Xi and Trump discuss Korean Peninsula, Syria over phone [Xinhua - 12/4/17]



@wikileaks [11/4/17]:  Full doc: U.S. Marines North Korean invasion guide (1997, but still useful) ...



@wikileaks [11/4/17]:  Alleged White House justifications for the legality of Syrian strike



Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday the calls on Russia to distance itself from President Bashar Assad are short-sighted and absurd as they disregard the need to fight against terrorism and political settlement in Syria. ... [SANA - 12/4/17]



Lavrov: Moscow stresses importance of preventing future US strikes against Syria [SANA - 12/4/17]



At a ceremony this month, the U.S. ambassador to the Central African Republic turned over the keys to four cargo trucks to the national army.

It was the first installment of $8 million worth of nonlethal assistance that is expected to include 16 more trucks and communications equipment. ... [All Africa - 12/4/17]



Trump to sell 12 attack planes to Nigeria for Boko Haram fight [All Africa - 11/4/17]



Deadly explosion at army ammunition plant in Missouri [Military.com - 10/4/17]



... Dressed as his favorite character from the Mexican television show, “El Chavo del Ocho,” a family member who would only identify herself as Lexi on Twitter, posted “Rip little angel, you didn’t deserve this.

You’re reuniting with ur (sic) grandpa now ... hearing this on the news I had no idea it would be you.”

Jonathan was killed Monday in the shooting at North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino.

His teacher Karen Elaine Smith, 53, was also shot and killed.

Smith’s estranged husband Cedric Anderson, 53, of Riverside, later turned the gun on himself.

Another student, a 9-year-old boy, remains hospitalized in stable condition.

The heart surgeries the young boy endured the first few years of his life because of the Williams syndrome diagnosis were also referenced.

“His life was a miracle,” she posted.

“He almost had his life taken by health issues but only for a few (years) later it to be taken by some idiot.” ... [San Bernadino Sun - 12/4/17]



... The case is the third fatal shooting involving Fremont officers this year. ... Coroner: Suspect in Fremont police confrontation shot himself [CBS - 11/4/17]



The struggle against America's racist death row [Al Jazeera - 11/4/17]:


Texas death-row inmate Rodney Reed - a black American man convicted in a racially charged trial - has lived under the threat of execution for two decades.

At one point, in March 2015, Reed was set to be executed the day after Al Jazeera spoke to him from behind the plexiglass at a prison in Livingston, Texas.

But the execution was stayed, pending a review into his case.

In 2014, Reed's lawyers had launched a bid to reopen an investigation into DNA collected at the crime scene that the lawyers said would exonerate him.

Texas's judicial authorities had long ignored calls to review what Reed's lawyers and forensic experts believe is overwhelming evidence that his conviction was wrongful.


Stites's fiancé, Jimmy Fennell - a white police officer - was a suspect in her death until Reed's conviction, according to Benjet [lawyer] and local news reports.

Fennell is currently serving a prison sentence for abducting and raping a woman while on duty.


Among other cases, Kenneth Fults, an African-American man, was executed in Georgia for the 1996 murder of a white woman.

According to Amnesty International, "One of the jurors from the sentencing had signed a sworn statement saying: 'I don't know if he ever killed anybody, but that n***** got just what should have happened'."

A state court rejected the claim that Kenneth Fults had an intellectual disability that would render his execution unconstitutional. ...



An Aboriginal man with cognitive impairment has walked free from jail after almost five years behind bars, with WA's highest court overturning his conviction for the bashing death of Josh Warneke outside Broome.

Gene Gibson, from the Western Desert community of Kiwirrkurra, had pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Mr Warneke, who was found dead on the side of a road after leaving a nightclub in February 2010.

However, Mr Gibson's conviction was set aside in a unanimous decision by the Court of Appeal.

He was released from Casuarina Prison near Perth just before 11:30am. ... [ABC - 12/4/17]



More cruel media speculation and opinionating as Australia's anti-refugee policy remains unscrutinised and unopposed [SBS - 12/4/17]



Saudi woman reportedly seeking asylum in Australia removed from flight [Inquirer - 11/4/17]:


A Saudi Arabian woman who was reportedly seeking asylum in Australia but was off-loaded from her flight at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) was repatriated Monday night.

On the request of officials from the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Manila, Dina Ali Lasloom was off-loaded from her Australian-bound flight at the NAIA Tterminal 2 and put on a 10:30 p.m. Saudi Airlines flight to Jeddah at the NAIATterminal 1.

Lasloom was a passenger of a Philippine Airlines flight PR 669 from Kuwait to Manila, which arrived at 3:30 am Monday, and was supposed to take an 11 a.m. connecting flight to Sydney, Australia the same day. ...



Military lawyers sue Pentagon over cancer-linked Guantánamo housing, work areas [Miami Herald - 10/4/17]:


... Higher-ranking officials, judges and civilian attorneys usually stay in hotel-style guest accommodations known as “hard housing” when they go to the base.

But the military defense team assigned to each accused terrorist – which includes lawyers, paralegals, security officers and linguists – stays and works in a trailer park set up on an abandoned airstrip.

The so-called Cuzco trailers, which opened in 2008, are part of a $12 million facility that includes buildings that were closed down before the Pentagon set up the prison in 2002.

In the 1990s, the area was used as a camp for Cuban migrants who’d been picked up at sea during the so-called rafter crisis. ...



... it is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners. ... Remembering Michael Ratner, pioneering lawyer who fought for justice from Attica to Guantánamo [Democracy Now - 12/5/16]



... In hindsight, we can see that we were wrong to allow our trust in Clinton and his election promise to dictate legal strategy.

Clinton sorely disappointed us, and our belief in him caused our clients to spend more time in the inhuman camp conditions.

But for our belief in Clinton, we could have tried the case four of five months earlier and ended the horror of the camp that much sooner.

If there ever is a next time and I am faced with a similar situation and must choose a legal strategy, I will disregard the promises of politicians.

Clinton's promises and our reliance on them seriously jeopardized our relationships with our clients.

We wrongly believed and persuaded our clients to believe that Clinton would change their circumstances.

Regaining the trust of our clients was not easy.  ... How we closed the Guantanamo HIV camp:  The intersection of politics and litigation, Michael Ratner



Immigrants at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma are continuing a hunger strike, according to immigrant advocacy group Latino Advocacy.

Latino Advocacy director Maru Mora Villalpando said up to 200 people were participating in the hunger strike Monday.

A press release Tuesday says the number had risen to more than 400 detainees.

The center holds about 1,500 people. 

Among other things, detainees are calling for better food, higher pay for jobs at the detention center and expedited hearings, Mora Villalpando said.


Hundreds of immigrants refused meals in 2014, some of them for several weeks, because of similar concerns. ... [KUOW - 11/4/17]



Maribel Trujillo: Fairfield mother will be deported to Mexico, US Federal Court rules [WCPO - 11/4/17]:


... A group of protesters gathered outside the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to pray and express their support for Trujillo Tuesday evening.

Sister Tracy Kemme with Cincinnati Sisters of Mercy, who participated, said Trujillo's husband was heartbroken by his wife's deportation.

"I respect that we are a country of laws, but I think there's a higher law," Kemme said. 

"It's not justice anymore when it's ripping families apart."



US judges recalled from hearing immigration cases at Dilley and Karnes detention centres, but where have the women and children gone? [Reuters - 11/4/17]


... Populations at the two centers have declined drastically since Trump took office Jan. 20. Dilley, which held 1,499 women and children on Jan. 14, held only 259 on March 30.

Karnes held 546 women and children on Jan. 14, but only 87 on March 30, according to a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The judges deployed to the border left behind scheduled hearings in their home courts.

As of early March, immigration courts were weighed down by a record backlog of more than 542,000 cases.



Mexico grants residency but denies asylum to Cuban migrants [Humanosphere - 10/4/17]



Julian Assange documentary 'Risk' lands at Showtime [Hollywood Reporter - 9/4/17]



‏@JulianAssange [11/4/17]:  Here's a video of @JLMelenchon committing to give @Snowden (and me) citizenship for revealing spying on France



@JulianAssange [11/4/17]:  CIA helped South Africa jail Nelson Mandela and Turkey jail Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan in 1999 (he is currently held incommunicado).



Sudanese official defends decision to have CIA office in Khartoum [Middle East Monitor - 11/4/17]



More than 40 Yemenis have been killed in Saudi airstrikes as well as clashes between fighters from the Houthi Ansarullah movement and militiamen loyal to resigned president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, military and medical officials say.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Monday that the skirmishes and aerial attacks in the Jabal al-Nar area, east of the Red Sea port city of Mukha in Ta’izz Province, had left 17 Houthi fighters dead.

Another 11 Ansarullah members were killed in airstrikes on Kamaran Island and a base in the provincial capital city of Hudaydah.

Unnamed medical sources said ten pro-Hadi militiamen had been also killed and 15 others wounded in the confrontations.

Meanwhile, three civilians lost their lives and two others sustained injuries when a bomb attack targeted the convoy of a military commander. ... [Press TV - 10/4/17]



Two Afghan National Army soldiers killed in Zabul explosion [TOLO News - 12/4/17]



200 US troops deployed in Helmand province of Afghanistan [Khaama - 11/4/17]



A group of six militants involved in major terrorist attacks were arrested by the provincial intelligence directorate operatives in Kandahar. ... [Khaama - 11/4/17]



US soldier killed during "operations against ISIS" in East of Afghanistan [Khaama - 8/4/17]



A huge fire, apparently started deliberately, tore through the Grande-Synthe migrant camp near the northern French city of Dunkirk late last night, reducing it to “a heap of ashes”, the regional chief said.

Firefighters said at least 10 people had been injured in the blaze at the camp, which was home to some 1,500 people, mostly Iraqi Kurds, living in closely packed wooden huts. ... [The Journal - 11/4/17]



@CruzRojaAlmeria [11/4/17]:  Finalizamos intervención a 22 varones y 8 mujeres rescatados de la #patera. Un traslado en #SVA a centro hospitalario . #humanidad #ERIE  



@salvamentogob [11/4/17]:  Barqueo hasta la Polimnia de inmigrantes rescatados por @Armada_esp en isla de Alboran para traslado a Almeria



The IOM do not care about refugees and migrants.


They work with governments against the right to move and the right to seek asylum.



Meanwhile, willing propagandists for the cause, such as the Guardian, protect those responsible for destroying Libya [Reuters - 10/4/17]:


Forces aligned with a U.N.-backed government in Tripoli said on Monday that three of their men had been killed in air raids against a desert air base by rivals allied with eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar.

The oil-producing North African state slipped into turmoil during the 2011 uprising that ended Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year-old and has been riven by factional strife since then.

The struggle for control around Tamanhent air base 30 km (19 miles) northeast of Sabha risks escalating into the first major confrontation between forces officially linked to the Government of National Accord (GNA) and Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA). ...



... Libya’s decimation was the inevitable result of the removal of its government, and the removal of its government was the express goal of the US-NATO war.

To build support for the military offensive, American officials lied about the humanitarian threat posed by Qaddafi; to execute it, they empowered and armed an opposition coalition they knew was rife with al-Qaeda allies and other reactionary forces. The war shouldn’t be blamed solely on Clinton, who, after all, wasn’t President.

For that matter, it shouldn’t be blamed solely on President Obama. US allies — both in Europe and the Gulf — played important roles, and imperialism is a power greater than an individual or group of individuals. It has its own imperatives, its own class interests to serve.

Yet Clinton was the driving force in the administration, taking up a cause championed at lower levels by Obama adviser Samantha Power and UN ambassador Susan Rice. ... Benghazi is a sideshow. Hillary Clinton’s real scandal is her role in pushing the war against Libya [Jacobin - 17/7/15]



... The hand that signed the treaty bred a fever,

And famine grew, and locusts came;

Great is the hand that holds dominion over

Man by a scribbled name. ...


Dylan Thomas



Signing the Strategic Partnership Framework with @IOM_news Director General William Lacy Swing  [Image:  ‏@PeterDutton_MP - 28/4/15]



Australian media and IOM proudly declare mission accomplished as refugees rot in Indonesia [ABC - 17/11/16]



Nevermind Adam Harvey's omission that there is no "queue", and the IOM are profitting from Australia's anti-refugee torture, turnback and exile policy. ---> ...  By 2015 there were 33 sites of immigration detention throughout Indonesia.

Australian funding through the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has expanded the capacity of this detention network since 2011. ...  What Australia's fanatical "stop the boats" anti-refugee policy means for people seeking asylum in our region [Academy of Social Sciences in Australia - 2016]



Australia stopped accepting refugees in July 2014 [SBS -18/11/14]:


... The UNHCR's Canberra office also refused interview requests. ...



... Prior to taking up this assignment in early 2014, Mr. Albrecht served as Head of the UNHCR Regional Support Hub in Nairobi ... [UNSW Kaldor Centre]



During the UNHCR's April 2016 tour of Nauru, refugees were told to expect to remain on the island for "another ten years".

Immediately after they conveyed this message to the refugees, Omid Masoumali covered himself in flammable liquid and set himself alight shouting at the delegation "We're sick and exhausted! You've destroyed our lives! Did you come just to gape at our misery? We lead miserable lives! You've been torturing us for three years!"

After more than 24 hours without adequate medical attention he was airlifted by private contractor to Brisbane, where he died on 29 April 2016 from his burns.



Pari still being punished 1 year after Omid's self-immolation protest against Australia's UNHCR-supported anti-refugee policy [Guardian - 23/3/17]:



Everytime the media and human rights sector advocate on behalf of handpicked Syrians - without any context - they help the Australian government and opposition condemn 1,000s.


If all refugees are equal, why do you persist in compartmentalising them? --> We STRONGLY endorse this sensible course of action - Australia urged to accept fresh intake of Syrian refugees @OzRefugeeCounc [11/4/17]



Political prisoners of the Australian government and opposition protest on Nauru, May 2016



Oxfam criticises Europe's pushback of refugees as Szoke helps shield the regional impacts of Australia's border policy from scrutiny ---> Oxfam Report [6/4/17]:


People who are trying to access the EU in search of safety and dignity are being routinely abused by law enforcement officials in countries in the Western Balkans.

State agents responsible for upholding fundamental rights are instead subjecting people to violence and intimidation and denying access to asylum procedures to those seeking international protection.

Governments in the region must immediately end these violations and initiate processes to ensure safety and dignity for people on the move in their territories. ...



... More than half the dead were from Myanmar. ...  More than 600 people have died in Malaysian prisons and immigration detention centres over the past 2 years [Reuters - 4/4/17]



... But it should not wait until bodies are washed up on foreign beaches before it is spurred to action.

And nor should Australia reserve its help for those fleeing conflict in distant wars.

Its first duty should be to those who face death and persecution in its own region.

There are both practical and moral reasons for this.

Practically, it is faster and more effective to provide sanctuary to those closer to home and to repatriate those who wish to return when it is safe to do so.

Morally, it is Australia’s neighbours to whom it owes its first duty of assistance. ...  Catherine Renshaw  [The Conversation – 9/9/15]




Protest in Melbourne, September 2015 ‏@LaydeeAidee 



Police officers in PNG's Eastern Highlands participate in a PR stunt for the UN and Australian Department of Foreign Affairs, as refugees on Manus remain illegally imprisoned and/or subject to deportation and ongoing provocations [EMTV - 11/4/17]



150 West Papuan refugees granted citizenship after living in PNG for 40 years [RNZI - 12/4/17]



Cruelty is not inexplicable. It is a hallmark of fascism. Read Umberto Eco you dumb fuckers. ---> ..."We have no idea why anyone would do that, especially to something as gentle as a platypus." ... Platypuses found decapitated in NSW botanical gardens [Yahoo - 11/4/17]




12 April 2017