Protesters rally in Melbourne calling for an end to immigration detention [VIDEO - Nine MSN - 12/9/15]
‘We are people sharing the same sky’: Dublin rallies to support refugees [The Journal - 12/9/15]
Image: @damienrickwood [12/9/15]
@MarkbKnudsen [12/9/15]: 40.000 people right now in Copenhagen in a massive #refugeeswelcome demonstration
Deutsche Welle [12/9/15]:
... In the interview with "Bild," Orban threatened to send refugees back to where they came from, saying many had not come directly from war zones, but rather from camps in countries bordering Syria.
"They are not fleeing danger - they have already fled and should not fear for their lives," he said.
They come to Europe not "because they seek safety but because they want a better life than in a camp. They want a German life, perhaps a Swedish life."
The populist leader, who has faced criticism over his hardline approach to refugees, on Friday warned that people illegally entering his country would be arrested and prosecuted under strict new immigration laws.
Hungary is also building a controversial fence on its border with Serbia to keep migrants out.
Meanwhile, in an interview with German news magazine "Der Spiegel," Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann criticized what he described as Orban's "deliberate policy of deterrence," comparing it to policies under the Nazi regime.
Faymann lamented the scenes of chaos at Budapest's main train station about a week ago, when hundreds of refugees boarded a train bound for Austria, only to be stopped and taken to a refugee camp.
"Refugees stuck in trains believing that they'll go somewhere else entirely brings back memories from the darkest period of our continent," Faymann said.
He added that there should be financial sanctions "against solidarity sinners" such as Hungary, who are resisting an EU plan to distribute 160,000 refugees around the bloc.
@pmarsupia [12/9/15]: El campo de detención en Roszke. Los refugiados gritan para q nos acerquemos a hablar con ellos. Policía no nos deja
@pmarsupia [12/9/15]: El último tramo q quedaba sin valla (por donde pasaba el tren) lo están cerrando ahora mismo. Frontera Hungría-Serbia
How Hungary’s Prime Minister turned from young liberal into refugee-bashing autocrat [The Intercept – 11/9/15]
US to China: Take back your undocumented immigrants [Reuters - 11/9/15]
Russian aircraft deliver humanitarian aid to Syrian people [Sputnik News – 12/9/15]
Moscow appreciates Athens’ position on flights of Russian aircraft with humanitarian aid to Syria through the Greek airspace, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Saturday.
"We appreciate Greek partners' adherence to principles and respect for our bilateral relations… Position of Athens shows their deep understanding of the difficult humanitarian situation in Syria," Zakharova told journalists.
The Greek authorities had refused to prohibit Russian support aircraft from flying into Syria despite the United States' request. [Sputnik News - 12/9/15]
Russia's Putin welcomes Ukraine ceasefire [Yahoo – 12/9/15]:
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that it was welcome that both Ukrainian armed forces and separatists in eastern Ukraine had ceased military operations, calling this the main achievement in peace efforts in Ukraine.
Speaking in the Crimean town of Chersoneus, Putin also said that Russia could solve the issue of gas supplies to Ukraine.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo kicked off his state visit to the countries of the Middle East on Saturday by receiving a courtesy visit from Islamic Development Bank (IDB) president Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al-Madani and Islamic Cooperation Organization (OKI) secretary-general Iyad Madani.
Jokowi later continued his day by visiting the Al-Salam Diwan Malaki Palace to attend a bilateral meeting with King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud. ... [Jakarta Post - 12/9/15]
At least 49 people died when a gas cylinder exploded in a packed restaurant in India's central Madhya Pradesh state on Saturday morning, shattering surrounding buildings, police said.
"We have recovered 49 bodies now. There are about 35 others injured who have been moved to (a nearby) hospital," Seema Alava, additional police superintendent for Jhabua, told Agence France Presse by phone from the site. [Naharnet - 12/9/15]
... One of his first acts as leader of the party will be to go to the demonstration this afternoon to show support for refugees. ... Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn wins race in stunning victory [Guardian - 12/9/15]
Catalans fill streets in Barcelona for pro-independence rally [Guardian - 12/9/15]
France and Bulgaria must halt forced evictions of Roma, says UN human rights chief [Media Release - 11/9/15]
Five demonstrators and a police officer died in clashes in southern Nepal as protests intensified against a proposed new constitution, police said on Saturday. ... [Yahoo - 12/9/15]
Scores of anti-regime protesters have staged rallies in Bahrain, calling for the democratization of the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom and the immediate release of the leading opposition figure and Shia cleric, Sheikh Ali Salman. ... [Press TV - 12/9/15]
International human rights lawyers defending the ousted Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed have accused the country's government of spying on them.
Amal Clooney and her US-based colleague Jared Genser visited Mr Nasheed at the high-security Maafushi prison on Thursday.
Mr Genser told the BBC he believed the meeting was "bugged" after confidential details were leaked to the government. ... [BBC - 12/9/15]
Egypt cabinet submits resignation, president accepts [Daily Star - 12/9/15]
An Egyptian woman and child have been killed in a car bomb, and four soldiers have died in a separate explosion, in the northern Sinai Peninsula, according to the Egyptian army.
The military, which is engaged in a campaign against armed groups in the area, said on Friday the woman and child were killed in a car bomb in Rafah, on the border with the Palestinian Gaza Strip.
The four soldiers were killed in a bomb attack during clashes with fighters, also in northern Sinai, a military spokesperson said in a statement, without giving further details. ... [Al Jazeera - 12/9/15]
Egypt says it has killed 98 militants in Sinai operation [Ahram - 12/9/15]
Fijian soldier evacuated to Israel after being shot in Sinai [RNZI - 12/9/15]
An Israeli settler attacked an 8-year-old Palestinian boy on Friday in the Batn al-Hawa area of Silwan -- a neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem -- leading to clashes in the area, a local information center told Ma'an. ... [Maan - 12/9/15]
New Saudi airstrikes kill at least 13 people in Yemen [Press TV - 12/9/15]
US drone strike kills four in Yemen [Reuters - 12/9/15]
US drone strike kills 15 in Afghanistan [Reuters - 11/9/15]
Afghanistan: Eight suicide bombers among 12 killed in Kandahar attack [Khaama - 12/9/15]
51 militants have been killed in newest security operations in eleven provinces of Afghanistan, the Ministry of Interior announced on Saturday.
According to a statement issued by the ministry, the operations were conducted jointly by Afghan National Police, Afghan National Army and personnel from the National Directorate of Security in Takhar, Kunduz, Sar-e-Pul, Jowzjan, Kandahar, Oruzgan, Khost, Paktika, Herat, Ghor and Helmand provinces in past 24 hours.
51 militants were killed, 24 wounded and 10 others detained by the security forces, the statement adds. ... [Khaama - 12/9/15]
"I saw with my own eyes that they killed people": Afghan speaks out as US reopens war crimes investigation [Democracy Now - 11/9/15]:
The United States is marking the 14th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks today. Three weeks after the World Trade Center and Pentagon were attacked, the U.S. launched airstrikes in Afghanistan, beginning what would become the longest war in American history.
The U.S. military recently reopened a criminal investigation into some of the most serious allegations against U.S. forces in Afghanistan since 2001 involving the murder of at least 17 Afghan men in Wardak province, west of Kabul, in 2012 and 2013.
Eight Afghans were killed during U.S. military operations, while several disappeared after having been arrested by Special Forces in Nerkh.
Their bodies were later uncovered just outside the U.S. base in the area.
Afghan military investigators had concluded at the time that a U.S. Special Forces unit known as the A-Team was responsible.
The U.S. military command in Afghanistan conducted multiple investigations, each of which exonerated the unit. We speak to reporter Matthieu Aikins and air excerpts of his interview with an Afghan man detained by the U.S. military. ...
An Iranian nuclear official says no inspections of Iran’s military sites are on the agenda of a planned visit by inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to Iran.
Deputy head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Asghar Zare’an said on Saturday that IAEA inspectors are scheduled to arrive in Tehran on Tuesday for talks, IRNA reported.
“In this round of the negotiations, inspections of [Iran’s] military sites are not on the agency’s agenda,” he added. ... [Press TV - 12/9/15]
Russia concerned over confidential IAEA reports leak [Sputnik News – 11/9/15]
Arizona freeway shootings: Man being questioned booked on unrelated charges [ABC News - 11/9/15]
A young man who allegedly assumed the online identity of an Australian jihadist supporting Islamic State has been revealed to be an American living at his parents' house, a report said today.
Australian Federal Police confirmed they had helped the Federal Bureau of Investigation track down a 20-year-old man in Jacksonville, Florida who had allegedly provided information to facilitate terror attacks in the US and Australia. ... [Deccan Herald - 11/9/15]
… Always, there will be the intoxication of power. Always at every moment there will be the thrill of victory. The sensation of trampling on an enemy who's helpless.
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face...forever.
The moral to be drawn from this dangerous, nightmare situation is a simple one.
Don't let it happen. It depends on you.
From the 2003 Television docudrama: George Orwell - A Life in Pictures
Rally for Mojgan Shamsalipoor calls on government to release Brisbane student
from detention [ABC – 12/9/15]:
Hundreds of people have marched in Brisbane to show support for an Iranian student who was sent to immigration detention after spending two years living in the community.
Mojgan Shamsalipoor, 21, came to Australia by boat from Iran in 2012 and was released into community detention.
She had been living in Brisbane for two years, and is married to an Australian resident, but was forcibly removed to Darwin last month.
Ms Shamsalipoor had been just months away from finishing high school at Yeronga.
Many of her school community and the teacher union members rallied in Brisbane today to show their support for Ms Shamsalipoor.
Chanting "Open the border, close the camps, free the refugees" the group of about 200 marched through Brisbane's South Bank to the city.
A Year 11 student from Ms Shamsalipoor's school, who did not want to be named, said all the teachers loved her dearly.
"It's just horrible, she wasn't even able to finish her education," she said.
A letter from Ms Shamsalipoor's husband Milad Jafari, 21, was read to the crowd. He has been visiting Ms Shamsalipoor for two weeks but will return to Brisbane on Saturday night.
"I am feeling depressed knowing Mojgan will stay here and how she will cope in this dark place," he wrote in the letter.
"Mojgan does not belong in the middle of a desert behind fences and under guard.
"I feel like her soul is with me always and it will return to Brisbane with me, but her physical body is out in the middle of nowhere in north Australia."
Ms Shamsalipoor's lawyer said she was raped by
family members in her home country and would be persecuted if she returned due
to the social stigma attached to rape victims.
Australian aircraft in first mission in war on Syria [Yahoo - 12/9/15]
11 dead in rebel shelling on Syria's Damascus: Monitor [Ahram - 12/9/15]
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange revealed a plan concocted by the former US Ambassador to Syria 9 years ago that involves a series of conspiracies aiming to overthrow the Syrian leadership using extremists.
In an exclusive interview given to Russia’s RT channel, Assange discussed some of the material included in his new book which is titled “The WikiLeaks Files” and talked about the “US empire” and America’s foreign policy and intelligence work. ... [SANA - 11/9/15]
The making of global capitalism [VIDEO - The Real News - 8/9/15]:
In this episode of teleSUR's Days of Revolt, host Chris Hedges sits down with author and professor Leo Panitch to discuss how global imperialism and capitalism are upheld by economic and cultural forces, and debate the roles of ignorance, myth, and malevolence in the perpetuation of systems of inequality.
... HEDGES: Well, Graham Greene kind of eviscerated this kind of America. And I think it does break down between those who are very cynical and, for lack of a better word, those who are very stupid. And we saw a lot of stupid people--Wolfowitz, Cheney, Perle, and others--who know nothing about the Middle East, who knew nothing about the instrument of war, and certainly knew nothing about the culture and history of Iraq, believed that they could implant this very naive vision. And what always happens in cases like that is rivers of blood.
PANITCH: Yeah, no. I think that's true. I think that the American empire is most powerful, actually, not in those regions of the world in which it has intervened militarily, at least in recent decades. It's more powerful in those regions of the world that have become, if I may use the word, Canadianized, that is, where American capital has penetrated, where economic relations are extremely deep, where American multinational corporations are a social force inside those countries. And therefore I think the strongest linkages are with the former old imperial countries of Europe. ...
United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria
A coalition led by the United States bombarded Islamic State militants on Thursday with 27 air strikes in Iraq and three in Syria, according to a statement released on Friday.
In Iraq, the air strikes near Tuz, Ramadi, Mosul, Fallujah and other locations hit tactical units and fighting positions and destroyed vehicles, buildings and weapons belonging to the militant group, the Combined Joint Task Force said in the statement.
In Syria, two air strikes targeted Islamic State positions near Al Hawl, while one strike destroyed two excavators near Palmyra, the statement said.
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [11/9/15]:
Anbar: 8 civilians were killed and 5 wounded -most of them are women and children- when the government's air force targeted the civilians in A'ana and Rawa cities....................
Anbar: Two civilians including a child was killed and 4 wounded as the government's forces and Hashd militias shelled 7 Nissan neighbourhood in Fallujah.......................
Anbar: Furqan Masjid has been targeted in Fallujah,losses resulted unknown.......................
US Department of Defense [11/9/15]:
... In addition to airstrikes, the coalition building partner capacity sites have trained about 13,000 Iraqi forces since the campaign began, and 4,000 additional troops are in training, Ryder [U.S. Central Command spokesman Air Force Col. Patrick Ryder] said.
“We have seen graduates of this program subsequently operate effectively in areas around Ramadi and other parts of Iraq,” he said.
For example, as Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Kevin Killea, chief of staff, Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve highlighted last week, the coalition specialized engineer forces are training Iraqi forces to clear large numbers of improvised explosive devices, which is helping against ISF and civilian casualties, Ryder said.
The coalition’s advise-and-assist effort also continues to enable ground forces in Iraq by assisting with planning ground operations, intelligence sharing, integrating air support into operations, logistics planning, command and control, and communications, he said.
The coalition’s Syria train-and-equip program continues to train vetted Syrian opposition force recruits, and a fourth class recently began training, Ryder said.
“It’s important to keep in mind this program is still in the early stages and the forces trained as a part of the train-and-equip program are expected to be additive in nature,” he said. “They will further contribute to what’s already being done by the Syrian Kurds, Arabs and various other anti-ISIL forces.”
World Wide Troop Talk: United States President Barack Obama talks live with service members around the world [VIDEO - US Department of Defense - 11/9/15]
@MSF_Sea [11/9/15]: Our team in #Rozske is still extremely busy with thousands of people crossing from #Serbia to #Hungary each day
UNHCR urges full and swift implementation of European Commission proposals on refugee crisis [Media Release - 11/9/15]
Thailand Border Governor and "anti trafficking" volunteers seal off all escape routes to Rohingya refugees [Phuketwan - 11/9/15]
Asian Correspondent [11/9/15]:
... Muslim communities living a borderline existence in Rakhine were particularly vulnerable and unprepared to cope with the floods. According to UNICEF over 140,000 Rohingya children were affected by the heavy rains and flooding. The work of charities and NGOs trying to assist the flood victims was hindered by government policies. As Tun Khin, president of Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK, explained: “This crisis has been made worse by existing restrictions on aid to Rohingya IDPs.”
Even in the face of this natural disaster the Rohyinga continued to experience persecution with government officials accused of abandoning them, as state aid was only made available at Buddhist shelter areas. The ‘Burma Times’ reported that Rohingya children, had been refused treatment by local hospitals and there were further reports that Rohingya families were turned out of emergency shelters in Kyauktaw.
The worst of the flooding has passed but Muslims in Rakhine are still living in dire conditions. Jason Bray, a documentary filmmaker who joined the relief effort in Rakhine explained the desperation in the region. “Rakhine State was without doubt one of the poorest places I’ve ever been too. In other countries like Philippines, Ethiopia, India there are slum dwellings, red light districts and poor villages scattered amongst middle class and even richer areas. But here it was just impoverished everywhere! The floods just made things worse,” he said. ...
#Melbourne says #refugees #refugeeswelcome #boycott #Transfield #Wilson committing human rights abuses ...
Image: @gayedemanuele [12/9/15]
Image: @LaydeeAidee [12/9/15]
@ronitchka: Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here #CloseManus #CloseNauru #refugeeswelcome
@RedDragon1917: Protest for Refugees today in Melbourne ...
@hazmatticus_: Crowds gathering for refugee rally at Sydney Town Hall ...
@leerhiannon: Sydney, New South Wales Speaking @rac_sydney rally with Ian Rintoul. 1000s here support call close Manus and Nauru, no detention. #SydEUAU
@rranwa [Perth]: Mehdi reading letter from those incarcerated on#Nauru "we are just like you" #closeNauru
@rranwa [Perth]: In solidarity with #Kurds fleeing Syria and Turkey and with those Kurds imprisoned by #Auspol on #manus and #nauru
Refugee Supporters Invade Transfield Services offices in 3 capital
cities [VIDEO – 10/9/15]:
This morning refugee supporters in three capital cities have visited TransField Services offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to question management over the human rights abuses, torture, child abuse and sexual assault of refugees on Manus Island.
The refugee supporters are asking for a public statement by Transfield over allegations they flew three Wilson Security guards off Manus Island after allegations of their involvement in a rape were reported.
@ronitchka [10/9/15]: Torturers and child abusers #transfieldrefugees #Manus #Refugees #28days
"I have lived like an animal for 18 months and didn't realise anything about being human."
A report from Nauru [Rez Nez Film - 18/3/15]
... “I go to PNG jail and over there PNG police say they will take my eyes off my head and take my head off my body and [that] we asylum seekers are pigs and dogs.”
... “We have patients as well in jail, when we ask for treatment they start beating people and abuse us. In front of us they beat people like animal.” ...
A detention centre guard on Manus Island has been sacked for reportedly assaulting asylum seekers while they were handcuffed.
Several asylum seekers made formal complaints against the Wilson Security guard: one reported that the guard grabbed him in a chokehold around the throat and threatened to kill him, while two others said he slapped them as they sat, handcuffed, on a bus, according to Transfield Services documents from Manus.
Guardian Australia has seen feedback and complaints forms filled out by several asylum seekers, and statements by a witness, in English and Farsi, which describe the incidents.
Guardian Australia has been told the guard’s name, but has chosen not to publish it.
The complaints were investigated by Wilson Security, the security subcontractor on Manus, following protests earlier this year.
A spokesman for Transfield Services, the company contracted by the Australian government to run the Manus Island detention centre, said the guard’s employment was terminated and he was taken from the island after the investigation.
“All complaints are thoroughly and promptly investigated. As a result of this complaint and investigation an employee was dismissed.
“Wilson Security has a strongly reinforced code of conduct. Any conduct falling outside of this is investigated thoroughly and will not be tolerated.”
... The paltry offer of 12,000 places for Syrian refugees leaves me incredulous.
Commentators praise the government in an attempt to encourage this sudden about-face.
They add phrases like “it’s a good start”, like some form of positive reinforcement for a badly behaved child.
What a sad reflection of the state of affairs, especially when considered in conjunction with the eager rush to join a bombing campaign. ...
Asylum seekers and refugees are being abused on our watch. It's time to put detention under surveillance, John-Paul Sanggaran [Guardian – 12/9/15]:
... I have spent this year working to gather the concern that exists in the healthcare sector about the lack of transparency in detention. This has centred on the endorsement of a joint statement calling for the government to uphold a bipartisan commitment to the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT).
The joint standing committee on treaties in 2009 signed Australia up to the OPCAT, which parliament has since failed to ratify.
The OPCAT is a United Nations treaty that would allow for monitoring of detention centres by national and international bodies. Its effect is broader than immigration detention, giving protection to prisons, police lockups, juvenile detention centres, locked psychiatric facilities, and secure disability and aged care facilities.
It is a lot harder to abuse people when you are being watched.
There is no argument of any substance against the OPCAT. It is a mechanism put in place by 78 other countries including the UK and New Zealand. At its heart is transparency.
The OPCAT is a robust way to ensure that the human rights of people in detention are respected in Australia. ...
Senate Hansard [11/8/15]:
Senator WRIGHT (South Australia) (15:54): I ask that general business notice of motion No. 782 standing in my name for today, relating to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, be taken as a formal motion.
The PRESIDENT: Is there any objection to this motion being taken as formal?
Senator Moore: Yes.
The PRESIDENT: There is an objection.
Senator WRIGHT: I seek leave to make a short statement.
The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.
Senator WRIGHT: I am greatly concerned that the government has chosen to deny me a chance to put this important motion to expedite the ratification of OPCAT, the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture. This OPCAT was voluntarily signed up to by an Australian government in 2009, and since then both Labor and coalition governments have inexplicably dragged their feet in its ratification. OPCAT would ensure independent monitoring and reporting on places of detention in Australia, all those places where some of the most overlooked marginalised and powerless people are kept detained: prisoners in jails and police lockups, patients in psychiatric facilities, young people in juvenile detention, and asylum seekers. With very recent examples of deaths in custody and cruel and inhumane treatment of people detained, it is very disappointing that I have been prevented from putting this motion today. It is crucial to fully ratify the protocol and set clear time frames to implement. Australia's own good standing is at stake.
Senator FIFIELD (Victoria—Manager of Government Business in the Senate and Assistant Minister for Social Services) (15:55): I seek leave to make a short statement.
The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.
Senator FIFIELD: Just for the sake of accuracy, while the government does not support Senator Wright's motion, it was the opposition that denied formality on this occasion.
Senator MOORE (Queensland) (15:56): I seek leave to make a short statement.
The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.
Senator MOORE: Yes, Senator Wright, we did deny formality to this important motion, because it is our longstanding practice. Where we have an issue such as this which is complex and creates a number of complex situations and also determines significant discussions across all states and territories, we believe it is not appropriate to use the notice of motion process for that, and that is our standard practice.
No matter your view on asylum seekers and offshore detention, a prohibition on torture is something we can all support, writes Greens Senator Penny Wright, who will present a motion to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture to Parliament today. ... [Lawyers Weekly - 11/8/15]
Nearly a week and the UNHCR has said nothing about Australia's Syrian refugee resettlement PR stunt.
A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.
Australia's refugee debate has not “changed” -
the "language and terms" are now locked in. Lone voices highlight the
Saturday Paper - 12/9/15]:
... In 2005, when Liberal moderates including Judi Moylan and Petro Georgiou were urging a softening of a harsh regime, their push was aided by rising community concern following the unlawful detention of Cornelia Rau.
“It’s unfortunate in some respects that it takes that kind of graphic image or story to show people what is going on, but that is how it has been on many occasions,” says Moylan. “And that is why we’re now seeing such secrecy about what is going on in Nauru and Manus Island.”
After threatening to cross the floor and bring on a private member’s bill, Moylan and other moderates secured the release of children from detention and the conversion of some temporary visas to permanent residence. She is heartened by this week’s announcement, but thinks it must go further.
“I don’t particularly understand why we continue to lock up people on Manus and Nauru who have fled in similar circumstances,” she says.
“I don’t see how that’s different to people leaving Syria now.”
... So, while a fortunate 12,000 living on the borders of Syria and northern Iraq will be given the chance of a new life in Australia, those who paid for their passage on rickety boats from Indonesia to Christmas Island after fleeing war and persecution are punished in order to deter others from coming the "wrong way".
The logic is simple and, in isolation, compelling: Australia will not do anything that offers the most tacit, indirect or qualified acceptance that people in desperate situations will do whatever they can to get to safety, including paying third parties for passage. Otherwise, the argument goes, the boats will start coming again, along with the deaths at sea.
Labor agrees. ... “Generosity” to refugees does not extend to those in limbo on Manus and Nauru [The Age – 12/9/15]
"Missing" a golden opportunity to welcome ALL refugees just validates the Abbott government's odious PR stunt: Greens Member for Melbourne Adam Bandt MP today said he had been overwhelmed by the nearly 1000 people who have signed up with his office in less than 24 hours to provide practical support to arriving Syrian refugees.
"We launched our 'Melbourne Welcomes Refugees' project and almost 1000 people put their hand up on the first day to provide practical support to refugees," Mr Bandt said. ... [Media Release - 11/9/15]
What's worse? Dutton's vulgarity and racism, or deliberately withholding what he - and the IOM are up to - from the Australian people?
Strategic Partnership Framework with @IOM_news Director General William Lacy
Image: @PeterDutton_MP [28/4/15]
Phnom Penh Post [11/9/15]:
Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton yesterday met Cambodia’s senior immigration official, a day after holding talks with Prime Minister Hun Sen and Interior Minister Sar Kheng over the A$40 million refugee resettlement scheme.
When word spread through this quiet suburban block in Cambodia’s capital that one of four refugees sent to the country under a controversial resettlement deal with Australia had asked to be repatriated, residents were unsurprised.
Hong Sinath, who frequently stays with his family nearby, said he had only seen them leave their guarded villa in a van with people accompanying them. "I think this place is similar to a so-called prison where they lock the people inside," he told IRIN.
Three Iranians and a Rohingya from Myanmar left Australia’s refugee detention centre in the tiny Pacific island nation of Nauru to become the only refugees resettled thus far in Cambodia under the agreement. In exchange for accepting, settling and integrating refugees that Australia refuses to take, Cambodia has received AUS $55 million in aid and resettlement packages.
Lending legitimacy to the much-criticised deal, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) agreed to carry out “essential support,” including education, healthcare, social orientation and job assistance.
But just three months into the programme, the Rohingya refugee has already requested to be returned to Myanmar, raising significant questions about what efforts are being made to help the group adjust to life in a new, foreign home.
A life in Australia - and facing deportation [RNZI - 11/9/15]:
A 40-year-old-woman who has spent most of her life in Australia could be deported to New Zealand for relatively minor offences dating back to 2008.
Angela Russell has lived in Australia since she was three, and is raising two children there, but had her visa and passport cancelled after she was jailed for petty theft.
At the end of her sentence, she was taken to the Wickham Point Detention Centre in Darwin.
Her lawyer, Lyma Nguyen, told Checkpoint the way in which Australia's Department of Immigration was handling her case did not follow the process outlined on its own website.
Ms Nguyen said the department initially withheld so much information that she did not even know why Russell was in detention.
"She's been in the Darwin detention centre since April this year and, to date, we have no responses from the Department of Immigration as to what's going on with her case, whether it's being considered and what it's likely to be," she said.
"She does have a record, which adds up to a period of imprisonment of 12 months or more, and for that reason she fell within the scope of the new legislation that came in just in December last year - and combined with the mandatory detention regime that we have here, officers of the department are mandated to detain those who fall within that category of person."
She said the department had told her that it would not respond to correspondence seeking updates on Russell's case.
"She has been in immigration detention approaching nearly six months - that's a deprivation of her liberty."
Dozens of people have been locked up awaiting deportation across the Tasman since Australia toughened up its laws nine months ago.
No progress on suspension of New Zealand aid to Nauru after talks [Guardian – 12/9/15]
... Earlier, Nauru's President Baron Waqa indicated his reluctance to change how the government was running the country.
He said New Zealand had been misled and was interfering in the island's domestic affairs, accusing Wellington of making the decision to suspend the aid unilaterally, with no warning to his administration. [RNZI - 11/9/15]
Real leaders would be immediately funding shelters/refuges, access to counselling, financial and legal support and resolving the root causes of domestic violence (eg societal misogyny, sexism, brutality, greed, war etc.)
Politicians, Murdoch controlled media, professional sportspeople and celebrities will use this crisis to push to further undermine the rule of law by removing rights without addressing the underlying causes.
... Over the years we've seen the brutal killings of Alison Baden-Clay, Li Ping Cao, Neelma Singh and her two siblings, Noelene Beutel, Suzanna Kirton, Amanda Falconer, Annette Cherry and the list painfully goes on.
Politicians' constant calls for immediate, national, coordinated action are now starting to ring hollow.
With Queensland's staggering levels of domestic violence, the state is in the position to take the lead and show other states how to stop the emergency.
State parliament reconvenes on Tuesday and Queenslanders will see whether their politicians are truly committed to ensuring domestic violence is seen "Not Now, Not Ever".
Because sadly at the moment it feels again like a case of too little, too late.
Pissweak –-> The Australian Greens welcome Premier Palaszczuk’s commitment to give DV Connect all of the funding it needs. … [Media Release – 11/9/15]
Queensland police officer fired for domestic violence [Yahoo – 11/9/15]:
... Allegations against the 41-year-old senior constable from the South Eastern Region became the subject of disciplinary proceedings conducted by Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski and were found to be substantiated.
In addition to the domestic violence, the officer had also made abusive and threatening phone calls, accessed confidential information, and failed to treat members of the community with respect and dignity, the Queensland Police Service said on Friday afternoon.
A Queensland man serving a life sentence for murdering his wife and dissolving her body in acid has lost an appeal.
In 2013, Klaus Andres was found guilty of murdering 42-year-old Chinese woman Li Ping Cao at their Cairns home and dissolving her body in a wheelie bin full of hydrochloric acid.
Andres mounted an appeal in May on the grounds the conviction was unreasonable, but his challenge was dismissed in a Court of Appeal decision on Friday. [Yahoo - 11/9/15]
The gunman who shot his estranged wife dead at a Gold Coast McDonald's restaurant has died in hospital of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Karina Lock, 49, was shot in the head by her 57-year-old estranged husband Stephen Lock in front of diners at the Helensvale McDonald's yesterday.
She died at the scene.
Lock was taken to hospital with a self-inflicted gunshot wound and died today. The restaurant has just reopened and the flag outside is flying at half mast.
South Australian police investigating the disappearance of mother Jody Meyers believe she has been murdered and have named her partner as the only person of interest in the case. ... [Nine MSN - 11/9/15]
A manhunt is underway after a mother was critically injured during a stabbing attack in her home near Bendigo, in central Victoria.
Neighbours told 9NEWS the victim's young children were inside the house at the time, and witnessed part of the stabbing just after 5am. ... [Nine MSN - 11/9/15]
Kathleen Bautista: Missing teen found alive, survived on creek water in bushland outside Canberra [ABC - 11/9/15]:
... Earlier on Friday police moved their command post from Lady Denman Drive to the Cotter Catchment after reanalysing Ms Bautista's phone signal history.
Mr Ryan said the phone signals were pivotal to finding Ms Bautista.
"Within 45 to 50 minutes of tasking today an SES crew located Kat's car on settlement road in the Cotter Catchment area," he said on Friday.
Officers and SES volunteers had spent the previous six days scouring bushland near Black Mountain in Canberra's north, where they believed the last signal from her phone was detected. ...
Police are investigating a horrible case of animal cruelty after a young dog was shot in the head with a nail gun.
Shaggy, a two year old mixed breed kelpie, was rescued after he made his way to a residence in Lakeside Road, Kendall, about 9pm on Monday.
The resident contacted local police, before taking the dog to Camden Haven veterinarian Gavin Rippon. Mr Rippon said it was a miracle the dog survived. ... [Camden Haven Courier - 11/9/15]
Assault occasioning bodily harm charge, Surfers Paradise
QPS Media [12/9/15]:
Police have charged a 20-year-old man after an alleged assault on another man outside a Cavill Avenue fast food outlet in Surfers Paradise early this morning.
It will be alleged that around 5am a man struck a 39-year-old man in the face causing him to fall to the ground and hit his head on the pavement.
The 39-year-old man was transported to Gold Coast University Hospital, with lacerations to the back of his head.
After medical assessment he was released a short time after.
The 20-year-old West Burleigh man has been charged with assault occasioning bodily harm and is due to appear in Southport Magistrates Court at a later date.
Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.
Armed robbery, Geebung [QPS Media - 12/9/15]
Police are investigating the armed robbery of a financial institution on Logan Road in Holland Park this afternoon. ... [QPS Media - 11/9/15]
A 17-year-old Calamvale man has been charged with the attempted robbery of a Regents Park store early this morning.
Police will allege the man was involved in the incident where a silver utility ram raided the Vansittart Road business about 12.40am this morning. ... [QPS Media - 11/9/15]
Government funding for ice rehab 'crap': Lambie
If Australia can afford to drop bombs on Syria then there's no excuse for not increasing funding to address the country's growing ice epidemic, Independent Senator Jacqui Lambie says.
Senator Lambie, whose son is battling an ice addiction, said the federal government clearly had its priorities all wrong.
"If you want to go and drop bombs that's your call, you go and do that, but if you can afford to do that, why can't we afford more rehabilitation for our kids?" she told AAP.
Senator Lambie said she had statistics showing ice usage in Australia had doubled in the past two years and nowhere near enough was being spent to address the problem.
"Government funding is crap," she said.
Senator Lambie, who spoke at an ice roundtable in Queensland parliament on Friday, said she had spent the past three days trying to get her son into rehabilitation.
Meanwhile, she is continuing to push for laws to give parents the legal right to put their ice-addicted children into rehab.
Senator Lambie was saddened to hear that a woman in Rockhampton had built a cage to house her ice-addicted son.
"That just goes to show the desperation out there at this point in time - it's just awful," she said.
Far north Queensland MP Billy Gordon has spoken about the heartache of losing two relatives to the drug ice.
Mr Gordon revealed on Friday his 22-year-old cousin and an uncle had both taken their own lives after using the highly addictive drug. ... [Yahoo - 11/9/15]
The Greens are reiterating calls for the Abbott government to bring medicinal cannabis legislation to a vote, in light of the Victorian Law Reform Commission's recommendation that the State Government proceed with a cannabis cultivation trial. ... [Media Release - 11/9/15]
Israeli researchers are leading the world in highlighting the medical benefits of marijuana.
That was the message from journalist Helen Kapalos who spoke last Sunday night at an event on the topic hosted by Magen David Adom and the Zionist Council of Victoria. ... [Australian Jewish News - 29//15]
California legislature approves bill legalising physician-assisted suicide [Reuters – 11/9/15]
Update 2: Fatal traffic crash, Churchill
QPS Media [12/9/15]:
A 97-year-old Yamanto woman admitted to the Ipswich General Hospital following a traffic crash at Churchill on Monday, September 7, passed away yesterday afternoon.
On September 7 police charged a man with 16 offences – including dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing grievous bodily harm – following a series of incidents that occurred in Churchill that morning.
Police will alleged that at approximately 8.45am, a vehicle being driven by a man collided with around ten other vehicles along a three kilometres stretch on Moffatt Street and Warwick Road.
The vehicle then stopped outside a school in Churchill where police will allege he attempted to steal another vehicle.
Members of the public restrained the man before police arrived and took him into custody.
A 52-year-old Ipswich man appeared in the Ipswich Magistrates Court on September 8 charged with 16 offences including two counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and one count each of attempted unlawful entry of a vehicle for committing an indictable offence, common assault, and unlawful entry of a vehicle for committing an indictable offence.
Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.
A Queensland man has escaped uninjured after an unoccupied truck smashed through the front of his house in Brisbane's west.
The truck rolled into the home on Livesay Road, Bellbowrie, about 4pm on Friday afternoon.
The man was the only person inside at the time, and although the front of the property was extensively damaged, he wasn't harmed, police said. [West Australian - 12/9/15]
Police urge caution at Elanora intersection
QPS Media [11/9/15]:
Senior Constable Kurt Foessel from Elanora Police Beat is reminding motorists to take particular caution at the nearby ‘on ramp’ intersection to the M1.
The entrance to the motorway on K P McGrath Drive near the Caltex has been on ongoing issue and has resulted in several traffic incidents.
Thankfully, in the latest incident no one was seriously injured.
It appears a ‘P’ plate driver turning onto the motorway on ramp has turned across the path of an oncoming vehicle, the subsequent collision has caused the vehicle to spin out of control and collide with a third vehicle entering the motorway off K P McGrath Drive.
Incidents of this kind are unfortunately happening too often.
Police would also like to remind motorists to ensure their registration, licence and insurance are all current.
Minor traffic incidents can be reported on the Police Link app via Police Link on 131444 or ‘000’ if an emergency.
Gold Coast worker rescued from collapsed trench
A Gold Coast construction worker is in a serious condition after a trench collapsed on him at a work site.
The 21-year-old man was trapped when part of the eight metre deep trench collapsed around 9.30am at Coomera, a Queensland Ambulance spokeswoman said.
He has been taken to Gold Coast University Hospital with suspected limb and pelvic injuries.
At least 107 killed by falling crane at Grand Mosque in Mecca [Reuters 11/9/15]
Latest statistics reveal Indigenous imprisonment crisis is worsening
Human Rights Law Centre Media Release [11/9/15]:
The latest Australian prison statistics released yesterday show the crisis of Indigenous imprisonment in Australia is getting worse.
The Human Rights Law Centre’s Senior Lawyer, Ruth Barson, said the figures, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, should be a wake-up call for governments across Australia to abandon costly, punitive policies.
“The Indigenous imprisonment rate is a national crisis. We must take smarter action to address this inequality by addressing the causes of crime – not just the symptoms,” said Ms Barson.
Ms Barson urged governments to embrace proven approaches that prevent crime and lower prison rates.
“Programs like justice reinvestment have shown to reduce Indigenous imprisonment rates, keep the community safer and save taxpayer funds,” said Ms Barson.
The statistics confirm that overall, Indigenous people are locked up at 13 times the rate of non-Indigenous people.
Indigenous people account for 28% of the total prisoner population, yet only 2% of the general population.
The statistics show that in the year to June 2015:
•Indigenous men’s imprisonment rose 5%;
•Indigenous women’s imprisonment rose 9%;
•Remand rates (people in prison waiting trial or sentence) increased 11%; and
•Total imprisonment (Indigenous and non-Indigenous) rose 6%.
“Indigenous women are the fastest growing prisoner demographic in Australia. These women are falling through the gaps. We need targeted, gender and culturally specific action to improve safety and to prevent the cycle of disadvantage,” said Ms Barson.
Executive Officer of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, Eddie Cubillo, called on the Federal Government to commit to ‘justice targets’ which set benchmarks for reducing Indigenous imprisonment rates.
“The over-imprisonment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is an ongoing blight on Australia and the problem is getting worse. We need programs that are appropriate and responsive to the needs of Aboriginal people. Justice targets will ensure that Governments are accountable for addressing this issue. We must close this gap,” said Mr Cubillo.
NATSILS is also urging governments to focus on tackling the underlying social and economic reasons that generate crime.
“Too often we ignore proven, effective policies which improve community safety in favour of populist, blunt and often ineffective responses that see more and more Aboriginal people locked up,” said Mr Cubillo.
Justice reinvestment involves channeling some of the billions of dollars spent on prisons, into targeted community programs in high-need areas to address the underlying causes of offending.
“Justice reinvestment is an evidence-based approach that focuses resources on preventing crime instead of just responding after the damage is done,” said Ms Barson.
Justice reinvestment emerged out of traditionally punitive American states like Texas in response to ballooning prison populations and the associated costs. It has proven transformative in those places. It is now being trialed in NSW, Western Australia and South Australia.
Control order restricting what mosques man can attend challenged
A constitutional challenge could be launched over a control order sought by the Australian federal police, which restricts the movements and associations of a 20-year-old man and what mosques he can attend, a federal court judge has heard.
The order also prohibits the man talking to a 12-year-old boy and other teenagers, and places significant restrictions on his use of electronic communication.
In March the AFP sought an interim control order against the man. Unlike previous control order applications made by the AFP, it was not publicised and has been quietly progressing in a series of federal court hearings that have been largely closed to the public.
On Friday Guardian Australia was present at what is believed to be the first ever open court hearing of an interim control order matter. Federal circuit court judge Rolf Driver took directions from the parties to determine the course of the case.
When an interim control order is sought, it can only be temporarily imposed. A judge must confirm the order, which involves in part a consideration of whether the controls listed are reasonable and necessary.
The “controls” place a number of restrictions over where the man can travel, who he can speak with, and requires him to check in regularly with police.
The man must attend a police station every two to three days. He is not permitted within 500m of international airports.
He is also restricted from using mobile phones, computers, email, any telephone service, any internet account or any web applications such as FaceTime, WhatsApp, Telegram or Skype, unless otherwise approved.
A further control states: “You are required to consider in good faith participating in counselling or education relating to your spiritual, emotional and physical wellbeing, with a suitably qualified professional counsellor or publicly recognised religious leader, for at least 60 minutes every week.”
The controls listed also specify the names of a number of individuals, including a 12-year-old boy, a 16-year-old and a number of other men.
A point of contention between the AFP and the respondent is the control that prevents the man from going “inside, or in the grounds of, any masjid/mosque, or any other place of observance” other than one particular mosque specified in the order.
The man’s lawyers said they were considering a constitutional challenges on this order and whether it was consistent with section 116 of the Australian Constitution, which provides freedom of religion.
The lawyer for the man told the court: “The contention that will be put by the respondent is that control 4.4 is failing this test.”
A non-publication order is currently in place surrounding documents and evidence in the case. It is uncertain whether the further hearing set down for the confirmation of the order will be in public.
Judge Driver said in the proceedings he was aware Guardian Australia had queried whether the proceedings were in open court, and would proceed on the basis the hearings were open unless an order was sought by the parties.
The AFP and the lawyers for the man may seek a further order from Driver to restrict access to further hearings.
A date will be set down for the hearing surrounding the confirmation of the order.
12 September 2015