No. journalism. No opposition. Australia continues its anti-refugee torture, exile and turnback policy with impunity ---> Immigration Minister boasts about refoulement deal with Vietnam [Media Release - 12/12/16]
ABC's "good refugee" yarns while 1,000s are denied right to seek asylum = complicity in ongoing atrocities [12/12/16]
Region continues pushing back Rohingya refugees to Aung San Suu Kyi's US-backed, gas-fuelled genocide [Samakal - 12/12/16]
“A drop of oil is more valuable than a drop of blood”. Winston Churchill ... Myanmar hükümeti 2013’te “Açık deniz petrol ve gaz keşif lisans ihalesi” açmış ve Amerikan Chevron, Norveçli Statoil, İngiliz Shell, Fransız Total ve Avustralya’dan Woodside Petroleum Ltd’in de aralarında bulunduğu 30 petrol devi bölgede arama izni almıştı Bu sondaj çalışmalarının sonucunda 18 bölgede 2.1 milyar varil olan ham petrol rezervi, 3.2 milyar varile yükselirken, bölgede 90 trilyon metreküp doğalgaz rezervine ulaşıldı. Akıllara durgunluk veren bu rakamlar, Myanmar’ı enerji alanında dünyada ilk 10’a sokuyordu. ... [Türkiye Gazetesi - 10/12/16]
@JamilaHanan [12/12/16]: Look at this photo.All smiles.2nd huge attack against #Rohingya had just taken place, 12th/13th Nov driven from homes+shot with helicopter. ---> Amb @scot_a_marciel & a delegation from Washington, D.C. met w/ senior MM gov officials in Naypyitaw for U.S.-Myanmar Partnership Meeting. @USEmbassyBurma [15/11/16]
Aung San Suu Kyi calls special retreat to brief ASEAN Foreign Ministers on her genocide in Rakhine [Nikkei Asian Review - 12/12/16]
Myanmar’s Investigation Commission visits Northern Maungdaw [Mir Ahmed A.B Siddiquee - 11/12/16]:
... Mr. Aye Myint, a human rights observer based in northern Maungdaw, said “the Rohingya communities do not trust the investigation commission because it was formed with the same bunch of people that are more or less complicit in the crimes against the community in the region. Hence, it is naturally bound to be biased and without transparency.
“However, the locals met the commission with the belief that something is better than nothing. The Rohingya men and women explained the commission members about the military’s atrocities such as setting their homes on fire, plunders of their parties, the tortures, arbitrary arrests, extrajudicial killings of the civilians, and gang-rapes against the women/girls.” ...
Canada ---> Demonstrators gathered at Kitchener City Hall on Saturday to bring attention to suffering of Rohingyas in Myanmar.
“They just don’t think we are human,” says Anwar Arkani.
“They treat us like insects. People are getting killed day and night. Their houses are being burned.” ... [CTV - 10/12/16]
Battles rages in Je Lan; Burmese Army Continues shelling Gidon post [Kachinland News - 12/12/16]
The newly appointed Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu O Panneerselvam, has written to India’s prime minister to call for action against the Sri Lankan navy after yet another reported attack on Tamil Nadu fishermen this weekend.
Mr Panneerselvam told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that "the Sri Lankan Navy continues to unleash its reign of terror on our fishermen in the Palk Bay, where these fishermen have earned their meagre livelihood from time immemorial".
A group of 8 Tamil Nadu fishermen were allegedly assaulted by Sri Lankan naval troops who attacked them with iron rods off the coast of Neduntheevu.
A further 15 Tamil Nadu fishermen and 107 boats remain detained by Sri Lankan security forces added Mr Panneerselvam.
Slamming the “inhuman and barbaric acts of the Sri Lankan Navy” he requested that Mr Modi “intervene personally” and “use diplomatic channels to curb the violent actions of the Sri Lankan Navy”. [Tamil Guardian - 12/12/16]
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will visit Putrajaya in Malaysia on Tuesday, where he and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will witness the signing of a bilateral agreement for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR). ... [Channel News Asia - 12/12/16]
Malaysia's security forces have dealt a serious blow to the notorious Abu Sayyaf group by killing the leader of a squad that has been snatching tourists, fishermen and sailors in waters off Sabah and the Philippines' Sulu archipelago, Philippine officials said on Saturday.
Abraham Hamid, the alleged kingpin, was among the three men killed by police officers from Malaysia's Tiger Platoon in a shootout last Thursday evening off Sabah's Semporna town, the officials said. ... [The Straits Times - 11/12/16]
Senior Chinese newspaper manager falls to his death [Reuters – 12/12/16]
Japan said on Monday it had protested to China over a Chinese complaint that Japanese fighter jets had engaged in "dangerous and unprofessional" behavior when they scrambled at the weekend as Chinese aircraft flew near Japanese islands. ... [Reuters - 12/12/16]
Okinawa set to lose lawsuit filed by state over US base relocation [Japan Times – 12/12/16]
Japan and Russia look set to improve ties and clinch some business deals when their leaders meet this week, but both sides are scaling back expectations of a big breakthrough in a territorial row that has blocked a peace treaty to formally end World War Two. ... [Japan Today - 12/12/16]
@Clintonswalk [10/12/16]: Most of you are probably aware by now, but Clinton is not walking alone! Noonie is on the bike and Garry in the Justice Mobile #ClintonsWalk
Traditional owners have launched a fresh legal challenge to Adani’s proposed Carmichael mine, declaring they would go all the way to the high court to stand as the last “line of defence” against the contentious project.
Wangan and Jagalingou opponents of the mine on Tuesday went to the Queensland Court of Appeal to dispute the state mining minister’s approval of Adani’s mining leases.
In launching their fourth simultaneous legal challenge to a project that would override native title on most of their country, the Wangan and Jagalingou traditional owners’ council criticised Adani group chairman Gautam Adani for ignoring their request to meet during his Australian visit to promote the mine.
Spokesman Adrian Burragubba said the council was “offended that Mr Adani failed to even acknowledge our concerns”.
“But the offence is minor compared to the way Adani mining and the Queensland government have treated us and our rights,” he said.
“Not once have they had the decency to speak to us as they plan their takeover and destruction of our ancestral lands and waters.
“Every step of the way they have undermined us, opposed us and attempted to coerce us into accepting a pittance for relinquishing our native title.” ... [Guardian - 7/12/16]
Why are children being selectively filmed as they are tortured in Australian detention centres?
Teen inmate Dylan Voller says being hooded in a restraint chair and tear-gassed are the scariest things to have ever happened to him, and that he felt like he was "going to die".
The 19-year-old inmate at Darwin's adult prison is a key witness the Royal Commission into youth detention and child protection, and has spoken publicly for the first time, giving several hours of evidence.
He said when restrained in the chair he felt completely defenceless.
"I was getting dizzy from panicking, I was getting agitated because the officer holding the camera was sitting there. He'd act nice and then turn the camera off and start trying to agitate me and then turn the camera back on," he said.
"The feeling of not being able to do anything, those officers could have done anything to me for that three-and-a-half hours and I wouldn't have been able to do anything about it.
"Fear of them having control … there was no responsible person who would have said, 'that's enough, we need to get him out of that restraint chair now, he's been in there for too long'."
He said he vomited in his mouth while hooded, and that he wet himself while restrained in the chair.
"Being put in a restraint chair was one of the scariest things that's happened to me, that and the tear-gassing," he said.
He said when he and five other detainees were gassed, he "felt like I was going to die".
Voller also said that while in detention guards would often strip inmates and empty their cells as punishment for things such as ringing the intercom.
"There was a time they left me in there with no clothes, no sheets, no mattress, no nothing all night, and they turned the air-con on full blast. I was crying, asking for a blanket," Voller said. ...
Dylan Voller, the youth at the centre of the Turnbull Government's Royal Commission into indigenous youth custody, has had his phone privileges cut days before he is due to give evidence.
His mother Joanne Voller said the family had been told by Northern Territory prison authorities that Dylan would be unable to make phone calls for 28 days.
Voller is expected to give evidence to the Royal Commission in a closed court on Monday.
Ms Voller had visited Dylan twice last week and left $150 for phone credits with his lawyer so that he could contact his family.
Ms Voller said later that her daughter Kirra, who visited Dylan on Saturday, was told his phone call rights had been revoked because Kirra had contacted him via Facebook.
Ms Voller said her daughter had regularly used Facebook to contact Dylan and there had never previously been a problem.
A Northern Territory Corrections spokesman said: "Because of privacy rules we can't comment on the private records of individual prisoners." ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 10/12/16]
Latest CIA torture documents show "evidence of war crimes" and level of brutality that even shocked Bush [Democracy Now - 17/6/16]:
... JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And the role of psychologists in this? What do the documents show?
DROR LADIN [Attorney with the ACLU]: I mean, the role of psychologists is horrifying. So we represent also in another lawsuit Gul Rahman’s family over his death under torture.
And these documents now reveal why he was singled out for such brutality.
And it’s because of this psychological theory that they could identify someone who was a sophisticated resister, and then deploy this escalating set of tortures in order to break him.
And when you now have these reports, we can see why they thought he was such a sophisticated resister.
And this is what it is: He complained about the violations of his human rights.
He complained about the poor treatment. And in a detention facility in which he would freeze to death from hypothermia, he said he had trouble thinking because it was so cold.
They write this down in cables and say, "Gul Rahman is a very sophisticated resister. We need to employ even more brutality." ...
New York Times' Roger Cohen exhibits a complete lack of self awareness ---> ... Bill Clinton continued the Bush policy of keeping refugees at Guantanamo indefinitely.
But Clinton introduced a new policy as well: testing the Haitians for HIV, and segregating those who tested positive. In doing so, he created “the world’s first HIV detention camp.”
Conditions in the HIV camp were horrific. The facility was a “leaky barracks with poor sanitation, surrounded by razor wire and guard towers,” and numerous detainees were housed in tents.
Many of the refugees were gravely ill with AIDS, and the crowded facility was characterized by fear, squalor, and uncertainty.
After being held for more than a year, some of the refugees began a hunger strike. (The military retaliated by putting the leader of the hunger strike in solitary confinement.)
Communications home had to be smuggled out. As one refugee wrote in a letter to her family, “I have lost in the struggle for life . . . There is nothing left for me. Take care of my children, so they have strength to continue my struggle . . . I have lost hope. I am alone in my distress.” ... [Jacobin - 22/10/16]
There is no "Australia-US refugee deal" and there is no "resettlement" - there never was. There is only indefinite detention - and THAT is the policy. ---> I was told to lie: Manus Island staffer [SBS - 25/2/14]
Australia's refugee concentration camps on Nauru and Manus Island were reopened by the ALP under the watchful guidance of the United States (i.e. Hillary Clinton's State Department) [Buzzfeed - 4/6/16]:
Star Labor candidate Peter Khalil has confirmed he acted as a protected source for the US government, feeding them information about Labor’s asylum seeker policy.
Khalil served as a foreign policy adviser to former prime minister Kevin Rudd back in 2007 and was also director of national security policy for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq from 2003-04. ...
@_LaTania [10/12/16]: ACT NOW: Stop deportation of Black father beaten unconscious by Chicago ICE, demand investigation ...
Nauru magistrate departs after contract not renewed - Australia's political prisoners are still imprisoned [RNZI - 12/11/16]
Australia's political prisoners protest on Nauru, March 2015
Retiring Chief Justice explains separation of powers re decision on Gillard refugee exile to Malaysia "solution" [ABC - 12/12/16]:
As he nears the end of eight years as the nation's top judge, Robert French is standing by his response to critics of a controversial ruling on Australia's asylum seeker policy.
When the High Court struck down Labor's Malaysia Solution in 2011 it ignited an attack on the courts from politicians the likes of which had not been seen since the Mabo and Wik decisions of the 1990s.
Then prime minister Julia Gillard accused the court of "missing an opportunity to send a message to asylum seekers", and "basically turn[ing] on its head the understanding of the law in this country".
Speaking to The Law Report a month before his retirement — his first media interview in three years — Justice French said he remained comfortable with how he handled the situation.
"Generally speaking it is a very bad idea for judges who have been criticised to engage in some sort of public debate with the critic," he said.
Though others responded to Ms Gillard's comments, he said it would have been "a bad look ... to get dragged into that sort of exchange".
Justice French said no-one enjoyed criticism, but judges had to expect their reasons would come under scrutiny.
"If you don't have the capacity to shrug off that kind of criticism and just say ... it goes with the territory, and just get on with the job, then you really shouldn't be in judicial office."
Following the Malaysia Solution ruling, ALP parliamentary secretary David Bradbury fumed that High Court judges "don't have to take telephone calls about boats crashing into rocks on Christmas Island".
Justice French said while he appreciated the position of ministers or public officials dealing with on-the-ground realities, "the court's role is to interpret and apply the law as best it can". ...
SIEV-221: Lessons from a disaster [Project Safecom Inc.]
... Several of the survivors from the boat that day and others who lost relatives in the disaster have launched a class action suing the Australian government, alleging government agents were negligent in failing to respond to the unfolding disaster quickly enough. ... [Guardian - 28/9/16]
... But did they have to die?
The inquest into the deaths that has been running since March before the West Australian coroner Alastair Hope has heard evidence that suggests there was time to avert this tragedy, time to save more - perhaps all - of the 50 lives lost. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 3/12/11]
... After five days at sea, their boat reached Australian waters, but the engine failed as they struggled to make their way closer to Christmas Island.
The Rohingya desperately waved to the crew of a passing Australian Navy vessel, which Mr Abdul said did not respond. ... [The Straits Times - 1/2/16]
US Envoy on Refugees, Migration Policy in Southeast Asia [Anne Richard] press conference with UNHCR and IOM downplays concerns about Myanmar human rights atrocities and regional refugee bottleneck - signals turnbacks as an acceptable course of action [3/6/15]
Last month, the UNHCR endorsed a reheated proposal for Australia to traffick and exile refugees for slavery in Malaysia [ABC - 22/11/16]:
... MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: So a regional solution. One of the countries the Government is in talks with currently is Malaysia. Malaysia hasn't signed the UN Convention on Refugees. Would you be comfortable with any deal involving that country?
VOLKER TURK [UNHCR]: Well, Malaysia has had a tradition of hosting refugees.
It's true they haven't signed the convention, but there are a lot of opportunities, especially when it comes to access to the labour market, to ensure that one could negotiate a certain standard of treatment for people.
Obviously I am not privy to these negotiations. I've heard about it in the press.
There was a deal that was struck a couple of years ago and we thought that the deal was workable at the time. ...
South East Asia's genocidal, regional refugee bottleneck is a symptom of Australia's (UNHCR backed) exclusionary policies --> Rights groups demand end to indefinite detention of 1,000s of Rohingya refugees in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia [MSRI/Bangkok Post - 12/3/16]
... Rohingya refugees in Kuala Lumpur and Penang in Malaysia told BROUK and Fortify Rights that police routinely used the threat of arrest to extort money and property from them, particularly if they were unable to produce proper documentation or a card demonstrating they were a registered asylum seeker with the UNHCR.
Changes in the UNHCR's registration practices in Malaysia have considerably narrowed access to asylum procedures for Rohingya refugees, the [Everywhere Is Trouble] report said, leaving many without any documents and at risk of serious security abuses, including the possibility of indefinite detention.
Rohingya refugees in Malaysia said the lack of access to UNHCR registration was the single most important issue they faced, followed by a lack of access to affordable healthcare and livelihoods. ... [The Nation - 12/3/16]
Australia funds - and helps implement - UNHCR "durable solutions" militarised border control technology that keeps South East Asia refugees imprisoned and/or destitute - but most importantly - out of our country [New Straits Times - 22/6/16]
UNHCR's new biometrics system helps "verify" 110,000 Myanmar refugees in Thailand [Media Release - 30/6/15]
... The streets are empty
Life goes on ...
'Belfast Child' Simple Minds 
Syrian army continues advance in East Aleppo, continue operations in other provinces [SANA - 11/12/16]
The Syrian army and militias have retreated from the central quarters of Palmyra to positions in the city’s suburbs, Al Ekhbariya television channel said on Sunday citing governor of the Homs province Talal al-Barrazi.
He said it was the decision of the Syrian army command.
He said Islamic State terrorists attacked Palmyra massively from several directions.
"Syrian troops are offering fierce resistance and incur heavy losses to Islamic State militants," he said. [TASS - 11/12/16]
4,000 ISIS fighters regroup, make new attempt to capture Palmyra, Syria – Reconciliation Center [RT - 11/12/16]
Consultations between Russian and US experts on the situation in Syria, and particularly Aleppo, are continuing, a Russian Foreign Ministry official has said.
However, the process is "slow" as Washington is pressing on with its own interests "to influence the situation on the ground." ... [RT - 11/12/16]
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [11/12/16]:
Nineveh: Press sources: 8 civilians from one family were killed including 4 kids and two women as the US-led coalition aircraft shelled Falah neighborhood east of Mosul.
Nineveh: "Ateeq" or the old bridge in Mosul was destroyed as the US-led coalition aircraft targeted it for the second time.
Anbar: The government forces have imposed a curfew on Fallujah after exploding of two car bombs in the city.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter today arrived in Iraq for a visit to recognize and thank U.S., coalition, and Iraqi troops engaged in the counter-ISIL campaign, survey key locations directly supporting the battle for Mosul, and to discuss the next steps in the fight, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a statement. ...
Carter is in the midst of a round-the-world trip to thank deployed U.S. troops for their service over the holidays, meet with important regional partners, and advance U.S. priorities including the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific and the lasting defeat of ISIL, Cook said in the statement.
The trip, he said, already has included visits to Japan, India, Afghanistan and Bahrain.
Cook said the secretary will also travel to Israel, Italy and the United Kingdom, where he will conclude the trip by participating in the latest meeting of defense ministers from the leading military contributors to the international coalition to defeat ISIL. [US Department of Defense - 11/12/16]
Protesters opposed to former PM Maliki’s southern Iraq tour storm conference [IraqiNews.com - 11/12/16]:
... Protesters at all the provinces condemned what they described as corruption and security failures under Maliki.
Besides the emergence of the Islamic State and its occupation of large parts of Iraq during Maliki’s tenure, demonstrators also blamed him for the security failure that led to the June 2014 massacre of more than 1900 air force cadets at Speicher air base north of Iraq by ISIS. ...
12 December 2016