Sydney Morning Herald
, Triggs try to blame LNP for continuing ALP policy of indefinite detention [12/1/16]

... The question of how Australia deals with people who arrive in Australia fleeing persecution has been framed in several ways over the past two decades.

To understand how Australians got to the point where we now accept the brutalisation of innocent men, women and children to ensure they never arrive in Australia, we must look long and hard at the frames created by both major political parties.

Because no issue in recent Australian history has been so tightly or skillfully framed as that of asylum seekers who arrive by boat.


Indeed, both Labor and the Coalition argue the policies have been successful.

The boats have essentially stopped coming to Australia and therefore people are no longer drowning at sea.

This is the big lie.

People are still drowning at sea, but now they are drowning in a different part of the sea – no longer the Indian Ocean so much as the Andaman Sea.


We need to do three things. 

First, grant amnesty to all those currently held on Nauru and Manus Island and bring them to Australia. That’s less than 2,000 women, children and men.

Second, cancel the contracts for Transfield and Wilson Security and begin the diplomatic, legal and financial work necessary to implement a safe, secure and long-term regional solution. This means redirecting the billions of dollars currently being spent on Nauru and Manus Island to meaningfully resourcing the UNHCR in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Contrary to popular belief, most refugees only look to resettlement when home is no longer safe and the place they are in is too inhospitable. We need to support and resource “transit” countries to enable the fast, fair and equitable processing of refugees.

Third, Australia needs to increase its intake of refugees from these newly resourced assessment centres in Indonesia and Malaysia.

However none of this will happen until the dominant narrative around asylum seekers and refugees is successfully challenged.  ...
[New Matilda - 12/1/16]




Israel's domestic intelligence agency on Monday requested a change in Israeli law that would allow a wider range of evidence to be used against Palestinian prisoners in "terrorism cases."

An official representing Shin Bet told the Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice committee that the agency "has been forced to release many terrorists and will continue to do so without a major change to the laws," according to a statement released by the Knesset Tuesday.

Shin Bet requested a change to the laws that would allow Israeli courts to accept as evidence incriminating statements made outside of court, "before a defendant may even be under investigation." ... [Maan - 12/1/16]




Palestinian teen shot after alleged stabbing attempt in Jenin [Maan - 11/1/16]




A Palestinian family from the Ramallah-district village of Beit Sira on Monday denied Israeli media reports that a young woman from their family had intended to carry out a suicide attack in southern Israel. ... [Maan - 11/1/16]




Birzeit University condemns Israeli military attack on campus [Maan - 11/1/16]




‏@saidshouib [11/1/16]:  #Israeli Forces arrested the Palestinian journalist Mujahid AlSaadi after storming his home in #Jenin at dawn today.




The Palestinian journalist Muhammad Al-Qeeq has fallen into a coma, after entering his 48th day of hunger strike, family sources revealed. ... [IMEMC - 11/1/16]





Major Irish firm CRH divests from Israel’s cement industry [Electronic Intifada - 11/1/16]





Israeli settlers desecrate cemetery in Occupied Jerusalem [AhlulBayt News Agency - 10/1/16]





Senior Taliban leader killed with his 10 fighters in Farah province [Khaama - 12/1/16]




Eighteen Islamic State (IS) insurgents have been killed in fresh air raids by the Afghan Air forces (AAF) in the Achin district of eastern Nangarhar province, an official said on Tuesday.

Attaullah Khogyani, the governor’s spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News fighter jets pounded IS hideouts in different locations of Peshi locality late on Monday.  ... [Pajhwok - 12/1/16]





Nearly one in four children growing up in conflict zones are missing out on education, with Afghanistan among the four worst-affected countries, the United Nations children's agency (UNICEF) said on Tuesday.

An estimated 24 million children of school age are not in school in 22 countries affected by conflict, the agency found.

South Sudan has the largest proportion of children out of school, 51 percent, followed by 47 percent in Niger, 41 percent in Sudan, and 40 percent in Afghanistan. ... [TOLO News - 12/1/16]





Board of Investment (BOI) on Tuesday has recommended 12 points for establishment of economic zones in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The board has come up with 12 recommendations on Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif’s directives. ... [Dunya News - 12/1/16]





At least 10 people have been killed in an explosion at central Istanbul's historic Sultanahmet square, a major tourist attraction, the city governor's office said.

The explosion occurred at about 10.20am local time on Tuesday morning. In a statement, the Istanbul governor's office said 10 people were killed and 15 were injured. ... [Al Jazeera - 12/1/16]





Dozens die in attacks on Iraqi casino and mall [Al Jazeera - 12/1/16]





... They were talking about the Lottery. Winston looked back when he had gone thirty metres. They were still arguing, with vivid, passionate faces. The Lottery, with its weekly pay-out of enormous prizes, was the one public event to which the proles paid serious attention. It was probable that there were some millions of proles for whom the Lottery was the principal if not the only reason for remaining alive. It was their delight, their folly, their anodyne, their intellectual stimulant. Where the Lottery was concerned, even people who could barely read and write seemed capable of intricate calculations and staggering feats of memory. There was a whole tribe of men who made a living simply by selling systems, forecasts, and lucky amulets. Winston had nothing to do with the running of the Lottery, which was managed by the Ministry of Plenty, but he was aware (indeed everyone in the party was aware) that the prizes were largely imaginary. Only small sums were actually paid out, the winners of the big prizes being non-existent persons. In the absence of any real intercommunication between one part of Oceania and another, this was not difficult to arrange. ...




'Nineteen Eighty-four', George Orwell [1949]




At least 10 people are killed and more than 20 others injured after Saudi warplanes bomb a historical building in Yemen’s Sana’a province.  ... [Press TV - 12/1/16]




In Yemen, civilians suffer relentless bombing by Saudi-led coalition [The Intercept - 12/1/16]




Yemeni teen Khayria Abdel Wahab was making the beds in the home where she was a housekeeper when a shattering blast signalled a heavy bombardment.

Panicked by the explosion, the 17-year-old ran out into the crowds fleeing towards the port in her hometown, all the while searching for her mother and her seven brothers and sisters.

For three days, Abdel Wahab tried to find her family.

"I sat with strangers all desperately looking for someone," she says, remembering the moment in early November.

"Mobile phones were not reachable, the network was down. Nobody could give me any hope."

She was warned that staying in Yemen was not safe.

"I had no alternative," Abdel Wahab says.

"I had to flee to Somalia."

The unaccompanied minor is among more than 168,000 people who have fled violence in Yemen since March, when years of political instability, economic hardship and sectarian tensions erupted into civil war.

More than 9,500 of those who fled went to Somaliland, an autonomous region of Somalia across the Gulf of Aden from Yemen. ...  [UNHCR Media Release - 11/1/16]




Western media starves truth in Syria [ICH/Sputnik News - 11/1/16]:


... Dr Hayes says there is a clinical method in the madness that Syrian towns and communities have been plunged into.

The objective is to destroy the rich pluralist fabric of Syrian society and culture.

"Maloula is one of the earliest Christian dwellings in the world. People there speak Aramaic dating back to the time of Jesus," explained Hayes.

"But the community there also include Muslims, Sunni, Shia, Alawite, Druze and other faiths. They have been living peacefully together for centuries. Maloula is an epitome of larger Syrian society. It is pluralist, peacefully coexisting."

What the foreign-backed mercenaries have tried to do since the conflict erupted in March 2011 is to destroy the tapestry of Syrian society by brutalizing communities and trying to hack open sectarian schisms.

 Hayes believes that the mercenary brigades running amok in Syria for the past five years have been directed by Western military intelligence, the American CIA and British MI6, along with Turk intelligence.

"The command and control of these terrorists is outside Syria. The terrorists are following a demonic, but deliberate, plan to destroy the society."

The Western news media are the propaganda arm of the state-sponsored terrorist assault on Syria. A country has been brought to within a breath of being demolished totally, of being turned into failed state like so many other countries where Western powers have illegally interfered "to bring democracy". ...



Terror attacks continue across Syria and Iraq


 US Department of Defense [11/1/16]:


U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Strikes in Syria

Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 14 strikes in Syria:

-- Near Abu Kamal, one strike destroyed an ISIL pipeline fitter truck.

-- Near Raqqah, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL cranes.

-- Near Ayn Isa, two strikes destroyed an ISIL bed down location, an ISIL command and control node, an ISIL tunnel and an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Dayr Az Zawr, two strikes destroyed three ISIL-used cranes and damaged a separate ISIL-used crane.

-- Near Manbij, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions.

-- Near Mar’a, four strikes struck four separate ISIL tactical units and wounded an ISIL fighter.

Strikes in Iraq

Bomber, fighter, ground attack and remotely piloted aircraft and rocket artillery conducted 12 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Haditha, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Hit, one strike struck inoperable coalition equipment, denying ISIL access.

-- Near Kisik, one strike destroyed an ISIL warehouse.

-- Near Mosul, four strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL improvised explosive device facility and destroyed 11 ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Qayyarah, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL-used culvert.

-- Near Ramadi, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL mortar positions, two ISIL heavy machine guns and two ISIL fighting positions.





Russia supports Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces and will back anti-Assad rebels as long as they are fighting Islamic State, President Vladimir Putin told Germany’s Bild, countering claims that Moscow only backs the regime rather than hitting jihadists.

“We support both the al-Assad’s army and the armed opposition,” Putin said in a lengthy recent interview to the newspaper, now published in full.

“Some of them have publicly declared this, others prefer to remain silent, but the work is on-going.”

According to the President, “this is hundreds, thousands of armed people fighting Islamic State (IS, previously ISIS/ISIL).”

“We coordinate our joint operations with them and support their offensives by airstrikes in various sections of the frontline,” Putin said. ... [RT - 12/1/16]




Russia has delivered over 1,000 airstrikes in Syria since start of year — general [TASS - 11/1/16]




Three children were killed and two persons were injured in terrorist rocket attacks on al-Ashrafiyeh neighborhood in Aleppo city.

A source at Aleppo police Command told SANA on Monday that the Takfiri terrorists positioned in Bani Zaid neighborhood targeted al-Ashrafiyeh neighborhood with rocket shells, claiming the lives of three children and injuring two civilians. ... [SANA - 11/1/16]




UN Security Council on Monday held an emergency meeting on the humanitarian situation in the besieged regions of Syria.

The meeting was convened upon requests from Spain and New Zealand, both of them nonpermanent members of the UN at the moment, and was held behind closed doors.

The New Zealand ambassador to the UN, Gerard van Bohemen said a decision to convene the session had been taken in the wake of reports on deaths from starvation in the cities blocked by Syrian government troops and armed groupings likewise. ... [TASS - 12/1/16]




First aid convoys enter besieged Syrian town of Madaya [RT - 11/1/16]




Jordan says 16,000 Syrian refugees stranded on border [Yahoo - 11/1/16]





Germany has been sending an increasing number of migrants back to Austria every day since the beginning of the month, Austrian police say.

Many had no valid documents, whilst others did not want to apply for asylum in Germany but in other countries, notably in Scandinavia, police said.

New Year's Eve attacks on women in Cologne, blamed on migrants, have put pressure on [Scapegoating has given] Chancellor Angela Merkel [an excuse].

Most of those sent back to Austria are not Syrians, who usually get asylum. Instead, they are migrants mostly from Afghanistan as well as Morocco and Algeria, Austrian police said ... [BBC - 11/1/16]




How many refugee boats did the Australian "Fuck your mothers ... fuck your family ..." Navy - with the support of the political, media and human rights establishment - push back in the last 24 hours? ----->  @guardiacostiera [11/1/16]:  #CentraleOperativa coordina soccorsi a 2gommoni: #NaveFiorillo #GuardiaCostiera e Unità Canarias @EUNAVFORMED_OHQ salvano 220 #migranti


One dead, up to 5 missing from migrant boat: Italy coastguard [Ahram – 11/1/16]




Proactiva Open Arms [VIDEO - 11/1/16]:   While we were sleeping, over 200 refugees were risking their lives in the middle of the night. They were rescued at dawn, and now they're safe and sound. #safepassage #nomoredrownings...




Rescues in the Aegean Sea with the MOAS search and rescue team [Jason Florio - 9-10/1/16]




@MSF_Sea [10/1/16]:   Just another kid who loves his pet bird. How much more of his childhood will be lived under the label of "refugee"?




‏@BalkanNewsbeat [10/1/16]:  Activists from #Croatia & #Slovenia meet on their border to cut through razor-wire erected to stop would-be migrants





German activists aid refugees in camps along Balkan route [VIDEO - Revolution News - 10/11/15]



On 28 December 2015, The Age said "It's time to set the refugees free".




So why aren't they following up on their powerful editorial by directly challenging Turnbull's anti refugee ideology?


... We have some asylum seekers, but that’s pretty much stopped.

We have stopped the boats with our policies, which are regarded as cruel by many people.

But I have to say again, our policy on border protection is harsh, but it has been absolutely demonstrated that it is better than any other alternative. ...



Israel and Australia: A conversation with Turnbull [Jewish Journal - 25/8/15]



The Age [28/12/15]:


... The Age believes strongly, and we will say this until the policy ends, that the strategy of turning back boats carrying asylum seekers is ignoble. It demonstrates a paucity of imagination. It has been ruthlessly executed, without proper regard for the asylum claims of those people intercepted. And it has brought this nation into disrepute around the world.

The asylum seekers who arrive here have not broken the law. We will say it again: they are not "illegals". They have used the avenues allowed to anyone under international law – under the United Nations covenants to which Australia subscribes – to seek refuge from all forms of persecution.

It is time to call an amnesty, to end the imprisonment of people who came here seeking help and a better life. It is time to recognise that jailing people in detention facilities for years on end, denying them hope or any alternative, and treating them without compassion, is the most inhumane thing that we could do – short of shipping them back to the situation that they fear in their own countries.

No good can possibly be served by detaining people a day longer in camps in Third World nations. No good is served by denying refugees who are living in Australia the right to work. No good comes from demonising refugees, by ostracising them from the mainstream community. ...




Indeed ALL Australian policitians should be held accountable for their lack of response to this   ---->  600 refugees in Australian concentration camp on Manus Island write open letter demanding assisted suicide [Independent - 2/12/15]




Why is there no sanction against signatories to the UN Refugee Convention who no longer accept refugees, and push asylum seekers away and/or imprison them in island gulags?



Guardian [11/12/15]:

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.





New Zealand's offer to "resettle" 150 of Australia's exiled refugees a year never taken up [Guardian – 11/1/16]




New Zealand government refers refugees to Australia [RNZI - 13/6/15]:


The Government has told 65 asylum seekers wanting to live in New Zealand to contact United Nations officials in Australia.

The people, from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar, say they were heading for New Zealand when they were shipwrecked on an Indonesian reef earlier this month.

In a letter seen by Radio New Zealand, the group made a plea to the Government for asylum, saying it is unsafe for them to return home.

A written reply from the office of the Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse, said while New Zealand accepted 750 refugees annually, it could not pick and choose.

It said the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Canberra was responsible for inquiries dealing with New Zealand and suggested the group approach that office. [The UNHCR Canberra have said nothing - as is their usual response to regional refugee  issues - and the media have not asked them about the refugees' predicament.]

A UN representative in Indonesia said they met with the group, 52 of whom were registered as refugees.




Australia's asylum seeker persecution: How the media create a myth [Independent Australia - 3/3/14]




... Initially, Homeland Security officials said they were detaining the families to send a message to others in Central America to deter them from coming to the United States illegally.

In February, a federal court in Washington, D.C., ruled that strategy unconstitutional.

Officials stopped invoking deterrence as a factor in deciding whether to release mothers and children as they seek asylum in the United States. ... [New York Times - 25/7/15]




Where's the money going, and why is this organisation beyond scrutiny for its silence in the face of escalating human rights atrocities against refugees at the hands of the Australian government?  



Sydney Morning Herald  [26/1/15]:


... Denton, 54, whose "real job" is chief executive of law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth, has been made an officer in the general division (AO) for his work in business and commerce, the arts and social welfare, and with refugees.

Denton helped set up the UNHCR's Australian support group 13 years ago to highlight the work of the commission and to increase fund-raising globally.





John Denton AO was recognised for his service to business, his support of the arts sector and his contribution to social welfare and the rights of refugees.

Denton has been the founding Australian chair of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees since 2002. ... [Lawyers Weekly - 26/1/15]




Australia for UNHCR is governed by a board of directors who generously volunteer their time and their expertise to the strategic management and governance of the organisation.


... Australia for UNHCR raised AUD$26.7 million for UNHCR’s humanitarian programs in 2014, a 17 per cent increase on the previous year. ... 2014 Annual Report


According to their 2013 Annual Report, 67,000 Australians donated to Australia for UNHCR, facilitating emergency responses in Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Philippines, South Sudan and Syria.

Donations and gifts to Australia for UNHCR amounted to $22,716,276





UNHCR in Jordan excitedly promotes expensive, militarised ‏border control techonology as it creeps into mainstream ---->  ‏@And_Harper [8/11/15]:  Rest of world is now waking up 2 what we are doing in #jordan w @IrisGuard @CairoAmmanBank @Refugees #innovation




UNHCR's new biometrics system helps "verify" 110,000 Myanmar refugees in Thailand [Media Release - 30/6/15]





Newly-released documents expose more explicitly the details of IBM's pivotal role in the Holocaust -- all six phases: identification, expulsion from society, confiscation, ghettoization, deportation, and even extermination. Moreover, the documents portray with crystal clarity the personal involvement and micro-management of IBM president Thomas J. Watson in the company's co-planning and co-organizing of Hitler's campaign to destroy the Jews. ... [Huffington Post - 28/2/12]




Letter to DHS outlines problematic practices that undermine due process protections for asylum seekers [American Immigration Council - 11/1/16]




Historic settlement over NYPD's anti-Muslim spying imposes oversight and bars ethnic-based targeting [Democracy Now - 11/1/16]





Abby Martin interviews Dr. Deepa Kumar, Rutgers University professor and author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire to discuss how Islamophobia is a reinforcement and basis for the structures of Empire. ... [VIDEO - TRNN/teleSUR - 11/1/16]







Siegfried Sassoon [1917]



"No doubt they'll soon get well; the shock and strain

Have caused their stammering, disconnected talk.

Of course they're 'longing to go out again', –

These boys with old, scared faces, learning to walk.

They'll soon forget their haunted nights; their cowed

Subjection to the ghosts of friends who died, –

Their dreams that drip with murder; and they'll be proud

Of glorious war that shatter'd their pride …

Men who went out to battle, grim and glad;

Children, with eyes that hate you, broken and mad."







Imperialism 101, Michael Parenti [ICH - 22/6/11]




Foucault’s boomerang: the new military urbanism, Professor Stephen Graham [Open Democracy - 14/2/13]:

... Rather than merely highlighting the history through which European powers had colonised the world, however, Foucault’s approach was more novel. Instead, he explored how the formation of the colonies had involved a series of political, social, legal and geographical experiments which were then actually often bought back to the West in what Foucault – drawing possibly on Hannah Arendt’s famous work on totalitarianism – called ‘boomerang effects’. ‘It should never be forgotten,’ Foucault said:

“that while colonization, with its techniques and its political and juridical weapons, obviously transported European models to other continents, it also had a considerable boomerang effect on the mechanisms of power in the West, and on the apparatuses, institutions, and techniques of power. A whole series of colonial models was brought back to the West, and the result was that the West could practice something resembling colonization, or an internal colonialism, on itself” ...




Alice Springs woman allegedly stabbed in neck with broken bottle [ABC - 12/1/16]




Baby girl allegedly poisoned on Gold Coast, man charged [ABC - 12/1/16]:


Police have charged a man with poisoning a two-month-old baby girl on Queensland's Gold Coast.

The infant was taken to the Gold Coast University Hospital on Sunday evening.

Police allege a drug was administered to the baby and she remains in a stable condition.

A 22-year-old man from Carrara will appear before the Southport Magistrates Court this morning charged with administering poison with intent to harm and possession of a controlled substance.




Vigilantism against the 28-year-old man who allegedly assaulted a female Buffs Club worker will not be tolerated, Detective Senior Sergeant Alex McBroom warned. 

The Detective Senior Sergeant held a press conference outside the Mount Isa Magistrates Court minutes after Magistrate Stephen Guttridge granted Boy Page bail on Monday.   ... [North West Star - 11/1/16]




...  Two days before his family will bid their final goodbyes to their much-loved youngest member at a service in Brisbane's CBD on Wednesday, Billy Miller called for an end to the senseless street violence that allegedly claimed the life of his brother.

"Sadly, our family is not alone in losing a loved one in tragic circumstances," he said.

"We should not have to worry about a loved one going out and having a good time with friends. 

"We should, as a society, be educated enough to understand the difference between right and wrong.

"It is time for love and truth and action." ... [Brisbane Times - 12/1/16]




Lockout Laws 'a complete failure' - unless your goal is to destroy nightlife, all opportunities for grassroots creative expression and the live music scene [The Music - 18/8/15]




The SPCA has condemned a trend of what it calls recreational cruelty, of people not only hurting animals but filming the acts and posting the footage to social media. ... [RNZI - 12/1/16]




The bulls may not raising dust at Wookatook anymore but the new rodeo honouring the old legends is looking set to become a permanent addition to the Mount Isa social calendar.

Many of the legends from the original rodeo from the 1960s and 70s were on hand in Mount Isa on Saturday to enjoy a great night of bucking bulls and broncs in the new splendid setting of Buchanan Park. ... [North West Star - 10/1/16]





12 January 2016