Terror attacks continue across Syria and Iraq
US Department of Defense [12/1/16]:
U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Strikes in Syria
Attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted four strikes in Syria:
-- Near Ayn Isa, one strike wounded an ISIL fighter.
-- Near Dayr Az Zawr, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and wounded an ISIL fighter.
-- Near Manbij, two strikes destroyed two ISIL buildings.
Strikes in Iraq
Fighter and bomber aircraft conducted 19 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
-- Near Baghdadi, one strike cratered three ISIL-used roads.
-- Near Habbaniyah, one strike destroyed an ISIL bridge and denied ISIL access to terrain.
-- Near Mosul, eight strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and an ISIL cash distribution center and destroyed two ISIL command-and-control nodes, an ISIL tactical vehicle, and 20 ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Qayyarah, one strike destroyed an ISIL command-and-control node and destroyed six ISIL staging areas.
-- Near Huwayjah, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Kisik, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL light machine gun, two ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL vehicle, and an ISIL assembly area.
-- Near Ramadi, two strikes destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb, two ISIL front end loaders, and denied ISIL access to terrain.
-- Near Sultan Abdallah, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Tal Afar, one strike destroyed an ISIL-used bridge.
Variations on a
Lyndon B. Johnson, State of the Union (January 12, 1966):
… Tonight, as so many nights before, the American Nation is asked to sacrifice the blood of its children and the fruits of its labor for the love of its freedom.
How many times—in my lifetime and in yours—have the American people gathered, as they do now, to hear their President tell them of conflict and tell them of danger?
Each time they have answered. They have answered with all the effort that the security and the freedom of this nation required.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, State of the Union Address (January 7, 1943):
... But we have learned that we can never dig a hole so deep that it would be safe against predatory animals.
We have also learned that if we do not pull the fangs of the predatory animals of this world, they will multiply and grow in strength—and they will be at our throats again once more in a short generation.
Most Americans realize more clearly than ever before that modern war equipment in the hands of aggressor nations can bring danger overnight to our own national existence or to that of any other nation—or island—or continent. ...
noun A person who acts as an agent for foreign organisations engaged in investment, trade, or economic or political exploitation ...
Another opportunity for the Australian Greens to keep the bastards honest squandered. Why are they seemingly more focussed on getting the ALP elected than actually doing anything to challenge the lies, and close the refugee concentration camps? [Nine MSN -13/1/16]:
... "Opposition" immigration spokesman Richard ["I'd be worse"] Marles said processing times had more than doubled since Labor was in government, demanding Mr ["protected and unaccountable"] Dutton take responsibility for the "dysfunction" under his watch.
But Mr Dutton said hundreds of people arriving by boat a week under Labor had not been properly processed, leaving the government to do so.
He highlighted that the number of people in detention had reduced from 10,300 to just under 1800.
Others were held in detention because they'd committed criminal offences, the minister said.
How many refugee boats did the Australian "Fuck your mothers ... fuck your family ..." Navy push back and/or abandon in past 24 hours? [ABC - 13/1/16]:
Four Indonesian fishermen have been rescued by an Australian ship after drifting for eight days in international waters without food in a life raft they cobbled together from debris and a foam ice box.
The rescued men were able to recover plenty of water bottles from their ship before it sunk, according to Gary Finlay, the skipper of the Darwin boat Exodus, which picked them up in the Timor Sea.
The men were physically well when rescued but were hungry and their skin had deteriorated to become soap-like, Mr Finlay said.
He said his crew saw an Australian Border Patrol helicopter fly over them when they were about 300 nautical miles off the coast of Darwin on Tuesday afternoon.
"We were pulling the fish traps and Australian border patrol aircraft flew overhead and about four minutes after that they radioed and advised us to stand-by and that there were four persons stranded in a life raft," he said.
Mr Finlay said he and his three crew were then called to action to help rescue the men, whose traditional Indonesian fishing boat had sunk.
We are NOT voting for Bill "manless pie face" Shorten
FREE THE REFUGEES!
Stop using them to get default support for your degenerate political party.
Christmas Island residents were "appalled" by the fate of refugee Fazel Chegeni, a member of Iran's Kurdish minority, who was tortured by authorities in Iran, but lost his life in the country he fled to, said Mr Thomson.
Shut concentration camp, say Christmas Islanders [Radio New Zealand - 16/11/15]
Extended lock-downs, broken security cameras and foul hygiene conditions are stoking tension at the Christmas Island detention centre, a detainee has said.
The centre erupted into violence in early November, causing an estimated $10 million in damage, and while those suspected of being involved were transferred to prison, a remaining detainee said they are being punished.
"We feel like caged animals," the man, who asked not to be named, told the ABC.
"It is quite easy to slip into depression and have anxiety and your stress levels go up.
"We have been cleared by the [Australian Federal Police] for the disturbance, and they have still got us [like this]."
He said detainees were being kept on almost 24-hour lock down within their blocks, with one hour's access to the gym a day.
"Christmas Island [detention centre] is actually pretty much destroyed," he said.
"All the security cameras outside the blocks haven't been replaced, which makes everyone on edge because anything can happen.
"The other thing is the hygiene … we're not allowed to have cleaning products to clean our rooms and we're not allowed toilet brushes.
"There's a build up of excrement, if you can imagine on a hot day the smell of excrement and that sort of stuff is pretty intense."
The November riot was sparked by the death of an Iranian Kurdish refugee Fazel Chegeni who had earlier escaped the centre.
His body was discovered at the base of a cliff.
Vale Fazel may your sad and tragic death inspire others to continue their fight against the policy of mandatory detention. Refugee Rights Action Network WA [14/11/15]
Kurdistan 24 [12/11/15]:
... “There's no doubt that the Australian government is in hot waters for its treatment of refugees. The rough and slow processing of the refugees in these detention centres are highly criticized by the UN and other Human Rights organizations. Most Australians are ashamed of their government,” Roza Germian an Australian-based Kurdish journalist told K24.
"There are very little information about what goes on inside the detention centres, due to the high levels of secrecy. Whistle-blowers could face up to 2 years in jail for releasing any information about what's going on inside these facilities,” Germian added.
While activists are demanding transparency from the government, Australian Federal Police agencies are investigating the cause of Fazel Chegeni’s death.
“This story once again hits very close to home. We know the journey that Fazel had to take to get to this point because we too have had to take this journey. To know that the same country that embraced us with peace and safety is now the reason so many other of our refugees are dying in their care is absolutely heartbreaking,” Tara Fethi [Adelaide Kurdish Youth Society] told me.
Arbitrary "code of conduct" ruling re-imprisons asylum seeker who arrived by boat in 2011 - and is now on hunger strike, Christmas Island [Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney - 24/12/15]
... “And every four years both of them get worse, because if you’re a least worst voter you don’t pull the least worst candidate. You’re desperately supporting the least worst candidate because the other guy is worse. So you lose your bargaining power, and they don’t have to give you the time of day the minute you indicate you’re a least worst voter.” ...
Ralph Nader [Raw Story - 23/3/13]
A tourist from the United States was raped repeatedly and had three of her fingers chopped off along the Kokoda Track on Monday, police said.
She and her London-based male companion were tortured and robbed of items such as mobile phones, shoes, backpacks and clothing and cash worth K15,000 before being released.
Police described the incident as “pack-rape”. ... [The National - 13/1/16]
... "Thirteen workers were allegedly paid nothing at all and others were paid individual amounts of between $50 and $300," Fair Work Australia said in a statement. ... Queensland labour-hire company faces court over allegations of exploiting Pacific island workers [ABC - 13/1/16]
RBS tells investors: 'Sell everything' [Australian Financial Review - 12/1/16]
The Yes Men unveil ENDURAsphere at European Parliament
... Sporting a fake moustache and claiming to be GSR spokesman 'Archibald Schumpeter', the Yes Men's Andy Bichlbaum told the press conference: "I'm really excited to be talking with you today about ways that nations that suffer terrorism can respond to terrorism in forceful but intelligent ways from within the defense and security paradigm that we're used to."
"But unfortunately, such responses have not generally been very intelligent. In fact, it's been pretty much all stupid, all the time, every since 9/11."
'Schumpeter' then highlighted how military responses to terror have generaly been counterproductive, leading to further attacks - and finally unveiled the ridiculous ENDURAsphere as an alternatice, 'guaranteed to work against terrorism'.
In a statement on the Yes Men website Bichlbaum said: "This hoax was about highlighting that there really is no solution to terrorism within the defense and security paradigm. Military 'solutions' backfire badly."
"Any 'solution' to terrorism that doesn't take colonial history into account is bound to fail completely. From the parcelling of the Middle East after WWI to the invasion of Iraq by the US, there are reasons things are as they are." ...
Total terrorism solution talk
Iran detained 10 U.S. sailors aboard two U.S. Navy boats in the Gulf on Tuesday in an incident that rattled nerves days ahead of the expected implementation of a landmark nuclear accord with Tehran.
Late on Tuesday, a U.S. defense official said plans were in place for Iran to return the sailors to a U.S. Navy vessel in international waters early on Wednesday.
Both U.S. and Iranian officials described the sailors, whose boats may have inadvertently drifted into Iranian waters, as safe and well-treated. U.S. defense officials said nine men and one woman were aboard the two vessels seized. ... [Reuters - 12/1/16]
Japan to patrol disputed islands if Chinese vessels sail too close [Japan Today – 12/1/16]
Philippine court declares defense pact
allowing US troops in local camps constitutional
[Yahoo – 12/1/16]
A team of defense lawyers have urged the Cilacap District Court to immediately release convicted terrorist Abu Bakar Ba’asyir from prison.
In an attempt to win an early release from his 15-year sentence, Ba’asyir’s defense lawyers have argued that the court made a wrong decision when they sent the 77-year-old terrorist leader to prison without strong evidence of his alleged involvement in the funding of a terrorist training camp in Aceh.
“We want the presiding judges to release Abu Bakar Ba’asyir immediately because of an invalid verdict,” the Muslim Team Lawyer (TPM) head Ahmad Mihdan told the Cilacap District Court during a judicial review hearing on Tuesday.
Mihdan argued that the court had sentenced Ba’asyir based on a series of testimonies made by unfavorable witnesses through teleconference, which was illegal. ... [Jakarta Post - 12/1/16]
Russian watchdog to inspect Microsoft, McDonald’s for compliance with personal data law [TASS - 11/1/16]
Juniper has confirmed it will stop using a piece of security code that analysts believe was developed by the National Security Agency in order to eavesdrop through technology products.
The Silicon Valley maker of networking gear said it would ship new versions of security software in the first half of this year to replace those that rely on numbers generated by Dual Elliptic Curve technology.
The statement on a blog post came a day after the presentation at a Stanford University conference of research by a team of cryptographers who found that Juniper's code had been changed in multiple ways during 2008 to enable eavesdropping on virtual private network sessions by customers. ... [IT News - 10/1/16]
Police officer and security guard shot at Nepean hospital in Sydney [ABC - 13/1/16]
A man was shot in the heart with an arrow on Tuesday, paramedics said, with another man charged with attempted murder after the incident north of Brisbane.
The Queensland Ambulance Service was called to an address on Ellis Street, Lawnton, at 1.28pm after a man was shot in the chest and arm with a compound bow and arrow.
A Queensland Ambulance spokesman said the arrow had gone through the victim's heart.
The man, 40, was transported to Royal Brisbane Hospital in a serious condition.
Police said the attack was a result of an argument between the two men, who knew each other.
A 37-year-old man was arrested at the scene and is due to appear at Pine Rivers Magistrates Court charged with attempted murder. [Brisbane Times - 13/1/16]
10 children injured at boot camp after pontoon flips, Samford [Yahoo - 13/1/16]:
... It was initially reported that they were scouts, but a youth boot camp organiser says they were cooling off after finishing an army-style challenge.
Veterans For Youth (V4Y) founder Daimien Patterson praised an 18-year-old lifeguard, who was on-hand for the swimming activity, for ensuring everyone was accounted for. ...
A second boy has been charged over an alleged ambush attack that left a university student with deep welts on his neck late last year.
A 19-year-old UWA student was riding his motorcycle in Perth when he hit a rope that had been tied across the street at about 11.30pm on Thursday December 17.
The impact caused the man to fall off his motorbike. ... [West Australian - 13/1/16]
A Victorian teenager has denied claims he sexually assaulted several women at a Gold Coast beach, blaming surf and wind conditions for the contact with the alleged victims.
The 18-year-old Pakistan national has been charged with seven counts of sexual assault, two counts of attempted rape and four counts of common assault. Southport Magistrates Court heard on Wednesday that the alleged assaults happened in surf between the red and yellow flags at popular Surfers Paradise beach around midday on Tuesday.
Eight women have claimed the man assaulted them. ... [Nine MSN - 11/1/16]
Brisbane Dulux workers strike amid looming job cuts [Yahoo - 13/1/16]
The crew of a Victorian cargo ship has been pulled from their beds and escorted off the ship after a two-month stand-off with global mining giant Alcoa.
Up to 30 security guards were used to remove the five crew members from MV Portland, which was docked in Portland, in the early hours of Wednesday, the Maritime Workers Union says.
A replacement crew was then escorted aboard and began sailing the carrier towards Singapore. ... [West Australian - 13/1/16]
A final deal has been signed between South Korea's Samsung and the main group of families seeking compensation over leukaemia they say was contracted while at work in the electronics company's semiconductor plants.
Documents were signed at the families' lawyer's office in Seoul after the agreement was reached on Tuesday.
includes a confidential compensation deal for five families and former employees
who have been pursuing a case against the company for years, as well as
preventive measures Samsung says it will implement for better safety in its
semiconductor plants from chemical exposure. ... [Al
Jazeera - 12/1/16]
Freight train derailment: Mount Isa rail line reopens after sulphuric acid spill - Queensland Greens still in hiberation [ABC - 13/1/16]
Thanks for numbering every box and putting the LNP last!: Queensland government renews contract for monopoly, outsourced rail freight provider, immediately following Julia Creek derailment [Media Release - 31/12/15]
The derailment of a fertiliser train travelling to the Port of Townsville caused the Townsville railway line to be closed for three days.
Rail, Train and Bus Union Northern District organiser Les Moffitt said the loaded Aurizon train and six wagons derailed near Warrigal about 6.15am on August 10.
“It appears that an axle broke on one of the wagons, which caused the derailment, resulting in a considerable amount of fertiliser product spilling onto the ground,” Mr Moffitt said.
Mr Moffitt said the derailment could have been due to a “rollingstock failure”.
A Queensland Rail restructure had caused hundreds of job losses along the 1032-kilometre track between Townsville to Mount Isa.
Aurizon’s Rollingstock servicing depot in Hughenden and the South Yard Workshops in Townsville have also been closed. Cloncurry Rollingstock servicing depot trade staff has also been reduced. ... [North West Star - 17/8/14]
Profit is Aurizon's "key priority" [Brisbane Times - 18/8/14]
On a gray morning in September 2014, a mother, a cafe owner, two teachers, and a co-founder of Climate Solutions set up a blockade in front of a parked oil train at the BNSF Delta rail yard in Everett. After eight hours locked to an 18-foot metal tripod they’d erected over the tracks, they were arrested and spent the next 24 hours on thin mattresses in separate cells at the Snohomish County Jail.
Charged with second-degree criminal trespass and blocking or delaying a train–two misdemeanors–their jury trial officially begins today at the Snohomish County South District Court in Lynnwood. They expect a packed courtroom, including a documentary crew and dozens of climate activists, and hope to make some serious history, as their pro-bono lawyers have gotten the official go-ahead from Judge Anthony E. Howard to use what’s called “the necessity defense.”
It’s an area of law that excuses criminal action if the defendant was doing so to avoid greater harm. For the first time in a U.S. courtroom, that argument will include the greater harm of climate change. ... [Seattle Weekly - 11/1/16]
A 51-year-old Knitting Nanna from Lismore has spent this morning ‘locked-on’ to the gates of Santos’ Leewood wastewater facility, which is part of the company’s plans to develop 850 gas wells in the Pilliga forest near Narrabri in North West NSW.
Louise Somerville told Echonetdaily that it was important that ‘Australia wakes up’ to the potential damage of the gas industry on the environment.
‘Santos plans to use 400,000 litres of water per well. With 850 wells this will greatly de-pressurise the underground water system,’ she said, prior to being removed by police this morning.
‘I’m locked on to this gate to peacefully protest which is my right as an Australian citizen, because I would like to see this country looked after.
‘I have four children who will be here long after I die and I believe we all have a right to clean water air and land. ... [Tweed Shire Echo - 12/1/16]
Santos coal seam gas waste-water pond leaked briefly during commissioning [Canberra Times – 12/1/16]
The burial of a dead four-metre sperm whale which had beached at Casuarina Beach on the Tweed Coast last week has caused a stink with locals who fear its rotting carcass could pose a health risk to beach users and also attract sharks to the area.
The 3.8-metre whale calf was found by locals alive on the beach on Monday 4 January, but died soon afterward and two days later it was buried using heavy machinery in the dunes between two access tracks south of a tourist resort at Casuarina.
Staff from Seaworld on the Gold Coast and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) were called to the site where the whale had stranded.
An NPWS spokesman said the whale had some minor injuries consistent with stranding as well as some smaller shark bites.
But he said there were no obvious signs of why the whale stranded or died. ... [Tweed Shire Echo - 12/1/16]
Carcasses of 30 baleen whales were found washed ashore near the Tiruchendur beach in this district [Tamil Nadu] early Tuesday while 250 of the same species have been stranded in shallow waters, officials said.
Efforts are on to push the stranded sea mammals into deep waters even as a team of top officials of the fisheries department have rushed to the spot to conduct a probe.
Indian wildlife officials measure one among the dozens of whales that have washed ashore on the Bay of Bengal coast's Manapad beach in Tuticorin district, Tamil Nadu. (Source: AP)Indian wildlife officials measure one among the dozens of whales that have washed ashore on the Bay of Bengal coast’s Manapad beach in Tuticorin district, Tamil Nadu. (Source: AP)
“This is an unusual thing…an unusual mortality incident, we have to find out the reason,” Marine Scientist Velumani at the fisheries department said.
“There could be many reasons…navy sonars could have caused it…or pollution…the reason is not immediately known and we don’t want to speculate,” Assistant Director of Tuticorin fisheries department, Amal Xavier, said.
“We have to study the health of the stranded whales and also the eco-system. The study would require the help of oceanographic experts also,” Velumani said. [Indian Express - 12/1/16]
Tweed Coast koala deaths and disease raise alarm [Tweed Shire Echo – 11/1/16]
An elderly woman on a mobility scooter was struck by a car while crossing a road at the Gold Coast on Tuesday, police said.
The 89-year-old woman was seriously hurt after she was struck about 1pm while crossing a pedestrian crossing near a shopping centre on Millaroo Drive, Helensvale, the Queensland Police Service said.
The woman was transported to Gold Coast University Hospital where she remained in a serious but stable condition on Tuesday night. [Brisbane Times - 12/1/16]
The Iraqi embassy in Berlin has issued 1,400 passports recently for Iraqi migrants who want to return to their home country, the German foreign ministry said on Monday. ... [Ahram - 12/1/16]
Two Iraqi journalists shot dead north of Baghdad [Ahram – 12/1/16]
London: Former prisoners call for closure of Guantánamo on 14th anniversary [Democracy Now - 11/1/16]
A Saudi prisoner at the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who authorities said was a recruiter and fighter for al-Qaida has been sent back to his homeland, the Pentagon said Monday amid a wave of releases from the detention center.
Muhammed Abd Al-Rahman Al-Shamrani was among the first prisoners taken to the U.S. base in Cuba when it opened in January 2002 to hold suspected enemy combatants. He had long been deemed too dangerous to release even as most of the prisoners from Saudi Arabia were sent home. ... [Military Times - 11/1/16]
Rob Lawrie, British ex-soldier, faces court for smuggling refugee girl into Britain [Huffington Post - 11/1/16]
Calais Jungle camp: 2,000 refugees living in makeshift shelters 'given three days to leave as bulldozers move in' [Independent - 11/1/16]
Looks like Australia's Guantanamos in the Pacifc ----> French authorities have opened new temporary shelters to house some of the people living in France’s largest refugee camp. Thousands of people in the port city of Calais have been camped out in makeshift tents in what they call the "jungle." Their goal is to reach Britain by jumping on top of or inside trucks. Officials have now unveiled shipping containers that can hold up to 1,500 people; they are equipped with heat, but no water or sanitary facilities. One Afghan resident objected to the new lodgings, saying residents are fingerprinted and "it’s like a prison." ... [Democracy Now - 11/1/16]
US: ICE lied to get inside immigrants' homes during raids, lawyers say [Huffington Post - 11/1/16]
13 January 2016