SPRING HILL VOICE

The Australian website where spooks, media advisors, media monitors, partisan shills, sentiment miners, establishment media purloiners, fabricators, marketing and PR people start their day!

... There's no rationalisation for what you do and you are satan's little helpers. ... Bill Hicks

I feel sorry for Americans

STOP THE WARS! TAX THE RICH!

FREE THE REFUGEES!

Perception correction.

Bearing witness.

Unfashionable.

"If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time ... but if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together." - Lilla Watson, aboriginal educator and activist, Brisbane

Peace.

Copyright 2003-present

 



* Other Things *


Australian government metadata requests far higher than disclosed

Guardian [20/10/14]:

The total number of government requests for Australians’ phone, location and web data is far higher than government agencies are disclosing, with more than 500,000 separate requests for information made last year.

The latest annual report from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has revealed that there was 582,727 requests for phone, web browsing and location data – commonly known as “metadata” – that can reveal detailed information about a person’s personal lives and associations.

This figure is at odds with the more widely cited number of 300,000 a year, which is disclosed in the annual telecommunications interception reports made by the attorney general’s departments.

...

Dianne Rogan killed after refusing sexual advances, court told [North West Star - 20/10/14]

Luke Batty inquest: Father, Greg Anderson, previously threatened 11yo son with knife [ABC - 20/10/14]

A security guard who was allegedly ordered to escort a team of armed police officers into the scene of a fatal shooting rampage at Monash University is suing Victoria Police for putting his life in danger. ... [The Age - 19/10/14]

Crane crashes into home in Sydney’s west [Nine MSN - 20/10/14]:

A truck carrying a crane has ploughed into a house in Sydney’s west.

The vehicle was travelling on Pendle Way, Pendle Hill, when it left the road near a busy intersection and crashed into the house.

A woman in her 80s was at the rear of the home recovering from surgery when the incident occurred, but has remarkably emerged unscathed.

The driver of the truck has been taken to hospital for minor injuries.

Chronicle [20/10/14]:

Fire investigators will probe how a truck carrying cardboard caught fire on the New England Highway, East Greenmount today.

The fire was reported at 1.53pm and was brought under control at 2:40pm.

Fire crews completely extinguished the blaze and the load was removed from the highway at 3.20pm.

Two urban and three rural appliances attended the scene.

It is unknown if a fire currently burning 2km away, in between Ramsey and Leslie Sts, is related to the truck fire.

...

News Mail [20/10/14]:

Two people have been transported to Bundaberg Hospital following a crash on the Isis Hwy at Kensington this morning.

Emergency crews were called the scene at about 8.30am after a motorcycle and ute collided at the Crook St intersection.

The female rider of the motorcycle is believed to have suffered a suspected broken pelvis, arm and leg.

Police investigations are still continuing into the cause of the crash.

... The complainants recently came forward after seeing recent media coverage relating to other unrelated extortion demands involving the Bandidos Criminal Motor Cycle Gang and the accused in this matter. ... [QPS Media - 20/10/14]

... Bejat was granted bail after appearing on Monday in the Brisbane magistrates court on charges of assault causing bodily harm and common assault. [Former bikie leader 'attempted extortion' after fight at Serbian club - Guardian - 20/10/14]

PNG Loop [20/10/14]:

Eight members of a suspected organised crime syndicate have been arrested for allegedly smuggling precursors for drugs and weapons into Australia from Papua New Guinea.

Authorities outlined the scale of the operation in Cairns this morning, detailing how they executed search warrants in Cairns, Herberton, Bamaga and Badu Island.

...

Police have charged a man in relation to the theft of a car, an attempted armed robbery and going armed in public in Browns Plains and Eight Mile Plains last night. ... [QPS Media - 19/10/14]

Police have charged two men in relation to the serious assault of another man in Holland Park West, yesterday morning. ... [QPS Media - 20/10/14]

Police are investigating three break and enters of service stations in the Logan area that occurred early this morning. ... [QPS Media - 20/10/14]

A North Ward teenager has been charged with the attempted murder of a man last night in Idalia. ... [QPS Media - 20/10/14]

WA: 90 charged over graffiti

West Australian [20/10/14]:

Almost 100 people have been charged as a result of a police crackdown on graffiti over the past week.

Police have laid 343 charges against 90 alleged graffiti vandals and criminals since Operation Eraser 9's launch last Monday.

Acting Supt Mary Brown thanked the community for their assistance in helping identify vandals and bring them to the attention of police.

Those recently arrested include a boy, 15, who allegedly tagged the Joondalup War Memorial last week.

A 17-year-old boy faces 21 criminal damage charges and a 15-year-old boy has been charged with six graffiti offences.

He is also the subject of an investigation into a further 123 incidents.

Catching juveniles before their offending escalates has been one of the long-standing objectives of Operation Eraser.

Legal action against Palmer continues

Yahoo [20/10/14]:

Clive Palmer has failed to have a compensation claim against his companies thrown out of court.

Two Chinese companies suing federal MP Clive Palmer have a genuine dispute against him, a judge says.

Subsidiaries of Chinese government-owned company CITIC Pacific are suing Mr Palmer and his company Cosmo Developments over claims $12.167 million was misappropriated by the MP's company Mineralogy.

CITIC Pacific subsidiaries Sino Iron and Korean Steel claim money deposited in an administrative fund and intended for the day-to-day running costs of a West Australian port was redirected to Cosmo Developments ($10 million) and Brisbane advertising firm Media Circus Network ($2.167 million).

Lawyers for Mr Palmer applied to strike out or permanently stay the Chinese companies' claim for compensation, claiming their wasn't reasonable grounds for the legal action.

But Justice David Jackson on Monday dismissed the application, meaning the matter will proceed to a three-day trial beginning on November 26.

Justice Jackson said one of the arguments used in the application was that the case was brought on a "feigned issue" and was really about "showing up" the defendants.

However, in his written judgment published on Monday, Justice Jackson rejected the argument.

"In my view, there is nothing fictitious about the causes of action pleased in the claim and the statement of claim filed by the plaintiffs in the present case," he wrote.

The trial will determine whether payments made to Cosmo Developments and Media Circus Network formed a breach of trust and whether CITIC Pacific's subsidiaries are owed compensation.

A CITIC spokesman said on Monday: "We welcome the court's decision and now look forward to having this matter progress to trial."

Iran's Press TV questions Turkey on death of Lebanese journalist

Daily Star [20/10/14]:

A Lebanese-American journalist covering the Syrian conflict for Iran’s Press TV was killed in a car accident in Turkey, which her family and employers say was premeditated by the Turkish authorities, the station said Monday.

“Serene Shim was killed on Sunday as she was in Turkey on a mission on the Turkish side of the border across [from] Syria’s strategic town of Kobani to cover the ongoing war there between the ISIL terrorists and Kurdish fighters,” a Press TV report said.

Shim was returning to her hotel from reporting in the Turkish city of Suruç when the car she was traveling in collided with a heavy vehicle. The identity and whereabouts of the truck driver remain unknown, the report added.

A Press TV reporter in Beirut said the station was skeptical about the reported circumstances of Shim’s death, because she arrived in Turkey almost 10 days ago and had been closely monitored by Turkish intelligence.

“She told us in an earlier message that intelligence people visited the hotel where she was staying to collect information about her background and to keep a close eye on her,” Ali Rizk told The Daily Star.

“Moreover, the truck driver who collided with her car has disappeared, and we are not aware that the Turkish authorities are investigating the accident, or searching for the driver. All these facts made the station question Serene’s death,” Rizk added.

Shim had told the station Friday that the Turkish intelligence agency accused her of spying and that she feared being arrested, the TV report said.

Members of Shim’s family said they did not believe she died in a normal accident in Turkey and that they would pursue the matter legally, the station reported.

Press TV News Director Hamid Reza Emadi called on the Turkish government “to find out exactly what happened” to Serena, describing the accident as “suspicious,” the report said.

Shim, a mother of two, worked for Press TV in Lebanon, Iraq, and Ukraine.

5-year-old Palestinian girl hit by settler car succumbs to wounds

Maan [20/10/14]:

A young Palestinian girl who was struck by an Israeli settler vehicle earlier Sunday has succumbed to her wounds, medics told Ma'an.

Einas Khalil, five, died after being hit by a car driven by an Israeli settler near the central West Bank town of Sinjil, medical sources at Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah said.

The girl and young Nilin Asfour were walking on the main road near the village when they were hit, and were taken to the hospital in Ramallah where their wounds were described as serious.

Einas passed away hours later.

Residents of Sinjil accused the settler of deliberately hitting the girls.

Israeli police arrived at the scene shortly after the incident and opened an investigation into whether it was deliberate, locals said.

Over 500,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.

Settlers take over 2 buildings in East Jerusalem [Maan - 20/10/14]

Hollywood film ‘Lone Survivor’ puts Afghan villager’s life at risk

Khaama [20/10/14]:

The Lone Survivor film made $125 million at the box office which features the survival of US NAVY SEAL Marcus Luttrell after he was given shelter by the Afghan villager Mohammad Gulab.

The 40-year-old Gulab says his life is now in danger and he is hiding in an unknown location to stop Taliban bombers to target him and his family.

He has survived numerous attacks by Taliban militants, including a bomb attack earlier in April and sniper attack in the month of June.

The film “Lone Survivor” is based on a book written the only Navy SEAL commando, Marcus Luttrell, who survived the raid which left 19 US troops dead.

The incident took place in June 28 2005 in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan, where Marcus Luttrell was the medic assigned to SEAL Team 10 that took part in the operation Red Wings designed to neutralize fighter Ahmad Shah.

Actor Mark Wahlberg plays the role of Marcus Luttrell, who was badly wounded after he walked into a massive bombardment from insurgents along with three other NAVY SEALS who perished on the mountain.

Sixteen other Special Forces, including eight SEALs, were killed when their rescue helicopter was shot down. The injured Luttrell was recovered by US troops after he was taken by an Afghan villager.

Directed by Peter Berg, the film was shot in New Mexico, which was supported by the US military, by providing two MH-47 Chinooks and two AH-64 Apaches that were used for scenes at the SEALS’ base camp.

At least 18 Taliban militants were killed following joint military operations by Afghan national security forces in the past 24 hours. ... [Khaama - 20/10/14]

The government of India has approved plan to develop Chabahar port in Iran in a bid to link Afghanistan and India through sea routes. ... [Khaama - 20/10/14]

Yemen: At least 20 killed in Houthi, al-Qaeda clashes

Al Akhbar [20/10/14]:

At least 20 Houthi rebels were killed in clashes with al-Qaeda militants and a car bombing in Yemen's central town of Rada, tribal sources said Monday.

Al-Qaeda militants overnight blew up a vehicle parked near a house where the rebels were gathered in Rada, the sources said, adding that 12 rebels had also been captured in clashes.

Rada was rocked by heavy explosions late on Sunday amid fierce fighting between al-Qaeda and the rebels, tribal and security sources said.

"Following the explosions, al-Qaeda fighters attacked the rebels, deployed northeast of Rada and along a road" connecting the town in Baida province to neighbouring Dhamar, a province seized last week by the rebels, a tribal official said.

The rebels, also known as Ansarullah, are seeking to expand their territory across Yemen and have clashed with tribesmen as well as al-Qaeda.

The Houthis have already overrun the capital Sanaa and the Red Sea port city of Hudeida, with almost no resistance, after months of protests demanding basic rights.

They easily captured Dhamar, where they have the support of most of the population, but have met fierce resistance from tribes in Baida and Ibb.

The steady expansion of Houthis has angered al-Qaeda, which views Shia as heretics and Houthis as pawns of Iran.

There are fears that if Yemen falls apart, al-Qaeda militants will exploit it as a haven.

Al-Qaeda is active in several Yemeni provinces, mainly in the south and southeast, where repeated government military campaigns drove the network's militants out of key cities they once controlled.

Yemen has been dogged by political instability since an Arab Spring-inspired uprising forced veteran strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh from power in 2012.

Yemen is located next to oil kingpin Saudi Arabia and important shipping routes in the Gulf of Aden.

Catastroika [2012]

Freedom or silence.

The documentary uncovers the forthcoming results of the current sell-off of the Greek public assets, demanded in order to face the country's enormous sovereign debt.

Turning to the examples of London, Paris, Berlin, Moscow and Rome, CATASTROIKA predicts what will happen, if the model imposed in these areas is imported in a country under international financial tutelage.

Slavoj Zizek, Naomi Klein, Luis Sepulveda, Ken Loach and Greg Palast talk about the austerity measures, the Greek government as well as the attack against Democracy on Europe, after the general spreading of the financial crisis.

Academics and specialists like Dani Rodrik, Alex Callinicos, Ben Fine, Costas Douzinas, Dean Baker and Aditya Chakrabortty present unknown aspects of the privatization programs in Greece and abroad.

Just like Debtocracy, CATASTROIKA is co-produced by the public, which contributed both financially and with ideas to its creation. The documentary will be available free of charge, under creative commons license.

High-resolution files will be available for TV and cinema broadcasts in various languages.

The journalists Aris Chatzistefanou and Katerina Kitidi are responsible for writing and directing the documentary, while Leonidas Vatikiotis undertook its scientific editing. Active Member and Ermis Georgiadis created the soundtrack of CATASTROIKA, while the editing was made by Aris Triantafyllou.

Infowar Productions and Thanos Tsantas are responsible for producing the film.

For more information, please visit www.catastroika.com or contact us at +306945161147.

Medibank Private sale to fetch $5.5b [West Australian - 20/10/14]

Shares in Transfield Services rose sharply after it rejected a $1 billion takeover bid from Spanish building group Ferrovial.

They shot up by as much as 30 per cent in morning trade after Transfield detailed the $1.95-a-share offer on Monday. At market close, the price had settled back slightly to $1.90 – an increase of almost 27 per cent for the day. ... [Brisbane Times - 20/10/14]

Downer EDI buys Salteri family's Tenix business for $300m [Sydney Morning Herald - 20/10/14]

UN officials hear good, bad on Detroit water shutoffs [Detroit News - 19/10/14]:

... The residents spoke during a public hearing held by two U.N. officials trying to determine if the water shutoffs have led to human rights violations.

About 350 people attended the meeting in the atrium of the downtown campus of Wayne County Community College District.

Monica Lewis-Patrick, a member of the Detroit People's Water Board, one of the citizen groups that organized the hearing, led a chant with the crowd: "Whose water? Our water. Whose water? Our water."

Members of the group held signs and hung others along the walls: "Water is a Human Right," "Water Justice for All," and "Turn on the Water."

...

Unscrupulous training colleges are targeting people with disabilities and the homeless in order to cash in on government education funding. ... [ABC - 18/10/14]

We Are Better Off Without US Government: Evo Morales [VIDEO - ICH/Al Jazeera - 19/10/14]:

I have no regrets - in fact, I am pleased to have expelled the US ambassador, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and to have closed the US military base in Bolivia. Now, without a US ambassador, there is less conspiracy, and more political stability and social stability. Without the International Monetary Fund, we are better off economically.

...

Taken For A Ride [1996]

PBS:

Before freeways, traffic congestion and air pollution, public transportation was a vital part of the American landscape. Jim Klein and Martha Olson weave investigative journalism, urban history and social commentary to uncover General Motors' role in dismantling street car transportation in the 1930's, and in catapulting the automobile to the center of our national culture.

Create beatups, denigrate and disincentive at every opportunity [Brisbane's most dangerous bus routes revealed - Yahoo - 20/10/14]

Regatta ferry terminal out of action during upgrade [Brisbane Times - 20/10/14]

Gold Coast needs more public transport [Gold Coast City Council Media Release - 20/10/14]:

A $22 million redevelopment of a major road corridor on the northernmost edge of the city is almost complete and is open to traffic.

The upgrade of Stanmore Road in Yatala will ensure that the road is fit for the area’s traffic needs, as Yatala Enterprise Area continues to grow.

...

Casino, Murwillumbah locals want their train back [Tweed Shire Echo - 20/10/14]:

Concept plans for what could be the state’s first public rail trail, a 2.5-kilometre pilot project between Murwillumbah railway station and the Tweed Regional Gallery, are now on display.

Tweed shire councillors on Thursday gave the green light to an extended 42-day exhibition period for the pilot project, costed at around $1 million for which funding is being sought from Infrastructure NSW.

...

Metgasco says the NSW Government did not have the right to suspend a controversial gas drilling licence at Bentley

ABC [20/10/14]:

Mining company Metgasco has argued that the New South Wales Government did not have the right to suspend a controversial drilling licence.

Metgasco has taken the NSW Government to court over the cancellation of the gas drilling licence at the Rosella well at Bentley near Lismore, in northern NSW.

The company is challenging the suspension of its licence.

Hundreds of protesters camped at the site for months trying to stop work on the well.

In May, the Office Of Coal Seam Gas suspended the drilling licence on the grounds of a lack of "genuine and affective" community consultation.

In a separate matter, Energy Minister Anthony Roberts referred Metgasco to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) after allegations a non-executive director of a major shareholder had links to Australian Water Holdings.

But ICAC dismissed the referral, saying it would not investigate the company.

Metgasco argued that it did undertake the necessary community consultation for the Rosella site and that the suspension of the drilling licence was unlawful.

Managing Director Peter Henderson told the Supreme Court drilling at the Rosella well was not in order to find coal seam gas but rather "conventional" gas.

But he agreed there was community concern the extraction could involve fracking.

Mr Henderson could not recall police at one stage telling him there may have been more than 2,000 protesters at the Rosella site.

He said Metgasco had been in the Northern Rivers area for about a decade and had previously drilled 50 wells there.

When questioned about community opposition to another well in the area, the Kingfisher Well, he said: "I can't remember any newspaper or public discussion."

The court heard that community opposition to the Rosella site started about three years ago and that Metgasco often needed police assistance to get access to it.

The hearing before Justice Richard Button continues.

Mining The Isa conference cancelled

North West Star [19/10/14]:

The Exploring and Mining the Isa Conference was cancelled because of a downturn in the mining industry, according to the organiser.

The conference was supposed to be held at the Mount Isa Civic Centre last Wednesday and Thursday, with numerous resource company chief executives and directors scheduled to speak.

Informa marketing director of conference organiser John Wilson said the mining downturn and low attendee numbers were the reasons for the cancellation.

“Informa has decided to hold over this year’s Mining the Isa Conference until 2015,” Mr Wilson said.

Tickets for the two-day conference were selling at $2194.50, although special rates for junior miners and explorers were $550.

Mount Isa to Townsville Economic Zone – which endorsed the conference – was informed by email of the cancellation three weeks previously, according to the development group’s president David Glasson.

Mr Glasson said that when the economy was low businesses questioned the need to spend money on conferences.

But there were a variety of answers regarding whether the resource industry was in a bad way, he said.

“Depends on who you talk to,” he said.

Mr Glasson said many local business representatives believed the mining industry was in a bad way, because larger mines were cutting back on how much they spent on contractors.

Gina Rinehart is stepping down from the board of Ten to concentrate on her Roy Hill iron ore project.

Australia's richest person Gina Rinehart will not relinquish her 10 per cent stake in struggling free-to-air broadcaster, Ten, despite planning to step down from the company's board.

It is understood that Mrs Rinehart, who is Ten's second biggest shareholder, is pulling back her non-mining investments as she focuses her energies on completing the construction of her $US10 billion ($11.43 billion) Roy Hill iron ore project. ... [WA Today - 20/10/14]

PNG Loop [20/10/14]:

Two more arrests have been made by Madang police after community leaders of Biliau and Karanget handed over two suspects involved in a yacht robbery a fortnight ago.

The million kina yacht owned by Australian media boss Kerry Stokes was robbed by armed men while anchored at Karanget Island just a kilometre from the Madang Resort.

...

Stop the Killing

ICH [19/10/14]:

Kathy Kelly

... In approaching the nightmare of renewed, expanded U.S. war in Iraq, I think of Archbishop Romero’s words and example.

Romero aligned himself, steadily, with the most impoverished people in El Salvador, learning about their plight by listening to them every weekend in the program he hosted on Salvadoran radio.

With ringing clarity, he spoke out on their behalf, and he jeopardized his life challenging the elites, the military and the paramilitaries in El Salvador.

I believe we should be trying very hard to hear the grievances of people in Iraq and the region, including those who have joined the Islamic State, as regards U.S. policies and wars that have radically affected their lives and well-being over the past three decades.

It could be that many of the Iraqis who are fighting with Islamic State forces lived through Saddam Hussein’s oppression when he received fierce and unconditional support from the U.S. during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.

Many may be survivors of the U.S. Desert Storm bombing in 1991, which destroyed every electrical facility across Iraq. When the U.S. insisted on imposing crushing and murderous economic sanctions on Iraq for the next 13 years, these sanctions directly contributed to the deaths of one half million children under age five.

The children who died should have been teenagers now, --are some of the Islamic State fighters the brothers or cousins of the children who were punished to death by economic sanctions?

Presumably many of these fighters lived through the U.S.-led 2003 Shock and Awe invasion and bombing of Iraq and the chaos the U.S. chose to create afterwards, using a war-shattered country as some sort of free market experiment; they’ve endured the repressive corruption of the regime the U.S. helped install in Saddam’s place.

The United Nations should take over the response to the Islamic State, and people should continue to pressure the U.S. and its allies to leave the response not merely to the U.N. but to its most democratic constituent body, the General Assembly.

...

So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand.

Thucydides

Iraqi government shells teachers' houses, Fallujah

Image: @IraqiSpringMC [19/10/14]

Iraqi Spring Media Center [19/10/14]:

Summary of security events which have been witnessed in Anbar during last days:

- Qa'im , Ana and Rawa districts witness calm and are still controlled by insurgents ....

-Hadeetha is still controlled by government's forces ,police and awakening militia , the city witnesses economic deterioration and increasing of prices due to the shortage of basic goods in the markets as insurgents besiege the city.

- Baghdadi nahiya has shelled by artillery ,government's and alliance air forces resulted in killing of woman and her two daughters as they cross the street in Sabkha village and wounding of two of people of Mahdaniyah village ..........

-Heet city witnesses calm and is controlled by insurgents ,also the displaced families come back to their areas as food and basic humanaterian aids are available so the normal life is restored in the city.....

- Fallujah:battles and clashes have continued for week around Fallujah University -Hayakil "Al-Nu'eimiyah"......

-west of Baghdad and at the entry of Anbar , another battle supported by planes has taken place since last night in Zoba'a villages paralelled to Amiriyat Al-Fallujah from river side resulted in billowing of smoke in the sky ......

-Eye witnesses said that the planes have shelled mistakenly a site of army at Mikassar road in Amiriyat Al-Fallujah .

- At the same context , the insurgents have shelled by mortar Amiriyat Al-Fallujah near police directorate.....

Iraqi troops arrive with heavy weapons, armored vehicles in northern Babel [IraqiNews.com - 20/10/14]

ISIS suicide bomber kills Major General in Anbar [IraqiNews.com - 19/10/14]

Suicide Bomber Kills 15 at Baghdad Shiite Mosque [Naharnet - 19/10/14]

The fiercest fighting in days shook the Syrian border town of Ain al-Arab overnight as ISIS fighters attacked Kurdish defenders with mortar bombs and car bombs, sources in the town and an anti-regime monitoring group said Sunday. ... [Daily Star - 20/10/14]

US Military Conducts Aerial Resupply of Kurdish Forces Fighting ISIL, Syria
[Centcom - 19/10/14]

75 Killed in Five Days of Fighting in Libya's Benghazi

Naharnet [19/10/14]:

Nine people were killed Sunday in new violence in Benghazi where pro-government forces have launched an offensive against Islamist militias, raising the toll to 75 dead in five days, medics said.

In the latest violence a woman was killed in a bomb attack that targeted the vacant house of former general Khalifa Haftar, the commander of the offensive launched Wednesday, a military source said.

The woman was walking past the house with her daughter, who was wounded in the bombing, said the Benghazi Medical Center, adding that it had also received the bodies of eight other people including two soldiers.

Fierce fighting raged in several parts of Libya's second city between pro-government forces led by Haftar and Islamist militias, an AFP correspondent and witnesses said.

Air raids carried out by units of the air force loyal to Haftar pounded Islamist positions.

On Saturday the United States joined Britain, France, Germany and Italy in calling for an "immediate" end to long-running violence there between government forces and militias.

Since a 2011 revolution that toppled Libya's longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi, interim authorities have failed to establish a regular army and had to rely on state-backed militias.

The European powers and the United States said they were "concerned" by the operations carried out by Haftar, although he has the backing of army units while civilians too have taken up arms.

"We consider that Libya's security challenges and the fight against terrorist organisations can only be sustainably addressed by regular armed forces under the control of a central authority which is accountable to a democratic and inclusive parliament," a joint statement said.

PNG: School, staff hurt in police raid

The National [20/10/14]:

A school in Port Moresby was raided by police last week, destroying properties and injuring staff, it has been revealed.

Juha College director of operations Angel Tepua said they wanted an explanation from police why the school had been raided.

Tepua said the raids which took place on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday last week had traumatised teachers and students who had refused to return to classes.

“Grade 12 students who had to sit for their exams were affected and we had to find alternative venues for them,” Tepua said.

“I call on NCD metropolitan superintendent Andy Bawa to have these policemen arrested, charged and dismissed from the force.”

Bawa had said last week that the policemen were reacting to an attack on a colleague at a settlement at 9-Mile. He said the Hohola incident would be investigated.

The Juha College and adjacent PNG Institute of Sports Coaching and Refereeing Ltd have engaged Pokea and Associate Lawyers to take the case to court. Lawyer Nel Yapa who will be handling their case has written to Police Commissioner Geoffrey Vaki about the raids.

In a letter last Thursday, Yapa said: “We act for Juha College Ltd (and) PNG Sports and Coaching and Refereeing; its directors, staff members and students who have fallen victims of unwarranted illegal entry and raid by fully armed mobile squad (policemen).”

Yapa told Vaki that the policemen had entered the school without a “valid court order or search warrant.”

Israel to supply gas to Egyptian company

Times of Israel [19/10/14]:

Israel on Sunday signed a memorandum of understanding with a company representing nongovernmental consumers in Egypt, under which the offshore Tamar gas field would supply up to 2.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year for the next seven years.

The arrangement with the Dolphinus Holdings company is estimated at some $500-700 million a year, according to TheMarker, Haaretz’s financial newspaper.

The Globes business daily, however, reported that the agreement includes a clause that allows the supplier to cut the gas exports with little notice.

Due to the flexible arrangement, the Egyptian company did not commit to purchasing a minimum amount, while Tamar agreed to supply a minimum of 5 BCM of natural gas over the next three years.

The gas will be transferred via the Israel Natural Gas Lines through the East Mediterranean Gas Company pipeline, which has been damaged by Islamist groups in the Sinai peninsula in the past few years.

Up until 2012, when its gas pipeline was destroyed and a 20-year deal terminated, Egypt had supplied Israel with natural gas.

However, recent discoveries of its natural resources off the coast of Israel have ended Jerusalem’s dependence on Egyptian companies.

In early September, Israel signed a memorandum of understanding with Jordan to supply the Hashemite kingdom with $15 billion worth of natural gas from its Leviathan energy field over 15 years.

The Jordanians turned to Israel because their supply of natural gas from Egypt had been halted by repeated terrorist attacks on the gas pipeline from Egypt, a Channel 2 report said.

Israel decided last year to export 40 percent of the country’s offshore gas finds, and has since signed a 20-year, $1.2 billion deal with a Palestinian firm, and in June signed a letter of intent to supply energy to an Egyptian facility as well.

In March 2013, Israel began pumping natural gas from the Tamar deposit, which, discovered in 2009 and located some 90 kilometers (56 miles) west of Haifa, which holds an estimated 8.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

In addition to Tamar, in 2010 an even larger deposit, Leviathan — which boasts an estimated 16-18 trillion cubic feet of gas — was discovered 130 kilometers (81 miles) west of Haifa. It is expected to become operational in 2016.

The finds are expected to transform Israel from an energy importer to a major world player in the gas market.

Greek Cypriots’ demand to return to North refused by USA Federal Court [Cyprus Observer - 16/10/14]

Cyprus Gas Crisis – A Mountain or a Molehill? [Cyprus Observer - 12/10/14]

Squatters expelled near main Vanuatu airport

RNZI [20/10/14]:

Police in Vanuatu have begun enforcing an eviction order against about 300 people living illegally near Port Vila's airport.

Reports say police have arrested ten people for erecting road blocks and cutting trees in a bid to stop the security forces clearing the settlement called Destination.

The eviction order came following an application by Efate custom land owners against settlers from other Vanuatu islands.

The acting police commissioner, Aru Maralau, says the force did not step in to destroy their houses because the residents willingly move out from the area.

One of the resident, Jeffrey Owen, says families who have no place to go have put their belongings on the main road while awaiting government assistance.

He says mothers and children are the most affected by the eviction order as they can now no longer go to school.

Auckland students protest fee hikes

RNZI [20/10/14]:

Students at the University of Auckland have chained themselves to the Vice-Chancellor's office and the roof of his building, saying it represents how students are chained to debt.

They are angry about what they describe as the constant above-inflation rises in fees of 4 percent a year.

The small protest is being taken seriously with the arrival of two police vans and a car-load of police, as well as extra security guards.

Between them they now outnumber the students who are protesting.

Sit-in organiser Tim Lamusse said fee rises turn away potential students.

It excludes those who don't want to have the risk of having to pay a $30,000 loan back, it automatically excludes some of the most marginalised students.

And for those who do take on a student loan, how can they expect to start saving for their first home when they can't even afford to pay back their student loan?

Mr Lamusse said there will be a rally outside the building at 1pm.

The protest comes before the University's fee-setting meeting later today.

Canary Islands: Flood water rips through Tenerife streets

BBC [19/10/14]:

Local media say five people have died after two and a half hours of heavy rain on the islands of Tenerife and La Gomera.

Heavy rainfall has led to flooding on the Canary Islands since Saturday.

Ravines became rivers and several streets, houses and garages have flooded.

...

Tropical Storm Batters Southern Mexico Coast, Kills Six

Naharnet [19/10/14]:

Six people were killed as Tropical Storm Trudy -- since downgraded to a tropical depression -- lashed Mexico, prompting evacuations and stranding 16 communities, authorities said Sunday.

The heavy rains caused a landslide on a farm in the indigenous town of Tlacoachistlahuaca in the southern state of Guerrero, killing a 23-year-old man, a civil protection official told local media.

Two children and a woman were crushed to death when a wall collapsed in a mudslide in Ometepec; another person was buried in Cochoapa by a caved-in wall; and a swollen stream swept away and killed a 70-year-old man, officials said.

Some 2,000 people were evacuated from three towns in the mountain region hardest hit by Trudy.

Authorities urged residents not to return home for at least 48 hours, until the threat of landslides passed.

Another 300 people were evacuated Saturday night in three other Guerrero towns, where a river threatened to overflow and cause dangerous flooding.

Landslides and flooding also cut off access to 16 other towns and damaged a main road to Acapulco.

Last year, a twin hit from tropical storms battered both coasts, leaving 157 dead.

In September, Hurricane Odile killed six people and caused $1 billion in damage further north on Mexico's Pacific coast, wreaking havoc in the luxury resort area of Los Cabos.

Senate Estimates hears that this year it cost over $1 billion to incarcerate and torture refugees in offshore concentration camps

Canberra Times [20/10/14]:

The Abbott government has spent more than a billion dollars this financial year to house about 2200 asylum seekers in offshore detention centres in Papua New Guinea and Nauru, Senate estimates has heard.

Running the detention centre on Manus Island has cost taxpayers $632 million, while the operational cost of Nauru was tabled at $434 million. There are 1167 asylum seekers on Nauru and 1060 on Manus Island.

Deputy secretary of Immigration Mark Cormack said the costs included health costs, escorting asylum seekers to and from the centres, the cost of staff and payments made to both countries to support them holding the asylum seekers.

...

Earlier this year, Transfield was offered a $1.2 billion contract for offering the security costs on both Manus and Nauru, while Save the Children were awarded a $99.9 million contract that expires in October next year.

The estimates hearing also heard that this during the calendar year 164 asylum seekers arrived in Australia, while 20,711 asylum seekers arrived the year before.

The dramatic drop in the number of asylum seekers has saved the government $2.5 billion, Senate estimates was told.

J'accuse coalition present 60k strong petition in the Senate Courtyard ...

Image: @GetUp [20/10/14]

PNG PM tells Abbott that security has improved at Australia's refugee death camp on Manus Island

No UN, no resettlement.

Nine MSN [20/10/14]:

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has told Tony Abbott that the security and management of the Manus Island detention centre has improved, during a meeting with his Australian counterpart.

Mr Abbott, along with Immigration Minister Scott Morrison, made an unexpected visit to the Pacific nation on Sunday while en-route to Indonesia.

Mr O'Neill said he expressed his support of the work done by officials from both countries in resettling asylum seekers in Manus.

The PNG prime minister also assured Mr Abbott that measures have been taken to improve security and management at the Australian-run Manus Island detention centre after the "unfortunate incident" at the centre.

Iranian asylum seeker Reza Barati was killed during a clash between asylum seekers and guards at the centre in [BRUTALLY MURDERED IN A VICIOUS ATTACK ON THE CAMP] mid-February.

An independent review of the clash found some guards had bashed escaped inmates, according to the Human Rights Law Centre.

"There is now improved coordination between the PNG Immigration and Citizenship Services Authority, police and centre security, installation of CCTV cameras and the refugee status determination process is progressing," Mr O'Neill said in a statement following the briefing on Sunday.

He said that "due to a lack of understanding and support" for refugee resettlement in PNG communities, a new policy was also being prepared to build public awareness and support.

"The new policy will be considered by cabinet after these comprehensive public awareness and consultations are completed," Mr O'Neill said.

The prime minister told Mr Abbott that Papua New Guinea is committed to the policy, and "given its sensitivities, requires times to work through the issues".

The leaders also discussed the global response to Ebola and the importance of preparedness in the region.
Prime minister O'Neill is expected to join Mr Abbott in Indonesia on Monday to witness the inauguration of the newly elected president.

Concentration camps attract sadists

... One of the teachers who hated asylum seekers was Barbara ...

Refugee Rights Action Network WA [20/10/14]:

"I was an asylum seeker who left my country Iran to Australia for democracy, freedom,and better life for my two kids.Australia was not the wrong place but I didn’t get there in the right time.Yes, it was 24th of july 2013. 4 days after racists in Australia came to power. Our boat moved from kupang Indonesia crossed Indian ocean and I had a 25 hour meeting with death before we were intercepted by Australian navy .From the first day I helped the navy and after them customs with interpreting so I asked them to separate women and children to a better place and they did.They were taken to their ship.After 4 days we were all sent to a big ship and transfered to Xmas island.This journey took 4days .We stayed on Xmas island for 24 days.The immigration officer said that we entered Australia illegally and we were detainees of autralian immigration office and gave us a document that proves that .After 24 days they kidnapped us and sent us Paradise island(Manus). An island in the middle of the pacific ocean with disease like malaria ,typhoid,fungus,bad treatment and worst of all mental illnesses.

During my 75 days in the detention center in Oscar compound I always attended English classes. One of the teachers who hated asylum seekers was BARBARA .She taught us reluctantly.One day I asked her to give me some information about aboriginals she said what country,s aboriginals I answered the only country that has aboriginals is Australia.She said that she was not allowed to give us any information about Australia.I asked her who said that and she answered management and immigration wanted her not to give asylum seekers any information about Australia.She said that she was a believer Christian and believed in God and always gave us feeling of frustrationto us.

I answered her and the racist people who supported this attitude with a poem that describes such people in aussy community.I apologize if it gives you Australians bad feeling .

Nobody seen torture so much that I have seen
Nobody was forgotten as much as I have been
Where is your God who lied about justice before
Where is the liar who left me behind closed door
Where is the humanity you claim for
Treat homeless people on Manus off shore
Hatred I can see in your faces teacher
Your democracy is an upside down feature
History is repeated this time by the Aussies
Like what happened to the jews by the Nazis
I know what you have done to the owners of the land
Shame on you aussies left them all empty hand
You,re traped and deceived by your media
Shameful history you,ll have in the world encyclopedia
Be careful about the way you behave
I am a human like you not a slave
I will leave your land with no hate but love
Not because I forgive you but for my belief in above
I know how to put the words down and always remember Im an Iranian not a clown"

Spanish company Ferrovial wants to run Australia's offshore refugee concentration camps

Sydney Morning Herald [20/10/14]:

The board of contractor Transfield Services has advised shareholders to take no action regarding a cash takeover bid from Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial Servicios.

Ferrovial Servicios has offered $1.95 for each share, valuing the company at close to $1 billion, Transfield said in a statement on Monday.

"The Board of Transfield Services has considered Ferrovial's proposal with the company's advisers and has formed the view that the price of $1.95 per share does not reflect the underlying value of Transfield Services shares," chairman Diane Smith-Gander said.

The company will give its Spanish suitors access to its books as part of discussions for a potential takeover.

Transfield said it is willing to give Ferrovial access to its books for "limited due diligence on a non-exclusive basis".

"Transfield Services will advise shareholders of the outcome of the discussions with Ferrovial as soon as practicable. The process may take some time and there can be no certainty that an acceptable proposal will eventuate."

Shareholders will also be given a financial update at the company's November 5 annual general meeting.

The company revealed last month it had swung to a full-year net profit of $53 million from a hefty $254.5 million loss a year earlier as income from its core Australian and New Zealand infrastructure operations offset falls in its American business.

Transfield's shares closed at $1.50 on Friday, giving it a market capitalisation of $769 million.

Transfield Holdings, a privately held company owned the contractor's founding family, last month sold its 11.3 percent stake in Transfield Services for more than $90 million.

...

Cambodia, Australia vow to honour refugee deal despite criticism

Daily Times [20/10/14]:

Cambodia and Australia have reiterated their commitment to comply with a refugee agreement they signed last month, despite persistent criticism from human rights groups and opposition parties of the two countries, a senior official said on Sunday.

The commitment was made during a meeting on Friday between Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on the sidelines of an Asia-Europe summit in Italy, Kao Kim Hourn, minister attached to Hun Sen in charge of foreign affairs, said.

“At the meeting, both sides agreed to implement the agreement that the two countries signed last month,” he told a press conference at Phnom Penh International Airport after returning from Italy.

The official said Cambodia is a signatory to the 1951 Refugees Convention and 1967 Protocol related to Refugees, so it is an international obligation for the country to take in asylum seekers.

“Cambodia will accept refugees from Australia based on a voluntary principle,” he said.

Australia and Cambodia inked the refugee deal on Sept. 26, under which Canberra will send refugees, who intend to seek asylum in Australia and are being held in an offshore detention camp in the tiny Pacific nation of Nauru, to resettle in Cambodia.

The deal has drawn criticism from human rights groups and opposition parties in both countries. They claimed Cambodia is not rich enough to take in Australia’s refugees and accused Canberra of shirking its human rights responsibilities to other poorer and under-resourced nations.

On Friday, more than 100 Cambodian human rights activists, youths and Buddhist monks marched in Phnom Penh in the latest round of protests against the deal.

Long Visalo, Cambodian Foreign Secretary of State, said last month that a small group of the refugees could be resettled in Cambodia by the end of this year or early next year.

Under the offshore processing scheme, which Australia says is aimed at deterring people-smugglers, any asylum-seeker arriving by boat or intercepted at sea is transferred to detention centers in Manus island of Papua New Guinea or Nauru for processing.

If their asylum claims were approved, they would only be allowed to settle outside Australia. Xinhua

Lies and the lying liars who tell them

Sydney Morning Herald [20/10/14]:

Australia has reached an agreement with Iraq for its special forces to support Iraqi forces in their fight against Islamic State, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says.

"We have reached an agreement for a legal framework and now it will be a matter for our military when our special forces will be deployed," Ms Bishop said at the conclusion of a two-day trip to Baghdad that included meetings with senior Iraqi officials.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott last Wednesday said that 200 members of the special forces had been waiting in the United Arab Emirates since mid-September because Baghdad had not offered them formal legal protections.

Ms Bishop told reporters the understanding would allow the Australian special forces "to be deployed here to advise and assist the government of Iraq in building up the capacity of the Iraqi security forces".

Australian fighter jets began hitting targets inside Iraq this month as part of the US-led coalition to beat back the radical group Islamic State, which controls territory in both Iraq and Syria.

The 200 Australian special forces soldiers will focus on strengthening the leadership ranks among the Iraqis to avoid the military collapses that allowed the Islamic State to seize large swathes of territory in recent months.

Earlier this month, Fairfax Media reported that among the troops will also be elite joint terminal attack controllers – special forces experts who can call in air strikes from the ground with great accuracy.

They would work with the RAAF Super Hornets and Wedgetail surveillance and control planes to hit moving Islamic State targets while the Iraqi army fight them on the ground.

During a press conference on Saturday with her Iraqi counterpart, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Ms Bishop said Australia was determined to play its part to assist Iraq in its fight against Islamic State, which she said "poses not only a threat to Iraq but to the region and globally".

...

[New Zealand] Prime Minister John Key has confirmed training Iraqi troops is one of the options being considered in helping in the fight against Islamic State (IS) insurgents. ... [RNZI - 20/10/14]

Bronwyn Bishop and Stephen Parry personally added 'burqa ban' to official advice

Guardian [20/10/14]:

The Speaker, Bronwyn Bishop, and the president of the Senate, Stephen Parry, personally added the controversial “burqa ban” in parliament house to official security advice because they feared a group was intending to disrupt parliament.

Parry said he had based his decision to add the “interim” ban on two pieces of advice, but one of the officials he cited as giving him that advice said she had not been told of any intended “disruption”, but only that a group wearing facial coverings intended to “enter” parliament house.

Parry also conceded that “ASIO and the AFP were not involved” in the decision.

...

Does any working journalist actually understand the foreign fighters legislation that is expected, shortly, to pass the parliament?

Guardian [20/10/14]:

... The LDP senator David Leyonhjelm is, meanwhile, running a quiz show. This quiz show is called ‘does any working journalist actually understand the foreign fighters legislation that is expected, shortly, to pass the parliament.’

It’s a pick-a-box sort of scenario.

Q: This legislation means that if the AFP broke into your house so they could get into the neighbouring property, and you told your neighbour about it later over the garden fence:

a: The AFP would be disappointed, but would respect your right to free speech.
b: Some federal police officers would never speak to you again.
c: You could go to jail.

Q: If the foreign fighters bill is passed, how will you be able to tell if a burglar entered your home or if it was the federal police?

a: A burglar would be messier.
b: The AFP would be wearing uniforms.
c: The AFP will send you a letter at some time in the future.

...

West Australian [20/10/14]:

A mother and her three children have been killed in a head on collision with a bus in the Goldfields.

The crash involving a bus carrying mine workers on the Goldfields Highway occurred about 30km south of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, just before 7pm.

...

Sunshine Coast Daily [20/10/14]:

It is a slippery road to work this morning for motorists traveling on King St at Caboolture.

A two-vehicle crash has caused 1000m of hydraulic oil to spill in the northbound onramp from the Bruce Highway.

No one was injured in the crash, but the oil is causing some delays at King St this morning.

Queensland Police Service have advised motorists to drive with caution while a clean up takes place.

Tweed Daily News [20/10/14]:

A man is in a critical condition after a head-on crash in Burringbar on Sunday night.

An Ambulance NSW spokeswoman said the man, aged in his 30s, was airlifted to Gold Coast University Hospital with severe chest and shoulder injuries.

A woman, also in her 30s, suffered severe leg injuries, while a 6-year-old child only suffered minor injuries.

The woman and child were both taken to Tweed Hospital in a stable condition.

Minor injuries after bus and car crash, Rockhampton [Morning Bulletin - 20/10/14]

Morning Bulletin [19/10/14]:

Ambulance officers transported a woman to hospital last night after a car was hit by a four-wheel drive at an intersection near Gracemere Shopping World.

A Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman said they were called to the corner of the Capricorn Hwy and McLaughlin St at 7.10pm.

He said one woman was transported to Rockhampton Hospital with a sore leg.

Update: Fatal traffic incident, Stretton [QPS Media - 19/10/14]:

Police investigating a fatal traffic incident that occurred at Stretton yesterday are appealing for public assistance.

Around 4.30am, a man was struck by a utility in the westbound lanes of Compton Road.

The 19-year-old Crestmead man was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The driver of the vehicle was not injured.

The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating and appealing to anyone who may have witnessed the crash or seen the man prior to the crash to contact Crime Stoppers.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.

Russian Lawmaker Says German MH17 Crash Intel Points to Kiev

RIA Novosti [20/10/14]:

German BND foreign intelligence agency's conclusions on the alleged downing of the Malaysian Boeing crash in eastern Ukraine can be interpreted in a way that implicates Kiev in the crash, as mush as the local militias, a senior Russian lawmaker said Sunday.

"The German intelligence stated: The Boeing was downed by a Buk missile system 'captured by militias.' That means Russia was not involved. And the Buk could have been launched by the Ukrainian Armed Forces," Alexei Pushkov, who heads the Russian lower parliamentary house's foreign affairs committee, said on Twitter.

This came after BND President Gerhard Schindler claimed his agency had found that Donbas militia was responsible for shooting down the Malaysian Boeing using a Buk missile system, though no evidence was unveiled.

Schindler first presented a report on the MH17 crash, including satellite images and photographic evidence, to a parliamentary committee responsible for monitoring the work of German intelligence on October 8.

The review also discovered that some of the evidence on the MH17 crash provided by Kiev had been falsified, Der Spiegel reported Sunday.

Photographic evidence provided by Ukraine on the crash had been manipulated and "there are details indicating this", the newspaper cited Schindler as saying.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed in the Donetsk Region in eastern Ukraine on July 17. All 298 passengers onboard, four of whom were German citizens, lost their lives in the crash.

The official cause of the tragedy is still unclear, but according to a preliminary report issued by the Dutch Safety Board on September 9, the plane broke up in mid-air as the result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from the outside.

The Ukrainian government blames independence supporters of the eastern regions for downing the Malaysia Airlines plane, but the latter say they do not have weapons capable of bringing down a high-flying aircraft.

 

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JUDICIAL CRITICISM OF THE MURDOCH MACHINE

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