Manus refugees calling for UN intervention beaten, arrested, held without charge in a death row prison without access to lawyers and adequate medical care was not raised in the Senate or House of Representatives on Tuesday.


Senate Hansard [10/2/15]:

 Liberation of Auschwitz: 70th Anniversary

Senator SMITH (Western Australia) (19:50): Two weeks, people around the world paused to commemorate an event that, more powerfully than any other, symbolises humanity's darkest chapter. The 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz was an occasion for world leaders, Holocaust survivors, representatives of all religious faiths and millions of ordinary citizens around the globe to reflect on the tragedy of the Holocaust, its lessons and the ultimate triumph of those who not only survived horror but then went on to rebuild their own lives and to build a better world.

The Auschwitz camp was the largest in a network of concentration camps established by the Nazi regime. It was constructed in its initial inception in 1940 and expanded on several occasions to the point where it could hold upwards of 150,000 people at any given time. The Auschwitz site, located around 60 kilometres west of Krakow in Poland, actually contained three distinct camps. It is the second of these, the camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau, that has become the most infamous.

Estimates of the numbers that perished at Auschwitz vary, but even the most conservative estimates by historians put the number at well over one million, with some estimates ranging as high as four million. The vast majority of these were Jewish prisoners, executed in the camp's gas chambers on Nazi orders, though many also died through starvation, twisted medical and scientific experiments, disease and firing squads.

Initially intended as a forced labour camp, by 1942 the Nazis has concocted an even more insidious use for the facility, and it became the primary site for the Nazi's evil desire to eliminate European Jews altogether. Even today, the image of the rail track running into the camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau is a chilling, haunting and distressing one to see. Even those who have not visited Auschwitz in person can nonetheless understand the horror that it has come to represent.

As trains bearing Jewish prisoners arrived at the camp, selections would be carried out by Nazi officials on the platform. The ill, the elderly, pregnant women and children would be classified as unfit for labour and immediately sent to the gas chambers. This accounted for around 75 per cent of each new transport. These victims were never officially entered in camp records; they were not assigned prisoner numbers or registered in any other way. Thus, it is impossible to know precisely how many perished in the horror of Auschwitz.

Those not targeted for immediate execution were subjected to degradation of the worst kind: tattooed with a prisoner number, stripped and deloused, shaved, and clothed in either prison style uniforms or, as numbers swelled, clothing taken from those who had already perished in the gas chambers. Inmates were housed in the most primitive of conditions, forced to share tiers of bunk beds that were not equipped with mattresses.

Water supply was limited to one tap per building, through which water would flow for only around one hour per day. There was little food provided and no soap, which did nothing to prevent the spread of diseases such as dysentery, which, in the absence of medicine and medical professionals, claimed many victims within the camp.


 Of course, while it was the European Jews who were overwhelmingly the target and victims of the Nazi's reign of terror, others perished in their camps, including those who stood up for Jewish people, resistance fighters, the physically disabled, those with intellectual disabilities, gay people and those opposed to the Nazis politically.

In acknowledging the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, one thing came through very strongly at the commemorative services here in Australia and around the world. That was: to never forget. It was former US President Harry Truman who said in the days following the end of the Second World War:

It is easier to remove tyrants and destroy concentration camps than it is to kill the ideas which gave them birth and strength.

Given some of the anti-Semitic outbursts and attacks we have witnessed in Europe in just the last month, President Truman's words resonate with a tragic prescience. In the same week that the world was shocked by the violent assault on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, there was a subsequent attack carried out by an Islamist militant on a kosher supermarket in the eastern suburbs of that same city.

This attack claimed the lives of four Jewish hostages and terrorised another 15 before police ultimately killed the perpetrator. It was a chilling reminder that, for all the lessons the Holocaust has taught us, anti-Semitism has not been defeated.

Anti-Semitic attacks in Europe are being reported with an alarming frequency and the world must remain vigilant—as it must against all forms of discrimination. Yet even in the face of tragedy, humanity's best aspects can shine through. The man hailed as the hero of the Paris supermarket attack, 24-year-old Lassana Bathily, is a practising Muslim, whose words and deeds showed that those of different religions are bound by a common concern for humanity. He said:

Yes, I helped Jews get out. We're brothers. It's not that we're Jewish or Christian or Muslims, we're all in the same boat. You help so you can get through this attack.

I think all of us hope for a world in which our instinctive reaction is always to stand up and defend others, to oppose violence based on differences of religious belief, political opinion, sexual preference, race or gender. It is more important to focus on our shared commitment to preserving the freedom and dignity of every individual.

Scratched into the walls of the concentration camp at Auschwitz at the height of the horror were these brief lines, which best embody the hope that beats in every human heart even in our darkest times:

I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining.

I believe in love even when I don’t feel it.

I believe in God even when He is silent.



House of Representatives Hansard [10/2/15]:

The following notices were given:

Mr Danby to move:

That this House:

(1) notes that:

(a) 27 January 2015 marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by the allies;

(b) over a million Jews and 150,000 non-Jews were murdered in the Auschwitz death camp; and

(c) 27 January has since become International Holocaust Day, and is marked by ceremonies around the world acknowledging the horrific nature of the official policy of genocide against Jews that was manifested in the Holocaust and that claimed 6 million lives;

(2) calls on all Australians to remember these crimes against humanity in order to ensure Australia’s continuing condemnation of any attempts to repeat such horrors; and

 (3) in light of Australia having one of the largest groups of Holocaust survivors and the bipartisan support for the previous government’s legacy to the maintenance of the memorial of the camp, calls on Australia to keep a representative on the international committee that supervises the maintenance of the memorial at Auschwitz.




IOM activities on Manus Island are funded by the Australian government and US Embassy - they are therefore ignored by the Australian media.

Full transcript from Radio NZ International: IOM denies preying on Manus asylum seekers [10/2/15]




Syria gets information on US-led air strikes via Iraq: Assad

Reuters [10/2/15]:

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said third parties including Iraq were conveying information to Damascus about the U.S.-led campaign of air strikes against the Islamic State militant group in Syria.

In an interview with the BBC broadcast on Tuesday, Assad said there was no direct cooperation with the United States, whose air force has been bombing Islamic State in Syria since September as part of a strategy aimed at rolling back the group.

Islamic State has seized wide areas of Syria and Iraq, declaring them part of a cross-border "caliphate".

But the United States has said Assad cannot be a partner in the campaign against the group, describing him as part of the problem.

The Syrian government is waging its own, separate campaign against Islamic State, including air strikes in areas that have also been struck by the U.S.-led alliance.

It has been widely assumed the Syrian and U.S. armies have conveyed information about the movements of jets using the same air space.

Asked if there was indirect cooperation, Assad said: "That's true, through third parties, more than one party, Iraq and other countries, sometimes they convey a message, a general message, but there is nothing tactical."

Assad said the Syrian government had known about the U.S.-led campaign before it started but did not have details. The United States said in September it had informed the Syrian ambassador to the United Nations before the first strikes.

Asked if there was ongoing dialogue via third parties, Assad said: "There is no dialogue. There is, let's say, information, but not dialogue."

Iraqi officials say they have also passed information to the Shi'ite Islamist government in Iran about the U.S.-led campaign against Islamic State. Iran is an important ally of Assad.

The United States took a strong position against Assad after the uprising against his rule erupted in 2011, saying he should leave power, and has funneled support including limited amounts of military aid to some armed opposition groups.

U.S. officials say they have not relented in their goal of Assad leaving power but, as has been the case for months, they see no policy likely to achieve this at an acceptable cost, and their priority has switched to fighting Islamic State.

As a result, for months they have tacitly lived with Assad staying in power and made no bones that their focus is to combat the group rather than push Syria's president from power.



Former Syrian Rebel Group Allies with Assad to Fight Islamists near Damascus [Al Akhbar – 9/2/15]


NZ government gives go-ahead for possible deployment to Iraq

RNZI [10/2/15]:

The Government has given the go-ahead for the Defence Force to undertake contingency training for a possible deployment to Iraq.

Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee said he has accepted the Chief of Defence Force's request to begin training for a possible role in Iraq.

He said training will cover areas such as force protection, cultural awareness and skills relevant to deployment.

The training will take place at Linton and Waiouru.


Five blasts in Egypt's Alexandria wound 10 - interior ministry [Reuters – 10/2/15]


Afghanistan: 1 killed, 4 injured including Provincial Council member in Jalalabad explosion [Khaama – 10/2/15]

At least six people including five suicide bombers were killed after a group of suicide bombers launched coordinated attack on provincial police headquarter in Kunduz province of Afghanistan. ... [Khaama - 10/2/15]

Taliban blockade of District road in Kunar enters 4th day [Khaama – 10/2/15]



Swedish, Palestinian leaders to meet after row with Israel [Daily Star – 10/2/15]


Settlers destroy 70 olive trees near Hebron [Maan – 10/2/15]


Israel's Supreme Court has ordered the government to demolish nine homes in a West Bank Jewish settlement which were built on private Palestinian land, court documents show.

But according to the ruling handed down late on Sunday, the authorities have until 2017 to carry out the demolitions in Ofra, north of the West Bank city of Ramallah. ... [Maan - 10/1/15]


Maan [10/2/15]:

The head of a higher Palestinian Authority committee for confronting Israeli practices against the Palestinians announced on Monday evening that the PA officially decided to ban the entry of products by six major Israeli companies into the Palestinian territory.

Mahmoud al-Aloul, who is also a member of the Central Committee of the PA’s ruling party Fatah, announced the decision Monday in a news conference in el-Bireh.

Other members of the committee and PA and Fatah officials attended the news conference including member of the Central Committee Wasil Abu Yousuf, director of the PA's customs agents Ibrahim al-Jazara, secretary-general of Fatah movement in Ramallah district Muwaffaq Suhweil, Fatah spokesman Ahmad Assaf and speaker of the union of Palestinian journalists Abed al-Nasser al-Najjar.

The Israeli companies which will be banned in the Palestinian territory are Tnuva, which produces dairy products, Elite which produces chocolates, candies and other products, the Strauss food and beverage company, Osem, Prigat for beverages, and Jafora.




Western moves aimed at destabilizing Ukraine: Kremlin

Daily Star [10/2/15]:

Western plans to send weapons to Ukraine and to extend sanctions against Russia over the crisis are steps aimed at destabilizing the situation there, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

"Russia is a country that is truly interested in resolving this crisis. All the other plans to strengthen the sanctions regime, isolation, the delivery of weapons etc. - they are all steps which, unfortunately, on the contrary are aimed at destabilizing the situation in Ukraine," Peskov was quoted as saying by RIA news agency.




Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Cairo on Monday for two days of meetings with his Egyptian counterpart, with both sides eager to strengthen ties and highlight their alliance. ... [Daily Star - 9/2/15]

PNG PM: I spoke for West Papua human rights, not politics

PNG Loop [10/2/15]:

A spokesman for Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says the statement made by the PM during the leaders’ summit on West Papua was over concerns of human rights issues.

He says the statement had nothing to do with West Papua’s political situation with respect to the Indonesian government.

“The PM was talking about human rights issues but it was reported out of context by some media houses,” he said to Loop News.

During his address at the National Leaders Summit last week the Prime Minister said:

“But sometimes we forgot our family, our brothers and sisters, especially those in West Papua.

I think as a country the time has come for us to speak about oppression our people. Pictures of brutality of our people appear daily on social media and yet we take no notice.

We have the moral obligation to speak for those who are not allowed to talk. We must be the eyes for those who are blindfolded.

Again, Papua New Guinea, as a regional leader, we must lead these discussions with our friends in a mature and engaging manner.”

Radio New Zealand today reported that the government back tracked on the stance by O’Neill quoting Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato.

Prime Minister O’Neill told Loop News he would get Foreign Minister Pato to clarify his comments to the media.




PNG Loop [10/2/15]:

Parliament is to begin its 2015 sitting tomorrow at 2pm and despite talks of a vote of no confidence brewing, no official document has been lodged.

The grace period for a vote of no confidence against a prime minister has lapsed and MPs can now decide if they want to test the confidence in Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

Loop News was told by sources at Parliament that despite the “talks”, proper parliamentary process for a vote of no confidence has not taken place.

The government businesses through bills are expected to be put through for parliament deliberation.

The amendments to the Organic law on the Independent Commission against Corruption are also expected to be introduced during the parliament sitting this week.

Prime Minister O’Neill is also expected to table the “Report on the Commission of Inquiry into Processes and Procedures used to Brief Out Matters to Law Firms, and Processes and Procedures for Paying Public Monies to Law Firms.


Haitian anti-government protesters shut down capital

France 24 [10/2/15]:

Anti-government protesters shut down Haiti’s capital on Monday as the country plunged deeper into political and economic crises even as many prepared for the annual Carnival, normally a time of peaceful revelry.

The usually congested streets of the capital were largely deserted after opposition parties and a minibus drivers’ union called a two-day general strike to protest high fuel prices.

Protest organizers warned residents to stay off the streets, saying those who ventured out would risk their lives.

Only minor incidents were reported. Police said they arrested 20 people and used tear gas to disperse a small group of university students.

In downtown Port-au-Prince young men played soccer on some streets, while barricades were erected in several suburbs to try to block motorcycle taxi drivers who did not observe the strike action.

One policeman was wounded by a stabbing in the Cité Soleil slum while trying to remove burning tires placed by strikers. Prime Minister Evans Paul called on state workers to show up for work but few did and most government offices in the capital were closed.

The impoverished Caribbean nation is in the midst of a political crisis after the previous prime minister was forced to resign in December and parliament was dissolved over the failure to hold municipal and legislative elections.

For three months, President Michel Martelly has faced radical government opponents calling for his removal, with students joining the protests last week.

Haiti’s government badly needs to raise cash from the sale of gasoline to pay off its mounting fuel debt with Venezuela’s preferential PetroCaribe program, which has ballooned to about $1.5 billion.

The government “cannot lower the price of gas. It’s not that we do not want to, it’s because we are not able to,” Paul said in a statement.

“We are poor, we cannot live anymore,” said Loédon Gaspard, who drives a colorful pickup-turned-minibus, known locally as “tap-tap,” the Caribbean nation’s main form of public transport. “Gasoline prices are falling worldwide, so it should be the same here in Haiti,” he added.

After a one-day fuel strike last Monday, the government announced lower fuel prices, reducing gasoline to 195 gourdes ($4.25) per gallon from 215 gourdes ($4.62).

The U.S. State Department and the United Nations peace-keeping force in Haiti have so far stood by Martelly, praising his efforts at compromise, and urging all sides to agree to hold the overdue elections.



Wiltshire police officer asked newsagent for Charlie Hebdo buyers' details after Paris attacks [Independent - 9/2/15]:

A police force was forced to apologise today after one of its officers told a newsagent to hand over the names of four people in the name of community cohesion, after they bought a commemorative edition of the Charlie Hebdo magazine.

Wiltshire police confirmed that it had deleted the names of the buyers from its system, which were collected after officers toured shops warning newsagents to be vigilant during an “assessment of community tensions” in the sleepy market town following the attacks in the French capital in January.

One of the customers, a 77-year-old retired ward sister, described the officer as a “jobsworth” and said that she found the whole situation so unlikely that she thought it was a hoax.

“At the time I was a bit miffed,” Anne Keat told The Independent.

“I thought that’s a bit rich, two days after I got my copy, haven’t they got better things to do?





UK police reviewing policy on watching WikiLeaks' Assange

Daily Star [10/2/15]:

British police say they are reviewing the policy of keeping a watch on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has taken refuge at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe told LBC radio Tuesday police are reviewing options because of the resources used to keep tabs on Assange.

He said the round-the-clock guard is "sucking our resources."


Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said last week that it has cost roughly 10 million pounds ($15 million) to keep a police presence outside the embassy in central London.




 Ecuador's mission to the UN is preparing a side event in the framework of the UN's 28th Human Rights Council Session to deal with the case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange who is wanted in Sweden and the US, the country's envoy to the UN Maria Fernanda Espinosa told Sputnik Monday.

"We are preparing a side event for March 19 or 20 in the framework of the 28th Session of the Human Rights Council to deal with the case of Mr Assange, together with a team of lawyers directed by Dr Baltazar Garzon and a friendly NGO [non-governmental organization]," Espinosa said. ... [Sputnik News - 9/2/15]




Malaysia court upholds sodomy conviction for opposition leader Anwar

Channel News Asia [10/2/15]:

Malaysia's highest court on Tuesday upheld a sodomy conviction against opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, rejecting his appeal against the verdict and casting fresh doubt over his turbulent political career.

Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria said the Federal Court has dismissed Anwar's appeal against the conviction handed down last March, which found him guilty of sodomising a young former male aide, Mohamad Saiful Bukhari Azlan. Last year's conviction brought a five-year jail term.

Mr Anwar was the ruling party's rising star in the mid-1990s before he fell out with then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Since then, the former Deputy Prime Minister has been beset by legal problems and spent several years in prison after being convicted of corruption and an earlier sodomy charge.

But the charismatic Mr Anwar, who heads a three-party opposition alliance, remains the greatest threat to Malaysia's political establishment.

His lawyers appealed against a conviction last March of sodomising a male political aide, and a sentence of five years in prison. Sodomy is illegal in Muslim-majority Malaysia. Mr Anwar denied the charge and said it was politically motivated.



Bahrain confirms suspension of critical news channel

Daily Star [9/2/15]:

Bahrain said on Monday it had suspended the operation of a new satellite news channel owned by a Saudi prince shortly after its launch because it had not done enough to combat "extremism and terrorism."

Bahrain's statement, carried by state media, was the first official comment since the new Alarab channel was shut down on its first day of broadcasting after it interviewed a Bahraini opposition politician.

Bahrain's Information Affairs Authority (IAA) said Alarab, owned by billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed, a nephew of King Salman, had not obtained a licence needed to start broadcasting from the country. Alarab said last week it had stopped broadcasting for technical reasons.

The IAA statement also accused Alarab of failing "to match the standards of regional and international practice agreements, to take account of efforts aimed at stemming the tide of extremism and terrorism throughout the region and the world."

During its brief time on air, the channel carried an interview with Khalil al-Marzouq, a senior figure in Bahrain's main Shiite opposition movement Al-Wefaq, though in Monday's statement the IAA denied any intention to quash free expression.

"The IAA stresses that the decision (to shut Alarab) has no impact upon principles of media freedom and is strictly based on the government's commitment to ensuring the diversity and impartiality of media outlets in the Kingdom," it said.

Bahrain has held Wefaq's leader Sheikh Ali Salman since December on charges of promoting regime change by force, a charge he denies.

Wefaq boycotted a parliamentary election last year partly because it said voting districts favored the minority Sunnis in the majority Shiite kingdom.

Bahrain's Sunni ruling dynasty has close security and political ties with Saudi Arabia. Both accuse regional rival Shiite Iran of backing Bahrain's political opposition, a charge Tehran denies.

Saudi Arabia sent troops to support Bahrain's own security forces in 2011 when they put down a popular uprising by mainly Shiite protesters.

Speaking in 2012 following Arab Spring revolts against autocratic rulers in some Arab countries, Prince Alwaleed told U.S. news network CNN his planned channel was an attempt to fill "an opening for a more pragmatic and logical channel that really takes the center's point of view."


Bahrain ready to back Jordan fight against IS [Ahram - 9/2/15]



Spain: Fight against sex trafficking to focus on clients, minister announces

El Pais [9/2/15]:

… The measures will come as the second phase of a plan to tackle human trafficking, which was presented by Cosidó [head of the National Police, Ignacio Cosidó] and Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz in Barcelona on Monday morning.

The next phase of the operation will focus on prevention by raising awareness among the general public, in particular potential clients for sexual services.

“There are a lot of very ambitious objectives, as is appropriate for the scourge that we are faced with,” the minister explained, adding that human trafficking in Spain moves €5 million a day.

Fernández Díaz stated that his aim was to see Spain become an international reference point for the battle against human trafficking, as it already is for security – the European Union’s statistics office has ranked Spain third in the list of member countries with the lowest criminal activity.

The minister explained that Spanish authorities would be able to use the future Citizen Safety Law to combat the problem, given that the legislation will permit sanctions for clients who solicit sexual services near to places used by minors, such as schools and playgrounds.

Fernández Díaz also announced that fines would be levied on anyone soliciting roadside prostitutes, in line with laws brought into force by the Catalan government in 2012 aimed at stamping out the practice in the northeastern region.

Prostitution lies in regulatory limbo in Spain, being neither legal nor illegal as there is no related legislation.

Local authorities have in recent years tried to crack down on sex workers, with the city of Barcelona, for example, opting to fine prostitutes operating on the streets.

Brothels, however, mostly operate within the law, and are a common presence in city centers and along Spain’s highways.

During Monday’s press conference, Cosidó presented figures for the first phase of the operation, which began in April 2013 and has reaped 1,450 arrests from 462 different cases. A total of 11,751 potential victims were dealt with by the authorities, while nearly €23 million was seized.

The majority of the victims of sex trafficking in the operation were Romanian, followed by Spaniards, Colombians, Paraguayans and Nigerians.

“With just one look at the faces of the victims, we will know that our efforts have been worthwhile,” said the general director of the National Police.

The second phase will make use of campaigns both in the media and on social networking sites.

Potential clients seeking prostitutes online will receive pop-up messages from the campaign, while adverts will also be placed in the press, whose classified sections often offer sexual services.


Japanese designer of soy-sauce bottle dies at 85

Japan Today [10/2/15]:

The Japanese designer responsible for both the classic soy sauce bottle and the train connecting Tokyo to its major international airport has died, his company said Monday.

Kenji Ekuan, who was 85, was the brains behind the sauce dispenser first used by Kikkoman in Japan in 1961.

The upside-down funnel shape with a red cap was subsequently exported around the globe and became visual shorthand for soy sauce as the craze for Japanese food swept abroad.

Ekuan, who was also a Buddhist monk, was credited with numerous corporate logos during Japan’s industrial boom era, as well as creating the look of Yamaha’s VMAX motorcycles and the Narita Express train that ferries passengers to and from Tokyo’s main international gateway.

A former president of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design, and a recipient of the council’s Colin King Grand Prix, Ekuan was also made officier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by France and awarded the Order of the Rising Sun by Japan.

The company he founded, GK Design Group, said he died on Sunday after suffering from sinus problems.

Update 3: Death investigation, Logan

QPS Media [10/2/15]:

Police have released another image of a man who may be able to assist with enquires regarding the death of a man in Logan this morning.

Police were called to Golden Street around 4am following a disturbance.

A 27-year-old man was located at the scene and was later pronounced deceased.

Police are seeking public assistance to locate John Zarnke, pictured, who may be of assistance with the investigation. The attached photo is a more current picture than previously released.

John Zarnke is described as being Caucasian in appearance, 34-years-old, around 182cms tall of a slim build with brown hair and multiple tattoos. He also has a goatee and facial hair.

He was last seen in the Clem 7 tunnel northbound in a grey 2012 Honda Accord with Queensland registration 708 SRL (similar to the vehicle pictured)

Police are urging members of the public to not approach the man and to contact them immediately if they see him or the vehicle.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.




Assault of elderly woman by armed woman, Coombabah

QPS Media [10/2/15]:

At about 11.15am police were called to an address on Hansford Road, Coombabah in relation to a female who was allegedly armed with a hammer.

The woman, aged in her 50’s, allegedly entered the yard of an elderly couple and knocked on the back door.

When she approached the elderly woman, she was armed with a hammer and as she fled the address, she pushed the elderly woman over.

The elderly woman was assessed by Queensland Ambulance officers and did not require transport to hospital for treatment.

Runaway Bay Police conducted inquiries in the area and information obtained led them to an address in Kangaroo Avenue, where the female was apprehended.

She is currently in Southport Watch house, where she is assisting police with their enquiries.

Anyone who witnessed the armed female are urged to contact Crime Stoppers.

Drugs and weapons arrest, Mudgeeraba [QPS Media - 10/2/15]

Claims man deliberately run down: inquest

Yahoo [10/2/15]:

An inquest will investigate whether a Queensland woman deliberately ran over and killed a Hong Kong tourist.

The body of Shui Ki Chan, 25, was found in a ditch on the side of the Warrego Highway at Gatton, west of Brisbane, on August 23, 2012.

Mr Chan was visiting Australia and had been riding his bicycle home from the McDonald's where he worked when he was hit, according to documents handed up during a pre-inquest conference in Brisbane on Tuesday.

An autopsy indicated he didn't die from injuries caused by the impact but succumbed to hypothermia after being left in the ditch overnight in cold weather.

Police have been investigating allegations a local woman deliberately hit Mr Chan with her car, after she allegedly confessed to several people.

The woman has not been charged, but will be called as a witness at the coronial inquest in May.

Tuesday's pre-inquest conference heard the woman will be subpoenaed and has been advised to get legal representation.

Counsel assisting the coroner Peter De Waard said Mr Chan's family did not seek leave to appear at the inquest, but has requested a copy of the brief of evidence.

Seventeen people are expected to appear as witnesses - mostly members of the suspected driver's family and other people who know her.

The inquest, before Brisbane Coroner John Hutton, will begin on May 19.




North Queensland dengue outbreak spreads

Yahoo [10/2/15]:

An outbreak of dengue fever has spread south of Cairns, prompting health authorities to deploy a team to help contain the disease.

Tropical Population Health Services, of Queensland Health, says two new cases have been confirmed in Tully and one in nearby El Arish.

This wet season, 16 people have been infected by the mosquito-borne virus, which can cause severe headaches, muscle and joint pain, a rash, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Until this week, the outbreak had been restricted to Cairns and beaches north of the city.

TPHS director of entomology Gerhard Ehlers says 15 workers from the dengue response team are visiting Tully and El Arish on Tuesday to help control the spread of the disease.

"We expect to confirm more cases this week so we are deploying multiple teams," he said.

"The weather conditions at the moment have contributed to high numbers of mosquitoes so it is important that we are proactive in getting teams out to contain the disease."

Workers will go door-to-door, spraying indoors, disposing of potential breeding sites and setting baited traps.

They expect to visit up to 20 houses a day and will remain in the area until Saturday.

Health authorities warn people in the region to be vigilant to stop the spread of the virus, including removing potential breeding sites such as pots, buckets and toys containing water, from their yard.

In the 2013-14 wet season, 136 people were infected with dengue.






The weather bureau says it is expecting more torrential rain across far north Queensland as a low develops off the coast.  ... [ABC - 10/2/15]



An orange-brown coloured slick floating in waters off Western Australia's Mid West coast is probably a bacterial bloom, a senior marine research scientist says.

The long oil-like streaks have been spotted in waters near the Abrolhos Islands, west of Geraldton.

Department of Parks and Wildlife spokesman Stuart Field said a Trichodesmium bloom, triggered by changes in ocean nutrients or water temperature, was the most likely cause. ... [ABC - 10/2/15]

Australian scientists may have solved the mystery of bee colony collapse [Sydney Morning Herald – 10/2/15]



Good Food [6/2/15]:

Urban honey producers are urging the state government to reconsider a plan to inject poison into some trees that could affect bee populations in suburban Melbourne.

The government intends to inject suburban trees with poison to eradicate Marchalina hellenica or the giant pine scale, to help protect the state's $1 billion softwood timber industry from the pest.





Truck topples after highway crash near Chinchilla

Chronicle [10/2/15]:

A truck and a utility have collided on the Warrego Highway.

The incident occurred near Chinchilla Golf Club this afternoon, at about 2.30pm.

The non-fatal incident saw the driver of the truck walk to the ambulance at the scene, bloodied but not seriously harmed.

The condition of the driver of the utility is unknown.

Police have opened one lane and are allowing some traffic to pass.



A brown snake slithering near the dashboard surprised a truck driver, who veered off the road and crashed at Binjour Range this afternoon.

The man told Gayndah police the snake had emerged near the driver's door as he travelled downhill towards Gayndah. ... [Chronicle - 10/2/15]



Man rescued from grain silo in Axe Creek

The Age [10/2/15]:

A man has survived being trapped for over three hours in a grain silo southeast of Bendigo.

A major rescue operation was launched after the man, aged in his late 40s, became trapped in the silo on Mannes Road in Axe Creek about 3pm on Tuesday.

The man had been trapped for about an hour when emergency services were notified at 4.15pm, an Ambulance Victoria spokeswoman said.

A State Control Centre spokesman said the man was stuck waist deep in grain inside the silo, and that police, paramedics, State Emergency Service and Country Fire Authority crews were at the scene to assist in the rescue.

The trapped man was conscious, breathing and "in a reasonable condition", the SCC spokesman said.

He was freed at 6.20pm and was flown by helicopter to the Bendigo Base Hospital as a precaution, the ambulance spokeswoman said.

"He doesn't appear to have sustained any significant injuries," she said.




Rockhampton Region Council denies responsibility for severed finger

Morning Bulletin [10/2/15]:

… Supreme Court at Rockhampton Judge Duncan McMeekin heard arguments from Rockhampton and Livingstone shire councils about who should be responsible for the accident which cost Barry William Murton a finger.

The accident occurred at the Yeppoon sewerage treatment plant in 2012, before de-amalgamation, when the plant was under the Rockhampton region's jurisdiction.

At the time Workplace Health and Safety took Rockhampton Regional Council to court for not ensuring adequate measures were in place.

After de-amalgamation Rockhampton tried to argue the case was the responsibility of the new Livingstone Shire Council, but last year Magistrate Barry Cosgrove ruled against them.

Yesterday Peter Roney QC represented Rockhampton Regional Council, Mark Hinson QC represented Livingstone Shire Council and Michael Burn QC represented Workplace Health and Safety.

Mr Roney told the court the facts of the case were not in dispute, but argued that even though Livingstone has committed no offence it could be liable.

"It's inconsistent with the idea that a line in the sand was drawn when the relocation of resources and liabilities was meant to be settled (in de-amalgamation)," he said.

But Justice Duncan McMeekin raised concerns about criminal responsibility.

"The present Livingstone councillors might be outraged they're being held up as criminally liable for the actions of a different group of people," he said.

Mr Hinson said the geography was irrelevant, and maintained that the duty of care Rockhampton council owed to its workers could not be transferred.

Justice McMeekin reserved his decision.







Call for ports corporation chairman to be sacked [Gladstone Observer - 10/2/15]:

... Former independent MP Liz Cunningham, who is against the idea of political parties in general, said she didn't agree with political appointments.

"I think the community deserves to see an appointment that is appropriate and not politically motivated," Mrs Cunningham said.

"I'm not confident that will happen, but that's what it ought to be.

"I sadly don't believe if someone had been up here there would have been a lot of difference.

"If it was a party appointment they would have been told to sit and be quiet," she said.

Mrs Cunningham said it could be a way for Labor to see the return of Leo Zussino to the port.

Mr Zussino, a Labor Party life member, had a 21-year involvement with the ports corporation, first as chairman for nine years followed by 12 years as CEO.

Current CEO Craig Doyle was appointed in 2013 by the GPC board, led by Mr Brodie.




Greece could get funding 'from another source,' says defense minister [ - - 10/2/15]:

Greece could turn to "another source" for funding in the event that a deal is not reached with its eurozone partners and Berlin in particular, Defense Minister Panos Kammenos said on Monday night, adding that the government - in which his party is the junior partner - has an "obligation to go to Plan B."

Speaking on Mega television, the head of Independent Greeks indicatively said Greece could seek funding from "the United States at best" or even China or Russia in the event that talks in Europe reach a dead end. He added that this could take the form of concessions for major infrastructure like ports, in which Moscow has expressed an interest.

"What we want is a deal," stressed Kammenos.

"But if there is no deal and if we see that Germany remains unbending and wants to blow Europe apart, then we have the obligation to go to Plan B. Plan B is to get funding from another source."




Geronimo Was a Prisoner in a Detention Centre Too [Manusleaks - 14/11/14]

... George and Amy Sheppard, key members of best-selling band Shepaprd and writers of the hit single ‘Geronimo’ must have a keen sense of irony.

The pair, whose manager and financial backer is a director of the company that runs the Manus Island Detention Center, named their number one single after one of history’s most prominent detainees, a man who was a refugee in his own land and locked away for 27 years in a detention center.

We’re talking Geronimo here, the last leader of the Apache nation. Are Sheppard taking the piss, or are they simply ignorant of history?



Senate orders government to release Nauru abuse report

Greens Media Release [10/2/15]:

The Senate has voted to support a Green's motion, forcing the government to release the report of the Moss Review into accusations of systemic abuse in the detention camp on Nauru.

"The secretive Abbott government wants the abuse on Nauru to be swept under the carpet," the Greens' immigration spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

"The Senate has spoken and, with the support of Labor and the cross benchers, the Greens will force this report into the public.

"The situation on Nauru is critical and, instead of acting, the Abbott government is hiding this crucial review.

"Accusations of abuse, rape and beatings are extremely serious and this report must be released in full."

The order states that the report must be tabled in the Senate by 3pm Wednesday 11th February 2014.

"It's time the Parliament and the Australian people found out what's really going on in the Nauru camp," Senator Hanson-Young said.



Partnership results in climate and disaster resilience plan for Nauru [Marianas Variety - 9/2/15]:

The Republic of Nauru has launched its first ever national framework aimed at increasing the Pacific nation’s resilience to climate change and disaster risk.

Nauru’s Framework for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction or RONAdapt was developed through a collaborative effort between various regional organizations and development partners including the Secretariat of the Pacific Community or SPC and the European Union.

Nauru is highly vulnerable to impacts linked to climate change, including coastal and inland flooding, extreme weather events, and changes in sea surface temperature and ocean acidification which have flow-on effects to economic development and food security.

While launching the framework, Nauru’s Minister for Commerce, Industry and Environment, Aaron Cook, highlighted the fact that the document was the first of its kind in Nauru, and was undertaken as a stakeholder-driven process.

“Our framework serves as a shining beacon for action, drawing on efforts and support of the international community to provide resources and skills required to strengthen our resilience,” Minister Cook said.

“Nauru requires a framework for integrating adaptation planning and disaster risk reduction throughout all the relevant ministries of our government.

‘RONAdapt provides us with a valuable framework for assessing our risks in key sectors — food and water security, infrastructure, emergency services — and making them more resilient to the negative impacts of climate change,” he added.

The RONAdapt document was developed over five years to set out an overall framework for managing these risks to sustainable development. It involved extensive consultation and review by all government sectors, civil society and the general public in Nauru.

In congratulating Nauru, SPC project manager for the Global Climate Change Alliance: Pacific Small Island States project, Gillian Cambers, said the framework provides a clear approach to addressing the very real issues relating to climate change and disaster risk reduction.

“The framework identifies immediate priorities and provides a general framework for longer term planning and programming including guidance on mainstreaming climate change and disaster risk reduction in national and sectoral development policies,” she added.

The framework was launched last week to coincide with the country’s 47th Independence Day celebrations.

The Global Climate Change Alliance: Pacific Small Island States project is an SPC-European Union joint initiative, made possible with European Union funding of 11.4 million euros or $12.89 million.

It is implemented regionally by SPC and nationally by each of the nine participating governments in Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Tonga and Tuvalu. See:

Progress to improve the climate and disaster resilience of these nine Pacific Island nations is among the on-ground benefits to Pacific communities to be highlighted during the 2015 European Union Year of Development. See also:



NSW police shoot woman dead, Sydney

Nine MSN [10/2/1/15]:

... NSW Police said the woman, aged in her 20s, was "injured following a confrontation with police".

She was shot dead outside the Hungry Jack's restaurant in West Hoxton, on the corner of Cowpasture Road and Hoxton Park Road.

Video obtained by 9NEWS shows police surrounding the woman with guns drawn.


Asst Commissioner Mennilli would not be drawn on the detail of the incident.

He repeatedly said he could not answer questions from reporters as they were "matters for the critical incident team to investigate".

A critical incident is defined by NSW Police as one involving death or serious injury involving police.

"A team from the State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad and assisted by investigators from South West Metropolitan Region will now investigate all circumstances surrounding the incident, including the woman’s actions prior to police intervention and the discharge of a firearm," a police statement read.

"That investigation will be overseen by the Professional Standards Command."

An earlier version of this story reported the girl was aged in her teens, but this was later clarified by NSW Police.




Human rights watchdogs condemn IOM [No Border Network - 10/5/03]

... Though not outlining what both are referring to, it seems clear that they mean IOM's practices in Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and possibly Cambodia. In all these countries Human Rights Watch and Jesuit Refugee Service highlighted cases of severe violations of human rights and the Geneva Convention by the IOM or in course of its operations.

"We are conscious of the fact that IOM is playing an increasingly prominent role in the reception, assistance, and return not only of migrants, but also of asylum seekers, refugees and the forcibly displaced. Given that IOM does not have a protection mandate for its work with refugees and displaced persons, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch recommend that IOM should refrain from taking a lead role in situations which fall squarely under the protection mandate of other international organizations, such as UNHCR …".

Human Rights Watch, International Catholic Migration Committee, and the World Council of Churches criticised in detailed:

"We are concerned that given IOM's active involvement in interception programmes - often in situations where UNHCR is not present - it does not have an explicit mandate nor the expertise to identify and protect those in need of international protection. Neither are there adequate safeguards in place to ensure that those in need of refugee protection have access to UNHCR, or the appropriate authorities, and to full and fair refugee status determination procedures."





IOM chief of mission in PNG denies preying on refugees - no right of reply for Manus refugees though ...


RNZI [10/2/15]:

The International Organisation of Migration is denying allegations it is preying on vulnerable jailed asylum seekers on Manus Island to have them agree to return to their countries of origin.

The Refugee Action Coalition says 60 asylum seekers detained in Lorengau jail since participating in a mass hunger strike were solicited by the IOM last week in a bid to have them voluntarily return home.

But the IOM's chief of mission in Papua New Guinea, George Gigauri, says that is incorrect.

He says the IOM went into the jail at the request of asylum seekers, and was not there to do an Assisted Voluntary Return, or AVR, screening.

"From the outset, we made it clear that there will be no discussion about return in a jail setting. We will only do those interviews once the people are back in the refugee processing centre. The discussion was merely to see what the people, what those individuals wanted from IOM, it was not an AVR screening by any means."

George Gigauri says the process of voluntary return is treated on a case-by-case basis, involves a number of interviews and in no way is coercion involved.








US Embassy in Port Moresby awards two new grants totalling US$1 million to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) [PNG Loop - 15/12/14]



Portfolio Budget Statements in support of the 2014-15 Budget for the Immigration and Border Protection portfolio:


Refugee and Humanitarian Assistance

$762,000 ---> IOM

Initiatives to address the situation of displaced persons and promote sustainable returns - $700,000

Refugee and humanitarian passage, associated costs and related services - $18,966,000

$4,817,000 - offshore biometric program expansions


Department of Immigration and Border protection Annual Report 2013/14:


Key international engagement activities in 2013–14 included:

• funding the UNHCR to deliver increased registration, refugee status determinations and resettlement activities, including community services and counselling support, to people of concern with specific needs

• funding the IOM under the regional cooperation arrangements in Indonesia, Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea (PNG) to provide for the care and management of potential illegal immigrants (PIIs) intercepted on their way to Australia—this programme also includes voluntary repatriation of PIIs


The 2nd United Nations High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development

The 2nd United Nations High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development (HLD) was held in New York on 1–3 October 2013. It brought together representatives of governments, including Australia’s, for global discussions about the protection of the human rights of all migrants, perceptions of migrants and migration, the consideration of migration in national and global development agendas, and migration governance.

The overall objective for the second HLD was to ‘identify concrete measures to strengthen coherence and cooperation at all levels, with a view to enhancing the benefits of international migration for migrants and countries alike and its important links to development, while reducing its negative implications’.

In the year leading up to the HLD, Mexico proposed a draft Declaration of Intent that recognised the shared commitment by states to protect the human rights of migrants, efforts to counter people smuggling and trafficking, and optimise migration for both migrants and states alike. The HLD adopted the declaration.

Deputy Secretary Wendy Southern led the Australian delegation. Key outcomes included advancing discussions on including migration in the UN’s Post-2015 Development Agenda, endorsement of the IOM as the lead agency for migration, and endorsement of the GFMD as a useful mechanism for informal dialogue between states.


The department has signed a new contract to work in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to help those to whom Australia does not owe protection and who wish to return home voluntarily.

In 2013–14 there was a total of 299 assisted returns from the Manus OPC, with assistance provided by the IOM or the department.

The total comprised 298 who were returned directly from Manus OPC and one who was returned via Australia. There were a total of 56 assisted returns from the Nauru OPC, with assistance from the IOM or the department.

This comprised 45 who were returned directly from Nauru OPC and 11 who were returned via Australia.




United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:

… Theresienstadt served an important propaganda function for the Germans. The publicly stated purpose for the deportation of the Jews from Germany was their "resettlement to the east," where they would be compelled to perform forced labor. Since it seemed implausible that elderly Jews could be used for forced labor, the Nazis used the Theresienstadt ghetto to hide the nature of the deportations.

In Nazi propaganda, Theresienstadt was cynically described as a "spa town" where elderly German Jews could "retire" in safety. The deportations to Theresienstadt were, however, part of the Nazi strategy of deception. The ghetto was in reality a collection center for deportations to ghettos and killing centers in Nazi-occupied eastern Europe.

Succumbing to pressure following the deportation of Danish Jews to Theresienstadt, the Germans permitted the International Red Cross to visit in June 1944. It was all an elaborate hoax. The Germans intensified deportations from the ghetto shortly before the visit, and the ghetto itself was "beautified." Gardens were planted, houses painted, and barracks renovated. The Nazis staged social and cultural events for the visiting dignitaries. Once the visit was over, the Germans resumed deportations from Theresienstadt, which did not end until October 1944.






In Senate question time today [10/2/15] Senator Muir asked why refugee children and families originally imprisoned on Christmas Island have not been released from Darwin detention yet.

Senator Cash replied that 3 children are to be released from Darwin detention, but didn't say when.

Senator Cash also claimed 5,000  of 26,000 "IMAs"  (Illegal Maritime Arrivals) have been granted bridging visas with work rights.




Censor like an Aussie: Department of Foreign Affairs funds "Citizen Access to Information in PNG" Seminar [PNG Loop - 10/2/15]





Greens to move on WA catch and kill shark policy in Senate.

Silent on beaten, "arrested" Manus refugees denied access to lawyers and the UN.


The Senate will hear a motion condemning the way the West Australian government deals with sharks it deems a "serious threat" on Wednesday.

Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has announced she will move a motion demanding federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt deny WA exemptions for its catch and kill policy in favour of non-lethal measures. … [WA Today – 10/2/1/15]


Police pursuit ends in Toowoomba CBD crash

Chronicle [10/2/15]:

A 19-year-old woman and two other females have been arrested in Toowoomba this morning after allegedly evading police in a stolen car on the New England Hwy.

Toowoomba communications officer Sergeant Kent Haley said the 19-year-old was driving a car which was stolen from Ipswich overnight.

Police were alerted to the vehicle in Warwick when they received a complaint about people hanging out of a car and erratic driving about 7.15am today.

Sgt Haley said police tried to intercept the vehicle at Warwick but it evaded them, driving north toward Toowoomba on the New England Hwy.

Officers received another report of erratic driving at 8.20am on the southern edge of Toowoomba before they came across the vehicle in traffic on Ruthven St, just south of James St.

"The vehicle has attempted to evade police by driving away and hit the back of a stationary truck," Sgt Haley said.

The teenager and her two passengers were arrested after the low impact crash.



Two hospitalised following collision between car and truck, Proserpine

Daily Mercury [10/2/15]:

Two people were taken to Proserpine Hospital after a car and truck collided on the Bruce Hwy near Proserpine.

A Queensland Ambulance Service spokeswoman said one person had a sore right arm, hip and leg and the other a sore forehead after the crash yesterday morning.

They were stable when taken to hospital.



Gold Coast community to gather and raise awareness of domestic violence

MYGC [10/2/15]:

Hundreds of Gold Coast community members will gather outside Southport Courthouse on Friday to raise awareness of domestic violence and support changes to protect women in Queensland.

The Gold Coast Centre Against Sexual Violence Inc is holding a Red Rose Rally outside the Southport Courthouse at noon on Friday 13th February 2015 in honour of Fabian Pallhares, the 35-year-old pregnant woman horrifically murdered by her partner at a home in Varsity Lakes last week.

Sadly, Fabiana is the third woman in Queensland to die at the hands of a current/ex partner this year.

The Red Rose Rally hopes to raise awareness of abuse and aims to support systematic changes to protect women in Queensland with many people having experienced domestic violence, either as a witness as a child or as a partner.

If you wish to attend the rally outside Southport Courthouse you are encouraged to wear black and bring a red rose.



Police release image of man wanted over stabbing death in Logan

MYGC [10/2/15]:

Police are seeking a man who they believe may be able to assist with their enquiries into the death of a man at Logan.

John Zarnke is described as being Caucasian in appearance, 34-years-old, around 182cms tall of a slim build with brown hair and multiple tattoos.

He is believed to be in a 2002 Red Holden Commodore ute with Queensland registration 529 VAL.

Police are urging members of the public to not approach the man and to contact them immediately if they see him or the vehicle.



Boy, 13, struck by car in Robina

MYGC [10/2/15]:

A teenage boy has been hit by a car on the Gold Coast this morning.

The 13-year-old was travelling on his bicycle before he was struck by a car around 8.30am at Robina this morning.

He has been taken to Robina Hospital with minor injuries.

The Queensland Ambulance Service is again reminding people to slow down around school zones, especially at peak time.


Ducks bludgeoned to death in Gold Coast lagoon

Brisbane Times [10/2/15]:

A flock of ducks have been bludgeoned to death on a lagoon on the Gold Coast.


Police were called to the lagoon at Riverwalk Avenue at Robina after receiving a report teens used rocks to kill at least two ducks.

Investigations are continuing.




Teenager shot dead at Sydney Hungry Jacks

Canberra Times [10/2/15]:

A teenage girl has been fatally shot outside of Hungry Jacks at West Hoxton in Sydney's western suburbs.

A NSW Ambulance spokeswoman said the girl had died at the scene.

"NSW Ambulance responded to reports of a gunshot wound the patient has since died at the scene," the spokeswoman said.

NSW Police said an operation is underway near Hoxton Park Road and Cow Pasture Road.

Road closures and traffic diversion are in place.





Unexploded bomb found at Tanawha property

Sunshine Coast Daily [10/2/15]:

An unexploded bomb has been found at a Crosby Hill Rd, Tanawha property this morning, with Queensland Police and Fire and Emergency Services officers called to the address to ensure the safety of residents.

Police Media confirmed officers were on scene, but that they did not believe the object posed a threat.

It was believed to be an old, military explosive, possibly an army device, and was extremely dated.

The Police Media spokeswoman said she expected the item would be tested by explosive experts, but that no exclusion had been set up.



A teenage boy who stabbed a classmate told a friend before the attack he wanted to kill the boy because he reminded him of his former stepfather.

The boy, who was 14 when he stabbed a fellow year 10 boy in the neck in August 2013, pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Supreme Court on Monday to unlawful wounding. ... [Yahoo - 9/2/15]




Why oh why would anybody protest their indefinite detention, torture and threats they will be deported to danger?


Immigration Dept refusing to say what sparked a protest at the Yongah Hills dentention centre near Perth. ...

Image: ‏@GraemePowell3 - ABC journalist, Perth [10/2/15]




The ABC has been sent a photo which shows two men stripped down to their shorts standing on the roof of the Yongah Hills detention centre near Northam.

It is unclear what they are protesting about.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection released a short statement indicating one man had since climbed down from the roof. ... [ABC - 10/2/15]




‏Hypocrites ----->   @AusHumanRights [10/2/15]: RightsTalk: ‘Rights, ‘Liberty’ and ‘Civilisation’ with Suri Ratnapala, streaming live today from 12.30pm AEDT.




Refugee Rights Action Network WA [10/2/15]:

People released from detention are indeed denied freedom of speech. The following remarks are from a friend of RRAN's once detained on Manus.

He is correct: it is a breach of the code of conduct for persons released from detention to attend any protest however peaceful and the person risks being re-detained.

RRAN has had even people released on substantive permanent protection visas told by immigration officials that if they were caught protesting government policies towards refugees they might never get their family here.

Such stipulations have no place in our nation.

They are a violation of basic human rights. So of course the department of immigration is opposed: denying human rights is their mandate.


We have a proverb in persian (farsi) that says '''Az chaleh beh chah oftadan'''.

This proverb means to fall from a hole to a well.

I heard from some friends who have just been released from detention that they must be careful and not attend rallies in protest of those still locked up in on and off shore detention centers ''activists have told them''

They have also been told about Immigration agents and their cameras in rallies and that they may get into trouble if their faces recognized by them.To be honest I was shocked when I heard this

When I said that Australia is experiencing a dictatorship decorated with colored papers last year some people attacked me in PMs.

Can anybody tell differences between Australia and countries of the Middle East (where I have wasted 47 yrs of my life) regarding personal freedom, freedom of press, freedom of expression and ridiculous word'''DEMOCRACY'''??????

The truth is that they have fallen to a well from a hole.




Italian coast guard rescues Libyan migrants

Al Jazeera [9/2/15]:

At least 100 migrants on board a raft travelling from Libya, and thought to be destined for the Italian coast, have been picked up by the Italian coast guard after venturing into force-seven seas with waves up to eight-metres high.

The Italian coast guard confirmed that 29 people had died.

Al Jazeera's Claudio Lavanga, reporting from Rome said that the coast guards saw the migrants trapped in waves of up to eight metres high and weather conditions as low a zero degrees Celcius.

"The coast guard says that by the time they got there seven people were already dead but that 22 more people died due to hypothermia on the rescue boat on the long journey back to the island of Lampedusa," he said.

The migrants had summoned help via satellite telephone 160km off the coast of the southern Italian island of Lampedusa.

Two Italian coast guard rescue boats which were due to land on Lampedusa, south of Sicily, on Monday, were initially delayed by bad weather conditions in the Strait of Sicily, between Sicily and Tunisia.

Coast guard commander Filippo Marini said on Monday that 105 migrants were aboard an inflatable life raft who were trying to cross the Mediterranean.

"We have six young people in a critical hypothermic state in our centre and we are trying to evacuate them to a better equipped hospital," a doctor on the island of Lampedusa told the AFP news agency.

Al Jazeera's Lavanga said that the incident was bound to reignite criticism toward the Italian government decision to end Mare Nostrum.

The operation deployed a fleet of airplanes, helicopters and vessels to intercept migrant boats before they run into trouble throughout 2014 and which is accredited for having saved at least a 150,000 migrants, he said.

"This operation was replaced by a European Union's Frontex-led Operation Triton, which critics say is not a rescue operation, but rather a border operation.

"They say that boats cannot rescue migrants until they receive a distress signal, which like in Monday's case, may be too late," said Lavanga.

Since the beginning of 2014, more than 150,000 migrants have arrived in Italy on unseaworthy boats, many refugees of war and conflict.

More than 3,200 people have died in the last year, attempting to reach Italy by boat from North Africa.

Recent increasing violence in Libya has forced people to flee the country which is mired in the worst fighting since former leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown.


JURIST [9/2/15]:

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Monday released a report detailing the violent attacks on Libyan journalists by various armed groups over the past two years.

The 54-page report, titled "War on the Media: Journalists Under Attack in Libya," explains how the attacks, kidnappings or threats have caused journalists to either flee the country or censor themselves for fear of retribution.

Additionally, HRW reported that authorities have been prosecuting journalists for defamatory reports, while failing to hold anyone accountable for acts of violence against journalists.




The United States is reportedly reconsidering a decision to invite Israel to a conference expected to be held in Washington next week after Lebanon decided to boycott it over claims that it cannot take part in a meeting to confront terrorism with the Jewish state's participation.

According to As Safir newspaper published on Monday, Lebanon's decision created a fuss among European countries that began wondering about the matter, which caused Washington to hesitate in its invitation.

Sources told the daily that the Iraqi foreign ministry is also mulling its decision whether to take part in the conference or not amid Lebanon's steady stance.

The sources pointed out that “it's no longer a secret that Israel directly or indirectly supports extremist groups such as (al-Qaida-affiliate) al-Nusra Front in Syria's Quneitra.”

On Saturday, media reports said that Washington received an official apology from Lebanon on its participation in the “White House conference on efforts to counter violent extremism,” as Beirut argued it cannot be a “partner with Israel in confronting terrorism.”

More than 60 countries, including 14 Arab nations and Israel, are expected to take part in the summit slated on February 18 at the White House and presided by U.S. President Barack Obama. ... [Naharnet - 9/2/15]


United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria

Centcom [9/2/15]:

On Feb. 8, U.S. and Coalition military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists in Syria, using fighter and bomber aircraft to conduct three airstrikes.

Separately, U.S. and Coalition military forces conducted six airstrikes in Iraq, using fighter, attack and remotely piloted aircraft against ISIL terrorists.

All strikes took place between 8 a.m., Feb. 8, and 8 a.m., Feb. 9, local time.

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


* Near Ar Raqqah, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL armored vehicle.

* Near Kobani, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

* Near Dayr az Zawr, an airstrike destroyed four ISIL vehicles and neutralized four ISIL vehicles.


* Near Fallujah, an airstrike struck an ISIL large tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL heavy machine gun.

* Near Bayji, two airstrikes struck an ISIL large tactical unit and an ISIL tactical unit.

* Near Mosul, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL earth mover, an ISIL building and an ISIL heavy machine gun.

* Near Al Asad, an airstrike denied the ISIL terrain.

* Near Kirkuk, an airstrike struck an ISIL fighting position.

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




Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve delivered precise and effective airstrikes on enemy positions near Mosul, in support of the Iraqi Government’s fight against ISIL.

Security Forces from the Kurdish region seized three bridgeheads on the west bank of the Tigris River, north of Mosul in formerly held Daesh areas.  ... [Centcom - 9/2/15]



Obama readying request to use force against Islamic State [Reuters - 9/2/15]




@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [8/2/15]:

Nineveh: Ahmad Muyassar Abdul Baqi ,his family and driver have been killed in aerial shelling which has targeted their car during their travelling from Mosul to Baghdad.......................

Anbar: The launchers of government's army at eighth brigade headquarter have shelled Houz area north of Ramadi resulted in causing damages to the civilian homes........

Anbar: Three students have been wounded in mortars shelling on Khalidiya model School east of Ramadi...................




Obama says US considers sending weapons to Ukraine [Al Jazeera - 9/2/15]




Freed CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou Says "I Would Do It All Again" to Expose Torture [Democracy Now - 9/2/15]


Guantánamo hearing halted by supposed CIA ‘black site’ worker serving as war court linguist [Miami Herald – 9/2/15]




10 February 2015