Government releases emissions reduction plan

Written by admin on 30/07/2019 Categories: 佛山桑拿网

Environment Minister Greg Hunt says the Federal Government will easily meet its 2020 target on cutting carbon emissions despite concern over key elements of its policy.

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(Transcript from World News Radio)

The Government has unveiled its long-awaited white paper* detailing its planned Emissions Reductions Fund.

The fund is the key plank of the Direct Action policy intended to replace Labor’s carbon tax.

(Click on audio tab to listen to this item)

Mr Hunt says he is confident the new Senate will pass the legislation despite the fact Labor, the Greens and the Palmer United Party are threatening to block it.

The Federal Government’s Emission Reduction Fund would pay more than $2.5-billion four years, with $1.5-billion being spent in the first three years to polluters who reduce their emissions.

The clean-energy regulator will manage the fund through a reverse-auction process, with payments made only when companies can demonstrate a genuine emissions reduction.

Auctions for business to win the carbon-abatement funding will begin late this year and will be conducted every three months.

The Government says the fund will focus on practical action, like cleaning up waste coalmine gas, wasteland-fill gas and methane gas and focusing on energy efficiency on a significant scale.

The fund will also have what the Government calls a safeguard mechanism to discourage businesses from emitting higher than historical levels.

Mr Hunt says it will apply from July 2015 to approximately 130 firms or facilities that emit more than 100,000 tonnes a year.

But he says any penalties for companies that significantly increase their emissions are yet to be set.

Mr Hunt says the Government will push ahead on both fronts, releasing exposure legislation in the next few weeks and then introducing the laws to parliament in the Budget sittings.

“Our preference is to have legislation, and we will be releasing that. We have a mandate from the Australian people to repeal the carbon tax, and I just want to repeat we will not stop until that is done. And we have a mandate to implement the Emissions Reduction Fund. So we will be putting forward draft legislation in the coming weeks on the enabling and assisting features.”

But the legislation is facing a significant hurdle in the Senate, even after July the 1st, when the new Senate takes its place.

Labor and the Greens say they will not support it.

Opposition environment spokesman Mark Butler says the scheme shows the Government is not serious about tackling climate change.

“It’s extraordinary, really, that a policy that was released more than four years ago still has more questions associated with it than answers. This gives us no confidence that Direct Action is a policy that will use taxpayers’ money wisely or will deliver any substantial reduction in Australia’s carbon pollution.”

Greens deputy leader Adam Bandt says the policy is not going to work.

He says a major flaw with the Direct Action scheme is there is no legal obligation for Australia or Australia’s biggest polluters to actually cut their pollution.

And now, Federal MP Clive Palmer has strongly indicated his party will not support the Direct Action plan.

The Government says it will tie the Emissions Reduction Fund to next month’s Budget bills, but Mr Palmer says that is blackmail and he is prepared to vote against the fund.

“They are doing this, really, as a tactic, like little kids wanting to get their way. But if they’re going to adopt a tactic like that, we’ll have to reconsider our position when it comes to the mining tax and the carbon tax. If that’s the sort of way that they want to play out power politics in Australia, if they won’t let the Australian Senate have a fair and free vote on a matter like that, we’ll have to see what we do. Because, the 1.5 billion dollars in the first three years could be better spent supporting our pensioners, giving single mothers a fair go. It could be better spent supporting our veterans.”

This throws up a major hurdle for the Government, which will need Palmer United Party support in the new Senate to repeal the carbon tax and pass its alternative policy.

   

Two PUP senators will make their political debuts in the next Senate, with Dio Wang also expected to take a seat after the final vote count in West Australia’s by-election.

   

The Government will need the votes of at least six crossbench senators to get its legislation passed.

But Mr Hunt says he is not concerned about Mr Palmer’s threat because the pair are on good terms and have recently met.  

“I casually bumped into Mr Palmer, and we actually had a very, very friendly conversation, and what we agreed was to catch up in the coming weeks. And he was very keen to read the paper. I will let him speak for himself, but we historically have a very good relationship.”

Mr Hunt says he will be writing to all of the crossbenchers offering to meet and to discuss the carbon-tax repeal and the so-called white paper, or policy paper, with them.

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Warhol’s computer disks excite art world

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

PITTSBURGH, April 24 MCT – They aren’t exactly the Monuments Men, and it wasn’t art stolen by the Nazis.

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But the technological sleuthing it took a group of Carnegie Mellon University students and alumni to recover and preserve some digital images apparently created and stored by Andy Warhol on old-school computer floppy disk nearly 30 years ago is a tale worth telling.

The Andy Warhol Museum, CMU and the Carnegie Museum of Art – which all had a hand in the project – revealed the story on Thursday morning in three news releases that included some of the images.

Those three images of an altered Botticelli’s Venus, a Warhol self-portrait, and a Campbell’s soup can – of 28 that were found on the disks – were enough to excite Warhol fanatics over the possibility that something – anything – new by the king of pop art had been revealed.

They were created on Warhol’s Commodore Amiga computer in 1985 and included versions of some of his other most iconic images such as a banana and Marilyn Monroe, neither of which have been released yet, and may never be.

While the historic value will take more research and debate to be figured out, Matt Wrbican, the Andy Warhol Museum’s chief archivist, said the interest is understandable for one of the world’s most prolific and studied artists.

“It’s something that’s new,” he said, “and that doesn’t happen very often with Warhol.”

And, like the discovery of a missing, old world masterpiece, within hours of the Warhol discovery hitting the internet and going around the world, Wrbican heard from someone who does not believe Warhol created the images the computer sleuths found.

A man who worked with the now-defunct Amiga World magazine – which did a story in January 1986 about Warhol and his use of the Amiga computer – called after reading a story about the discovery and said he “doesn’t think Warhol actually made a lot of those images”, Wrbican said.

Wrbican said he would talk more with the person who called – he could not recall his name – and “we’ll discuss it with him”.

But if the images were not solely created by Warhol – who died in 1987 – on the computer, it would not necessarily affect their historic value in helping to further understand him.

“Like a lot of his work, it was a collaboration,” he said.

Still, he said, even if Warhol had created the images all by himself, he noted: “I want to emphasise we’re not calling these art work. It was just Warhol learning a new tool.”

The museum knew it had Warhol’s Amiga computer and floppy disks for some time, Wrbican said, and accessing it “was something I’d wanted to do for awhile, but there are only so many hours in a day”.

It took a modern day, multimedia artist – and self-professed Warhol fanatic – to get the ball rolling.

New York City-based artist Cory Arcangel was about to do a show at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh in August 2011 when his show curator, Tina Kukielski, asked him if he had any ideas for any Pittsburgh-focused work.

One of the ideas Arcangel proposed was based on a video he found on YouTube of Warhol “painting” rock artist Debbie Harry on an Amiga computer in 1985 on stage at Lincoln Center in New York.

It was a slick advertising vehicle for Commodore to promote launch of the Amiga, the first advanced multimedia art graphics computer. But it also put an Amiga in Warhol’s hands.

“It was always unclear to me if (Warhol) had an Amiga and if he had any disks with work on them,” Arcangel said. “So, when I came to Pittsburgh, Tina got me to together with Matt and he said, ‘Well, yeah we do.'”

Arcangel then called his friend and CMU associate professor Golan Levin to see if he knew anyone with any retro-computer expertise.

As it turns out, CMU had an active and energetic Computer Club that has long been interested in issues surrounding outdated computer technology – not only for the historic value of learning how computer technology evolved, but also as a way to confront future archiving issues.

“We were not optimistic when we first saw the floppy disks,” said Keith Bare, a 2008 CMU masters graduate who lives in the North Hills. “They were system disks, not personal copy disks with something handwritten on them like ‘Andy Warhol’s images’ on them.”

It turned out the disks, as well as the computer they were created on, were beta versions of both, which made accessing the systems that much more difficult. But using a self-created program, and a program called a KryoFlux to allow a modern computer to interface with a floppy disk, they managed to pull the images up and save them in March 2013.

The issues the team from the club had to overcome with Warhol’s old floppy disks “seem archaic”, said Michael Dille, a CMU doctoral graduate in 2013 who lives now in Sunnyvale, California, but was deeply involved in the Warhol project with the team in 2013.

“But I think we’re going to have a lot of this in the future unless we start saving files in very standard file formats,” he said, not just for world famous artists, but individuals, business, government and other organisations that need archives that are still on archaic formats.

While it might be easy to think that new computer images by Warhol could quickly be turned into revenue for the museum, Wrbican said even if Warhol did create them, it’s not so easy to begin printing Warhol’s newly found work.

The Marilyn Monroe image found on the computer, for example, he said, “we might not want to even release it because the people who control Monroe’s image are very vigilant” and might sue the museum if it did.

And similar copyright issues plague much of his work because of the way he used publicly available images or products.

Moreover, Wrbican said: “We don’t really see them as Warhol’s artwork, so I don’t think we’re going to be putting them out there on coffee cups to sell any time soon.”

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All business for Paul Roos, Longmire

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Paul Roos and John Longmire have little interest in the master and his pupil aspect of Saturday night’s AFL clash at the MCG.

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Instead the two highly-respected head coaches are simply intent on banking four much-needed premiership points for their respective clubs, Melbourne and Sydney.

Roos has been kitted out in Demons colours for almost eight months, but this will be the first time he is actively plotting the downfall of his former club.

The same club he helped to end a 72-year premiership drought in 2005, the same club that commemorated his achievements with a bronze statue outside the SCG.

“I reflect back to when I was a player at Fitzroy (and moved to the Swans), then played against Fitzroy,” Roos said.

“It was probably more nerve-racking as a player, you’re on the field and you can hear and see the fans.

“But as a coach it’s completely different.”

Roos’ former assistant coach Longmire agrees, saying there will be nothing strange about being in the other coaches’ box from the man he learned his trade under.

“He was a terrific mentor and a great friend. He’s been fantastic to this footy club,” Longmire said.

“I’m sure he’ll be doing everything possible to beat us. I’ve got other friends at other clubs, and that’s what happens.

“We know that any team coached by Roosy will be competitive and that’s certainly what Melbourne has shown.”

Perennial finals force Sydney trumped Fremantle last Saturday, but it was only their second victory of the season and they sit in 13th spot on the ladder.

Lance Franklin will be relieved for his kicking and leading to be back under the microscope instead of his driving skills following his midweek car crash, while dual Brownlow Medal winner Adam Goodes returns for his first game in 10 months.

“No one works harder than Adam Goodes in terms of conditioning,” Longmire said.

“His fitness, while not match fit, is pretty good.”

Mark Jamar and Shannon Byrnes were recalled by Melbourne, with midfielder Christian Salem to make his AFL debut.

“I haven’t played too many night games. I’ve only played about two, so it’ll be pretty interesting,” Salem told the club’s website.

“I’ll be pretty nervous.”

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Hello world, my name is Prince George

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The world has finally seen Prince George up close and in action.

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Unsurprisingly, the little royal is just like every other normal, healthy, active, curious nine-month-old boy.

George, who has largely been kept out of sight since he was born on July 22 last year, joined his parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, for their three-week royal visit to New Zealand and Australia.

He was left behind with his nanny while his parents hit the road, attracting huge crowds who constantly asked after George.

He made seven official appearances: two at functions and the rest being carried on and off planes. He was also unofficially filmed playing with his mum in the gardens of Yarralumla.

From the first time he was seen Down Under – transiting at Sydney airport for the flight to New Zealand – he sent the cameras into a frenzy.

His arrival in Wellington, where his mum carried him down the plane stairs, produced the pictures the world’s media had been dreaming of.

He was animated and chubby cheeked – hence his new title His Royal Cuteness.

A couple of days later, he undertook his first official royal duty, “hosting” a play date with 10 Kiwi babies his age at Government House in Wellington.

Photos of him playing with other children, even stealing one girl’s doll, shaking toys, pulling at Kate’s hair, then giving her a loving hug, excited the media no end.

At his other official function at Sydney’s Taronga zoo, he became fascinated by a bilby named after him in the newly-renamed Prince George Bilby Enclosure.

“He’s trying to grab his ear,” said Kate, a little worried.

“If he gets it, he’ll never let go,” said William as he kissed the top of his son’s head.

But young George wasn’t so fascinated by the stuffed toy bilby given to him later. That got thrown straight to the ground.

“He loves it, honestly,” a slightly embarrassed William said.

Along the way, Kate and William revealed bits and pieces about George. He’s noisy and podgy and can be grumpy.

“I swear I heard him do the haka this morning,” William quipped during the official reception at Government House in Wellington.

At Uluru, they were asked them if George had changed a lot while they had been away.

“He’s grown an extra roll of fat because he’s been so spoilt in New Zealand and now while he’s been looked after while we are travelling,” Kate said.

The third in line was spoilt with presents as well, including his first bike, a miniature Sealegs amphibious craft, a surfboard, a skateboard, numerous books, toys, and a giant stuffed toy wombat.

“We go away with wonderful memories, and George goes away with his cuddly wombat, which he has taken to chewing so lovingly,” William told the prime minister’s reception on Thursday.

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More jail time for Perth drug dealer

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West Australian prosecutors have secured a stiffer sentence for a woman found with high-purity methylamphetamine and notebooks detailing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of drug transactions.

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Jacqueline Barree Hunter was originally sentenced to three years and eight months in jail after a September 2011 raid of her Ellenbrook home uncovered four bags containing almost 111 grams of methylamphetamine, ranging in purity from 42 to 53 per cent and valued about $56,000.

Police also found a further 5g of the stimulant, about 82 per cent pure, along with $38,500 in cash.

There were also scales, powder used to cut the drug and two notebooks detailing drug transactions, some more than $100,000.

A system of CCTV cameras was installed around the house and linked to a television in the main bedroom.

The state appealed against her sentence, arguing it was not a proper reflection of the seriousness of the offending and was substantially outside the range open to the trial judge to impose.

While Hunter’s imprisoned partner was “the main player” in the business, she had continued it.

“The respondent’s offending was clearly serious,” the full bench of the WA Court of Appeal said in a judgment handed down on Thursday.

“Although the respondent was a user of methylamphetamine, the scale of the operation was such that its overwhelming purpose was to make money.

“The fact that records were kept and the presence of a CCTV camera system at the house reveals a degree of planning and sophistication.”

Hunter, who was 42 at the time of the original sentencing, must now serve five years and six months in jail, backdated to June 9, 2013.

She is eligible for parole.

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Obama’s Asia trip is all about China

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President Barack Obama is in Asia, ostensibly to reassure U.

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S. allies that he really does mean it when he says we’re “pivoting” to Asia (or “rebalancing,” or whatever). Yet even as he attempts to put the focus on Asia, events elsewhere are raising precisely the sort of doubts that he’d like to dispel. And that makes me worry that he’ll spend all his time on this trip making promises and flowery speeches, instead of getting some commitments from his hosts.

This trip, like so many others, takes place amid doubts about U.S. credibility. If the United States and NATO don’t do more to help Ukraine, what does that say about our commitment to uphold current territorial arrangements in the South or East China Seas? (Answer: not much, but many people seem to think it does.) But if the United States does do more regarding Ukraine (or Syria), what does that tell U.S. allies about its ability to make Asia a bigger priority and to stick to those priorities when crises emerge elsewhere? No matter what the United States does, its Asian partners are going to raise questions about Washington’s staying power and strategic judgment.

Frankly, this recurring discussion about U.S. credibility — including the sincerity of the pivot and the subsequent rebalance — strikes me as silly. For starters, the United States is still the most powerful military actor in the world — including Asia — and it will be for some time to come.

One can wonder about the regional balance of power at some point in the future, but not right now. And if China’s increased military power is really so alarming, why are countries like Japan, South Korea and Australia doing so little to bolster their own military capabilities? Either they aren’t as worried as they pretend, or they have become accustomed to assuming Uncle Sam will take care of them no matter what. It seems to be easier to complain about U.S. credibility than to dig deep and buy some genuine military capacity.

And there shouldn’t be any doubt about the sincerity of the pivot/rebalancing strategy, because U.S. national interests dictate a greater focus on Asia in the years ahead. As former Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell and Ely Ratner make clear in a recent article, Asia’s growing economic clout and China’s emergence mandate an American response.

The credibility of the U.S. commitment in Asia doesn’t depend on what presidents say or how often they visit, but ultimately rests on whether other states believe that it is in the U.S. interest to be engaged there. If it were truly not in America’s interest to be a major strategic actor in Asia, no amount of presidential speechifying or handholding would convince our Asian partners otherwise.

More than anything else, Obama needs to spend his time in Asia explaining to officials there why it is in the U.S. interest to maintain its security position in Asia.

This policy is not an act of strategic philanthropy; it is rooted in U.S. self-interest, geopolitics and America’s longstanding desire to be the only regional hegemon in the world. If China continues to rise and develop its military power, it might one day be in a position to strive for regional hegemony in Asia.The United States would like to prevent this, because a balance of power in Asia forces Beijing to focus a lot of attention on regional affairs and prevents it from meddling in other parts of the world (including the Western hemisphere).

It’s impolitic to say this out loud, but the long-term purpose of the “rebalancing” policy in Asia is to contain the more powerful China that seems likely to emerge in the decades to come. That’s what Chinese leaders think, and they’re right.

Moreover, the United States also has an interest in discouraging nuclear proliferation in Asia. China already has four nuclear-armed powers on its borders (Russia, Pakistan, India, and North Korea), and several other states might go nuclear if they decided they could no longer count on American security guarantees. As long as nuclear non-proliferation remains a core objective of U.S. foreign policy, it will have a strategic interest in remaining in Asia.

For all of these reasons, America’s Asian partners shouldn’t question the U.S. commitment to maintain its military presence in Asia and its security commitments to its various Asian partners. This policy is rooted in geopolitics and America’s own strategic interests. Obama could do everyone a favor if he explained this to his hosts in simple, clear and forceful terms, and reminded them that the U.S. security presence has been a powerful bulwark of regional stability for decades.

But I wonder if it’s time for a slightly different conversation. Maybe he could find a way to remind them that while the United States cares about the Asian balance of power and about its allies’ security, it cannot and should not care more about this than these countries do themselves. He might gently suggest to his hosts that although the United States prefers to lead a network of strong and reliable Asian allies, it could do without those allies if it absolutely had to.

In other words, the credibility of America’s Asian alliances is more our allies’ problem than ours. Helping maintain a balance of power in Asia may be in our interest but it won’t be cheap, and providing the necessary level of assistance ought to be worth a lot to our Asian partners. Instead of flying off to Asia just to hold their hands, I hope Obama will also remember to ask them what they are going to do for us, and for themselves.

(c) 2013, Foreign Policy.

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X-Men director to miss film launch

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US filmmaker Bryan Singer will not help promote the release of his latest X-Men blockbuster next month, to keep the launch free of distraction by sex abuse claims against him.

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Singer said a lawsuit filed in Hawaii last week was a “sick twisted shakedown” attempt to get money out of him, weeks before the release of X-Men: Days of Future Past.

“The allegations against me are outrageous, vicious and completely false. I do not want these fictitious claims to divert ANY attention from X-Men: Days of Future Past,” the director said in a statement.

“Out of respect to all of the extraordinary contributions from the incredibly talented actors and crew involved, I’ve decided not to participate in the upcoming media events for the film.”

But he added: “I promise when this situation is over, the facts will show this to be the sick twisted shakedown it is. I want to thank fans, friends and family for all their amazing and overwhelming support.”

The latest X-Men movie, starring Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen and Hugh Jackman, is due out on May 23 in the United States, and around the world on that date or a few days before.

Last week, a 31-year-old former child actor and model filed a lawsuit against Singer in Hawaii claiming the filmmaker drugged and raped him when he was a minor 15 years ago.

Flanked by his lawyer Thursday, Michael Egan III said the blockbuster director forced him to have sex at parties in California and Hawaii in the late 1990s, when he was 17 years old.

“You were like a piece of meat to these people, they would pass you around between them” at the parties, said Egan, calling his attackers “evil”.

But Singer’s lawyer dismissed the “completely fabricated” claims.

“We look forward to our bringing a claim for malicious prosecution against Mr Egan and his attorney after we prevail,” said the lawyer, Marty Singer, last week.

The lawsuit is “an attempt to get publicity at the time when Bryan’s new movie is about to open in a few weeks,” said Singer, who is not related to the director.

Egan’s lawyer Jeff Herman denied the timing of the lawsuit was linked to the upcoming “X-Men” film release, saying it was due to a legal “window” in Hawaii where he had to file before April 24.

Egan also filed legal action last week against three other Hollywood executives, claiming that he was forced into a “sordid sex ring” in the entertainment industry.

Herman said in reported comments on Thursday that there may be more lawsuits on the way against major Hollywood players.

“I’ve heard from dozens and dozens alleging they were abused in Hollywood as minors,” Herman told the LA Times.

“We’re investigating those cases. I expect I’ll be filing many more (lawsuits). I intend to expose every Hollywood pedophile and predator I can identify.”

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A World War I weapon reappears in Syria

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Ninety percent of Syria’s declared chemical weapons have now been shipped out of the country, but in recent days disturbing reports have emerged of at least nine attacks using chlorine gas.

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Rebel forces and the government have traded blame for the attacks, the worst of which killed two and sickened more than 100 in the rebel-held village of Kafr Zita on April 11, though the method of dispersal – barrels dropped from a helicopter – certainly fits with the tactics used by Bashar Assad’s forces.

Chlorine is a widely available chemical with many perfectly legitimate industrial uses – water purification being the most well known — and wasn’t included in Syria’s declaration of its chemical arsenal. It’s almost never used as a weapon today and its appearance in Syria harks back to the earliest days of chemical warfare.

Though chemicals including tear gas and sneezing powder were used in the early days of World War I, the first mass gas attack in history was carried out by German forces at the Battle of Ypres, in Western Belgium, on April 22, 1915 – and chlorine was the weapon of choice. Fritz Haber, the German chemist who also helped develop fertilizers that probably saved millions of lives over the course of the 20th century, is somewhat unfairly best remembered for the development of this deadly and terrifying weapon.

When inhaled, chlorine inflames the lung tissues, allowing fluid to enter the lungs from the bloodstream. In the worst cases, victims drown on the fluid building up in their lungs, though it takes extremely high doses to kill. For reference, chlorine is about three thousand times less toxic than the sarin gas that killed hundreds of people in a chemical attack in Syria in August.

At Ypres, the Germans launched a massive and concentrated attack, manually releasing the gas from hundreds of cylinders and allowing prevailing winds to blow a cloud of gas over the French and French colonial lines. Edward Spiers, a professor of strategic studies at the University of Leeds and author of “A History of Chemical and Biological Weapons,” described the effect in an interview with Slate this week.

“Because it was the first time, there was tremendous shock, and the French forces weren’t prepared at all and started to run,” he said. “The worst thing you can do in a chemical cloud is run because then you breathe more deeply. They were inhaling more and more chlorine and the casualties were quite high and the Germans gained a considerable amount of ground.”

The number of French soldiers killed in the gas attack may have been as high as 6,000. The Germans would use chlorine several more times, and the British employed it at the Battle of Loos, but it’s effectiveness diminished as soldiers became better prepared for it. Early countermeasures were as simple as breathing through handkerchiefs soaked in urine, but eventually proper respirators were developed for the battlefield. In the escalating chemical arms race, chlorine fell out of favor compared with deadlier chemicals like phosgene and mustard gas.

Use of chlorine by armies has been almost unheard of since the Great War. In the international Chemical Weapons Convention, drafted in the 1990s, its use as a weapon is prohibited but as a chemical, it is not banned outright due to its civilian uses. “The old lung agents like chlorine and phosgene were put on the back burner because nobody thought they’d be used,” says Spiers.

It has reappeared as a weapon at least once since World War I. In Iraq in 2007, insurgents experimented several times with using chlorine-packed tanker trucks in suicide bombings. This wasn’t a particularly brilliant idea. Explosives actually make chlorine less effective – they simply burn the gas up – and the casualties weren’t any greater than normal truck bombs. The reports of poison gas were certainly unnerving to the general population though.

Aside from its easy availability, Spiers says chlorine has one major advantage: unlike nerve agents such as sarin, you can instantly see and smell the cloud.

“Gas warfare has always been as much a psychological weapon as a weapon that kills and injures,” he says. “Seeing the gas coming towards you can cause more panic than not knowing it’s there. Because it’s capable of terrorizing, some of the more primitive weapons used against completely unprotected civilian communities can be extremely effective.”

The Syrian regime has often favored weapons that seem tactically crude, but are extremely effective at terrorizing civilians and forcing large number of people to flee a given area. If it does turn out that the regime is behind the latest attacks, it would definitely seem to fit a pattern.

(c) 2014, Slate.

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Royal couple plant lone pine sapling

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A lone pine descending from a tree at the bloody battlefield of Gallipoli, an Australian family’s loss and now a double royal connection.

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Following the national Anzac Day ceremony at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra on Friday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge planted an Aleppo Pine sapling derived from seeds gathered after the battle of Lone Pine.

For Prince William, who served in the Royal Air Force for more than seven years, the tree had a special family connection.

Prince Henry the Duke of Gloucester – who later went on to serve as Australia’s Governor General after WWII – planted the original pine at the war memorial in October 1934.

That tree, which is coming to the end of its natural life, was propagated from a pine cone from Gallipoli which Australian Lance Corporal Benjamin Smith sent home to his mother Jane McMullin.

It commemorated his brother Mark who died on August 6, 1915 in the battle of Lone Pine, one of the bloodiest in the campaign with more than 2000 Australian casualties in four days.

Turkish troops had cut down pine trees for their trenches and only a solitary one remained when the battle began.

Mrs McMullin raised two seedlings – the other was planted at Inverell in NSW’s north, where her sons enlisted.

For decades, the Yarralumla Nursery has been collecting and propagating seeds and distributing saplings.

The Duke was given a photograph of Prince Henry planting the tree, framed in wood from the war memorial’s lone pine, and commemorative wooden boxes.

War memorial director Brendan Nelson and Rear Admiral Ken Doolan and their wives Gillian Adamson and Elaine Doolan accompanied the couple to the tree planting site.

The Duchess wore a grey tweed trench coat, midnight blue fascinator and a poppy broach that Emma, the wife of Australian Victorian Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith, gave her at a reception in Canberra on Thursday night.

The Royal couple made a surprise appearance at the dawn service earlier.

They head home with baby George in the afternoon, bringing an end to their Australian tour.

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Vic commandos march ‘on their feet’

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Commandos don’t use cars and they weren’t about to start in Melbourne’s Anzac Day march.

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Despite their ageing legs, World War II veterans from the Commando Association refused to take it easy on four wheels.

“The RSL was fairly insistent that they either get in some support or get in cars,” association secretary Glenn MacDonald told AAP.

“Being commandos, they never want to use vehicles. They’ve always been used to doing things on their feet.”

Instead, the association had some younger former commandos to help the older veterans walk from Flinders Street Station to the Shrine of Remembrance.

SAS veteran Victor Kiwikiwi said marching to Melbourne’s shrine was one of the most moving Anzac Day services in Australia.

“I try and get out, to remember all my mates and my forefathers,” the 77-year-old said.

Mr Kiwikiwi lost 11 uncles in the two world wars, but hopes his grandchildren will follow him into the armed forces.

Melbourne’s Kye Gambin, 26, marched for the second time after returning from Afghanistan in 2009.

He fractured his spine when a roadside bomb went off near him.

Despite that, Mr Gambin said he would go back “in a heartbeat”.

“We did a lot of good things, we did some scary things,” he said.

The march stopped briefly after a veteran collapsed.

Ambulance Victoria said the man needed CPR and was treated within seconds.

He is in a critical condition in hospital.

Among the thousands of people who turned out to pay their respects was seven-year-old Tom Elliott, who inspired dad Daniel, mum Suzanne and sister Sophie, 5, to attend.

“I like soldiers. I like the soldiers and all the stuff here,” he said.

Ms Elliott said the family came from England three years ago but understood the significance of Anzac Day.

“We learn something every time we come here,” she said.

Simon Zheng, his wife Yan, 16-month-old daughter Hannah and his mother Kun Zhou also attended. They arrived in Australia six years ago.

Mr Zheng said they wanted to pay their respects to Australian war veterans.

“It’s a big day to commemorate that. Without them we would not have such a great country,” he said.

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