Maralinga Journal: Australia’s Least Likely Tourist Spot: a Test Site for Atom Bombs

Australia’s Least Likely Tourist Spot: a Test Site for Atom Bombs
MARALINGA, Australia — Maralinga, a barren stretch of land in South Australia’s remote western desert, is the country’s only former nuclear test site open to tourists. And Robin Matthews is Australia’s only nuclear tour guide.
Visitors to Maralinga, a deserted military installation the size of Manhattan, who expect to find their tour guide dressed in a yellow jumpsuit and ventilator mask are bound to be disappointed.
Instead, Mr. Matthews, 65, can be found wearing a baseball cap pulled low over his eyes and a cigarette hanging from chapped lips. His skin, deeply tanned, is covered with a narrative of faded tattoos inked long before they were fashionable.
“Yes, there is still radiation here,” Mr. Matthews said as he drove a minibus to the sites where the Australian and British governments dropped seven bombs between 1956 and 1963, which dotted the earth with huge craters and poisoned scores of indigenous people and their..

News Analysis: Hamas Sees Gaza Protests as Peaceful — and as a ‘Deadly Weapon’

Hamas Sees Gaza Protests as Peaceful — and as a ‘Deadly Weapon’ Photo The political leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniya, likened Palestinians’ struggle to those for India’s independence, against racial segregation in the United States and against apartheid in South Africa. Credit Mahmud Hams/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images GAZA CITY — It was a striking tableau: Ismail Haniya, the political leader of Hamas, the Islamic militant group that has tried suicide bombs, rockets and attack tunnels in its long struggle with Israel, standing before portraits of the giants of nonviolent resistance — Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela.
Urging on Palestinians who have staged a new campaign of protests along the fence separating Gaza from Israel, Mr. Haniya likened their struggle to those for India’s independence, against racial segregation and discrimination in the United States, and against apartheid in South Africa.
“This blessed protest is national, peaceful, popular and civ..

In Moscow, a Sense of Relief After a Limited Syria Attack

In Moscow, a Sense of Relief After a Limited Syria Attack Photo President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia meeting with the mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin, on Saturday. Mr. Putin issued an unusually rapid condemnation of the airstrikes against Syria. Credit Michael Klimentyev/Sputnik, via Reuters MOSCOW — Moscow met the limited American-led airstrikes against Syria before dawn on Saturday with plenty of bluster and heated rhetoric, starting with an uncharacteristically quick response from President Vladimir V. Putin condemning the attack and accusing the United States of aggravating the humanitarian situation.
But there was also a palpable sense of relief.
The sun was barely up before the Defense Ministry, not famous for speedy reactions, pumped out a statement underscoring that none of the thousands of Russian troops garrisoned in Syria had been threatened by the American, British and French attack and that none of its air defense systems had been mobilized.
“It looks like both sides wer..