Case against immigration officials accused of assaulting refugee exiled by Australia on Manus Island set down for 29 June



PNG Loop [12/6/15]:


The assault case against three Immigration officials at the Manus Processing Centre has been set to be heard on June 29, 2015.

The suspects identified as Randall Livingstone, Kopi Kamaniel, and Septer Wailiou aged between 28 to 30 are all not from Manus.

It is alleged the Iranian refugee, Mohse Sakharavi was asulted at the Lorengau Harbourside Hotel by the Immigration Officials for breaching curfew rules at the Centre on the June 1, 2015.

A reliable source said the Refugee had befriended a local woman and planned to stay over at the hotel and was dropped off by his friends who are from Manus.

The source said, they probably could have allowed him if he had requested formally.


Apartheid on the Andaman Sea [The Economist – 12/6/15]:


... Some might argue that little can—or should—be done. Life for most people in Myanmar has improved since its rulers began to liberalise at home and open up to the outside world. Further progress depends on continued Western engagement with a regime which, though flawed, is gradually reforming. Right now, punishing Myanmar would be counterproductive.

That is too timid. A terrible abuse of human rights is threatening to turn into something even worse. The West—and Myanmar’s neighbours—should not simply look the other way. Broad economic sanctions would be too blunt a weapon, and would put Myanmar’s general liberalisation at risk. Far better to impose narrower sanctions on politicians who are stoking anti-Muslim sentiment. Last year America did just that to Aung Thaung, a rabble-rousing politician. The list should be lengthened.

The West should demand that Myanmar grant the Rohingyas citizenship.

So should Myanmar’s neighbours—some of which, including Indonesia and Malaysia, should also treat the boat people as refugees and let more of them in. ...


Myanmar Bans Rohingya Muslims From Fleeing Amid Southeast Asia Migrant Crisis [International Business Times – 12/6/15]:




... Dozens of corpses of suspected Rohingya at sea have washed ashore in Rakhine.

Thousands of migrants were stranded at sea for weeks or even months because countries were not willing to take them in. More than 4,000 were rescued and brought to government camps in Malaysia and Indonesia, which agreed last month to provide temporary shelter.

But there are still thousands more believed to be adrift in the waters.





On Friday, Afghan activists launched a rally in Kabul to express their anger at the flagrant discrimination against the Muslim community in Myanmar, lashing out at the West for turning a blind eye to the plight of the Rohingya minority. ... [Press TV - 12/6/15]






A magistrate has reserved his decision in the case of a police officer accused of "attempting to strangle" a detainee at the Perth watch house.  ... [ABC - 12/6/15]







Teenage escapees to be held in Darwin adult prison in near solitary confinement for four more days [12/6/15]




Update: Attempted murder charge, Waterford West

QPS Media [12/6/15]:

Detectives have charged a man with attempted murder following their investigations into an unlawful wounding at Waterford West yesterday evening.

Around 6.45pm police were called to a residence on Mark Lane following reports that a woman had been stabbed.

Upon arrival police located a 30-year-old woman inside the residence with a wound to her abdomen. She was transported to the Princess Alexandra Hospital for treatment.

A 29-year-old Waterford West man has been charge with one count of attempted murder and is due to appear in the Beenleigh Magistrates Court this morning.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.


Assault charges, Rockhampton

QPS Media [12/6/15]:

A 26-year-old man has been charged following an incident on Victoria Parade in Rockhampton yesterday morning.

Police will allege a 29-year-old woman was walking along the street when she was was confronted by a man and sexually assaulted.

It will be further alleged the woman attempted to photograph the man when he has then sexually assaulted her again before throwing her to the ground and kicking her.

The woman was transported to Rockhampton Base Hospital for treatment to her injuries.

A man was located and arrested a short time later and was charged with one count each of sexual assault and assault occasioning bodily harm.

He is due to appear in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court today.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.






Teenager injured after being struck by car, Labrador


 MYGC [12/6/15]:



A teen boy has been hit by a car at Labrador this morning.

Emergency services rushed to the scene on Marine Parade, Frank Street just after 8.15am following reports a young boy had been struck.

The 17-year-old was taken to Gold Coast University hospital with head, chest and wrist injuries.





Serious traffic crash, Slade Point

QPS Media [12/6/15]:

Police are investigating following a serious single vehicle traffic crash at the intersection of Slade Point Road and Finch Street in Slade Point late last night.

Initial investigations suggest the vehicle was travelling north along Slade Point Road when it left the road, colliding with a power pole at around 11:30pm.

The driver and sole occupant of the vehicle, a 28-year-old man from Slade Point, was transported to Mackay Base Hospital in a critical condition with head and spinal injuries.

The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.


Chickens killed in Ipswich truck crash



Brisbane Times [12/6/15]:

Several chickens have been killed after a truck rollover in Ipswich early Friday morning.

Police confirmed the semi-trailer was carrying a load full of birds when it rolled on Tongarra Road in the suburb of Leichhardt about 3.50am.

The driver suffered minor injuries.

The road has been closed in both directions with diversions in place, a police spokeswoman said.

"There are some outstanding chickens that they're trying to catch," she said.





Armed robbery, Pialba

QPS Media [12/6/15]:

Police are investigating following the armed robbery of a video store in Pialba last night.

Around 8.20pm a man armed with a knife entered the Main Street store and threatened the male shop assistance before making demands for cash.

The store attendant complied and the man left the store with a sum of cash.

The shop assistant was not injured during the incident.

Investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.


Major drug operation targeting supply of drugs in Brisbane nightclubs [QPS Media – 12/6/15]




Man dragged out of car by police in Mullumbimby

Northern Star [12/6/15]:


A man is set to appear before court later this month after he allegedly refused to get out of his car when pulled over by police in Mullumbimby yesterday.

About 1pm yesterday, Tweed/Byron Local Area Command police observed a man driving a car with Queensland number plates in Dalley Street.

The 55-year-old driver was stopped and spoken to by the officers who requested to see his licence.

The man allegedly claimed to not recognise local laws or police and refused.

The man further refused to undergo a roadside breath test despite several requests from the officers.

When he was placed under arrest the man refused to alight from his car or unlock the doors and a large crowd gathered.

When the man attempted to start the vehicle the officers struggled with the man through the driver's side window which broke. The passenger side window was also broken during the incident.

The man, who had suffered minor lacerations, was eventually handcuffed and placed in the rear of the police vehicle.

He was taken to Byron Bay Police Station and later charged with fail to supply information, refuse breath test, drive whilst cancelled, not wear seatbelt, resist arrest, drive unregistered vehicle and drive uninsured vehicle.

He was granted conditional bail to attend the Mullumbimby Local Court on June 25.

The police officers suffered minor injuries which were treated at Byron Bay Hospital.

Inquiries into the incident continue.



Renouncing Australia: a dozen people to follow Murrumu by taking Yidindji citizenship [Guardian – 7/6/15]





Dangerous operation of a vehicle, Nerang [QPS Media - 12/6/15]:



Police are seeking assistance in identifying a man (pictured) who may be able to assist enquiries after an incident in Nerang yesterday afternoon.  

Around 1.20pm a police officer attempted to speak with occupants of a vehicle parked on Price Street. 

As the officer opened the door of the vehicle, a man driving accelerated, knocking the officer to the ground.  

The driver fled the scene and was later involved in a hit and run traffic crash on Beaudesert Nerang Road. 

The driver and his two passengers left on foot.   No one was injured in the crash.   The vehicle was reported as stolen.  

The officer received minor injuries and he is expected to make a full recovery.  

Anyone who may recognise the man or have information about this incident is asked to contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers.  

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.



Townsville prison guard suspended


Yahoo [12/6/15]:

A Queensland prison officer has been suspended amid allegations of inmate mistreatment at a jail in the state's far north.

The officer, who worked at the Townsville Correctional Centre, had been referred to the police service and department of justice, Queensland Corrective Services said on Friday.

The department has launched an ethical standards investigation but not provided any further details about the allegations.

"In keeping with its commitment to high standards of behaviour, transparency and accountability, QCS has undertaken to inform the public when an officer faces serious allegations of misconduct," the department said in a written statement.

"This does not mean the allegation against the officer has been substantiated."




Prison officer jailed for raping female inmates

Northern Star [12/6/15]:

A prison worker will spend at least 20 months behind bars for raping female inmates.

David Howard Wright, 53, worked as a trade instructor in the kitchen at Brisbane Women's Correctional Centre in Wacol when he raped and sexually assault 10 different women over a three-year period.

Wright pleaded guilty to four counts of rape, three counts of sexual assault and 12 counts of doing an indecent act; offences which occurred between December 2008 and June 2011.

When being sentenced in Brisbane District Court on Friday, the court heard Wright made the women give him oral sex. Wright believed the women had consented.

All of his 10 victims worked in the prison's kitchen, which was one of the most sought-after jobs in the jail, the court heard.

"By your offending you repeatedly abused your position of authority," Judge Terry Martin said.

"The complainants were plainly vulnerable."

Judge Martin said Wright had no criminal history and that the rapist would be "publicly shamed" from his offending.

"Further in my view it is highly likely that you will suffer imprisonment more acutely than the usual prisoner," he said.

Wright will be eligible for parole in February 2017.




Shackling mental health patients in SA condemned by review as a 'human rights issue' [ABC – 12/6/15]






Two police officers have been cleared of wrongdoing in the death of a man who collapsed after he was arrested at a Brisbane polling booth in 2013.

Queensland Coroner Terry Ryan found that while the arrest of Brad Maxwell Wilson was a factor in triggering his sudden fatal heart failure, the officers used reasonable force and their actions were justified. ... [Yahoo - 12/6/15]







Yahoo [12/6/15]:

A police officer has been bitten and spat at while trying to arrest a man in Brisbane's north.

Police were called to a home in Bracken Ridge early on Friday following reports of a man creating a disturbance there.

Police said the man became violent when they attempted to arrest him, biting a male officer on the arm and spitting on him, leaving him with cuts and bruises.

A 30-year-old man will front Pine Rivers Magistrates Court on Friday on charges of serious assault police, assault police and obstruct police.






Protected and unaccountable spooky intervention man lectures constituents about bigotry that his government cultivated and greenlighted  [ABC - 12/6/15]:


Sunshine Coast federal MP Mal Brough is urging locals opposed to a mosque being built in Maroochydore to learn more about Islam, rather than succumbing to misguided fear and hatred.  ...







Shocked Maroochydore residents have rushed in to stop a violent street fight in which one man brandished a metal rod.

Police were called to the intersection of Kingsford Smith Pde and Fourth Ave about 3pm after residents and passing motorists saw men fighting in the street. ... [Sunshine Coast Daily - 12/6/15]






Queensland government toadies up to Chinese as Dalai Lama visits Brisbane


Minister for Housing and Public Works and Minister for Science and Innovation Media Release [12/6/15]:



Queensland scientists will work with Chinese researchers to source potential new medical drugs from Chinese traditional medicines and to make more durable solar energy cells, under two research projects to receive Queensland-Chinese Academy of Sciences Collaborative Science Funding this year.

Science and Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch said the traditional medicines project will be led by Griffith University’s Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery, the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica and one of China’s most esteemed universities dedicated to traditional medicine, Guangxi University of Traditional Chinese Medicine.








Or you could instal solar panels on every house -----> New $18 million diesel power station gets green light on Palm Island [Media Release - 12/6/15]





Senator Lazarus calls on Warren Truss to resign immediately


Senator Glenn Lazarus Media Release [12/6/15]:

Senator for Queensland, Glenn Lazarus, has today called on the Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss to resign immediately over comments made in relation to CSG mining.

Warren Truss was today quoted in The Australian as saying the CSG industry in Queensland had provided a valuable economic boost to regional areas as well as revenue for the Queensland government at a time when coal royalties were declining.

Warren Truss was also quoted as saying that the industry was now well accepted in rural communities and provided employment in towns.

“This is the most disgraceful and ignorant thing I have ever heard,” Senator Glenn Lazarus said today.

“The majority of Queensland communities, or Australian communities for that matter, do not want CSG mining.

“CSG mining is depleting the earth of water, contaminating water and poisoning the land.

“Communities across Queensland are desperate to stop CSG mining from taking place on their land and on land around them.

“People in rural areas affected by CSG mining are becoming sick, their children are waking up with blood noses, their land is depreciating in value and their animals are dying.

“Many people affected by CSG mining rely on bores and wells for water. Their bores are drying up and they are afraid to use the water for fear of contamination.

“If Warren Truss seriously thinks that revenue is more important that the health of our people, then he should resign immediately.

“I have been to the gas fields in western Queensland and I have seen first-hand the damage and devastation that is being caused by CSG mining.

“Further, Queensland landholders have virtually no rights to stop CSG miners from coming on to their properties and mining.

“Warren Truss needs to go and live in a gas field and find out first-hand what the people of Queensland are having to endure. People’s lives are being destroyed by CSG mining.

“Clearly Warren Truss is out of touch with Australians and he is also out of touch with his own party. The NSW Nationals leader Troy Grant has even called for a ban on CSG mining in NSW.”







Gladstone residents on alert after chemical waste discharged over homes and businesses [ABC - 12/6/15]






Dozens of penguins wash up dead on coast of Uruguay [11/6/15]:



Dozens of penguins have shown up dead over the past three days on the coast of Uruguay, a government official said Thursday.

One group of young specimens was found in the Rocha area 210 km (125 miles) east of Montevideo, and then another at a beach in the resort town of Punta del Este, said Graciela Fabiano of the National Directorate of Water Resources.

The agency has no penguin monitoring program but at this time of year penguins do tend to show up on the coast, sometimes dead, and the movement is associated with migratory patterns, she said.

The dead birds that wash up have usually succumbed to natural causes, but the cases should be investigated anyway, Fabiano added.

The Atlantic waters are going through a rough season so the number of penguins washing up dead is expected to increase, she added.



Uranium miner Energy Resources Australia pulls plug on 3 Deeps expansion [ABC – 11/6/15]






The competition regulator has raised a red flag over Ramsay Health Care's proposed acquisition of Wollongong Day Surgery, saying the merger could result in higher prices for patients and reduced quality of healthcare services. ... [Canberra Times - 11/6/15]



Varoufakis: Greece's Creditors Have Turned Negotiations Into a War

ICH/EurActiv [11/6/15]:

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has criticised Greece's creditors for making "no concessions" and turning the negotiations "into a war". In an interview with Germany's Tagesspiegel he explains why a plan for debt restructuring is a Greek prerequisite for an agreement.

Yanis Varoufakis is finance minister of Greece, economics professor and a member of the Left Party Syriza. He spoke to Harald Schumann and Elisa Simantke for the Tagesspiegel.

Mr Varoufakis, the negotiations seem to have reached an impasse. The creditors and in particular the German government are not ready to grant further concessions and the same is true for your government. So what is there still left to talk about with Mr Schäuble?

We need to clarify something: We have not been negotiating with Germany and the European partners. This is the frustrating part of these negotiations. We negotiated with the troika, the representative of the IMF, the ECB and the EU Commission. It is not true that they made concessions and we made concessions and that there is a deadlock. They made no concessions. When we met the first time in February they came up with pretty much what they have now offered. Then we had months of negotiations in the so-called Brussels group. And there was a lot more convergence there.

So why did it not work out?

We sat down and made a record of those areas where there was agreement and of those areas where there was disagreement. We wrote down our position but also further concessions in order to get closer to the other side. This was what we presented as a proposal last week. What was presented by Jean-Claude Juncker to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras with the support of Angela Merkel and François Hollande, was a return to the starting position as if the negotiations had never happened. This is a proposal you make when you don’t want an agreement. Though we were called not constructive, we have gone against a lot of our promises and we have crossed a lot of our red lines.







When the maddened king stamps his foot: IMF quits Greek talks [Reuters - 11/6/15]






IMF data shows Iceland's economy recovered after it imprisoned bankers and let banks go bust - instead of bailing them out [Telegraph - 10/6/15]




News of the World journalist denies making up evidence on phone hacking


Guardian [12/6/15]:


A journalist who claimed that the former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis congratulated him on phone hacking has denied suggestions that he made up evidence and added gloss to his account.

Dan Evans, 39, told the Old Bailey in London he stood by his evidence that Wallis had told him: “You’re a company man now, Dan”, after Evans played Wallis a hacked voicemail left for Daniel Craig by fellow actor Sienna Miller.

Wallis, 64, from Chiswick, west London, denies one charge of conspiracy to intercept voicemail communications.

Under cross-examination Evans, who joined the tabloid from the rival Sunday Mirror, was accused of “transplanting” words he had attributed to Wallis while in the witness box, and adding embellishment.

Notes from a meeting between Evans and his lawyers attributed the phrase “You’re a company man now, Dan” to the then News of the World features editor Jules Stenson said Neil Saunders, counsel for Wallis.

The same notes also made no mention of Wallis being present when Evans played a tape recording of the hacked Miller voicemail to staff in the Sunday paper’s office.

“Why is there no mention here of Neil Wallis?” asked Saunders.

Evans blamed the error on the note taker at the meeting. He added: “The tape was played on a number of occasions throughout the day. To the best of my recollection, Mr Wallis did listen to that tape, he did take me by the elbow and he did say: ‘You’re a company man now, Dan.’ Those were his words.”

The jury has heard Evans agreed to help the police investigation into phone hacking, and a statement running to 80,000 words was taken from him over six weeks and drafted by officers following scoping interviews.

He told the jury: “I am not here to lie. Why would I come here and perjure myself?”

He said he had hacked Craig’s phone after fearing for his job. Stenson had bullied him, warning him that if he did not get a front page he might as well “jump off a cliff or bridge”. In a verbal mauling Stenson had also told him: “Your USP is the phones.”

He described the weekly features conference as “a rotating platter of hate” with somebody always “getting it in the neck”.

Evans said originally he had denied phone hacking, but then changed his mind. “It was a matter for me and my conscience whether I wanted to stop peddling the News International line which was completely bogus, or basically man up and take responsibility, which is what I wanted to do,” he said.

The trial continues.





Julian Assange talks about how we now live in surveillance society [Byline - 11/6/15]




Bernard Tomic beats Tommy Haas to move to Stuttgart quarter-finals

ABC [12/6/15]:

Australian Bernard Tomic has continued his promising pre-Wimbledon build-up on grass, overpowering Tommy Haas 7-6 (8/6), 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals in Stuttgart.

The fifth-seeded Tomic from Queensland cut short the comeback week of the 37-year-old Haas, who was playing for the first time in more than a year since undergoing shoulder surgery.

Tomic had to battle to close out victory, with former ATP number two Haas salvaging three match points in the penultimate game on the new grass of the Weissenhof club, which was changed from clay in time for this edition.

Tomic concluded victory with a love game to advance to the last eight in just over an hour and a quarter

The 22-year-old winner broke twice with Haas saving six other break points as the wild card-entry veteran worked his way back into the sport after yet another lengthy injury pause.

Tomic's win gave him bragging rights in Germany after losing to Haas three years ago on grass in Halle when the Aussie retired in the first set due to an abdominal injury.

Tomic will next take on the winner from top seed Rafael Nadal after the Spaniard overcame Marcos Baghdatis Marcos Baghdatis 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (4/7), 6-2 for his 30th victory of the season.

Meanwhile in Nottingham, Casey Dellacqua's run ended with a 6-4, 6-2 loss to Croatia's Ana Konjuh.





Media says Australian cricketers "harassed" by Jamaican fans [ABC - 11/6/15]





There is no talented Australian who can write a NEW musical which could be performed around the country?



Why Asian-American Artists And Activists Are Protesting The Ordway’s Production Of Miss Saigon [The Uptake - 9/10/13]:



St. Paul’s Ordway Center for the Performing Arts is one of four theaters co-producing a revival of “Miss Saigon” — which begins an eight-performance run tonight in downtown St. Paul — despite outcries from Twin Cities activists who say the performance is racist, colonial, romanticizes sex trafficking and re-enforces harmful Asian stereotypes.

The controversial musical, written by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil (who also created the more celebrated play “Les Miserables”), has sparked outcries ever since it first opened on Broadway in 1991, including during productions in the Twin Cities when it was presented at the Orpheum Theater in 1994 and at the Ordway in 1999.

Over the past few months, community leaders have disparaged the Ordway’s pending presentations of Miss Saigon — a play that details the strife of a Vietnamese “bar girl” who falls in love with an American G.I, eventually bearing his child and committing suicide so the child can be raised in the United States.

The community leaders have taken their cause to social media and the press to deter patrons from purchasing theater tickets, which range from $26 to $103.

After a series of conversations hosted by Mu Performing Arts about the musical, a group has emerged called The Miss Saigon Lies Coalition, which is planning a protest during tonight’s opening. The Coalition is also planning to discuss these issues with Ordway funders later this month during a meeting hosted by the Wilder Foundation and Minnesota Philanthropy Partners.

Though past Twin Cities productions of Miss Saigon were met with protests from the Asian community, Patricia Mitchell, CEO and President of the Ordway, said her organization has reached out to the Southeast Asian community for this production, hosting “Cultural Conversations” events and printing educational materials in the programs for this year’s performances.

Mitchell said she believes that her patrons are savvy theater consumers, stating, “They do understand the many layers and discussion points of this show and can intelligently assess their own feelings toward the production and its merits.”

However, in one recent “community conversation,” Tiffany Vang wrote in Twin Cities Daily Planet, there were few Asian community members at the Cultural Conversation event.

“There are many ways to show commitment to diversity and respect, and that night, I didn’t feel any of that,” Vang wrote of the event.

Bao Phi, a Vietnamese American poet, also disagreed with Mitchell, stating that the Ordway is callously putting on the show despite community backlash. The mentality of the Ordway, Phi said, is, “We’re doing this play and ‘—- you.’ ”













Hunger-striking asylum seeker wins right for refugee case to be reassessed



ABC [12/6/15]:



The deportation of an Iranian man who went on a prolonged hunger strike has been delayed after he won an appeal in the Federal Court in Darwin.

The 33-year-old ended his hunger strike earlier this year after prominent barrister Julian Burnside stepped in to represent the man.

The Federal Court has now ruled a review of his case made an error of law and denied the man procedural fairness.

In 2012 the Independent Merit Review examined the man's case and found discrepancies in his asylum claim.

But an email sent to the man's migration agent, giving him an opportunity to respond to the discrepancies included an incomplete email address and was never responded to.

As a result, Justice John Mansfield ruled the Independent Merit Review made an error of law by denying the man procedural fairness.

The decision means the man's claim will have to assessed again by the Immigration Department.





UN High Commissioner for Refugees expresses concern over fresh fighting in Colombia [Media Release - 11/6/15]:

UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres has expressed concern that renewed armed clashes in Colombia could derail the peace process under way and increase risks for the civilian population.

"After decades of unrest, Colombians, especially the millions displaced, have longed for peace, pinning hopes on a negotiated settlement. Any disruptions in the peace process could jeopardize its chances of arriving at a positive outcome," he said in a statement.

Guterres called on both parties to move forward with negotiations, adding that he hoped that talks, which have been taking place in the Cuban capital Havana since 2012, will soon result in a peace accord.

"Protecting the civilian population from the consequences of conflict is critical to end the loss of human lives. I welcome the recent agreements that aim to establish a truth and justice commission, stop child recruitment and start demining activities in Colombia's Department of Antioquia," the statement noted.

Guterres said progress on key aspects of the negotiation agenda, the agreements reached so far and the participation of victims in the talks were significant achievements that could make the difference between war and peace.

"These steps represent hope and help alleviate the suffering of Colombian refugees and internally displaced people, enabling them to restart their lives in their places of origin, integrate with host communities, or safely relocate to other parts of the country," his statement added.

The High Commissioner said solutions needed to be found to guarantee the safety and dignity of refugees and people displaced inside Colombia and said he was confident the rights of these people would be taken account of in the dialogue.

Stressing that UNHCR remained ready to support the process and draw on its experience with similar peace deals in different parts of the world, he said he hoped the ongoing negotiations would soon lead to a historic opportunity for the country to overcome adversity.

"UNHCR stands by the people of Colombia in their quest to achieve a lasting peace," he concluded.







CNMI concedes US military can acquire land for training [RNZI - 12/6/15]:

The Governor of the Northern Marianas says the US military has the power to acquire land in the CNMI for their military activities.

The CNMI is currently reviewing the military's proposal to use Pagan and Tinian for live-fire training exercises.

Eloy Inos says the military can use the option of eminent domain to acquire more land in the Commonwealth.

The training plans have faced stern opposition from community leaders.

Mr Inos says the bottom line is that the US military and federal government have the power and the right to exercise their power.

He says he supports more open discussions regarding the plans to lease land for military activities.

However Mr Inos says he prefers the US military to initiate the talks rather than the CNMI.

The governor says he will meet with the military top brass toward the end of the month.







A Cairo court on Thursday sentenced to 15 years in jail an Egyptian police officer for shooting of a young mother at a protest in central Cairo earlier this year, in the first and toughest such sentence against a policeman over killing protesters since the 2011 uprising.

Shaimaa El-Sabbagh, 32, was shot in January as police dispersed a peaceful march of leftists marking the fourth anniversary of the 2011 uprising that overthrew long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak.  ... [Ahram - 11/6/15]





Egypt court adjourns trial of Al-Jazeera journalists to 25 June [Ahram - 11/6/15]



The militant group Islamic State’s Libya wing released a video on Thursday purportedly showing it blowing up two warplanes at an air base while its fighters paraded heavy weapons in a show of force.

 The video showed the group’s fighters manning a tank, firing a mortar gun and destroying the planes parked in front of a hangar at the base seized by the militants near the central city of Sirte.

The authenticity of the video could not be verified.  ... [France 24 - 12/6/15]


Afghanistan:  Explosion kills District Attorney in Faryab




Khaama [11/6/15]:



A bomb explosion claimed the life of an attorney in northern Faryab province this morning.

Sayed Lugan, governor of Shireen Tagab District said that the bomb was attached to a vehicle in which the district attorney was traveling.

He said the that the attorney was killed and four other people wounded in the blast around 08:00 am this morning.

Those wounded in the explosion were sent to Afghan-Turkh Hospital in Miamana, the provincial capital of Faryab province, where three of them have been announced in critical condition.

No group had claimed responsibility for the attack by the time this report was filed.







US drone strike kills 30 in Paktika province [Anadolu Agency - 11/6/15]







A US judge has ruled that evidence exists to charge two police officers in Cleveland, Ohio, over the fatal shooting of a 12-year-old black boy.

The judge's ruling is largely symbolic because he cannot compel prosecutors to charge the officers in the death of Tamir Rice last November.  ... [Al Jazeera - 12/6/15]







Iraqi militias retake Baiji from Islamic State group [France 24 - 11/6/15]


United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria

Reuters [11/6/15]:

The U.S.-led coalition targeting Islamic State forces have launched 29 air strikes against the group since early on Wednesday, the Combined Joint Task Force leading the operations said in a statement on Thursday.

The 16 air strikes in Syria and 13 in Iraq hit various Islamic State fighting positions, fighting units, vehicles, buildings and other targets, the task force said in the statement.

For a Reuters map of the U.S.-led coalition strikes, see: here

US House of Representatives rejects measure to force vote on military force authorisation [Reuters – 11/6/15]





Syrian rebels stormed a military airport in the Druze-majority province of Swaida Thursday, as tensions soared in the provincial capital in the wake of a long-simmering state of tension with the authorities.  ... [Daily Star - 12/6/15]





Saudi warplanes have conducted airstrikes against several areas in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, as Riyadh’s military aggression against the impoverished Arab country continues unabated.

The Saudi fighter jets bombarded the city's residential areas, including three houses in the al-Ghasimi neighborhood, Arabic-language al-Masirah satellite television network reported on Thursday. ... [Press TV - 12/6/15]



Gaza: UN envoy welcomes temporary opening of Rafah crossing [Media Release – 11/6/15]



ICC inspectors to visit Israel to investigate Gaza war crimes [i24 - 10/6/15]:

Inspectors of the Hague-based International Criminal Court will arrive in Israel on June 27 as part of probe into suspected "war crimes" during last summer's Gaza war, the Haaretz website reported Wednesday.

The Palestinians formally joined the International Criminal Court on April 1, a move they hope could open the door to the possible prosecution of Israelis for alleged war crimes.

The accession was marked exactly 90 days after Palestine joined the court's founding Rome Statute.

The report cited an unnamed legal expert as saying the acceleration of the procedure means the investigation is being "taken seriously" by the international legal body.

The findings could lead to the indictment of both Israeli and Palestinian officials.

Nearly 2,200 Palestinians and 73 Israelis were killed during last summer's war in Gaza.

Palestine's move to join the ICC is also seen as part of a shift in strategy to internationalize its campaign for statehood and move away from the stalled US-led peace process.

The Palestinians were upgraded from observer status to UN "observer state" in 2012, opening the doors for them to join the ICC and a host of other international organizations.

Israel has repeatedly condemned ICC's probe as biased and hypocritical.

The ICC, which sits in The Hague in the Netherlands, is the world's first independent court set up in 2002 to investigate genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

But it can only probe alleged crimes in countries that have ratified the Rome Statute, or accepts the Hague-based court's jurisdiction for a certain time period, or through a referral by the UN Security Council.

Currently, chief prosecutor Bensouda is also running preliminary investigations in Afghanistan, Colombia, Georgia, Guinea, Honduras, Iraq and Ukraine.

While 123 countries have now ratified the Rome Statute, Israel and the United States have not.



Cambodian court jails Australian teacher for sexual abuse of impoverished boys

ABC [11/6/15]:


A Cambodian court has sentenced an Australian teacher to five years in prison for sexually abusing six impoverished boys aged between three and 13.

George Moussallie, 52, an English teacher at a private school in the capital Phnom Penh, has been in custody since August when police raided his rented apartment near the riverfront Royal Palace and found him with two young boys.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge Kor Vandy said Moussallie was guilty on charges of having sex with children and "indecent acts".

The court "orders him to be deported from Cambodia after serving his prison term," the judge said, ordering Moussallie pay a total of $2,500 in compensation to two of his victims.

During his trial earlier this year, Moussallie denied having sex with minors and accused anti-paedophile NGO Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE), which assisted police with their investigation, of framing him.

Khoem Vando of APLE rejected Moussallie's allegations.

"Offenders always accuse those involved in an investigation into them so that they can be acquitted," he told AFP, welcoming the move to deport Moussallie after his jail term "to prevent him from preying on more children".

Mr Vando added that Moussallie had been on their watch list since 2009 and that the boys abused by him were all street children, with only two having sought compensation.

Cambodia launched an anti-paedophilia drive in 2003 to shed its reputation as a haven for foreign child sex offenders.

Dozens of foreigners have since been jailed for child sex crimes or deported to face trial in their home countries.





Thirty-Six Vietnamese to Be Deported After Shop Raids [Cambodia Daily - 12/6/15]





Reuters [11/6/15]:


Hundreds of migrants brought to Italy after being rescued at sea camped on streets near Rome's Tiburtina train station and gathered in Milan's main terminal on Thursday, making a brief stop on their journey to northern Europe.

At Tiburtina, migrants from Syria, Eritrea, Somalia and Ethiopia were among those resting in the shade under olive and fig trees. Children played in the supermarket nearby, and dozens napped on cardboard under an overpass.

Italy is struggling to handle the summertime surge in migrants, with thousands rescued at sea each week and more than 50,000 so far this year. Almost 2,000 have drowned.

Some northern Italian regions have refused to take in more migrants sent from crowded official reception centers down south, and now another crisis is brewing as local authorities struggle to deal with thousands heading north under their own steam.

"People say Italy is not good for migrants, so we want to leave," said Abdi Mohammed Adem, a 19-year-old Somali rescued 15 days ago by the Italian navy. His goal is to reach Germany or Britain, he said.

To send him to Europe, Adem's family sold its home and paid people smugglers $7,000, he said. But now he does not have enough cash to buy a ticket to go north.

"My family doesn't have any more money to give me," he said.

The European Union has tripled funding for rescue missions in the Mediterranean after a shipwreck killed some 800 migrants in April, but it is still trying to find a way to cope with those who arrive, and to relieve the burden on southern countries like Italy and Greece.

Most migrants who reach Italy - 170,000 last year - want to reach northern European countries, which have stronger economies and generous welfare benefits. But many, like Adem, have run out of money.

Others are waiting until Germany suspends more stringent border controls still in place for a global summit held there.

Travelers can normally cross borders without checks in most of the European Union, but Germany imposed controls to prevent violent protests at a Group of Seven leaders held there at the weekend. The tighter controls will be lifted on Tuesday.

With many migrants exchanging tips and information on social networks, Milan's Stazione Centrale is another gathering point. An average of 800 arrive every night at the train station and are given beds at local shelters, said a city official.

Since October 2013, "64,000 have come to Milan on their own on their way to Germany and Sweden," Gabriella Polifroni, a spokeswoman for Milan's city council, told Reuters.

"There are always very many children among them," she said.

In the Milan station, meals are handed out and emergency medical care is provided. Unlike in Milan, no services at all are being provided to the migrants at the Tiburtina station, and some local residents are getting fed up.

"The institutions are nowhere to be seen here. It's pure chaos," said Michele Maggio, a local resident. "Either you don't allow them in the country or you set up the necessary structures to look after them."



@ItalianNavy [11/6/15]:  Nave Driade #MarinaMilitare ha terminato il soccorso dei due gommoni in difficoltà recuperando 193 #migranti, di cui 30 donne e 15 minori


‏@ItalianNavy:    #MarinaMilitare nave Driade dichiara un secondo evento #SAR su un gommone con circa 100 #migranti a bordo


@moas_eu:   #Phoenix is approaching Pozzallo to disembark 77 migrants rescued yday. Here's a shot from the clinic. ...




The people know the emperor isn't wearing any clothes.


The political and media establishment are still pretending.



Standard [12/6/15]:

Strongly opposing the federal government’s actions might lead some people to question their national citizenship but it led Warrnambool woman Jennifer Chambers to last week become an Australian citizen.

Ms Chambers said this country’s treatment of asylum seekers was “brutal and wrong” and she became a naturalised citizen in Warrnambool because of her desire to get Australia to change its approach.

She said taking the oath of allegiance had made her more determined to have an input into Australia’s treatment of refugees.

Ms Chambers has previously lobbied member for Wannon Dan Tehan to get Australia to improve its treatment, including calling for the release of asylum seeking children from detention.

To press her case, she presented Mr Tehan with a children’s book, Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Adelaide author Mem Fox, that she said told the tale of the sanctity of children and that “children of all countries are one and the same”.

She has also helped with the hosting of refugees for short holidays in the south-west by local members of Rural Australians for Refugees (RAR).

She said she was concerned that more than 200 children seeking asylum in Australia were still in detention. More than 90 of the children were in detention on Nauru.

Ms Chambers, 61, immigrated to Australia from Ireland in the 1950s with her family when she was 10 months old.

She said she had always felt she was an Australian but decided in the past year to make it official, making the pledge with six others last Thursday.

She felt she was “a citizen of planet earth” who was “blessed to live in Australia”.

Ms Chambers said the Warrnambool branch of RAR would hold a social afternoon from 2pm on June 20 to mark Refugee Week.

The event would be held at Brophy Family and Youth Services centre in Timor Street and feature music, coffee and snacks.




Bega District News [12/6/15]:

Refugee Week is being celebrated from Sunday, June 14, to Saturday, June 20, and the Refugee Council of Australia is encouraging organisations to celebrate a unified Refugee Week based around the theme “With courage let us all combine”.

The theme has been taken from the second verse of the Australian National Anthem and “celebrates the courage of refugees and of people who speak out against persecution and injustice,” the council’s website states.

Refugee Week is Australia’s peak annual activity to raise awareness about the issues affecting refugees and celebrate the positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society.

According to the Refugee Council, as of March 31 this year, 1848 people were held in closed immigration detention facilities in Australia, of whom 1031 were asylum seekers who had arrived by boat, with 2512 asylum seekers living in the community under community detention arrangements and 27,216 in the community on Bridging Visa E.

Refugee Week has been celebrated in Australia since 1986 and provides a platform where positive images of refugees can be promoted in order to create a culture of welcome throughout the country.

A number of events will be held locally hosted by the Bega Valley Rural Australians for Refugees (BVRAR).

On Tuesday, June 16, at noon a letter writing day at Well Thumbed Books will be held at Cobargo.

Members of the public are invited to write a letter to a politician to express their concerns about the treatment of asylum seekers, or write a letter to an asylum seeker to extend their friendship.

On Saturday, June 20, at 11am, local author Isobel Blackthorn will launch her new book, Asylum, at Well Thumbed Books, which will also raise funds to support BVRAR activities.




Softening up the public for the truth: Australia is engaged in the human trafficking and people smuggling of refugees




Canberra Times [12/6/15]:

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has not denied Australia paid people smugglers to turn around an asylum seeker boat.

The Prime Minister also refused to offer a view about whether such a method would be unacceptable and would not commit to an investigation.

Fairfax Media this week revealed passengers and an Indonesian police chief have claimed border protection officials paid people smugglers to return asylum seekers interecepted north of Australia en route to New Zealand.

Indonesia is now investigating claims that crew members of a boat were paid $5000 each to turn around.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton denied this week that Australia had paid people smugglers.

But Mr Abbott refused to do the same when speaking on Melbourne radio station 3AW on Friday morning, saying "I just don't want to go into details".

"The Australian government will do whatever we need to do to keep this evil trade stopped," he said.

Host Neil Mitchell asked whether this would include paying people smugglers.

"We will do whatever we need to do to keep this trade stopped," Mr Abbott replied. He later said the government would do "whatever it takes" so long as it was "consistent with being a humane and decent country".

Asked whether he would support in theory a payment to people smugglers, he said: "I'm just not going to get into hypotheticals."

He said border protection agencies had been "incredibly creative in coming up with a whole range of strategies" to stop people smuggling.

After the interview, Mitchell said the Prime Minister had confirmed by the manner of his answers that Australia had probably paid people smugglers to turn around boats.

Sixty-five people from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, who were seeking asylum in New Zealand, had their boat intercepted by Australian navy and Customs officials in late May and were then returned to the island of Rote.

The Indonesian police chief on Rote, Hidayat, said the six crew members said they had been given $US5000 each by Australian officials. The crew were apprehended when they arrived at Rote and are being processed for people-smuggling offences.

The Indonesian government has said it is shocked by the claims.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said: "If it is true, it's very concerning that a government official gave money to people smugglers to push back the boat to the middle of the sea."


New Zealand government refers 65 refugees refouled/trafficked by Australia (now detained in Indonesia) to UNHCR Canberra

RNZI [12/6/15]:

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 inquires dealing with New Zealand and suggested the group approach that office.

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





UNHCR "we have a supervisory role" Canberra has a handy list of catch 22 responses to deflect FAQ from those seeking asylum in Australia:




... 9. I am currently in another part of the world and I wish to claim asylum in Australia or New Zealand. Can UNHCR in Canberra assist me?

No, UNHCR in Canberra cannot assist you with claiming asylum in Australia or New Zealand. Australia and New Zealand have highly developed asylum systems in place to determine whether persons claiming asylum are refugees. UNHCR in Canberra is not formally involved in this process. To claim asylum in Australia or New Zealand you need to be physically present in the relevant country. ...





“It’s literally like the Polish ghetto under the Nazis.”


US News [11/6/15]:


Actor Matt Dillon made headlines earlier this month for going to a remote part of the world to meet a group of people that nobody’s heard of. Back stateside on Thursday, Dillon explained how exactly it was that he ended up in Myanmar among the Rohingya Muslims, a long-persecuted ethnic group.

“My decision to go to Myanmar was kind of a spontaneous thing,” said the actor, known for ‘90s movies like “Wild Things” and "There's Something About Mary." He currently stars in the television show “Wayward Pines.”

He told the crowd at the National Press Club that he had been in Tokyo to do press for "Wayward Pines" when he opted to make the trip to Myanmar. If his interest in the refugees seems out of character for the Hollywood icon, it shouldn't be: Dillon has served on the board of Refugees International for seven years, and got involved in a very Hollywood-meets-Washington way.

“It was Richard Holbrooke,” Dillon said, speaking of the late American diplomat. “Richard Holbrooke introduced me to the organization after Robert DeNiro introduced me to Richard Holbrooke.” The name dropping sparked laughter among the listeners.

But back to the Rohingya.

“There was more stuff that was coming out about the Rohingya in the news -- pictures, horrendous pictures, of people crammed into hulls of boats like human cargo, stories of human trafficking,” he said. “I wanted to find out a little bit more about why these people were being forced to flee.”

So he went. “I decided to go under the radar,” Dillon said, connecting with journalist friends already in the region. What he saw over two days around the town of Sittwe stunned him.

The Muslim Rohingya are a minority in the mostly Buddhist country, the government of which refuses to formally recognize them. “It really seems as if nobody wants them,” Dillon explained.

The neighborhood of Aung Mingalar is one striking example. It’s within Sittwe's city limits, but its Muslim residents can’t come or go freely. It’s closed off with barbed wire. When Dillon tried to get in he was met by a police officer who tried to block his camera. He left when more police officers showed up with guns.

He offered a dramatic comparison: “It’s literally like the Polish ghetto under the Nazis.”

He also visited four refugee camps and one Rohingya village near the sea. “There are clear signs of ethnic cleansing,” Dillon suggested, pointing to policies like one the government enacted recently, which says Rohingya children have to be born three years apart.

This type of population control is considered an early sign of genocide, a point underscored by an analysis by the Early Warning Project, which says Myanmar has the highest probability of seeing genocide compared to everywhere else in the world.

There’s not really a good option for them either. The Rohingya have the choice to live in camps, behind barbed wire, or take the chance on crowded ships to find a better life in countries that also don’t want them.

“They are damned if they do, they’re damned if they don’t,” Dillon pointed out. When asked where they'd even want to go, the actor didn't know.

“I think they just want to go anywhere where they have a better shot, a better shot at living,” Dillon said





Actor Matt Dillon urges action on Myanmar's refugees crisis [VIDEO - MSN - 11/6/15]




How convenient for the oppressors that so called South East Asian human rights organisations are maintaining auch a stoic silence about this genocide. ---->  ... the issue is framed by the media as a crisis of refugees at sea, rather than a crisis of long-term violent persecution of a stateless people. ...

Dillon said he did not encounter any non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Rakhine state during his visit last month.   [KUNA - 11/6/15]





Thailand must drop charges against journalists who exposed the plight of Rohingya [South China Morning Post – 11/6/15]





12 June 2015