It looked real.

 

 

Orchid Avenue

 

 

 

I see you dancing ...

 

 

Sneaky Sound System.

 

 

Surfers Paradise [9/5/15]

 

 

 


Hare Krishna Festival of Chariots winds through Brisbane



Brisbane Times [9/5/15]:



… A celebration of the Hare Krishna community, the Festival of the Chariots originated in Puri, India, more than 2000 years ago and has been celebrated in cities across the world since.

Central to the festival, as the name suggested, was a huge wooden chariot that was pulled through the streets of Brisbane amid music and dancing.

Festival organiser Domonik Lucsak said he was impressed by the "multicultural spirit" of Brisbane and the variety of events held each year.

"I've enjoyed events that celebrate Buddha's birthday and (Greek festival) Paniyiri and other important celebrations of the many different cultures of Brisbane," he said.

"I belong to the Hare Krishna community and ever since I came to live in this vibrant city I have had a great desire in my heart to share with the people of Brisbane our Festival of Chariots."

Mr Lucsak said the pulling of the chariot was "symbolic of drawing peace and joy into our hearts".

"This festival is an opportunity to inspire and empower members of the Hare Krishna community and, at the same time, allow the people of Brisbane to experience and connect with our unique and beautiful culture," he said.

Mr Lucsak said the Hare Krishna movement had been in Brisbane for more than 40 years.

 

 

 

 

 Toowoomba woman robbed, injured in home invasion

 


Yahoo [9/5/15]:




A woman has been injured and robbed of cash during an early morning home invasion in Queensland.

The 63-year-old woman says she was threatened and assaulted by a man armed with a metal bar at her Toowoomba home just after 1am on Saturday.

She sustained a cut to her ear and was taken to Toowoomba Hospital.

A man, 30, has been charged, and is due to appear in Toowoomba Magistrates Court on Monday.



 

 

 

 

Police are investigating a single vehicle crash which claimed the lives of two people last night, approximately 10km north of Mount Coolon. ... [QPS Media - 9/5/15]

 

 

 

Serious single vehicle traffic crash, Wellcamp [QPS Media – 9/5/15]

 

 



Man charged with drink-driving after car ploughed into home north of Brisbane [ABC – 9/5/15]

 

 



Serious traffic crash, Mount Luke [QPS Media - 9/5/15]:




The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating a serious motorcycle crash at Mount Luke yesterday which has left a man with life-threatening injuries.

Initial information suggests at 3.15pm, a man believed to be in his 30s, was riding a trail bike in the company of two others on a dirt fire trail within the Geham Forestry Reserve.

The rider appears to have lost control of his bike and crashed into a tree.

The man was transported to Toowoomba Base Hospital with a serious head injury, a fractured right leg and a back injury before he was flown to the Princess Alexandra Hospital.

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.

 

 

 

 

Truck fire closes Leichhardt Highway near Banana [Brisbane Times – 9/5/15]:

 

 

 

... The transportation of ammonium nitrate has been in question since September when eight people were injured and a bridge near Charleville destroyed in an explosion after a truck carrying the chemical crashed and rolled.

The explosion, near Charleville, was described as the most powerful in Australian transport history.

 

 

 

 

 

Teenager charged with "engaging in an act in preparation for, or planning, a terrorist act" following police state spectacle

 



ABC [9/5/15]:



A 17-year-old boy has been charged with terrorism offences following a raid by state and federal police at a home in Greenvale, in Melbourne's north, thwarting what police described as "an imminent threat to the community".

Heavily-armed officers from Victoria Police and the Australian Federal Police swarmed the large two-storey home on Clare Boulevard in Greenvale on Friday afternoon.

The teen was charged on Friday afternoon with engaging in an act in preparation for, or planning, a terrorist act.

Police said the alleged attack was to target a location in Australia.

They said it will be alleged the teenager was undertaking preparations for an act of terrorism, as well as possessing things that relate to the commission of a terrorism act.

"Victoria Police have been working with the Australian Federal Police and other security agencies dealing with an imminent threat to the community of Victoria," Acting Deputy Commissioner Robert Hill from Victoria Police said.

"This matter has been subject to an intense investigation, especially over the last nine days.

"The investigation has been methodical. Our resolution phase has been precise and measured.

"On Thursday afternoon, an agreement was reached that we would resolve this matter with direct action."

Deputy Commissioner Hill said the teenager was arrested as he was leaving the house.

"The facts are this: as a male was leaving that address in a motor car with a female he was intercepted by our specialist police.

"The 17-year-old male was taken into custody. The female was secured.

"We then cordon-contained the address and we asked the three other occupants in the house to come forward in which they did."

He is expected to appear in court on Monday.

...

Deputy Commissioner Phelan said the wider community needed to address the radicalisation of young people.

...

 

 

 

 

 

ABC [8/5/15]:

 

 

 

... The raids come just weeks after police arrested several teenagers during anti-terror raids in Melbourne's south-east.

It is alleged those involved were conspiring to commit a terrorist attack on Anzac Day in Melbourne.

Harun Causevic, 18, appeared in court today over the matter and was refused bail by a Melbourne magistrate.

Earlier today it was revealed Victoria Police had ramped up security measures for its officers.

Police in Victoria will no longer be allowed to work alone under new safety procedures put in place because of heightened security concerns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Age [8/5/15]:

 

 

 

... Residents near Clare Boulevard described police swarming their street en masse as they searched a home and car. Police remained tight-lipped about the reasons for the search, part of a joint operation between Federal Police and Victoria Police.

Police late on Friday set up a large, bright lights at the corner of Clare Boulevard and Helmsdale Crescent.

A family living close to the raided house was forced to spend most of the night outside the police cordon, before being let in shortly after the first explosives were detonated at 9.40pm.

Other families were told they could stay in their houses, but were required to have all their windows and doors shut.

"All of a sudden the street became full of cops, then the bomb squad came. At the start they did not let us out of the house, but then they told everyone to leave because there was some explosive," a neighbour, who gave his name only as Bilal, said.

...

A black armoured car, "massive, the size of a truck, big and black" was driving up the street, Bilal said. Witnesses also reported seeing two men led away by police into an unmarked police car.

Officers wearing hazardous material or bomb disposal suits walked inside the house at the centre of the raids about 5.15pm.

...

A man who passed through the street about 2pm described a large police presence. "I saw a lot of police officers, a lot of white vans, and detectives," he said.

Witnesses told Channel Nine that police arrived in a heavily armed vehicle and used a loudspeaker to demand any occupants come out.

...

 

 

 

 

 

Standard [14/5/14]:

 

 

 

... Derrinallum residents say Sanders had armed himself and his farm with bombs, hiding explosives underground and booby-trapping buildings, and had a dune buggy parked at the back of his house ready to escape if authorities came calling.

He walked the streets of Derrinallum wearing the explosives vest, sometimes revealing it to locals.

His mother was admitted to Terang hospital in early March before she was transferred to Ballarat about 10 days later.

Friends say he would wear the vest when he visited her in the ward, taking her dirty washing home each day and then returning with freshly laundered clothes the next.

When he left her bedside, he would walk around the shops and buy take-away food before making the 85-kilometre journey home, where he had accumulated a huge arsenal of explosives and weapons.

Two years ago, Country Fire Authority volunteers had complained about the explosions that were coming from his property. They were worried about the prospect of having to be called out there in an emergency.

...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Queensland Police Union calls for better protection for officers after Victoria Police implements new safety procedures [ABC - 8/5/15]

 

 

 

 

 

KMOV.com [9/5/15]:

 

 

Police said officers shot a woman in south St. Louis Friday night.

Authorities said the shooting happened in the 4200 block of Chippewa near Garnier.

Police said they were called to an apartment for disturbance where a 37-year-old woman was threatening residents with a screw driver and a gun. When officers arrived, police said she pointed the gun at them, and officers ordered her to put the gun down.

Police said she tried to shoot, but her gun jammed. An officer then shot her in the chest. ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

The deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, and Freddie Gray have placed a national spotlight on police killings of black men. But these four cases are a small fraction of the hundreds of people cops have killed over the past few years.

Jishai Evers, for Vocativ, visualized what police killings looked like over the past 16 months in the map above using data from Killed by Police, which has logged more than 1,500 police killings since January 2014. ... [Vox - 7/5/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serious traffic incident, Pacific Pines



QPS Media [8/5/15]:



Police have finalised their investigations into a traffic incident whereby a pram collided with a vehicle at Pacific Pines on May 6.

Investigations identified that around 4.40pm on Pacific Pines Boulevard a pram rolled down a driveway and struck a vehicle that was driving passed at the time.

An 11-month-old girl who was in the pram received serious injuries. She is receiving treatment at the Gold Coast University Hospital.

This afternoon, police spoke with the driver of the vehicle.

It has been deemed that the driver fulfilled his reporting obligations and police will not be preferring charges.

This investigation has now been finalised.

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 dies after Gold Coast balcony fall

 

 

Brisbane Times [8/5/15]:



A man has died after falling from a balcony on the Gold Coast.

A Queensland Ambulance Service spokeswoman said paramedics were called to Hanlan Street, Surfers Paradise about 2.40pm after reports a man had fallen from a balcony.

She said he was found dead at the scene.

Several neighbours said they heard the man fall, towards the back of Beachcomber Resort on Trickett Street.

"All we heard was a massive bang and that was it," a worker at a nearby motel said.

Beachcomber Resort sits between Trickett and Hanlan Street, about 150 metres back from the beach.

A worker at the resort said it was too early to say what had happened, or even where the man had fallen from.

"It's just happened, we've got police and everything here," he said.

"It's pretty bad."

Police are investigating.

 

 

 

 

 

Attempted armed robbery charge, Surfers Paradise



QPS Media [8/5/15]:



Gold Coast Detectives have charged a man following the attempted armed robbery of a bank in Surfers Paradise yesterday afternoon.

Around 4pm the man entered the bank on the Gold Coast Highway and proceeded up to a teller before providing his account number and requesting a withdrawal from the account.

Police will allege that when the teller advised the man that there were insufficient funds in the account to facilitate the withdrawal, he produced a mobile phone displaying a message that he would shoot the teller if the money was not handed over.

The teller activated a security device and the man left the bank empty handed.

The 27-year-old Surfers Paradise man was charged with one count of attempted armed robbery and is due to appear in the Southport Magistrates Court tomorrow morning.

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.




Gold Coast juggler arrested after stopping traffic



Brisbane Times [8/5/15]:



A circus act in the middle of a busy intersection has landed a woman in police custody.

Police were called to Broadbeach Waters on the Gold Coast about 7.23am after "a number of complaints" of a woman holding up traffic.

A police spokesman said they found a woman juggling "fluoro red sticks" in the middle of the intersection of Bermuda Street and Hooker Boulevard.

He couldn't confirm reports the woman was also approaching drivers and asking them for money for her performance.

Just after 10.30am police were called to Queen Street at Southport to follow up reports of someone "acting stupid in traffic".

The spokesman couldn't confirm the two incidents were related.

He said the woman had been arrested but was yet to be charged.

 

 

 

Stronger warnings needed on Queensland beaches



UQ News [7/5/15]:


New research shows more powerful communication materials are needed to deter tourists who consistently misjudge their risk of drowning on Queensland’s beaches.

Tourism Associate Professor Brent Ritchie from The University of Queensland Business School said visitors also underestimated the dangers of severe sunburn, rips, stingers and sharks.

“We asked about 900 Gold Coast visitors to assess how likely they were to encounter various hazards,” Professor Ritchie said.

“Without fail, they thought their risk was about 10 per cent lower than a regular beachgoer.”

Professor Ritchie said tourism and lifesaving authorities had done a good job of highlighting the dangers but the research indicated more needed to be done to communicate these to tourists.

“Some tourists are hitting the sand for the first time and many are not native English speakers, so they miss the full impact of the current warning signs,” he said.

“Stronger, more graphic signage and communication materials would help get the message through to tourists who are not used to our weather and coastal conditions – whether that’s regularly applying sunscreen or swimming between the flags.”

Seven people drowned on Queensland’s beaches in the 2013-14 financial year, although no drownings happened between Surf Life Saving Queensland’s red and yellow flags.

More than 70 per cent of coastal drownings were visitors; about a quarter of them from overseas.

“Interestingly, we found tourists were more worried about stingers than getting caught in a rip or drowning,” Professor Ritchie said.

“None of us likes to think that something bad will happen while we’re having fun in the sun but being made aware of the potential dangers means we’re all more likely to take precautions.”

Surf Life Saving Queensland’s Chief Operating Officer George Hill said it was even more important for visitors to be careful at the beach during the winter season.

“So many people come to Queensland in winter to escape the chill elsewhere,” Mr Hill said.

“While professional lifeguard services continue on popular beaches, we do have fewer patrolled beaches during the colder months because our volunteers aren’t on duty again until early September.

“As an organisation which strives for zero preventable deaths in Queensland waters, we support all research that seeks to improve water safety within the community, be it through service delivery, community awareness programs or improved coastal and waterways signage.

“Our existing beach and water safety signage exceeds all current Australian safety standards, however Surf Life Saving Queensland continues to work in close partnership with state government and local councils to explore and implement new safety initiatives.”

...





Serious assault police charge, Woodridge



QPS Media [8/5/15]:



Police have been assaulted while attempting to arrest a man at Woodridge overnight.

At around 7pm, police were called to the corner of Station Road and Croydon Road following reports of an altercation.

It will be alleged that when officers tried to arrest one of the men involved he resisted and became violent.

While the officers were attempting to restrain the man a number of bystanders confronted police enabling the man to run away.

Police gave chase and a struggle between the man and officers ensued.

A short time later, the man was taken into custody by police.

One male officer suffered a suspected concussion after hitting the ground and knocking his head on the roadway. He was transported to Logan Hospital for precautionary examination. The examination showed no severe injury.

A 17-year-old Marsden man has been charged with serious assault police, obstruct police and public nuisance and further counts of assault police. He is expected to appear at the Beenleigh Magistrates Court tomorrow morning.

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.

 

 

 

 



Coroner clears Brisbane's Mater Hospital staff over nine-year-old's death [ABC - 8/5/15]

 

 

 



Bomb threat hoax charge, Ipswich



QPS Media [7/5/15]:

 

 

 

A man has been charged after he sent a bomb threat email this morning.

It will be alleged that just before 9.00am a man sent an email to a government agency on East Street, Ipswich stating he would bomb them should he not be contacted.

Police investigations located the man and subsequent searches failed to locate any explosives.

A 26-year-old Booval man has been charged with one count of using a carriage service to make threats and an unrelated charge.

He will appear in the Ipswich Magistrates Court on May 28.

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.


 



Armed Robbery, Windsor [QPS Media - 8/5/15]

 

 

 

 

Dangerous driving charge, Aloomba



QPS Media [8/5/15]:



A man has been charged and police are seeking witnesses following an alleged dangerous driving incident near Aloomba.

Patrolling police were travelling south along the Bruce Highway around 5pm on May 6 when they have observed a vehicle that was allegedly driving at a high speed and in a dangerous manner.

Police have pulled a vehicle over a short time later and a 22-year-old Cairns man was charged with one count of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

Investigators are interested in speaking to anyone that might have been in the Aloomba and Fishery Falls area at the time.

In particular, the drivers of a Pantech truck travelling north and a Toyota Land Cruiser which were both travelling north and may have had to avoid a vehicle.

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 taken to hospital following car crash near Eton Range [Daily Mercury - 8/5/15]

 

 

 

Men injured in crash were Stanthorpe locals [Chronicle - 8/5/15]


 

 

Motorcyclist killed in Morgan Park crash [Chronicle - 8/5/15]

 



BMW damaged in three car Toowoomba CBD crash [Chronicle - 8/5/15]

 

 



Canberra Times [8/5/15]:



A truck has crashed into a car that was waiting at a red light on Gungahlin Drive before driving off.

A woman was driving south on the busy road on Wednesday about 3.30pm when she stopped at the Sandford Street traffic lights in Mitchell.

A white truck crashed into her car and pushed it into the middle of the road.

The woman pulled her car over to avoid other vehicles but the truck did not stop and continued driving south on Gungahlin Drive.

No other drivers stopped to help.

Police have urged anyone who may have seen the collision to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via www.act.crimestoppers.com.au.

...

 

 



Serious traffic crash, Hermit Park [QPS Media - 7/5/15]

 

 

 


Neoliberalism and awareness campaigns will solve Australia's domestic violence crisis

 



Maybe Serco could run it? 

 

 

WA Today [8/5/15]:

 

 

 

The City of Fremantle has voted to end its 40-plus-year tradition of running a state government women's refuge, saying the government is no longer providing a fair amount of funding to cover rising costs.

Warrawee Women's Refuge, which takes in women and children escaping family violence and assists them with case managers, will remain open but the government will have to find another provider, most likely one not willing to subsidise the centre as heavily as the City has.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said the centre cost about $570,000 per year to run and the city had always contributed about $50,000-$100,000 towards this, but costs were rising.

He said the contribution of the Department of Child Protection and Family Services, which owns the refuge, was not rising.

He said the department had recently made an offer to fund the centre to the tune of $470,000 per year over three years - a flat rate which did not take into account inflation and other rising costs, estimated at about 5 per cent a year.

The City reluctantly decided to stop its long-running tradition of renewing its agreement to run the centre after what Cr Pettitt said was a long period of lobbying for a fairer deal.

"Only two local governments in WA fund [department] refuges like this – us and the City of Stirling," he said.

"Stirling got an increase, and that was really the straw that broke the camel's back."

Cr Pettitt said it was inappropriate for the government to use the City's goodwill to take the pressure off its budgets.

"We cannot rely on ratepayers to fund the ever-increasing gap," he said.

Cr Pettitt stressed that the women in the refuges would not notice any difference in service provision and the City would ensure the transition was a smooth one.

He also said the City did not consider the decision a cost-saving measure, but would instead invest the money it had always been willing to chip-in to the running of the refuge to other services to help women, such as Legal Aid.

A report is due to council next month on the best way to reinvest themoney.

Fremantle MLA Simone McGurk said she was disappointed by the decision.

"Warrawee Women's Refuge has been operating for over 40 years, and last year alone supported over 50 women and 60 children," she said.

"While the Fremantle council's actions are disappointing, the real focus should be on the state government, which was proposing to fix annual funding at current levels.

"Effectively, the state government is pushing costs back to the local council to manage its own budget mess.

"The real victims here are the women and children who are trying to leave violent relationships.

"They should be supported in every way to do that.

"Last year, two women died each week as a result of domestic violence. That is completely unacceptable - we all say that, but if we are serious about stopping that violence, we have to support women who are trying to leave violent and abusive relationships.

"Thanks to Australian of the Year Rosie Batty, domestic violence is now on the national agenda. Properly funding women's refuges is a central plank in that strategy.

"I urge the state government to reinstate a realistic funding model to ensure that women's refuges like Warrawee can continue. I also call on Fremantle council to resume negotiations with the Department of Child Protection and Family Support. The council should maintain its current level of funding and contribution to this important domestic violence support service."

The Department of Child Protection and Family Support has been contacted for comment.

 



 

 

 

 

... But the officer who penned the letter to the WA Police Union said the area he covered now was "enormous".

"The amount of travel time from job to job has increased by so much, I'm mortified and embarrassed by our new response time to jobs," the letter said.

"VKI [a radio frequency used by police to speak to officers] is stressed and overworked. This is little comfort to me, when I'm on the road and VKI is overwhelmed by the huge amount of radio calls.

"I went to a violent domestic priority two, and in the text of the job, the POI [person of interest] was the male was an aggressive male, and children were present, but the radio was so busy that VKI never checked on me, like VKI used to do." ... [WA Today - 7/5/15]

 

 



 

What's worse? This statement, or the silence from other Australian politicians?

 

 

 

betrayal [n]

 

 

The action of betraying one’s country, a group, or a person; treachery ...

 

 

 

 

Australia's Minister for Immigration glosses over the UN Torture Committee' visit to Nauru and the ongoing Facebook blackout [Media Release - 9/5/15]:



The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has established a Child Protection Panel to provide independent advice on child protection in immigration detention and regional processing centres (RPCs) and four additional Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers will travel to Nauru to advise local police.

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said the establishment of the Panel and the dispatch of additional AFP officers to Nauru was partly in response to the recent Moss Review into allegations at the Nauru Regional Processing Centre.

"As I indicated at the time, prior to the release of the Moss Review I directed the Secretary to take an even more active role in responding to allegations than was recommended by Mr Moss," Mr Dutton said.

"The Department is progressing all of the recommendations of the Moss Review and I'm pleased that I can announce it is undertaking this additional work to examine the adequacy and appropriateness of the responses of the Department and its service providers to allegations of abuse involving a child."

Two AFP investigators with extensive experience in investigating allegations of sexual assault will provide valuable advice to the Nauru Police Force (NPF) in the management of sexual assault investigations.

The other two AFP members, at the request of the NPF, will provide guidance and advice in relation to the allegations of public disorder occurring in February and March 2015.

In agreement with the Government of Nauru, the four additional AFP officers will deploy as advisors to the NPF only and will not exercise Nauruan policing powers. The total AFP commitment in support of the NPF now totals six officers.

The Child Protection Panel consists of three highly skilled and independent individuals in the fields of law enforcement, child protection and public sector accountability.

It will work to strengthen policies and procedures to ensure the ongoing safety and welfare of children in immigration detention and RPCs and will advise the Secretary on the response of the Department and its service providers in relation to their child protection frameworks.

The Panel’s work will include reviewing allegations back to 2008 to ensure they have been handled appropriately by the Department and service providers.

Mr Dutton said the members of the Panel were chosen carefully, ensuring they have the necessary skills and experience to oversee such an important task.

"The Government takes seriously the need to protect children who are in immigration detention from any abuse, neglect or exploitation and to assist the Government of Nauru to protect children in the Nauru RPC," Mr Dutton said.

"I am confident that Departmental and service provider staff members always have the best interests of children at heart but, there are always opportunities to strengthen the tools and processes in place to adequately record, monitor and follow up these sorts of allegations.

"The Australian Government is committed to maintaining the safety of transferees in Regional Processing Centres and also refugees in the Nauruan community."

The terms of reference for the Panel will be published on the Department’s website: http://www.immi.gov.au/about/dept-info/panel.htm.

...

 

 

 

 

 

Walking with my friends for 30 hours to end indefinite detention ... 

 

Image: @KayeWinnell [9/5/15]

 

 

 

 

 

@racvictoria [8/5/15]:  Walking for freedom continues through the night. Free the 30 refugees indefinitely detained #6years2long

 

 

 

@6years2long  [8/5/15]:  "There's only so long you can continue visiting your mates in detention before you need to start working for their freedom"-Matt

 

 

 

@ridge_road [8/5/15]:   #Progress2015 discusses power of #ASIO while outside #6years2long campaigners walk to free #ASIOnegative refugees

 

 

 

 

Many uninvited Australian progressives are pondering this exclusive, slick event ----> Progress 2015 <----- Classic co-optation.

 

 

 



Report to UN busts asylum seeker myths and perceptions: Queensland researcher [Brisbane Times - 9/5/15]:

 

 

... The report found migrants used smugglers "when accessing legal channels for migration proves unsuccessful or remains difficult".

Professor Schloenhardt, who has previously criticised the Australian government's boat turn-back policy for shifting the problem to other countries, said "the only meaningful way to control the problem was to create more legal avenues for migration".

"We can't control and stop the demand and the migration to that," he said.

"What we can do perhaps is manage it and the only way to really ensure that these very dangerous and exploitative means of migration aren't used, is to provide some realistic avenue of migration."

...

 

 

 

 

United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria

 

 

Centcom [8/5/15]:

 

Coalition military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists in Syria and Iraq between 8 a.m., May 7, and 8 a.m., May 8, local time.

In Syria, coalition military forces conducted five airstrikes using attack, bomber fighter and remotely piloted aircraft.

Separately in Iraq, coalition military forces conducted nine airstrikes approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense using attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft against ISIL terrorists.

“The coalition is striking to secure current operational objectives and prepare for future operations,” said Brig. Gen. Thomas Weidley, CJTF-OIR chief of staff.

“In addition to airstrikes, the coalition continues to train the ISF and KSF to provide security to the population and restore the territorial integrity of Iraq.”

The following is a summary of the strikes conducted since the last press release:

Syria

Near Al Hasakah, four airstrikes struck three ISIL tactical units, destroying four ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL vehicle.

Near Ar Raqqah, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL vehicle.

Iraq

Near Al Asad, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL building.

Near Al Qaim, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL vehicle.

Near Bayji, three airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying six ISIL fighting positions, three ISIL vehicles, an ISIL VBIED and an ISIL armored personnel carrier.

Near Mosul, three airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units, destroying an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL vehicle.

Near Sinjar, one airstrike struck an ISIL large tactical unit, destroying seven ISIL buildings and destroying nine ISIL heavy machine guns.

Airstrike assessments are based on initial reports. All aircraft returned to base safely.

...

 

 

 

 

Australia knew about Indonesia's napalm plans in Timor Leste




Sydney Morning Herald [8/5/15]:

 

 

The Australian and United States governments knew Indonesia was prepared to use napalm against the people of Timor Leste but made no protest, according to secret documents unearthed by an Australian researcher.

Associate Professor Clinton Fernandes from the Australian Defence Force Academy has found previously classified Australian diplomatic papers that call into question repeated Indonesian denials that incendiary weapons were used in Timor Leste during Jakarta's 24-year occupation of the former Portuguese colony.

The discovery is a breakthrough in Dr Fernandes' long running research to establish the extent of the Australian Government's knowledge of Indonesian war crimes in East Timor.

One of the documents found by Dr Fernandes at the National Archives of Australia is a September 1983 letter from the Australian consul in Bali, Malcolm Mann, to Dennis Richardson, then counsellor in the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, to report a conversation with the United States consul in Surabaya, Jay McNaughton.

The American had told Mr Mann that he had "seen intelligence reports that the Indonesians were fitting napalm tanks to their F5 aircraft for use in Indonesia".

The Indonesian Air Force had acquired from the United States a dozen Northrop F-5 ground attack aircraft three years earlier. Mr McNaughton explained that "American experts had been asked to help with the fitting of the napalm tanks as the Indonesians were having difficulty in trimming the aircraft".

Mr Richardson asked the US Embassy in Jakarta to confirm the Indonesians had approached the United States for assistance in fitting napalm tanks and was told that US contractors had been engaged "because the napalm tanks were made in Italy and modifications were needed in order to fit them to F5s".

In early November 1983 Richardson forwarded a report to the Department of Foreign Affairs in Canberra in which he added that "the United States assumed that, given the recent military build-up in East Timor, the approach had been made in connection with East Timor".

Following international outcries generated by the use of napalm in the Vietnam War, use of the incendiary weapon against civilians was effectively banned by a 1980 United Nations convention that prohibits conventional weapons which are "excessively injurious" or have "indiscriminate effects".

However Indonesia did not and has not signed the convention.

The Department of Foreign Affairs files examined by Dr Fernandes show the Australian Embassy in Jakarta took no action to protest against Indonesia's use of napalm and there was no reaction in Canberra, where then prime minister Bob Hawke's Labor Government was eager to improve relations with Indonesia and open negotiations with Jakarta on the oil and gas resources of the Timor Sea.

In 2006, following the publication of allegations of Indonesian napalm use against Timorese civilians in the report of Timor's United Nations-sponsored Truth and Reconciliation Commission, then Indonesian defence minister Juwono Sudarsono declared that such attacks "never happened".

"How could we have used napalm against the East Timorese? Back then we didn't even have the capacity to import, let alone make napalm," Mr Sudarsono.

One witness quoted by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Lucas da Costa Xavier, recalled: "The trees and grass would burn when the bombs hit them … Many civilians died from drinking the water contaminated with shrapnel from bombs dropped from the planes, and many died of burns – it was the dry season, so the grass burned easily."

Dr Fernandes said the Foreign Affairs department documents were significant "because they are the first hard evidence of napalm from the official records, and not just the testimony of survivors."

"The documents show that the East Timorese and the small group of international activists who supported them were telling the truth," Dr Fernandes said

"The Labor government that came to office in 1983 knew that the Indonesian military were committing crimes against humanity, including burning people alive with napalm, but they said and did nothing."

Dr Fernandes has been engaged in a protracted legal battle in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and the Federal Court to secure the declassification of Australian intelligence and diplomatic records relating to Indonesia's occupation of East Timor.

The Australian government claims declassification of the papers would reveal still sensitive intelligence and damage Australia's relations with Indonesia. Much of the government's evidence has been suppressed following the issue of a "public interest certificate" by Attorney-General George Brandis.

"The current government should declassify all relevant records so that the full truth can come out," Dr Fernandes said.

 

 

 

 

9 May 2015

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