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! 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 *
Gillian Triggs is being used to create an illusion of difference, where none exists.
Refugees remain incarcerated in Australian death camps, and are being refouled, exiled and deported.
Did a murder trial begin in Lorengau District Court today or did ALP "refugee advocates" and the ABC lie?
... In July, police arrested security guard Louie Efi and soon afterwards arrested Salvation Army worker Joshua Kaluvia.
The Papua New Guinean men were both charged with murder.
The case has been listed in the Manus Island court for Monday. ... <---- WHERE? NO LINK, NO FAITH.
British media report on Nauru refugee protests: Nauru detention centre 'calm' says Transfield, despite self-harm and unrest [Guardian - 2/3/15]
New Zealand media report on Nauru refugee protests: Refugees continue protests on Nauru [RNZI - 2/3/15]
Australian media blackout continues.
You can catch the Academy Award winning documentary CitizenFour at Dendy Portside in Brisbane.
Arts Hub [11/2/15]:
... What CitizenFour delivers isn’t just a behind-the-scenes insight into a figure at the centre of a furore, or a recap of a complex issue already splashed across countless headlines, though the film does well with both. Even as Snowden remains front and centre, sincere, intelligent and determined as he always appears, the documentary presents the evolution of an insidious modern-day horror story.
His words are the accessible guide to a terrifying scenario of constant observation and investigation already likened to the works of George Orwell many times over. Accordingly, chronicling the process, paranoia, politics, ethics and legalities of the eradication of privacy, piece by piece, is CitizenFour’s primary function, and one it achieves in unsettling and thrilling fashion.
Data retention: we need this Opposition to oppose - but the opposition is busy - maintaining the status quo.
Senator Scott Ludlam [27/2/15]:
... You saw this coming, didn't you: Labor proposes to cave in. Tough talk about protection of journalists and their sources has come to nothing; evidence tendered by everyone from the Law Council to the Communications Alliance has gone unheard. Instead of stepping up as a party of opposition, Labor has thrown Tony Abbott a mass surveillance lifeline.
The argument that we have to continually sacrifice rights and freedoms in order to maintain security will carry us to a very dark place indeed. By this logic, people living under martial law in authoritarian states would be the safest of all.
Queensland's so called "civil liberties" groups appear to have successfully buried the Brisbane screening of CitizenFour as assiduously as the media have blacked it out.
Why is this?
Are they serious about promoting civil rights? Are they merely fronts and propaganda mouthpieces for the ALP? Are they corrupt? Incompetent?
A false representation of a matter of fact—whether by words or by conduct, by false or misleading allegations, or by concealment of what should have been disclosed—that deceives and is intended to deceive another so that the individual will act upon it to her or his legal injury. ...
There's no escape.
The big pricks are out.
They'll fuck everything in sight.
Watch your back.
Harold Pinter - Februrary 2003
This looks like a purge.
On Sunday, commander of the federal police forces Raed Shakir Jawdat announced, that 9 battalions of the federal police have been deployed in Baghdad belt areas to liberate them from ISIS control.
Jawdat informed IraqiNews, “By the commander in chief of the Armed Forces Haider Abadi’s order and under the interior minister Mohammed Salem Ghaban’s supervision, nine battalions of the federal police were deployed in Baghdad belt areas to free them from the ISIS militants’ control,” noting that, “These areas are Arab Jabbour, Madain and al-Tharwa.”
“The deployment of battalions was based on information received about the existence of sleeper cells.”
Iraq says launches offensive on Islamic State north of Baghdad [Reuters – 1/3/15]:
... "The prime minister and armed forces chief announce the start of the security campaign to liberate Salahuddin," a statement issued by Abadi's office said as he met military leaders in the province, where thousands of troops and militia have gathered for battle.
In comments broadcast on Iraqi television, Abadi said the Islamist militants would be pushed out of all of Salahuddin and offered their supporters a final opportunity to hand themselves in. "I call upon all those who have been deluded and made mistakes in past to lay down arms today," he said.
"This is their last chance. If they insist on staying on their wrong path they will receive the fair punishment they deserve because they stood with terrorism."
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [1/3/15]:
Nineveh: The war planes have shelled Ghabat area at the left side of Mosul..........
Baghdad: The war planes have targeted Sayid Abdullah in Yusfiya nahiya south of Baghdad and sources reported that many civilian homes have been destroyed........
New Zealand government watchlist number grows [AUDIO - 2/3/15]:
... Meanwhile, a New Zealander held hostage in Iraq by Al Qaeda supporters for four months in 2005 says New Zealand should withdraw from the US-led coalition in Iraq.
Harmeet Sooden is heading back to the country to work with the humanitarian organisation Christian Peacekeeper Teams, and will be based in Iraqi Kurdistan, where he will help refugees.
He told Morning Report he was deeply concerned about the Government's decision to deploy defence forces to Iraq.
"As a New Zealander I feel responsible to some degree for my government's actions and I think, at least according to NGOs that this deployment, or at least this coalition is likely to increase the level of violence in the region."
Mr Sooden said US policies over the past few decades had had a devastating impact on Iraqi society.
Katter introduces Imported Food Warning Labels Bill 2015
KAP Media Release [26/2/15]:
KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter and Independent Senator for South Australia Nick Xenophon addressed the press gallery in Canberra today after the latest imported food scare in which four people are reported to have fallen ill with potentially deadly fish poisoning after eating tuna imported from Thailand.
“We have warned continuously that there are serious disease issues in the product coming into Australia,” Mr Katter said.
“The issue today is tuna. What we absolutely know is that the prawn and the fish farms in the countries north of Australia, where the vast bulk of Australian fish farming takes place, dump raw sewerage into the rivers and creeks and that water is put into the fish farms.
“It’s not only the bacteria, but to fight the bacteria, there’s the issue of antibiotics.
“Let us at least let consumers protect themselves. We want a label. They put it on cigarettes and hundreds of other items,” Mr Katter said.
Mr Katter announced that he and Hon. Andrew Wilkie, member for Denison, had co-sponsored the Imported Food Warning Labels Bill 2015 to be introduced into Parliament on Monday, which seeks that all imported food products carry the label:
“Warning: Imported food. This food has not been grown or processed under Australian health and hygiene standards and may be injurious to your health.”
The Bill mirrors legislation introduced by Mr Katter and Mr Wilkie in 2013.
“Had the Government listened two years ago, people would not be sick now,” Mr Katter said.
“The consumer should have a freedom of choice. He doesn’t have a choice at the moment as he doesn’t know where the product comes from.”
Mr Katter said that he Andrew Wilkie represented the vast bulk of what was left of the Australia’s prawn and fish market.
“My prawn farmers, an industry worth about $600 million a year, has been destroyed down to about $30 million a year. Why? Because we have hygiene and environmental standards that are not applied to overseas producers. It doubled our cost of production and we were wiped out.
“Our industries are being destroyed, because there is one set of rules being applied to our producers and an entirely different set of rules being applied to the imports.
“Our farmers have been paying the penalty. But today, consumers are paying the penalty,” Mr Katter said.
More questions over the Gemalto hack [VIDEO - Australian Greens – 24/2/15]
American and British spies hacked into the internal computer network of the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world, stealing encryption keys used to protect the privacy of cellphone communications across the globe, according to top-secret documents provided to The Intercept by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The hack was perpetrated by a joint unit consisting of operatives from the NSA and its British counterpart Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ.
The breach, detailed in a secret 2010 GCHQ document, gave the surveillance agencies the potential to secretly monitor a large portion of the world’s cellular communications, including both voice and data.
The company targeted by the intelligence agencies, Gemalto, is a multinational firm incorporated in the Netherlands that makes the chips used in mobile phones and next-generation credit cards.
Among its clients are AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint and some 450 wireless network providers around the world. The company operates in 85 countries and has more than 40 manufacturing facilities. One of its three global headquarters is in Austin, Texas and it has a large factory in Pennsylvania.
Genetic testing standards should help patients
Leading pathologists are recommending standards for the analysis of genetic testing, to ensure more consistent and accurate information is provided to patients.
The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia said the standards, which would be applied this year to professionals in Australia and New Zealand, were a world-first.
The chair of the college's genetics advisory committee, Melody Caramins, said that with a set of standards on which to base the accuracy of DNA testing, better advice will be given to patients.
"Given that, you know, the consequence can be pretty phenomenal in terms of 'yes, you have, an 80 percent inherited risk of getting breast cancer or no you're not', this is a pretty significant life decision. And you don't want to be at a point where potentially the same thing might be interpreted differently by two different labs."
Senators move to give CSG whistleblower air
Sydney Morning Herald [1/3/15]:
Coal seam gas projects worth almost $50 billion are under fresh scrutiny, after allegations of rushed, incomplete approval processes that sidelined possible environmental impacts.
Efforts will resume this week in a Senate committee to make public documents and comments by a Queensland whistleblower.
Senator Glenn Lazarus of the Palmer United Party and Greens Senator Larissa Water plan to press fellow members of the Senate inquiry into Queensland Government Administration to lift a gag imposed on evidence presented by former state bureaucrat Simone Marsh.
Ms Marsh was told only minutes prior to appearing at a hearing last November in Brisbane that her comments would be taken "in camera". While her submission to the inquiry has been posted online by the committee, some of the documents – including an email obtained under Queensland's Right to Information law detailing the approval rush – have been redacted.
Among the suppressed documents is a draft letter dated 31 March, 2010, from a senior government official to the head of one of the project developers, Santos.
A fragment of the letter - made public for the first time in Ms Marsh's submission - reveals that Colin Jensen, then head of the state's Coordinator-General set up to streamline major projects warned Santos that the absence of key information meant most of the project could not be approved.
Missing elements included "operational plans" for the location of CSG wells and pipelines, and how it would accord with environmental protection laws.
"It would appear that there is only sufficient information for an assessment of the transmission pipeline and one train of the LNG facility," Mr Jensen's letter said.
Despite the absence of basic details of the project, now worth some $24 billion, it was approved less than two months later, with government officials having to draw up much of the detail themselves, Ms Marsh told Fairfax Media.
A second project, the $US20 billion QGC LNG project controlled by UK-based BG Group, was approved soon after, also with little independent oversight, Ms Marsh said.
"There are many people being negatively impacted by CSG activities, and in my view, they have a right to know how these impacts came about," said Ms Marsh, who resigned from her government role on June 23, 2010, the day of the QGC approval.
The companies state on their websites that their projects are fully compliant, with BG Group noting the environmental assessment of its QCLNG Project "took more than two years, involved more than 4000 meetings, briefings and presentations across interest groups, and resulted in a 12,000-page report".
Senator Lazarus, chair of the five-member committee, said he will ask for Ms Marsh's evidence to be made public: "I am determined to ensure the Senate Inquiry into the [Campbell] Newman Government gives all Queenslanders the opportunity to share their concerns and for their information or evidence to be made publicly available".
Senator Waters said she had amended the terms of reference of the inquiry to include CSG approvals under the previous Labor government of Anna Bligh, with "Ms Marsh's whistle-blowing in mind specifically".
"It's vital that Ms Marsh's important evidence is made public, especially with the rush of coal and gas expansion across the country, and with this being a key issue in the NSW election," Senator Waters said.
The committee is due to hand down its report on March 27, the day before the NSW poll.
The sole Coalition member, Ian Macdonald, said the committee "had been a farce from day one", and was aimed at embarrassing the Newman government – which lost power in January.
Senator Macdonald said Ms Marsh's evidence had been withheld because it made "substantial allegations" against public servants, lawyers and other people. "If things are made public, all of them will of necessity be entitled to come forward to clear their names," he said.
Nineveh: The coalition aircrafts have shelled Tayaran neighbourhood at Fawj Athani Street in the right side of Mosul........
"tweeted" by @IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [1/3/15]
Daily Star [1/3/15]:
The U.N. mission to Iraq says violence in the country claimed the lives of at least 1,100 Iraqis in February, including more than 600 civilians.
In a statement Sunday, the U.N. Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) said 611 civilians were among 1,103 people killed last month. The rest were members of the security forces. It said at least 2,280 people were wounded, including 1,353 civilians. Last month's death toll was at least 1,375.
It said the most violent city was the capital Baghdad, with 329 civilians killed and 875 wounded.
The U.N. numbers do not include the third of the country held by ISIS.
According to UNAMI, last year was the deadliest in Iraq since 2006-2007, with a total of 12,282 people killed and 23,126 wounded.
... Gareth Evans is perhaps best known internationally as the world’s principal intellectual architect and proponent of the doctrine of the “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P), which calls for Western military intervention in crisis areas to prevent massacres of civilians. ...
'Why One of the World's Leading Peace Advocates Threatened to Punch Me in the Face', Stephen Zunes [AlterNet - 5/4/12]
Phnom Penh Post [27/2/15]:
Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday used the opening of a major international conference in Phnom Penh to publicly confront former Australian foreign minister and Paris Peace Agreements architect Gareth Evans over why he had attacked him in a scathing article last year.
Evans, once called the “father of Cambodia” by senior Cambodian People’s Party lawmaker Chheang Vun, was seated awkwardly behind the premier on stage as he delivered the opening keynote address for a two-day conference on the Responsibility to Protect doctrine at the Sofitel Phokeethra hotel.
Turning and directly facing Evans in front of numerous diplomats, dignitaries and foreign scholars, including Australian Ambassador Alison Burrows, Hun Sen pointedly asked why Evans no longer wanted to be friends, to his obvious discomfort and the crowd’s surprise.
“I don’t know what disease you had [or] why you criticised me last year. I don’t know whether you really said it or the media published it wrongly, [because] we are longtime friends”, the premier said, referring to an opinion piece Evans wrote last February that said the government had been getting away with murder. Hun Sen then reflected on the time that he and Evans had spent working together in the years leading up to the 1991 Paris Accords that laid the foundations for the UN-sponsored elections in 1993.
He took a dig at Evans and the international community for their reluctance to explicitly refer to preventing the return of the Khmer Rouge in the wording of the text. “Why did [Evans] dare not to speak about the trials of the Khmer Rouge at that time? What was the world afraid of? What were the five big countries afraid of?”
The agreements, which were signed by all the warring Cambodian factions, including the radical communists, instead referred to Khmer Rouge atrocities as the “policies and practices of the past”.
“I just have a feeling that it is inappropriate for Gareth Evans to criticise me. We have had many memories of working together … you and me were partners in negotiations,” Hun Sen continued, recalling late-night negotiations at the Jakarta Informal Meetings in the late 1980s.
“We ate rice in Sydney. You drove a car by yourself; my wife and I were in a car by ourselves,” he said. “We have been friendly together. But [now] you don’t want to be friends anymore?”
The premier tried unsuccessfully to lighten the tense mood by adding he was “just joking” but curtly added that “for some of it … I’m not joking, it’s real”.
The pair exchanged a handshake and a few words at the conclusion of Hun Sen’s speech.
Evans, who currently serves as chancellor at the Australian National University, had maintained a close relationship with Hun Sen following the UNTAC period.
But in an op-ed published in the Post and several other newspapers a year ago, he said that the time had come for Cambodia’s political leaders to be “named, shamed, investigated and sanctioned” by the international community.
“For far too long, Hun Sen and his colleagues have been getting away with violence, human-rights abuses, corruption, and media and electoral manipulation without serious internal or external challenge,” he wrote.
Evans said that while he had “resisted strong public criticism” for a long time in the hope that the situation could change, the CPP’s behaviour had “moved beyond the civilised pale”.
Evans declined to comment in detail yesterday at the conference. “I’m just glad to know the prime minister read my article,” he said.
The premier also used the podium yesterday to reassert his absolute opposition to the UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal pursuing cases beyond what it is currently hearing.
International co-investigating judge Mark Harmon has reportedly released an order for Case 004 suspect Im Chem to be brought to the court that is not being acted on by local authorities.
“We have to think about the importance of peace, the importance of life,” Hun Sen said. “How many people will die if war comes again?”
Australia's sledgehammer, Peter Mares [APO - 25/2/04]:
... Outside observers could be forgiven for assuming that Australia’s harsh policies were the product of an assault on the nation’s borders by huge numbers of unauthorised migrants. In fact the opposite is the case: Australia’s ‘problem’ with asylum seekers is modest, particularly when compared with poor nations in Africa or West Asia that have been confronted with huge numbers of refugees pouring across their frontiers in a single day. Even when boat arrivals to Australia peaked the largest number to arrive in a single year was 4175 (in financial year 1999-2000).
The policy of mandatory detention was not implemented in response to an emergency on Australia’s borders and its origins pre-date the government of John Howard with which it is now so closely associated. The power to detain non-citizens who do not have a valid visa to enter Australia was included in the 1958 Migration Act and was indicative of the highly regulated and restrictive history of Australian immigration policy. This ‘culture of control’ in immigration found infamous expression in the White Australia policy, which prevented the entry of non-Europeans to the country from 1901 until the early 1970s. Small immigration detention centres had long been established in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth while in other cities immigration detainees were usually held in prisons. But the routine detention of asylum seekers arriving without visas and the construction of remote detention centres to house them followed the landing of a boat carrying 26 people at Pender Bay near Broome in November 1989. It was the first boat to carry asylum seekers to Australian territory since 1981 and its arrival marked the beginning of a second wave of boatpeople landing on Australia shores. (The first wave lasted from 1976 to 1981. It was made up of about 2000 refugees arriving in small groups who were fleeing Communism in Indochina after the end of the Vietnam War. They were not detained on arrival.)
There were many Cambodians aboard the Pender Bay boat and subsequent vessels and their arrival came at a sensitive time for the Labor government of Prime Minister Bob Hawke. Hawke’s high-profile foreign minister Gareth Evans was deeply involved in crafting a peace process for Cambodia, which involved the repatriation of 300,000 Cambodian refugees from camps along the Thai border. The federal government feared that confidence in the plan could be undermined if Cambodians in Australia were found to be refugees or if their personal stories were allowed to become public. Hawke was quick to declare categorically that the Cambodians were not ‘political’ but ‘economic’ refugees. He said he would not allow Cambodian asylum seekers to ‘jump the queue’ of Australia’s orderly migration program . The label ‘queue jumper’ has been used to denigrate asylum seekers arriving by boat ever since.
While detention was initially ad hoc, it was soon developed into a formal system, and in 1991 the government opened a detention centre in disused working-men’s quarters in Port Hedland on the far north coast of Western Australia. According to Frank Brennan, the primary motivation for detaining Cambodian asylum seekers in Port Hedland was to make them inaccessible to ‘lawyers and the other community groups labelled by government as “do-gooders” so that their public description as economic migrants would stick without causing any haemorrhaging of the Evans peace plan’ .
Other justifications for detention soon emerged, the most notable being that it would deter further arrivals. In 1992 lawyers challenged the detention of 15 Cambodian asylum seekers who had been incarcerated for more than two years. Less than 4 hours before a Federal Court judge was to hear the application the government rushed through new legislation to entrench the policy of mandatory detention more firmly in law. Immigration Minister Gerry Hand told parliament that the government was ‘determined that a clear signal be sent that migration to Australia may not be achieved by simply arriving in this country and expecting to be allowed into the community.’ ...
Former foreign minister Gareth Evans says it's sensible for Australia to begin an international dialogue about revamping the United Nations Refugee Convention. ... [Nine MSN - 18/7/13]
Anthony Albanese says the government must modify its asylum seeker policies as the people smuggler's adopt new strategies for bringing people to Australia. ... [SBS - 18/7/13]
... Parliamentary secretary Ed Husic said it was right to look at ways of updating the convention to meet current conditions.
"What it doesn't deal with is someone hopping on a plane from Tehran, going to Indonesia and then hopping on a vessel to come across and do the two-day trip (to Australia) and classing themselves as a refugee," he told Sky News. ... [Yahoo 7 - 18/7/13]
An Egyptian court on Saturday branded the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas a "terrorist" group over its alleged links with jihadists behind deadly attacks on security forces in the Sinai Peninsula. ... [Al Akhbar - 1/3/15]
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced a new mandatory visa requirement for all Americans visiting the country. The leader also called to review and downsize the number of US embassy staff in Caracas.
“In order to protect our country I have decided to implement a system of compulsory visas for all Americans entering Venezuela,” Maduro said in a speech on Saturday.
This is a reciprocal measure and now all Americans will have to pay tourist visa fees equal to what “a Venezuelan pays to travel to the US.” ... [RT - 1/3/15]
Rwanda urged to take criminal action over BBC genocide film
An inquiry in Rwanda has recommended that the government initiate criminal and civil proceedings against the BBC over a documentary which questioned official accounts of the 1994 genocide.
Inquiry head Martin Ngoga found that the documentary failed to meet the BBC's own editorial standards.
The BBC says it is "extremely disappointed" by the findings.
Rwanda suspended broadcasts by the BBC's Kinyarwanda language service after the TV documentary was aired.
"We stand by our right to produce the independent journalism which has made us the world's most trusted news source," the BBC said in a statement.
It said the programme was still going through its editorial complaints process.
"This process has not yet concluded but the provisional findings are that the documentary does not breach the BBC's editorial standards," the BBC said.
At least 800,000 people died in the genocide over a 100-day period in 1994.
Those killed are generally believed to be mostly members of the minority ethnic Tutsi group, and Hutus opposed to the mass slaughter.
The BBC programme Rwanda, The Untold Story, included interviews with US-based researchers who say most of those killed may have been Hutus, killed by members of the then-rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), which has been in power since 1994.
The programme also included interviews with former aides of RPF leader President Paul Kagame, accusing him of plotting to shoot down the presidential plane - the act seen as triggering the slaughter.
He has strenuously denied previous such accusations.
Critics in Rwanda say that the documentary was an attempt to revise the history and facts of the genocide, and disrespected the memory of those who had died.
The BBC "strongly rejects any suggestion that any part of this documentary constitutes genocide denial".
A parliamentary resolution in October said the programme's producer and presenter, as well as those interviewed for the documentary, should be charged with genocide denial - a punishable crime in Rwanda.
The BBC argued around the same time that it had a duty to investigate difficult and challenging subjects and believed the programme was a valuable contribution to the understanding of the tragic history of the country and the region.
The BBC also said several attempts to get the Rwandan government to respond to the allegations for the programme had not been taken up.
Police fatally shoot man on NSW Central Coast
Police have shot dead a man on the New South Wales Central Coast, prompting a critical incident investigation.
It is understood officers were called to a home on Bangalow Street in Ettalong Beach after reports of a domestic dispute about 8.30am on Sunday.
A 45-year-old man was shot in the chest after a confrontation with officers.
He was treated by paramedics at the scene and taken to Gosford Hospital in a critical condition, but he died a short time later.
NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said there would be a full investigation.
"A crime scene has been established and further details are expected later today," he said.
A critical incident team from the homicide squad is investigating all the circumstances around the incident.
Critical incident investigations are called when police may be involved in a death.
The investigation will be overseen by the police Professional Standards Command.
A 40-year-old man has been charged with murder after a woman, 28, was found dead in her Calwell home with an axe beside her on Saturday afternoon. ... [Canberra Times - 1/3/15]
Peter Gerard Scully made Philippines children dig own grave: victims [Canberra Times – 1/3/15]
Assault charges, Mornington Island
QPS Media [1/3/15]:
Police have charged a man in relation to a series of incidents in Mornington Island today.
Around 5.40am police attended Ngerranun Street in relation to a physical altercation involving five men and a 15-year-old boy. As a result the boy received a puncture wound to his back.
Police will allege later that morning two men involved in the altercation entered a Lardil Street residence, threatened two men with a spear and physically assaulted them.
The two men aged 21 and 65 were taken to hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
Two Mornington Island men aged 21 and 27 have both been charged with one count each of forcible entry, enter dwelling with intent and common assault. They are due to appear in the Mount Isa Magistrates Court tomorrow.
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.
Cyclist killed during Sydney race
A competitor in Sydney's annual Tour De Hills cycling event has been killed after he was thrown from his bike into the path of a motorcycle and sidecar.
The man, aged in his 40s, was one of about 700 cyclists riding in the annual Tour De Hills race on Sunday morning.
Police say it appears the man was riding in a large group on Glenhaven Road at Kellyville, in Sydney's northwest, when his bike clipped another bike just before 8.30am.
The competitor was thrown into the path of an oncoming motorcycle, which had a sidecar attached.
The cyclist died at the scene despite paramedics' efforts to save him.
The male motorcyclist, who wasn't involved in the race, was uninjured and has been taken to hospital for mandatory blood and urine testing.
Thousands march in Dresden pro-refugee
Deutsche Welle [28/2/15]:
Thousands of people have demonstrated in favor of refugees in the German city of Dresden.
Organizers aim to make the Saxony capital, which is also the home of anti-Islamization group PEGIDA, appear more welcoming.
Police estimates put the number of demonstrators in the "Solidarity with Refugees" demonstration at 3,500, although organizers put the figure as high as 5,000.
Officials said that the demonstration had been peaceful and passed without incident. After a meeting in the city's Theaterplatz square, participants marched a route that took in both sides of the River Elbe.
"Say it loud - say it clear, refugees are welcome here," was a key slogan for the event, organized with the support of church organizations, trade unions and political parties.
"PEGIDA is the most significant counter-Enlightenment movement in recent German history," resurrecting a "social dynamic that is dangerous," were among the messages from the podium.
Demonstrators called for an easing of restrictions keeping families apart and improved accommodation, with refugees being housed in apartments rather than reception centers.
The eastern German city was chosen for having been the birthplace for the PEGIDA "anti-Islamization" group, which attracted 25,000 people to one of its weekly demonstrations in January. Organizers claimed the pro-refugee demo was aimed at repairing an image tarnished by those rallies.
Social inclusion group RAA claims that the atmosphere generated by the PEGIDA rallies has led to an increase in attacks on asylum seekers, as had been anticipated late last year.
PEGIDA was launched in October with an appeal on social media to protest plans to add 14 centers for about 2,000 refugees in the Dresden area. Members of the group deny accusations they are far-right extremists or neo-Nazis.
Second refugee protest: Nauru non-cooperation campaign (and Australian media blackout) continues [Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney – 1/3/15]:
More than 100 refugees from camps right across the island staged their second protest in three days, this afternoon, Sunday 1 March.
The protest was held in front of Beach House, the main office of Connect, the Australian contracted service provider, and lasted an hour between 4 and 5pm.
The non-cooperation campaign is set to continue, and more rallies are planned.
Who's that gubba holdin' on?
Let my people go
Must think we are really gone
Let my people go
Who's that gubba standin' there?
He don't think we really care
Go tell it on the mountain
To let my people go. ...
[As sung by Harold Blair]
Harold Blair is one of Australia's forgotten heroes who emerged from the Queensland Reserve system in 1945 to become the last renowned tenor of the concert hall era.
Harold went on to study in New York where he found blacks succeeding at all levels of society.
When he returned to Australia at the invitation of the ABC, he was determined to strive for equal rights for his people.
Protesters chanting "everyday protest" spokesman just announced todays protest is officially closed. Protesters dispersing peacefully.
Spokesman for protesters just ended his long speech promising they will respect law and order of #Nauru. Chanting "no more nauru"
@clintd22 [1/3/15]: This banner was pinned up at Anibare lodge. ---> "Dear Nauruan, the refugees have started a series of endless, peaceful protests. We don't want to fight or damage."
Protesters from Ijuw Lodge walking to Anibare lodge to take part in a second day of protests. ...
Image: @clintd22 - Clint Deidenang - photographer on Nauru [1/3/15]
Todays protestors chanting "shut down off shore" ...
@clintd22 - [1/3/15]
Adelaide Ahmadis have been participating in #CleanUpAusDay for 15yrs.
Many thanks to Matt Williams for supporting us.
Image: @MunawarARana [1/3/15]
@mkaaus - Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association Australia [1/3/15]: #CleanUpAus Day2015 Site with MOST volunteers & fundraising. ...
Pegida eclipsed by anti fascists at first UK demo
A rally of thousands of anti-fascists, trade unionists and faith representatives dwarfed the first UK demonstration by a far-right group against the “Islamisation of Europe” on Saturday, forming a counter-protest at least four times as large.
Pegida UK held its first event in Newcastle, with some 375 supporters present in the city’s Bigg Market.
The group, whose name translates as “Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West”, was formed in Dresden last year and has held regular marches there.
A demonstration in the German city in January drew 25,000, but it is thought that recent marches have mustered as few as 2,000.
This was its first UK demonstration. Police say 2,000 people marched under the umbrella of Newcastle Unites to oppose the gathering, with organisers putting the figure at closer to 3,000.
The Newcastle Unites group marched from Gallowgate in the city centre to a rally on Newgate Street, about 100 metres from the Pegida protesters. The rallies were kept separate by a series of police cordons.
Events were mostly peaceful, although a Pegida breakaway group tried to break through police cordons as the event closed, with protesters chanting the name of the English Defence League.
Northumbria police, who maintained a heavy presence in the city all day, say five arrests were made.
New Zealand troops could opt out of Iraq deployment
The Defence Force is allowing troops to opt out of being deployed to Iraq.
New Zealand is sending 143 military personnel to the Middle East to help train Iraqi soldiers in the fight against Islamic State.
The Defence Force said it always considered the personal circumstances of personnel leading up to a deployment.
In a statement the force said it was sometimes not appropriate to deploy an individual, and it was in the interests of the troops and the mission for them to be able to opt out.
It said people could indicate any matters that may affect their deployment, such as family or personal matters, but it did not elaborate on what those might be.
It said it recognised members of the Defence Force were people who had lives and families, and it was being a good employer by offering alternatives to deployment.
We are making progress in Iraq: Bishop [West Australian - 1/3/15]:
Julie Bishop has rejected suggestions the US-led coalition is failing in its war against Islamic State in Iraq, saying while there have been some wins and losses, progress is being made.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott is this week expected to commit more Australian troops to a new training mission in Iraq, adding to the 200-strong special forces team already in the country.
The Australian foreign minister denied the additional deployment was a sign the fight against IS was failing, saying defeating the terror group was always going to be a long term-objective.
"We're not just dealing with a military outcome," Ms Bishop told the Ten Network on Sunday.
"We're also trying to defeat an ideology and we have to come up with a counter-narrative so we can starve ISIL of foreign fighters, finance and support."
Ms Bishop dismissed claims Australia's involvement in international airstrikes had been ineffective, saying while there had been losses and gains, "overall we are making progress".
But she said the targeted air strikes could only ever have a limited impact.
"The Iraqi defence force will have to do the ground work that's required to take back street by street, town by town, city by city so they can reclaim their territory and protect their citizens that are being so brutalised," she said.
United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria
A U.S.-led coalition launched 11 air strikes in Iraq and nine in Syria since early Friday against Islamic State militants, the Combined Joint Task Force said.
Four of the strikes in Syria hit Islamic State positions near the border town of Kobani, the task force said in a statement on Saturday.
In Iraq, the coalition launched four strikes near the town of al Asad and three near Mosul.
Security source stated to Iraqi News “Two persons were killed and seven others injured due to mortar shells attack when the ISIL elements targeted Baghdadi district of western Anbar.” [IraqiNews.com - 28/2/15]
@IraqiSMCEn – Iraqi Spring Media Center [28/2/15]:
Anbar: Ain Al-Asad Base -in Baghdadi- has been shelled by Grad
missiles and losses resulted unknown.........
Diyala: Agencies:18 persons have been killed and wounded as two roadside bombs have sequentially exploded in public market in the middle of Balad Ruz..........
Salah-il-deen: The civilian homes in Albu Ajeel in Tikrit have been shelled violently.........
Atiyaf Khalid Hamam Al-Karaghooli , a girl child , has been killed and her parents severely wounded in aerial shelling on Garma east of Fallujah.......
Fatal traffic crash, Buccan
QPS Media [1/3/15]:
A man and a woman have died following a two vehicle traffic crash in Buccan (near Logan Village) today.
Initial information suggests that at around 9.15am a motorcycle collided with a vehicle on Waterford Tamborine Road.
The rider and pillion passenger of the motorcycle were pronounced deceased at the scene.
The driver of the vehicle was taken to the Princess Alexandra Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating. Waterford Tamborine Road, between Dairy Creek Road and Stegemann Road remains closed to all traffic.
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.
Fatal traffic crash, Kutterbul
QPS Media [1/3/15]:
Police are investigating following a serious traffic crash south of Kutterbul this morning.
Around 6.30am, a truck and a van have collided about 30kms north of Mackay on the Bruce Highway.
A man and a woman have both been pronounced deceased.
The highway is still closed and it is anticipated that this will be the case until at least 4pm.
There are local diversions in place.
The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating. 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.
Stealing charges, Kippa Ring
QPS Media [1/3/15]:
Police have charged a man following the theft of a taxi in Kippa Ring early this morning.
Around 4am, police will allege that a taxi was travelling on Fleet Street when an argument has ensued between the taxi driver and passengers over money required for their fare.
One of the male passengers became aggressive and threatened the taxi driver.
The taxi driver has then pulled over and exited the taxi before running away from the scene.
Police will further allege one of the male passengers then stole the taxi from the scene and drove away with the other passengers.
No one was physically injured as a result of the incident.
A 29-year-old Deception Bay man has been charged with one count each of unlawful use of a motor vehicle and stealing.
The man is due to appear in the Pine Rivers Magistrates Court on March 30.
Investigations are continuing. 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.
Serious assault police charges, Howard (near Maryborough)
QPS Media [1/3/15]:
Police have charged a man with serious assault police in Howard.
It is alleged that around 4.40pm the 19-year-old man attended the Howard police station in relation to another matter.
When police attempted to arrest him a physical altercation ensued resulting in a male police officer being pushed through a window.
The officer received minor injuries and was taken to Hervey Bay Hospital for treatment.
A 19-year-old Torbanlea man has been charged with two counts of resist arrest, and one count each of serious assault police and wilful damage of police property.
He is due to appear in the Maryborough Magistrates Court on March 17. Police investigations into the incident are continuing.
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.
Man drives off in police car following fight, Kalgoorlie
West Australian [1/3/15]:
Police have charged people with a string of offences after an early morning fight outside a Kalgoorlie bar.
Officers were called out after reports of people fighting outside the Maritana Street bar about 2.30pm.
Police arrived to find an injured man lying on the ground.
He had suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene.
"While police were attending to the man, it is alleged another male entered an unlocked police car and drove off," a police spokeswoman said.
"It is further alleged the man drove the stolen police car along Boulder Road before stopping and collecting a 15-year-old female passenger."
It is alleged that the occupants of the stolen police car drove through the streets of Boulder and ran down street signs and street furniture.
Police found the car on Keegan Street and it was followed until the offenders abandoned it on York Street, police allege.
The alleged driver and passenger were apprehended nearby.
A 35-year-old Piccadilly man has been charged with stealing a motor vehicle, reckless driving, failing to stop and having no authority to drive.
He has been remanded in custody and is due to appear in Kalgoorlie Magistrate's Court on March 3.
A 15-year-old Somerville girl has been charged with stealing a motor vehicle.
She is due to appear in Kalgoorlie Children's Court next month.
Four men aged between 22 and 28 years of age have been charged with disorderly behaviour in public and are due to appear in Kalgoorlie Magistrate's Court on March 23.
Northern Territory police auxiliary found not guilty of sexual assaults in Darwin watch house [ABC – 25/2/15]
Pedestrian expected to be charged after being run over
West Australian [28/2/15]:
A West Australian woman was taken to hospital after being hit by a car in Melbourne this morning.
A Victoria Police spokeswoman said the 18-year-old was struck by the car while she crossed Lygon Street at the corner of Blyth Street in Brunswick East with a red signal about 8.30am.
The driver of the car stopped to help the woman until ambulance and police officers arrived.
The West Australian woman was taken to Royal Melbourne Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
She is expected to be issued with an infringement notice for failing to obey the red pedestrian signal.
Adelaide man critical after suspected hit and run at Elizabeth Vale [ABC - 1/3/15]
Calwell death: Man charged with murder after woman's body, axe found in Canberra home [ABC - 1/3/15]
The NDIS was set up as a neoliberal model of privatisation and outsourcing.
It is a political and media establishment con job.
Disability advocacy groups have warned privatising the National Disability Insurance Scheme could lead to a flood of dodgy operators who are more concerned about making a profit than looking after people with disabilities.
Two states, New South Wales and Queensland, plan to hand over all responsibility for disability support to charities and companies when the scheme is fully rolled out in 2018.
Some disability groups have raised concerns that people with the most challenging and complex needs may fall through the gaps if the non-government sector is not equipped to look after them.
Public Service Association of New South Wales assistant general secretary Steve Turner said the state government department currently provided 40 per cent of disability support and employed some 15,000 staff.
But the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) is due to close in 2018 when the NDIS is fully rolled out.
"The public sector provides many of the best services within the community," Mr Turner said.
"Until the NGO and private sector can demonstrate that they can match the quality of those services, ADHC shouldn't be closed."
He was also worried that the move to a market-based system would open up the floodgates to for-profit disability service providers.
"We don't want shonky providers coming up, like the pink batts scheme," Mr Turner said.
"If someone bought a wheelchair from a shonky provider and after one year the wheels fall off, well they've still got two years to go before they get (more funding), and if ADHC isn't there as a provider of the last resort, that person is in big trouble."
Private health insurance premiums to rise by 6.18%, as government signs off on increase [WA Today - 27/2/15]
What Cyclone Marcia victims need money for is household goods or food.
The neoliberal Queensland government gives them vouchers. ---> Deputy Premier, Minister for Transport, Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister for Trade Media Release - 1/3/15]
Mass rescue of 18 people at Burleigh on Gold
Coast after sandbar collapses
Eighteen people were rescued on Queensland's Gold Coast after a sandbar collapsed and they became caught in a rip.
Surf Life Saving Queensland said the swimmers got into trouble at North Burleigh.
The Queensland Ambulance Service said officers were not called to attend.
Sarbi, the black labrador explosives expert says she wasn't lost at all but in fact went AWOL for just over a year because of her disgust over the lies and senseless violence of this immoral war on innocent civilians.
For the first time she speaks out about her lost year.
Sarbi may have received the rarely awarded Purple Leash Of Freedom, but this plucky pooch is no warrior.
"War is a racket," she said, tucking into her roasted pear and walnut salad with balsamic dressing as we lunched at an exclusive inner city restaurant.
"You have to remember that I was trained to save lives, not help take them," she added in her quiet and measured labrador voice.
"As soon as I arrived in the war-zone I could tell there was something terribly wrong about the whole thing. These poor people are suffering and dying for nothing more than an imperial adventure, I just couldn't accept that we were on an honourable mission or bringing 'freedom and democracy' to them."
Sarbi decided to go AWOL and made a run for it as soon as she got a chance.
"I spent a lot of time with the local people, getting to know them and their culture and language. They are really just like people anywhere else. They eat, love, dance, sing and do that stupid thing where they throw a stick and I bring it back and then they throw it again and then I bring it back and then they throw it again. They are just as simple as Australians or Americans or anyone else in that way."
"They took me into their lives and homes and taught me that real people are always the first to suffer at the hands of imperial wars of choice. It was so sad. I promised myself that I would give up being in the army and try to go out and do some good in this world."
After about a year Sarbi returned to her unit and received an honourable discharge.
Some war mongering propaganda for the defence housing property scam. [Brisbane Times - 1/3/15]:
She spent 14 months lost, presumed dead, wandering in war-torn Afghanistan.
But on Saturday14-year-old Sarbi, Australia's most decorated canine war hero, was right at home at the south-east Queensland dog park named in her honour.
The $1 million Sarbi Park at Warner, north of Brisbane, was officially opened on Saturday as part of Defence Housing Australia's new Warner Lakes The Reserve development at Warner.
DFAT spends a quarter of a billion on mercenaries to guard foreign embassies [Canberra Times - 23/2/15]
If the invasive, unrelenting PR for Fifty Shades of Grey hasn't convinced you we live in an empire of abuse, go see the Academy Award winner CitizenFour.
#StopDataRetention. RT if you agree, @billshortenmp - Senator Scott Ludlam [27/2/15]:
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