Russian bombers hit IS chemical ammunition plant in Raqqa — ministry [TASS - 11/8/16]



U.S.-backed forces battling Islamic State near the Turkish border in northern Syria said on Friday they had launched a final assault to flush the remaining jihadists out of the city of Manbij.

The Syria Democratic Forces (SDF), with air support from a U.S.-led coalition, said last week they had taken almost complete control of Manbij, where a small number of IS fighters have been holed up.

Friday's attack is "the last operation and the last assault," said Sharfan Darwish, a spokesman for the Syrian Arab and Kurdish forces.

Darwish said roughly 100 Islamic State fighters were left in the center of the city, and that they were using civilians as human shields. Several civilians were killed trying to flee, he said. ... [Reuters - 12/8/16]



ISIS abducts more than 2000 civilians from Manbij city, Aleppo [SANA - 11/8/16]



More than 25,000 migrants arrived in Italy in July, 12 percent more than in the same period last year, EU border agency Frontex said on Friday.

Most of the migrants who made the trip across the Mediterranean from North Africa were Nigerians and Eritreans, Frontex said.

The number of migrants arriving in the January to July period was stable compared to last year at 95,000. ... [Reuters - 12/8/16]



‏@SRodrigoruiz [11/8/16]:  Rescatados más de 290 #refugiados de origen sudanés de una barcaza que salió de Egipto al sur de Europa



Proactiva Open Arms [12/8/16]:


Lesvos. Last night we witnessed a refugees summary deportation by Turkish coast guards in Greek waters, half a mile away from the maritime border between both countries.

It is terrible that, following the EU-Turkey agreement, the Greek authorities maydeport those fleeing their countries, but it is illegal, and so we denounce, for Turkish authorities entering European maritime territory to carry out hot deportations to Turkey.

Not only the law in force is broken but also, and most serious, fundamental human rights .


‏@PROACTIVA_SERV [11/8/16]:  Rescate en Lesbos está pasando en Korakas, frente a la playa de Theodoras 50 personas todos a salvo.


More than a wonderful photo of @javierbauluz allegory of kindness: light on the darkness of human wickedness... ‏@MamenPg_[12/8/16] 


Be a child, play, skip, laugh. ... is that too much to ask?  ... ‏@Fotomovimiento [11/8/16]



Day 146 refugee protests, Nauru


Never give up



Image: @elahe_zivardar [12/8/16]



Protesters taking the message to Melbourne at Flinders St. ...



Image: ‏@CLjeSuppose [12/8/16]



Shorten and national broadcaster pretend torture of refugees is not ALP policy, Law Council of Australia has apparently not heard of Magna Carta/Habeas Corpus? [ABC -12/8/16]



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]



Richard Marles lies about refugee concentration camps stopping death, says PNG should change their law [ABC - 28/4/16]:


... LOUISE YAXLEY: The Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, says there will be continued discussions with the PNG government to resolve the matters. And the shadow minister, Richard Marles, says it is very important to try to convince PNG to keep the centre open.

RICHARD MARLES: Because it is very clear that offshore processing has been the single most important decision of any Australian government in bringing an end to the loss of life at sea.

LOUISE YAXLEY: Mr O'Neill is definitive that the centre will be closed but he also talks about the harm that that will cause the local economy and the need for Australia to help support businesses that will suffer. Richard Marles says the Government should talk to PNG about potentially changing the law to make the detention legal or offer PNG more money.

RICHARD MARLES: All of those options need to be talked through with the PNG government. ...



@RichardMarlesMP [11/3/14]:  Great to meet my old friend Rimbink Pato, PNG Minister for Foreign Affairs & Immigration in Port Moresby yesterday.



PNG lawyer for Australia's political prisoners on Manus explains the rule of law [SBS - 12/8/16]


This makes perfect sense if you consider Australia's anti-refugee policy as being imposed on this country via geopolitical configurations that demand restrictions on the movement of people.  And given our politicians are so ideologically beholden to the US pivot, they have no interest in dismantling its associated torture camps and ending other atrocities. 

But if pushing prison privatisation and "Get Adam Giles" is your agenda, securing a (pointless) Royal Commission is unremarkable.  --->  ... There was ABC’s Four Corners report on the Don Dale scandal and its now infamous footage of Dylan Voller hooded in a restraint chair.

Two weeks later the Guardian published the Nauru files: 8,000 pages of damning documentary evidence, written by the guards and officials who run the offshore detention system on behalf of the Australian government.

The story arrests the attention of the public. There is international condemnation.

But here is where paths diverge.

Within hours of the Four Corners credits rolling Australia had a new Royal Commission. It was hastily announced, with some missteps, but it was there.

The prime minister was “deeply shocked … and appalled”. This could not be tolerated. Labor and both parties in the NT parliament supported it wholly, at least to begin with.

On the day the Guardian published a horrific cache of more than 2,000 official reports and accounts Turnbull was not so moved.

He gave a commitment that the files would be examined to see if any complaints hadn’t been “properly addressed”. ... [Guardian - 12/8/16]



The Legacy of Guantánamo, Lizzy Ratner [The Nation - 14/7/2003]:


... But the INS [Immigration and Naturalization Service] ignored these warnings and refused to close the camp or to airlift the sickest refugees, like Joel Saintil, to hospitals in the United States.

When asked by reporters why it ignored the refugees’ medical plight, an INS spokesman, Duane “Duke” Austin, responded with unrepentant candor:

“They’re going to die anyway, aren’t they?” ...



... In hindsight, we can see that we were wrong to allow our trust in Clinton and his election promise to dictate legal strategy.

Clinton sorely disappointed us, and our belief in him caused our clients to spend more time in the inhuman camp conditions.

But for our belief in Clinton, we could have tried the case four of five months earlier and ended the horror of the camp that much sooner.

If there ever is a next time and I am faced with a similar situation and must choose a legal strategy, I will disregard the promises of politicians.

Clinton's promises and our reliance on them seriously jeopardized our relationships with our clients.

We wrongly believed and persuaded our clients to believe that Clinton would change their circumstances.

Regaining the trust of our clients was not easy.  ... How We Closed the Guantanamo HIV Camp: The Intersection of Politics and Litigation, Michael Ratner



Liz Thompson [12/8/16]:


I'm pretty amazed that academics for refugees have put out yet another letter which really reads like a plea for them to be invited to a conference to fix the refugee crisis.

This one has been put out with the assistance of the NTEU, who have actively lied to cover up the refusal of Unisuper to make a public commitment to not funding detention centres through member's super.


We don't need another fucking policy summit. We all need to stop funding detention, we all need to break our contracts. Academics content-scraping senate submissions to sell books about offshore, academics doing the predictable thing and saying "look at me, I'm doing good!" while actually just refusing to do something real about their direct complicity in mandatory detention. Gah - inarticulate rage. thats it



Melbourne Archbishop condemns maltreatment of asylum-seekers [11/8/16]





Day 94, refugee protests on Nauru [Image ‏@elahe_zivardar - 21/6/16]

@riserefugee [11/8/16]: 

Ex-detainee "You know detention centres are concentration camps, don't say sorry after working there, you are not sorry"

Ex-detainee "Our torture, displacement and dead bodies pay wages of non-refugees & detention centre workers"

Ex-detainee "You don't need whistle-blowers tell you how bad detention centres are - what do you think we have been saying all this time ?

Calling for anything less than the immediate closure of Australia's refugee concentration camps, and genuine resettlement for the men women and children currently imprisoned, is damage control and spin.

Australians ought to ask themselves why not one politician, human rights organisation or professional association has:

1. Made a coherent demand for the camps be immediately closed;

2. Called for the genuine resettlement of refugees AND

3. Proposed a Royal Commission into the ENTIRETY of Operation Sovereign Borders (the interdiction and refoulement of refugee boats), and its regional impacts.

Also worth considering, is why the Australian media - and so called "advocates" - are stubbornly perpetuating this cyclical "Demon Dutton" charade, and not directly challenging the bipartisan policy (and seemingly complicit NGOs).

‏@Vamos_Juntos_ [11/8/16]:  22 Moms in Berks on hunger strike. Call out @DHSgov for lies on only 20 days of detention #not1more #shutdownberks

Government sued for withholding records on immigration raids [American Immigration Council – 11/8/16]

In Texas, a transgender woman was killed Monday inside an apartment building in El Paso.

Erykah Tijerina was 36 years old.

Police say they are investigating her death as a homicide.

Her family says they believe her killing may have been a hate crime.

At least 16 transgender people been murdered this year, following a record of more than 20 killings in 2015. [Democracy Now - 11/8/16]

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, community members held a vigil to mourn the death of 14-year-old Mexican-American Jesse Romero, who was killed by police Wednesday.

Police say they were responding to a call about teenagers writing graffiti in the L.A. neighborhood of Boyle Heights.

Police say they shot and killed Romero after he ran away from police and fired a gun.

But witnesses contradict the police’s claim. ... [Democracy Now - 11/8/16]

Nobody believes you fascists ---> ... “The Palaszczuk Government’s investment in ANPR technology boosts the ability of police to target the types of reckless and irresponsible drivers that put all road users at risk.


“The device detects vehicles of interest and acts as a screening tool, helping to identify if a vehicle warrants further investigation.” ...Automatic number plate recognition rolled out to more QPS vehicles [Queensland Government Media Release - 12/8/16]

North Carolina: White Neighborhood Watch vigilante kills black man returning from party [Democracy Now - 11/8/16]

In Florida, police fatally shot a 73-year-old white woman during a police training exercise at the Punta Gorda Public Safety Complex on Wednesday.

The officer who fired the gun thought it was loaded with blanks.

Mary Knowlton was a retired librarian and a mother of two.

She had volunteered to participate in a "shoot/don’t shoot" exercise as part of the citizen police academy. ... [Democracy Now 11/8/16]

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has embraced her recent endorsement by John Negroponte, the former director of national intelligence.

The President George W. Bush official also served as U.S. ambassador to Honduras, which was the staging ground for the U.S.-backed Contras in Nicaragua.

Hillary Clinton has faced questions on the campaign trail about her own role in Honduras as secretary of state, including legitimizing the 2009 coup in Honduras. [Democracy Now - 11/8/16]


12 August 2016