Ed: 41: August/2016
Observers of the Iran deal will note that since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) "Implementation Day" in mid-January 2016, two International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports have been released that appear to offer a somewhat rosy view of Iran's behaviour, concluding that Iran has so far complied with the terms of the nuclear deal... Yet, as ever with the current regime in Teheran, all is not as it seems. Several crucial problems can be observed over the past year that might call into question that simple conclusion of compliance.
Following the razor-thin re-election of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in a rare double dissolution election, the composition of both the House of Representatives and Senate, with new personalities pulling in new directions, is coming into focus.
While Australia's senior leadership has not changed, the policies and priorities of the new Turnbull Government and the Parliament as a whole will certainly shape the character and fortunes of Australia as a nation in the coming years.
In February Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced, "Israel is coming back to Africa." In July, he followed through on this commitment by visiting Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Rwanda...
Interestingly, each country Netanyahu visited has a unique connection with Israel: Uganda and Ethiopia have historic Jewish communities; Rwanda experienced genocide; Kenya and many others are battling Islamist extremist forces. By understanding the complexities and uniqueness of each nation, Israel is hoping to reap the benefits of improved relations.
In late July, retired Saudi Major-General Anwar Eshki led a delegation to Israel, where he met with various officials and made public statements about the Palestinian issue and other matters. The visit was highly unusual, unexpected, but not completely surprising - the General had revealed his contacts with Israel in June 2015 when he appeared in Washington alongside Dore Gold, the former Israeli Ambassador to the UN, confidant of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and soon to be appointed Director-General of the Foreign Ministry, the institution's top bureaucrat.
Do I have Pauline Hanson on record attacking me personally, my religion or my community? No.
Does that mean I should not consider her and her followers a threat to my well-being and to the Australia I value? Definitely not.