Police deploy pepper spray in Phoenix protest of shootings [ABC 15 - 8/7/16]
As the police killings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling occupy the news waves, the death of four Latinos this week slipped by. ... [teleSUR - 8/7/16]
Iraq: Death toll from shrine attack rises to 56 [Middle East Monitor - 9/7/16]
United States continue bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 9/7/16]
Turkish fighter jets struck Kurdish militant targets in rural areas of Turkey's southeastern Hakkari province and northern Iraq on Friday, killing 12 militants, security sources said.
Eight Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets near the southeastern town of Semdinli and seven others in northern Iraq, where the group's leadership is based, were hit in the air strikes, the sources said. ... [Reuters - 8/7/16]
Bombing kills 6 at mosque in northeastern Nigeria [Press TV - 8/7/16]:
... Separately, the army spokesman said three other people were killed in an attack by suspected Boko Haram militants in the village of Gaskeri, near a camp for the internally displaced people, outside Borno's capital, Maiduguri, on Thursday night. ...
@ItalianNavy [9/7/16]: #SAR #MarinaMilitare nave Borsini in #MareSicuro ha trasbordato 146 #Migranti su FGS WERRA @EUNAVFORMED_OHQ
@guardiacostiera [9/7/16]: #Lampedusa, Motovedette CP303 e CP324 @Guardiacostiera sbarcano 125 #migranti trasbordati da nave Phoenix @moas_eu
@alwasatengnews [8/7/16]: 12 Tunisian migrants dead after boat sinks off the coast of #Sabratha. #Libya
Day 112 refugee protests, Nauru
Image: @elahe_zivardar [9/7/16]
Only three Australian journalists bothered to visit Nauru between the refugee concentration camp's re-opening in 2012 and the 2014 visa hike. NOT ONE Australian journalist went to Nauru to cover the 2013 riot trials. These people aren't serious ---> SBS World News has not been granted a journalist visa to cover Nauru’s general election this weekend, despite a direct approach to President Baron Waqa in April. ... [SBS - 9/7/16]
Reporting the election, the ongoing refugee protests, or holding Turnbull, Shorten, the UNHCR (and others) to account doesn't require a visa. Voting hold up in one Nauru constituency [RNZI - 9/7/16]
Reporting that the US Ambassador appears to approve of the dictatorship and concentration camp on Nauru doesn't require a visa either. ---> US Ambassador Cefkin with the Republic of Nauru media team. [US Embassy Suva - 17/8/15]
Philippines: Three "drug suspects" shot by police in Subic [Inquirer - 9/7/16]
The last thing any country needs ---> Partnership dialogue: Bangladesh, US agree to fight ISIS al Qaeda together [bdnews24.com - 9/7/16]
When he was released with seven other hostages after a harrowing night of terrorist violence last Saturday, Tahmid Hasib Khan expected to be greeted with welcoming arms.
Instead, Mr. Khan, a 22-year-old University of Toronto student, was grabbed by the Bangladeshi police, beaten and taken into custody.
He has not been seen since.
Mr. Khan has been held largely incommunicado by law enforcement in Bangladesh’s capital city of Dhaka for the past week, suspected by the police of being involved in the attack in which gunmen carrying explosives stormed a Dhaka restaurant and the Islamic State took credit.
Mr. Khan’s family and friends say it is a case of mistaken identity, but as the days have passed, they have grown increasingly desperate to make contact with him, fearing for his life in a country where brutal interrogation practices are commonplace. ... [New York Times - 8/7/16]
A tracking device placed on a Melbourne teenager once accused of plotting an Anzac Day terrorist attack will be removed after variations to a highly restrictive control order.
Harun Causevic, 19, was one of three young men charged with planning a terrorist attack either at the Shrine of Remembrance or Dandenong RSL last year.
The terrorism charges were dropped, but the Hampton Park teenager was placed on a control order last September on the basis that it may prevent a terrorist act.
On Friday, Federal Court Judge Norah Hartnett confirmed the control order would be in place until September 11 this year, but she also varied the order so Causevic would no longer have to wear an electronic tracking device around his ankle. ... [The Age - 8/7/16]
O’Neill signs agreements with Chinese President Xi Jinping [PNG Loop - 9/7/16]
A foreigner and a local couple have been detained by police for sexually assaulting a minor in Lae last month.
Police said the male foreigner of Asian origin was in the company of a married couple, who arranged for the sexual penetration of a 15-year old girl.
According to police reports, the middle-aged Asian sexually penetrated the girl from Salamaua LLG in the Morobe Province after she was arranged by her uncle and his wife. ... [PNG Loop - 8/7/16]
The Supreme Court will decide on whether or not they should recall parliament to debate on the motion of the Vote of No Confidence next Tuesday. ... [EMTV - 7/7/16]
... One key lesson from Evian: failing to tackle a mass refugee problem is a decision that is neither neutral nor without consequences.
Look back and learn: The Evian Conference, 1938, [IRIN - 18/11/15]
"WHAT SORT OF MESSAGE ARE YOU PORTRAYING TO YOUR CHILDREN BY KEEPING US HERE WITH NO FUTURE" @racvictoria [9/7/16]: Day 57 #Manus #Protests ...
Australian human rights groups invisible as Malaysian human rights group call on Aung San Suu Kyi to visit Rohingya refugees [FMT - 8/7/16]
UNHCR's "durable solutions" in South East Asia where hope and resettlement are taboo = Detention, deportation, exile and death [Guardian - 3/6/15]:
... Goledzinowski [Australia’s ambassador for people smuggling issues, Andrew Goledzinowski] said resettlement was raised during the Bangkok meeting on 29 May.
“All who spoke on resettlement said that this was not a durable solution for the Rohingya problem and that it would constitute a pull factor,” he told a Senate estimates committee on Wednesday.
“The UNHCR was the most articulate on this point.”
He engaged in bilateral meetings with representatives from some of the other 16 countries in attendance, and is adamant that at least one will seek further briefings on adopting Australia’s key asylum seeker measures.
“We also were able to talk a little bit about our own experiences during operation sovereign borders where we’ve been very successful in disrupting people trafficking and smuggling networks,” Goledzinowski said.
... "They focused on an information campaign, that's all. Not about helping people at sea and not about humanitarian assistance," a U.N. official, who declined to be named, told Reuters. ... Thai migrant crisis meeting ends without any solution on offer [Reuters - 4/12/15]
... Foreign Minister Steven Smith later approached us privately to assure us that Australia would press for the AHG mechanism to "be invoked soon to deal with the Rohingyas." ...
Tamil killed in Sinhala mob attack [Tamil Guardian - 8/7/16]
Swiss authorities have announced that they will apply more stringent criteria for granting Sri Lankan nationals – mostly ethnic Tamils - refugee status.
They believe that the situation on the ground has improved since the 2009 civil war. ... [SwissInfo.ch - 8/7/16]
Cuban lighthouse refugee plans to try again to reach US [Huffington Post - 7/7/16]:
Bearded, hungry and full of frustration, Walter Marrero Velazquez returned to the same island that saw him leave on a flimsy craft.
On 20 May the group, consisting of 24 rafters, was intercepted by the US Coast Guard while clinging to the American Shoal lighthouse, eight miles off Sugarloaf Key in the Florida Keys.
The case ended up with four of them deported to Cuba and the other 20 taken to the US Naval Base at Guantanamo, to await further action.
Marrero Velaquez arrived in Puerto Padre, Las Tunas on Monday and only now is seeing the information about “the lighthouse rafters” published in the international press and by independent reporters.
A few hours ago he learned about the emergency appeal presented by five attorneys from the Democracy Movement and its rejection by Judge Darrin P. Gayles, whose decision opened the way for them to be deported.
The rafter remembers each one of the 42 days he spent in the custody of American authorities.
“At first we were in a smaller boat, but then they put us in at least three larger ships, known as ‘cutters’ or ‘mother ships,” he told 14ymedio by phone.
The repatriation occurred on 30 June, with the first stop in Havana, and on the 4th of July, American Independence Day, the rafter was taken to Las Tunas, where lack of fuel meant that the police could only transfer him to Puerto Padre hours later. Others of those repatriated were returned to the same province, while two of them reside in Havana.
In the Cuban capital, immigration authorities and the police asked them some questions about the origin of the fragile craft’s engine.
“They wanted to get information out of us,” said the rafter, who had to sign his statement but didn’t receive a “warning letter.”
In the interrogations they never suggested to him not to repeat the illegal departure from the country.
While on the “mother ship,” Marrero Velaquez came to count 160 Cubans intercepted at sea who were returned to the island.
“The amount of food they gave us was very small, like enough for a six-month-old baby,” he complained.
“I lost 15 pounds during the days I spent there,” he said.
The young man, 20, said that when they protested the meager ration they were pushed and handcuffed.
The hullabaloo raised by the group was not expected in such cases, but it did little good, he recalls.
Situations like that led them to write a collective letter which they threw into the sea in a bottle, like desperate castaways.
“We have spent 37 days sleeping on the floor, the food is for dogs, they mistreat us to the point of violence and we have companions who are sick in the head, it is hell,” explained the two-page missive written by hand.
The bottle was fund by a fisherman who didn’t even speak Spanish and who gave it to the authorities.
Held incommunicado, without the ability to contact attorneys, that letter was the only chance the rafters had to tell about what they were experiencing.
The SOS message managed to get the case re-heard, and gave them the chance to travel to the Guantanamo Naval Base, an area administered by the United States in eastern Cuba. But the young man from Las Tunas preferred not to take advantage of that opportunity.
“In the interview we had with the consul, one by one, the paper they made us sign said that, if we went to Guantanamo as refugees, then we would end up in a third country.”
The rafter said that they made it clear that with this option they would lose the right to enter the United States.
“I decided to come to Cuba because it is very possible to try again,” he says with determination.
At least 18 people detained in U.S. federal immigration custody received subpar medical care that may have contributed to their deaths, a scathing new Human Rights Watch (HRW) report finds.
The people who have recently died in immigration detention included legal immigrants, undocumented immigrants, and people looking for protection under the country’s refugee law.
The report reviews 31 cases of death after some of those details were released in June by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Detention Oversight (ODO). ... [Think Progress - 8/7/16]
Women migrants held at Yarl’s Wood detention centre are handcuffed for hospital visits at a growing rate, according to a new report by the National Audit Office (NAO).
The number of women taken to hospital for treatment in handcuffs rose to 11 per cent in the period October 2015 and April 2016, up from 3 per cent for the same period the year before.
Serco costs the Home Office an estimated £8.8 million per year to run services at the centre, while G4S gets an annual fee of £1.2 million. [Left Foot Forward - 7/7/16]
Germany gloats about stopping people from seeking asylum [Reuters - 8/7/16]:
The number of people seeking asylum in Germany fell sharply in the first half of the year as tougher rules at home and border-closures abroad started to kick in, the interior ministry said on Friday.
About 16,000 people registered in June, down from 92,000 in January, but the migrant crisis as a whole was far from over, the ministry said. ...
NATO leaders agreed on Friday to deploy military forces to the Baltic states and eastern Poland for the first time and increase air and sea patrols to reassure allies who were once part of the Soviet bloc following Russia's seizure of Crimea from Ukraine. ... [Reuters - 8/7/16]
NATO took command of a U.S.-built missile shield in Europe on Friday after France won assurances that the multi-billion-dollar system would not be under Washington's direct control. ... [Reuters - 8/7/16]
Lockheed F-35 fighter shows off capabilities at UK air show [Reuters - 8/7/16]
Lockheed Martin Corp on Thursday welcomed comments suggesting Canada would open a new competition for replacing its current fleet of aging CF-18 Hornets, instead of simply buying Boeing Co F/A-18E/F Super Hornets to meet its needs. ... [Reuters - 7/7/16]
A multinational military operation involving British, French and US forces is coordinating air strikes in support of a renegade general battling Islamist militia groups from a base near Benghazi in eastern Libya, air traffic recordings obtained by Middle East Eye reveal.
The leaked tapes appear to confirm earlier reports suggesting the existence of an international operations centre that is helping General Khalifa Haftar in his campaign to gain control of eastern Libya from groups he has declared to be “extremists”. ... [Middle East Eye - 8/7/16]
Louise Nathale, the deputy of South Sudan's National Security Service chief Akol Kur, has been arrested for allegedly ordering security personnel to shoot at a vehicle convoy of the US embassy in Juba, Radio Tamazuj can report. ... [Radio Tamazuj - 8/7/16]
Fighting erupts inside South Sudan’s Presidential Palace [Sudan Tribune - 8/7/16]
US says 2 drone strikes in Yemen killed 4 "al-Qaida members" [Stars and Stripes - 8/7/16]
The Defense Ministry has announced that the Israeli and American missile defense agencies recently completed a test in which their respective defense systems were successfully linked together. ... [Haaretz - 7/7/16]
For the fourth time in seven years, the British government has intervened to protect Tzipi Livni, Israel’s former foreign minister, from a possible a war crimes investigation into her role in Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip in December 2008.
Last week, ahead of her planned trip to London for a conference organized by the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz, Scotland Yard’s War Crimes Unit telephoned Livni to invite her to come in for a voluntary police interview.
After receiving the summons, Israel initiated “diplomatic contact” with Britain, according to Haaretz, and the UK’s Foreign Secretary arranged for Livni to receive, once again, the status of a “special diplomatic assignment.” ... [Electronic Intifada - 8/7/16]
Israeli commander testifies: soldier unjustified in point-blank Hebron execution [Maan - 6/7/16]
Israel targeting Palestinian protesters on Facebook [The Intercept - 7/7/16]
Facebook on Saturday night dismissed an Israeli government claim that its founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, had “some of the blood” of an Israeli terror victim on his hands, because it did not censor Palestinian incitement and hate speech. ... [Times of Israel - 3/7/16]
In New York City, Ramsey Orta, who filmed the police killing of Eric Garner, is slated to go to jail for four years — making him the only person at the scene of Eric Garner’s killing who will serve jail time.
On Wednesday, Orta took a plea deal on weapons and drug charges.
He says he has been repeatedly arrested and harassed by cops since he filmed the fatal police chokehold nearly two years ago. [Democracy Now - 8/7/16]
Criminalising the hustle: Policing poor people’s survival strategies from Eric Garner to Alton Sterling [Salon - 7/7/16]
US military veteran believed to be lone gunman in Dallas police ambush [Reuters - 8/7/16]
20 civilians killed, over 140 wounded by terrorists’ rocket shells in Aleppo [SANA - 8/7/16]
Heavy clashes erupt between QSD [Syrian Democratic Forces] groups and ISIS in Manbij city in Aleppo [SANA - 8/7/16]
9 July 2016