... boats line G20 security zone. Remember Refugees r in C21st concentration camps ... #walkingG20

Image: @pipsterb [15/11/14]

Australia's refugee concentration camps attract sadists and abusers. [The Saturday Paper - 15/11/14]

As cold weather approaches, UN agencies cross frontlines of Syrian conflict with critical aid [UN Media Release - 14/11/14]

Amid surging violence in Libya, UN warns of potential displacement crisis [UN Media Release - 14/11/14]

‘Highly fragile’ humanitarian situation in Mali demands urgent assistance [UN Media Release - 14/11/14]

Poignant sign held by child at #g20 March for peace in Sth #Sudan, #Brisbane botanical gardens

Image: @david_busch [15/11/14]

50,000 and Not Counting: South Sudan's War Dead [Naharnet - 15/11/14]

The Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz meets the Australian prime minister Tony Abbott, reviewing the Summit's agenda.

Image: @PrinceSalmanEN [15/11/14]

Putin, Cameron Hold Talks Behind Close Doors at G20 Summit in Australia [Sputnik News - 15/11/14]

Meeting with Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi [Kremlin - 15/11/14]

BRICS countries should raise their voice in global economic governance: Chinese president [Xinhua - 15/11/14]

Repatriation of Black Money Key Priority, Says PM Narendra Modi Ahead of G20 Summit [NDTV - 15/11/14]

Top US general arrives in Iraq as military campaign expands

Reuters [15/11/14]:

The top U.S. military officer, General Martin Dempsey, arrived on Saturday in Baghdad on an unannounced visit to meet U.S. commanders preparing to expand American assistance to Iraqi and Kurdish forces battling Islamic State militants.

It was Dempsey’s first trip to Iraq since President Barack Obama, alarmed by Islamic State advances, ordered non-combatant American forces back into the country this summer, less than three years after withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. The United States began carrying out air strikes in August.

“I want to get a sense from our side about how our contribution is going,” Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Reuters shortly before landing in Baghdad.

“I want to hear from those actually doing the lifting that they’ve the resources they need and the proper guidance to use those resources.”

Last week, Obama authorized sending up to 1,500 more forces to Iraq, roughly doubling the planned U.S. troop presence as the United States expands its advisory mission and starts training Iraqi and Kurdish forces.

Dempsey was due to meet U.S. officials overseeing the effort, including Kuwait-based task force commander Lieutenant General James Terry, as well as Iraqi officials.

“This will work best if we’re enabling (Iraq’s) plan,” Dempsey, who last visited Iraq in 2012, said.

Dempsey’s visit comes in the wake of Iraqi battlefield advances touted by U.S. officials, including retaking areas around the country's biggest refinery near the city of Baiji.

Kurdish forces pushed the Islamic State out of the town of Zumar in northern Iraq and U.S. air strikes hit a gathering of Islamic State battlefield commanders near Mosul just over a week ago.

Still, the Islamic State remains defiant, and has dug into key Iraqi cities, including Mosul.

An audio message purported to be from the group’s leader this week urged supporters in Saudi Arabia to take the fight to the rulers of the kingdom, which has joined the U.S.-led coalition in mounting air strikes against the Islamic State group in Syria.

About 1,400 U.S. troops are now on the ground, just below the previous limit of 1,600 troops. The new authorization from Obama gives the U.S. military the ability to deploy up to 3,100 troops.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Friday that France would not be dictated to after an unidentified Russian official was quoted as giving Paris two weeks to deliver the first of two Mistral helicopter carriers or face possible compensation claims. ... [Reuters - 14/11/14]

On the eve of a G20 summit in Australia expected to focus in part on the crisis in Syria and Iraq, Stephen Harper says Canada does not support war on the Syrian government or any Middle East nation — only war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). ... [CBC - 14/11/14]

Afghanistan: US drone strike kills 5 in Kunar province

Khaama [15/11/14]:

At least five militants were killed following a US drone strike in eastern Kunar province on Friday, local security officials said Saturday.

Provincial police chief Gen. Abdul Habib Syed Khel said the airstrike was carried out in Manodi district.

Gen. Syed Khel confirmed that five militants were killed and three others were injured following the airstrike.

The anti-government armed militant groups have not commented regarding the report so far.

Kunar is among the volatile provinces in eastern Afghanistan where anti-government armed militant groups are actively operating in its various districts and frequently carry out insurgency activities.

Kunar is also considered to be a hotbed of insurgents both for the Afghan and Pakistani militants, as Kunar province has border with the tribal regions of Pakistan.

The foreign militants including fighters of the Pakistani Taliban group are usually crossing border into Afghanistan and launch attacks on check posts of the Afghan national security forces in Kunar.

International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on Saturday announced its service member was killed in an insurgents’ attack in eastern Afghanistan. ... [Pajhwok - 15/11/14]

Israeli forces shoot 10-year-old Palestinian in the head in Shufat

Maan [15/11/14]:

A Palestinian child was severely injured after Israeli forces opened fire on a car she was traveling in with family near the Shufat refugee camp checkpoint on Friday.

The shooting comes on a day of clashes with Israeli forces across the West Bank and follows the blinding of an 11-year-old Palestinian boy the day before in clashes in the nearby East Jerusalem village of al-Issawiya.

Mayar Amran Twafic al-Natsheh, 10, was riding in her grandfather's car with her mother, grandfather, and her sibling when a rubber-coated steel bullet smashed through the car's window and hit her in the face.

She was taken Hadassah hospital near al-Issawiya and medical sources said she suffered a fractured skull as a result of the attack.

Mayar's father is currently being detained by Israeli forces.

An Israeli police spokesman said he did not have any information about the incident.

The incident occurred at the Shufat refugee camp checkpoint, which is the only link between the East Jerusalem neighborhood and Jerusalem proper due to the Israeli separation's walls path around the area, which divides it from nearby Jewish settlements as well as other Palestinian neighborhoods.

The shooting comes only a day after US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Palestinian and Israeli leaders in Jordan to ease tensions in Jerusalem, which has become the site of daily protests across the city's Palestinian neighborhoods that Israeli forces have repressed with dozens of casualties.

...

Nigeria's Chibok falls to Boko Haram

Al Jazeera [15/11/14]:

Boko Haram has seized the town of Chibok, in Borno state in northeast Nigeria, from where 276 schoolgirls were kidnapped more than six months ago, officials say.

The April 14 kidnapping brought global attention to the armed group's five-year campaign to set up a state ruled by Islamic law in northern Nigeria.

"Chibok was taken by Boko Haram. They are in control," Enoch Mark, a Christian pastor whose daughter and niece are among the 219 teenagers still being held, told AFP news agency.

Mark and Ali Ndume, a senator for southern Borno, said Boko Haram attacked at about 4pm local time (15:00 GMT) on Thursday, destroying communications masts and forcing civilians to flee.

Ndume said that he had received calls from residents saying Chibok "was now under their [Boko Haram] control. There is no telephone service now in Chibok, which is why it took time before the reports reached me".

Mark said the attack on Chibok, an impoverished town, appeared to come after Boko Haram overran the towns of Hong and Gombi in neighbouring Adamawa state following the group's removal from the commercial hub of Mubi.

"They came in and engaged soldiers and vigilantes in a gunfight," he said.

"Some of us managed to escape. All the telecom towers in the town were destroyed during the attack with RPGs [rocket-propelled grenades].

"No one can say what the situation is in the town in terms of destruction to property."

Al Jazeera's Ahmed Idris, reporting from Abuja, said tackling Boko Haram was proving difficult for the Nigerian military.

"Plans are under way to retake Chibok but the military is facing its own difficulties fighting ongoing battles with Boko Haram all over the place," he said.

"The fighters have staying power: when they took over Mubi, they were driven out only when vigilantes came together to force them to withdraw."

...

Ciaron O'Reilly yelling 'free Julian Assange' as he's bundled into police van ... [VIDEO]

via @nick__w - Nick Wiggins - 4BC political reporter [15/11/14]

Prohibited activist Ciaron O'Reilly about to break his ban and be arrested. ...

Image: @ABernhardt9 - Alex Bernhardt - reporter, Channel 9 [15/11/14]

Protest is a Right, Repression is Crime [Counterpunch - 14/11/14]

Prime Minister addresses G20 leaders in Queensland's defunct Upper House.

How Appropriate.

Guardian [15/11/14]:

Australian prime minister, Tony Abbott, is addressing the leaders at the G20 summit. He emphasises that he would like the talks to be about economic reform (ie, not climate change) but says it is ultimately up to the leaders what they talk about.

Now we have heavy responsibilities, all of us, the world is looking to all of us right now to try to demonstrate to an uncertain and at times anxious world there are people who know what they are doing, that there are people who have a plan, a plan for growth and for jobs and that’s our challenge, to leave this G20 meeting in 48 hours’ time having instilled more confidence in the people of the world that there is a better and brighter future for all of us.

Abbott then goes into a lot of his domestic issues. He says he was elected to do four things:

repeal the carbon tax

stop “the illegal boats” coming into the country

start building the roads

get the budget under control

Now I have to say that this has proven massively difficult. Massively difficult. Because it doesn’t matter what spending program you look at, it doesn’t matter how wasteful that spending program might appear,there are always some people in the community who vote, who love that program very much. So getting the Budget under control has proven extremely difficult. If I could speak candidly with you, what I have tried to do is not only get the Budget back under control but also try to bring about important economic reforms, important Liberalisations at the same time.

Abbott says it has been particularly difficult to sell university deregulation and the $7 GP co-payment to the Australian people.

I don’t have any magic answers to the problems that we face. I think that all we can do is explain the reasons as carefully as we can and to persist for as long as we can with these reforms but the more gatherings like this that can affirm the importance of good policy, the more gatherings like this that can affirm the importance of governments not over-promising things that are unaffordable and undeliverable, then I think the easier it is for all of us to deliver good policy to the people of our countries. So I hope is what we can do over the next hour and three quarters or so, is have a very candid and very honest discussion about where we think our countries can and should go, both individually and collectively over the next few years.

Indigenous activist Callum Clayton-Dixon gives a firebrand speech to #g20 protest rally

Image: @jrojourno - Joshua Robertson - Brisbane correspondent, Guardian [15/11/14]

Brisbane Rohingyan community protest Burmese persecution. Part of Baby Ferouz' community if he were free ...

Image: @jrojourno - Joshua Robertson - Brisbane correspondent, Guardian [15/11/14]

Obama says 'Rohingya,' displeasing Myanmar hosts

Jakarta Post [14/11/14]:

Myanmar's minority Rohingya Muslims are among the most persecuted people on earth, and advocates of their cause were hoping President Barack Obama would not only press the issue during his visit this week — they were hoping he would simply say their name.

On Friday, the last day of his trip, he finally did — uttering the word publicly for the first time on his three-day visit at a news conference with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

"Discrimination against the Rohingya or any other religious minority does not express the kind of country that Burma over the long term wants to be," Obama said, in response to a reporter's question about the status of reforms in Myanmar, also known as Burma.

Myanmar's government views the estimated 1.3 million Rohingya — living in dire, segregated conditions in western Rakhine state — not as citizens, but as illegal migrants from Bangladesh encroaching on scarce land. For that reason, they say the Rohingya ethnicity does not exist.

In a bid to draw attention to the issue, the U.S. advocacy group United to End Genocide launched a social media campaign titled #JustSayTheirName, and thousands of people have signed an online petition and tweeted photos of themselves holding placards with the slogan on social media.

During a private meeting with President Thein Sein on Thursday which focused largely on the Rohingya's plight and a need for constitutional reforms ahead of 2015 elections, Obama used the word "Rohingya" multiple times and did so purposefully, according to a senior U.S. official who spoke only on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to comment by name.

But in his public opening statement, Obama did not specifically mention the Rohingya, referring only to the "terrible violence in Rakhine state."

During his last trip in 2012, Obama employed the word in a speech at the University of Yangon as he pressed Myanmar's leaders to end violence and consider granting them citizenship. Supporters applauded the move. Myanmar's government bristled.

The United Nations describes the Rohingya as one of the world's most persecuted minorities, and human rights groups say they comprise one of the world's largest stateless groups.

Over the past two years, their plight has deteriorated markedly, with 140,000 trapped in crowded, unsanitary camps and more than 100,000 more fleeing as refugees in flimsy boats. Hundreds have been killed in mob attacks, and an unknown number have died at sea.

Although many Rohingya arrived in Myanmar generations ago, the government and most residents of Rakhine state insist they are ethnic Bengalis from Bangladesh — which also denies them citizenship. In Myanmar, neither 'Rohingya' nor 'Bengali' are counted as one of the 135 officially recognized ethnic groups.

Since the start of this year, Myanmar's government has stepped up pressure on foreign officials not to use the word "Rohingya."

American Psychological Association to Review Role in Torture of US Prisoners

Democracy Now [14/11/14]:

The American Psychological Association is launching a review to determine whether it colluded with torture carried out by the U.S. government. Psychologists played a key role in the George W. Bush administration’s torture and interrogation program, helping to develop techniques and monitor sessions. The new probe was prompted by revelations in the new book, "Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War," by Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times investigative reporter James Risen. Risen reveals how after the Abu Ghraib torture scandal, the APA formed a task force that backed the continued role of psychologists in the torture program. One APA official wrote an email expressing gratitude to an intelligence official for influencing the decision, saying: "Your views were well represented by the very carefully selected task force members."

Russia to focus efforts on expanding cooperation within BRICS - Putin

TASS [15/11/14]:

At a meeting of the leaders of BRICS countries on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, Russian President Vladimir Putin invited the BRICS leaders to a summit in Ufa, the capital of the Russian republic of Bashkortostan, on July 8-9.

“As of April next year Russia will take over the rotating presidency of the BRICS group. Our efforts will be focused on the further expansion of cooperation within our association. Russia is drafting an economic partnership strategy and an investment cooperation road map,” Putin said at a meeting of the BRICS leaders.

“I would like to invite you all to the Russian city of Ufa on July 8-9 for joint work. We shall be getting ready for this event together,” Putin said.

Taking part in the meeting were Vladimir Putin, Brazil’s president Dilma Rouseff, China’s President Xi Jinping, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma.

Turkish PM Davutoglu says Ebola is not just for the WHO, and the G20 must consider it and refugees critical issues

"tweeted" by @charispalmer - journalist [14/11/14]

Hurriyet Daily News [14/11/14]:

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called for a more inclusive Group of 20 forum on Nov. 14, saying it would give lower-income nations a stronger voice when Turkey takes over the presidency for 2015.

Davutoglu also indicated that Turkey would expand the G-20’s role beyond economic cooperation and decision-making to issues such as the refugee crisis in Eastern Europe, the Ebola outbreak in Africa and terrorism in the Middle East.

“During our presidency we want to be the voice of everybody,” Davutoglu said at a conference in Brisbane where he is due to attend the weekend G-20 Leaders Summit.

He also criticized the U.N. Security Council’s structure, terming it exclusivist.

“What we need today in the international system and international governance is inclusivity in every aspect; without inclusivity, there will be no legitimacy. The problem of the U.N. today is [that while the] U.N. General Assembly is inclusive, the U.N. Security Council is exclusivist in the sense of the special status of certain nations,” he said.

The premier stressed the G-20 agenda should in turn represent a global agenda and not just that of 20 countries.

Turkey’s more inclusive agenda contrasts with that of current host Australia, which has attempted to impose a tight focus on the disparate grouping with a pledge to increase collective global economic growth by an extra 2 percent over five years to 2017.

Davutoglu said Turkey would continue to press that goal, but underscored the importance of talking about geopolitical issues at the group’s gathering.

“If the G-20 agenda is only limited to financial issues, the G-20 cannot function, it cannot have international legitimacy,” he said.

The prime minister also diverged from Australia on the issue of climate change, saying it was imperative to agree to a U.N.-mandated goal to curb carbon emissions. Australia has attempted to keep climate change issues off the G-20 agenda.

Ankara takes over the presidency in December.

Reuters noted that Turkey has the opportunity to be the first country to effectively lead the grouping from an emerging market point of view, recalling that Russia’s chairmanship last year was viewed by many analysts as a failure, while both Mexico and South Korea were too caught up in a necessary focus on world crises to set a defining agenda.

Davutoglu said trade and infrastructure would also be high on the agenda next year, linking these financial issues to a range of geopolitical issues such as the influx of Syrian refugees into Turkey and terrorism.

“We have spent $4.5 billion for those refugees in three years,” he said.

Hong Kong student leaders 'plan Beijing visit'

BBC [14/11/14]:

Hong Kong student leaders say they are planning to visit Beijing this weekend and hope to meet Premier Li Keqiang.

However, Beijing has not commented and it remains unclear whether they would be allowed to enter.

Protesters have occupied key areas of Hong Kong for more than six weeks, demanding electoral reform.

This week, the chief secretary called on protesters to leave the sites and court rulings paved the way for the authorities to move in to clear them.

The secretary general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students Alex Chow told reporters on Thursday night that he planned to travel to Beijing on Saturday, along with two other student leaders.

He said the trip "symbolises that Hongkongers are not afraid of Beijing's manipulation", in remarks reported by the South China Morning Post.

But he admitted he was not sure whether they would be stopped. He added that they would cancel the trip if police cleared protest sites in Admiralty and Mong Kok before they left.

On Tuesday, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam said there was "no need" for student leaders to go to Beijing if they were only going to repeat their demands.

She added that the authorities were "making plans for actions that need to be taken", and urged protesters to "voluntarily and peacefully leave as soon as possible".

Hong Kong's High Court has granted extended injunctions allowing for the clearance of barricades at the Admiralty and Mong Kok sites, the Post reported.

Both Hong Kong and Beijing have called the street occupations illegal.

The Hong Kong protests drew tens of thousands to the streets at their peak.

A few hundred people remain at three key protest sites in organised "tent cities", complete with infrastructure such as food stalls, toilets and study areas.

Demonstrators are protesting against a decision by Beijing to screen candidates for the 2017 chief executive election, and are calling for the public's right to directly nominate candidates.

Thousands protest in Romania ahead of presidential run-off vote

Reuters [14/11/14]:

Thousands of Romanians joined anti-government protests in a number of cities on Friday to demand fair elections, two days ahead of a presidential run-off vote that has been overshadowed by complaints of poor organization of the ballot overseas.

Protests first broke out on Nov. 8 when thousands gathered in city squares in support of compatriots living abroad who were turned away as they tried to vote in the first round, prompting Romania's foreign minister, Titus Corlatean, to resign on Monday.

Long queues and bureaucratic hurdles made the voting process lengthy at Romanian embassies across the European Union and elsewhere in the first round. Many were unable to cast their ballots before voting ended.

The government has taken measures to ensure the Nov. 16 vote runs smoothly, increasing the number of voting booths and staff abroad. But it has not increased the number of polling stations, as Romanian diaspora groups had demanded.

Up to four million Romanians are believed to live abroad, mostly in western Europe. Although only a small number of them bother to vote in elections, they can influence the outcome, as in 2009 when President Traian Basescu won a second term by a margin of just 70,000 votes, mostly cast abroad.

Romanian television showed large crowds of protesters marching towards government buildings in Bucharest on Friday evening, partially blocking traffic on one of the capital's busiest boulevards.

Thousands more protested in other cities including Cluj, Timisoara, Sibiu and Brasov, carrying banners that read "We care", "Solidarity with the diaspora" or "Vote with your head, not your stomach".

Leftist Prime Minister Victor Ponta is widely expected to win Sunday's runoff against an ethnic German mayor backed by two centre-right parties.

Ponta has trumpeted his record of easing austerity and cutting some taxes while pledging wage and pension hikes in one of the EU's poorest member states.

Political analysts say a Ponta win could bring stability after years of bickering between him and Basescu, but it may also raise concerns about the independence of the judiciary.

Data showed that 46 percent of the 160,056 Romanians who voted abroad in the first round on Nov. 2 backed Iohannis while just 16 percent voted for Ponta.

Overall, Ponta, a former prosecutor and amateur rally driver, won 40.4 percent of the first round vote, 10 points ahead of Iohannis.

US House passes Keystone bill

Reuters [14/11/14]:

The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives approved the Keystone XL pipeline on Friday, but a similar measure struggled to get enough support in the Senate and President Barack Obama indicated he might use his veto if the bill does get through Congress.

The legislation, approved by 252 votes to 161, circumvents the need for approval of TransCanada Corp's (TRP.TO) $8 billion project by the Obama administration, which has been considering it for more than six years. No Republicans voted against the measure, while 31 Democrats voted for the bill.

It was the ninth time the House has passed a Keystone bill, and supporters were confident that this time the Senate would follow suit and pass its version.

But passage was not assured in the Senate, which is expected to take up the measure next Tuesday. Supporters were still one vote shy of the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster, a blocking procedure, an aide to a Keystone supporter said on Friday. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity.

Approval for the pipeline, which would help transport oil from Canada's oil sands to the U.S. Gulf coast energy hub, has rested with the Obama administration because it crosses an international border.

The decision has been pending amid jousting between proponents of the pipeline who say it would create thousands of construction jobs and environmentalists who say it would increase carbon emissions linked to climate change.

If the measure did pass Congress Obama would have to decide whether to make rare use of his veto power.

While the White House has not said if he would do this, Obama has threatened to use his veto in the past. On Friday, he said he still favored the evaluation that is being carried out by the State Department.

Noting legal action in Nebraska, where a court is expected to rule in coming weeks on a case over the pipeline's route in the state, Obama said "until we know what the route is it's very hard to finish that evaluation. And I don't think we should short-circuit that process."

The House vote would have no effect on the State Department’s review, department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a briefing. She did not say when it would be completed.

...

Colorado fracking accident kills Halliburton employee, injures 2 others

RT [15/11/14]:

Halliburton workers trying to thaw a frozen high-pressure water line at a Colorado fracking site found themselves in an extremely dangerous situation when it ruptured, killing one of them and injuring two others.

Colorado has been experiencing record-breaking cold conditions, with temperatures dropping to well below zero degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius) at night. When temperatures hit zero on Wednesday evening, a high-pressure water line froze.

The delivery of high-pressure water is a crucial component of the fracking process – which requires blasting water, along with sand and other chemicals, into layers of rock to free up oil and natural gas.

Halliburton employees at Anadarko Petroleum Corp were trying to thaw the line when it split, killing one and injuring two others.

“Something went wrong, causing the line to rupture,” Sean Standridge, spokesman for the Weld County Sheriff’s Office, told The Greeley Tribune. “[Matthew] Smith, 36, was struck by a stream of fresh water with an estimated pressure of 3,500 to 4,500 psi.”

“For comparison, the typical working pressure of a fire hose is 50 to 100 psi,” said Greeley Fire Department Chief Duane McDonald. “There was no fracking fluid in the pipe; it was a pre-fracking operation.”

The two men injured in the accident were taken to local hospitals. Thomas Sedlmayr, 48, who was flown to Denver Health, and Grant Casey, 28, who was taken by ambulance to the Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland.

DPP drops charges against man accused of being a terrorist

The Age [14/11/14]:

The Director of Public Prosecutions has dropped five charges against a Melbourne man accused of being a terrorist.

Adnan Karabegovic, 26, of Officer, had been facing a total of six charges of possessing the al-Qaeda magazine, Inspire, in connection with assisting in the preparation of a terrorist act, before the DPP recently decided to review the case.

Prosecutor Jeremy Rapke, QC, filed a new indictment against Mr Karabegovic in the Supreme Court on Friday charging him with one count of possessing the Inspire magazine "connected with assistance in a terrorist act".

The offence carries a maximum penalty of 15 years' jail.

Mr Rapke then tendered a copy of the prosecution opening summary to be read to the jury at the start of the trial.

Justice Lex Lasry directed Mr Karabegovic's defence team file a response to the summary by February 27 next year.

The trial, which is expected to take four weeks, was set to start on October 19.

Mr Karabegovic, who was arrested on September 12, 2012, following police raids on at least 11 properties in Melbourne's southeast, had originally been due to stand trial in October last year but there was a dispute over what Justice John Dixon planned to tell the jury at the end of the case before they retired to consider their verdict.

The Commonwealth DPP subsequently lost an appeal against the judge's ruling in the Court of Appeal and a further application to the High Court for leave to appeal was rejected.

In his ruling, Justice Dixon said the issue in dispute was the meaning of the phrase "connected with preparation for, the engagement of a person in, or assistance in a terrorist act.

"If the Crown has done no more than identify the magazine as the kind of magazine that a terrorist might read, that is insufficient," the judge said.

In an affidavit tendered at an earlier hearing in the Melbourne Magistrates Court, the Australian Federal Police claimed Mr Karabegovic had a USB flash memory device in his trouser pocket containing four issues of Inspire magazine when arrested.

One issue had an article titled Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mum, describing how to make an explosive device using readily available ingredients.

Another issue discussed how to adapt a four-wheel drive by welding blades to the front end before driving through crowded areas, striking as many people as possible.

There was also an article set across a picture of the Sydney Opera House describing shooting stances when using an AK-47 rifle.

Police said the USB stick also contained a number of electronic document files titled "Plans", including information on how to construct a semi-automatic machine gun and grenade, how to make tear gas and knock-out drops, and a guide on sniper weapons.

During the search of Karabegovic's home, police allegedly found a small piece of paper hidden in the back of a picture frame with the words "Nitric acid 2 gal" and "Amoniem nitret 1.5t", as well as handwritten notes on sniper tactics, two imitation handguns, large hunting knives, a laptop computer and two USB devices.

Nitric acid and ammonium nitrate are both precursor chemicals used in the manufacture of explosives.

Israel bans Norwegian doctor from Gaza

BBC [14/11/14]:

A Norwegian doctor has been permanently banned from entering the Gaza Strip by the Israeli government.

Dr Mads Gilbert says he was stopped trying to cross into Gaza in October. He called the move "totally unacceptable".

Israel cited security reasons for imposing the ban.

Dr Gilbert has treated patients in Gaza for more than a decade. He worked at the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City during the 50-day summer conflict.

He told the BBC he had never broken any Israeli rules during his spells working in Gaza.

But he suggested that his open reporting of the medical situation in the territory had angered the Israeli authorities.

"The fundamental reason for the ill health of the population in Gaza is of course the siege and the bombing," he said.

An Israeli foreign ministry spokesman, Emmanuel Nahshon, described Dr Gilbert as a "Jekyll and Hyde" figure, hiding behind a cloak of being a humanitarian doctor.

He said an investigation was under way into Dr Gilbert and that the decision would be reviewed.

The Norwegian foreign ministry has said it will challenge the ban.

In July, Dr Gilbert was one of the co-signatories in a strongly-worded letter denouncing Israeli action in Gaza, published in the medical journal, the Lancet.

He also described scenes in the Shifa Hospital this summer as the worst he had ever seen.

Palestinians scale Israeli separation wall in solidarity with Jerusalem [Al Jazeera - 14/11/14]

Italy's Beppe Grillo calls for referendum on leaving euro

BBC [13/11/14]:

Beppe Grillo, the leader of the Italian Five Star Movement, has visited the European Parliament to present his programme to get a referendum in Italy on leaving the euro "as soon as possible".

The comedian turned politician is aiming to collect four million signatures in Italy by next spring. He will then go to parliament in Rome, where many of his MPs now sit, and demand a referendum.

Don't crack your knuckles UQ!

"... Both could be crass, especially Rahm [Emanuel]. Shortly after Obama took office, he and Emanuel were meeting with Nancy Pelosi, when the chief of staff started cracking his knuckles. When Obama turned and expressed annoyance with the habit, Emanuel held the offending knuckle up to Obama's left ear and snapped off a few special cracks for his presidential benefit. ... "

'This Town: Two parties and a funeral - plus plenty of valet parking in America's gilded capital' by Mark Leibovich [Penguin 2013]

President Obama Delivers Remarks at the University of Queensland [White House - 15/11/14]

United States uses imaginary terror group as an excuse to bomb Syrian civilians a third time

Naharnet [13/11/14]:

American aircraft bombed the Khorasan group in Syria on Thursday, in the third attack on the al-Qaida offshoot that is considered an immediate threat to the West, the U.S. military's Central Command said.

"We can confirm that U.S. aircraft struck a target in Syria earlier today associated with a network of veteran al-Qaida operatives, sometimes called the 'Khorasan group,' who are plotting external attacks against the United States and our allies," spokesman Colonel Patrick Ryder told AFP.

He declined to provide further details of the air raid, the latest in a series against the group that U.S. officials say is a collection of militants from al-Qaida and the Al-Nusra Front, which is Qaida's Syrian branch.

"We will continue to take any action necessary to disrupt attack plotting against the United States," Ryder said.

The group has been hit by U.S. warplanes in two previous strikes -- once in September at the start of air raids in Syria against the Islamic State group, and last week, when a French bomb-maker was targeted by American aircraft.

The Khorasan group had been an obscure cell until U.S. intelligence officials flagged it in September, days before dozens of Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched from naval ships against the militants near Aleppo.

The White House has said the group includes al-Qaida operatives from Afghanistan and Pakistan who made their way to Syria.

Independent experts and Syrian activists have questioned how the group has been portrayed by Washington, and have cast doubt on the distinction between Khorasan and the Al-Nusra Front.

Most rebel groups in Syria have been willing to cooperate with Al-Nusra despite its allegiance to al-Qaida.

Unlike the Islamic State group, Al-Nusra has maintained a focus on overthrowing Syrian President Bashar Assad and has mostly Syrian -- not foreign -- fighters, experts say.

Apart from the air strikes on the al-Qaida offshoot, the U.S.-led air campaign has focused on the IS jihadists, with more than 800 coalition bombing raids since August 8 over Iraq and Syria.

The Khorasan Group: Anatomy of a Fake Terror Threat to Justify Bombing Syria, Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain [The Intercept - 29/9/14]

Australia participates in World War planning conference at MacDill Airforce Base

US Department of Defense [12/11/14]:

... Centcom will host military planners from more than 30 nations for an operational planning conference at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, from today until Nov. 21, officials said today.

The conference provides an opportunity for coalition partners to strengthen relationships and further develop and refine military campaign plans to degrade and defeat ISIL.

The event, officials said, is another milestone in U.S. and coalition military efforts to work together with Iraq and other partners from around the world to eliminate the terrorist group ISIL and the threat they pose to Iraq, the region and the wider international community.

"This gathering of military planners from more than 30 nations is historic in many ways," said Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, Centcom's commander. "The nearly 200 participants represent the broad coalition that has come together and is key to the success of our campaign to defeat ISIL.

"Indeed, it is the coalition that our enemies fear most," Austin continued. "And, it is the coalition that will get the job done and done the right way, and as quickly as possible. I have every confidence that over the next several days this esteemed group will do tremendous work and through their efforts set the conditions necessary to ensure that ISIL is defeated and long-term security and stability is achieved throughout the Central Region."

Iraqi PM removes dozens of commanders [Al Jazeera - 13/11/14]

Car bomb kills 5, injures 11 in eastern Baghdad [IraqiNews.com - 13/11/14]

IraqiSpringMC - Iraqi Spring Media Center [13/11/14]:

Baghdad: Agencies:11 persons were killed and wounded as a roadside bomb exploded near popular market in Latifiyah south of Baghdad....

Diyala: A car bomb exploded at Bani Sa'ad market south of Baquba resulted in killing and wounding of persons then ambulances rushed to the scene of blast ......

Anbar: Fallujah cemetery has been shelled ...... . http://fb.me/3UiwwTWxn

More Murdoch lies?

If Australian commandos ARE fighting in Iraq on diplomatic passports, it would be an abuse of the concept of diplomatic immunity. [Nine MSN - 14/11/14]:

The 200 Special Forces troops Australia sent to Iraq are travelling on diplomatic passports to give them the legal protections they need.

The unit had been stalled on a base in the United Arab Emirates since mid-September because no "status of forces" legal agreement had been reached with Iraq.

This is because the newly-formed Iraqi government was reluctant to sign such an agreement, which protects visiting forces from civilian prosecution, because they considered it too great an incursion on their sovereign rights, News Corp reports.

The Australian government instead chased the diplomatic passport option.

...

UN mission condemns bombings in Libya, calls for accountability, dialogue

UN Media Release [13/11/14]:

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has strongly condemned the rising violence in eastern and western Libya, including the bombings this morning in Tripoli of the embassies of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, as well as the ongoing fighting in the city of Benghazi and in Jabal Nafusa, reminding all parties to respect international law.

In a press release today, UNSMIL said it equally condemned the bombings earlier in the week in Tobruk, Al-Baida and Shahat, in addition to the continuing fighting in the towns of Kikla, al-Qala’a and Zintan, and attacks earlier on other diplomatic missions.

“The Mission is gravely concerned about reports of indiscriminate ground and aerial attacks on crowded residential areas in Benghazi; unlawful killings; the deliberate destruction of houses and other property; abduction of civilians including medical personnel; and the obstruction of efforts to evacuate the wounded and distribute humanitarian aid,” UNSMIL said.

UNSMIL also said it is greatly concerned about reports of the beheading of three activists in the city of Derna and a captured fighter in eastern Libya, as well as the “systematic targeting” of human rights activists, members of the judiciary and the security institutions, and the removal by the Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries to an unknown destination of inmates held in Buhdeima military prison in Benghazi believed to number more than 130.

The fighting in Jabal Nafusa has been raging for weeks, claiming many lives, forcing civilians to flee their homes and creating a humanitarian crisis despite repeated appeals for an end to the fighting, UNSMIL noted.

“UNSMIL warns against continued violence in all its forms, including the abduction of civilians across the country, and the violations of international human rights and humanitarian law by all sides accompanying the fighting,” the Mission said.

It also called on all parties to “immediately cease hostilities and reject the violence, and to respect international law,” including by ensuring the protection of civilians and prisoners, and opening safe passages to allow the distribution of humanitarian aid and the evacuation of the wounded.

Reminding all parties that they are “morally responsible and criminally liable under national and international law,” UNSMIL said those responsible could also be subject to sanctions under Security Council resolution 2174 (2014).

“Violence cannot be the solution and political dialogue is the only way to resolve differences,” UNSMIL stressed.

Independent inquiry: New radar data indicates other jets on MH17 course before crash

RT [13/11/14]:

New radar data indicating that military aircraft were in the air near Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 when it crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17 has been released by a Russian air safety consultancy.

The consultancy provided a snapshot representing the readings taken by a radar station located in Russia’s Rostov, near the Ukrainian border, shortly before and about 20 minutes after the MH17 crash.

According to Sergey Melnichenko, CEO of Aviation Safety consultancy, there were one or two warplanes in the air close to the Malaysian airliner.

The data casts doubt on the version of the tragedy favored by Western nations, which claims the plane was shot down from the ground by rebel forces with a sophisticated surface-to-air missile.

The data “came from an air traffic control center in Rostov,” Melnichenko told Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper, declining to reveal which one and whether it was civilian or military. He assured that “we have full trust in the sources, which helped us make it available to the public.”

“The data clearly shows that at the moment of the crash and after it there were planes moving north of the Boeing course. Most likely, they were military, because the spots are very close to each other. The conclusion is that there were either one or two aircraft there,” Melnichenko told the daily.

Another indication that the planes in question were military aircraft is the fact that they didn’t respond to being scanned, Melnichenko said. Civilian planes always reply to signals from radar, while military aircraft are “usually unequipped with transmitter-responders or the pilots turn them off during combat flights,” he explained.

With the rebel forces possessing no air force of their own, Russia and Ukraine are the most logical parties to send warplanes to that area, the expert said. But it would have been impossible for a Russian warplane to make it over the border without being detected by Ukrainian and NATO radars.

“There would’ve been reaction on something like that long ago – from NATO and Ukraine. But there was no reaction because there was nothing to react to,” he explained.

Several days after the MH17 crash, the Russian Defense Ministry released evidence that it detected a Ukrainian fighter jet near the Boeing at the time of the catastrophe. Kiev denied deploying any jets on that day, but it had been routinely using aviation to deliver airstrikes at rebel positions.

According to Melnichenko, the new data is consistent with that published by the military.

“Our data is somewhat more precise they didn’t present the airplane’s flight paths as clearly. But maybe they did it intentionally, I don’t know,” he said.

The expert added that the presence of military planes north of the Boeing would put them in a position to the left of the plane. Some photos from the crash site showed damage to the cockpit’s left side, consistent with a scenario of an attack by those planes.

...

Putin answered questions from journalists of the Russian News Agency TASS about the upcoming G20 Summit in Brisbane, Australia. [Kremlin - 14/11/14]

New India death blamed on same antibiotics used in sterilization camp

Reuters [14/11/14]:

One person has died and six more were hospitalized after consuming antibiotic tablets apparently from the same batch blamed for more than a dozen deaths following a sterilization camp in eastern India, two hospital officials said on Friday.

The patients were being treated at the Chhattisgarh Institute of Medical Sciences where one of them died, the officials from the hospital said. They declined to be named because they were not authorized to speak to media.

"They came with the medicine strips in their hand. They complained of vomiting, dizziness and swelling in the feet," said an official at the hospital in the Bilaspur district of Chhattisgarh said.

"It looks like most of the sterilization patients might be affected due to this medicine,"

The state authorities have arrested the father and son owners of Mahawar Pharma, a small drug maker in the state capital Chhattisgarh and sealed their factory after identifying their ciprofloxacin antibiotic tablets as one of several medicines prescribed at the camps. The Mahawars were not available for comment.

The Times of India newspaper said they denied wrongdoing, saying that if their widely distributed drugs were to blame, more people would have died.

The latest death means 14 people have died after consuming the drugs. Most of the victims were administered the medicine at government run sterilization camps. More than 100 remain in hospital, several in a critical condition.

The new patients did not take part in the sterilization camps and had consumed the drugs separately, the officials said.

The incident has drawn unflattering attention to India's mass sterilization program as well as weak quality control standards for drugs procured by state governments.

India is the world's top sterilizer of women, and efforts to rein in population growth have been described as the most draconian after China. Indian birth rates fell in recent decades, but population growth is among the world's fastest.

Sterilization is popular because it is cheap and effective, and sidesteps cultural resistance and problems with distribution of other types of contraception in rural areas.

Paris students rally against police brutality

Al Jazeera [14/11/14]:

Hundreds of high school students have barricaded school entrances across Paris demonstrating against alleged police brutality, as a major labour union of police officers staged its own rally to demand more personnel and equipment.

The separate demonstrations on Thursday came three weeks after a young environmentalist died during a protest in southern France in which several hundred activists opposed to a dam project clashed with police.

An investigation is continuing into the death of Remi Fraisse, but an autopsy found a large wound on his back was caused by some kind of explosion.

Students stacked garbage bins in front of doors at several Paris high schools, as about 150 students marched from the Place de la Nation.

"We are fed up of discrimination, flash balls or grenades. We are fed up," Stan Ferjus, a member of the high school students' union, told the Associated Press.

Another high school student, Mohammed Auas, said: "Police forces are here to protect us. Police forces are here to guarantee our security. If they don't guarantee it, who will protect us? They shouldn't be violent to us. They can do their job, but they shouldn't be violent."

Meanwhile, the Alliance police union was holding its own demonstration at nearby Place de la Bastille, where several thousand protesters gathered.

They were demanding more equipment and personnel so they can do their jobs safely.

Bolivia compensates Spain's REE for 2012 takeover of local unit

Global Post [13/11/14]:

Bolivia's government on Thursday agreed to pay $36.5 million in compensation to Spanish electric utility Red Electrica de España for the May, 1, 2012, nationalization of its subsidiary in the Andean nation, officials said.

Attorney General Hector Arce provided details of the agreement to reporters in a joint press conference in the central city of Cochabamba with Spain's ambassador to Bolivia, Angel Vazquez, and representatives of the Spanish company.

Bolivia's government will pay REE $36.5 million, or just over 18 percent of the amount the Spanish company had demanded as compensation for its 99.94 percent stake in Transportadora de Electricidad, Arce said.

REE's stake in Transportadora de Electricidad, Bolivia's main grid operator, passed to state-owned Empresa Nacional de Electricidad.

Bolivian President Evo Morales, a leftist who had used previous May Day observances to announce similar moves to assert public control over the Andean nation's resources and basic services, said at the time that the Spanish company had made inadequate investments in its Bolivian operations.

In February, REE served an international arbitration notice to Bolivia's government in which it demanded more than $200 million in compensation, but Bolivia succeeded in lowering that amount during negotiations, Arce said.

“Get a warrant for metadata”: Human rights committee tells Brandis

Greens Media Release [14/11/14]:

The multipartisan Human Rights Committee has delivered a sharp dose of common sense to the Government over its data retention legislation, recommending that warrants be required for access to metadata.

The report also stated that Australians be notified when their metadata is accessed, as well as questioning the proposed two year retention period.

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights has responsibility for examining all legislation for compatibility with human rights. The group, which includes a mix of Coalition, Labor and Greens MPs, today delivered a comprehensive and stinging multipartisan report into the Government’s controversial data retention legislation.

The committee’s report directly questioned whether the legislation represented a “proportionate” response to the needs of law enforcement organisations, as well as many of the specific aspects of the legislation.

The committee’s recommendations included the following:

· That an explicit definition of metadata be included in the Data Retention legislation

· That an explicit definition of content (data which would not be stored) be included in the Data Retention legislation

· That the proposed two-year retention period be re-examined, in light of the fact that very few requests will need data more than six months’ old

· That access to data be limited to investigations involving serious crimes

· That access to metadata require a warrant approved by a court or independent administrative tribunal

· That an oversight mechanism be established for the warrant approval process

· That individuals be notified when their metadata is accessed, and that an avenue exist to challenge that access

Since the previous Labor Government first raised the issue of Data Retention in 2010, dozens of major Australian organisations from all sides of politics, civil society and the private sector have raised precisely the same issues which the bipartisan Joint Committee on Human Rights raised today.

It beggars belief that four and a half years later, as the Joint Committee on Human Rights has pointed out, the Government still has not published a definition of what metadata it wishes to retain under the scheme.

The Australian Greens call for all sides of politics to acknowledge that the Data Retention legislation is too flawed to proceed with and must be abandoned.

Serious assault, Morayfield

QPS Media [14/11/14]:

A youth has been charged with serious assault following an incident at Morayfield yesterday afternoon.

It will be alleged around 4:40pm a boy punched an 80-year-old man in the head following an altercation at Cox Drive.

The 80-year-old man was taken to Caboolture Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

A 15-year-old boy has been charged with threatening violence and serious assault. He will be dealt with under the provisions of the Youth Justice Act.

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.

More anti rights arrests, Alderley [QPS Media - 14/11/14]

A pic I snapped today outside #Brisbane city hall - a solo protester #G20 #G20Brisbane

Image: @thepatricktimes [14/11/14]


Australia, una Brisbane blindata è pronta a accogliere il G20 [VIDEO - EURO News - 14/11/14]

Two pro-democracy activists banned after unfurling banner calling for support of protests in Hong Kong [TELESur - 14/11/14]


... I feel unwelcome. In my own city. ...

2014 Brisbane G20 Complaints Choir

 

Evernote [14/11/14]:

On my walk home from South Bank this afternoon, I got stopped by a police officer by the name of Chenin Newson on the river walk in front of the Stamford Plaza. He wanted to know why I had taken a photo of the Stamford Plaza a few minutes earlier. He also wanted to know what I was doing in the area. I explained that I lived in New Farm and had been walking around all afternoon observing the G20. He asked for my name and identification, both of which I happily provided. He took down my name, license number, address and phone number. He explained that under the G20 (Safety and Security) Act the police were required to be extra vigilant around restricted areas. I said I understood but that there was also nothing in the Act that made it an offence for me to take photos. He agreed. He then asked me what I did. I said I was lecturer in law at QUT. He thanked me for my time and understanding, and wished me a good afternoon.

US citizen Rupert Murdoch welcomes world leaders to his racist, sexist, neoliberal paradise - Australia

Obama in shorts? Xi in his swimmers? Brisbane welcomes G20 to 'paradise' [CNN - 14/11/14]:

4. Cheese please

U.S. President Obama is known to love a cheese burger, which is presumably why Brisbane Airport's Windmill & Co. has created the Big Obama Burger. Either that or they fancied some free publicity.

The towering burger includes two Angus beef patties, cheese (of course), onions, onion rings, spinach, tomato, cucumbers and mustard. Fans of local burger delicacies, beetroot and pineapple, will have to look elsewhere.

Rupert Murdoch has presented eldest son Lachlan to News Corp shareholders as the man who will lead the media company to "a very prosperous and bright future".

However everything was not entirely rosy at the sparsely attended annual general meeting. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 14/11/14]

Step back in time to 1942 and join Patrick and Rosie on a journey around the streets of Brisbane. Immerse yourself in their story and discover what the city was like during World War Two.

Garrison Town:

View 1: Near Queen St

General MacArthur is now a permanent fixture in Brisbane and he has brought a little robust American cheer to our hearts and the name of Brisbane to everyone’s lips.

Of course the most exciting thing to happen in Brisbane is the arrival of the yankee soldiers at Camp Ascot.

My friend Darlene and I volunteer at the nurses’ station on the weekends just to catch a glimpse of the most handsome young men.

In fact that’s where I’m going today. Who knows what excitement I might run into? Would you like to join me?

The Houses Are Full of Smoke [1987]

"The issue is really whether the U.S. government instigated, trained and has direct knowledge regarding a whole series of murders - including American citizens plus hundreds of thousands of local people - and has covered it up. What people know about the world is controlled. These issues are crucial to democracy: without information you can't expect the population to make decisions knowingly." - Allan Francovich

100s of Aboriginals & supporters gather near #G20Brisbane protesting deaths in custody & justice 4 stolen generations

Image: @HamiFaraj - Hamid Farajollahi - Press TV [14/11/14]


‘They say justice, we say murder’: Indigenous rights protest descends on G20 convention centre [Nine MSN - 14/11/14]

France urges Israel to repeal settlement plan 'immediately'

France 24 [14/11/14]:

France called on Israel to “immediately” reverse a decision to approve the building of 200 new settlements in East Jerusalem, a move it said directly threatened a two-state peace solution.

“The decision by the Israeli authorities approving the construction of 200 new homes in the Ramot settlement again directly threatens a two-state solution,” French Foreign ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said.

“We call Israel to immediately go back on this decision at a time when everything should be done to stop the escalation (in violence) and relaunch the peace process,” Nadal said in an unusually strong statement.

The new housing is slated for a sprawling hillside complex of apartment buildings and private homes at the northern edge of Jerusalem, on land Israel captured in a 1967 war and annexed to the city in a move never recognised internationally. Palestinians want this territory as part of a future state.

The call comes a day after news broke that French lawmakers are set to hold symbolic parliamentary votes over the next month on whether the government should recognise the Palestinian Territories as an independent state, in a move likely to anger Israel.

While France does not currently classify the Palestinian Territories as a state, it has said it could extend recognition if it believed doing so would help promote peace between the Palestinians and Israel.

...

Internet thought crime

In a town
We were bored
Hi balls pound
We got stewed
But now we're sober ...

'Calling Up Washington' Guided By Voices [2014]

Brisbane Times [14/11/14]:

A 21-year-old Central Queensland man has been charged after allegedly using Facebook to threaten US President Barack Obama.

Queensland police said the man was arrested in the riverside Rockhampton suburb of Park Avenue on Thursday night and was later released from custody.

He was charged with using a carriage service to menace or harass and is scheduled to appear in Rockhampton Magistrates Court on December 4.

A police spokeswoman said he was held in custody overnight, after being arrested at a home in the Central Queensland city.

"After thorough investigations, police declared the threats unsubstantiated and he was released from custody," she said. However she said the man would still face the charge in court.

President Obama is due to arrive in Brisbane early Saturday to attend the G20 Leaders' Summit.

Standing ovation by Australian parliament for UK Prime Minister David Cameron's calls to censor the internet [ABC - 14/11/14]

Martial Law:

The exercise of government and control by military authorities over the civilian population of a designated territory.

It's not over 'til it's over

The question of the validity of the VLAD Act must await consideration on another day.

Kuczborski v Queensland [2014] HCA 46 (14 November 2014):

... The challenge to the VLAD Act

The plaintiff characterised the VLAD Act as requiring courts to impose long custodial sentences on certain offenders based not on the seriousness of their offences but on their association with a particular group. He pointed to the inequality of the treatment which courts are required to mete out to persons convicted of declared offences depending upon whether or not they were participants in the affairs of a relevant association. He submitted that the VLAD Act is invalid because it confers a function on courts offensive to the principle of equality before the law and thereby repugnant to the judicial process, and also because it requires the courts in reality to act as instruments of the Executive.

Queensland contended that the plaintiff's claim should not be considered because, not having been charged with a declared offence, he lacked legal standing to seek a declaration that the VLAD Act is invalid. As explained below, that submission should be accepted. The question of the validity of the VLAD Act must await consideration on another day.

...

More anti rights arrests, Boronia Heights [QPS Media - 13/11/14]

Armed robbery charges, Bray Park

QPS Media [14/11/14]:

Police have charged two boys after an alleged armed robbery in Bray Park early today.

Around 12.45am it is alleged two boys entered a convenience store on Samsonvale Road armed with metal bars and demanded cash from the male attendant.

No one was physically injured during the incident.

Two boys aged 14 and 16 were charged with one count each of armed robbery in company. They will be dealt with under the provisions of the Youth Justice Act.

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.

Mandatory rehab death not a death in custody

ABC [14/11/14]:

An Aboriginal woman has died while taking part in the Northern Territory's highly contentious mandatory alcohol rehabilitation program.

It was the first death linked to the scheme since it was introduced by the NT Government 18 months ago in the face of warnings from experts that it would target Indigenous people and punish alcoholics.

The woman died last month in the Central Australian Aboriginal Alcohol Programmes Unit (CAAAPU) treatment centre, but the NT authorities have not made news of the death public until now.

Her family is now asking questions about the care she was given and how she died.

The woman's sister, Elizabeth Raggett Naparula, speaking from her remote central Australian community of Papunya, said she had been worried about her sister's health and was willing to give the treatment a chance.

"I thought they were going to keep her to get better, to eat lots of good food," she said.

"I wanted them to look after her properly so she could get healthy and not have so much grog."

She said she was informed of her sister's death by a relative last week.

"All my grandchildren are crying every night for her," she said.

"When I cry, they cry too. I can't understand what happened, I don't know what happened."

She wanted to know what medical services were in the CAAAPU treatment centre, and whether her sister had medication for her seizures.

"I never went to see her at CAAAPU, I thought everything was alright," she said.

"When I last saw her she was looking in the best of health. I can't understand what happened."

The NT Health Department said the next of kin had been told but would not give any more details.

...

Child injured in police pursuit

West Australian [14/11/14]:

A young child has been seriously injured in a car crash after a police pursuit overnight.

Just after 9pm police began pursuing a car that failed to stop on Rowley Road, Hammond Park.

The car had been reported stolen but the pursuit was abandoned when it crossed onto the wrong side of the road on Thomas Road near Orelia Avenue in Orelia

A short time later it collided with a vehicle coming in the opposition direction.

The male driver, a female passenger and a young child in the stolen car were all seriously injured.

Two people in the other car sustained non-life threatening injuries.

Major Crash are investigating the incident.

NSW Police officer accused of attacking child

Herald [14/11/14]:

A serving police officer has been accused of lifting his seven-year-old son off the ground by the neck and dragging him down the main street of a town north-west of Dubbo.

The 37-year-old is attached to a metropolitan command in Sydney. By law, he cannot be named to protect the identity of the child.

The officer was represented by a solicitor when a charge of common assault was brought before Dubbo Local Court.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions said the Crown was ready to set the matter down for hearing.

The court was told 24 witnesses would be called. The hearing was expected to run for three to four full days.

The domestic violence offence is alleged to have occurred in Dubbo Street, Warren between 11.55am and 12.20pm on July 5.

Prosecution facts tendered to Magistrate Andrew Eckhold said the alleged victim was 140 centimetres tall and weighed 40 kilograms.

The police officer is alleged to have entered a bakery cafe with his wife and three children.

The seven-year-old is alleged to have thrown a tantrum over a doughnut displayed on a shelf.

The police officer is alleged to have taken the boy by the wrist and walked him out onto the footpath where witnesses were seated having breakfast.

The officer is alleged to have smacked the boy on the bottom with an open hand before spinning him around and leaning into his face.

Witnesses told police the child was crying and red in the face.

The officer is alleged to have placed his hands around the boy's neck and lifted him off the ground for a few seconds.

The officer is alleged to have dragged the boy down the street for 90 metres while holding him by the neck with two hands.

The boy is alleged to have cried out "Dad, dad, please stop!"

The officer is alleged to have said "You shouldn't have done that. It's embarrassing."

Another witness is alleged to have seen the officer hold the child by the left arm and kick him in the side of the ribs.

The child is alleged to have attempted to crawl away when he was dragged to the gutter. Witnesses allege the boy was grabbed and dragged back.

Prosecution facts said a witness entered the cafe and confronted the officer's wife.

She is alleged to have walked out and said "What are you doing? Stop that."

The family is alleged to have entered the vehicle and driven away.

Prosecution facts said two witnesses called Triple-0 and drove around Warren in an effort to locate police.

The officer was spoken to at his home on July 7.

He is alleged to have admitted walking the child from the bakery to the vehicle holding his left arm with one hand and using the other hand to hold the back of his neck.

The officer is alleged to have admitted smacking the boy on the backside but denied holding him by the throat or lifting him off the ground.

Prosecution facts said the child was interviewed by Parramatta child abuse squad members at his school.

Police allege the officer's behaviour did not constitute lawful correction of a child.

Magistrate Eckhold set the matter down for a special fixture hearing from March 30 to April 3.

Sydney terrorism raid evidence has 'glaring error' in translation, court told

Guardian [13/11/14]:

The intercepted call at the centre of a case against a man charged with a terrorism offence after a series of raids in New South Wales has a “glaring error” in the translation, defence lawyers have claimed.

On Thursday 22-year-old Omarjan Azari made his first appearance in court since the raids in September, in which police raided more than 500 homes across Sydney. Azari was charged with conspiring to prepare an act of terrorism.

Azari’s counsel, the criminal law barrister Winston Terracini, told magistrate Greg Grogin errors had been identified in the translation of an intercepted call that was so far the key evidence disclosed in court.

He also told the court Azari was being held in the high-security Goulburn jail and has not been allowed visits by family and friends.

“There are inaccuracies in the translation,” Terracini said. “We’ve already had one look and there is at least one glaring error.

“There is no explanation why he is in Goulburn. We’ve asked for a review by correctional services and they haven’t even deigned to reply.”

Azari appeared by videolink from the prison and did not speak during the hearing.

Terracini said there had been no further evidence beyond the intercepted call, but the prosecutor, Karen Leavy, told the court more telephone intercept material was coming from the federal Attorney General’s Department.

“There’s further telephone interception material we’re waiting on release from the Attorney General’s Department,” she said.

She said 182 electronic devices had been seized as part of the counterterrorism operation.

Court documents allege that Azari “did between 8 May 2014 and 18 September 2014, conspire with Mohammad Baryalei and others to do acts in preparation for, or planning, a terrorist attack”.

The next hearing will be on 19 December.

Glencore shuts down Australian coal mines for Christmas

ABC [14/11/14]:

Glencore has announced a Christmas shutdown of its Australian coal mines amid weak global demand.

The Swiss-based mining and commodities trading firm is Australia's largest coal producer, with 13 mines across New South Wales and Queensland.

The company said the mines employ 8,600 people and produced over 80 million tonnes of coal last year.

However, this year Glencore is planning to shut the mines down for three weeks from mid-December, due to the current global oversupply situation.

Staff will be forced to take annual leave over the period, and any staff who do not have enough leave will be required to bring forward some of next year's holidays.

The company said in a statement that the shutdown will reduce the need "to push incremental sales into an already weak pricing environment."

Prices for the thermal coal (used in power stations) that dominates Glencore's Australian output have roughly halved over the past three years from around $US110-130 a tonne to just over $US60 a tonne.

Glencore said the shutdown will cut output from its Australian operations by around 5 million tonnes.

"If the market is depressed, as it has been, then there's obviously got to be some sort of financial stress and by taking that supply out of the market would support prices," said Jonathan Barratt, the chief investment officer at Ayers Alliance.

"If they restrict supply, support prices then they might not have to close mines as a result."

Glencore said it remains confident that demand growth for its coal will restore the supply and demand balance over the medium term.

BHP workers stood down in WA's Goldfields

ABC [13/11/14]:

Around 90 BHP Billiton employees have been stood down after the company announced it is discontinuing its Leinster Venus project in WA's Goldfields.

On Wednesday BHP announced it would not be selling its WA Nickel West operation because it had not received an acceptable offer.

The Nickel West operations include Mt Keith, Cliffs and Leinster mines and their associated concentrators, the Kalgoorlie smelter, the Kambalda concentrator and the Kwinana refinery.

A BHP spokesman said the affected employees had been stood down on pay, with a decision on their futures yet to be made.

"Across the BHP Billiton portfolio there remains intense internal competition for capital, as a result a decision has been made to discontinue development of the Venus project," the company said in a statement.

"Nickel West will remain in the BHP Billiton portfolio as a non-core asset and the company will continue to operate the business to realise its full value."

Leonora Shire CEO Jim Epis said it would have a big impact on the already empty Goldfields town.

"That's disappointing, there's a lot of empty houses in Leister at the moment and that's going to have an effect on the school and other government operated businesses, plus the local businesses," he said.

"To go back there in recent times is a pretty sad story.

"It's not the hustle and bustle of a town it was six or seven years prior to that.

"So I think a lot of the people that live there now are grateful that BHP have made that decision and they can move on with their lives."

BHP said other Nickel West projects, with the exception of the discontinued Venus project, would continue as usual.

BHP's Perseverance mine, also in Leinster, was placed under care and maintenance in December 2013, affecting 200 workers.

Dad feels strain of drawn out case over son’s quarry death

Chronicle [13/11/14]:

Brett Scovell, the father of Sean Scovell, said another delay in the case surrounding his son's death was "gut-wrenching".

Magistrate Ross Risson reserved until January 30 his decision on whether to strike out charges relating to Mr Scovell's 2012 death at a quarry near Moranbah.

Sean Scovell - a former Kepnock High School student - died on June 5 after he became entangled in a conveyor belt.

Two companies - Global Crushers and MCG Quarries - and five people are being prosecuted on a total of 24 charges related to the incident.

Mr Scovell said it was disappointing things were continually being dragged out.

"There's people that need closure and we're going on towards two-and-a-half years now," he said.

"This just drags and drags and drags.

"Knowing that we've got to relive again, every time it comes up, those times prior to, during and after are just horrendous."

Mr Scovell and his wife Bonnie run the service station in Biggenden and could not make it to the court appearance.

"It's terrible because I feel guilt ridden that I'm not there to support my son," he said.

"We've got a seven-day-a week business being a service station in a little country town, so for me to go I've got to pay thousands of dollars a day or because we're the only service station in town, people don't get their fuel."

Mr Scovell said it would be "financially burdening" to make the trip to Mackay for every court date involved in his son's case.

"I have a lot of faith in these charges but I just can't understand these delays," Mr Scovell said.

"I think it's a thing the big companies tend to do," he said.

"Luckily we've got the government on our side."

Dysart cancer cluster has no link to mining industry: Queensland Health

Morning Bulletin [13/11/14]:

The support for Heath Pearce as he battles leukaemia has overwhelmed his family, but tragically, he's not the only one in Dysart battling the disease.

In fact, the number of cases in their small town has prompted his mum Jasmine Pearce to create their own 'Dysart Cancer Club' on Facebook.

Jasmine said her son Heath, 4, was the first of five young children she knew of in Dysart, a small town of about 3000, to be diagnosed with leukaemia in just over two years.

"Heath was the first one, we had two boys who lived in Dysart then moved away, then another boy with the same variety and we just had a little girl diagnosed," she said.

On top of that, Jasmine knows of one little boy who has a tumour on his spine, and one adult who also suffers from leukaemia.

Cancer Council Queensland spokeswoman Katie Clift said in Central Queensland more than 1100 people were diagnosed with cancer every year, and about 400 people died each year.

"The latest data available shows that between 2007 and 2011, 170 people were diagnosed with leukaemia in Central Queensland, including children," she said.

"While childhood cancer is relatively rare, between the five-year period, 280 children aged zero to 14 were diagnosed with some form of cancer in Central Queensland, excluding squamous and basal cell skin cancers."

Mackay Hospital and Health Service was not able to confirm the exact number of leukaemia cases in Dysart.

In 2007 Queensland Health began an investigation into a higher-than-average rate of leukaemia in Gladstone, but they found no link between the increase in cases and industry in the region.

At the time it was reported there were 22 cases of chronic lymphoid leukaemia in the Gladstone-Calliope area between 1996 and 2004, above the state average of 14.

Community advocate Jim Pearce said he remembered Dysart residents raising concerns about an increase in cancer cases about 10 years ago.

However, he said Queensland Health at the time assured the community their data did not show an increase above the average figures.

Dysart has been battling water quality issues for four years but Isaac Shire Council assured residents in January there was no health risk with the supply.

In January about 640 people signed a petition calling for an explanation and solution to the water quality issues at Dysart.

Unity Mining proposes cyanide processing at Majors Creek [Canberra Times - 12/11/14]

Family pain of life lost violently to mental illness

West Australian [13/11/14]:

Brendan Lindsay was shot dead by police last week. His stepmother Karing Langham writes of the struggle coping with his mental illness and failing services.

I am writing this because I want you to know how very difficult it is to deal with a family member suffering mental illness in WA.

I first met Brendan when he was a teenager. A car-mad male, he loved nothing more than fixing things under the bonnet. He was a very handsome boy who had a cheeky, likable way about him.

Although he was struggling with his parents' separation, he was still a sunny, bubbly, young man. Two years later, he had changed dramatically.

He had been introduced to hard drugs, which probably helped dull what is commonly called "those challenging teenage years".

John and I worried about his choice of friends. He drifted in and out of our lives but sadly, we mostly had contact only when he had difficulties.

There were periods when Brendan managed to pick himself up and lead a normal life.

It was wonderful to see him enjoying his own family, working and doing all the things normal families do. We hoped for a new beginning but inevitably he would crash again.

Brendan began experiencing bouts of severe paranoia and displayed delusional behaviours. His mind in turmoil. It is impossible to reason with a frightened person experiencing these dreadful symptoms, so we stumbled on, taking the hits and witnessing the fear and panic Brendan endured.

It was clear to us all that he needed professional help but Brendan simply refused to acknowledge that he was experiencing mental illness.

His father and I spent many hours discussing the problem and the route to take to put him on a path to recovery.

We were desperate for a positive outcome. John accessed all the hospitals and drug rehabilitation centres in Perth.

Brendan resisted much of this and often managed to talk his way out of treatment. It was made clear to us that Brendan had to agree to treatment before the hospitals and clinics could deal with him.

And there lay our problem. How can a delusional, paranoid person be expected to make an informed, rational decision regarding treatment?

Clearly, they can't.

Brendan's death has left the family deeply saddened.

His partner and daughter are severely impacted by the loss of the man they love.

His father and mother are suffering terribly as are his siblings and the rest of his family. We are devastated that such a terrible incident occurred.

We are deeply saddened that Sheila was exposed to such a dreadful experience. We know this will impact on her life for ever. We are so very sorry and wish her a speedy recovery.

To the police officers involved, we understand you were all doing your job under extremely difficult circumstances and offer our sympathy for your distress.

There are many families going through the same experiences we had. I only hope with all my heart that their situation does not escalate, as ours did, to become a major tragedy.

It would seem there is little that can be done for people with mental illness in WA. As parents, and step-parent in my case, we are exhausted, frustrated and disillusioned by how little can be done to assist people with severe mental illness.

This problem is not only ours. It needs to be owned by everyone. It could arise in any family, at any time. No one is exempt. We only have to look at the statistics to realise how common this issue is.

Incidents such as this are horrific and need to be spoken of publicly to get changes to the system we found so lacking. We need to consider changing laws so people with severe mental illness get treatment.

Our community shouldn't have to experience another dreadful episode of violence and tragedy. We no longer want to despair for all those sufferers out there experiencing the horror that is mental illness.

We want to know we can depend on our health system to help mend our minds as we also depend on it to help mend our broken bones. We don't want to be left flailing helplessly in an ocean of despair.

Jetstar bungle forces woman to drag disabled sister through Perth Airport [WA Today - 13/11/14]

Campaigns against halal are anti-Islamic bullying: race commissioner

Sydney Morning Herald [13/11/14]:

Campaigns against Australian companies that make halal products are "little more than anti-Islamic bullying", according to Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane.

In an address in Adelaide on Thursday evening, Dr Soutphommasane will call out recent campaigns against food businesses that have halal certification, including pie maker Four'N'Twenty, the Byron Bay Cookie Company and Fleurieu Milk Company.

Fleurieu has recently ended its $50,000 yoghurt supply deal with Emirates after a social media campaign.

Posters on Facebook had suggested the fee the company paid to become halal certified was being used to fund terrorism. Sales manager Nick Hutchinson later said the company wanted to avoid negative publicity.

Four'N'Twenty and the Byron Bay Cookie Company have refused to drop their certification.

"When it comes to halal, ongoing campaigns against it are little more than anti-Islamic bullying," Dr Soutphommasane will tell the Centre for Research in Education annual oration.

"Any suggestion that certification fees are proceeds to terrorism is unfounded.

"Australia has laws that forbid people and organisations from funding illegal activity such as terrorism."

The Race Discrimination Commissioner will add that the halal certification does not prevent non-Muslims from eating such foods.

Dr Soutphommasane will say halal labelling is primarily focused on hygiene and ingredients, such as ensuring ingredients are free from pork and that machinery involved in making food has not been cleaned with alcohol.

The Race Discrimination Commissioner will say that there has been a noticeable rise in anti-Muslim sentiment during recent months, "amid community anxiety about the threat of terrorism".

"Many Muslim communities have made clear to me their concerns about the safety of their members, especially women who wear visible Islamic dress such as headscarves."

He will argue that anti-Muslim sentiment "should have no place in our society".

"Every person should be free to live their lives without being harassed or intimidated because of their religion."

Dr Soutphommasane will also tell the Centre for Research in Education that there is frequently a racial element to anti-Muslim feeling.

"Religion can be used as a surrogate for race.

"When we see verbal and other attacks against Muslim Australians, it is often accompanied by a nastiness and logic that resembles racial hatred."

Iced coffee maker targeted by anti-halal social media campaign [ABC - 13/11/14]

New Zealand: Tribunal upholds iwi claim over sovereignty

RNZI [14/11/14]:

The Waitangi Tribunal has found the Maori chiefs who signed the Treaty of Waitangi did not cede sovereignty to the Crown in a ruling described by a Ngapuhi leader as of "huge" significance.

Four years after its hearing on the issue, the Tribunal has released its long-awaited report.

It has upheld the claims of Ngapuhi and other northern iwi that the chiefs never handed over their power and authority to the British in 1840.

The Tribunal says Britain intended to acquire sovereignty through the Treaty and the right to make laws for Maori and Pakeha.

But it says the Crown's agent, William Hobson, explained the Treaty to Maori as granting Britain the power to control British subjects and thereby protect Maori.

In addition, the chiefs were promised they would retain their tino rangatiratanga - their independence and full chiefly authority.

The Tribunal says it was up to the Crown, as the party drafting and explaining the Treaty, to make its intentions absolutely clear.

Chiefs consented to the Treaty on the basis they and the Governor would be equals, it says, and the inescapable conclusion is that they did not cede sovereignty in 1840.

A Ngapuhi leader says the Tribunal's finding is of "huge" significance.

Ngati Hine chair Waihoroi Shortland said the it it also vindicates their struggle over many years to be heard, and to determine their own affairs.

"This is something hapu have waited for for the last four years, as we've waited for the report. It justifies everything for us.

"It justifies how our tupuna (ancestors) looked at the treaty, how they considered the agreement they made."

Mr Shortland said there would inevitably be a backlash over the Tribunal's report and the Crown would try to downplay it, but it was an opportunity for the government to re-examine its relationship with Maori, and there was no need for New Zealanders to be afraid of that.

Tasmanian groups outraged by 4WD tracks reopening

NIRS [13/11/14]:

Aboriginal rights campaigners in Tasmania are warning the state Government to expect protests over its decision to reopen four-wheel-drive tracks in the north-west coast wilderness area.

By Christmas, 15 tracks closed by the previous government will reopen, allowing recreational off-road vehicle drivers access to the full length of the Arthur-Pieman Conservation area.

The government's decision was made allegedly without any consultation with our mob, causing outrage within First Nations communities in the state.

Palawa woman and State Secretary of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, Trudy Maluga, says the Government has shown disrespect through a lack of consultation with our people.

G20: Australians bury heads in sand to mock government climate stance

Guardian [13/11/14]:

More than 400 protesters stuck their heads in the sand on Australia’s Bondi Beach on Thursday, mocking the government’s reluctance to put climate change on the agenda of a G20 summit this weekend.

Prime minister Tony Abbott’s perceived failure to address climate change is all the more galling in the wake of an agreement between the United States and China on Wednesday to limit their carbon emissions, they said.

...

Queensland Senate Inquiry shows Newman Government trampling over communities

The Main Beach Bathing Pavilion is emblematic.

Taxpayers' money was used not to restore a heritage listed place for public use, but rather to modernise it for commercial use.

Greens Media Release [13/11/14]:

The first hearing of the Queensland Senate Inquiry on the Gold Coast today shows why Tony Abbott’s plan to hand federal environmental approval powers to the Newman Government would be a disaster.

“From the Gold Coast’s beaches, to its hinterland, and residential areas in between, the Newman Government is attacking locals’ favourite spots,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.

“The Newman Government is pushing a massive ship terminal, casino and hotel development that would destroy the spit and broadwater and compound the misery of problem gambling in the community.

“This important marine and birdlife habitat is public land, there for the community to enjoy, surfing, kayaking and swimming – it’s an intrinsic part of the Gold Coast lifestyle.

“In the hearing today we’ve heard that the parent company behind the casino development project has been debarred by the World Bank.

“In the Hinterland, the Newman Government is putting rainforest at risk by selling off government owned land in conservation areas to commercial developers, risking Springbrook’s World Heritage status.

“Near Reedy Creek, the Newman Government is allowing a giant, noisy quarry to be built, just 250 metres from family homes and close to schools, where it will destroy koala habitat.

“Across the state, the Newman Government is trying to override communities, who are protecting their environment, heritage and local sustainable industries from big mining and development companies.

“Today’s hearing on the Gold Coast shows exactly why Tony Abbott’s plan to give federal environmental approval powers to Campbell Newman would be an absolute disaster.

“The Greens are proud to have secured the agreement of the Palmer United Party to block Tony Abbott’s plan to give state premiers the final say on whether environmentally damaging developments go ahead,” Senator Waters said.

More pointless cruelty, Chinchilla [Surat Basin - 13/11/14]:

... From 4am on Monday morning, all manner of gardening machinery, kitchen appliances, garbage bins and smoke will be used to move the colony on to re-settle in public bushland.

...

Researchers, specialists and nature lovers have flagged a rapid decline in the number of small woodland birds in south-east Queensland. ... [VIDEO - ABC - 10/11/14]

Lambie has made no Approach to Split from Party: Clive Palmer

PUP Media Release [14/11/14]:

Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie has made no official approach to split from the Palmer United Party, the party’s federal leader Clive Palmer says.

“Senator Lambie hasn’t resigned. We haven’t received a resignation by mail, email or courier pigeon,’’ Mr Palmer said.

“I am aware that she has made some comments in the media and I think these threats are contrary to what Senator Lambie should really be concentrating on which is her duty to represent the Tasmanians who elected her.

“However if what she says about being unhappy with her party’s leadership is true, she should make a challenge, otherwise get on with the job of representing the people who voted for her.”

Mr Palmer said the Palmer United Party had a proud record of supporting Australian Defence Force personnel and would continue to do so.

He said her threats to vote against all Government legislation over the defence pay deal were irresponsible.

“One vote can’t block anything,’’ he said.

Mr Palmer has also hit out at Senator Lambie’s chief of staff Rob Messenger, criticising his disruptive influence.

“Everything Senator Lambie says is really coming from her chief of staff. Senator Lambie is simply Rob Messenger’s mouthpiece.

“Last night our executive met and we have agreed to expel Rob Messenger from the party on the grounds of making false and misleading statements about our Senators,” Mr Palmer said.

USA and China follow Palmer and Gore’s lead on Climate Change [PUP Media Release - 14/11/14]

Clive Palmer launches tirade against Rupert Murdoch [VIDEO - Guardian - 7/11/14]

It's #DirtyWork (but somebody's got to do it).

Breaching G20 high security zones with typo ...

Image: @Typolitic [13/11/14]

Brisbane Times [14/11/14]:

... The Dirty Work spokesperson said non-state sanctioned protest had been banned from designated zones around Brisbane.

"We believe constructive dissent is by definition disruptive, and criminalising peaceful protest is undemocratic (and, as demonstrated by the CRPTs, ineffective)," the spokesperson said.

"The authoritarian paranoia that leaps beyond legitimate concerns of terrorism to militarising public spaces, spying on the whole internet, and enacting oppressive powers of detention, etc, is a confession of culpability.

"Dirty Work asserts that if the G20 was to actually benefit the 99 per cent, the leaders could spend the many millions they spend on security on nicer suits."

Dirty Work provided Fairfax Media with images of the devices and the messages they displayed.

"We don't want to give the police any more details about what we have installed in the exclusion zones," the spokesperson said.

"They've got guns, batons, mace, sonic cannons, water cannons, armoured bearcats and drones, we've just got creativity, criticality and love."

...

RT [13/11/14]:

An activist with a history of confronting Western leaders, from Margaret Thatcher to George W. Bush, has now been banned “without explanation” from the G20 summit, where he hopped to ask Obama to pardon jailed Manning and stop persecuting Assange.

...

There are 5500 police wandering around the place and they've got some extraordinary powers which are quite unusual and which people may not appreciate fully.

RNZI [14/11/14]:

As world leaders fly into Brisbane before the weekend's G20 summit, there are concerns that Queensland police have too much power to deal with planned protests.

The Queensland Council of Civil Liberties is worried police from outside the state, including from New Zealand, will not be subjected to any discipline if they abuse their powers.

Protests are expected on Saturday and Sunday from groups campaigning about poverty, inequality, climate change and indigenous rights. As well, groups supporting Ukraine and Russia are expected to protest.

Under special legislation, passed by the Australian Parliament last year, Queensland police have extensive powers to maintain order - a move that worries the president of the Queensland Council of Civil Liberties, Michael Cope.

"There are 5500 police wandering around the place and they've got some extraordinary powers which are quite unusual and which people may not appreciate fully," said Mr Cope.

"Once again we go back to the example of Toronto where people did not understand what the powers they had there were.

"And there was some friction over that because just ordinary people wandering the streets, not necessarily involved in any protests, ended up in trouble over there."

Some 1500 officers at the summit come from outside Queensland, including 212 from New Zealand.

Mr Cope said there were question marks about accountability mechanisms for police from outside the state which had not been properly clarified, for example how complaints against those police will be dealt with.

"They are obviously not subject to the Queensland police disciplinary procedures," said Mr Cope.

The deputy commissioner of the Queensland police and the man running the G20 security operation, Ross Barnett, gave assurances about police conduct during the G20 protests.

"Everyone who's on police G20 duty will have a registered number ironed on to their shirt in terms of identification. This will be one of the most scrutinised police operations in the history of Australia," he said.

The scrutiny will include more than 50 independent legal observers - all Brisbane lawyers who are donating their time to watch and record actions by police at the protests.

The director of the Caxton Legal Centre, Scott McDougall, who has organised the observers, says it is critical that people be allowed to protest.

"If you look at Russia last year, the summit in St Petersburg, there were no protesters on the streets.

"So Australia has an opportunity to actually show the rest of the world how you can actually not just tolerate dissent but actually embrace political expression without actually jeopardising the security of world leaders," said Mr McDougall.

Mr Barnett said police were keen on letting people protest and would only use the powers they have under the special legislation as a last resort.

'We've made the point to our people that arrest will be a last option for us. That wherever we can we will warn people before we arrest.

"Success for me would be zero arrests in terms of protest activity. But if that's not possible then whatever arrests may need to be made as long as they are done professionally and with the absolute minimum of use of force then that's all I can ask for the officers on the front line."

...

Canada: Government response to new CSEC allegations is inadequate [British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) Media Release - 29/11/13]

New Snowden docs show US spied during G20 in Toronto [CBC - 1/12/13]

 

Into The Fire (2011)

World leaders and activists from around the world gathered for the G20 Summit.

With over 19,000 police officers and security personnel on hand, the results lead to over 1100 arrests, martial law in downtown Toronto, and the most massive violation of civil liberties in Canadian history.

 

Police officer stood down in Southern Region

QPS Media [13/11/14]:

A Senior Constable from the Southern Region has been stood down from official duty with the Queensland Police Service.

The officer, a 50 year-old man, is the subject of an investigation relating to excessive use of force.

In keeping with our commitment to high standards of behaviour, transparency and accountability, we have an undertaking to inform the public when an officer faces disciplinary processes involving stand down or suspension.

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

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.

 

14 November 2014

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