Saudi air strike on Yemen hospital kills at least seven: residents, officials [Reuters - 15/8/16]:


A Saudi-led coalition air strike hit a hospital in Yemen's northern Hajja province on Monday, residents and local officials said, killing at least seven people and wounding 13.

A Reuters witness at the scene of the attack in the Abs district said medics could not immediately evacuate the wounded because war planes continued to fly over the area and first responders feared more bombings.

The facility is run by aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres, which declined a Reuters request for comment on the incident.



Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz returned home on Sunday after a month-long holiday in Morocco, and ordered a month's extra pay for Saudi military and security personnel actively involved in military operations in Yemen, state news agency SPA said. ... [Reuters - 14/8/16]



Gov. Scott Walker has declared a state of emergency in Wisconsin and activated the national guard, as sometimes violent protests continued Monday in his state following the police shooting death of 23-year-old African-American man Sylville Smith. ... [US News - 15/8/16]



United States continue bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 15/8/16]



The Russian Black Sea Fleet’s advanced warships Serpukhov and Zelyony Dol armed with Kalibr cruise missiles have launched anti-terror drills in the east Mediterranean, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Monday. ... [TASS - 15/8/16]



Three people killed by car bomb in Turkey's southeast [Reuters - 15/8/16]



Turkish police raided offices at three Istanbul courthouses on Monday after detention warrants were issued for 173 judicial personnel as part of an investigation into last month's failed coup attempt, the private Dogan news agency reported on Monday. ... [Reuters - 15/8/16]



Give us EU visa freedom in October or abandon refugee outsourcing deal, Turkey says [Reuters - 15/8/16]



Through their eyes: Refugees’ own accounts of abuses in Libya [Amnesty - 15/8/16]:


... “Our boat left from Sabratah in January. It was a rubber boat for about 50 people but it had 120 people in it.

After two hours a big Libyan boat came with officers or police in and took us back to shore. They beat us all next to the sea to find out who the captain is.

Then they shot one man in the foot. He was the last one coming off the boat so they asked him where the captain is and he said he didn’t know so they said that means you are the captain and they shot him.

Then they took us to a prison in Al-Zawiya where I stayed for over a month. There was little food and they would beat us every day. They used sticks and sometimes electric stun guns. 

It was a big prison with 30-40 people in each room, but there was just one toilet.

There were no doctors or medication and a lot of people had scabies. Eventually the smugglers negotiated with the prison guards and were able to get us out.

We were taken back to exactly the same place as before. Two died in this farm out of hunger because they didn’t have enough food when we were in prison.

On 15 March I finally got on a boat again at 8am and we stayed three hours before we were rescued by a German ship.”  ...



Day 149 refugee protests, Nauru



Image: ‏@InsurrectNews  [15/8/16]



Human Rights Overboard:  A rebuttal to the latest iteration of the Brennan, Costello, Manne and Menadue "solution"


Brennan, Costello, Manne and Menadue argue that to stop cruel inhumane fascism, we need more cruel and inhumane fascism in order to keep it out of sight and out of mind.

This makes perfect sense if you consider Australia as exceptionalist among other South East Asia nations, and that our obligations under the 1951 UN Refugee Convention are redundant.

It's yet another version of white man's burden "false choices", cyclically wheeled by Brennan and friends as a form of crisis management to fill the opposition-free void.

Omitting or invisibilising the regional impacts of "we will decide who comes here and the manner in which they come" is not only bigoted, it is downright genocidal.

The authors argue that there are ONLY two alternatives for asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat: either (a) The current ALP and LNP policy of forcibly turning away refugee boats by military means, mandatory indefinite offshore detention in secretive privatised out-sourced concentration camps, and an iron-fisted "never coming to Australia" rule; or (b) all of those things, except the "never coming to Australia" rule presumably (?), as well as wiping the slate clean by bringing the refugees currently in Manus and Nauru to Australia.

They say that we "opponents of the present policy" don't offer any alternative and that we must accept their version of a "compromise".

Well, here is an alternative:


1. Close all of the refugee the concentration camps - offshore AND onshore;

2. Release, compensate and give all necessary assistance to the refugees currently on Manus Island and Nauru - including full resettlement in Australia to any who would still be willing to give us a second chance;

3. Start taking refugees from the "queue" again - with a particular focus on those already in our region such as the thousands in Indonesia and surrounding countries (Australia takes about 200,000 migrants every year already - the refugees under this plan would be included in that number);

4. Put the "people smugglers" out of business by offering a free and safe alternative way of coming to Australia for refugees departing from countries in our region who cannot afford or attain the far more numerically significant mode of arrival in Australia for asylum seekers (i.e. by airplane with a "valid" visa);

5. Where necessary, ocean surveillance and rescue of all distressed vessels regardless of whether they are millionaire adventurers or asylum seekers;

6. Adherence to both the spirit and the letter of tthe 1951 UN Refugee Convention for ALL asylum seekers regardless of mode of arrival; and perhaps most importantly,

7. An end to ALL support (whether financial, military, political or diplomatic) for the wars, economic policies and resource exploitation that have created all of these refugees in the first place.


That might not be what the authors consider a "compromise", but why compromise with evil?



HREOC’s report, tabled in federal Parliament on 12 May 1998, deals with the policy of mandatory detention of most unauthorised arrivals and the conditions of detention for those detained.

The report had its origins in the many complaints received by HREOC from, or on behalf of, people in immigration detention centres. [Australian Human Rights Commission]



@Thestateless1 [15/8/16]:  @drzarni #Myanmar Muslims #Genocide Awareness Convention 2016,highlights the slow burning genocide against #Rohingya



Landmine kills Tamil man in Jaffna [Tamil Guardian - 15/8/16]



Former Tamil refugees who were saved by a local Canadian fishing boat 30 years ago, returned to the site of their dramatic rescue this week, as they remembered their perilous journey fleeing Sri Lanka. ... [Tamil Guardian - 14/8/16]



Outrage over arrests of 50 activists in West Papua [RNZI - 15/8/16]



Indonesia's mining ministry has recommended that the international mining giant, Freeport-McMoran, be granted a new export permit, albeit for a shorter period than requested.

The company operates one of the world's largest copper mines in West Papua, and the new permit allows it to export copper concentrates until January. ... [RNZI - 15/8/16]



ExxonMobil says PNG protest not affecting production [RNZI - 15/8/16]



There is sufficient evidence before the Waigani District Court that two police officers forced a woman to chew and swallow two condoms on the evening of Dec 4, 2015 at the Boroko Police station. ... [PNG Loop - 15/8/16]



Rudd and Abbott were warned PNG concentration camp plan was unconstitutional in 2013 [The Age - 15/8/16]




Serco Use force training diagram applied in practice for restraining kids in detention


Image: @KayeBernard [22//8/14]



The ALP indefinitely imprisoned refugees to be tortured on Manus Island and Nauru, but the media continues to let Shorten lie [Yahoo - 15/8/16]:


... "We're seeing more and more disturbing reports coming out from Nauru," opposition Labor leader Bill Shorten said Monday.

"Just because people are in detention doesn't mean that they have to be mistreated and it doesn't mean that they should be kept in indefinite detention," he told reporters in Brisbane.

"That's why Labor is leading the push to have a Senate inquiry."  [And the pissweak Greens are helping them in this pointless exercise, rather than making a coherent demand for the policy to end.]

Shorten said he still supported the offshore processing of asylum-seekers on Nauru and in PNG to dissuade others from making the dangerous journey to Australia, but that refugees should not be left to languish in Pacific camps indefinitely. ... [They're not "languishing", they are fighting for their lives.]



While soldiers volunteer in many organizations, Israel defense minister says playing with asylum seekers' children should be stopped because 'it involves activities with a population that isn’t residing here lawfully.' ... [Haaretz - 14/8/16]



Asylum seekers in Israel deprived of basic medical care as services stop treating them [Haaretz - 8/8/16]



On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges explores the harsh economic, social, and political realities of African Americans with Princeton Professor Eddie Glaude, as they discuss the institutionalized racism that is holding down black America, as addressed in Glaude’s book, 'Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul'. ... [RT - 14/8/16]



Talking to the police [Legal Aid Queensland]



Police from Barwon Local Area Command (LAC) will this week host information sessions to discuss ways police and Aboriginal people can work together to create stronger, safer communities.

The information sessions will take place within Barwon LAC, in the state’s north-west, between Tuesday (16 August 2016), and Thursday (18 August 2016) this week. … [NSW Police – 14/8/16]



@wikileaks [13/8/16]:  Video: Clinton, Russia, WikiLeaks & Uranium ...



‏@AssangeLegal [13/8/16]:  Bengt Ivarsson President of Swedish Bar Association: police report shows #Assange has no case to answer. Case should be dropped.



‏@Mangiwantok [15/8/16]:  Decided to shut my blog down to avoid risk of being charged under #PNG's new cybercrime laws ...



In "bungled" spying operation, NSA, GCSB and ASIO targeted New Zealand pro democracy campaigners [The Intercept - 15/8/16]



A new bill which gives New Zealand's security and intelligence agencies more power to spy on Kiwis is likely to be introduced this week. ... [ - 15/8/16]



 I joined a group of #LoveMakesAWay peeps asking our local MP @AlboMP to #BringThemHere #naurufiles



Image: ‏@AletiaDundas [15/8/16]



‏@PplJustLikeUs [15/8/16]:  #NauruFiles Public Action #CloseTheCamps #BringThemHere At Chris Hayes MP Fowler/Cabramatta ...



@BeSolom [15/8/16]:  we look forward to your response @tanya_plibersek #BringThemHere #LoveMakesAWay






Plibersek: People coming to Australia by boat should not expect to be accepted into our refugee & humanitarian intake ...  


 "tweeted" by ‏@ABCNews24 [30/9/15]



NZ Labour: The policy is unsustainable, Australia has lost it moral compass [TVNZ - 14/8/16]:


The Australian policy for detaining refugees indefinitely is unsustainable, according to Labour’s spokesperson for foreign affairs, David Shearer.

Responding to a leak this week of thousands of documents highlighting abuse, assault and self-harm amongst refugees housed in detention centres of Nauru, David Shearer told Q+A's Jessica Mutch that New Zealand needed to step up.

"I think when the report came out last week, it shocked us all. In many ways, it reiterated what others had been saying and highlighted the fact that this policy is unsustainable," he said.

"It's almost like Australia has lost its moral compass in terms of where it's going.

Mr Shearer said New Zealand, which is taking 150 refugees from Nauru, should only be doing so if the camps are going to be completely closed down.

"If they're simply replaced by another 150 or however many, then we are complicit in the policy, and that’s something we certainly don’t want to be a part of."

The full interview can be seen here ...



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


 Immediately after they conveyed this message, Omid Masoumali covered himself in flammable liquid and set himself alight shouting at the delegation:


 "We're sick and exhausted! You've destroyed our lives! Did you come just to gape at our misery? We lead miserable lives! You've been torturing us for three years!"



Omid Masoumali [Guardian - 3/5/16]




How does "UNHCR for Australia" continue getting away with such blatant hypocrisy with regard to the plight of refugees in our region? --->  ‏@UNrefugees - Australia for UNHCR [15/8/16]:  #TeamRefugees #Olympics update: Congratulations #YiechPurBiel, #AnjelinaNadaiLohalith and #JamesNyangChiengjiek....




‏@UNHCRCanberra [15/8/16]: "I would like young people to know that everything is possible": Yaya Deng: former #refugee, model, actor, #Aussie


Actions speak louder than words --->  ‏@melissarfleming - Chief Spokesperson, UNHCR [11/8/16]:  UNHCR is gravely concerned about these allegations - refugees should be moved off Nauru to humane conditions. <---- There is an important distinction between "immediate movement" and "close the camps, resettle the refugees, and resume meeting obligations under the convention".



But does Queensland Greens' Senator Larissa Waters want Australia's refugee camps on Nauru and Manus Island closed, and men, women, children genuinely resettled? ---> ‏@QldGreens [15/8/16]:  #UnitedNations reiterates demand for #Australia to close 'dire' #detention centres. ...



9 News Gold Coast [14/8/16]:  Surfers given an early morning fright after spotting two sharks in waters off Surfers Paradise beach. ...



The Gold Coast’s Desalination Plant will again be used to supplement the city’s drinking water supply from next Monday.

Minister for Energy and Water Supply Mark Bailey said the desalination plant would be used while the Molendinar Water Treatment Plant (WTP), which is the coast’s largest treatment plan, is upgraded.

More than 20 suburbs will be supplied with desalinated drinking water for about a week including Gilston, Broadbeach, Nerang, Yatala, Coomera, Bundall and Mermaid Beach.

It is only the third time the desalination plant has been used to supply drinking water to the city outside of extreme weather events. ... [MYGC - 12/8/16]



The three most senior police officers in New South Wales will reveal what operational decisions, if any, they made during the Sydney siege when they give evidence at the inquest this week.

Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione, Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn and Acting Deputy Commissioner Jeff Loy will all appear in the witness stand over the next few days to detail what orders or advice they gave to officers during the 17-hour siege.

Counsel assisting the inquest Jeremy Gormly hinted at what kinds of questions the three Commissioners would face when he addressed a directions hearing for the inquest last week.

"The reason we are all here ... is to determine one question," he said.

"Did they, or did they not, involve themselves appropriately or inappropriately in the operational decisions of the siege?" ... [ABC - 14/8/16]

Incident at Blackwood [SA Police - 15/8/16]:


A man has been detained after an incident at Blackwood this evening.

Police attended an address on Main Road, Blackwood about 8pm on Sunday 14 August. A man inside the premises threatened self-harm. There was no one else inside the premises.

Police, including STAR Group, negotiators and local patrols, as well as fire and ambulance services, were in attendance.

About 12.30am the man was taken into custody without incident. He has been taken to the Flinders Medical Centre for a mental health assessment.

Police wish to thank Blackwood residents for their patience.

Main Road, Blackwood remains closed between East Terrace and the Blackwood roundabout, but is expected to be reopened shortly.

Swan Hill police station evacuated [The Age – 14/8/16]


Cyclist hit by car, Helensvale [MYGC - 15/8/16]


An elderly driver has smashed a car through a brick wall at an IGA at Currumbin Waters on the Gold Coast.

It's believed the 81-year-old hit the accelerator instead of the brake, a police spokesperson said. ... [Yahoo - 14/8/16]


NSW police have confirmed a woman has died in a car crash near Chinderah, south of Tweed Heads, earlier today.

Emergency services were called to the smash on the Pacific Motorway just past Tweed Valley Way around 12.20pm. ... [Nine MSN - 14/8/16]


A man has been taken to hospital in a stable condition after being run over by a bobcat near Clermont in Central Queensland on Friday.

He was believed to be working at a property near the town when he was run over and became caught in the wheels of the vehicle. ... [Brisbane Times - 14/8/16]


Parkwood crash injures child and two adults [MYGC - 12/8/16]

Man accused of punching bus driver denied bail [Brisbane Times - 13/8/16]:

The man who allegedly punched a bus driver six times in the face at Red Hill, has been refused bail in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Saturday.

Christopher Mevelle Cutting, 37, from Spring Hill is accused of assaulting the bus driver on Friday after asking for a fare to be waived.

The driver suffered lacerations and was treated by paramedics at the scene.

Cutting did not fight the armed robbery charge, but argued "the bus driver was hassling me".

Defence lawyer Nick Hanly asked for bail but magistrate Judith Daley refused, describing Cutting as "an unacceptable risk".

She said Cutting's history included begging, stealing, breaching bail conditions and failing to appear in court.

The matter will be heard again on August 29.


Three charged after shooting and arson attack, south west off Gladstone [Brisbane Times - 15/8/16]

'Shot-gun wielding fugitive' arrested after alleged seven-hour crime spree [Yahoo – 13/8/16]:


A shot-gun wielding man, who reportedly threatened a Brisbane family, and stole three vehicles in seven hours, was on parole.

Jonny James Maguire was arrested by Queensland Police in the Lockyer Valley west of Brisbane on Friday, following a seven-hour dramatic crime spree.

Maguire was released from jail almost two months ago.

His spree began at around 2.30am, when he allegedly stole a Tip Top bread truck at a service station on Birkdale Road in Birkdale.

Police say Maguire pushed the 32-year-old male motorist out of the driver’s seat before driving off.

The spree began at Birkdale and went through to Helidon on August 12. Photo: 7 News

At 4:30pm the convicted felon allegedly dumped the bread truck in Warana Court, Boronia Heights.

Its clutch was burnt after it was driven so erratically.

Next, Maguire reportedly approached a Logan house armed with a sawn-off shot gun and threatened a sleeping family.

Shane and Kate Troyahn hid their five children in a bedroom as stole Maguire their 2012 silver Honda City and fled west.

The convicted felon headed to the Somerset area where he crashed again, this time into the fence of a house at Borallon, near Ipswich.

It's alleged Maguire threatened another home owner and stole their ute before he headed further west to Helidon.

He then abandoned the vehicle on train track before fleeing on foot.

Maguire then allegedly tried to get on a stolen motorbike before officers had to contend with a fire in a shed on the property.

He will face the Toowoomba Magistrates Court on Saturday on a string of charges, including discharging a weapon in a public place and four counts of unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

The home residents were not physically injured but the bread truck driver sustained an arm injury and was transported to Redlands Hospital.


Attempted murder charge over Helensvale double stabbing [Brisbane Times - 11/8/16]


Investigations continue into a stabbing at Labrador.

A 34-year-old man was walking along Marine Parade about 3.50pm Tuesday when he was attacked by two men who had been in a car that drove past.

The victim broke free and ran away, before the pari caught up with him again and stabbed him in the back.

The man suffered serious injuries and was taken to Gold Coast University Hospital.

Police do not believe this was a random attack. [SEA FM - 9/8/16]



Loved ones march to remember late Gatton schoolgirl Jayde Kendall [Nine MSN - 14/8/16]:


The father of allegedly murdered Gatton schoolgirl Jayde Kendall has made a passionate plea on the one-year anniversary of his daughter's disappearance.

Hundreds have marched through the Queensland town of Gatton to remember schoolgirl Jayde Kendall, one year after her death.

Jayde, 16, disappeared from the Lockyer Valley town on August 14 last year, with her body found in a paddock almost two weeks later after an intensive search by police and volunteers.

Her friend Brenden Bennetts, 19, was charged with her murder and has been ordered to stand trial.

Jayde’s family, friends and those who helped in the search today called for action to reduce violence and increase safety for young people.

Campaigners wore purple – Jayde’s favourite colour.

Jayde’s father Bruce Morrissey said the family was grieving, but wanted to use his daughter’s death to make a difference.

“It’s been very hard,” Mr Morrisey said.

“It’s one of the longest years I’ve experienced.”

He said the march was aimed at teaching people to be more aware of their surroundings and dangerous situations.

“Even if it is one person, one boy or one girl, it's worth it because that's one life,” Mr Morrissey said.

Bennetts remains in custody and a date for his trial in the Brisbane Supreme Court is yet to be set.

His lawyers have indicated he intends to plead not guilty to Jayde’s murder.


Teaching "stranger danger" to children confuses them and ignores abuse that can come from people they know, a police advisor says.

An Auckland University study found nearly 97.6 percent of reported cases of child abuse in New Zealand involved someone the child knew, and most involved someone within the family circle.

Roland Hermans, who helps put together educational programmes for the police, said older methods for teaching children about risks were outdated and didn't work. ... [RNZI - 9/8/16]



15 August 2016