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Miranda Devine on the importance of free speech
Columnist for The Daily Telegraph, Miranda Devine, talks about why freedom of speech is important to Institute of Public Affairs members in Melbourne on Thur…

By: Institute of Public Affairs

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Miranda Devine on the importance of free speech – Video

Mar 132013

Media companies have condemned the government’s proposed reforms on the sector as an attack on free speech.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Source: The Daily Telegraph

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy channels Joseph Stalin. Source: The Daily Telegraph

A GOVERNMENT-appointed enforcer would oversee press standards and have the power to apply sanctions, which critics said would stifle news reporting, under proposed draconian media changes.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy yesterday announced a new proposed statutory position of Public Interest Media Advocate, among a raft of changes the government will attempt to ram through parliament by the end of next week.

The advocate would oversee the Press Council, the main vehicle for complaints about the print media, and could take back exemptions from privacy laws afforded to journalists to report valid news stories if the advocate deemed a breach of standards.

Power to determine if media mergers could proceed would be given to the government-appointed advocate, while the proposed scrapping of a key regional reach rule, which would assist Channel 9 in a proposed $4 billion merger with Southern Cross, was also announced yesterday.

Critics lined up to attack the proposed changes, which hang on whether the government can secure the Greens and the votes of four independents.

Former press council head David Flint compared the government’s appointed advocate to Soviet regimes which he said “chose names which were completely contrary to what was the truth”.

“It is dangerous … it will give the government a power it should never have, the power to determine the content of the press. The press is there as a check and balance against the government,” he said.

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Freedom of the press attacked

Published: March. 9, 2013 at 1:25 AM

STANLEY, Falkland Islands, March 9 (UPI) — The coming referendum in the Falkland Islands has lured the international news media and official election observers to the remote British overseas territory.

About 50 journalists were expected to arrive by plane from Chile Saturday while a British contingent was already in the Falklands, The Daily Telegraph reported. That includes Russian and Japanese TV crews.

Two days of voting begins Sunday. The 1,700 eligible voters will answer one question: “Do you wish the Falklands Islands to retain their current political status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom?”

The islanders are expected to vote yes by an overwhelming margin.

The plane carrying the journalists will also bring observers from Mexico, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. Juan Manuel Henao, deputy head of the Referendum International Observation Mission, said including observers from South America was a “conscious decision.”

“The Falkland Islands are a Latin American issue and it is important for these observers to vouch for the process and draw their conclusion about what has gone on here,” he said.

The Falklands group includes hundreds of islands, most of them uninhabited. About three-quarters of the population of less than 3,000 people live in the capital, Stanley.

Argentina and Britain have been disputing sovereignty for decades. The two countries fought a war over the Falklands, known to Argentina as the Malvinas, in 1982 and more recently President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has tried taking the issue to the United Nations, arguing that the British seized the islands illegally in 1833.

John Fowler, who works for the Penguin News, the Falklands newspaper, said islanders hope the referendum will show the issue is not just a two-way fight between Britain and Argentina.

Falkland islanders prepare for referendum

Former Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman took a critical look at his own party, asserting that it is devoid of a soul. In a lengthy interview with the UKs Daily Telegraph, Huntsman elaborated on what he viewed as missteps, and offered some advice going forward.

Its troubling that the party currently doesnt have a leader or a defined agenda. But the good news, he said, is that will come in time through the reformation process. The GOP must return the system to the people, Huntsman argued.

In particular, he noted that the party would do well to embrace a strong dose of libertarianism. On social issues specifically, Huntsman said state governments should absolutely be able to implement gay marriage.

Recalling the Republican primary race, during which he was a candidate, Huntsman said the process didnt favor long-term competitive candidates, who would have fared better against Democrats.

The party right now is a holding company thats devoid of a soul and it will be filled up with ideas over time and leaders will take their proper place, he said. We cant be known as a party thats fear-based and doesnt believe in math.

In the end it will come down to a party that believes in opportunity for all our people, economic competitiveness and a strong dose of libertarianism, he said.

Speaking of the future, Huntsman refused to name names when it came to which rising Republican stars he supports. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, and Mitt Romneys former running mate Congressman Paul Ryan all deserve high marks individually, he said but the GOP must go through a very competitive process in terms of ideas.

Audio of the interview here.

Jon Huntsman: GOP Is ‘Devoid Of A Soul,’ Needs ‘Strong Dose Of Libertarianism’

David Cameron is facing fresh demands to reject statutory regulation of newspapers as he prepares to take delivery of the Leveson report.

More than 80 politicians from all three main parties have signed a letter warning the prime minister that accepting such a recommendation would undermine free speech.

The intervention on Tuesday evening highlights the deep divisions on the key issue, after a group of 42 Tory MPs urged tough new laws to keep newspapers in check.

Mr Cameron will receive his copy of Lord Justice Leveson’s conclusions at Wednesday lunchtime, a day ahead of the official publication, the Press Association reported.

The premier, Labour leader Ed Miliband and Liberal Democrat deputy prime minister Nick Clegg have all indicated they will support the judge’s recommendations as long as they are “proportionate”.

But, with his own MPs and Cabinet badly split, there is speculation that Mr Cameron could offer Parliament a free vote.

Transparency? What Transparency? Murky Meetings And Questions Ahead Of Leveson

The letter to the Daily Telegraph and Guardian was organised by Labour former home secretary David Blunkett and Tory backbencher Conor Burns.

Conservatives make up the overwhelming majority of the signatories, including ‘big beasts’ Liam Fox and David Davis, as well as media select committee chairman John Whittingdale and 1922 committee chairman Graham Brady.

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'As Parliamentarians, We Believe In Free Speech'

Nov 072012

Is Europe…boring?
Dr Albena Azmanova, social philosopher, political commentator and activist; author, The Scandal of Reason: a critical theory of political judgement Timothy Garton Ash, professor of European studies, University of Oxford; commentator; director, Free Speech Debate Dr Ivan Krastev, chairman, Centre for Liberal Strategies, Sofia, Bulgaria; founding member, European Council on Foreign Relations Bruno Waterfield, Brussels correspondent, Daily Telegraph; co-author, No Means No Chair: Angus Kennedy, head of external relations, Institute of Ideas; chair, IoI Economy Forum; convenor, The Academy The anthem of the European Union, Beethoven's 'Ode to Joy', captures an historic European ideal that is hard to associate with the grey-suited bureaucrats of the contemporary EU. 'Ode to Joy' speaks of the excitement and sense of change — sometimes experienced with optimism, sometimes foreboding — that swept Europe after the French Revolution. Through the long nineteenth century until 1914, new nations like Germany, Italy and Greece came into existence, empires spread, Freud, Marx, Darwin and Nietzsche thought, Romantic poets dreamed. The masses entered history, fought for a better world, died in the trenches of the Great War. New waves of revolution swept crumbling empires aside, Bauhaus blossomed, Sartre and Arendt grappled with Heidegger, Einstein lectured in working men's clubs, Joyce was in Paris, Orwell and Hemingway in Spain. Ideas mattered and history was upon us as the hammer and …From:battleofideasViews:3 0ratingsTime:15:01More inNews Politics

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Is Europe…boring? – Video

Two sharks were spotted near Perth beaches today. Picture: Supplied Source: The Daily Telegraph

A TAGGED great white shark has been detected off the coast near Ocean Reef.

The shark was detected by receivers three times between 2.50pm and 3.15pm this afternoon.

The beach remains open.

Meanwhile, the Fisheries Department reported the sighting of a three-metre shark about 50m off the coast of Secret Harbour this afternoon.

It is not known if it was a great white.

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Two sharks spotted near Perth beaches

News that Barclays (LSE: BARC.L – news) has fallen foul of the authorities for highly abusive tax avoidance schemes will not come as a surprise to those who follow Britains banks.

Barclays has long been perceived as the most aggressive player in the tax structuring business, devising products that arbitraged the rules to reduce clients bills. At its peak, Barclays even turned a part of its operation structured capital markets (SCM) over to tax avoidance.

SCM, under Roger Jenkins, became a huge profit engine. In one year, it was reported to have made 1bn for the bank and, shortly afterwards, Jenkins shot to notoriety as Barclays best-paid employee pocketing a reputed 40m a year. As SCM sat within the investment bank, Barclays Capital, the details were never properly disclosed, but never officially rebutted either.

Though legal, the behaviour raised ethical questions that came into particular focus after the financial crisis as, although Barclays never received direct taxpayer support, it relied at times on state funding schemes to keep afloat.

The backlash began in 2009, when Barclays hit the headlines after a whistleblower leaked documents to the Liberal Democrats which purported to show that it was using a network of subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg to minimise clients taxes.

Barclays had the story injuncted on the grounds that the material was commercially sensitive, but its reputation took a hit and questions began to be asked about how much tax the bank itself was avoiding.

Early last year, it was forced into an embarrassing admission. In front of the Treasury Select Committee, chief executive Bob Diamond, who had nurtured SCM when he was head of BarCap, was forced to reveal that the bank operated nearly 300 subsidiaries in tax havens and had paid just 113m of corporation tax in the UK in 2009 a year in which it handed out 3.4bn in bonuses.

Since then, the questions have not gone away. Politicians have queried whether a bizarre deal struck in 2009 to move billions of toxic assets off its balance sheet was not just a tax ruse. The Protium arrangement raised such serious concerns in the US that the authorities would not let it drop until the deal was unwound at great expense to shareholders last year.

Analysis of Barclays accounts by The Daily Telegraph has raised further questions. According to the 2010 results, the bank generated 591m in tax losses carried forward despite making 6bn of profits before tax. The tax gain suggested the bank crystallised 2bn of losses that year, which the annual report said mainly relates to entities in the USA, the UK and Spain.

However, Barclays would not disclose where the 2bn of losses were incurred once again muddying the waters. The bank now has assets that it can offset against future tax payments that are almost as large as Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY.L – news) . While both the state-backed banks made huge visible losses, Barclays has reported profits every year for more than a decade.

Barclays has previous when it comes to tax avoidance

Andrew writes for Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs Australia’s most-read political blog, is on MTR 1377 mornings. He’ll host Channel 10′s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am.

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Too much free speech for Facebook and dictators it knows | Herald …

The UK is home to some of the world’s best unspoilt beaches , according to the Daily Telegraph.In a list of spectacular coastal locations around the world.

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See some unspoilt beaches on a UK holiday

“Ineffective in the fight on terror – but a devastating blow to freedom ” – that’s the pithy and accurate summary of control orders by Mary Riddell over in the Daily Telegraph. And the newspaper in which the piece appeared is are …

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Control orders: ineffective but a blow to freedom

Bruno Waterfield has been Brussels correspondent for The Daily Telegraph since December 2006. He has been reporting on the EU and European affairs since 2000, first from Westminster and then from Brussels since January 2003.

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The EU versus Irish freedom « Europe not EU

Step-By-Step and Easy-To-Follow guides on wealth creation, asset protection, investing in gold, offshore banking , and international living.

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Expat Wealth Publications $- Wealth Creation and Offshore …

Tough fighting on Australian beaches · Andrew Clennell in the Daily Telegraph (Australia): Homeowners who sandbag coastal areas to protect their properties during storms could face fines up to $247000 under tough new coastal protection …

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Carbon-Based: Tough fighting on Australian beaches

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