver Edition [short film]
Nicolas Jaar Boiler Room NYC DJ Set at Clown & Sunset x RBMA Takeover
DIKERS – Casi nunca llueve (Almost never rains) – Video
Avalve Rec Announce Shadowboxer’s Debut Album Deaf Dumb Blind & Mute – Released Today!
NEW VIDEO: Green Day – “X-Kid” – Album: ¡TRE!
The Strange Death of Gram Parsons: 1973
‘Take Me Home’ – Tom Waits’ song from soundtrack for Francis Ford Coppola film ‘One From The Heart’
How rock concerts work – Tech Hive
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GOJIRA – TOUR DATES [OCT-DEC 2012]
California Punk Trio Green Day to create mobile game franchise
Primal Scream play hit-packed set at Brixton Academy show
Gojira’s Joe Duplantier habla sobre la destrucción del hábitat marino
New Releases From Danish Indie Platform Avalve Rec
Watch: Daft Punk and Ron Burgundy tour Amsterdam, eat cupcakes
Thom Yorke’s Atoms for Peace shakes up Brooklyn’s Barclays Center
Interview with The Killers + New Album & Runaways Video
Polock | Fireworks | A ‘BlackXS Live Sound’ Take Away Show
Awesome Bells Music Video by Stuart Sinclair
L’Osservatore Romano Releases “Decent Best Rock Albums List”
Bertsolari Txapelketa Nagusia 2013 – Zorionak guztioi!
UK Based Independent Label Considering New House Music Artists
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The Best 90 Minutes of My Life – Thurston Moore
Tame Impala & Opening Act The Growl @ NYC Terminal 5 – Galleries
Awesome Video: Turn up the volume, turn off the lights and make full screen.
Beautiful Minds – Schizotypy, Flow, and the Artist’s Experience
Film Comment’s Essential Cinema: “Gravity”
Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard Talks Solo Album ‘Moonlander’ and His ‘Gospel of Not Knowing’
Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge Interviewed in Australia and Paris
Fred Mills: Remembering Joe Strummer (interview)
Characteristics of Highly Creative People
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Foo Fighters Are Cooking Their Eighth Album
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A Reminder: New York band Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ gig tonight @ Barclays Center + Karen O. interview
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Jack White – Live from Austin City Limits Music Festival 2012
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Gojira “L’Enfant Sauvage” Song Review — 5 out of 5 stars
The Strokes: Their music is beautiful anger
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Band to Watch: Alpine

Alpine band

Alpine band

A is for Alpine, six friends from Melbourne who make bold, twinkling, sophisticated pop music. Their debut almost-self-titled record is a collection of vibrant songs that shimmer and shine with colourful harmonies and inventive melodies. Featuring the dual vocals of front women Phoebe Baker and Lou James, Christian O’Brien on guitar, Ryan Lamb on bass, Tim Royall on keys and Phil Tucker on drums, Alpine traverse diverse themes, ideas and sounds on the album, always assured, but never quite taking themselves too seriously.

No strangers to the benefits of shared ideas and the collaborative process, Alpine’s own methods for song writing reflect the strong and respectful working relationship they had with Hume. They take their time to write, with input coming from each band member as the process moves in a circular motion.

Since forming, Alpine have toured with the likes of Kimbra, Sia, Cloud Control, The Jezabels, The Naked And Famous and Matt Corby to name but a few, and have graced festivals across the country including Splendour In The Grass, Southbound and Falls Festival. They were invited to perform at SXSW in Austin, Texas in 2012 and surely must be able to claim some kind of record for playing 10 shows in a mere three days.

2013 ARIA Awards: Tame Impala, Flume win big

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Tame Impala scored Album Of The Year with Lonerism!

BREAKTHROUGH electronic artist Flume and rock travellers Tame Impala have confirmed their arrival as homegrown superstars while Guy Sebastian finally broke his drought at the 2013 ARIA Awards.

Tame Impala, who closed the night with their swirling psychedelia and topped international critics lists last year, scored the prestigious Album Of The Year with Lonerism, as well as Best Group and Best Rock Album.

Perth rock outfit Tame Impala have been announced as the winner of the 2013 ARIA Award in the category of Best Album for their 2012 sophomore effort, Lonerism, which netted the band some of their biggest hits in the forms of singles Elephant and Feels Like We Only Go Backwards.

The band were up against some of the biggest names in Australian music, including Birds Of Tokyo, who were nominated for their album March Fires, Guy Sebastian for Armageddon, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds for Push The Sky Away, and favourite to win, Flume for his self-titled debut.

The band also took home the awards for Best Rock Album and Best Group, and were nominated in the category of Best Australian Live Act for their ‘Lonerism Tour’, losing out to Guy Sebastian. The band were also one of the scheduled performers for the ceremony.

You can see a full list of winners for the ARIA Awards 2013 below, amongst the other winners for the night included Flume, and the first winner of Australian Idol – Guy Sebastian, who both also won several awards.

The band made a memorable speech thanking their crew for “doing things while we sitting around eating soft cheese.”

Harley Streten wins bing at 2013 ARIA Awards

Flume is the stage name of 22 yr-old Harley Edward Streten, an Australian electronic music instrumentalist, producer and DJ. His debut self-titled album was released on 9 November 2012, which peaked at No. 1 on the ARIA Albums Chart and No. 13 in New Zealand.

There was a lot of love in the room for Flume, who added Best Male, Dance Album and Breakthrough Artist to his Producer Of The Year award.

Flume, aka Harley Streten, joked he won Best Male and said “the coolest thing is I’m a producer, I don’t even sing.” Streten, 22, had even researched that no non-singer had ever won the award.

THE WINNERS

FLUME

‘FLUME’

Best Male

Best Dance Album

Breakthrough Artist – Release

Producer Of The Year

TAME IMPALA

‘LONERISM’

Album Of The Year

Best Group

Best Rock Album

GUY SEBASTIAN

‘ARMAGEDDON’

Best Pop Release

Best Australian Live Act

NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS

‘ PUSH THE SKY AWAY’

Best Independent Release

Best Adult Contemporary Album

JESSICA MAUBOY

‘TO THE END OF THE EARTH’

Best Female Artist

MATT CORBY

‘RESOLUTION’

ARIA Song Of The Year

RUSSELL MORRIS

‘SHARKMOUTH’

Best Blues and Roots Album

JUSTINE CLARKE

‘A LITTLE DAY OUT WITH JUSTINE CLARKE’

Best Children’s Album

TOM & ALEX

‘THE BITS WE’RE LEAST ASHAMED OF’

(triple j)

Best Comedy Release

KASEY CHAMBERS AND SHANE NICHOLSON

‘WRECK & RUIN’

Best Country Album

KARNIVOOL

‘ASYMMETRY’

Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album

ILLY

‘BRING IT BACK’

Best Urban Album

SAMANTHA JADE

‘FIRESTARTER’

Best Video

Directed by Christopher Frey

ONE DIRECTION

‘TAKE ME HOME’

Best International Artist

AIR SUPPLY

ARIA Hall Of Fame

MICHAEL GUDINSKI

ARIA Industry Icon Award

The National – Upcoming Shows + First Video from latest album

The first video from the album Trouble Will Find Me, out now:

Video credits:
Director: Sophia Peer
Producer: Michelle Cameron
Production Coordinator: Naomi Wells
Starring: Rivers Curry
Director of Photography: Zoe White
Editor: Sophia Peer
Set Builders: Bennett Wilson and his team at Windmill Studios
Colorist: Michael Dwass
Color Grading Producer: Chavvah Stuart
Color Facilities Provided by: CVLT Production
Assistant Camera: David Sosnow
DIT: Rocio Ruiz
Gaffer: Freddy Cintron
Key Grip: Gautam Kadian
Hair & Makeup: Celina Santory
Wardrobe: Sandy Sui
Choreographer: Erica Magrey
Art Director: Annie Sicherman
Sound Effects: Christopher Keyes
Production Assistants: Dan Coch, Giovanno Montoya
Special Thanks: Winston Case, Marshall Curry, Liz W. Martin, Gus Hauser, Gabe Spierer, Dawn Barger, Andy Bodor, Allen Cordell, John Morena, Stephen Venezia, Glasslands, Jenny McManus

THE NATIONAL UPCOMING SHOWS

11 December 2013
Mexico City, Mexico
Tickets  /
13 December 2013
Mexico City, Mexico
SOLD OUT   /
02 January 2014
Aspen, CO, USA
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03 January 2014
Aspen, CO, USA
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31 January 2014
Honolulu, HI, USA
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04 February 2014
Auckland, New Zealand
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06 February 2014
Adelaide, Australia
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07 February 2014
Sydney, Australia
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08 February 2014
Sydney, Australia
SOLD OUT   /
09 February 2014
Melbourne, Australia
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11 February 2014
Brisbane, Australia
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14 February 2014
Perth, Australia
SOLD OUT   /
16 February 2014
Tokyo, Japan
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18 February 2014
Taipei, Taiwan
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20 February 2014
Manila, Philippines
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22 February 2014
Hostess Club Weekender
Tickets go on sale December 13th at 10am local time
Singapore, Singapore
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13 June 2014
Aarhus, Denmark
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12 July 2014
British Summer Time Hyde Park
w/ Neil Young Tickets go on sale December 13th at 9am local time
London, United Kingdom
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