Quote Of The Year

Quote Of The Year - Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Macro View – Health, Financial And Political News Relevant To E-Health And The Health Sector In General.

December 14, 2017 Edition.
This week I think the biggest news is around the Chinese reaction to the Australian Government’s most recent legislation of political interference in Australia by the Chinese Government and diaspora. To me this has the potential to cause our relationship with China considerable harm and needs to be very carefully watched and managed. I note Mr Turnbull is being pretty firm in response!
The impact of a damaged relationship could be economically and strategically disastrous!
In Trump land there seems to be relative calm though I note Joe Hockey (Our US Ambassador) is very worried about how long the situation in North Korea can go unresolved. He seems to fear Trump may get to hot headed for all our good.
The loss of Trump's endorsed paedophile to a more law abiding prosecutor in an Alabama Senatorial election has put the cat among the pigeons!  The Senate is now 49 (D)  / 51 (R) which is barely a majority!
The UK seems to have done some initial deal with the EU on Brexit’s complex issues with some matters pushed off into the future as usual. Brexit still seems like some form of slow suicide to me - and is looking messier by the day with Ms May losing votes in Parliament.
Joyfully it seems the war against IS has been won – worth a celebratory drink I reckon!
Elsewhere in OZ we are all glad the SSM issue is resolved and very annoyed the citizenship saga is not! Hopeless pollies. 
Here are a few other things I have noticed.

Major Issues.

Message is clear: Australian voters want their sovereignty back

Peter Hartcher
Published: December 3 2017 - 11:45PM
The message is loud and clear: The Australian people want their sovereignty back.
There are two pieces of fresh evidence. First, it's the message from today's Fairafx-Ipsos poll.
Asked whether the party in government should change leaders between elections or whether they should be allowed to serve full term, an overwhelming 71 per cent said they should go full term.

Young and working hard to get out of long-term unemployment

Anna Patty
Published: December 4 2017 - 10:43AM
Close to one in five unemployed young people have been out of work for at least a year despite trying just as hard as older jobseekers to find employment, a report has found.
The report by anti-poverty organisation The Brotherhood of St Laurence, to be released on Monday, shows there is little difference between young people and older jobseekers when it comes to their job search activities.
For example, 73.2 per cent of 15-24-year-old jobseekers wrote, phoned or applied in person to an employer for work, compared to 72.1 per cent of unemployed people aged 25 and over and 72.4 per cent of people of all ages.

Bitcoin: Will we ever actually bank with it?

Jessica Irvine
Published: December 4 2017 - 12:15AM
The product of an anonymous and secretive mastermind.
Used by criminals trading online through a "Silk Road" of illicit drugs and weapons – the founder of which website is now serving life in jail.
The bankruptcy of one of its biggest exchanges and the mysterious disappearance of millions.

It's time we thought a bit harder about why we hate banks

Conal Hanna
Published: December 4 2017 - 12:16PM
Why do you think people hate on banks so much?
My hypothesis is the reasons go a lot deeper than just life insurance and financial planning scandals.
People need banks. In an individual sense we need them to keep our money safe and loan us money for big purchases. And in a societal sense, as the GFC proved, we need a strong and stable banking system.
  • Dec 4 2017 at 2:32 PM

BIS warns high and rising household debt a risk to economic performance

by Duncan Hughes
High and rising mortgage debt is exposing the nation to increased economic and financial risks, according to the authoritative Bank for International Settlements, a bank for central bankers that is owned by the world's most powerful central banks.
The BIS, in a review of global household debt and mortgage stress, has placed the nation's mortgage borrowers in the highest category for rising mortgage debt alongside Canada, Norway and Sweden.
"Ten years after breakdowns in the housing finance markets plunged the financial system into crisis, household debts are again rising," the report warns.

Half of Australians think life is better today compared to 50 years ago

Latika Bourke
Published: December 6 2017 - 3:59AM
London: Only half of Australians think that life in 2017 is better than it was in 1967 before the advent of the internet, mobile phones and globalisation of world economies, which has seen consumers exposed to more choice than ever before.
The finding comes from a global survey of 43,000 citizens of 38 countries including Australia, which found that those most positive about life today compared to half a century ago live on Australia's doorstep in the Asia Pacific. 
Sixty-eight per cent of South Koreans think life today is better, along with 69 per cent of Indians. But it was the Vietnamese who proved most positive, with 88 per cent preferring life today compared to 1967 which was a pivotal year in the Vietnam War. 

Why Australia can stay recession-free for longer: BIS Oxford Economics

Patrick Commins
Published: December 6 2017 - 7:16AM
Australia is likely to lag the current global economic uplift, but strong population growth and a fundamentally resilient economy should see the country outperform other developed economies over the longer term, BIS Oxford Economics head of Australian economics Sarah Hunter says.
The relative underperformance of the local economy has been highlighted in recent days by the crossing of US two-year bond yields above their Australian counterparts –something that hasn't happened in 20 years and which sparked worries that Australia risks being left behind in the changing global economic landscape.
"Relative to trend growth, the outlook here for the next couple of years is definitely less rosy than in the US, Europe and Japan - and generally the world," Ms Hunter said.

Corporate leaders finally get the message about regaining trust

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM December 6, 2017

John Durie

The lack of public trust in big business has hit the list of top 10 concerns for business leaders, according to the latest survey from KPMG.
Trust ranked sixth on the list of what is keeping leaders awake at night, behind digital and innovation, cost competitiveness, energy, regulation and government efficiencies.
The banks by now understand what happens to sectors that lose their licence to operate and will be subject to a royal commission next year as part of the reaction against big business.

If you're promised a tax cut this Christmas, read the fine print first

Peter Martin
Published: December 6 2017 - 7:30PM
So now they can afford a tax cut?
Just months ago, in the May budget, Scott Morrison and Malcolm Turnbull pushed tax rates up. That's right, up. They lifted the Medicare levy from 2 to 2.5 per cent, beginning in 2019. It'll net them $4 billion a year, money they said they needed to fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
And now they can afford a cut?

RBA finds 85 per cent of apartments and 93 per cent of homes beyond the reach of typical first time Sydney buyers

Matt Wade
Published: December 8 2017 - 6:15AM
A typical Sydney first homebuyer can afford just one in every 10 properties in the city and must move an average of 31 kilometres from the central business district to buy a flat and 56 kilometres from the CBD to buy a detached home, a Reserve Bank study has found.
A new housing accessibility index developed by the bank shows the purchasing capacity of the "median potential first homebuyer" in Sydney last year was $474,000.
That puts 85 per cent of apartments and 93 per cent of detached homes in the city beyond their reach following a five-year boom in Sydney property prices.

Life has been getting better in 2017

Matt Wade
Published: December 9 2017 - 12:15AM
Now for some good news: life has improved for Australians during 2017.
The Fairfax-Lateral Economics wellbeing index – which provides a broader measure of national welfare – shows the value of Australia's collective wellbeing in the year to September 30 was $28 billion higher than the previous year.
The wellbeing index adjusts gross domestic product to take account of knowhow, health, work life, social inequality and environmental degradation and puts a dollar figure on Australia's collective wellbeing. It provides a richer, deeper measure of national welfare than GDP, which is an economic indicator and simply doesn't measure some things that really matter.

New sabotage laws for cyber attacks on Australia's critical infrastructure

David Wroe
Published: December 8 2017 - 9:25AM
Foreign-backed saboteurs who plant sleeper bugs in critical infrastructure such as telecommunications, power and water that could be mobilised to wreak havoc in the event of a war with Australia will face up to 15 years' jail under the new foreign interference laws.
The new laws reflect the changing nature of war, in which the first shots of a major conflict are likely to come electronically and target critical infrastructure used by civilians. They will replace outdated sabotage laws that cover only attacks on defence facilities.
Sabotage laws will be modernised to cover all major critical infrastructure including utilities; key transport facilities such as ports; and healthcare infrastructure, including the Medicare computer system.

Australia needs protecting from its Parliament

Peter Hartcher
Published: December 9 2017 - 1:04AM
The outbreak of jubilant self-congratulation by the politicians on the floor of the House of Representatives on Thursday afternoon was a little overdone. Not because the legalisation of same sex marriage isn't worth celebrating. It is. It's an important act of equity and inclusion. It was overdone because the people applauding each other have so little reason to be so pleased with themselves. For three reasons.
On same-sex marriage they played too many pathetic parlour games for too long, as they do with almost everything. It was years overdue, overargued, overwrought and over budget.

National Budget Issues.

Turnbull pushes plan for income tax relief before election

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM December 4, 2017

David Uren

Emily Ritchie

Malcolm Turnbull believes there is enough fat in the budget to pay for personal income tax cuts before the next federal election but also hopes to have another go at getting tax cuts for large companies through the Senate.
The Prime Minister indicated there was no need to sacrifice company tax cuts to pay for personal tax cuts, saying he believed the government could do both.
“We do have the ability to do it,” he said, while emphasising the priority of getting the budget back to surplus in line with budget forecasts in 2020-21.

Sydney powers the nation, accounting for almost half of Australia's economic growth

Peter Martin
Published: December 4 2017 - 9:00PM
Sydney has become Australia's economic powerhouse, accounting for almost half of Australia's economic growth.
The extraordinary figure of 41.2 per cent is the highest since Victoria led the nation into recession in the early 1990s.
New calculations show that Sydney and Melbourne combined accounted for more than two-thirds of Australia's economic growth during 2016-17, a concentration rare on a global scale.

Ross Gittins: Government's social security cuts seem all toughness and no love

Ross Gittins
Published: December 6 2017 - 12:05AM
Remember the Turnbull government's plans to drug test people on the dole? While you and I are diverted by all the political game-playing in this week's last session of parliament for the year, the government is hoping to slip these and other mean-spirited cuts in social security through the Senate – probably after some deal with the Xenophon-less Xenophones.
You can blame it on my Salvo upbringing – whose influence on my values seems to get stronger the older I become – but I have nothing but contempt for comfortably-off people who try to solve their problems by picking on the down-and-out.
If Australians can't do better than that, what hope is there for us?

Behind the spin on growth, it’s more of the same

  • The Australian
  • 1:58PM December 6, 2017

Adam Creighton

Growth up, again! The government put a positive spin on the September national accounts today, but it doesn’t take economic genius to achieve “jobs and growth” — the Coalition’s central promise — in a country with practically the strongest population growth in the developed world.
Treasurer Scott Morrison trumpeted the September national accounts as a sign of “better days ahead”. It was really a case of more of the same, along with a few signs businesses are finally starting to invest a bit more.
The economy grew 0.6 per cent in the September quarter — probably enough to keep the budget on track to deliver a surplus in 2021 — but stripping out the extra people, it rose only 0.2 per cent.

Economy grows at slower-than-expected 0.6pc in September quarter

  • James Glynn
  • Dow Jones
6 December, 2017
Australia’s economy grew at a slower pace than expected in the third quarter, feeding into economists’ concerns about a lopsided expansion as businesses chalk up strong profits while consumers keep their wallets firmly closed.
The economy grew 0.6 per cent in the third quarter from the second quarter, and by 2.8 per cent when compared with a year ago, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said.
Economists had forecast growth of 0.7 per cent over the quarter and 3.0 per cent over the year.

Two national account nasties for Scott Morrison

When the national accounts were released on Wednesday, Treasurer Scott Morrison crowed that economic growth “accelerated … from 1.9 to 2.8 per cent through the year” putting us “back up towards the top of the pack for major advanced economies”.
So why doesn’t it feel like that at street level?
Partly it’s because much of that leap in growth comes from investment spending, particularly a curious 18 per cent quarterly jump in the value of non-residential construction such as factories, shopping centres or offices – that looks like a large statistical error, but we shall see.

Budget surplus to be brief, says Parliamentary Budget Office

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM December 8, 2017

David Uren

The promised return to budget surplus in 2020-21 will last for only a few years before weak revenue growth and rising spending start pushing the nation’s fin­ances back towards deficit unless productivity growth improves.
Parliamentary Budget Office analysis shows Treasury is relying on the economy recapturing some of the productivity gains from the reform era of the 1980s and 1990s for its medium-term projection that the budget will ­establish a permanent surplus of about 0.3 per cent of GDP from 2020-21.

Health Budget Issues.

Remove constraints on pharmacy competition: report

A new report from the Grattan Institute has called for the deregulation of pharmacy in the name of enhancing competition

Competition in Australia: Too Little of a Good Thing? looks at several market sectors including supermarkets, banks and pharmacy.
It concludes that the belief that powerful firms control Australia’s economy is a myth – and that the market shares of large firms in concentrated sectors are not a lot higher than in other countries.

Elective surgery surge for private patients in public hospitals

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM December 6, 2017

Sean Parnell

The number of privately insured patients having elective surgery in public hospitals is rising faster than the number of uninsured ­patients drawn from the same waiting lists, according to data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
While private patients have long been known to have a shorter wait for surgery in the public system, comparisons are often skewed by factors such as surgeons with separate surgery lists or differences between specialties.
In a report out today, the AIHW reveals the number of ­insurance-funded elective surgery cases admitted from public hospital waiting lists increased by 4 per cent per annum, on average, in the three years to 2015-16. By comparison, the growth rate for public patients admitted from the same waiting lists was only 2.3 per cent per annum.

Doctors push for info on life-saving drugs

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM December 7, 2017

Sarah-Jane Tasker

Australian patients are missing out on potentially life-saving drugs, or spending thousands of dollars to import them, because of an industry rule that forbids pharmaceutical companies promoting drugs available via special access schemes.
Cancer experts are lobbying the Therapeutic Goods Administration and Medicines Australia to create a central database about open access drug programs.
Carlo Montagner, chief executive of Specialised Therapeutics, said both doctors and patients were in the dark about what drugs were available as a result of an industry rule that such programs cannot be proactively communicated to physicians.

Baby Boomers riding off into the sunset

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM December 8, 2017

Sean Parnell

We hear a lot about the ageing population and rightly so because how we treat our elders says a lot about our society. From the challenges faced by older unemployed people to the impact of pushing back the retirement age, from how people can stay healthy and independent longer to how they can be afforded a dignified death, there are any number of questions that we will be asking ourselves for years to come.
Based on recent estimates, a man aged 65 can expect to live a little under 20 years more, while a woman the same age can expect to live a little over 20 years more, with some disability in the latter half of their futures. These are the baby boomers, the surfers on the silver tsunami that is changing Australia with every year.

International Issues.

Pentagon evaluating US west coast missile defence sites

Mike Stone
Published: December 3 2017 - 5:22PM
Simi Valley: US agency tasked with protecting the country from missile attacks is scouting the west coast for places to deploy new anti-missile defenses, two Congressmen said on Saturday, as North Korea's missile tests raise concerns about how the United States would defend itself from an attack.
West coast defenses would likely include Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-ballistic missiles, similar to those deployed in South Korea to protect against a potential North Korean attack.
The accelerated pace of North Korea's ballistic missile testing program in 2017 and the likelihood the North Korean military could hit the American mainland with a nuclear payload in the next few years has raised the pressure on the US government to build-up missile defenses.

'Icebreakers': How Beijing seeks to influence the West

Peter Hartcher
Published: December 5 2017 - 1:29AM
 The Prime Minister in Question Time on Monday attacked Opposition Leader Bill Shorten for visiting a Chinese billionaire's home to ask for donations. Malcolm Turnbull described the billionaire, who lives in Sydney's Mosman and has his office in North Sydney, as "an agent of a foreign country".
He is the same billionaire who was paying Labor Senator Sam Dastyari's bills. The same billionaire whom Dastyari later visited to warn him that ASIO had him under surveillance. The opposition's response was to hold up a 2016 newspaper photo of the Prime Minister greeting the same billionaire at a community street function.
"What a revelation!" Turnbull responded. "If you had had a wider-angle lens, you could have got the other 5,000 people that were there as well."

Trump's America: losing faith in the 'greatest country in the world'

Mark Thomas
Published: December 5 2017 - 12:15AM
The United States is a beacon. It would be tragic were it to fade.
Apart from his lamentable record owning, sleeping with and selling slaves, Thomas Jefferson usually stumbled his way to the right judgment on issues. Jefferson therefore knew what he was talking about when he mused that the United States would always be "puzzling and prospering beyond the imagination of mankind".
Puzzling and prospering the United States certainly still is, but the country through which I recently travelled is now also cynical and concerned, quizzical and querulous, brash but bluffed. In 44 years' visiting the US, I have never before known Americans to be embarrassed or abashed about their own nation or its leaders. Even during Watergate, when those trips began, American friends – cautiously, incrementally but proudly – rejoiced in the way their system worked, in discovering once more that theirs was "a government of laws and not of men".
Wherever I went recently in the US, locals were buying two books about themselves. One, Ron Chernow's Grant, amounts to bare-knuckle nostalgia. The biography is a plodding chronicle, overshadowed throughout by the 336,000 words in Grant's own stunning memoir. Nonetheless, Chernow is responding to Americans' appetite for stories about a genuine American hero, albeit a frequently drunk, brooding, scandal-ridden, brutal one.

Australia and Indonesia: are we there yet?

Jenny Stewart
Published: December 5 2017 - 12:15AM
The people of these neighbouring nations know surprisingly little about each other.
My neighbour on the plane was an Indonesian, going home to Jakarta, after having spent many years living and working in Australia. "What takes you back?" I enquired. Like most Australians, I tend to assume that anyone from a developing country who gets the chance would prefer to live and work in Australia.
"Job opportunities," he replied. Jakarta was growing fast, and with the skills he had (he was in IT), he thought he could do much better there than in Sydney.
He was no doubt right about that, although, when I got to Jakarta, I wondered how anyone could survive, let alone prosper, in a city with traffic congestion of mind-boggling dimensions and air pollution bad enough to make your eyes water.

The art of influence: how China's spies operate in Australia

Charles Wallace
Published: December 5 2017 - 12:15AM
As China's power grows, Chinese-Australians will come under greater pressure.
Intelligence activity by foreign nations is probably at an all-time high in Australia. Most of the time it is low-profile; the main effort is hacking public and private electronic systems, and phishing for data.
The collected data is used in various ways: to gain an understanding of national security systems and capabilities; to further the collector's strategic, political and economic interests; and to pressure people of interest.
The most active foreign intelligence actor in Australia is China. The espionage of China's Ministry of State Security is directed mainly at preserving and enhancing China's national security by collecting commercial, technological and military data, and identifying zero-day cyber-attack vulnerabilities.
  • Updated Dec 5 2017 at 10:20 AM

Donald Trump is undermining the bedrock of his own country's global power

by Gideon Rachman
All over the world there are countries that rely on the protection and leadership of the US. But dependable old Uncle Sam seems to have gone on a long vacation — and his malicious twin, Uncle Donald, has taken up residence in the White House. The result is confusion and soul-searching among some of America's closest allies.
Three countries — Britain, Australia and Japan — exemplify the problem. All three pride themselves on their close relationships with the US. All three are currently led by centre-right governments that would normally expect good relations with a Republican president.
And yet all three have seen their prime ministers humiliated or put in excruciatingly awkward situations by Mr Trump. The most recent example came with the president's retweeting of anti-Muslim videos from a far-right group in Britain. The result has been an unseemly, unprecedented and wholly unnecessary row between the US president and the British prime minister. Mr Trump's much-deferred "state visit" to Britain is now disappearing into the dim-and-distant future.

Donald Trump's Deutsche Bank records said to be subpoenaed by Robert Mueller

Steven Arons
Published: December 5 2017 - 11:20PM
Special prosecutor Robert Mueller zeroed in on President Donald Trump's business dealings with Deutsche Bank as his investigation into alleged Russian meddling in US elections widens.
Mueller has issued a subpoena to Germany's largest lender, forcing the bank to submit documents on its client relationship with Trump and his family, said a person briefed on the matter, who asked not to be identified because the action has not been announced.
"Deutsche Bank always cooperates with investigating authorities in all countries," the lender said in a statement to Bloomberg, declining to provide additional information.

Donald Trump recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital, in reversal of policy

Steve Holland
Published: December 7 2017 - 5:26AM
Washington: President Donald Trump reversed decades of US policy on Wednesday and recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, despite warnings from around the world that the gesture further drives a wedge between Israel and the Palestinians.
In a speech at the White House, Trump said his administration would also begin a process of moving the US embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which is expected to take years.
The status of Jerusalem - home to sites holy to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions - has been one of the thorniest issues in long-running Middle East peace efforts.

South Korean drone 'swarm' to face down Pyongyang

Nicola Smith and Neil Connor
Published: December 7 2017 - 8:00AM
Beijing: South Korea plans to create a combat unit of weaponised drones next year that would be capable of swarming the nuclear-armed North in the event of a conflict.
Army officials said the drones would primarily focus on reconnaissance operations against strategic North Korean military sites, amid growing tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programme.
But the unit could be mobilised to launch swarm attacks if necessary, with an army official claiming drone combat would be a "game-changer in warfare" on the Korean peninsula.

Theresa May terror plot foiled

Nick Miller, Agencies
Published: December 6 2017 - 5:08PM
London: The security services have foiled an alleged plot to assassinate the Prime Minister in Downing Street, it emerged on Tuesday night.
An Islamic extremist planned to use an improvised explosive device to blow up the gates of Downing Street before entering No 10 and making an attempt on Theresa May's life.
Two men have been charged with terror offences and are due to appear in Westminster magistrates' court.
  • Dec 7 2017 at 1:14 PM

Australia has dropped the ball in its relationship with China

When Australia and China celebrated 40 years of diplomatic relations in 2012, the gala dinner in Beijing was notable for Treasurer Wayne Swann's mispronunciation of the name of every Chinese dignitary in the room.
But while the Treasurer's lack of tonal precision caused some gnashing of teeth that night, it was also viewed somewhat endearingly as striving hard to engage and connect with China.
That perception was only strengthened by Treasury Secretary, Martin Parkinson, going aphonic from the sheer volume of talking and drinking required during the visit.

Trump’s Middle-Class Tax Pledges Go Unfulfilled in Senate Bill

By Toluse Olorunnipa
December 7, 2017, 8:00 PM GMT+11
  • An estimated $1 trillion revenue loss also counters promises
  • President says ‘this is going to cost me,’ but doesn’t say how
President Donald Trump and Republican congressional leaders are on the brink of achieving their top priority, centerpiece tax legislation, but only after a series of inaccurate claims and broken promises.
Lawmakers have made -- and then retracted -- pledges that their planned overhaul bill wouldn’t raise taxes on any middle-class families. Trump and his top aides have said the changes won’t cut taxes for the highest earners, statements that are demonstrably false.
And all of them argue that the proposed tax cuts, estimated to reduce federal revenue by more than $1.4 trillion, won’t increase federal deficits, an assertion that’s been contradicted by Congress’s official tax scorekeeper.

China blasts Malcolm Turnbull for 'poisoning relationship'

Kirsty Needham
Published: December 9 2017 - 3:03AM
Beijing: The Chinese government says it is "astonished" by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's statements on China, which risk "poisoning" the bilateral relationship.
On Friday, China's foreign ministry in Beijing issued the strongest rebuke yet of the "Australian leader's" suggestion that Chinese interference was the justification for tough new national security laws.
"This kind of statement caters to the irresponsible reports by the Australian media that are biased against China, absolutely clutching at straws, purely fabricated and poisoning the atmosphere of China Australian relations", said China's foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang.

Business as usual in Brexit divorce as can is kicked down the road for later

Nick Miller
Published: December 8 2017 - 11:40PM
London: After months wracking their brains over the headache of the Irish border after Brexit, the UK and EU have trumpeted their ingenious solution.
They'll sort it out later.
About 300 million people and 500 million tons of freight cross the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic every year.

US ambassador Joe Hockey warns North Korea crisis 'has to come to a head'

David Wroe
Published: December 8 2017 - 10:10PM
Australia's ambassador to Washington, Joe Hockey, has predicted the North Korea standoff "has to come to a head" – including possibly through military action – and firmly backed President Donald Trump's "unconventional" approach to the nuclear crisis.
Mr Hockey also said during a visit to Canberra on Friday that Australian cities were targets for the hermit regime of Kim Jong-un and needed to be protected.
"Rolling over and tickling the tummy of Kim Jong-un is not the answer. It's just not," he said. "We're a target. Our cities are targets. Our people are targets. This guy's unhinged and we've got to protect our people as the United States has to protect its people."

China is ‘unsettled’ by Australia criticism and showing ‘hostility’

CHINA has been cautious in criticising Australia in the past — but relations have soured and the superpower is now treating us with suspicion and “outright hostility”.
Ben Graham
news.com.au December 9, 201712:23pm
INTERNATIONAL relations between China and Australia have “soured” and the Asian powerhouse’s mistrust of us is growing — an expert in the field has claimed.
Nick Bisley, a Professor of International Relations at La Trobe University, says the country was once reserved in its criticism of Australia but a series of perceived provocations means the Chinese are no longer biting their tongues.
He says Malcolm Turnbull subtly linking China with “coercion, corruption and intimidation” at a Shangri-La Dialogue in June and comments from Defence Minister Marise Payne — stating the superpower was not playing by the international rules — have caused widespread mistrust.

Islamic State completely 'evicted' from Iraq, Iraqi PM says

Published: December 10 2017 - 2:33AM
Baghdad: Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Saturday that Iraqi forces had driven the last remnants of Islamic State from the country, three years after the militant group captured about a third of Iraq's territory.
The announcement comes two days after the Russian military announced the defeat of the militants in neighbouring Syria, where Moscow is backing Syrian government forces.
The Iraqi forces recaptured the last areas still under IS control along the border with Syria, state television quoted Abadi as telling an Arab media conference in Baghdad.

I study liars. I've never seen one like President Trump

Bella DePaulo
Published: December 9 2017 - 4:14AM
I spent the first two decades of my career as a social scientist studying liars and their lies. I thought I had developed a sense of what to expect from them. Then along came President Donald Trump. His lies are both more frequent and more malicious than ordinary people's.
In research beginning in the mid 1990s, when I was a professor at the University of Virginia, my colleagues and I asked 77 college students and 70 people from the nearby community to keep diaries of all the lies they told every day for a week. They handed them in to us with no names attached. We calculated participants' rates of lying and categorised each lie as either self-serving (told to advantage the liar or protect the liar from embarrassment, blame or other undesired outcomes) or kind (told to advantage, flatter or protect someone else).
I look forward to comments on all this!

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