Police shoot man dead, Lake Macquarie
… Police said officers were called to a post office on Postmans Lane at Warners Bay about 3.15pm on Wednesday, responding to reports a man was armed with a knife.
Officers from Lake Macquarie Local Area Command attended and confronted a man.
He died at the scene after a police firearm was discharged.
A critical incident team will now investigate all circumstances surrounding the incident, including the actions of police.
That investigation will be overseen by the Professional Standards Command.
An Australia Post spokeswoman said they were working with police and the relevant authorities at the scene.
Communications Electrical Plumbing Union branch secretary Jim Metcher issued a statement confirming the man who died was a postal services officer.
"The deceased man was a member of the union and his name is presently withheld," he wrote.
"Despite his long history of mental health disorders that has resulted in this horrific and tragic sad circumstance, he was always held in high regard and supported by his colleagues.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends along with our local retail members who have been subjected to this horrific ordeal late this afternoon."
The union will offer counselling to members.
Video of the shooting shows the two plain clothes police officers, telling the man to ‘‘put the knife on the ground’’.
At one point an officer yells ‘‘put it down or we’re going to shoot’’.
‘‘C’mon mate, we’re not mucking around, you don’t want to do this mate,’’ one of the officers can be heard saying.
After a short interval one of the officers then says ‘‘put it down mate, we’re here to help you’’.
The man then appears to approach one of the officers holding the knife in a threatening position.
The officer yells for him to ‘‘put it down’’ twice more before the three gun shots are fired and the man collapses.
Police chase man after he allegedly stole gun during robbery, Nambour [Yahoo - 9/9/15]:
A man is on the run after allegedly stealing a gun during a robbery of a southeast Queensland home and then later ditching it.
The red-headed man, believed to be in his 20s, broke into a home in Nambour and stole a gun before fleeing around 10am on Wednesday, police say.
Police later found the stolen gun and are interviewing two other men believed to have been involved in the robbery.
Police could not confirm reports that shots were fired by the man.
He is described as having a red goatee and wearing a white t-shirt.
... Brayden Aaron Mechen was arrested for serious assault after police allege he spat at an officer outside the Sin City nightclub on September 28 last year.
That charge, and two others, were withdrawn in the Southport Court today, with police saying they could not prove them beyond reasonable doubt.
CCTV footage of the incident has been released by council to Mr Mechen's solicitor, Jason Grant. ... Handcuffed man punched in the face by Gold Coast police officer, video shows [ABC - 8/9/15]
Gold Coast cop resigns over arrest punch [Brisbane Times - 9/9/15]
We don't need to respond to accusations of police brutality because the politicians and media are on our side -----> Spit on an officer, expect force in return: Police union chief [Brisbane Times - 9/9/15]
Terror financing charges against Melbourne pizza shop worker dropped
Prosecutors have dropped terror financing charges against a Melbourne pizza shop worker due to a lack of evidence.
Hassan El Sabsabi, 24, was charged last year with sending funds to Islamic State (IS) and Jabhat al Nusra, but in the Supreme Court today prosecutors announced they were not proceeding with the charges.
However, El Sabsabi still faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to two charges under the Foreign Incursions and Recruitment Act.
El Sabsabi has admitted giving money to a person who intended to enter Syria and engage in a hostile act.
He was arrested on September 30 last year, following a joint Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Victoria Police counterterrorism operation.
He was charged with one count of making funds available to IS and six of sending money to Jabhat al-Nusra — an Al Qaeda affiliate based in Syria.
Police alleged El Sabsabi sent $16,000 to fund fighting in the Middle East.
At a committal hearing in May, prosecutors announced El Sabsabi had been charged with an additional 11 offences under the Foreign Incursions Act.
Today those charges were consolidated into two charges that El Sabsabi pleaded guilty to.
At the time of El Sabsabi's arrest, AFP Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan said police had acted on information provided to them by America's Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The eight-month investigation collected more than 25,000 pages of material and intercepted hundreds of phone calls and text messages.
The decision to drop the more serious terror financing charges comes less than a month after Commonwealth prosecutors withdrew terrorism charges against Harun Causevic because of a lack of evidence.
Causevic was charged in relation to the alleged Anzac Day terror plot, but now faces relatively minor weapons charges.
The AFP declined to comment on El Sabsabi's case because the matter was still before court.
A spokesperson for the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions said the charges El Sabsabi had pleaded guilty to adequately reflected the nature and extent of the criminal conduct disclosed by the evidence.
His bail was extended and the case will return
to court on December 4 this year.
Whale calf found dead after colliding with tugboat in Queensland coal port
A humpback whale calf has been found dead in the propeller of a tugboat that was guiding a ship to a Queensland coal port on Tuesday night.
The cause of the calf’s death will probably remain a mystery, said Queensland parks and wildlife officers, who consider it possible it was dead before it collided with the 33-metre tug Bulgu.
“Given the state of the carcass it is highly unlikely we will be able to ascertain whether the animal was alive or dead at the time of the vessel strike,” according to a briefing note seen by Guardian Australia.
It is understood the tugboat was guiding a coal ship to a BHP berth at Hay Point, south of Mackay, when it struck the whale and suffered engine failure.
Commercial divers found the dead whale ensnared in the propeller beneath the vessel on Wednesday morning and called the RSPCA.
There are unconfirmed reports the calf was seen swimming with its mother nearby in recent days.
A WWF reef campaigner, Richard Leck, called for a full investigation to determine “exactly what went wrong here”.
The incident highlighted the challenges of “operating a mega industrial port alongside the natural wonders of the Great Barrier Reef”.
“Every effort should be made to determine what happened and what lessons can be possibly learned to prevent future whale fatalities,” he said.
“There are still plans on the table to expand shipping movements through the Great Barrier Reef. If more coal ships are allowed to pass through the reef’s waters the risk of ship strikes on whales would increase.
“A study last year found that whales hit by ships travelling at average speed face a 50% to 70% chance of dying.”
A commercial dive team will be responsible for freeing the carcass by Thursday. It will have to use the boat’s on-board crane to lift the five-metre calf on to a Mackay council truck for “disposal on land”.
QPWS officers on site would take blubber samples.
Pacific leader warns Australia on climate stance
Channel News Asia [8/9/15]:
Australia should consider leaving the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) if it cannot accept the regional body's firm stance on climate change, Kiribati President Anote Tong said on Tuesday.
Tong said global warming had left small island nations fighting for their future and there was no room for compromise on the issue at this week's PIF meeting in Papua New Guinea.
The 16-nation grouping consists mainly of small island nations including Kiribati, together with Australia and New Zealand, and the two developed nations have been accused of dragging their feet on climate change.
Tong said the island nations wanted to send an unequivocal message ahead of climate talks in Paris later this year that average global warming should be limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels.
If Australia disagreed, it should reconsider its membership of the PIF, he said. "It will be incumbent upon them ... how relevant would their presence be?" he told reporters.
The Kiribati leader, who last year finalised the purchase of a block of land in Fiji in case rising tides force his people to relocate, said compromise would be "a betrayal of trust".
"We cannot negotiate this, we cannot be bought by aid on this one," he said.
Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has refused to attend the PIF while Australia and New Zealand remain full members, saying the wealthy nations dominate the body.
Bainimarama, who has sent his foreign minister to Port Moresby in his place, last week said Canberra and Wellington were part of a "coalition of the selfish" that was refusing to take meaningful action on climate change.
He said Australia and New Zealand should be relegated from full PIF members to "development partners", which would give them observer status on the sidelines like the EU, China and India.
The PIF in recent years has taken a leading role in raising global awareness about climate change, with member nations bearing the brunt of its impact even though their carbon emissions are minute.
For more than a decade, its annual summit has heard details of eroding coastlines, increasingly destructive storms and crops ruined by encroaching seawater.
The PIF summit opened on Tuesday night with dancing involving warriors in traditional mud helmets and body paint. It continues until Thursday.
Island leaders have described the UN-brokered
COP21 talks in Paris in December as the last chance for the world to reach a
binding agreement that can secure their future.
Politicians feign disappointment as screeching noise pollution Gold Coast Light Rail to Nowhere goes nowhere [Brisbane Times - 9/9/15]
... Mr Milner served as state secretary in Queensland between 2000 and 2004.
More recently he directed his lobby firm Milner Strategic Services & Next Level Holdings, which is co-owned by former Liberal staffer David Moore and is providing advice on the controversial Adani Carmichael coal project. ... Bill Shorten names Cameron Milner as his new chief of staff [Sydney Morning Herald - 8/9/15]
PNG's PM says he'll ask Abbott to extradite refugee death camp guards so they can face rape allegations
Nine MSN [9/9/15]:
Papua New Guinea will ask Prime Minister Tony Abbott to extradite three Australians who worked at the Manus Island immigration detention centre so they can face rape allegations.
Mr Abbott is due to arrive in the PNG capital on Wednesday night for the Pacific Islands Forum.
"We expect the rule of law to prevail," Prime Minister Peter O'Neill told reporters at Parliament House in Port Moresby.
"They must face up to the allegations and be tried under the normal rule of law in Papua New Guinea."
Rape convictions carry the death sentence in PNG.
Three guards employed by Wilson Security were stood down and returned to Australia following an incident in mid-July.
The return of the accused men prompted anger among Manus Island police and locals, claiming they were sent back before a proper investigation was completed.
Detention centre operator Transfield Services reportedly told the victim's family the trio would be returned to the island to face police questioning, after a relative hijacked a bus and truck belonging to the facility.
Mr O'Neill was unapologetic about PNG's tough stance on rape.
"That's our laws, we can't break our laws," he said.
He also expressed his general frustration with Australian expats evading PNG's justice system with quick evacuations - citing the case of two Australian guards involved in a drink-driving car crash on the island a fortnight ago.
"How would you feel if we treated Papua New Guineans the same way when they cause offences in Australia?" he said.
"We have to respect each other's laws."
Long time resident on Nauru deported [RNZI – 9/9/15]
UN: 850,000 refugees predicted to cross sea to Europe - Why stop at imprisoning 12,000 more in your concentration camps Australia? [Reuters - 9/9/15]
Military barracks like the Puckapunyal army base could be used to temporarily house people fleeing the conflict in Syria as part of a proposal by the Victorian Government. ... [ABC - 9/9/15]
UN decries selective compassion for refugees, says they are human beings - Not if they come by boat say Australia's political, media and human rights establishment [UN Media Release - 8/9/15]
ABC, 7.30 Report [9/9/15]:
... LEIGH SALES: We have Syrian refugees in our own detention centre on Manus Island. Why do those people not deserve a chance at refuge in Australia?
TONY ABBOTT: Well we don't want to reward people smugglers and we don't want to reward people smuggling. So, we are very much going to go to people who have sought asylum, sought refuge on the borders of Syria, in Turkey, in Lebanon, in Jordan. We're not particularly going to go and look for people who have used the services of people smugglers to get into Europe, because the last thing we want is to add to the problem of people smuggling, the last thing we want is to reward people smugglers and their clients. What we want to do is help people who really, under these circumstances, are never able to go back to their ancestral homes.
The boats have stopped. The carbon tax has ...
LEIGH SALES: We're talking about the economy.
TONY ABBOTT: The boats have stopped
TONY ABBOTT: But the truth is we've got on with the job. We have got on with the job. We've cut taxes, we've cut regulation, we've finalised free trade agreements, we've stopped the boats
The carbon tax is gone, the boats are stopped, ...
Brazil, Venezuela, and Chile say refugees welcome [The Standard - 8/9/15]
Palestine's UN representative on Tuesday appealed to the UN Security Council to put pressure on Israel to allow Palestinian refugees fleeing conflict to seek asylum in the occupied Palestinian territory.
"Israel should not be allowed to prevent us from bringing our refugees to safety in their own homeland," Riyad Mansour, Palestinian Ambassador to the UN, wrote in a letter to Vitaly Churkin, the president of the Security Council during September. ... [Maan - 9/9/15]
Protests greet Israel's Netanyahu on British visit [Reuters - 9/9/15]
Israeli settlers assault 3 Palestinians near Nablus [Maan - 9/9/15]
Israeli demolition orders boost vulnerability of thousands of West Bank Palestinians, UN warns [Media Release – 8/9/15]
Egypt sends up to 800 ground troops to Yemen [Daily Star - 9/9/15]
At least seven out of 20 Indian crew members are missing after their boats came under aerial bombardment while plying between Somalia and Yemen, External Affairs Ministry said today.
Disputing reports that 20 Indian nationals were killed in air strikes by Saudi-led coalition forces at Yemen's Hodeidah port, the MEA said 13 Indians crew members "are alive and 7 are reported missing". ... [NDTV - 9/9/15]
An angry crowd has attacked the Ankara headquarters of Turkey's main pro-Kurdish party, in a night of nationalist violence across the country. ... [Al Jazeera - 9/9/15]
Afghanistan: ANA soldiers killed in Kalakan blast [TOLO News - 9/9/15]:
At least two Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were killed in a blast in Kalakan district of Kabul province early Wednesday, local officials said. In addition, a civilian was injured.
The blast took place about 6am local time in Kalakan after their vehicle struck a roadside mine, District Governor, Rahmatullah Faqirzada said.
The injured has been transferred to a nearby hospital for the treatment, according to the officials. No group including the Taliban has claimed responsibility for the incident.
Accusing foreign intelligence agencies, the governor on Tuesday said more than 700 schoolgirls were poisoned over the past 10 days in the western province of Herat.
Speaking at a gathering here, Mohammad Asif Rahimi said schoolgirls were being threatened in different ways such as planting bombs on roads to schools, night letters and warnings in order to prevent them from attending school. ... [Pajhwok - 8/9/15]
A senior journalist was gunned down on Wednesday in Karachi, the second killing of a media person within a day in the Pakistani port city, police said.
Aftab Alam -- who had previously worked with Geo News, and was also associated with Samaa TV -- was shot by unidentified assailants near his home in Sector 11-C area of north Karachi, Dawn online reported. ... [Business Standard - 9/9/15]
Clinton apologises for using private email as US secretary of state [Reuters – 8/9/15]
Arizona police report nine possible shootings along interstate highway [Reuters - 9/9/15]
Close to 8,000 people killed in eastern Ukraine, says UN human rights report [Media Release – 8/9/15]
Russia has warned Bulgaria that it’s going to react adequately to a decision to close Bulgarian airspace to Russian planes flying relief cargoes to Syria, Nikolay Levichev, the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) vice-speaker and a member of the Duma Committee for Foreign Affairs, told TASS on Tuesday. ... [TASS - 8/9/15]
Al-Qaida's Syrian affiliate and its allies seized the last regime-held military base in northwestern Idlib province on Wednesday, in the latest setback for President Bashar al-Assad's forces. ... [Naharnet - 9/9/15]
... The following provides our summary of potential vulnerabilities and possible means to exploit them ... [INFLUENCING THE SARG IN THE END OF 2006]
Indonesia to take over control of airspace above Riau Islands from Singapore [Channel News Asia – 9/9/15]
In Australia a minor amendment to Marriage Act gets ongoing Parliamentary scrutiny, while attacking Syria gets none.
United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria
US Department of Defense [8/9/15]:
U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Airstrikes in Syria
Fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted five airstrikes in Syria:
-- Near Hawl, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL bunker and an ISIL trench.
-- Near Ayn Isa, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Mar’a, three airstrikes struck three ISIL tactical units.
Airstrikes in Iraq
Attack, bomber, fighter, fighter-attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 14 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with the government of Iraq:
-- Near Huwayjah, an airstrike struck an ISIL mortar firing position.
-- Near Bayji, three airstrikes struck one large and one small ISIL tactical unit, destroying six ISIL vehicles and five ISIL buildings.
-- Near Fallujah, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and two ISIL trench lines, destroying three ISIL bunkers, two ISIL buildings and two ISIL recoilless rifles.
-- Near Kisik, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL heavy machine gun.
-- Near Mosul, an airstrike struck an ISIL mortar firing position.
-- Near Ramadi, two airstrikes struck an ISIL large tactical unit, destroying ten ISIL vehicles and four ISIL boats.
-- Near Sinjar, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Sultan Abdallah, an airstrike struck an ISIL rocket firing position.
-- Near Tal Afar, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL bunker.
-- Near Tuz, an airstrike destroyed five ISIL fighting positions.
Greek coast guard rescues some 500 refugees in a day [ekathimerini – 8/9/15]:
Greece's coast guard says its patrol vessels picked up nearly 500 migrants in 11 search-and-rescue missions over the past 24 hours in the eastern Aegean Sea.
The people, whose nationalities were not immediately clear, were found in small boats near the islands of Lesvos — which accounts for nearly one in two migrant arrivals in Greece — Samos, Kos and the islet of Agathonissi.
More than 15,000 refugees and migrants are stranded on Lesvos, awaiting screening before they can board a ferry to the Greek mainland — from where they head north through Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary to seek asylum in more prosperous European countries.
A ferry carrying some 2,500 migrants from Lesvos is due in Athens later Tuesday.
@MSF_Sea [8/9/15]: After months at sea, we are still shocked by the number of #people in each boat. 650 in this photo alone ...
"Australia needs to act, and it needs to act now" says Paul McPhun, executive director of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) Australia. [VIDEO - 7/9/15]
NOT "compassionate" not "leadership" and certainly NOT a "crucial first step": Rather than calling for the immediate closure of Manus and Nauru and bringing the refugees to Australia, the Refugee Council of Australia rewards the Abbott government for a vile propaganda stunt ---> Refugee Council of Australia President Phil Glendenning said, “We applaud the leadership of the Prime Minister on acting so promptly once community concern became apparent, for the people fleeing conflict and persecution in Syria.” ... [Media Release - 9/9/15]
A newly-declassified CENTCOM document – published by Airwars and international media partners for the first time today – reveals that by early May of this year, the anti-ISIL Coalition had already internally investigated dozens of events involving at least 325 possible civilian deaths from airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.
Yet despite often significant published evidence of civilians killed in Coalition strikes, most allegations were dismissed as “Not credible” within 48 hours – with few signs of later follow-ups.
The document also reveals for the first time that French, Canadian, Dutch and Australian aircraft have all been involved in problem incidents in Iraq, which between them allegedly killed up to 30 civilians.
A woman and child may also have been injured in a major Australian airstrike at Fallujah on December 21st 2014. That attack was focused on a’suspected weapons factory’ in the city.
Military surveillance revealed a woman and child walking through the immediate strike area some minutes after the last missile impacted. The child was then observed being taken to the local hospital, while the woman “walked to the median strip on the road and lay down, and was not observed any further.”
Australia declares war on Syria.
Announces 12,000 strong boost to its refugee concentration camp network.
Pontville refugee concentration camp, Tasmania [Image: Jackson Vernon, ABC - January 2012]
... Tasmania Premier Will Hodgman on Saturday confirmed the state is in talks with Canberra about how to bring more displaced people to the island under the Commonwealth's safe haven visa scheme. ... [SBS - 5/9/15]
Detain Syrian refugees at Point Nepean barracks [The Age – 7/9/15]
Incarcerate Syrian refugees at Inverbrackie detention centre [ABC - 7/9/15]
For nearly a year Australia has refused to accept UNHCR refugees.
The lengths to which the Australian immigration department has gone to facilitate the repatriation of traumatised Syrian asylum seekers detained in offshore detention centres has been extensively revealed in departmental emails obtained under freedom of information laws. ... [Guardian - 19/8/14]
The United Nations Special Rapportuer on Torture has found that various aspects of Australia’s asylum seeker policies violate the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. ... [Human Rights Law Centre Media Release - 9/3/15]
Immigration head launches legal bid to keep boat turnback document secret [Guardian - 2/9/15]
South East Asia
... Destitute migrants escaping countries like Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq in a bid to reach Europe via land and sea have been well-documented by the mainstream media over the past couple of months.
However, an equally bigger humanitarian emergency is about to erupt – again – in the Southeast Asia and the international community remains as negligent as ever about it.
The United Nations has issued a warning over an expected surge of mostly Rohingya and Bangladeshi refugees heading out into the Andaman Sea in September.
The last time these asylum-seekers, mainly hailing from Myanmar, made headlines was in May when police in Thailand discovered dozens of graves of suspected Rohingya migrants in an abandoned jungle camp.
Subsequently, thousands of refugees were discovered stranded in Southeast Asian waters; they were initially denied help from neighboring nations, including Indonesia and Malaysia.
The refusal to rescue these "boat people" – as they were collectively dubbed by international media – led to protests by human rights activists. After much outrage, several countries, including Japan, finally offered asylum.
The flow of boats eventually subsided but now the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has warned the crisis will resume before the end of the monsoon season in the region.
“We expect this to resume again in about a month,” said UNCHR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming.
“There are appalling conditions on these boats and a bit of ping pong, and real concerns about access to territory.”
Thousands of Rohingya have tried to escape atrocities by Buddhist extremists in Myanmar by risking their lives on dilapidated vessels. Since the conditions in the country remain the same, members of the persecuted minority will yet again attempt to flee violence.
According to the agency, around 31,000 Rohingyas and Bangladeshis left from the Bay of Bangal on boats since the beginning of the year; that’s almost 34 percent more people from the same period in 2014.
A total of 94,000 people are believed to have embarked on similar perilous journeys since 2014.
At least 1,100 more have reportedly drowned in the same time period.
The migrant crisis in Europe is undoubtedly one of the biggest humanitarian challenges of this decade.
As world leaders continue to work on a possible solution to the problem, it’s important that they do not leave out the refugees fleeing Myanmar and Bangladesh since they too deserve to be rescued and saved.
Chutima Sidasathian and Alan Morison: moving on from Phuketwan [8/9/15]
The Phuketwan journalists say this picture of emaciated Rohingya on the beach was given to them by the Thai navy [BBC - 1/9/15]
... On January 1, 2013, Phuketwan reporters travelled by speedboat to intercept a Rohingya boat off the southern Phuket destination of Rawai. This boat was different to other boats: there were women and children on board. We were shocked to see whole families in the basic primitive conditions that usually only the Rohingya menfolk experienced. This was because two outbreaks of violence in Burma's Arakan state in 2012 had led to the torching of family homes, and the refugee camps were being deprived of essentials by the Rohingya's hateful neighbors. The children said they were fleeing ''certain death.'' Those families were trucked back to Ranong and put back on another boat. ... [Phuketwan - 7/12/13]
... I was asked to assist in processing 150 Tamil asylum seekers into the RPC 3. These Tamil asylum seekers were transferred during the night from Australia with no knowledge after being held at sea for an extensive period of time.
The asylum seekers spoke of being roughly handled by staff in Australia, pushed onto planes and sent to Nauru without their knowledge.
Immigration in Australia had attempted to separate families onto planes and this caused upset as they didn’t know where they would be going.
Some Men arrived to RPC1 with no shirts or shoes on, women had no bras on and were wearing oversized clothing and some children had no pants and no underwear on.
When asked what had happened the asylum seekers stated they were in the middle of doing their washing after being held on the boat for so long. Whilst they were doing washing they were forced onto the plane and all their belongings were left behind.
Men stated that their shirts were ripped off their backs and women’s bras were broken when they were man handled to get onto the plane to Nauru. They stated they were scared as they didn’t know where they were going and Australian staff were separating families.
They spoke of trauma from being on the boat where the Australian Navy separated the men women and children, splitting families up. Children were sick on the boat and medical care wasn’t provided.
Only allowed one hour outside their room on the boat per day.
Items being destroyed by Australian Navy
I worked with a family from boat id starting with SGN who stated that all their possessions were destroyed by the Australian Navy on the water. They were transferred to a the Navy boat and were told to leave their belongings behind and they would be transferred later.
The family discussed that once everyone was transferred to the Navy boat the Navy lit the boat with all their belongings on fire.
The family discussed their sadness watching all their life belongings sink to the bottom of the ocean. These belongings included money, passports, photos and clothing.
Tamil asylum seekers not illegally detained at sea: High Court [SBS - 28/1/15]
New Zealand government refers refugees to Australia [RNZI - 13/6/15]:
The Government has told 65 asylum seekers wanting to live in New Zealand to contact United Nations officials in Australia.
The people, from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar, say they were heading for New Zealand when they were shipwrecked on an Indonesian reef earlier this month.
A written reply from the office of the Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse, said while New Zealand accepted 750 refugees annually, it could not pick and choose.
It said the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Canberra was responsible for inquires dealing with New Zealand and suggested the group approach that office. [The UNHCR Canberra have said nothing - as is their usual response to regional refugee issues - and the media have not asked them about the refugees' predicament.]
A UN representative in Indonesia said they met with the group, 52 of whom were registered as refugees.
... Nazmul Hassan, who identifies himself as one of the 65 in a Kupang detention centre, said they just wanted a peaceful life.
"We leave our country because of some problems and political violence and [too many problems]."
"We are really in trouble now, and under pressure now."
Mr Hassan said they were all confined to one room at the centre in West Timor. He said the group was mentally and physically exhausted. ... [RNZI - 7/6/15]
Sydney Morning Herald [2/6/15]:
... Fishermen spotted two boats floating near Landuti island in the West Rote district, 500 kilometres north-east of the Australian coast, on Sunday.
"They looked exhausted," Rote police chief Hidayat said.
"One female passenger is pregnant – we took her immediately to the hospital but she is ok now."
Mr Hidayat said the migrants told him they had been caught by Australian customs on May 26, who sunk their boat.
They were put in two blue and white boats, and sent back into Indonesian waters. ...
Why is World Vision CEO Tim Costello silent about plight of these refugees?
Where is the UNHCR? What did the High Commissioner really say to Dutton?
Refugee kiddies locked up #Nauru while Abbott & Shorten scramble to out compassion each other
Image: @KayeBernard [8/9/15]
Taking this tokenistic PR stunt seriously only serves to rehabilitate the image of vicious, racist, war mongering politicians, and reinforces a system that brutalises refugees.
Nice dogwhistle ----> Greens MP Adam Bandt said taking a discriminatory approach would only inflame tensions.
"If you want to know why around the world many Muslims, especially young Muslims, don't like western governments, it's because they say things like this," he said. ... [SBS - 9/9/15]
Brother of alleged rape victim claims he was urinated on by guards in Nauru [The Age – 9/9/15]
What happened to Iranian asylum seeker Nazanin? [Daily Life – 9/9/15]:
... "She is anxious, she is fearful, concerned about being separated from her mother and brother . . . they have very little contact, just two or three minutes at a time . . . the phone calls are short and difficult."
And he says that as he sat with her, there were long periods where she would not – or could not – talk.
"There are clearly times when the words don't fill the space."
This is a young woman in a terrible state. As an asylum seeker, she is not permitted to have a mobile phone.
No 'boat arrivals' are permitted to have mobile phones.
There are no regular communication arrangements between Nauru – where her mother and brother are - and Prince Charles Hospital, so she waits anxiously for a call, whenever they can get permission to ring.
Australian media who are protecting Dutton and his hypocritical announcement are no better than this: A Hungarian camerawoman has been fired after she tripped refugees who were fleeing from police, her employer announced Tuesday. ... [TIME - 9/9/15]
New Zealand: TPP protesters occupy Prime Minister's office
A small group of protesters against the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal briefly occupied the Prime Minister's electoral office in Auckland this morning.
The police moved on the protesters from the Show Us Ya Text group a short time ago.
Negotiations for the proposed 12-country deal has attracted fierce criticism and sparked large protests.
The Show Us Ya Text group wants the Government to publish the current negotiating text, as well as New Zealand's positions, bottom lines and "decision-making material".
Today they held placards of the women's suffrage movement leader Kate Sheppard, and said they were standing against the anti-democratic practice of negotiating the TPP in secrecy.
Last month, members of the same group invaded Trade Minister Tim Groser's office, washing his windows in a symbolic push for more transparency, while also storming the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Auckland headquarters.
US Senator attacks American Samoa cabotage law [RNZI - 9/9/15]
Donald Trump meets, raises Indonesian leaders despite ties to mass killings [Democracy Now - 8/9/15]
Pro West Papua groups push Forum for action
PNG Loop [8/9/15]:
Solidarity groups throughout the Pacific including Australia and New Zealand are calling on Pacific leaders to act on the West Papua issue at the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting.
To not act on the issue of West Papua would be considered a moral failure of our collective leadership in the Pacific, they say.
The call on leaders has gained momentum in light of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), with leaders convening in Port Moresby this week, with West Papua being one of the contentious priority areas on the leaders’ agenda.
Solidarity movements in the Pacific have peacefully demonstrated with a firm message to the PIF to endorse a fact finding mission to West Papua to investigate the human rights violations, to support the call for a UN Special Envoy on West Papua and to assist in placing West Papua on the decolonisation list at the UN.
Historically the Pacific Islands Forum leaders have demonstrated their moral and political leadership recognising the right to self determination struggles in our region, notably in relation to New Caledonia and in seeking a just resolution for many other politically difficult issues in our region such as the radioactive contaminants in the Marshall Islands.
The statement says: “Our leaders have facilitated these difficult political issues with integrity in Pacific solidarity with the struggles of our people.”
PNG Union for West Papua (PNGUWP) chairman Ken Mondiai during a march over the weekend in Port Moresby said the issue of self determination including that of West Papua had been brought up at numerous Pacific leaders forum over the years, but very little had been done to address the growing human rights violations that continue to flood the media.
"The time is now and our current Pacific leaders must act on the issue drawing their strength from historical leadership to resolve this ongoing conflict in a just and peaceful manner.
"PNG has an important role to play at this forum and as host and incoming chair of PIF, we call on the Prime Minister Peter O'Neill and his Pacific counterparts to act morally and consciously when deliberating on West Papua," said Mondiai.
PNG parliamentarian on West Papua and Oro Governor Gary Juffa said world leaders including our Pacific leaders had failed West Papua and continued to do so.
Governor Juffa labelled the United Nations as a failed organisation saying, "the UN has done nothing to address, yet they preach about the rights, violence, and torture in other parts of the world."
"We are not free in the Pacific until West Papua is free...the challenge is on our leaders to act on West Papua this week and we expect some firm outcomes."
The Solomon Islands Solidarity Movement for West Papua has also joined in the regional call, stressing on other Pacific leaders to support the stand behind the leadership of Prime Minister, Manaseh Songavare and special envoy on West Papua, Mathew Wale.
Coordinator of the Solomon Islands movement, Lilly Chekana said the people of the Solomon Islands had high expectation of their Prime Minister to champion the issue of West Papua, but were calling on other leaders in support the leadership of Songavare.
"Songavare was vocal during the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) leaders meeting this year in Honiara and we expect him to do the same at this year's PIF. The people of the Solomon Islands will continue to stand with our Pacific brothers and sisters in West Papua."
Meanwhile, regional youth movement for West Papua, Youngsolarans have taken a strong social media drive with demonstrations outside.
"We stand in solidarity with other regional movements are call on our leaders to endorse an independent fact finding mission to West Papua...we also want the leaders call on the UN to appoint a human rights special envoy to West Papua," said Youngsolwarans Fiji spokesperson, Vuetasau Buatoka.
Mr Buatoka said there were talks of intense pressure from Indonesia on Fiji and PNG, "and we hope that our Pacific leaders are not influenced in their own forum space to negate their moral responsibility to West Papuans."
Solidarity movements for West Papua will be hosting rallies through the Pacific.
Open letter from Benny Wenda to the Pacific Islands Forum [7/9/15]
found dead in Sydney street
West Australian [9/9/15]:
A grandmother and her grandson have been killed, and an uncle is in police custody after an incident in a western Sydney street.
Police were called to a home by a neighbour in Lalor Park just before 11pm on Tuesday over reports a man was threatening a woman with a knife.
They found the body of a woman, aged in her 60s, on the front lawn of a Kennedy Parade property.
An eight-year-old boy's body was found outside a neighbouring home.
A 35-year-old man found nearby and allegedly armed with a knife was subdued and disarmed by police before being arrested.
The man arrested is believed to be the son of the woman and the uncle of the little boy.
Officers disarmed the man, who was shirtless when he was handcuffed and he is being interviewed at Blacktown Police Station by detectives.
Officers from Blacktown Local Area Command are now working with Homicide Squad to investigate the domestic incident.
Woman on life support after allegedly being run off road and attacked by former partner, Molendinar
QPS Media [8/9/15]:
A man is in custody following a traffic incident that occurred at Molendinar this morning.
Around 8.45am police were called to a traffic crash at Macquarie Avenue at Molendinar where a car was located down an embankment on its side.
A woman was trapped inside the vehicle.
A man allegedly assaulted the woman after the crash.
The man left the scene and stole a white Isuzu Dual Cab vehicle that was parked in the street.
Police located him a short time ago at Coomera.
The woman has been transported to hospital and is believed to have serious injuries.
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.
Handcuffed man punched in the face by Gold Coast police officer, video shows [ABC - 8/9/15]
Police have admitted to using an undercover officer to help end a week-long protest at a Cairns park in far north Queensland. ... [ABC - 8/9/15]
More than 40 people have been charged with drug offences after a four-day bush festival in far north Queensland. ... [ABC - 8/9/15]
15-year-old boy charged with attempted armed robbery, Mt Isa [QPS Media - 8/9/15]
A traffic controller has been hit by a car and killed at a roadworks site at Ipswich, west of Brisbane.
The Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) was called to the scene on Redbank Plains Road about 9:30am [AEST]. … [ABC – 8/9/15]
The principal of the school where a cage was erected for a 10-year-old autistic student has lost her job after an inquiry found she was the sole instigator of the decision.
Disturbing details emerged about the cage as the inquiry findings were issued on Tuesday – including the fact that it measured two metres by two metres by two metres, and that it had a self-closing latch and door. ... [Canberra Times - 8/9/15]
You could properly fund a strong public hospital system, patient care and INDEPENDENT UNIVERSITY research, or you could continue with the usual failed, neoliberal experimentation: $7 million clinical trial funding [Minister for Health Media Release - 8/9/15]
Cruel, rubbishy waste of money PR stunt: Brisbane landmarks including Parliament House and Kurilpa Bridge will be lit in gold tonight to raise awareness for childhood cancer. ... [Media Release - 8/9/15]
Dutton didn't have "talks" with the UNHCR.
He got a selfie with the High Commissioner in Geneva.
He is protected and unaccountable and is torturing, exiling and disappearing refugees.
(comparative more bleedin' obvious, superlative most bleedin' obvious)
(humorous) So evident that it goes without saying, and is thus superfluous.
Maritime Union helps Dutton with his compartmentalising anti refugee propaganda [Yahoo - 9/9/15]
Deteriorating conditions in Syria and neighbouring countries are driving thousands of Syrians to risk everything on perilous journeys to Europe, the UN refugee agency cautioned on Tuesday.
As the crisis digs deeper into its fifth year with no sign of a political solution in sight, despair is on the rise and hope is in short supply. ... [UNHCR Media Release - 8/9/15]
Second reading of "License to Kill" bill slips from Senate debate again [9/9/15]
The war on refugees originates in the US State Department [Daily Caller - 8/9/15]:
Wolf Blitzer: He suggested that there is some fear, some fear that some of these refugees may actually be posing as refugees, but they might actually be al Qaeda or ISIS terrorists trying to sneak into sneak into Europe or the United States. What do you make of that?
John Kirby: Well certainly, that’s a possibility. I mean, you can’t, you can’t dismiss that out of hand. Obviously, if you look at those images though, it’s pretty clear that the great majority of these people are innocent families. Innocent victims of Bashar al-Assad’s brutality and cruelty to his own people. And they are trying to do what they can to protect their children and to protect their families. That’s what really is going on here. But certainly, look, you can’t dismiss out of hand the possibility that there could be some nefarious characters mixed in with them. One of the reasons, you know that we’re so careful at resettlement here in the United States is when we’re looking at people that are coming from that part of the world we have to seriously and significantly vet them before we can allow them to resettle here. ...
NATO: ‘Terrorists’ may use migrant cover to get to Europe [Times of Israel - 18/5/15]
9 September 2015