Imaginary Senate Estimates question to Mark Scott: When did the ABC start working with the US State Department on anti refugee propaganda/psyops?
Cat on the Roof :
A man left his cat with his brother while he went on vacation for a week. When he came back, he called his brother to see when he could pick the cat up. The brother hesitated, then said, "I'm so sorry, but while you were away, the cat died."
The man was very upset and yelled, "You know, you could have broken the news to me better than that. When I called today, you could have said he was on the roof and wouldn't come down. Then when I called the next day, you could have said that he had fallen off and the vet was working on patching him up. Then when I called the third day, you could have said he had passed away."
The brother thought about it and apologized.
"So how's Mom?" asked the man.
"She's on the roof and won't come down."
Smugglers' Paradise [ABC - Four Corners - May 2012]
Australia's national broadcaster explains why propaganda and psyops are necessary to maintain the "stop the boats" lie
Another faux expose to distract from the torture and government sanctioned pedophilia in Australia's refugee concentration camps.
The Federal Government is spending $4.1 million to make a telemovie designed to deter asylum seekers from coming to Australia by boat.
Lateline has been told the multi-million dollar drama, commissioned by the Customs and Border Security Agency, is for broadcast in countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan where deteriorating security is contributing to the worst global refugee crisis in more than 60 years.
Sydney-based production house Put It Out There Pictures has been given the contract for the drama, which Lateline understands could include storylines featuring the Australian Navy and asylum seekers drowning at sea.
Scheduled to be broadcast later this year, it will carry strong messages that asylum seekers should not trust people smugglers but instead wait to be processed.
A spokesperson for the Immigration Department told Lateline that "television soap operas and telemovies are proven media to reach the target audience when seeking to deliver complex messages."
Why didn't Lateline disclose the ABC's prior collaboration with Put It Out There Pictures? [Telikom signs onto new TV drama series, paving the way for a new television production industry - Business Advantage PNG - 24/6/14]:
...‘The ABC has paid for all the of the development costs,’ says Muffy Potter. ‘We [Put It Out There Pictures and the ABC] are partners on this series and they’ve been incredibly supportive in getting the series financed.’
The US State Department has also given the producers a grant to develop digital media associated with the series. ...
Mother goes missing from Sydney home
Sydney Morning Herald [9/4/15]
Melbourne mother Jessica Bialek was intending to make a quick two-minute trip to her local bank to withdraw cash on Wednesday morning when she vanished from the New South Wales eastern suburb she had only recently called home.
She never returned to her Coogee house to pay the cleaner, sparking a desperate search across Sydney on Thursday.
Ms Bialek moved to Sydney recently from Melbourne, where she had strong links in the Jewish community.
Her parents flew up from Melbourne to join the search on Thursday. Michael Bialek said he last saw his daughter when she visited for the Easter weekend with her husband and daughter.
"We had a wonderful weekend and they returned to Sydney on Tuesday," he said. "Tuesday morning was the last time [I saw her]. I walked down to the lobby of our apartment building and waved goodbye to the cab."
Mr Bialek described his daughter as a "complex character" but said it would be strange for her to leave behind her two year-old daughter or not make contact with her siblings, parents, husband or wide circle of friends.
"She's got a darling little daughter who's missing her, a loving husband and we're desperate to find out from her that she's safe and if there's a reason that she wants to be on her own we just want to know that she's safe and that's all we're concerned about," he said.
A Melbourne friend, who did not want to be named, said she could not believe Ms Bialek was missing.
"All of her friends are so heart-broken.we're just praying for her safe return. It's completely shocking," she told Fairfax Media on Thursday.
"I've been so teary all day. You see things on the news all the time and you never think it's going to happen to someone you know."
The 37 year-old accomplished photographer has worked for the Australian Ballet and the Bangarra Dance Theatre. She was last seen by her husband when she left their Dudley Street home just after 8.30am on Wednesday.
Friends and family mobilised a massive search effort on Thursday, plastering posters throughout the eastern suburbs, speaking to owners at local shops she frequents and scouring beaches at Coogee, Bronte and Clovelly.
They have also retraced the 200-metres between her house and the Westpac bank on Coogee Bay Road and walked down Bondi Road where she spent much of Tuesday.
Detectives were immediately called in to investigate because her disappearance was so out of character, said Eastern Suburbs police commander, Detective Superintendent Gavin Dengate.
He said police were scouring motels and parks, door-knocking residents and looking at her bank accounts, mobile phone records and social media.
Fairfax understands there had been some activity from her bank accounts and police were trying to establish if they were older transactions that had only been processed in the last 24 hours.
"At this stage, like any investigation, we have a myriad of theories," Superintendent Dengate said. "We certainly don't have one we're concentrating on."
Ms Bialek's husband, Sabino Matera, posted a desperate message on Facebook about 8pm on Wednesday asking for help in finding her.
"She left home without her car and [has] not made contact nor returned home. Her phone is off. This is a real alarm," he wrote on Facebook, where he is also circulating his wife's photograph.
Ms Bialek, who has a background in dance and singing, is a freelance photographer specialising in performing arts photography, as well as fashion.
Other companies she has worked for include Opera Victoria, Circus Oz and the Victorian College of the Arts.
Ms Bialek is described as being between 170 and 175 centimetres tall, with a slim build and dark hair.
Anyone who has seen her in the past day, or who has any information that could assist investigators, has been urged to contact Maroubra police on (02) 9349 9299 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Update 3, Homicide charge, Carole Park
QPS Media [9/4/15]
Ipswich and Homicide Squad detectives have charged another man following investigations into the suspicious death of 23-year-old Kieran Pye last Thursday in Cobalt Street, Carole Park.
A 29-year-old Redbank Plains man has been charged with one count of murder.
He is due to appear in the Ipswich 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.
Man critical after house fire, Mitchelton
A man in his 70s has suffered life-threatening burns in a house fire in Brisbane's north.
Fire crews were called to the Mitchelton address just before noon on Thursday.
The man was rescued from the blaze and taken to hospital in a critical condition.
The cause of the fire is not known.
Hydroponic drug crop, Slacks Creek [QPS Media – 9/4/15]
Olympian behind bars for alleged attack on cops at Bluesfest [Tweed Daily News – 9/4/15]
Unlawful wounding, Gympie [QPS Media – 9/4/15]
Police have charged two 14-year-old Inala boys and a 17-year-old Boondall woman following an alleged robbery at Fortitude Valley this morning. ... [QPS Media - 9/4/15]
Girl, 13, held in custody on two armed robberies
A 13-year old girl accused of attempting to rob a Toowoomba taxi driver while armed with a knife has been remanded in custody.
The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is also accused of the attempted armed robbery a James St 7-Eleven service station in Harristown.
Police claim she was armed with a knife when attempting to rob a taxi driver on Bridge St early Monday morning.
The 63-year-old driver was not physically injured in the incident.
She has also been charged over the attempted armed robbery of a 7-Eleven store about 11.50pm Sunday.
The girl was arrested on Tuesday and was expected to appear before Toowoomba Children's Court yesterday but due to a busy arrest court Magistrate Bruce Schemioneck remanded her in custody until today.
She is expected to appear before the Children's Court today for a bail application.
Police are looking for a second female believed to have been involved in the incidents.
Robbery with violence, Ipswich [QPS Media - 9/4/14]
Armed robbery, Albany Creek [QPS Media – 8/4/15]
Woman charged following disturbance at Mount Isa health clinic
North West Star [8/4/15]
A female has been charged after creating a disturbance at a health clinic in Mount Isa on Wednesday.
Police responded to an incident at Sonic HealthPlus Mount Isa GP Super Clinic at the end of Ryan Road about 12:45pm.
Mount Isa Police Shift Supervisor Scott Quinlivan said the incident resulted in a female being charged.
“A 28-year-old female attended the Sonic HealthPlus GP facility on Ryan road where there was an altercation between the 28-year-old female and a medical staff member requiring police attendance,” he said.
“Police investigations resulted in a notice to appear for offences including assault, public nuisance and obstructing police.”
A witness said the woman began an altercation after being allegedly “misdiagnosed” by a doctor.
As many as five police vehicles attended the incident.
Man caught drink driving on his driveway, blows .181 [Chronicle 9/4/15]
Fatal traffic crash, McDowall
QPS Media [8/4/15]:
A man has died and five people have been taken to hospital following a two vehicle traffic crash in McDowall this afternoon.
Initial investigations indicate around 2pm two vehicles collided on Old Northern Road.
A 66-year-old Thai National man died at the scene.
Both male drivers, aged 33 and 24 were transported to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Three female passengers aged 57, 34 and 10 were also transported to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Police are appealing for anyone who may have witnessed the accident or has any information that could assist with this investigation to call crime stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Investigations are continuing.
Groundwater dominates discussion at Adani court case
Daily Mercury [9/4/15]
… Hydrogeologist John Bradley was in the witness box for about five hours on Wednesday talking about how he assessed groundwater systems and geology in the Galilee Basin, where the Carmichael Mine is proposed.
Environmental group Coast and Country is taking mining company Adani to court over its Carmichael Mine.
The group has objections about how the mine would impact climate change and the Great Barrier Reef and questions whether the project was financially viable.
But Wednesday's focus was about groundwater.
The environmental group claims the mine poses risks to groundwater and nearby springs that form part of the Great Artesian Basin. It also alleges Adani had not properly assessed the mine's impact on groundwater.
This was why Mr Bradley was quizzed under cross examination for an entire day on his assessment of groundwater systems.
Barrister Saul Holt from the Environmental Defender's Office, representing Coast and Country, asked Mr Bradley about seismic assessments that are used to determine the risk of cave-ins and collapses during mining process.
Mr Bradley said from his assessment there was no evidence of faulting around the Doongmabulla Springs area, which Coast and Country believe to be a million years old.
But under cross examination, it was revealed that he did not ask for any seismic data.
"I don't disagree that that information would be valuable," Mr Bradley said. "But I made my assessment based on data that is available within the (mine's) lease area."
Mr Bradley said he used information that was available to him, including data from drilling samples.
But Mr Holt continued to quiz him, saying there was no evidence of possible collapses and cave-ins because Mr Bradley hadn't asked for this information when carrying out assessments.
"I guess that's the point isn't it, if you don't look for something, it is necessary there would be no evidence of it," Mr Holt said.
But Mr Bradley disagreed.
"No my point was that you can tell a lot from drill holes," he said.
He explained seismic data was another way to look for "faults" underground.
The hearing at Queensland's Land Court continues on Friday.
India's Adani Group on Thursday brushed aside a decision by three leading French banks not to fund huge coal industry projects in Australia's Galilee Basin near the Great Barrier Reef, saying it had "no bearing" on the company.
Australia last year gave the green light to a Aus$16.5 billion (US$12.7 billion) mine development by the firm, with the project set to play a major role in opening up Queensland's resource-rich Galilee Basin.
It also approved a major coal port expansion for Adani at Abbot Point on the Great Barrier Reef coast subject to strict environmental conditions.
But several Western banks, including Germany's Deutsche Bank and US giants Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan Chase have ruled themselves out from providing funding for parts of the development, citing environmental concerns.
They were joined Wednesday by France's Societe Generale, BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole, which confirmed to AFP they would not finance the vast mine project.
Senate Inquiry knocks back rural bank idea
North West Star [8/4/15]:
State member for Mount Isa Rob Katter has slammed a Senate inquiry that knocked back the idea of a rural bank to help revive the struggling cattle industry.
The outcome of the inquiry comes as members of the Federal Coalition start talking about getting drought assistance.
Mr Katter said it was hypocritical after the party voted down the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board (ARDB) in Parliament.
“Hypocrisy knows no bounds,” he said.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott said recently there was no easy answer to the drought problem, but insists he is working on a solution and the ‘‘best way forward’’ with MPs whose electorates have been badly affected.
‘‘I agreed that we would work on some local projects that would be important signs of faith by our country in these parts of Australia,’’ he said.
Mr Katter was pleased Coalition members were commenting on the rural debt crisis but was puzzled as to why the ARDB was voted down.
“It is commendable that they are finally speaking up for the graziers in their electorates, but at the same time it’s enormous hypocrisy for members of the Federal Coalition to now talk about getting drought assistance after their own party just voted down the ARDB bill in Parliament,” he said.
“The ARDB bill is a financial instrument that is desperately needed to stop the spiraling rural debt crippling a large portion of the cattle industry.
‘‘It has wide industry support and the support of peak lobby groups and has in the past had support from both sides of politics.
“The Nationals on their own won’t support it now as it would require them to grow a backbone and stand up to the city-based Liberals who abhor any form of industry support and are gladly overseeing the decline of agriculture in Australia.”
Mr Katter said the National MPs were not doing their job. “They need to either step up to the plate by standing up to their colleagues or back out of the Coalition.
“It is nothing short of cruel to keep mouthing platitudes to people on the land but failing to stand up when it really counts.’’
He said the KAP would be doing everything within its power with the government in Queensland and already had a commitment from the LNP in Queensland to deliver a reconstruction board.
“We are hopeful of delivering this with the intention of not only stimulating the cattle industry but also the towns that are built around it.” Mr Katter paid tribute to his father, Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter, who had introduced a similar bill in the lower house, and to Senators Nick Xenophon and John Madigan who instigated the Senate inquiry into ARDB legislation.
Panama puts focus on banana imports
The Land [21/3/15]:
Long-term implications from the detection of Panama disease Tropical Race 4 (TR4) could re-open the discussion on banana imports.
But the Federal Department of Agriculture is confident the presence of Panama disease in Australia would not have implications for fresh banana imports from other countries.
From 2000 to 2008, the banana industry fought to prevent the importation of Philippine bananas citing disease risks as the key concerns for not allowing the fruit in.
In 2008 the federal government released the Final Import Risk Analysis (IRA) Report for the Importation of Cavendish Bananas from the Philippines which gave the green light to Filipino banana imports under strict quarantine conditions.
“The Philippines will be required to demonstrate that the risk management measures can be achieved under commercial conditions on an ongoing basis,” a Department fact sheet stated.
A departmental spokesperson told Fairfax Media the department takes a stringent approach to biosecurity.
“That is why we take a careful look at any requests to import products into Australia. Any recommendations we make are based on science,” the spokesperson said.
It confirmed that there had been no recent requests to import fresh bananas from any overseas market.
“Panama disease was assessed in the Philippine banana IRA but the pathogen was considered not to be associated with fresh commercial fruit,” the departmental spokesperson said.
“The Philippines have not sought to export bananas to Australia.”
The Queensland Department of Agriculture told Fairfax Media it was involved in handling the current disease outbreak and wasn’t commenting on speculative future impacts.
Despite outcries from the banana industry, including protest marches in Cairns, the Department declared the final IRA report a “comprehensive, science-based analysis that reflects Australia’s appropriate level of protection”.
While not making significant mention of Panama disease, the final IRA report identified seven groups of pests and diseases of concern, notably Moko, black Sigatoka and freckle, as well as a number of other pests not present in Western Australia that are present in eastern Australia.
In 2001, Australia spent $20 million eradicating the leaf disease black sigatoka from North Queensland plantations at Tully.
The source of that disease incursion remains unknown but it caused plantations to be ploughed out during a two-year eradication program involving an intensive de-leafing and spraying schedule before the industry eventually regained its official pest-free status in 2005.
@shutterstormau [9/4/15]: Proud of the Sunny Coast mob! They just shut down Noosa while Mr Abbott eats lunch!
Whoever controls the media, controls the mind.
Imaginary Queensland journalist to Premier, Ministers for Housing, Health, Communities or Rob Pyne MP: Do you think policies enacted by the previous government have disenfranchised people and driven them to despair?
Calling for the fast tracked demolition of the house smacks of a violent, racist impulse to eradicate the real issues. Why not undertake a full investigation/report into every aspect of government involvement in the Manoora tragedy i.e. housing, family and welfare services, mental health so it never happens again?
A Cairns MP is calling on the Queensland Attorney-General to help fast-track the demolition of the Manoora house where eight children were killed last year.
Court proceedings have delayed the transfer of the public housing property to the local council, which will establish a memorial in its place.
Raina Mersane Thaiday, the mother to seven of the children and the aunt of the eighth, will appear in court again in June, charged with their murders.
Rob Pyne said he had written to Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath asking her to step in.
"Personally I can't see why enough evidence hasn't been gained to move forward anyway with the trial without the necessity to keep the house, [but] unfortunately that's been the Attorney-General's response," he said.
"We'll certainly write to her again to ask for reconsideration but I'm not optimistic about action until June 25."
A community meeting will be held in Cairns later this month to discuss future events and support services following the alleged murders of the children.
Mr Pyne and a community representative today met outside the fenced-off house where the four girls and four boys were killed in December to reaffirm a commitment to replacing it with a memorial.
A Community Healing Project involving local agencies, affected family and traditional owners was recently set up to help manage recovery efforts.
Project coordinator Michael White said they would be reviewing how government and support services were connecting with the community.
"Obviously there are services that are operating in there now but we want to make sure that people are accessing grief and loss counselling," he said.
"After the initial shock of it all, I think people are now moving into a stage where they are seeking services outside of their families."
4562 Eumundi - Online MAG [VIDEO - 9/4/15]: Lunchtime protest shutting down Hastings Street in front of Berado's where the Prime Minister is having lunch.
Noosa Today [VIDEO - 9/4/15]: An unexpected Indigenous Rights march caused traffic chaos in Hastings St today. The protest met up with the Noosa Love Parade at Noosa Woods. See next week's Noosa Today for all the photos and story.
Prime Minister repeats "stop the boats" lie. Attacks human rights lawyers ---> [Guardian - 9/4/15]:
Tony Abbott has said that only the Coalition could stem the flow of asylum seeker boats because other governments would “succumb to the cries of the human rights lawyers”.
The prime minister admitted that vessels continue to depart for Australia, saying that the government has “largely stopped the boats”, a step back from previous comments indicating they have been stopped altogether.
“I’m also confident that only this government can keep them stopped because any other government, I suspect, would quickly succumb to the cries of the human rights lawyers and others and what that would mean, very quickly, is that the people smugglers would be back in business,” Abbott told reporters in Gympie in Queensland. ...
Australia keeps torturing refugees.
Stop the violence.
Stop the silence.
Solidarity with the families in detention.
Whistleblowers, Activists and Citizens Alliance [VIDEO- 9/4/15]: Short clip from parents at the department of immigration occupation this morning #KidsOut #CloseNauru #StopTheViolence #refugees
@macavitykat [9/4/15]: Friends Family and Feminists Against Detention have left the Dept of Immigration, promise to return ...
@Mel_Newby [9/4/15]: In solidarity with protests on Nauru, activists stage a 'play in' at offices of Immigration, Melb #justice4refugees
Friends Family and Feminists Against Detention for #KidsOut #NoBubsBehindBars #auspol #Refugees #CloseNauru
Image: @macavitykat [9/4/15]
@GdeVietri [9/4/15]: Play in protest now at immigration dept #kidsout #closenauru #refugees ...
Full Statement from parents and kids currently occupying Department of Immigration in Melbourne [9/4/15]:
“We will not cooperate!”
Parents, kids, and friends occupy The Department of Immigration and Citizenship Melbourne.
Pro refugee supporters, including parents, babies, kids, pregnant mothers, and friends will stage a 'play in' within the Department of Immigration and Citizenship today in an act of solidarity around the treatment of asylum seekers.
The group calling themselves Families, Friends and Feminists Against Detention (FFFAD) will stage their first 'Gathering', the first of many, in solidarity with asylum seekers currently protesting on Nauru.
FFFAD organiser Nadia Mizner, parent to a 9 month old baby, stated:
“The Australian government knew abuse was happening 17 months before the Moss review came out. If there was a known perpetrator in one of our schools, would we allow our kids to remain under their care? No we wouldn't. Nauru is a tiny island with perpetrators living alongside survivors even after their release. This is an issue for all parents and the wider community to be concerned about. We need to close this Nauru hellhole and bring these people to the safety they were seeking in the first place, here within the Australian community. We unequivocally support the asylum seekers campaign of non cooperation in Nauru, and will now be starting our own here.”
FFFAD was formed with a specific concern for the effects of mandatory detention and offshore processing on families, women and children. FFFAD expects around 50 people and kids to attend today.
Leilani Turner, another organiser for FFFAD, has stated:
“Mandatory detention and offshore processing dehumanizes and degrades everyone. However this system specifically ignores the health imperatives of women, both antenatal and otherwise, the seriousness of sexual violence on children and women, and the effects of family separation particularly in the context of long-term detention. FFFAD calls for an end to mandatory detention and offshore processing and justice for asylum seekers. We urge all other parents, friends, and the wider community to join us as we continue our own campaign of non cooperation and solidarity on this issue.”
United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria
Coalition military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists in Syria and Iraq between 8 a.m., April 7, and 8 a.m., April 8, local time.
In Syria, Coalition military forces conducted two airstrikes, using bomber and attack aircraft. Separately in Iraq, Coalition military forces conducted four airstrikes approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense using fighter and remotely piloted aircraft against ISIL terrorists.
The following is a summary of the strikes conducted since the last press release:
Near Al Hasakah, an airstrike struck four ISIL fighting positions.
Near Kobani, an airstrike destroyed two ISIL fighting positions.
Near Bayji, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
Near Hit in Al Anbar Province, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit.
Near Kirkuk, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit.
Near Tal Afar, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL mortar system.
Airstrike assessments are based on initial reports. All aircraft returned to base safely.
US embarks on pro war, anti islamic propaganda outreach exercise with leading technology and communications companies [Centcom – 8/4/15]
Hillary Clinton has hired Stephanie Hannon, Google’s director of product management for civic innovation and social impact, as chief technology officer for her potential presidential campaign, fueling accusations from Julian Assange that Google is in bed with the US government.
"Google will be an important factor in the US elections of 2016," Assange said via video conference at a Madrid presentation for his book "When Google met WikiLeaks,” last year.
Hannon does not appear to have any political campaign experience, but was part of the team who built Google Maps, including developing the transit tool that incorporates planning trips by public transportation. ... [Sputnik News - 9/4/15]
@FOIcentric [8/4/15]: [Senator] Milne: Google acquired IP for Google Maps in Australia then took it offshore after receiving Australian R&D Tax Credit #CorpTaxInquiry
Queensland Times [8/4/15]:
RAAF Base Amberley's Superhornet crews and support staff have been congratulated for an arduous Middle East campaign.
The Australian Air Task Group conducting operations in Iraq farewelled its six Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18F Super Hornet multi-role fighter aircraft that have been flying high tempo air-strike operations since September.
As part of US led Coalition air operations, the F/A-18A Hornets from Number 75 Squadron have replaced the Super Hornets to continue combating the Daesh terrorist threat in Iraq.
RAAF Air Task Group Commander Air Commodore Glen Braz said that the new strike team had completed a comprehensive transition and was now flying combat air operations.
"The last two weeks have been a particularly busy period for the ATG with the current Super Hornet rotation continuing to perform missions together with the new strike element," Air Commodore Braz said.
"During the transition, having two outstanding fighter squadrons fly together in combat is a historic milestone for the RAAF."
The incoming F/A-18A Hornet is a single-seat multi-role fighter while the F/A-18F Super Hornet is a two-seater.
As well as individual pilot and weapon systems officer hand-overs, support personnel have been briefed-in and are now fully operational.
Aircrew completed familiarisation flights before assuming full operational responsibility.
The well-earned rest for Australia's F/A-18F Super Hornet crews and support staff from RAAF Base Amberley's Number 1 Squadron comes after seven months of strike missions.
The crews have flown more than 2900 hours, accounting for more than 400 sorties.
US embassy in Baghdad stated on Tuesday, that the United States has provide a daily shipment of arms and ammunition to support the Iraqi forces in expel the ISIS group’s militants, and indicated that it provided 10,000 soldiers with gear and trainers.
Spokesman of the embassy said in a press statement received by IraqiNews.com, “The United States continues to provide a large amount of military equipment, weapons and ammunition to support the Iraqi security forces in expelling ISIS from Iraq,” explaining that, “The United States’ mission in Iraq is proud to partner with the Iraqi security forces, and praises the recent success achieved in the final Tikrit battle,” noting that, “ISIS defeat in Tikrit is a further evidence of the continuing trend of its military defeat in all parts of the country.”
“The United States will continue to stand by all Iraqis until ISIS is defeated,” he added.
Military operation began to "liberate Anbar", says Anbar Council [IraqiNews.com - 8/4/15]
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [8/4/15]:
Anbar: The government's army has shelled by launchers Hajj Nasir Building at Niziza corner resulted in killing of 7 civilians and wounding of others shopping at peak time........
Baghdad: Agencies: 11 persons have been killed and wounded as a roadside bomb has exploded in Nahrawan in southern east of Baghdad.........
Agencies: Iraqi demonstrator protests corruption demanding to appoint one of his family members in the government's departments ........
Dozens of people stood outside the North Charleston City Hall Wednesday morning, saying that the incident that happened in that town over the weekend is not an isolated act.
The Black Lives Matter Rally was held in response to the killing of 50-year-old Walter Scott last Saturday. State Law Enforcement Division agents say Scott was shot in the back by Officer Michael Slager following a traffic stop. ... [WLTX 19 - 8/4/15]
Procurement process for Queensland's Dickensian, bipartisan and racist boot camp trial flawed: QAO
West Australian [9/4/15]:
The awarding of two Queensland boot camp tenders are open to accusations of favouritism, a report says.
The Queensland Audit Office has been investigating the cost effectiveness of a trial program to send young offenders to boot camps set up by the previous Liberal National Party government.
The QAO report says the original budget for the trials was $4.9 million over two years but the final cost will likely blow out to $12.3 million.
The audit office says there's a lack of documentation showing how tenders to set up the camps on the Fraser Coast and at Lincoln Springs, servicing Cairns and Townsville, were awarded.
"The evidence indicates suitable, lower cost providers were available," the QAO report said.
"The lack of any other evidence to support the final position taken for these boot camps, itself a failure to adhere to the government's own documentation standards, serves to weaken the accountability of these decisions.
"It also ultimately leaves the process of awarding the two contracts open to accusations of favouritism, which in the absence of a clear documentation trial, cannot be readily rebutted."
The report also said payments made to one service provider were in excess of the contracted amounts.
Sublessors at the same facility were also paid on "very favourable commercial terms".
The report said the cost blowouts raised significant doubts about whether the Newman government understood full cost of the program it had approved.
The audit office added that there were also questions about whether the state has been unnecessarily subsidising a provider for costs it should have been paying itself or absorbed.
The report recommends the Department of Justice and Attorney-General fully document any reasons for decisions that are not consistent with tender processes.
It should tell boot camp trial decision makers about the financial implications of their decisions and progressively update budgets as conditions change.
The report also says the department should assess the cost-effectiveness of boot camp trials to minimise any further cost blowouts if the program is extended under the current contracts.
Comment has been sought from former attorney-general Jarrod Bleijie and his successor, Yvette D'Ath.
QAO - Report 13: 2014-15 - Procurement of youth boot camps - Tabled at Parliament on 9 April 2015:
This report examines the procurement processes followed by the former Attorney-General and the Department of Justice and Attorney-General in awarding contracts to certain service providers to operate three youth boot camps as part of an expansion of the government’s youth boot camp program. We assessed the effectiveness of these processes in achieving economy of purchasing through offering the lowest cost for services that met appropriate quality standards.
Camp Fear [Mother Jones - November 2000]:
... Juvenile boot camps got their start in the mid-1980s, when officials in Louisiana and Georgia experimented with putting teenage boys in military-style settings. At first the camps housed young burglars, drug abusers, and auto thieves, but before long they were filled with a surprising number of truants and petty shoplifters, like Gina Score. The burr-headed ex-military men who usually ran the camps may have rubbed liberals the wrong way, but at first glance they hardly seemed like sadists. Like many voters who supported boot camps, they genuinely believed that for kids immune to other forms of correction, nothing short of a radical departure from their lives would get their attention. "Nobody can tell me from some ivory tower that you take a kid, kick him in the rear end, and it doesn't do any good," declared then-Governor Zell Miller of Georgia, an ex-Marine and early proponent of boot camps. Politicians eager to appear tough on crime could soon point to images on the local TV news of previously smart-mouthed teenagers marching crisply, doing push-ups, and shouting, "Sir, yes, sir!"
Yet in state after state, public officials have ignored persuasive evidence that most boot camps don't work. A growing body of research, from private studies to federal investigations, has shown the camps rarely reduce recidivism or save the fortunes their promoters promise, and often permit horrific abuses of kids by underpaid and undertrained staff.
A study by the Koch Crime Institute in Kansas found that "the fear of being incarcerated at a boot camp has not deterred crime," noting that nearly three out of every four children who pass through the camps are back in detention within a year. The National Mental Health Association concluded that "employing tactics of intimidation and humiliation is counterproductive for most youth" and has led to "disturbing incidents" of abuse. In Georgia, U.S. Justice Department investigators found kids being forced to crawl on their hands and knees to lunch, clean floors with their T-shirts, and run in summer heat while carrying tires. "The paramilitary boot camp model is not only ineffective, but harmful," the investigation concluded.
Abuses have been both far-reaching and extreme. At the Arizona Boys Ranch, a military-style boot camp that enjoyed wide political support, the staff made an incontinent 16-year-old boy, Nicholaus Contreraz, sleep in soiled underwear, eat meals on the toilet, and carry a yellow trash basket filled with his own vomit. On March 2, 1998, Contreraz collapsed repeatedly during strenuous physical training, prompting one staff member to say he deserved an Academy Award for faking. He died that evening from a massive, undiagnosed infection. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Boys Ranch had sparked nearly 100 complaints of child abuse in the previous five years, including reports that staff members hit one boy in the head with a shovel and burned another with hot water so severely he needed skin grafts.
A properly functioning media would be exposing how former Murdoch editor and protected, unaccountable one term Queensland MP Gavin King initiated the smear against Billy Gordon.
Not doing PR for his book.
… Tell men of high condition,
That manage the estate,
Their purpose is ambition,
Their practice only hate.
And if they once reply,
Then give them all the lie. ...
'The Lie' by Sir Walter Raleigh
Gavin King. Former Murdoch editor. Never held to account during his single term as an MP.
Gavin King [27/3/15]: BREAKING: Billy Gordon MP under investigation for alleged domestic violence. Exclusive story on Cairns Now and Channel 9 Brisbane: http://www.cairnsnow.com.au/MP-admits-abuse-and-violence.19.0.html
... Children are the most wonderful of our society, whose innocent lives deserve the greatest of love and care.
Cherish them. ...
QPS Media [VIDEO - 27/12/14]:
A family spokesperson, Mr Rod Willie, spoke to the media on Wednesday, December 24, in relation to the multiple homicide in the Cairns suburb of Manoora earlier this month. ...
Queensland Govt Media Release [4/4/13]:
Rogue public housing tenants will soon face stricter penalties for bad behaviour with the Newman Government today launching a “three-strikes and you’re out” policy.
Minister for Housing Tim Mander said the new policy would see problem tenants evicted if they failed to curb their behaviour. ...
Gavin King on the "challenges of 'reform'" [ABC - 1/7/13]:
The Queensland Government's tougher policy on public housing tenants comes into effect today.
The so-called 'three strikes and you're out' policy will prohibit evicted tenants from reapplying for public housing for three months.
The member for the far north Queensland seat of Cairns, [and former Editor of Murdoch's 'Cairns Post'] Gavin King, says some tenants have been getting away with too much.
"Some public housing tenants have to get eight or nine breaches before the department and the court considers an eviction," he said.
"Often a public housing tenant will cause significant damage to their property, cause hell to their neighbours, and will get evicted.
"The trouble is they'll just be moved across town into another public housing tenancy."
Information for Queensland public housing tenants:
What happens if I receive 3 strikes?
If you receive 3 strikes within a 12-month period, we may take action to end your tenancy. You will be given written advice when each strike is issued and we will discuss the consequences with you.
8 children dead in Cairns massacre [The New Daily - 19/12/14]:
... Residents, along with family and friends of the deceased, took refuge together near a children’s playground at a small park on the street.
Just metres away forensic experts were sifting through a crime scene detectives have described as one of the most shocking and distressing they have encountered.
People young and old wept, put their arms around each other and shook their heads in disbelief.
Neighbour Bessie Mareko said she did not know those in the house but would say hello when they were in the street.
Ms Mareko said she saw the woman and a number of children at 2:00am this morning cleaning up their home and putting unwanted items on the street.
“I’m really shocked. I just saw her this morning on the verandah with her kids,” she said.
Residents in the housing commission suburb of Manoora in the far north Queensland city of Cairns are used to commotion – it’s an area that’s been described as a ghetto, a suburb that historically has suffered a bad reputation and high crime rates.
In June, media revealed the suburb was at the centre of a secret government report into youth sexual abuse and domestic violence.
The first police to attend the scene – inexperienced, junior officers – have been given counselling.
Select Committee on Certain Aspects of Queensland Government Administration related to Commonwealth Government Affairs Report [27/3/15]:
2.80 The committee recommends the Queensland government make it a priority to review legislation that may be inconsistent with Australia's obligations under a range of international instruments, with a view to ensuring Queensland legislation is amended to ensure consistency with Australia's international obligations.
2.81 The committee recommends the Queensland government recognise all decisions that have been delivered by the Federal Court of Australia in the recognition of Indigenous land rights in Queensland.
2.82 The committee recommends the Queensland government consider replacing the Crime and Corruption Commission with an organisation modelled on the Independent Commission Against Corruption in New South Wales.
2.83 The committee recommends once the Crime and Corruption Commission is replaced that the Queensland Government re-open, review and reconsider all issues, matters and cases presented to the Crime and Corruption Commission inclusive of all decisions.
2.84 The committee recommends the Queensland government make a commitment to restoring the relationship between government and the Queensland people, through adequate consultation, transparent decision making and accountability for outcomes.
2.85 The committee recommends the Queensland Government review decisions made by the Newman Government as well as decisions pending, in relation to the approval of mining leases and other projects called in by the Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, where environmental and planning laws and decisions reached by Local Government, have been ignored and disregarded and/or where potential conflicts of interest may have occurred and/or where political donations to the Liberal National Party were involved in some way.
2.86 The committee recommends the Queensland Government review all alleged conflicts of interest raised during the Inquiry.
2.87 The committee recommends the Queensland Government review any controversial asset sale during the Newman Government’s term.
2.88 The committee recommends the Queensland Government conduct a thorough review of the Queensland vocational education and training programs and reinstate courses cut under the Newman Government. In particular, the review should consider course cost increases, infrastructure, facilities, staffing, course accessibility and other matters.
2.89 The committee recommends that the Queensland government refers to the Crime and Corruption Commission and/or to the Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Commission the issue of the extension of the sand mining lease on Stradbroke Island and any issues relating to political donations and election spending by Sibelco.
About 250 Australians with child sex convictions travelled to the Philippines last year, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) has revealed.
Filipino police are currently pursuing a case against Australian man Peter Gerard Scully for what they allege are some of the worst child sex offences in the nation's history.
The AFP was involved in the investigation and arrest and says 250 known Australian child sex offenders travelled to the Philippines last year alone.
A spokesman has told the ABC that Australia alerts Filipino authorities when a sex offender boards a flight, but it is up to them whether to refuse entry. ...
The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.
W. E. B. Du Bois
Australia's Lawyers Alliance Media Release [8/4/15]:
A letter alleging that the Australian Government knew children were suffering sexual abuse at the Nauru detention centre is stunning first evidence that the government may have failed to protect detainees from harm, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.
The letter, written by 23 former and current teachers, social workers and child protection staff who previously worked at the Nauru detention centre, was released publicly today and called for the removal of all asylum seekers from the island to Australia.
ALA spokesperson Greg Barns said that if a private sector employer failed to protect individuals in a manner similar to that which the government is alleged to have done, it would be prosecuted and face a massive damages claim.
“This letter is a stunning development because it constitutes the first direct evidence that the Commonwealth, with knowledge of the physical and mental harm being caused, did not take the appropriate steps to protect individuals from that harm,” Mr Barns said.
“There is the distinct possibility that the courts could view this as a clear breach of the non-delegable duty of care owed by the Commonwealth to detainees.”
“We also call on Comcare, which has a responsibility to ensure Commonwealth workplaces are safe for workers and detainees, to immediately investigate the matter,” Mr Barns said.
“If an employer in the private sector failed, after being warned by professional advice, to take steps to protect employees or others who come onto the workplace, then they would be prosecuted.”
Mr Barns said the findings of the Moss Review into detainee conditions contradicted government claims that it has no responsibility for the care or welfare of asylum seekers once it shipped them from Australian territory to overseas detention centres.
“The Commonwealth may be vicariously liable for any injury sustained by an asylum seeker while being detained,” Mr Barns said.
“When a person is in custody, whether it be in a prison environment or immigration detention, there is an assumption that the entity detaining that person will take reasonable care for their safety.”
“The nature of allegations raised in the Moss Review of sexual harassment, rape, trading sexual favours for marijuana and cigarettes and children being touched inappropriately, if proven, show that the Commonwealth has failed in its duty to take reasonable care of asylums seekers,” Mr Barns said
Mr Barns also said that recent findings from the Australian Human Rights Commission’s report, The Forgotten Children, showed that the Commonwealth could face huge compensation claims in court from individuals held in detention.
“The evidence is clear that children in detention have been assaulted and abused while in the care of the Australian government, and that many of these children have subsequently developed serious mental issues,” Mr Barns said.
“Independent, verifiable, categorically clear evidence has been provided by doctors and other trained medical professionals that children in detention are suffering horrendously.”
“It is clear that detention is damaging to children and is contributing to psychological injury. It doesn’t matter if there are 200 or 10 children in detention. Any more than zero continues to be too high in an environment that is toxic to their development and growth,” Mr Barns said.
“How that toxicity of detention centres to children will be handled by the courts in future years remains to be seen.”
The Australian Lawyers Alliance previously submitted to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee that Australia may have a non-delegable duty of care under common law to ensure the safety of asylum seekers at held at the centre.
Mr Barns said the Federal Government’s treatment of asylum seekers breached several international treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966)1] and United Nations regulations on the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (1955).
“The fact that Manus Island is an offshore processing centre does not allow the Commonwealth to be able to wipe its hands of liability,” Mr Barns said.
Australia: Court orders $186,000 in unpaid wages to a man held in conditions akin to slavery for 16 months [27/3/15]
9 April 2015