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! ...
STOP THE WARS! TAX THE RICH! FREE THE REFUGEES! LEGALISE FREEDOM!
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
* Other Things *
NYC #4thPrecinctShutDown solidarity action
Image: @KeeganNYC [25/11/15]
New York stands with Chicago & Minneapolos against white supremacy ---> @KeeganNYC NYC #4thPrecinctShutDown solidarity action.
@HWCTHEHERALD: #LaquanMcDonald activists "counting the shots" outside @ABC7Chicago news office.
@_yoshann: Baltimore standing in solidarity with Chicago at City Hall. #LaquanMcDonald
... On Monday, four white men attacked the #4thprecinctshutdown camp and shot five of its members. It is believed they were white nationalists working in league with the Minneapolis Police Department.
On Wednesday, New York responds in solidarity with the camp, Jamar Clark, and all victims of white supremacy and police terror. ... NYC Solidarity With #4thprecinctshutdown In Minneapolis
New Zealand: Serco challenges Mt Eden fight report [RNZI – 26/11/15]
Stop locking up women who are in family violence situations, says Ms Dhu’s family on White Ribbon Day [Human Rights Law Centre - 25/11/15]
A 40-year-old man who obstructed police after barred entry into two bottle shops on the night of November 4 was fined $500.
Mark Jason Keys was also ordered to volunteer 40 hours community service after he pleaded guilty in the Mount Isa Magistrates Court with obstructing police. ... [North West Star - 24/11/15]
Horrible old fascist propagandist now owns Saturday night football [Sydney Morning Herald - 25/11/15]
Why has Peter Greste gone quiet on the Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia) Bill?
Where's the MEAA?
Al Jazeera reporter Peter Greste seeks pardon from Egypt [Democracy Now - 28/9/15]
Peter Greste says Julie Bishop’s death stare helped get him out of prison [Buzzfeed - 26/3/15]
Why is no-one holding this hypocrite to account ----> Melissa "change it from within" Parke wants you to vote ALP as her fascist party works with the LNP to ensure stripping of citizenship cannot be challenged in the High Court [Media Release - 23/11/15]
The federal government has tweaked controversial citizenship-stripping draft laws to head-off the possibility of a High Court challenge.
The legislation to revoke passports from dual national terrorism suspects was due to pass parliament's lower house this week but was delayed after the government made a last-minute change on Wednesday.
There were concerns the legislation was not constitutionally sound, with Labor warning it would not be held responsible in supporting the laws if they were challenged in the nation's highest court. ... [West Australian - 26/11/15]
Canada to repeal bill stripping "terrorists" of citizenship [CBC - 7/11/15]
Journalist Mohamed Fahmy says Tory law made him fear losing Canadian citizenship [Huffington Post - 9/11/15]
Australia secretly exiles another refugee from Nauru to Cambodia to be disappeared by the IOM [Phnom Penh Post - 26/11/15]
Cambodia's Foreign Minister releases Clinton’s letters on Khmer Rouge concentration camp [Cambodia Daily - 26/11/15]
ALP committed to pushing away refugee boats and/or confining refugees to offshore concentration camps
Image: Free the Children NAURU [20/11/15]
Mr Tim WATTS (Gellibrand) (19:40) [House of Representatives Hansard - 25/11/15]:
... We also committed to practical, compassionate measures that will work in the short term—continuing the combination of offshore processing and regional resettlement together with the policy of turning back boats that has stopped the flow of vessels arriving on our shores. ...
Time will fly, but its memory will remain,
Wounds will heal, but its stain will remain.
In Memoriam: MSF colleagues killed in the Kunduz Trauma Centre attack [24/11/15]:
… Zabiullah was 29-years-old and married.
He had been working as a guard in the hospital since February 2015.
He was a poet and was working on Pashto language translations of several books.
He was also writing a book about the famous Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan.
While he started working with MSF less than a year ago, he had already made lots of friends due to his friendly and kind manner.
US drone strike kills "Taliban shadow district governor" in Nangarhar [Khaama - 25/11/15]
An unmanned aerial vehicle belonging to the US-led NATO has reportedly gone down in Afghanistan’s central province of Parwan.
Saifullah Baidar, a provincial administrative chief, said on Wednesday that the drone crashed in the Kohi Safi district of the province, located 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) northeast of the capital, Kabul, at around 10 p.m. local time (1730 GMT) on Tuesday.
He said the drone was on a surveillance mission in the area when it crashed.
Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, claimed the group’s fighters had brought downed the unmanned aircraft. ... [Press TV - 25/11/15]
An operation has been launched to rescue the 18 Afghan National Army (ANA) personnel who were captured by Taliban, the Ministry of Defence said on Wednesday. ... [Pajhwok - 25/11/15]
At least eight children were killed and two others wounded in an explosion in Se Bangi area of Kabul.
Police chief of PD13 in Kabul said the children died while playing at a construction site in Se Bangi.
The families of the children say they were killed in a rocket attack but police reject these claims and say the children found an old explosive device possibly left over from a previous war. ... [TOLO News - 24/11/15]
Germany is to maintain its military presence in northern Afghanistan in 2016 in cooperation with its NATO partners, German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said on Monday. ... [TOLO News - 24/11/15]
Germany to send 650 troops to Mali to relieve France [Naharnet - 25/11/15]
A civilian staff member of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali was killed today in an explosive device attack on a convoy, but the world Organization will not be deterred from its efforts to bring peace to the West African, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. ... [UN Media Release - 24/11/15]
The United Arab Emirates has secretly dispatched hundreds of Colombian mercenaries to Yemen to fight in that country’s raging conflict, adding a volatile new element in a complex proxy war that has drawn in the United States and Iran.
It is the first combat deployment for a foreign army that the Emirates has quietly built in the desert over the past five years, according to several people currently or formerly involved with the project.
The program was once managed by a private company connected to Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater Worldwide, but the people involved in the effort said that his role ended several years ago and that it has since been run by the Emirati military. ... [New York Times - 25/11/15]
Central Yemeni city of Taiz under virtual siege, 200,000 need water, food – UN relief chief [Media Release - 24/11/15]
The explosion that killed at least 13 people on a presidential guard bus in Tunis was carried out by a suicide bomber,
Tunisian security officials have said. The bus was hit on the busy Mohamed 5 Boulevard on Tuesday evening, prompting President Beji Caid Essebsi to impose a nationwide state of emergency.
No group claimed responsibility for the attack, the third major one in Tunisia this year following the gun assaults on a Sousse resort hotel in June and the Bardo National Museum in Tunis in March. ... [Al Jazeera - 25/11/15]
Natural gas from Israel's vast Leviathan offshore gas field will be pumped to Egypt via an existing subsea pipeline for up to 15 years under a preliminary deal announced by the field's developers on Wednesday. ... [Ahram - 25/11/15]
Palestinian shot after Israeli stabbed in attack near Hebron [Maan - 25/11/15]
A refusal by the Israeli police to allow an autopsy on a young Palestinian killed by its officers indicates a cover-up.
On 17 October, Mutaz Uweisat was killed by the police in Armon Hanatziv, an Israeli settlement in occupied East Jerusalem.
Israeli police have alleged that the 16-year-old boy tried to stab a border guard. Palestinian human rights groups are calling for an investigation of the officer implicated in the killing. ... [Electronic Intifada - 24/11/15]
Haitians protest after runoff announced [The Columbus Dispatch - 24/11/15]
Protesters block Chicago streets over video of Laquan McDonald's killing [NBC - 25/11/15]
An argument between an Iraqi lawmaker and a political bloc spokesman escalated from angry words to gunfire at a television station in Baghdad, the men involved said Wednesday. ... [Daily Star - 25/11/15]
Syrian army establishes control over areas in Lattakia and Aleppo [SANA - 24/11/15]
Syria: UN envoy meets opposition groups on effort to broker ceasefire, political transition [Media Release - 24/11/15]
United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria
US Department of Defense [24/11/15]:
U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Strikes in Syria
Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 9 strikes in Syria:
-- Near Hasakah, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb, an ISIL tactical vehicle, and two ISIL vehicles.
-- Near Hawl, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Raqqah, one strike struck an ISIL vehicle staging area.
-- Near Mar’a, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL tactical vehicle, an ISIL artillery piece, and an ISIL fighting position.
Strikes in Iraq
Attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft and rocket artillery conducted 17 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
-- Near Baghdadi, one strike stuck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL staging area and an ISIL building.
-- Near Fallujah, two strikes struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb and three ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Mosul, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.
-- Near Ramadi, eight strikes struck four separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL excavator, an ISIL bunker, five ISIL weapons caches, five ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL buildings, an ISIL mortar position, an ISIL bomb, an ISIL staging area, damaged three ISIL entrenchments, and denied ISIL access to terrain.
-- Near Sinjar, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed one ISIL fighting position and an ISIL supply cache.
-- Near Sultan Abdallah, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL light machine gun and three ISIL fighting positions.
Obama, Hollande review Syria, Iraq bombing campaign [US Department of Defense - 24/11/15]
At least 3,952 people have been killed in the US-led coalition's campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group in Syria, according to a monitoring group. ... [Al Jazeera - 25/11/15]
Answers to journalists’ questions following the crash of a Russian military plane in Syria [Kremlin - 25/11/15]:
... Question: Mr President, are the measures the Defence Ministry announced yesterday enough to ensure the safety of our military personnel in Syria?
And a second question: Everyone is worried now about the fate of the Su-24’s second pilot. Is there any information on his fate?
Vladimir Putin: Yes, the navigator, he has been rescued. I think he is at our base now, at the airfield. Like everyone else who took part in this operation, including the rescue operation, he will receive state decorations. The Defence Ministry has already made this proposal. The plane’s captain will be awarded the Gold Star Medal of the Hero of the Russian Federation posthumously.
As for measures to ensure the safety of our military flights in Syria, the proposals announced yesterday are not enough. I discussed this just this morning with the Defence Ministry heads. We will deploy an S-300 air defence system at our air force base in Syria. This is not the only measure we are taking. I hope that this measure, together with our other steps, will be sufficient to ensure the safety of our flights.
Syrian fighters destroyed a Russian helicopter with a missile, shortly after they forced it to make an emergency landing in a nearby government-held area in Syria's Latakia province on Tuesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
A Syrian insurgent group, recipient of U.S. Tow missiles, said its fighters hit the helicopter with an anti-tank missile while it was in the air and put out a video showing the helicopter being blown up after one of its fighters struck it with another missile. ... [Reuters - 24/11/15]
Iraq confines Australian "trainers" to barracks [Brisbane Times - 25/11/15]:
... As Fairfax Media first reported last year, the 200 commandos who made up Australia's initial "advise and assist" deployment to Iraq were also held up for weeks by visa delays.
Senator Payne told Fairfax Media on Wednesday that "visa processing" was to blame for the delay.
"They're on the way. I don't think they're in place yet. There was a slight delay, but I think they're on the way," she said.
"It was a matter which was raised with me. I followed it up with Iraqi representatives in Australia and I think we're OK."
The 300 Army troops deployed to train local forces at Taji base north of Baghdad were officially farewelled by Defence chiefs at a ceremony in Brisbane on October 31.
But the troops remained stuck in Australia, forcing Defence to extend the existing rotation of those already in Iraq by a fortnight.
The Iraqi embassy did not respond to requests for comment.
German police are taking legal action against theatre staff in Mainz for disrupting an anti-migrant rally by singing Beethoven's Ode to Joy. ... [BBC - 25/11/15]
Staatstheater Mainz [21/11/15]: Wir proben heute ODE AN DIE FREUDE im Foyer des Großen Hauses. Draußen hat die AfD eine Kundgebung.
9.Sinfonie Ludwig van Beethoven Staatstheater #Mainz
@PollyWilkins [25/11/15]: Paralysed man being taken off the boat. #Lesvos ...
@ItalianNavy [24/11/15]: #SAR Nave Duilio #MarinaMilitare ha soccorso un gommone con 116 migranti a bordo
New European border restrictions on refugees, migrants violate human rights, Ban warns [UN Media Release - 24/11/15]
Five Myanmar men fined for publishing calendar recognising Rohingya [Burma Times - 25/11/15]
The Shwe Taung Group, a firm with extensive property and construction interests whose chairman was once accused of ties to the narcotics trade, has become the second local company to partner with US software giant Microsoft.
The licensing agreement, signed at a Wednesday morning ceremony in Rangoon’s Sedona Hotel, will give the firm access to a suite of Microsoft’s marquee business applications, along with regular security updates. ... [The Irrawaddy - 25/11/15]
Two men wielding kitchen knives attacked a religious forum leader in Bangladesh on Tuesday, police said. Local police chief Nazim Uddin said Alok Sen was assaulted outside his home in the district of Faridpur.
He shouted for help as the men slashed him and his wife came out, prompting the unidentified attackers to flee, Uddin said.
Sen, a Hindu, is secretary general in Faridpur of the Hindu-Bouddho-Christian Unity Parishad, a platform of Hindus, Buddhists and Christians in the South Asian country.
Members are generally considered to be supporters of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s political party.
Sen told reporters at the hospital where he is being treated that he had no known enemies and no idea who attacked him. ... [The Irrawaddy - 25/11/15]
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev concluded a three-day state visit to Cambodia on Tuesday, a trip that culminated with the signing of a number of agreements between the two countries and their respective ruling parties. ... [Cambodia Daily - 25/11/15]
One villager was killed and two more were seriously injured while rice farming on Monday when their tractor rolled over a land mine in Battambang’s Bavel district. ... [Phnom Penh Post - 25/11/15]
Cambodia: political crackdown reaching a 'dangerous tipping point' warns UN rights expert [Media Release - 23/11/15]
The International Commission of Jurists says the rule of law is broken in Nauru and neighbouring countries should voice their concerns. ... [RNZI - 25/11/15]
Australia has not "stopped the boats".
Australia has stopped the the ability of people to seek asylum.
Calls to "Free the Children" are not "a start", they are a cynical, creepy stunt.
WE WANT THE CAMPS CLOSED AND A ROYAL COMMISSION INTO OPERATION SOVEREIGN BORDERS.
Mountz: image showing #Australia's onshore and offshore #detention sites ...
Image: @AudraLMitchell [12/11/15]
Important lecture about seeking asylum - and how Australia is subverting the UN Refugee Convention ----> Professor Alison Mountz, of Harvard University, Wilfrid Laurier University and the Balsillie School of International Affairs, responds to and challenges the crisis narratives unfolding in the media as she discusses political struggles over the erosion of asylum taking place globally. This talk explores shifting geographies of migration and border enforcement in major transit sites where migrants and asylum seekers seek entry and protection. The talk dwells in islands and enforcement archipelagos, offshore sites where struggles over entry and exclusion transpire and where the infrastructure of border enforcement and detention are growing. ... [VIDEO - Centre for International Governance Innovation - 12/11/15]
The Migration and Maritime Powers Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2015 - passed in the Senate on Monday - further entrenches Australia's ongoing repudiation of the UN Refugee Convention.
The Greens so called "free the children", "let journalists in", "report abuse" amendments are meaningless. The lumpen faux left wants to feel better about how weak and fraudulent they are as they hold their end of year patting of each other on the back award ceremonies, before disappearing until next March.
Migration and Maritime Powers Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2015:
Amends the: Migration Act 1958 to: provide that when an unlawful non-citizen is in the process of being removed to another country and before they enter that country the person is returned to Australia, then that person has a lawful basis to return to Australia without a visa; ensure that when that person is returned to Australia, bars on the person making a valid visa application for certain visas will continue to apply as if they had never left Australia; make technical and consequential amendments arising out of the enactment of the Migration Amendment (Character and General Visa Cancellation) Act 2014; clarify that a person who has previously been refused a protection visa application that was made on their behalf cannot make a further protection visa application; ensure that fast track applicants can apply to the Administrative Review Tribunal for review of certain decisions; correct a referencing error in relation to maritime crew visas; and ensure that visa ceasing provisions operate as intended; and Maritime Powers Act 2013 to clarify that powers are able to be exercised in the course of passage through or above waters of another country in a manner consistent with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
For all we know the refugee boat that reached Christmas Island last Friday was torpedoed by the Australian navy -----> Christmas Island asylum seeker boat ‘disappeared’ after being towed by navy [Guardian - 25/11/15]
White Ribbon Day Hypocrisy 2015: Women and children on this refugee boat?
Where is it?
We have some asylum seekers, but that’s pretty much stopped.
We have stopped the boats with our policies, which are regarded as cruel by many people.
But I have to say again, our policy on border protection is harsh, but it has been absolutely demonstrated that it is better than any other alternative.
Israel and Australia: A conversation with Turnbull [Jewish Journal - 25/8/15]
Image: @KJBar [20/11/15]
... Christmas Island shire president Gordon Thomson said locals spotted the fishing boat early on Friday morning about 100 to 200 metres from Smith Point, the entry to the island's harbour.
By the time he arrived to join onlookers at Smith Point before 7am, the boat was being towed by an Australian navy patrol boat and was about 3 to 5km out to sea.
"I saw the navy patrol boat towing the Indonesian fishing boat out to sea away from Christmas Island," he told AAP.
"It's a wicked thing to do."
All aboard the bipartisan ship [Overland - 11/8/15]:
... Welcome to Australia director Brad Chilcott has publicly supported a policy of turn-backs in breach of the principle of non-refoulement.
In advance of the ALP conference, which he attended as a delegate for the increasingly inappropriately named left faction of the party, Chilcott called for the ALP to ‘neutralise’ a divisive debate by ‘closing the ocean route to Australia’.
This, from the leader of an organisation that takes its motto from the national anthem: ‘For those who’ve come across the seas.’
Writing in The Australian, Save the Children Australia CEO Paul Ronalds makes a more reluctant argument for the same conclusion: that organisations supporting refugees should embrace the opportunity for bipartisan consensus by abandoning active support for the principle of non-refoulement:
Although we may not like turnbacks, it is clear the policy is here to stay. Now we and other advocates for the rights of asylum-seekers must look beyond this aspect of the policy and concentrate our efforts on implementing a genuine regional framework, which we have long called for.
As NGOs have taken on major government contracts for refugee and asylum-seeker services, such as the $19m contract Save the Children currently holds with the detention facilities on Nauru, these organisations have become structurally invested in maintaining government control over asylum seekers.
But liberal humanitarians are more deeply invested in government control over asylum seekers than can be explained by any direct financial benefit.
They may disagree with right-wing conservatives on how many refugees should be accepted, or the details of how those who are turned away should be treated, but they share the premise stated by John Howard during the Tampa crisis: ‘We will decide who comes here and the manner in which they come.’ ...
Christmas Island deportee ashamed to tell family he's back in New Zealand [Stuff.co.nz - 25/11/15]:
... The deportee said he was told he was being deported back to New Zealand the morning they were put on the plane, leaving no time tell his family or friends where he was going.
"They're just telling you to get whatever you've got and go with them. And when asked where we're going they said 'immigration...' And then we're all told, in a yard with one border force representative and 30 officers that we're all boarding a plane that afternoon bound for Auckland," he said.
Erina Morunga - founder of Iwi n Aus, an Australian campaign advocating for the rights of the detainees - said emotional families in Australia are still scrambling to find out where their loved ones are across Australia and in New Zealand.
"It's bad enough that families aren't informed, but even our guys are not informed. They don't know from one minute to the next what is going on, and that has been their whole experience from the detention centre, from the moment their visa's were cancelled, that has been it," she said.
For those deported to New Zealand, she said not having any accommodation organised has had huge ramifications on their pyschological well-being. She said it is when you take everything away from a man and he is left with nothing, that is when he will be more likely to reoffend.
"They don't want to go into somewhere where there's violence. They want to go somewhere where they're treated with some care and dignity because they've been humiliated, they've been berated, they've been treated like animals for months on end," she said.
Even though they are criminals, and they have broken the law, she said they are still men with human rights which need to be considered.
Morunga said most of those deported didn't want to come to New Zealand and wanted to stay in Australia with their families.
"It's the choice of never seeing your family again, or going through the pain and the heartache and the torture, starvation and being treated like an animal: they've chosen that, they've actually chosen the harder road. It's the cost of losing contact with their families for life."
Speaking about his time on Christmas Island, the deportee said nobody knew the full reality of what was happening.
"What I've seen and what I've experienced mentally, it screws your head in."
He spoke of the Friday morning the Iranian refugee escaped.
Days later, it was reported he was found dead at the bottom of a cliff.
"I was right there that morning, it was straight opposite our compound. There was about six of us. One Asian detainee, 501, is walking around our compound and saying that he seen (the refugee) and he heard his voice, and he just disappeared into the bushes, screaming... Two hours later he's coming out in a body bag."
He alleges detention camp officers assaulted people and claims there was starvation and torture before the riots happened.
"Shut that place down, and SERCO. I don't know how they've lived behind their motto when they treat us like this. It just needs to be looked at properly," he said.
No opposition to racism in Australia as Sharman Stone channels Don Brash [RNZI - 25/11/15]:
... Australian Liberal Party MP Sharman Stone said there was little appetite for changing the rules for New Zealanders living in Australia.
Ms Stone, who is a member of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee, said there were many more New Zealanders living in Australia, than the other way around.
"The costs of that support always are not in balance but we've got to make sure all things are in balance. "I mean, we are separate countries. We are not states of the same commonwealth and sure we're very fond of one another as cousins across the ditch, but we are still sovereign nations."
But Ms Stone said the process for New Zealanders to gain Australian citizenship could be looked at.
When asked whether she feared New Zealanders would come over and rely on welfare if the rules were changed, Ms Stone said it was not about that - but more that New Zealanders did not deserve a special deal.
She believed that New Zealanders were allowed to buy up tracts of Australian land but that was not reciprocated in New Zealand.
"I'm particularly talking about farming access, property purchasing rights. It should be equal, should it not?"
Ms Stone said Māori indigenous rights stopped Australians from buying waterfront properties and prime agricultural land in New Zealand.
The Hollow Men [Documentary - 2008]
Children in Papua die from mystery disease [RNZI – 25/11/15]:
About 40 children have died of an unexplained illness in Papua.
The Jakarta Post reports as many as 41 below the age of seven have died in the Indonesian province's Ndguga regency following the start of the rainy season early this month.
The paper reports health workers have travelled to Mbuwa district but have yet to ascertain the cause of the deaths.
The Mbuwa district chief Erias Gwijangge told the paper the children presented with a slight illness at first but died shortly afterwards.
He said the area had experienced drought and haze from forest fires.
When rain fell recently a number of livestock, such as pigs and poultry, also died abruptly.
Vanuatu's president dissolves parliament after MPs convicted of bribery [ABC - 24/11/15]
Israeli national, Eilon Mass, who was convicted and sentenced to 5 years and 3 months imprisonment for rape earlier this year has managed to convince the Appeal Court to allow his appeal without the assistance of a legal counsel.
Mass’s conviction was quashed when the decision was handed down Friday last week plus the direction from the Court of appeal for a re-trial.
Since he is also awaiting trial on other serious charges, and there has to be a risk of him absconding, given that he has no visa and is an overstayer, the court has decided not to grant him bail. ... [Daily Post - 25/11/15]
'Everyone in Vanuatu Loves Israel' [Arutz Sheva - 25/3/15]
Flights to and from the French Pacific island of Wallis have been cut after villagers occupied the airport at Hihifo, stranding hundreds of passengers.
The public broadcaster says the action was taken in a bid to get the airport to hire two locals.
A traditional leader is quoted as saying that the airport is on customary land on the basis that, in return, the airport gives jobs to the people of Hihifo.
Flights by New Caledonia's carrier, Aircalin, have been cancelled, including those scheduled for tomorrow.
The French prefect says the territory and its population have been taken hostage by the interest of a few.
He has ruled out negotiations while the blockade continues and has threatened to take legal action. [RNZI - 25/11/15]
Two men are dead and seven injured following a violent confrontation at dawn yesterday in a Lae suburb still recovering from an ethnic clash three weeks ago.
The situation remains tense at the Sialum Compound, according to Lae police operations commander Chief Inspector Timothy Pomoso. ... [The National - 25/11/15]
PNG, China top partners, envoy says [The National - 25/11/15]
A group opposing the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone project in Madang disrupted a church service on Sunday to air their concern, according to Archbishop Stephen Reichert.
He told The National that the parishioners of the Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Madang were upset over the way in which an anti-PMIZ group disturbed the mass on Sunday morning.
Reichert said the group marched with banners into an area near the cathedral and voiced their opposition to the project.
He said the group had written to him on Thursday last week demanding that he tell Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to stop the launching.
O’Neill launched the project yesterday at Vidar.
Reichert said the group questioned why the catholic mission sold their land to the Madang provincial government which later sold it to the RD Tuna group of companies. He said the sale of the land was done 23 years ago which he was not part of. ... [The National - 25/11/15]
Nauru's former resident magistrate Peter Law says there's a climate of fear in the country [RNZI - 25/11/15]
... A hot summer's day and sticky black tarmac
Feeding ducks in the park and wishing you were far away ...
'That's Entertainment', The Jam 
White Ribbon Day 2015: Australian political and media establishment continue insulting our intelligence [Yahoo - 25/11/15]:
Queensland public servants who are victims of domestic violence will be offered 10 days leave a year.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the initiative at a White Ribbon Day breakfast in Brisbane on Wednesday. ...
Which protected, unaccountable, anti-refugee propagandist played a key role in re-opening Australia's concentration camp on Nauru, where violence against women is part of the punishment regime - and is endemic?
Sarah Ferguson compartmentalises domestic violence in her latest "documentary" [ABC - 29/10/15]:
... With unprecedented access to courts and safe rooms, domestic abuse programs in prison, forensic doctors and specialised police units, Sarah also moves into a women’s refuge in search of answers.
How does domestic violence begin?
How does it escalate from control to physical violence and even death? ...
... It’s unusual that they [Connect Consortium - who run "settlement" services for refugees exiled on Nauru] haven’t encountered any allegations of rape or sexual assault, because there are many. Such as the story of Beth, a young Ethiopian refugee who was released into the Nauruan community in May. Allegedly Beth, whose name I have changed, was sitting on the beach with some other Ethiopian women when local men gave her a drink. Beth began to feel woozy, before being dragged into bushes by two or three men and raped. They then poured fuel on her and set her alight. I have seen photographs of her after the assault. Her left breast is so badly burnt that the skin has blackened and lifted from the flesh.
As a result of the rape, Beth became pregnant. A solemn Christian, the thought of abortion appalled her but she decided to go through with it. Beth was flown to Brisbane for the termination where, not long after, she attempted to hang herself with a bed sheet. She is now back on Nauru.
These are not isolated incidents. I have another letter, also written by a Somali woman, who recounts a similar story. Sarah, whose name I have also changed, was offered a lift by a man at the supermarket’s bus stop. “In car, man said I have to get something from my home first. When we got there dogs came out barking. Man said get out of car, dogs won’t hurt you. Dogs came close to attacking me. I asked him to call dogs away. He said get inside the house – they don’t know you – if you go inside they think you are part of family.
“I went inside. Dogs came in too. Man took off all his clothes and showed me his private parts. I wet my pants and soiled my pants. This is reason I left Somalia – this fear of rape – I see it happen to many. Then he said I don’t care and hit my face very hard. He said dogs will kill you if you don’t suck my private part. Then I have no choice.” ... [The Saturday Paper - 22/8/15]
Detectives from Gold Coast CPIU have tonight charged two teenage boys following investigations into an incident where a boy was stabbed at Miami yesterday afternoon.
A 15-year-old boy from Mermaid Waters has been charged with one count each of grievous bodily harm and armed robbery and another 15-year-old boy from Miami has been charged with one count of armed robbery.
Police will allege the two boys have attended Hillcrest Parade and have become involved in a verbal altercation with another 15-year-old boy which has escalated and resulted in the boy receiving a single knife wound to his abdomen.
The 15-year-old boy was transported to the Gold Coast University Hospital where he remains in a serious but stable condition.
The two boys who were charged will be dealt with under the provisions of the Youth Justice Act 1992.
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. [QPS Media - 25/11/15]
Shooting incident, Bundall [QPS Media - 25/11/15]
Detectives have charged two people after a search warrant was executed at a Bundall street residence this morning.
It will be alleged that as a result of the search, police located firearms, stolen property and drugs.
A 26-year-old woman from Bundall and a 25-year-old Burleigh Waters man have both been charged with two counts of possession of dangerous drugs, two counts of possessing weapons and one count each of possessing tainted property and possessing a drug utensil.
The man is expected to appear at the Southport Magistrates Court tomorrow while the woman is due in the same court on December 9. [QPS Media - 24/11/15]
Man hospitalised then charged following dangerous, resource wasting, class and raced based police pursuit, Surfers Paradise [QPS Media - 25/11/15]:
Fatal traffic crash, Bunya Mountains [QPS Media - 24 /11/15]
Woman dies after hit by jetski in Burnett River, Bundaberg [Yahoo - 25/11/15]
A schoolies reveller has burnt his bottom after trying to set his farts on fire on the Gold Coast. ... [Yahoo - 25/11/15]
Gold Coast Mayor and Murdoch Press use fire devastated coastal reserve to renew push for cruise ship terminal [Yahoo - 24/11/15]
The Fraser Coast Mayor says the southern Queensland council will attempt to remove toxic blue-green algae that has washed up on the region's beaches. ... [ABC - 24/11/15]
Senator for Queensland, Glenn Lazarus today said he will vote against the Federal Government’s Shipping Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 which is due to be debated in the Senate tomorrow.
“The shipping bill is nothing more than a direct attack on the Australian maritime and shipping industry and an attempt to give mining companies more power to ship coal and other resources around the country and overseas on foreign owned ships using cheap foreign labour,” Senator Glenn Lazarus said today. ... [Media Release - 24/11/15]
The scandal around Labor branch-stacking by anonymous gift card has extended into the party's youth wing with Bill Shorten and Stephen Conroy's political machine linked to the use of the cards in an elaborate bid to seize control of a university Labor Club.
Documents obtained by The Age show gift cards were used to sign up 36 members to the Deakin University Labor Club including 11 political staffers employed by Senator Conroy and allied state and federal MPs. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 24/11/15]
Bob Katter introduced a bill that aims to prevent “fire sales” of rural properties in Federal Parliament this week.
The Federal Member for Kennedy said the Credit Repayment Bill could do this by giving borrowers two years to sell their properties.
This bill applies to rural or residential properties worth more than $150,000. ... [North West Star - 23/11/15]
How'd you like to spend Christmas on Christmas Island? ...
Second reading debate on Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia) Bill 2015 possibly resumes today [25/11/15]
Canada to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees, repeal bill stripping "terrorists" of
citizenship [CBC - 7/11/15]
Journalist Mohamed Fahmy says Tory law made him fear losing Canadian citizenship [Huffington Post - 9/11/15]
Will Peter Greste be able to give this lecture next month? Or will he be incarcerated on Christmas Island - stripped of his citizenship?
Al Jazeera reporter Peter Greste seeks pardon from Egypt [Democracy Now - 28/9/15]
Journalist Peter Greste has questioned the Abbott government's proposal to strip Australian citizenship from terrorism suspects, saying that as a dual national who has been accused of terrorism charges, he would be a 'prime candidate'. The al-Jazeera reporter spent 400 days in an Egyptian prison after being accused of aiding the banned Muslim Brotherhood. Speaking at the Lowy Institute on Wednesday, Greste said 'due process underpins democracy' and 'to take away judicial oversight and hand it to a political figure is a very, very dangerous thing to do'. [VIDEO - Guardian - 11/6/15]
Actual "debate" during the committee stage Migration Amendment (Charging for a Migration Outcome) Bill 2015 in Senate yesterday [Hansard - 24/1/15]:
Senator NASH (New South Wales—Deputy Leader of The Nationals in the Senate and Minister for Rural Health) (19:14): Thank you, Senator, and I do note the comments that you made at the outset in relation to the minister, and I concur absolutely. I think that as a minister he deals with great integrity when it comes to dealing with people—not only in legislation but in the course of his portfolio responsibilities. I know that the great majority of people hold him in very high regard. So thank you for those comments, Senator. Firstly, I want to indicate that there will be a fair framework. I intentionally picked up the phrase that you used, Senator Xenophon, because that is precisely what we are doing with this bill. We believe that the fair framework is absolutely in the bill. I hope it will go some way to alleviate your concerns. As I indicated earlier—and I completely understand that you may well have been distracted—we will make it very clear, under policy, that we will not pursue a civil penalty for people that have been coerced into making payments or have been subject to human trafficking or slavery. I do not know how I can be any more clear about that. I understand from your reading and your perspective of those words that it has created some concern for you. I hope my very genuine response to you indicates that the government will not be pursuing civil penalties in those instances.
PNG Parliamentary Inquiry finds dramatic increase in drug-resistant TB
There has been a dramatic increase in the number of drug-resistant tuberculosis cases recorded in Papua New Guinea.
That is raising concerns the disease could become untreatable in Australia.
And as Santilla Chingaipe reports, it comes despite tens of millions of dollars in Australian aid being invested in the Pacific nation to tackle the epidemic.
A parliamentary inquiry in Papua New Guinea has been looking into the country's multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis, or MDR TB, crisis.
TB specialist Dr Stenard Hiasihri has told the hearing it is increasing at an alarming rate.
"Real crisis, (the) epidemic in Western Province. And the numbers have been increasing since 2012. Last year, we had 84 cases of MDR TB. This year, we have 103 so far. And next year, we'll have new cases. And that trend is increasing."
MP Gary Juffa questioned the PNG government's response to the almost incurable strain of the disease.
"There seems to be no urgency, there seems to be no anxious effort ... no concern, almost. There's almost a sense of apathy in addressing this. I mean, we should be containing this as quickly as possible."
Patients of the drug-resistant TB used to be treated at clinics in the Torres Strait.
But the inquiry was told the decision by the Australian government to relocate treatment clinics back to the PNG mainland has had an impact.
"A country that used to help us is Australia. We just moved them across to Saibai Island, and they helped us, because they know our situation. They're willing to help us."
A Wisconsin law requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital is unconstitutional, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Monday, addressing a topic the U.S. Supreme Court is considering during its current term.
Abortion providers in Wisconsin had challenged the state law, which requires doctors to have privileges at a hospital within 30 miles (50 km). The law's supporters said the measure ensures continuity of care while opponents say it serves almost no public health value and is intended to shut clinics. ... [Reuters - 23/11/15]
Pfizer set to buy Allergan for more than $150 billion [Reuters - 22/11/15]
A military court in Thailand has charged two men with carrying out a deadly August bombing at a Bangkok shrine that left 20 people dead and more than 120 injured.
The two, identified as Bilal Mohammad and Yusufu Mieraili, faced 10 charges on Tuesday in connection with the August 17 blast at Erawan Shrine.
Bilal was initially identified as Adem Karadag, which was the name on a fake Turkish passport in his possession when he was arrested on August 29.
He was arrested at one of two apartments police raided on the outskirts of Bangkok.
The charges included conspiracy to explode bombs and commit premeditated murder, Chuchart Kanpai, the defence lawyer, said.
Both men have been described by officials as ethnic Uighurs from western China's Xinjiang region. ... [Al Jazeera - 24/11/15]
Italy expels four suspected Moroccan 'terrorists' [News 24 - 23/11/15]
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