Typically dangerous, resource wasting, class and race based police pursuit spectacle on Tullamarine Freeway ends in numerous collisions, traffic chaos [The Age - 10/1/16]:
... a witness told The Age it wasn't just as "simple as a few simple accidents".
"A police car blocked the whole highway a couple of cars in front of us, helicopters above, police officers swarming everywhere with Tasers and guns drawn, screaming for everyone to get back in their cars," she said.
"A white van came smashing through the middle into all the cars, including ours.
"The driver was tackled to the ground by police, then enormous guys came running through the middle trying to fight the driver." ...
A homeless man is still missing a day after running into waters off the Sunshine Coast to avoid being arrested.
Ricky Gardner, 37, was last seen entering the water and swimming away from shore at Noosa Main Beach about 12.30am (AEST) on Saturday.
A Queensland Police spokeswoman confirmed on Sunday that officers were trying to arrest Mr Gardner, wanted on minor charges, when he ran into the water.
Officers still don't know whether he made it back to shore safely.
Water police and other agencies were continuing to search for him on Sunday afternoon.
They have released a photo of his 2001 Holden Commodore station wagon with the NSW registration XOA-264, asking anyone who has seen the vehicle to contact police.
He's described as Caucasian, about 178cm tall, with a slim build and light complexion. [Yahoo - 10/1/16]
Another case of black lung confirmed in Queensland [ABC - 8/1/16]
WorkCover is investigating the death of Frank Pati, who fell from a scaffolding in Maryville [Herald - 7/1/16]
Residents of a southern California community on Saturday implored air quality officials to force a gas company to take steps to mitigate a natural gas leak that has reportedly caused health issues and damaged property since it began three months ago.
The five-member hearing board of the South Coast Air Quality Management District fielded comments from residents of the Los Angeles' Porter Ranch neighborhood, home to about 30,000 people, near a Southern California Gas Co natural gas storage well where a underground methane leak was discovered Oct. 23. ... [Reuters - 9/1/16]
Parks Victoria washing toxic waste into Yarra River [The Age - 9/1/16]
Nick Xenophon announces his party's candidate for Tony Abbott's Warringah seat [ABC - 10/1/16]
After more than a decade of wrangling, Congress repealed a labeling law last month that required retailers to include the animal's country of origin on packages of red meat.
It's a major victory for the meat industry, which had fought the law in Congress and the courts since the early 2000s. ... [NBC - 4/1/16]
The only language Australian politicians - including the "new and improved" Greens - understand is "I'm not voting for you".
THAT is power.
Settling for "least worst" is dead politics.
Wollumbin from the Pinnacle lookout, Border Rangers National Park
Greens pitch for the centre-left"??? What a crock - try "Greens continue selling out their 1 million+ voters" [Australian Financial Review - 8/1/16]
Campbell’s Soup, the definitive canned food company in American history, has decided to start indicating which ingredients in their products are genetically modified on the labels of its cans.
This is a pretty big deal, it seems. The announcement sets Campbell’s in oppostion to such powerful companies as Monsanto, PepsiCo and Kellogg, which have long resisted calls to be more transparent about GMO ingredients in the face of persistent questions about possible effects they might have on human health and the environment.
They’ve spent millions of dollars in lobbying efforts to defeat GMO-labeling ballot measures in states such as Oregon, Colorado, Washington and California. The food makers say that labeling would add unnecessary costs.
Nevertheless, the labeling movement has gained ground in recent years, as the notion of organic sustainability has wormed its way into the public consciousness. Vermont became the first US state to require GMO labeling in 2014.
Campbell’s willingness to label is, I suppose, good news. Greater transparency is generally better in all facets of life and society.
At the same time, this particular step towards transparency feels like it’s coming about 20 years too late. ... [Guardian - 9/1/16]
... “And every four years both of them get worse, because if you’re a least worst voter you don’t pull the least worst candidate. You’re desperately supporting the least worst candidate because the other guy is worse. So you lose your bargaining power, and they don’t have to give you the time of day the minute you indicate you’re a least worst voter.” ...
Ralph Nader [Raw Story - 23/3/13]
Only a fraud or a fool remains in a political party whose platform they disagree with.
In August, a Senate motion to expedite the ratification of OPCAT [Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment] didn't even get to a vote because Queensland ALP Senator Claire Moore objected.
Since "Labor 4 Refugees" began trying to control the Australian refugee justice movement , policies and treatment have plummeted. If you believe in Santa Claus, that Melissa "alibi" Parke or Sue "free the children" Lines are "changing the party from within", and/or the ALP will drop its inhumane refugee policy, read this [Safecom.org]:
The struggle for Labor from and as a result of the 2001 Federal Election in Australia gave rise to the formation of the lobby and action group "Labor for Refugees" around Australia.
… Meanwhile I’m still trying to come to terms with the fact that Labor for Refugees is balking at putting the motion on turnbacks this afternoon.
Labor for Refugees actually set this whole torturous debate in motion by making it known some time back that this issue would be pursued at the national conference.
Given the factional balance at this conference, it was entirely possible that a motion prohibiting turnbacks could succeed. There was support on the left, and from elements of the right.
Bizarre, this semi retreat at the eleventh hour.
No sooner had the Giles/Watt motion been agreed to then Labor for Refugees (brackets, question mark) has raised objections to the motion being put at all – according to party sources.
As they say in the classics, go figure.
New Matilda lays bare Labor for Refugees' shallow cynicism [New Matilda - 24/7/15]:
... Speaking to New Matilda today, Co-Convenor of Labor for Refugees Shane Prince, refused to confirm whether the group would even move a motion calling on the party to take an anti-turn back stand.
Instead, Prince argued that as turn backs were a breach of international law the party platform was in fact already opposed to them. The draft platform prepared for the conference says Labor will treat asylum seekers in accordance with Australia’s international obligations.
“Something we have to weigh up is whether we have to move such a motion to make something abundantly clear which we say is already abundantly clear,” Prince said.
“We’re not in the business of moving motions just for the sake of doing it. What we do not want to do, for obvious reasons, is to move a motion that then fails.
“Because that will confuse the party, it will lead to internal divisions on an ongoing basis, and it will be used as an argument to say that the platform allows turn backs and we say it doesn’t. We don’t want division within the party.” ...
“I think there’s something extremely powerful about the role of art in sustaining us as human beings,” says London-based poet and activist Rafeef Ziadah in a recent interview with The Electronic Intifada.
“And if you look at social movements generally, what we remember of them is the poetry, the music, the art, the theater — those moments generate a specific art form.”
Ziadah’s new album, We Teach Life, combines poetry and music and makes a deliberate connection between activism and art.
“It’s difficult to me to separate out the politics [from poetry] because it’s ingrained in my entire history — being born into a war and invasion in Lebanon, growing up undocumented as a Palestinian refugee, seeing the first intifada, the second intifada, the current popular uprising that’s going on on the ground — it speaks to me,” Ziadah explains to interviewer Hazem Jamjoum.
A video of Ziadah performing her poem “We Teach Life” has gained almost 900,000 views on YouTube since 2011. ... [AUDIO - Electronic Intifada - 23/12/15]
Hebron-area village buries 4 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces [Maan - 9/1/16]
Israeli forces on Saturday shot and killed two Palestinian men at the al-Hamra military checkpoint in the northern Jordan Valley, witnesses said.
Witnesses told Ma’an that the two men were stopped at the checkpoint -- also known as Beqaot -- and asked by military forces to exit their vehicle, at which point the forces shot them dead.
The witnesses said they did not see the men wielding knives, and told Ma’an the two were “killed in cold blood.”
The men sold wholesale goods and were reportedly on their way to distribute merchandise to grocery shops, witnesses added. ... [Maan - 9/1/16]
... Al-Azzazi added that one of the soldiers beat his shoulder with a sharp object which caused a deep wound, and that another soldier hit his mouth with a shoe, breaking his front tooth.
The boy also said that he vomited blood after being severely beaten in the stomach.
“I was held for three days in an open area of a military site near the eastern border of the Gaza Strip, where we would sit on the floor, sometimes under the rain,” al-Azzazi added.
“We did not have anything to shelter us from the cold except for shorts they gave us. We suffered of hunger and thirst since we did not get any kind of food or water for the first three days, and we could not sleep.”
“We would be constantly beaten and cursed,” the boy said. “After three days I was moved to a police station before being taken to the Beersheba prison, and then to the Ofek prison.
“I still suffer from the cold and do not have enough clothing, and I have not yet seen any of my family members,” he continued. ... 14-year-old sentenced to 6 months in prison by Israeli court [Maan - 9/1/16]
Suspected Tel Aviv shooter killed in gun battle in northern Israel [Maan - 8/1/16]
Israeli forces shot at least 21 Palestinians with live and rubber-coated steel bullets in the latest clashes to shake the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip on Friday, medical sources said.
Ashraf al-Qidra, a spokesperson for Gaza's Ministry of Health, told Ma'an that 14 Palestinians were shot with live fire in separate clashes that erupted along the Gazan border. ... [Maan - 8/1/16]
Killings of Palestinians in West Bank hit 10-year high [Electronic Intifada - 8/1/16]
Israeli navy fires shells at Palestinian fishing boats off Gaza [Press TV - 6/1/16]
Palestinian says New York Times edited and censored his quotes to shine positively on Israel [Salon - 10/1/16]
... All of this is damning, but there is more: Israel's long-standing assault on the right to education of Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Israel has bombed schools and besieged university campuses; it detains and harasses students and teachers at army checkpoints; it has restricted the flow of school materials to Gaza; it has prevented Palestinian students from studying overseas.
One must conclude that Israel's educational system is intended to consolidate the nation's putative Jewish identity and further dispossess the Palestinians. This is a process that the Israeli sociologist Baruch Kimmerling once identified as “politicide.”
Surely one of its components could be called educide, which international educators ought to reject by endorsing the academic boycott of institutions that engage in it. ... Professor Saree Makdisi [LA Times - 8/1/16]
The United States Army announced Friday that 1,800 soldiers from two stateside installations would deploy in the coming months to Iraq and Afghanistan.
About 1,300 soldiers from Fort Campbell, Kentucky will deploy to Iraq in the spring, while about 500 soldiers from Fort Drum, New York will travel to Afghanistan later this winter on regular rotations to replace outgoing units, according to an Army statement.
In Afghanistan, 2-87 Infantry will join the 10th Mountain Division headquarters, which is serving at Bagram Air Field as the National Support Element. ... [TOLO News - 9/1/16]
US senate team hails Kabul’s initiative for financial "reforms" [Pajhwok - 9/1/16]
At least 43 Taliban militants were killed and 15 others were injured during military operations by Afghan national security forces in the past 24 hours.
The operations were jointly conducted by Afghan national police, Afghan national army and Afghan intelligence – National Directorate of Security (NDS) operatives.
Interior ministry following a statement said Saturday that the militants were killed or injured in Kandahar, Ghazni, Helmand, Paktia, Paktika and Maidan Wardak provinces of Afghanistan. ... [Khaama - 9/1/16]
Senior Taliban leader among 17 killed in Takhar operations [Khaama - 9/1/16]
A monthly TOLOnews survey has found that at least 135 Afghan civilians were killed during December last year, which shows a 57 percent increase compared to November.
However, the study found a two percent drop in insurgent attacks in the country in December against the previous month.
But there was a six percent increase in military operations by Afghan security forces in December.
The report states the most alarming trend was a 57 percent increase in the number of civilians killed in insurgent attacks during December 2015 - noting a total of 678 security incidents and insurgent attacks during the month.
Based on the report, in November insurgent attacks dropped by 19 percent against the previous month while in December the attacks dropped by 37 percent against November.
The survey reveals that counterinsurgency operations increased by six percent in December and that Afghan forces detained many insurgents during December as a result of intelligence sharing and surveillance activities – which was up by 11 percent in December.
Overall 1,870 casualties were reported during December of which 1,509 were insurgents, 206 security personnel, 135 civilians including eight foreign nationals, two of them civilians. ... [TOLO News - 8/1/16]
29 killed as US steps up drone strikes in border areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan [Tribune - 10/1/16]
What follows on from imprisoning people without charge ------> Juvenile prisoners and mentally ill killed in Saudi executions [Middle East Eye - 8/1/16]
UK College of Policing trains hundreds of Saudi police [BBC - 8/1/16]
Becker Helicopters have contracted with Specialist Training from Australia (STA) to provide a further 5 years of Initial Entry Rotary Wing Training for pilots from the Saudi Arabian Ministry of the National Guard. ... [Becker Helicopters - 21/5/15]
Chopper influx over Noosa certain to create a fresh buzz [Noosa News - 7/1/13]
... As many of you know, last year we had our first group of Homestay placements for young men from the Saudi Arabian National Guard.
They are working with the Americans to train as pilots and mechanics and Lexis has been chosen to supply the English language requirements that they will need.
The program was very successful and the boys integrated into our community very well. ... [Lexis English - 17/12/14]
The University of Queensland in Australia has honored Hossam Zawawi, a Saudi scholarship student, for his innovative research projects on protection of human health from the risk of bacterial resistance to antibiotics.
He is on scholarship for a doctoral degree from Riyadh’s National Guard Hospital at the Australian University of Queensland’s Clinical Research Center.
Queensland University also honored him by putting his photo on large advertisement banners on the streets of Brisbane city, describing him as a “maker of change”. ... [Arab News - 12/8/15]
Saudi aircraft have intensified their airstrikes in Yemen, targeting Sana'a for the second day after dropping cluster bombs on the capital.
The central Ma'rib province came under the heaviest of attacks and was targeted by 20 airstrikes on Friday, Yemen’s al-Masirah TV said.
Saudi jets bombed Sarvah in Ma’rib, causing extensive damage to the city’s infrastructure, the report said.
A residential area in Ta’izz Province was also hit, as well as a number of houses in al-Jawf Province. According to Yemeni media, the house of a prominent cleric in the small town of al-Ghail in Jawf was also targeted.
Saudi warplanes also bombed Sana'a a day after carrying out dozens of airstrikes in what residents described as the heaviest aerial attacks yet in nine months of aggression. ... [Press TV - 8/1/16]
Media quiet as Saudi-led coalition bombs centre for the blind in Yemen — along with wedding halls and hospitals [Salon - 7/1/16]
WikiLeaks 'Saudi Cables' reveal secret Saudi government influence in Australia [Canberra Times - 20/6/15]
Buying Silence: How the Saudi Foreign Ministry controls Arab media:
...The initial reaction to any negative coverage in the regional media is to "neutralise" it. The term is used frequently in the cables and it pertains to individual journalists and media institutions whose silence and co-operation has been bought.
"Neutralised" journalists and media institutions are not expected to praise and defend the Kingdom, only to refrain from publishing news that reflects negatively on the Kingdom, or any criticism of its policies.
Australia's protected and unaccountable Prime Minister to travel to Washington and pay fealty to bloody wars of imperialist aggression and economic conquest, while assuring the empire refugees are being stopped and/or tortured [Reuters - 9/1/16]
The broader design of the anti-Syria forces: Imperialist violence in Syria, Part 2 of 7 [ICH - 9/1/16]:
... Writing about violence in Syria without investigating first the forces that created and shaped it is similar to investigating ocean tides without mentioning the role of the moon in creating them. Accordingly, we must attempt to frame the issue of violence in Syria in exacting terms: who is turning Syria into a wasteland and theater of death similar to those the United States and Britain created in Iraq, to a slightly lesser extent in Libya, and now in Yemen via the fascist Wahhabi state of Saudi Arabia?
Let us begin by citing the Syrian regime's harsh response (resulting in deaths) to the anti-regime protests in Daraa. First, that Daraa was the starting point of the protests is by itself very suspicious for one good reason. Daraa is a border city with Jordan. This means many foreign intelligence services in cooperation with the sold-to-imperialism Jordanian regime had easy access to foment protests under the guise of the so-called Arab Spring.
Our question: who, just three weeks after that response, poured gasoline on the fire and began installing tent cities in Turkey and Jordan in expectation of refugees? This suggests that someone was expecting mass violence to erupt and refugees to start escaping to neighboring countries. Who then sent Saudi, European, Chechen, and others Islamists to Syria, armed them with heavy weapons, anti-tank missiles, gave them salaries, dressed them with Afghani garbs, made them carry black banners with religious themes taken from the Saudi flag, and topped all that with convoys of brand-new shimmering Toyota trucks? ...
Terror attacks continue across Syria and Iraq
US Department of Defense [9/1/16]:
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.
Strikes in Syria
Fighter, bomber, and attack aircraft conducted 13 strikes in Syria:
-- Near Dayr Az Zawr, a strike destroyed an ISIL crane and an ISIL workover rig.
-- Near Manbij, 12 strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units, suppressed an ISIL mortar position and a separate ISIL fighting position, and destroyed 20 ISIL fighting positions, five ISIL vehicles, and two ISIL buildings.
Strikes in Iraq
Coalition forces used rocket artillery, fighter, bomber, and remotely piloted aircraft to conduct 22 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:
-- Near Haditha, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun and four ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Mosul, four strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions, three ISIL weapon caches and three ISIL assembly areas.
-- Near Ramadi, six strikes struck a large ISIL tactical unit, denied ISIL access to terrain, and destroyed 21 ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL sniper positions, two ISIL recoilless rifles, an ISIL vehicle bomb facility, and two ISIL weapon caches.
-- Near Sinjar, a strike struck two separate ISIL fighting positions and suppressed an ISIL light machine gun.
-- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike destroyed an ISIL-used culvert and an ISIL fighting position.
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [9/1/16]:
Anbar: Two families consisting of 14 civilians have been killed in an aerial raid conducted on Sofiya in Ramadi.................................
Baghdad : A roadside bomb exploded in Taji district north of Baghdad today morning killing a person and wounding 5..............
Baghdad : A roadside bomb exploded in Kifah area in the middle of Baghdad today morning killing a person and wounding 6..............
Baghdad: A roadside bomb has exploded in Mashtal area east of Baghdad resulted in death and 7 injuries.....................
Turkish rights activist reports casualties, grave situation in Kurdish regions [RUDAW - 6/1/16]
Russian missile cruiser Moskva has returned to Sevastopol from the Mediterranean Sea where it was helping the Russian airbase in Syria, Black Sea Fleet spokesman Captain 1st Rank Vyacheslav Trukhachev said on Saturday. ... [TASS - 9/1/16]
The Syrian Arab Army established control over new areas across the country on Friday after targeting terrorists’ positions in many areas, inflicting heavy losses upon them in personnel and equipment. ... [SANA - 9/1/16]
More military service academy cadets and midshipmen this year reported instances of sexual assault and harassment, indicating growing trust in the reporting system, a Defense Department official said Jan. 7. ... [US Department of Defense - 7/1/16]
A Scout leader has been charged with the alleged indecent assault of a teenage girl at a national event in Sydney's south west.
Police said the 14-year-old girl reported the incident, which happened at the Australian Scouts Jamboree being held at Cataract Scout Park, near Appin, on Monday afternoon. ... [ABC - 10/1/16]
@nw_nicholas [9/1/16]: HSBC's Fairhead was in charge of risk in US when fined $1.9bn. Now head of BBC. HSBC in charge of risk of BBC pension fund.
China currency war fears wipe $2.6 trillion off global markets in four days [Telegraph - 7/1/16]
10 January 2016