US Ambassador Kevin O’Malley was heckled and jeered by up to 100 anti-American protesters at a commemoration of Irish heroes of the US Civil War in Ballymote, County Sligo at the weekend. ... [Irish Central - 11/5/15]
The Killing of Osama bin Laden, Seymour M. Hersh [London Review of Books - May 2015]
Menangle siege: Police don't shoot man [Yahoo - 11/5/15]
No bail for Victorian teen on terror charges
Nine MSN [11/5/15]:
A teenage boy charged with planning a terror attack in Victoria remains in custody after a brief court appearance.
The 17-year-old was arrested on Friday during a raid at a home in Melbourne's north where police allege they found three improvised explosive devices.
He appeared in a Children's Court on Monday charged with planning a terrorist act and possessing items connected with a terrorist act.
The teenager sat in the dock flanked by police during the brief mention.
His lawyer asked the court to ensure the boy's family could visit him in detention.
"That would be a decision of the authorities," the judge said.
The boy's lawyer did not apply for bail and he was remanded in custody to reappear on May 26.
None of the boy's family appeared to be in the courtroom.
Media lawyer Justin Quill asked the judge to consider allowing the boy's name to be published because the case was "a matter of the highest public interest".
The boy's lawyer argued publishing his name "wouldn't be good for his mental health and physical health ... in detention".
Mr Quill's application was refused.
Man who stabbed ex-wife in her sleep plans to appeal
A man who stabbed his former wife while she slept has been told he was given a harsh sentence and may have a chance of appeal.
Darren James Williams was last year sentenced to 15 years in jail for the attempted murder of his former wife Courtney Stevens.
In 2012 Williams took a knife from his Centenary Heights home and drove to Ms Stevens' home in Meringandan West.
He broke in and found her asleep in her bed and stabbed her in the chest.
He left the knife in her chest and fled - driving back to Toowoomba, stopping to call his own mobile phone so he could claim someone else called him to tell him Ms Stevens was in hospital.
On Monday, he appeared in the Court of Appeal via video link from prison.
Williams, who was self-represented, said he was struggling to find a lawyer after Legal Aid turned him down.
However, he told the court he had been in discussions with lawyers and was looking to appeal his rejection.
Justice Catherine Holmes questioned whether Williams would be able to get representation, but said she believed he may have a case, as his sentence was long for attempted murder.
"It seems to be arguable," she said.
"It is a high sentence. There are sentences (for attempted murder) that are lower."
The appeal was adjourned for Williams to attempt to find legal representation.
Justice Holmes warned him if he did not find a lawyer he would have to represent himself.
Motorbike rider dies in two-vehicle crash near Melba House
Daily Mercury [11/5/15]:
A motorbike rider has died in a crash near Melba House on Mackay-Eungella Rd today.
The crash involved a motorbike and a car, a police media spokesman said.
It occurred about 3.25pm and investigations are underway.
Traffic diversions are in place.
This incident brings the number of deaths on Central Region roads this year to 21.
Bruce Highway closed after truck crash
Part of north Queensland's main highway is closed to traffic after a truck rolled and brought down powerlines.
Emergency services were called to the Bruce Highway crash, about 10km north of Ingham, just before 2pm.
It's believed the lines came crashing down when the truck collided with a power pole.
A man was taken to hospital with an arm injury, a Queensland Ambulance spokeswoman said.
Police have urged motorists to avoid the area, with the highway closed in both directions.
Man hit by car, Surfers Paradise
A man has reportedly been hit by a car on the Gold Coast this afternoon.
Paramedics are rushing to the scene on Laycock St, Surfers Paradise after reports a 33-year-old male had been struck.
There are no further details available at this time.
Drug enforcement operation, Townsville
QPS Media [11/5/15]:
Police have charged nine people with a number of drug offences after a proactive operation at a Townsville Ferry Terminal on Sir Leslie Thiess Drive on Friday May 8.
A Drug Detection Dog and police from the Townsville area, as well as the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service’s Detector Dog Unit were utilized during the operation, targeting people transporting drugs onto Magnetic Island and Palm Island.
An amount of methylamphetamie, MDMA, cannabis and prescription medication was seized during the operation.
Nine people will appear in the Townsville Magistrates Court charged with 15 offences under the Drugs Misuse Act.
Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should
contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au
24hrs a day.
Tweed Shire Councillor sues Leda boss
Tweed Daily News [11/5/15]:
Tweed Shire Greens Councillor Katie Milne is suing billionaire Leda developer Bob Ell for defamation after a court found last year that she had defamed him.
Cr Milne's legal action stems from comments credited to Mr Ell which were published in the Gold Coast Bulletin.
Mr Ell was interviewed after Cr Milne was found by the NSW Supreme Court in March last year to have damaged his reputation in an email distributed to 70 addresses including various media outlets in March 2010.
Cr Milne had initially also named the Bulletin in her defamation proceedings, but she told the Tweed Daily News this week that her complaint against the newspaper had now been resolved.
The case is due back in court early next month.
Mr Ell has declined to comment.
Cr Milne was ordered to pay Mr Ell $15,000 in damages for defaming him.
It is understood that Cr Milne could also be hit with a legal bill of up to $100,000 relating to interim cost findings against her in the same case.
Cr Milne said the amount she would pay for Mr Ell's legal costs was still to be assessed by the court, as were the payment terms.
She indicated she would continue to deliberate on Leda matters that come before the council, which include the mega-residential estates at Kings Forest and Cobaki.
"The NSW Division of Local Government has repeatedly confirmed that I may participate in voting on Leda matters," she said.
The council general manager Troy Green said Cr Milne's court action was brought to his attention through the NSW Court Listings.
Mr Green said: "As I understand it the defamation is against Mr Ell as an individual and is being taken by Katie Milne as a private citizen."
"Ultimately the matter is one for Ms Milne and she will need to take her own advice."
Paul Keating has made sure his own history was not rewritten after a vicious legal battle with the author and publisher of his biography.
The former Australian prime minister was accused of having the reading disorder dyslexia, affecting his ministerial reign.
HarperCollins Australia and author Dr David Day have apologised after Mr Day admitted he had drawn the inference himself, without confirmation. ... [Daily Mail - 9/5/15]
Free expression group PEN America gets sponsored by apartheid Israel [Electronic Intifada – 8/5/15]
Essential Energy jobs to be cut by up to 1400
Illawarra Mercury [11/5/15]:
The final number of Essential Energy jobs to be slashed is in, and its likely many of them will be lost in Port Macquarie.
Networks NSW boss Vince Graham revealed on Friday nearly 1400 jobs will be cut from the regional provider.
The announcement came the same day Mr Graham met with union representatives.
Yesterday he flagged potential legal action against the Australian Energy Regulator, citing recent moves by ActewAGL in the nation’s capital to take the regulator to court.
The imminent job losses were not the fault of the NSW Government, he said, despite its granting of new powers to the AER in November 2012.
“You step back from this and say ‘whose decision is this?’” he said.
“This is a direct consequence of the huge decisions to make significant cuts by the regulator.
“There is only one organisation responsible for the savage cuts, and that is the Australian Energy Regulator.”
The benefit from millions of dollars of taxpayer-funded research subsidies may be heading straight offshore.
A boat building firm owned by Team Oracle's founder, American billionaire Larry Ellison, drug giant Bayer, Nasdaq-listed Fiserv and global software firm SAP are all recent recipients of research and development grants from Callaghan Innovation, the government agency charged with administering the money.
But the Government says it has no idea whether any of its investment is actually benefiting New Zealand. ... [RNZI - 11/5/15]
K.V. Kamath Appointed BRICS Bank President
Outlook India [11/5/15]:
Eminent banker K V Kamath was today appointed as head of the USD 50 billion New Development Bank being set up by the five emerging economies of BRICS grouping.
Kamath will have a five year term of the bank, which is likely to be operationalised within one year, Finance Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said.
Kamath is the Chairman of the India's largest private sector bank ICICI.
Leaders of the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) had last year reached an agreement to establish the New Development Bank, with its headquarters in Shanghai. As per the agreement, India got the right to nominate the first president.
Kamath has been named the first president of the NDB, Mehrishi said.
The BRICS nations account for nearly USD 16 trillion in GDP and 40 per cent of the world's population.
The bank will start with an initial paid-in-capital of USD 50 billion with each BRICS country contributing USD 10 billion.
After serving at ICICI for more than a decade, Kamath had moved to Asian Development Bank, Manila, in the Private Sector department in 1988.
His principal work experience at ADB was in various projects in China, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh and other emerging nations.
Sweden's Supreme Court upholds Assange detention order
Sweden's Supreme Court said on Monday it rejected an appeal by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to revoke a detention order over allegations of sexual assault.
The 43-year-old Australian has been stuck inside Ecuador's London embassy since June 2012 to avoid a British extradition to Sweden, which wants to question him on allegations of sexual assault.
The detention order was issued by prosecutors in 2010. Assange denies the allegations and says he fears that if Britain extradited him to Sweden he would then be extradited to the United States where he could be tried for one of the largest information leaks in U.S. history.
The court said in a statement that the prosecutors' decision to question Assange in London supported the ruling to uphold the detention order.
"We are of course disappointed, and critical of the Supreme Court's way of handling the case. This decision has been taken without letting us close our argument," Assange's lawyer Per Samuelson told Reuters.
Prosecutors first insisted Assange should come to Sweden for questioning, but in a U-turn in March agreed to conduct the interview in London.
One of the five Supreme Court judges dissented and argued for the arrest warrant to be lifted.
Even if Sweden drops the investigation, Assange faces arrest by British police for jumping bail granted while the British courts considered the European arrest warrant issued by Sweden.
Dangerous assumption that you - or your children - will never be subject to persecution forcing you to flee
Japan Today [11/5/15]:
German contrition over World War Two stands in contrast to Japan’s failure to reflect on its past, the official newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party said on Sunday, following war commemorations in Moscow.
Sino-Japan relations are plagued by China’s bitter memories of Japan’s occupation of parts of the country before and during World War Two. Ties have also chilled in recent years over territorial rows and mutual mistrust over Japan’s bolder security policies and China’s military assertiveness.
A front-page editorial in the People’s Daily praised German leaders for facing up to war crimes.
“In the past several decades, Germany has never halted on the path of self-analysis and self-criticism of its own guilt,” the paper said, citing former German Chancellor Willy Brandt kneeling at a Warsaw memorial in 1970 and current Chancellor Angela Merkel’s past remarks that the country had an“everlasting responsibility” for Nazi crimes.
“The German people’s profound acknowledgment of war crimes stands in contrast to the dangerous trend in Japan’s right wing,” the paper said.
China, which has repeatedly urged Japan to face up to its past, says Japanese troops killed 300,000 people in the 1937 Nanjing massacre. A post-war Allied tribunal put the death toll at 142,000.
The editorial follows Chinese President Xi Jinping’s attendance at a military parade in Moscow on Saturday to commemorate the 70th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany.
Xi sat with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the parade, an event that was largely boycotted by Western leaders over Russia’s role in the Ukraine crisis.
In a speech to U.S. Congress in Washington last month, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed “deep repentance” over Japan’s role in World War Two and upheld statements by his predecessors, but stopped short of issuing his own apology.
Japanese leaders have repeatedly apologised for the suffering caused by the country’s wartime actions, including a landmark 1995 apology by then Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama. But remarks by conservative politicians periodically prompt critics to cast doubt on Tokyo’s sincerity.
My experiences in Japanese Concentration Camps on Java, Indonesia (former Dutch East Indies) 1941 — 1945 - J.E.H. Rijkee [BBC - 11/6/05]
More than 2000 Rohingya refugees rescued off Indonesia and Malaysia
Canberra Times [11/5/15]:
More than 2000 migrants in six boats have now been rescued off the coasts of Indonesia and Malaysia on Sunday and Monday, including women and children weak from a lack of food and water and needing medical treatment.
More than 1000 of them were dumped by traffickers in shallow waters off the Malaysian resort island of Langkawi. The migrants are believed to be long-persecuted Rohingya Muslims.
Early Monday a boat with 400 men, women and children was found drifting off the Indonesian province of Aceh, only a day after two boats carrying about 600 people washed ashore in the same province.
All of the boats were overcrowded and some people died while on board, authorities said.
Traffickers told some of the migrants to swim ashore while some boats ran out of fuel and were towed ashore, officials said.
Indonesian officials said some of those rescued told how they were beaten and had hot water poured on them and they just wanted to get out of Myanmar as soon as possible, to anywhere where they could seek refuge.
The boats were carrying people from Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Chris Lewa, director of the Arakan Project, which has monitored the movements of Rohingya for more than a decade, said as many as 8000 Rohingya and Bangladesh asylum seekers could be parked on boats in the Malacca Straits, unable to come ashore in Malaysia and Thailand.
She worried that with limited access to food and clean water their health was steadily deteriorating.
In the past their first stop has been in Thailand where smugglers held them captive in jungle camps in brutal conditions while collecting payments, before allowing them to continue their journey to Malaysia, Indonesia or other destinations.
But the discovery of mass graves and dozens of captive Rohingya in Thailand's south has prompted a crackdown that has seen the arrest of several powerful provincial politicians, local officials, a major tourist business operator and investigations into 50 police officers.
... Caught off guard, the authorities scrambled to find food and shelter for hundreds of exhausted people, some so dehydrated they needed intravenous drips and treatment at local health clinics.
"We actually don't have money in our budget for this," Mohd Yani, a local official of the North Aceh Social Welfare Office, told AFP.
But he added: "We will think about it later. This is an emergency." ... [Naharnet - 11/5/15]
US and Australia would prefer persecuted Rohingya be subjected to atrocities INSIDE Myanmar and Bangladesh
The Nation [9/5/15]:
Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Friday called for a three-way meeting with neighbours Malaysia and Myanmar to try to resolve a regional human trafficking crisis following the discovery of a mass grave in the country's far south.
Myanmar’s permanent secretary at the Ministry of Immigration Myint Kyaing said Myanmar had not yet been contacted about the meeting.
"I think we would be interested to take part in that meeting if they officially invited us," said Win Naing Tun, deputy chief of Myanmar’s anti-human trafficking police.
Malaysia’s foreign ministry spokesman was unable to provide a response when contacted by Reuters.
The United States, which has censured Thailand for failing to act against human trafficking, called on Monday for a speedy and credible inquiry into the discovery of the mass grave.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, during an official visit to Thailand, on Friday commended Thailand for its "timely response" to the discovery of the mass grave and suspected trafficking camps.
"This is a very tragic finding. These atrocities must be stopped," Bishop told Reuters.
UNHCR: South-East Asia Irregular Maritime Movements [January – March 2015]:
... The predominant route of irregular maritime movements in South-East Asia continues to originate in the Bay of Bengal, from where tens of thousands of persons of concern to UNHCR leave Bangladesh and Myanmar by sea in hopes of ultimately reaching Malaysia. Passage along this route takes place year-round, but traditionally increases following the end of the rainy season in October. This bulletin covers developments since October 2014 through the first quarter of 2015, as well as aspects of the Bay of Bengal route that have been further explored in recent interviews.
In the first quarter of 2015, 25,000 people are estimated to have departed in irregular maritime movements from the Bay of Bengal. The departure rate in the first quarter of 2015 was approximately double the departure rate reported in the first quarters of 2013 and 2014.
Based on interviews with those who have reached Thailand and Malaysia, 300 people are estimated to have died at sea while attempting maritime journeys from the Bay of Bengal in the first quarter of 2015—and as many as 620 since October 2014—primarily as a result of starvation, dehydration, and beatings by boat crews.† A few interviewees also told of entire boats sinking, but there was no way to verify such reports or if, and how many, lives were lost.
Eight individuals identifying as Rohingya registered with UNHCR in Indonesia in the first quarter of 2015, bringing the total number of Rohingya currently registered with UNHCR in Indonesia to 714, of whom 687 have been recognized as refugees.
Indonesian and Australian authorities reported several attempts of maritime crossings to Australia in February and March: four Sri Lankans intercepted by Australian authorities off the Cocos (Keeling) Islands who were returned to Sri Lanka the following day after being interviewed at sea by Australian border protection officials; 30 Bangladeshi and Myanmar nationals apprehended in Padang, Indonesia, preparing to embark for Australia; and a group of 15 individuals returned to Indonesian waters by Australian authorities after staying on Christmas Island for three days.
As of 31 March 2015, over 5,400 persons of concern to UNHCR who travelled by sea were held in immigration detention facilities in the Asia-Pacific region, including over 2,700 who are either in Australia or the offshore processing centers in Nauru and Papua New Guinea.
8 decades on, Holocaust victim’s plea heard at NC high school [Times of Israel – 11/5/15]:
... Lourie said that the letter’s power lies is in illuminating the lengths to which Betty Erb went to save herself and her future husband.
As an educator in Yad Vashem’s pedagogical institute, Lourie plans to use the Erb letter as a teaching tool.
“Jews were not just victims,” Lourie said.
“They were making choices, trying to get out. … They struggled for life. You read this letter, and here’s this woman reaching out to anybody who may be able to help her.”
She added, “It’s only when we zoom in to the story of the individual that we can understand the meaning of the six million.”
Libya: Horrific abuse driving migrants to risk lives in Mediterranean crossings [Amnesty New Zealand – 11/5/15]:
... “The ghastly conditions for migrants, coupled with spiralling lawlessness and armed conflicts raging within the country, make clear just how dangerous life in Libya is today. With no legal avenues to escape and seek safety, they are forced to place their lives in the hands of smugglers who callously extort, abuse and attack them,” said Grant Bayldon, Executive Director at Amnesty International New Zealand.
“The international community has stood and watched as Libya has descended into chaos since the 2011 NATO military campaign ended, effectively allowing militias and armed groups to run amok. World leaders, including New Zealand, have a responsibility and must be prepared to face the consequences, which include greater levels of refugees and migrants fleeing conflict and rampant abuse in Libya. Asylum-seekers and migrants are among the most vulnerable people in Libya and their plight must not be ignored.”
For years Libya has been both a destination and a transit country for refugees and migrants fleeing poverty, conflict or persecution in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. Many come to Libya hoping to reach Europe. But the rise of lawlessness and threat posed by armed groups has exacerbated the risks they face, leading even established communities of migrants who have been living and working in Libya for years to flee to Europe by boat.
Abuses in immigration detention centres where thousands of migrants and refugees, including children, face indefinite detention in deplorable conditions are another reason why so many are trying to leave.
With fewer viable routes overland to reach sanctuary in Europe, Syrian refugees are also among those travelling to Libya to attempt dangerous sea crossings towards European shores.
At a special summit held in Brussels last month, the European Council announced plans to increase resources for search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.
“The commitment made by EU leaders to deploy more resources for search and rescue is a welcome step, but more people will continue to drown in the Mediterranean Sea unless rescue vessels are delivered promptly, deployed in areas where they are needed most – where most calls for help come from - and remain available for as long as high numbers of refugees and migrants continue to depart from Libya,” said Grant Bayldon.
The European Council also announced plans to intensify efforts to identify, capture and destroy vessels before they are used by smugglers. These measures are likely to be discussed at today’s meeting between the EU Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini and the UN Security Council. If implemented, the measures could lead to thousands of migrants and refugees being trapped in a conflict zone.
“Introducing measures to tackle smugglers without providing safe alternative routes out for the people desperate to flee conflict in Libya, will not resolve the plight of migrants and refugees,” said Grant Bayldon.
Nauru's Facebook shutdown enters 11th day.
Facebook block in Nauru a 'temporary restriction', says government [Guardian – 11/5/15]:
... The briefing paper said: “As you are aware certain internet sites have been heavily restricted. These are sites that contain or have been maliciously used to publish and broadcast explicit, obscene or pornographic material. This decision has been made by government in its efforts to protect its people from the abuse of the internet which has seen vulnerable individuals, especially young Nauruan girls, being maliciously targeted, harassed and even bullied.
“The decision was not made overnight but over a period of several months of investigation, consultation and outreach to sites to rectify what is on their part neglect of protection afforded to the Nauruan people, particularly our women and children.”
Internet censorship in the Arab Spring:
... In the days leading up to 27 January 2011, an increasing number of websites were blocked. On 25 January 2011, the State Security Investigations Service, Amn El Dawla, ordered Twitter to be blocked. The following day, Facebook was shut down. On the night of 27 January 2011 the Egyptian government shut down the Internet in Egypt. SMS (Short Message Service) was also blocked. Renesys, a firm that monitors the Internet, reported that nearly all routes to Egyptian networks were taken down at the same time. It was also reported that the Egyptian government shut down official Domain Name Servers (DNS).
At the time the Egyptian government essentially controlled what information traveled across the country as well as in and out of the country via the Internet. To connect to foreign countries by way of the Internet, Egyptian information had to go through a small number of international portals. Mubarak and the government maintained tight control over these. While access to domestic Internet was still available this too suffered as a result of the shutdown as Egyptian networks were heavily dependent upon systems based outside of the country such as Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo. The entire internal system was crippled. Jim Cowie, the chief technology officer of Renesys, remarked, “With the scope of their shutdown and the size of their online population, it is an unprecedented event”.
In Egypt at the time, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) were authorized by the government. There existed only four ISPs: Link Egypt, Vodafone Egypt/Raya, Telecom Egypt, and Etisalat Misr. The government is thought to have ordered these shut down through phone calls. Vodaphone is based in London.
The company stated on its website that mobile operators in Egypt had been forced to cut off service in certain areas and had no choice in the matter.
American company Narus, a subsidiary of Boeing Corporation, sold the Mubarak government surveillance equipment that helped identify dissidents.
Most affected by the Internet blackout were middle-class Egyptians as they no longer had Internet access in their homes. In response to the lack of information, many took to the streets to find out what was going on. Some have argued that the shutdown’s impact was therefore counter to the government’s intention as many left their homes to acquire information and subsequently joined the protests.
One building on Ramses Street in Cairo was specifically targeted. It houses a connection point used by five major network companies in Egypt that provide much of the Internet flow going in and out of the country. It has been debated whether the government surgically tampered with the software that facilitates communication between Internet networks or whether they simply cut off the power to the routers.
On 2 February 2011, BBC reported that Facebook and Twitter were once again available online and that the four major Internet Service Providers in Egypt were back up and running. Renesys reported that there were no longer any traffic blocks in place. Arbor Networks also confirmed that Egypt had regained Internet access at around 5:30 a.m. on the morning of February 2.
Regional agencies called on to step in and help Nauru [RNZI – 8/5/15]
Nauru government promises changes at Australia's pedophile refugee concentration camp - shuts down Facebook instead
The Nauru government says it is disappointed in the service providers at the Australian-run asylum seeker detention camps in the wake of the Moss review.
The independent review, commissioned by the Australian government, found allegations made against nine Save The Children workers at the camps, who were sacked last year, were false.
But the report did confirm cases of rape, the sexual abuse of children and the sale of drugs for sexual favours with some staff at the Nauru facilities.
The Nauru government says it is deeply concerned about the findings and says it will make resources available to ensure that all recommendations are implemented. It says the service providers are meant to ensure people in the camps are treated with care and dignity.
The camps, which are managed by multi national Transfield, are staffed by foreigners and Nauruan locals.
The government says it is clear there must be changes in the way these operations are managed.
It says it strongly condemns sexual assault, violence and any form of intimidation, particularly against those who are vulnerable.
On several occasions in recent months the Nauru government has accused refugee groups of lying and misinformation when they have raised concerns about the welfare of the camp inmates.
House of Representatives Hansard [24/3/15]:
Mr BANDT: When the Greens first raised issues of rape and child abuse in the Nauruan detention facility, the immigration minister said staff from Save the Children were coaching detainees to make these stories up. Given that the Moss report finds compelling evidence of rape and abuse, but no evidence of wrongdoing by Save the Children staff, when will you apologise to Save the Children's workers and, crucially, how much longer will you leave the 107 children currently in Nauru locked up and exposed to abuse?
Mr ABBOTT (Warringah—Prime Minister) ... BLURT BLURT BLURT STOP THE BOATS BLURT ....
Siege at Menangle in Sydney's south
A police operation is underway at Menangle in southern Sydney.
It is understood police have surrounded a house, where a man is inside.
Police said there were road blocks at the corner of Menangle and Woodbridge Roads.
They were asking motorists to avoid the area.
Moroccan F-16 goes missing in Yemen [Al Jazeera – 11/5/15]
Fighting rages along Syria's Lebanon border [Al Jazeera –
United States “allies” continue bombing Iraq and Syria
U.S. and coalition military forces continued airstrikes on Iraq and Syria this weekend.
The latest strikes were a part of Operation Inherent Resolve, an operation with the goal to eliminate the ISIS terror group.
According to officials from Combined Joint Task Force Inherent Resolve, the strikes occurred between Saturday and Sunday morning.
In Syria, multiple types of aircraft conducted 15 airstrikes, 13 of which were near Hasakh in the far northeastern corner of the country. One airstrike near Aleppo struck an ISIS building and a militant "vehicle-borne improvised explosive device."
There were 13 airstrikes in Iraq hitting areas near Asad, Beiji, Fallujah, and others. Operations utilized attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft.
According to officials, the continued strikes will "further limit the terrorist's group's ability to project terror and conduct operations."
Australian doctor in Syria condemns air strikes [ABC – 11/5/15]
"My reply to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)" [Dr. Tareq Kamleh (Abu Yousef Al-Australie) - 8/5/15]
A fresh air attack by Saudi warplanes in Yemen’s eastern Hajjah province has left at least five people killed.
Saudi bombers continued their strikes on Yemen’s northern territories on Sunday with five people reportedly killed in the Hajjah province, adjacent to Sa’ada, where Saudis have been launching repeated attacks since early Friday.
According to the Yemeni health ministry, Saudi attacks on two Northern provinces of Sa’ada and Hajjah have claimed many lives, with tens of people killed and injured only in Hajjah over the past two days. ... [Press TV - 10/5/15]
Arab News [10/5/15]:
Malaysian troops on Sunday arrived at Saudi Royal Air Force base to participate in the Saudi-led coalition to support the legitimacy in Yemen under Operation Restoring Hope.
Malaysia has become the 12th country to join the coalition after Senegal which is sending 2,100 troops to fight the Houthis and the forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The Ministry of Defense explained that the coalition’s operations center is preparing for incorporating the Malaysian and Senegalese forces into the ranks and determining the nature of tasks assigned to them. ...
Since Nigeria's army began clearing large areas of the country's northeast from Boko Haram, some of the 1.5 million internally displaced people have started returning home. But thousands could now face severe food shortages as reconstruction lags behind.
Along the main roads heading north from Adamawa's state capital Yola, some trade has resumed in the towns but ghostly pockets and haunting reminders of the insurgent takeover are evident. Some three months after the fighting ended, the smell of rotting corpses still clings to the air by the headquarters of the Church of the Brethren near Mararaba.
"Most people coming back are in hardship because there's no food. People are sick but there are no hospitals ... no vegetables, no lemons, no bananas ... We're not ready to go back to farming. All our machinery was burned or taken," a Christian community leader, Sini T-Kwagga, told Reuters. ... [Reuters - 10/5/15]
Thousands of people have been brought to the Baltimore city jail in recent years with injuries too severe for them to be admitted, newly released records show.
The records, obtained by The Baltimore Sun (http://tinyurl.com/pdbu29k) through a Maryland Public Information Act request, show that correctional officers at the Baltimore City Detention Center refused to admit nearly 2,600 detainees who were in police custody between June 2012 and April 2015. ... [Yahoo - 10/5/15]
Three people were arrested — and two were charged with capital murder — after two Mississippi police officers were shot to death during a traffic stop, a state law enforcement spokesman said Sunday.
The officers’ deaths were the first reported in the Southern Mississippi city of Hattiesburg in three decades. ... [The Star - 10/5/15]
A spokeswoman for British Columbia's Coroners Service says it's too early to say whether a public inquest will be held into the death of a father who appears to have confessed on Facebook to killing his daughter, wife and sister. ... [CTV - 10/5/15]
Al Jazeera [10/5/15]:
Five people have been found dead after a shooting in a town in northern Switzerland, police say.
Residents heard shots in the town of Wuerenlingen shortly after 11pm local time on Saturday, police said.
Officers then found five bodies, including that of the suspected attacker, in a quiet residential neighbourhood.
The shooting appears to have been a "relationship crime", or the result of domestic dispute, Michael Leupold, Aargau canton (state) police chief, said.
Coalition meets with EU to discuss human rights in Papua
Church leaders, human rights organisations, academics and international observers have gathered in the capital of the European Union, Brussels, to discuss the human rights situation in Papua.
The organisation, which calls itself the International Coalition for Papua, also met with the European Parliament last week to discuss the situation in the province, alongside the Chargé D'affaires of Indonesia and a range of diplomats.
In a statement, the group says it called on the European Union to highlight ongoing human rights violations in Papua and to send a human rights fact-finding mission to Indonesia in the near future.
It also called on Indonesia to take measures to protect the rights of indigenous Papuans -- who are now a minority in the province as a result of mass migration of Javenese -- including their customary rights over land and natural resources.
It also called for an end to excessive force by security forces and to release all political prisoners whouth any condition and an end to torture with impunity.
Oil leaked into Hudson River after transformer fire, explosion at nuclear reactor near NYC [Reuters – 10/5/15]
Police terrorise street, man OC sprayed, arrested after siege in inner Sydney
Canberra Times [11/5/15]:
A man has been arrested after a three-hour siege in Sydney's inner-west that ended when witnesses say police "stormed" a house.
The stand-off began at a house in Hereford Street in Glebe at 5.50pm on Sunday when police responded to reports a man had been punched.
When they arrived, they spoke to a man inside the house but he allegedly refused to co-operate.
Police then surrounded the home and began an "operation".
Witnesses posted to social media that tactical police, the dog squad and ambulances were standing by in the street, which had been blocked off. Police warned motorists to avoid the area.
Witness Rohan Anderson said a police tactical team "breached" the house at around 9pm with weapons drawn.
"One officer used OC spray on a middle aged male," he told Fairfax Media.
"The man was then knocked to the ground and dragged out of the house onto the street by his ankles by one of the tactical officers.
"He was then placed into handcuffs and taken to an ambulance briefly before being placed into a police vehicle."
A statement from NSW Police Media said a man in his 40s was arrested at 8.50pm and taken to Newtown Police Station.
No-one was injured and no weapons were found in the house.
The man is assisting police with their inquiries.
Serious traffic crash, Morningside
QPS Media [11/5/15]:
Police are investigating a traffic crash that occurred this morning at Morningside.
Around 5.30am, a bicycle and a truck have collided [truck hit a bicycle] at the intersection of Junction and Wynnum Roads.
The rider of the bike, a man in his 30s, has been transported to Princess Alexandra Hospital in a critical condition.
The male driver of the truck was not physically injured as a result of the crash.
The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating.
Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.
Break and enter, Ashmore
QPS Media [11/5/15]:
Police are investigating a break and enter at a bank on Southport-Nerang Road at Ashmore in the early hours of this morning.
Around 1.30am unknown offenders have attempted to gain entry to the bank through the ceiling.
Once inside the bank they were only able to obtain access to the meal room.
The offenders left via the ceiling entry empty handed.
No property or money was stolen.
Police investigations are continuing.
Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.
Gold Coast detectives investigating after police station crash
Brisbane Times [10/5/15]:
Traffic branch detectives are interviewing a Gold Coast man after his ute smashed into the wall of a police station.
A police spokeswoman said the ute left De Barnett Street at Coomera about 4.25pm before hitting a facilities building next to the main police building.
She said neither the driver, a "local" man in his early to mid 50s, nor his male passenger of unknown age, were injured.
Police have ruled out drink driving as a cause of the crash but traffic branch investigators are speaking with the man, the spokeswoman said.
Queensland is facing all-time high youth homelessness figures, as legal problems keep young homeless people from finding accommodation or employment.
Brisbane Youth Service has reported more young people than ever are looking for housing, with many of those dealing with lingering debts, criminal charges or family law issues. ... [ABC - 10/5/15]
Gold Coast hosts another anti internet freedom conference
Fighting organised crime and terror cells in the age of technology will be front and centre at a Gold Coast conference on Monday.
The four-day event, the Asia-Pacific Chapter FBI National Academy Associates Conference, aims to bring together law enforcers from across the Asia-Pacific and the US.
There will be a range of addresses on the best way to confront and prevent global terrorism in the digital era.
Queensland Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller and Commissioner Ian Stewart are expected to attend on Monday.
Porn and video game addiction are leading to 'masculinity crisis', says Stanford prison experiment psychologist [Independent - 10/5/15]:
A leading psychologist has warned that young men are facing a crisis of masculinity due to excessive use of video games and pornography.
Psychologist and professor emeritus at Stanford University Phillip Zimbardo has made the warnings, which form a major part of his latest book, Man (Dis)Connected.
In an interview on the BBC World Service's Weekend programme, Zimbardo spoke about the results of his study, an in-depth look into the lives of 20,000 young men and their relationships with video games and pornography.
The Local [10/5/15]:
The US intelligence agency NSA asked its German partner service BND to spy on the European country's engineering and technology giant Siemens, a German newspaper reported Sunday.
In the latest report on a widening spying scandal, the newspaper said the US National Security Agency (NSA) suspected that Siemens was supplying communications technology to a Russian secret service, said the newspaper, citing unnamed US intelligence sources.
A Siemens spokesman said the German company was "not aware of any facts in the company's area of responsibility" that would support making it a target of such surveillance, reported the same newspaper, Bild am Sonntag. ...
Putin Urges Reconciliation With Europe in Talks With Merkel [New York Times - 10/5/15]
Allowing the ALP to co-opt your cause renders it dubious
@GrahamPerrettMP [10/5/15]: With @donaldjonbrown3 and Mick Carr at the MUA rally down on the Brisbane River.
MUA Media Release [10/5/15]:
The Maritime Union of Australia says national fuel security is being jeopardised by BP’s plans to slash more local jobs.
The oil and gas giant is dumping the 36 Australian crew of the fuel tanker British Loyalty this week, replacing them with cheap foreign operators who pay their crew as little as $2 an hour.
The vessel is currently alongside at the Bulwer Island refinery in Brisbane for the last time.
It comes as BP slashes an extra 360 Aussie jobs this month when it shuts Bulwer Island, which is one of the East Coast’s main local suppliers of fuel.
These cuts make Australia dangerously reliant on foreign suppliers. The country stocks less than 3 weeks’ worth of fuel, while service stations hold only 7 days supply.
MUA Assistant National Secretary Warren Smith says Aussie seafarers’ jobs don’t have to go.
“900,000 tons of refined product is being moved from Kwinana Refinery in Western Australia to the East Coast each year which is more than enough to keep the British Loyalty working the coast and keep supply in Australian hands,” Mr Smith said.
“These jobs are being replaced by foreign shipping companies who routinely exploit their crews and pay them as little as $2 an hour. There are also obvious risks to our pristine environment and national security.”
MUA Assistant National Secretary Ian Bray said it was vital for the community to draw a line in the sand as this would be the third tanker to go in nearly as many months.
“The crew of the British Loyalty are decent, honest, hardworking Australians,” he said.
“They just want to feed their kids, pay their mortgages, and work under Australian conditions. Instead, BP wants to give them the sack and replace them with foreign crew on as little as $2 an hour.”
British Loyalty crew member Matthew Richardson says losing local control means an accident at a refinery in Singapore could soon cripple Australia.
“You could bring a country to its knees in a week, without even starting a war,” Mr Richardson said.
“If there’s no fuel, the mines aren’t working, the farms aren’t working, the trucks aren’t getting your produce to the supermarkets.”
The MUA says foreign tankers pose an enormous threat to the Australian coastline.
Despite the Hong Kong-owned Atlantic Blue running aground on the Great Barrier Reef in 2009, BP was happy to use it for seven domestic voyages along the WA coast in 2014 and 2015.
“We’ve already seen ships coming through without pilots – there was one recently coming through the Barrier Reef without a pilot so it’s going to end up destroying the reef,” British Loyalty crew member Chris Harrison said.
phoney [adj]: Not genuine; fraudulent ...
According to the Draft Surfers Paradise Master Plan, the City of Gold Coast/Gold Coast Waterways Authority upgrade to Appel Park Wharf will be completed in June 2015.
Country Rugby League players dies, aged 29, during game in Ballina
A 29-year-old rugby league player has died during a match on the New South Wales north coast.
Country Rugby League (CRL) said Zane Purcell passed away while playing for the Lower Clarence Magpies reserve-grade side on Sunday afternoon against the Ballina Seagulls at Ballina.
The CRL is not making any further comment in respect for family and friends of Mr Purcell.
In a statement on Sunday, the CRL sent their condolences and said they were providing counselling for the family and both teams involved in Sunday's match.
It is the third on field death in just over a week.
Welsh international rugby league player Danny Jones died from a suspected cardiac arrest during his club's League 1 match in London on May 3, while an Australian Rules player in his 20s passed away during a game in regional Victoria on May 2.
11 May 2015