Foreign and Expatriates Ministry sent a letter to the UN Under-Secretary-General Stephen O’Brien on Saturday responding to the latter’s “misleading” statement on the Syrian government’s recent evacuation of civilians from Daraya city in Damascus Countryside. ... [SANA - 10/9/16]
United States continue bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 10/9/16]
Israel Air Force opens fire on Syrian government positions in Golan Heights [Sputnik News - 10/9/16]
@jmsardo [10/9/16]: #Spain: Police uses cranes to remove 65 migrants atop #Ceuta barbed fence, trying to cross border Via @ElFarodeCeuta
@jmsardo [10/9/16]: #Spain #Update: +100 immigrants jump #Ceuta border fence. Reports of several ppl injured. ... Photo via @M_ALI_LEMAGUE
EU announces new €115 million emergency support to "improve conditions" for refugees in Greece [European Commission Media Release - 10/9/16]
@AlbaFerrs [10/9/16]: 13 refugees deported to Turkey 2 days ago without first given the right to access legal support.
@MSF_Sea [10/9/16]: The #Dignity1 has taken on another transfer and now has 355 #people safely recuperating on deck.
Day 175 refugee protests, Nauru
We never give up
Image: @SuchNigel [10/9/16]
Who's left at Guantánamo? Fates of dozens of prisoners are undecided [The Intercept - 10/9/16]:
The last Guantánamo detainee to make the case for his release before a panel of senior administration officials is also the youngest man left at the island prison.
In a hearing Thursday of Guantánamo’s Periodic Review Board, Hassan Ali Bin Attash, a Yemeni who is believed to be about 31 years old, said through representatives that he was working toward a high school GED diploma and hoped to join relatives in Saudi Arabia and find a job as a translator.
Attash’s exact birthdate is uncertain, but he was certainly a young teen in 1997, when the U.S. military alleges that he pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden and began working for senior al Qaeda figures doing everything from bomb-making to logistics.
He was captured in Pakistan in 2002 and spent the next two years being moved between CIA black-site prisons and interrogations in Afghanistan and Jordan before landing in Guantánamo in September 2004.
While in U.S. custody, according to his own and other prisoners’ accounts, he was subjected to sleep deprivation, hung from a bar by his wrists, and threatened with dogs and electric shocks, among other forms of torture. He was also severely tortured by the Jordanians.
The military assessment filed for the board states that in Saudi Arabia, Attash could easily reconnect with terrorist actors, and that his family is also suspect.
Attash’s older brother Walid bin Attash is one of the five men being tried before the Guantánamo military commission for the 9/11 attacks.
His lawyer, David Remes, countered that allegation, saying that he has never heard the younger Attash express anti-American or extremist views. ...
Ex-Guantanamo inmate in Uruguay hospital after hunger strike [Middle East Eye - 6/9/16]
Final group of MEK leaves Iraq for Albania [Yahoo - 10/9/16]:
A camp housing members of an Iranian opposition group in Iraq was officially closed after the last 280 residents were flown to Albania on Friday, the group said.
The Mujahedeen-e-Khalq has been based in Iraq since the 1980s, when they received arms and support from Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war.
U.S.-led forces disarmed the group after the 2003 invasion and settled them at a base north of Baghdad. ...
Five lessons from the de-listing of MEK as a terrorist group [Guardian - 24/9/12]
Bangladesh factory fire kills 23, injures more than 24 [Reuters - 10/9/16]
The leaders of Fiji's two opposition parties and a prominent trade unionist were being held at separate police stations in the capital, Suva, on Saturday night after an afternoon of questioning over an apparently illegal public meeting.
The National Federation Party confirmed that its leader, Biman Prasad, was being held.
On Saturday evening, it posted on Twitter that Professor Prasad's house and the party's head offices in Suva were being searched by police. It said a laptop was seized from party headquarters.
In a statement, Fiji's largest opposition party, Sodelpa, said its leader, Sitiveni Rabuka, voluntarily handed himself in for questioning after seeking legal counsel.
It said police had not yet requested to search its offices.
The general secretary of the Fiji Council of Trade Unions, Attar Singh, was also brought in by police for questioning.
An academic and former politician, Tupeni Baba, was also being held, along with Jone Dakuvula, from the organisation Dialogue Fiji. ... [RNZI - 10/9/16]
Japanese lawmaker Inoki meets North Korea's top diplomat [Japan Today - 10/9/16]:
Japanese wrestler-turned-parliamentarian Antonio Inoki on Saturday met with North Korea’s top official in charge of foreign affairs, Ri Su Yong.
The meeting took place a day after North Korea conducted its fifth nuclear test and there is a possibility that the two discussed Pyongyang’s arms development program.
Inoki, an independent lawmaker, has said his visit to Pyongyang is timed to coincide with the 68th anniversary of North Korea’s founding on Friday and the main purpose is to promote sports exchanges.
Inoki, a House of Councillors member, has developed special connections with North Korean officials through his numerous visits, although Tokyo and Pyongyang have never had diplomatic relations.
He last visited North Korea about two years ago and co-hosted a two-day wrestling event in Pyongyang.
China's military wants to strengthen ties with neighboring Myanmar by having more exchanges and greater cooperation, a top officer told Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a visit to the Southeast Asian country, state media said on Saturday. ... [Reuters - 10/9/16]
@VictoriaLIVE [8/9/16]: *EXCLUSIVE* She helped Edward Snowden escape to Russia and spent 6 weeks with him in Moscow Airport... ..
... The interview is clearly biased, the BBC presenter was not impartial, but cock sucked the role of the state, no surprise as she's a mouthpiece for the state's propaganda broadcaster - the BBC! [WikiLeaks' Sarah Harrison on Edward Snowden and Julian Assange]
When John Kerry and Sergey Lavrov managed to finally wrap up the talks on Syria, they celebrated by bringing journalists a combo of American comfort food (pizza) and Russian bonhomie (vodka), symbolizing qualities that may well have helped reach the deal.
Some 13 hours after the start of the marathon Russian-US negotiations, Lavrov emerged to offer the reporters five boxes of pizza pie and two bottles of vodka.
“The pizza is from the Americans, the vodka is from us,” the Foreign Minister exclaimed, to the amusement of the journalists. ... [RT - 10/9/16]
Guardian journalists invited to meet Russian Paralympians after hostile remarks [TASS - 8/9/16]
Former NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark has come eighth in the fourth straw poll for the UN Secretary-General position [RNZI - 10/9/16]:
Today's poll of Security Council members saw Miss Clark receive six 'encourage', seven 'discourage' and two 'no opinion' votes.
In statement Miss Clark said she was pleased with her improvement among a tight pack of candidates and would continue with her campaign.
Former Portuguese Prime Minister [and UN High Commisssioner for Refugees] Antonio Guterres remains the frontrunner with 12 encourage, two discourage and one no opinion. ...
'Look from the other side'
by Greg Quinton - Swell Sculpture Festival - Currumbin [10/9/16]
"Advocates" and media who don't apportion blame to the ALP and LNP equally are perpetuating Australia's anti-refugee policy.
Turnbull is able to praise Nauru's President for hosting Australia's refugee concentration camp because there is no opposition to the policy, and the media are protecting LNP and ALP lies. [ABC - 9/9/16]
"WE ARE ASKING THE WORLD TO TAKE US FROM THE HELL" @InsurrectNews [9/9/16]: Day 174 refugee protests, Nauru
"DEALING WITH HUMANS IN A HARSH WAY WAS NEVER THE SOLUTION AND NOT SOMETHING TO BE PROUD OF" @racvictoria [9/9/16]: Day 120 of peaceful protests on #Manus ...
Some of the many victims of the ALP's illegal and unconstitutional refugee torture and exile deal with PNG [The Age - 10/9/16]
Pro-ALP "advocates" launch another cynical, partisan campaign to protect Bill Shorten and the ALP from scrutiny [Guardian - 10/9/16]
LNP and ALP vote down immigration detention Royal Commission [Greens Media Release - 31/8/16]
Labor will be supporting this legislation because it is our policy. ---> "Opposition" Leader, Bill Shorten speaking on the Migration Amendment (Regional Processing Arrangements) Bill 2015 [House of Representatives Hansard - 24/6/15]
ALP helps LNP lock in offshore detention [ABC - 24/6/15]
I urged Gillard to challenge Rudd: Bill Shorten [Sydney Morning Herald - 29/6/2010]
The Gillard government's offshore dumping policy [Project SafeCom]
Abbott acknowledges Gillard more fascist than he could ever be, says he should have helped her create more regional misery [Address to the Samuel Griffith Society - Stamford Plaza Hotel Adelaide - 12/8/16]:
.. I wonder, though, about the former government’s people swap with Malaysia.
The 800 boat people that could have been sent to Malaysia was less than a months’ intake, even then.
I doubt it would have worked. Still, letting it stand would have been an acknowledgment of the government-of-the-day’s mandate to do the best it could, by its own lights, to meet our nation’s challenges.
It would have been a step back from the hyper-partisanship that now poisons our public life.
In the last parliament, I could invariably count on Bill Shorten’s support on national security issues.
On deploying the armed forces or strengthening anti-terror laws, there were cabinet ministers harder-to-persuade than the Leader of the Opposition! ...
Dutton is under no pressure in this "Kafkaesque game" while the ALP has his back. George Newhouse knows this, and a media that was serious about speaking truth to power would point it out. [ABC - 10/9/16]:
ELIZABETH JACKSON: The Immigration Minister is being urged to intervene in the case of a 12-year-old asylum seeker on Nauru who needs urgent medical care for a broken arm that hasn't healed, following surgery 18 months ago.
The Iranian boy had plates inserted into his arm by an orthopaedic surgeon and was supposed to have more surgery this year.
But he's had no follow-up care and now he's in pain. He's lost movement in his wrist and his fingers. ...
Calls for Temporary Protected Status for Central American countries continue to grow [American Immigration Council - 9/9/16]:
... The dire situation facing nationals from the Northern Triangle has concerned members of Congress with 22 Senate Democrats and 146 House Democrats sending repeated letters to the President calling for TPS for Central Americans this year.
Hundreds of faith-based organizations and leaders have also echoed this call to protect these Central Americans from dangerous deportations.
Unfortunately, as a knee-jerk response to the influx of women and children fleeing violence in Central America in 2014 the Obama Administration rapidly propped up family detention facilities.
Families and others from the region have been apprehended, detained in poor conditions, and rushed through removal proceedings with little due process.
Many have been deported back to the dangerous circumstances from which they originally fled.
The Administration’s hope was that detaining families would deter others from coming to the United States, effectively ignoring the U.S.’s long-held commitment to providing protection to those fleeing persecution.
Moreover, as described in the report, Understanding the Central American Refugee Crisis: Why They are Fleeing, a survey of Central Americans considering migration concluded that crime and violence have the most powerful impact on someone’s decision to migrate, and knowing about migration risks had no significant impact on this decision. ...
US Coast Guard conducts 8 at-sea interdictions in past week and forcibly returns 85 Cuban migrants [Media Release - 9/9/16]
U.S. sanctions cost Cuba $4.6 billion last financial year, the government said on Friday, and called on U.S. President Barack Obama to do more to ease the pressure in the spirit of improved relations between the two countries. ... [Reuters - 9/9/16]
@wikileaks [8/9/16]: Why is @realDonaldTrump silent about #TPP's big brother #TiSA which fast-tracks migration for corporate slaves?
In a dramatic series of moves late Friday afternoon, a federal judge rejected the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s request for an injunction against the U.S. government over the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Then the Army, Department of Justice, and Department of the Interior responded with an announcement that the Army Corps will not issue permits for Dakota Access to drill under the Missouri River until the Army Corps reconsiders its previously issued permits ... [Democracy Now - 9/9/16]
As G4S withdraws operations from Palestine, it moves into North Dakota's Indian country [AlterNet - 9/9/16]
@ahmedyussuf10 [10/9/16]: At the Justice for Elijah rally. The thing about these demos is just the sheer number of cops. Its overkill. [Melbourne]
@prrsimons [10/9/16]: Ppl are gathering at Parliament: Justice for Elijah! #BlackLivesMatter #springst
Ex-NT police officer charged with murder of his former partner refused life insurance [Brisbane Times - 9/9/16]
A former Northern Territory police officer has faced court accused of murdering his wife in Queensland six years ago.
Louis James Mahoney, 42, was charged by Queensland Police this week after detectives launched a forensic review into the death of Lainie Coldwell.
Ms Coldwell, 36, was found with severe head injuries under a tree after apparently falling while taking down Christmas lights outside her Charleville home in August 2009.
Mahoney joined the NT police force in 2002 and served as a general duties constable before resigning in 2007. … [Brisbane Times - 11/12/15]
Bill passed by US Congress allowing 9/11 victims’ families to sue Saudi Arabia could be defeated by presidential veto [Independent - 9/9/16]
British government whitewashes official report exposing complicity in Saudi Arabia’s war crimes [The Canary - 9/9/16]
... I couldn’t help but think about the people living in this situation for much longer than I have, trying to get on with their normal lives amidst conflict and fear.
The markets are running, there are people in the streets, but you never know when and where there’s going to be an airstrike, shelling or stray bullets.
It’s very sad to think about the fear that they are forced to live with. ... Yemen: “Healthcare at breaking point” [Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Media Release - 9/9/16]
8 killed, 14 wounded in rocket attack in North of Afghanistan [Khaama - 9/9/16]
Former president Hamid Karzai has once again faulted the ongoing war on terror, saying the flawed campaign has given rise to extremism in the region.
Speaking at the International School of Management (ISM) in Germany, he expressed his views on democracy in Afghanistan, peace talks with Taliban and the need for eradicating terrorist safe havens.
A statement from his office quoted Karzai as saying: “I’m opposed to ongoing flawed war on terrorism. I will continue to be averse to this campaign.” ... [Pajhwok - 9/9/16]
Pakistan government extends Afghan refugees' stay until early 2017 as UNHCR establishes another "repatriation centre" [Express Tribune - 9/9/16]
The United States is spending more money on more missions to send more elite U.S. forces to train alongside more foreign counterparts in more countries around the world, according to documents obtained by The Intercept via the Freedom of Information Act.
Since 9/11, special operations forces (SOF) have expanded in almost every conceivable way — from budget to personnel to overseas missions.
On any given day, 10,000 special operators are deployed or “forward stationed,” conducting missions that vary “from behind-the-scenes information-gathering and partner-building to high-end dynamic strike operations,” then-chief of U.S. Special Operations Command, Gen. Joseph Votel, told the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this year. ... [The Intercept - 8/9/16]
Turkish troops trade fire with Syrian Kurds along border [Antiwar.com - 8/9/16]
US, Russia announce plan [Sputnik News - 10/9/16]:
... Russia and the US are calling on all sides to honor a nationwide cessation of hostilities beginning at sundown on September 12.
This involves halting all attacks, including airstrikes.
The agreement also requires unimpeded humanitarian access to areas in need, including Aleppo, and depends on all forces pulling back from Castello Road.
Kerry said he expects Russia to ensure that the Syrian government adheres to the ceasefire.
Foreign Minister Lavrov stressed that there still remains a lack of confidence in US-Russia cooperation and negotiations on Syria.
He added that the top priority for this agreement is to reconfirm the ceasefire, stressing that both the US and Russia will work will with all parties to ensure that hostilities cease within the next 48 hours.
Once that is done, a joint implementation center will be established.
This will be used to track down terrorists and separate them from moderate opposition groups, after which joint aerial strikes will be carried out by both US and Russian air forces against terrorist groups.
10 civilians killed, 33 injured in attacks in Aleppo, Deir Ezzor and Damascus [SANA - 9/9/16]
Syrian army, allies establish control over many areas in southern Aleppo [Al-Manar - 8/9/16]
Clinton tells Israel she'll safeguard its 'military edge' [Yahoo - 9/9/16]
Netanyahu: Palestinian leaders want future state to be ethnically cleansed of Jews [Haaretz - 9/9/16]
Israeli forces kill 18-year-old Palestinian in Gaza after shooting him in head during protests [Maan - 9/9/16]:
An 18-year-old Palestinian in Gaza was killed by Israeli forces on Friday after a soldier shot the youth in the head during protests east of al-Bureij refugee camp near the border between the besieged enclave and Israel.
Ministry of Health spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra identified the youth as Abd al-Rahman Ahmad al-Dabbagh and confirmed the 18-year-old had been shot in the head.
He was rushed to the Al-Aqsa hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Meanwhile, another Palestinian was injured with live fire during clashes near Nahal Oz east of al-Shujaiyya in the Gaza Strip. ..
Israeli forces raided the Aida refugee camp in northern Bethlehem on Friday afternoon and fired tear-gas canisters and stun grenades at houses in the camp, local sources said.
Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers raided the refugee camp and surrounded the Lajee Center -- a community organization that provides refugee youth with cultural, educational, social, and developmental services -- while some 40 children were inside, which caused the children to panic. ... [Maan - 9/9/16]
World Vision lays off contractors in Gaza after Israel allegations [Reuters - 9/9/16]:
Christian aid group World Vision has laid off about 120 contractors in the Gaza Strip following allegations by Israel that the agency's operations manager in the territory had diverted funds to the Islamist group Hamas.
In an Aug. 29 letter handed to contractors at a meeting in Gaza, the NGO said its bank accounts in Jerusalem had been frozen by Israeli authorities and it was no longer able to transfer money to Gaza, making it impossible to pay them. ...
The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms “MADA” expressed its deep concern over the widening circle in arrests carried out by the Palestinian security services in Gaza Strip and the West Bank against journalists and media workers that is accompanied with ill-treatment, torture and psychological pressure, particularly, what was recently monitored by “MADA” against the Journalist Mohammad Othman. ... [PNN - 8/9/16]
45 years after legendary Attica Prison uprising, new book reveals state role in deadly standoff [Democracy Now - 9/9/16]:
... AMY GOODMAN: For so many years, that 39 number, 39 men dead, the state authorities said that the prisoners slit the throats of their hostages. That turned out not to be true in even one case. Were they all killed by the state troopers?
HEATHER ANN THOMPSON [Professor of History at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor]: Yes. On the day of the retaking, every death was at the hands of trooper or correction officer bullets. And the state stood out and told the entire world that the prisoners had in fact killed the hostages. And that story had a devastating effect on the long-term—on the future of criminal justice policy in this country. It really fuels the engine of punitive policy. And to this day, citizens will tell you that the prisoners killed the hostages at Attica. ...
Today prisoners in at least 24 states are set to participate in a nationally coordinated strike that comes on the 45th anniversary of the prison uprising at Attica.
Much like the prisoners who took over New York’s infamous correctional facility in 1971, today’s prisoners are protesting long-term isolation, inadequate healthcare, overcrowding, violent attacks and slave labor. ... [Democracy Now - 9/9/16]
Florida: Prisoner uprising quelled by riot squads, chemical agent [Democracy Now - 9/9/16]
Chelsea Manning begins hunger strike to protest bullying by prison and US government [Media Release - 9/9/16]
10 September 2016