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Edward Snowden – Moscow to Melbourne & an Obama Pardon?

Monday, 23 May 2016

IMG_3835 - Edward Snowden, Think Inc - 540▲ Last night Edward Snowden talked to a large audience at the Melbourne Convention Centre via video link from Moscow. He was interviewed by Julian Morrow from the satirical team The Chaser.

We got to pose questions to Mr Snowden and the one top on my list was whether he saw any hope of a pardon from Barrack Obama? It’s a US tradition that departing presidents can hand out presidential pardons as they leave the White House.

Skimming back through past presidential pardons they have included for: treason, sedition, piracy, perjury, murder, robbing the mails, mutiny, forgery, conspiracy to murder a president, polygamy, adultery, counterfeiting, bouncing cheques, mutilating coins, blasphemy, land fraud, mail fraud, violating prohibition, moonshining, drug offences, tax evasion, bribery, extortion, wiretapping, bank robbery, illegal political contributions, spying, terrorism, smuggling (three B-17s no less) and even for being a member of Peter, Paul & Mary (there must have been something else for that one?).

Surely Obama could fit Snowden in there somewhere? After all, as he emphasized during his talk, nobody has been harmed (at least nobody who didn’t deserve to be harmed) by his whistle blowing. His much needed whistle blowing many of us would insist.

Sadly he wasn’t too hopeful, ‘only if it’s good for Obama’s legacy’ seemed to be his conclusion.

IMG_1468 - Mossak-Fonseca office - 20cm - 540▲ Last month I managed to turn up at ground zero for another piece of large scale whistle blowing and incriminating document dispersal. I arrived in Panama City just as the Panama Papers grabbed headlines all around the world. This is my selfie of the year, outside the Mossack Fonseca office in Panama City.

IMG_3835 - Edward Snowden, Think Inc - 540

Edward Snowden – Moscow to Melbourne & an Obama Pardon?

23 May 2016 | Media

▲ Last night Edward Snowden talked to a large audience at the Melbourne Convention Centre via video link from Moscow. He was interviewed by Julian Morrow from the satirical team The Chaser. We got to pose questions to Mr Snowden and the one top on my list was wheth...

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Postcards – a dying story

21 May 2016 | Living

A couple of years ago I blogged about the disappearance of postcards in our Instagram and email age. Well two years later I’m still regularly sending postcards to my last two card recipients: my 91 year old mother and Maureen’s 94 year old Aunt Kate. In that last blog...

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FlightRadar24 & the Final Approach into Melbourne

18 May 2016 | Transport

I’m a sucker for FlightRadar24, that app that lets you track aircraft all over the world or identify whatever might be flying above you right now. Well not quite all over the world, I’ve noted before that flights between the Middle East and Australia tend to disapp...

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Backpacking with Dracula - 270

Backpacking with Dracula – and visiting Transylvania

15 May 2016 | Media

A former Lonely Planet author Leif Pettersen worked on the Lonely Planet Romania guidebook and it’s pretty clear Count Dracula got his fangs in to Leif at some point. Backpacking with Dracula, available on Amazon as an ebook, supplies way more information on Transylva...

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Melaleuca, Southwest Tasmania – birdlife, mining & walking

12 May 2016 | Places

Melaleuca is the starting or finishing point for the South Coast Track, the access point (if you don’t come by boat) to Bathurst Harbour and it was also the arrival and departure point for my recent visit to the Southwest. It’s also ground zero for the Deny King st...

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Flying to Southwest Tasmania

11 May 2016 | Transport

The ‘getting there is half the fun’ line certainly applied to my recent trip to Southwest Tasmania. In both direction. We flew down from Hobart – departing from the smaller Cambridge Airport, just a km or so away from Hobart’s main airport – on a Par Avion Britten Nor...

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cold Tony

Diving (and Walking) in Southwest Tasmania

10 May 2016 | Places

The Tasmanian Southwest Park is about as remote as you can get in Tasmania. The 84km South Coast Track runs from Cockle Creek, accessible by road at the eastern end of the park, to the airstrip at Melaleuca on an inlet from Bathurst Harbour in the west. Most walkers w...

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Another Day of Life UK edition

Another Day of Life – Kapuściński’s Angola

9 May 2016 | Media

In 1975, as the military dictatorship in Portugal crumbled and their colonies in Africa (Angola and Mozambique) and Southeast Asia (Portuguese Timor) were cut loose the Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuściński turned up in Luanda and spent the next three months watching ...

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Tikal – Guatemala’s Prime Mayan Site

8 May 2016 | Places

Although my recent visit to Guatemala – wearing my Global Heritage Fund archaeology hat – was principally to see the remote jungle site of El Mirador I also went back to Tikal, which I last visited way back in 1998. It’s a big contrast to El Mirador – no helicopter or...

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El Mirador in Guatemala

6 May 2016 | Places

My recent travels in Central America (Panama) and the Caribbean (Cuba) started with a visit to Guatemala. Wearing my Global Heritage Fund archaeology hat I flew by helicopter to El Mirador, the remote Mayan site south of Flores and Tikal and close to the border with M...

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