Russia says US deployed 200 nuclear bombs in Europe [Press TV - 11/12/15]:
The United States has deployed around 200 nuclear bombs across Europe, Russia says, warning that the increased military operations of NATO, led by the US, is deteriorating the military-political situation in the world.
“About 200 US nuclear bombs are currently deployed in Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany and Turkey. This nuclear ordnance is also subject to a renewal program,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday, Sputnik news agency reported.
The Russian minister further blasted the US and NATO for their gradual expansion of military activity, saying the approach is mainly to blame for the deteriorating military-political situation in the world.
“We also observe the gradual expansion of the NATO bloc,” he said, adding that during a relatively short time NATO has increased by twofold its members.
Shoigu said that Russia has also greatly improved the capabilities of its strategic nuclear forces in a countermeasure to US and NATO’s rising nuclear deployment, adding that the Russian nuclear triad is now outfitted with 55 percent of modern hardware.
Russia does not look favorably upon the deployment of nuclear weapons in NATO states near its borders.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in June that if NATO threatens Russia, Moscow will respond to the threat accordingly.
“If someone threatens our territories, it means that we will have to aim our armed forces accordingly at the territories from where the threat is coming. How else could it be? It is NATO that approaching our borders, it’s not like we are moving anywhere,” he said.
Burundi's political violence escalated on Saturday with dozens of people found shot dead in the capital, a day after the government said an unidentified group carried out coordinated attacks on three military installations.
A climate of fear has engulfed Bujumbura after the sound of battle could be heard throughout Friday and sporadic gunfire overnight.
Residents hid in their houses leaving only security personnel patrolling the streets.
"Residents say people wearing police uniforms came into residential areas that have been hotbeds of protest.
Residents believe these killings were a response to Friday's attacks on the military," reported Al Jazeera's Malcolm Webb, who spoke to eyewitnesses in Bujumbura.
"The bodies of dozens of civilians were on the street - most of them young men - many appear to have been shot at close range," said Webb.
An eyewitness told The Associated Press he counted 21 bodies with bullet wounds in their heads in the Nyakabiga neighbourhood on Saturday morning. Some of the dead had their hands tied behind their backs.
Police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said there were "no collateral victims" during Friday's clashes.
"All the deaths were attackers killed in the joint sweep operation of the army and police," Nkurikiye said.
"The enemy was neutralised." ... [Al Jazeera - 12/12/15]
Former Pinochet dictatorship soldier arrested after confessing during a radio broadcast that he had killed 18 people [Prensa Latina - 11/12/15]
"Whadda we want?"
"Deportation cases like his to be looked at more closely!"
"When do we want it?"
"Abbott would be worse!" 'I thought I was Australian': Protected and unaccountable Immigration Minister Peter Dutton deports refugee from Pinochet dictatorship [Brisbane Times - 13/12/15]
QANTAS responds to humanitarian concern for greyhounds while still participating in the forcible return of asylum seekers
... I can’t un-fuck it up
You, probably, can’t un-fuck it up
And if we’re counting on them to un-fuck it up
Then we’re all fucked. ...
'I Didn't Fuck It Up', Katie Goodman 
Sydney Morning Herald [12/12/15]:
QANTAS will no longer carry racing greyhounds on flights to Asia in what animal activists say is a "win for gentle dogs facing certain death".
The move follows revelations that greyhounds were being exported to Hong Kong and Macau. As many as 800 dogs were being kept in prison-like cells in Macau to replace those that had been culled and incinerated.
It means Australia's two major carriers to Asia, QANTAS and Cathay Pacific, will no longer carry racing greyhounds as freight.
The change of heart followed coverage last week by the ABC of an investigation by Animals Australia into the export of dogs to Hong Kong and Macau.
Australians have been exporting dogs to countries like Macau and China, an investigation by the ABC's 7.30 program revealed.
The practice is not illegal but, without the required passports, it is against rules set out by Greyhounds Australasia.
Animals Australia said as many as 30 dogs a month – dogs that were too slow to race on Australian tracks – were being condemned to a death sentence, and being held in conditions that were "a blatant breach of the industry's own rules".
Animals Australia said the "game-changing decision" by QANTAS was "a win for the gentle dogs exported to certain death each year" and for its "passionate and relentless supporters and caring community members who have been leaving no stone unturned to be a voice for these animals".
In its expose, the organisation claimed more than 800 dogs were kept in squalid conditions in cages, dozens were destroyed every month, and one dog died on the track every day, animal rights advocates estimated, according to the report.
"For those dogs it's actually a straight-out death sentence," Animals Australia campaign director Lyn White said.
"The conditions are awful, it's prison-like, barren cells, and in fact it really is like being exported to another country and put on death row," she told 7.30.
Athough QANTAS has not issued a formal announcement, it telegraphed the change in policy on social media on Friday night.
"We share your concerns about the disturbing story that appeared on the 7.30 Report earlier in the week," QANTAS said in response to inquiries about its policies, including by Animals Australia.
In a response, the carrier acknowledged that it had transported a small number of racing greyhounds to Asia.
"However in light of the story we have made the decision to no longer provide racing greyhound freight services to Asia."
On Friday night, an animal activist on Twitter known as @Nez_animallover posted an image of dead greyhounds dumped in a mass grave and asked QANTAS if it was true it was going to ban exports of racing greyhounds.
QANTAS responded nearly immediately.
The response on social media was overwhelmingly positive.
"QANTAS thank you so much for refusing to export our wonderful greyhounds to a fate worse than death! Well done for taking the right stand, the only stand, to protect these dogs. QANTAS – you are the BEST!" said one supporter on Facebook.
QANTAS has lifted its no-fly ban on a Melbourne man who walked off a plane bound for Darwin after learning it was carrying an asylum seeker set to be deported.
But two women, who also protested the deportation of the Tamil asylum seeker on flight 838 on February 2, are still banned from the airline. ... [The Age - 11/3/15]
... She said she and her husband, who is also a university graduate and health professional, were always happy to leave and go to a third country.
"We would never have come to Australia if we had known that we would be imprisoned for two years in a detention centre," she said. "But when you ask the Australian officials for help, they said 'no, you can go back to Tehran, or stay in detention'. What choice do we have." A journey back into the arms of her persecutors [The Age - 2/6/03]
Dangerous, resource wasting, class and race based police pursuit ends in crash, Coomera Waters [QPS Media - 12/12/15]
But don't worry, the police dog that went missing has been found in good health [ABC - 12/12/15]
Police car damaged in hit and run traffic incident, Berserker (Rockhampton) [QPS Media - 12/12/15]
Serious assault, Upper Coomera [QPS Media - 12/12/15]
Robbery charge, Yarrabah [QPS Media - 12/12/15]
Charges: Armed robbery, Newmarket [QPS Media - 12/12/15]
Suspicious fire investigation, Labrador [QPS Media - 12/12/15]
Emergent situation revoked, Cracow [QPS Media - 12/12/15]
Phone hacking scum escape prosecution
Hacked Off Responds to CPS decision to end phone hacking prosecutions [Media Release - 11/12/15]:
Hacked Off is surprised and disappointed by today’s CPS decision that there will be no corporate prosecutions of News International or any prosecution of former editors at Mirror Group Newspapers.
The civil cases have revealed widespread wrongdoing at several of the country’s biggest newspapers.
This decision means that the companies which profited from criminal wrongdoing over many years will not be held accountable in the criminal courts.
The way is now clear for the second part of the Leveson Inquiry.
This will deal with the full extent of the wrongdoing and failures of corporate governance in the press. It will also investigate police misconduct and corruption. Lord Justice Leveson was not able to investigate these important areas until all the criminal prosecutions had concluded.
The next part of the Inquiry can now begin. The public has the right to know what really happened at our police forces and newspapers so that steps can be taken to make sure it never happens again.
Dr Evan Harris, Joint Executive Director of Hacked Off said:
“Many people will find It hard to believe that there wasn’t corporate wrong-doing at news International, especially in relation to a cover up. Rebekah Brooks was involved in the deletion of emails and making massive secret pay offs to victims to “defend the company’s reputation”. The company profited from the phone hacking and corrupt payments to public officials but then shopped its own journalists and sources. News Corp has now achieved its aim of avoiding corporate charges but at great cost.
Hacked Off and most of the victims we represent have never wanted to see journalist foot soldiers prosecuted while their bosses who gave out the orders – and were promoted on the basis of their scoops – have escaped prosecution.
Given what came out at the Mirror civil trial, and the whistle-blowers that came forward it is surprising that the CPS are now claiming that there isn’t enough evidence to prosecute. The hundreds of people who were victims of illegal conduct by the Mirror will be surprised and disappointed”.
Professor Brian Cathcart, Co-Founder of Hacked Off said:
“We call on the Prime Minister to honour his promises to the victims of press abuse and to take immediate steps to set up Leveson Part 2. The first inquiry was not able to question individuals about the details of phone hacking and other misconduct. Now that the prosecutions are over a Judge led inquiry will be able to get to the bottom of what happened. We need to ensure that the widespread abuse and criminality which has poisoned the British press for many years will never happen again”.
Man infiltrated AFP HQ allegedly armed with knives in security breach [Sydney Morning Herald - 11/12/15]
Gun linked to Paris attacks registered to Florida arms firm implicated in Iran-Contra scandal [My Palm Beach Post - 10/12/15]:
A gun once owned by a Delray Beach arms dealer is among those linked to the Paris attacks that killed 130 people, the head of a Serbian arms factory told The Associated Press.
The M92 semi-automatic pistol’s serial number matched one the Zastava arms factory delivered in May 2013 to the family-owned Century International Arms in Delray Beach, said the arms dealer, Milojko Brzakovic.
How the pistol got from Delray to France remains unclear.
Century owner Michael Sucher did not answer calls Thursday. Doors were locked at the company’s Congress Avenue location just south of Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach, where TV news trucks were gathering Thursday afternoon.
Employees trickling out of the building to go home declined comment. Sarah Levine, who worked next door, said “I had no idea that there was anything connected with guns or arms dealing in this vicinity.”
Century, a buyer and re-seller of military-grade surplus guns, is one of the largest arms dealers in the United States. Its specialty is buying firearms from overseas and reselling to dealers. The Palm Beach County business imports up to 25,000 guns every year from the Serbian firm alone, the AP reported.
In addition to the Delray Beach location, Century also holds federal firearms licenses in Georgia, Vt., a town of about 4,700 residents about 10 miles from the Canadian border.
The Vermont location is licensed to import guns, build guns and import destructive devices, including very large-caliber guns or armor-piercing ammunition. The company also markets its own brand of ammunition, Red Army Standard, which is manufactured in Cold War-era factories.
This is not the first time that Century Arms has wound up in headlines.
In 2011, The Palm Beach Post detailed how Century Arms has prospered — trading in pistols, sniper rifles and assault weapons, sometimes with the help of “unauthorized brokers” — based on secret diplomatic cables made public by WikiLeaks, an international organization that publishes secret information.
One secret cable detailed how World War II-era rifles donated during the Cold War made their way illegally from a Guatemalan government warehouse to Century Arms in 2007 for $130 million.
An Israeli arms dealer and frequent middleman for Century Arms helped carry out the illegal transfer of American M-1 rifles, the cables said.
In 1987, John Rugg, a former police officer and longtime Century Arms employee, told a U.S. Senate committee that the company was involved in supplying arms, including rockets and grenades, to the Contras of Nicaragua during the 1980s-era Iran-Contra scandal.
Values? Ideals? Beliefs?
A "brand" that appeared to embrace integrity?
Perhaps he has been deceiving us all this time?
... And under your arm is the top of the world …
'You Need Uncle Sam'
West Australian [11/12/15]:
Melbourne musician and longtime vegetarian Courtney Barnett has slammed KFC for using her name to promote its food.
KFC Australia congratulated Barnett for her Grammy Award nomination, tweeting a wordplay on the title of her debut album, “Sometimes I sit and eat KFC and sometimes I just sit” with a photo of a KFC burger.
But the ARIA Award winner wants nothing to do with the fast-food chain.
“I haven’t eaten chicken since I was 18, and when I did eat chicken, I don’t think I ever once ate a KFC chicken burger ever,” Barnett said on Instagram.
Earlier this week fans of Australian musician and vegetarian Xavier Rudd were outraged KFC had used his hit song Let Me Be in a video advertisement.
Rudd is yet to confirm whether he granted KFC permission to use the song [has maintained his silence about the advertisement, whilst fans' comments and questions are still being deleted from his Facebook page.]
Queensland's Chief Health Officer distributed QGC branded Lifeline brochures to community of farmer who suicided [Guardian - 12/12/15]:
... Gas company sponsorship extending to the media industry also led to an incongruous scenario at this year’s Walkley awards for journalism.
Linc Energy, which has declared more than $260,000 in donations to the Walkley board through the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) since 2010, has been prohibited from carrying out mining in an area of the Darling Downs by the Queensland government while being prosecuted over the contamination of hundreds of square kilometres of farmland around its experimental plant in the area.
This includes George Bender’s property. ABC reporters Mark Willacy and Mark Solomons won the Walkley for radio news and current affairs for their coverage of the Linc issue – at an event of which Linc was a major sponsor.
Willacy told Guardian Australia: “I think there’s a positive reflection on the union in that it obviously didn’t influence at all the awarding of that particular Walkley.”
“In fact, it maybe highlights that the union’s Walkleys board is independent in its functions, as it should be. And it’s up to the union who they accept as sponsors.” ...
... To be successful, sponsorship required publicists. Walkley courted the media and used charter flights to ferry journalists around the nation to special business and sporting occasions. He enjoyed the conviviality of these gatherings, and the goodwill that flowed from them. Announcing, shrewdly, that 'in all my experience with journalists I have never had a confidence broken', he had endowed the annual Walkley awards for journalism in 1956, to be administered by the Australian Journalists' Association. He always presented the awards himself and bequeathed $10,000 to the A.J.A. to perpetuate them. ... [Walkley, Sir William Gaston (1896–1976) - Australian Dictionary of Biography]
Century-old Kandanga Hotel south of Gympie destroyed by early morning fire [ABC - 12/12/15]
Four Queensland prisons have banned imported milk after a complaint from Katter's Australian Party MP Shane Knuth.
Mr Knuth said he was horrified to discover that since August, the Queensland Corrections department has been buying imported UHT milk from New Zealand for prisoners in Lotus Glen, Townsville, Wolston and Brisbane correctional centres.
The Dalrymple MP said it had taken away business from the state's struggling dairy farmers. ... [ABC - 12/1/215]
Only took 30 years ---> Mount Isa officially opens it's new Filtration Plant [North West Star - 10/12/15]
Serious traffic crash, Ironpot (Rockhampton) [QPS Media - 12/12/15]
A motorcyclist has died and a young girl has been seriously injured in separate road crashes in Queensland.
A man, believed to be aged in his 50s, was killed after his motorcycle collided with another vehicle near Mount Morgan in central Queensland at 3pm on Friday.
About an hour later, a five-year-old girl was hit by a car in Boronia Heights, Logan City.
She was taken to hospital with serious injuries. [Yahoo - 12/12/15]
Sign of the times
Why Malcolm? Why Tony? Why Julia? Why Kevin? Why Bill?
A young couple in love left their country together.
He was sent to Manus.
She was sent to Nauru.
Australians and Allies Overseas Against Mandatory Detention
Ever wondered how big Australia is?
Image: @thereaIbanksy [5/12/15]
A new stencil/pasteup in the notorious "Jungle" refugee camp in Calais, France depicts Steve Jobs with a satchel and a classic Macintosh. Jobs's parents were Syrian refugees, though he was adopted by an American family at an early age, and he didn't identify as Syrian.
The Jungle is home to many refugees from Syria and elsewhere who have made their way to Europe and are hoping to cross the Channel into England. They have been treated with extraordinary cruelty by both French and British authorities.
The Jungle is also home to the remains of Dismaland, Banksy's theme-park/art installation.
The piece was dismantled and turned into refugee shelters and playgrounds for kids in September. [Boing Boing - 11/12/15]
A suicide bomber detonated a vehicle packed with explosives close to the embassy of Spain in Sherpoor area of Kabul city around 6:00 pm local time.
The explosion triggered a standoff between the security forces and the assailants who took position in a compound close to the blast site. ... [Khaama - 11/12/15]
Three children and an intelligence operative were killed in a suicide attack by a foreign national close to the National Directorate of Security (NDS) department here on Friday, an official said.
Attaullah Khogyani, the governor’s spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News NDS personnel captured nine foreign nationals, including five men, a woman and three children, in Daronta area of Jalalabad, on Thursday night. ... [Pajhwok - 11/12/15]
Suspected Boko Haram suicide bomber kills 10 in Cameroon [Reuters - 11/12/15]
Fourteen people were killed, some of them decapitated, in a Boko Haram raid on a village in northeast Nigeria, a resident and a civilian vigilante assisting the military said on Friday.
The attack happened at about 8:00 pm (1900 GMT) on Thursday in the village of Kamuya in Borno State, near where Nigeria‘s most senior army officer Tukur Yusuf Buratai has a home. ... [Vanguard - 11/12/15]
Nigeria: Alleged US $2 billion arms deal investigation - Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to summon former Finance Minister [All Africa - 11/12/15]
Libyan parties set 16 December as date to sign political agreement – UN envoy [Media Release - 11/12/15]
Late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's son Hannibal has been freed after being briefly kidnapped by an armed group in Lebanon, security sources say.
In a video shown on Lebanese TV, the captive businessman was seen appealing for more information concerning the 1978 disappearance of the prominent Lebanese Shia cleric Musa al-Sadr.
He was freed in the city of Baalbek and dispatched to Beirut, police told AP. ... [BBC - 11/12/15]
Ongoing border blockade on imports sends food and fuel prices ‘skyrocketing’ in Nepal – UN [Media Release - 11/12/15]:
... The UN agency said that the average price of lentils, pulses and cooking oil have increased by more than 30 percent since August and more than 50 percent since last year and in remote areas, including parts of the country worst hit by the 25 April earthquake and aftershocks, the price of food commodities has increased even further, doubling in some cases.
In Gorkha, a community close to the earthquake epicentre, a 25 kg sack of rice now costs 5,000 Nepali Rupees ($46.80) – up from 2,500 Rupees ($23.40) before the blockade and the price of cooking oil and sugar has also doubled in the town, said WFP.
Additionally, WFP said that the price of fuel also increased across the country, with the cost of refilling a cylinder of cooking gas costing from 1,500 Nepali rupees ($14.00) before the blockade to between 8,000 and 11,000 rupees ($75 and $102) today, an increase of as much as 630 per cent.
At the same time, the UN agency noted that a quarter of people in Nepal on less than $1.25 a day, and on average spend 60 percent of their income on food, which means that most have only a limited capacity to cope with shocks such as disasters and soaring food prices. ...
Israelis kill three Palestinians, including alleged assailant [Daily Star - 12/1/15]
A group of Israeli extremists prevented Palestinian children from going to school in the southern occupied West Bank's Hebron city on Thursday, the director of the Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Education Hebron office told Ma'an.
Bassam Tahboub said Anat Cohen, a well-known extremist who frequently harasses Palestinian residents in the area, first "attacked" the school children, "preventing" them from reaching Qurtuba middle school.
Following Cohen's initial attack, other extremists reportedly joined in and began cursing and scaring the children. Instead of attempting to continue to school, the children decided to turn back and head home, Tahboub said. ... [Maan - 10/12/15]
Greece to hold vote on recognition of Palestine state [Press TV - 11/12/15]
Saudi Arabia-led coalition forces have carried out a series of air strikes targeting schools that were still in use, in violation of international humanitarian law, and hampering access to education for thousands of Yemen’s children, said Amnesty International in a new briefing published today.
The coalition forces are armed by states including the USA and UK. ... [Media Release - 11/12/15]
The front-runner for the presidential race in the Philippines has admitted on national radio that he killed at least three men suspected of kidnapping and rape in his city, drawing condemnation from international rights groups who warned against an escalating "culture of impunity" in the country.
Amnesty International urged Philippine prosecutors on Friday to look into Rodrigo Duterte, mayor of the southern city of Davao, who said in an interview that shooting "criminals" is justifiable. ... [Al Jazeera - 11/12/15]
Viet Nam: UN rights office alarmed at series of attacks against human rights defenders [Media Releasee - 11/12/15]:
... According to Ms. Shamdasani, the third such incident took place since September, when Mr. Nguyen Van Dai, a prominent lawyer and three other human rights defenders were beaten by a group of about 20 men armed with sticks at a training forum they were conducting.
She added that the police attempted to halt the forum but the 60 participants refused to leave, forcing the police to stay and monitor the session, following which the attack took place. ...
General Motors Co said Thursday it is buying wind energy to power production of some its biggest sport utility vehicles at a factory in Texas.
GM said in a statement it has agreed to buy 30 megawatts of energy from a Texas wind farm operated by a unit of Spanish renewable energy company EDP Renovaveis SA.
EDP is developing a 250 megawatt wind farm in Edinburg, Texas. GM will use the wind-generated electricity to power production of Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade SUVs at its factory in Arlington, Texas. ... [Reuters - 10/12/15]
Dow and DuPont to merge in deal to create $130 billion chemical giant [Reuters – 11/12/15]
Indian police find 300 trafficked brick kiln workers in dire conditions [Channel News Asia - 11/12/15]
Bangladesh asylum seeker deported after working for years in Japan [Japan Today - 11/12/15]:
Abu Said Shekh was awakened in his cell at a Japanese immigration detention center one recent morning and told he was leaving for the airport.
After nine years of seeking political asylum in Japan, he was being deported to Bangladesh.
He was among 22 illegal immigrants, including an undisclosed number of failed asylum seekers, that were put on a state-chartered plane and flown back to Bangladesh on Nov 25, Japan’s Justice Ministry said.
Now back in Dhaka, Shekh is in hiding, saying he fears for his safety on what he calls a trumped-up court indictment on charges stemming from his membership in Awami League, then the main opposition party.
“I can’t stay with my family,” said Shekh by telephone. “I’m very worried about the court case and whether I’ll be arrested again.”
Shekh’s case before a special tribunal court in Dhaka was thrown out in 2009, which said the charges were “political harassment”. But because he did not personally appear in court to hear that judgment he still faces an arrest warrant, court documents in Dhaka say. The Awami League in Dhaka confirmed that Shekh was a member of the party.
Shekh featured in a Reuters investigation in July into the use of asylum seekers and other migrant workers in the Subaru automaker Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd’s supply chain. At the time, he painted interior car parts, working illegally but protected from deportation while his asylum claim was being assessed.
Reuters found that firms in Subaru’s supply chain, facing severe labor shortages and straining to meet soaring demand from the United States, had turned to a gray market of foreign workers, including asylum seekers.
Japan has the lowest refugee recognition rate among Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. It accepted only 11 out of 5,000 applicants last year. In September, Tokyo announced plans to tighten restrictions on asylum seekers’ right to work and placed new curbs on some reapplicants.
Last week, four Japanese non-governmental organisations criticised the “human rights and humanitarian problems” of detaining and deporting at short notice failed asylum seekers like Shekh, and other long-term residents of Japan.
Shekh was charged with attacking police and damaging public property with explosives during a demonstration in 2002 by the Awami League, then the party in opposition.
Political violence is common in Bangladesh, which has been alternately ruled by the Awami League, which is now in power, or the Bangladesh Nationalist Party for the past 24 years.
The recent execution of two opposition leaders for atrocities committed in the 1971 war of independence has further heightened tensions.
Shekh said he came to Japan in 2003 to escape the indictment and overstayed his visa. He first claimed asylum in June 2006 and said he applied again five years later, working throughout his time in Japan.
He was arrested on Nov 20 and held in an immigration detention center in Tokyo. Four days later, Shekh was told his appeal of Japan’s decision not to grant him asylum had been rejected.
He was deported along with 21 other Bangladeshis.
It was the fourth round of the Justice Ministry’s program of forced deportations by chartered planes. Japan deported 26 Sri Lankan and six Vietnamese nationals in 2014, and 74 Filipinos and 46 Thais the year before, the Justice Ministry said. It added that an unspecified number of failed asylum seekers were among the deportees in each round.
Over 5,500 people were deported from Japan last year, government data show. It does not say how many of them were failed asylum seekers like Shekh.
Opening up to immigration remains politically unpalatable in Japan, despite severe labor shortages caused by an aging population. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has rejected calls from companies and politicians to relax strict controls on blue-collar migrants, vowing to increase the number of women and elderly people in the labor force before letting in foreign manual workers.
@HamiFaraj [12/12/15]: Why is channel 9 promoting this is ? You did enough damage 10 years ago!
A Southern California mosque was damaged Friday in a fire reported to authorities as a possible arson.
Flames were reported just after noon at the Islamic Center of Palm Springs, according to the Riverside County Fire Department. The fire was contained to the small building's front lobby, and no one was injured.
Its cause is under investigation.
People there described hearing a "loud boom" and seeing flames, said Reymundo Nour, the mosque's acting imam, who was not on the site at the time. He said the mosque had been "firebombed." ... [ABC News - 11/12/15]
Two Muslim women attacked in Tampa Bay area [10 News - 11/12/15]
Women in US lagging behind in human rights, UN experts report after ‘myth-shattering’ visit [Media Release - 11/12/15]:
... As regards the women’s anti-discrimination convention, the experts noted that the US is one of only seven countries which have not ratified the treaty, widely known as CEDAW.
“We are of the unreserved opinion that ratification of CEDAW is crucial, on both the domestic and the global levels, in order to confirm the US commitment to substantive equality for women in all spheres of life,” they underscored.
The experts said their 10-day official visit to the US, which ran from 30 November-11 December, was particularly timely since the political rhetoric of some of the candidates for the upcoming Presidential elections has included “unprecedented hostile stereotyping of women” along with “increasingly restrictive legislative measures by many of the states to prevent women’s access to exercise of their reproductive rights.”
They also noted that a wide diversity in state law and practice in the US makes it impossible to give a comprehensive report, but what they found nevertheless pointed to an “overall picture of women’s missing rights.”
“We understand the complexity of federalism, but this cannot be regarded as a justification for failure to secure these rights, which are universal, indivisible and inalienable,” the experts underscored.
They also stressed that while all women are the victims of these missing rights, those who are poor, belong to Native American, Afro-American and Hispanic ethnic minorities, migrant women, LBTQ women, women with disabilities and older women are disparately vulnerable.
“We were appalled by the over-incarceration of women, mostly for non-violent crimes, and the failure to find non-custodial solutions for mothers of dependent children,” they said, expressing deep concern at the women prisoners’ conditions, which include mass accommodation spaces, over-crowding in cells, solitary confinement, shackling during childbirth and lack of support for re-entry.
Highlighting the “deeply disturbing” condition of migrant women in detention centres, in particular women with minor children who are in prolonged detention, the experts said that proper health care services are not systematically provided in a timely manner to these women, despite the horrifying physical and emotional ordeals endured by many of them in their transit to the US.
“We also received allegations of women being subjected to an ‘expedited removal process’ resulting in the denial of many legitimate asylum claims,” they added.
UNHCR Australian branch want your money.
But where is
the money going, and who will help the refugees Australia pushes away ??
Secret federal government documents cast doubt over whether Australia told Indonesia and the United Nations about a retrospective ban on taking refugees from official channels.
In November last year Australia announced it would no longer accept refugees who applied for resettlement through the UN’S refugee agency in Indonesia.
The ban applied to anyone who registered with the UNHCR from 1 July 2014.
An undated draft talking point document, released by the department of immigration under freedom of information, suggests Jakarta and the UNHCR were not consulted before the changes were made public.
“It has always been our intention to discuss these measures with the government of Indonesia and the UNHCR before any announcement was made,” the talking points say.
It was regretted information about the measures had “entered the public domain before these discussions could take place”.
But another document said the Australian embassy in Jakarta briefed Indonesian officials in September and November last year before an official ministerial announcement on 18 November.
The department insists the first document was a draft and was not used.
According to the UNHCR, there were 11,186 refugees and asylum seekers in Indonesia in December 2014.
The documents show the federal government cut the refugee intake – for those who were registered with the UNHCR before the deadline – to 450 in the 2014-15 financial year.
The figure was 150 fewer than the previous two years.
The documents blamed an increase in places allocated to Syrians and Iraqis from the Middle East for the cut in refugees in Indonesia.
“This measure is designed to reduce the movement of asylum seekers to Indonesia and encourage them to seek resettlement in countries of first asylum,” they say.
Australia accepted more refugees from Indonesia than any other resettlement nation. In 2013 New Zealand resettled 78 refugees, Sweden seven and the US five. More than 186 refugees were resettled by other countries last year.
Thai police 'wrap up' trafficking investigation, Rohingya refugees still trapped in Myanmar [Bangkok Post - 11/12/15]
It won't be Australia's political, media and human rights establishment who are impacted by the consequences of becoming a regional pariah - and they are letting this happen, with nary a whimper ---> Australia’s poisonous stance on refugees [Global Indonesian Voices - 10/12/15]
12 December 2015