Syrian troops have returned the situation in the area of Palmyra to stability with Russian air support and are getting ready for a counter-offensive, the deputy chief of the Russian General Staff’s main operations directorate, Lieutenant-General Viktor Poznikhir told a news briefing on Thursday. ... [TASS - 15/12/16]



... Near Raqqa, a strike damaged six canal bridges and a minor water control network. ... United States continues bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 15/12/16]


@maydeuO [15/12/16]:  Cuando vuelvas a oír que los que vienen a Europa son inmigrantes económicos mírate es mapa que ha hecho la propia UE Violencia = refugiados 


@salvamentogob [15/12/16]:  Así se llevó a cabo ayer el rescate de la patera.


@salvamentogob [14/12/16]:  #patera localizada por Cazadora @Armada_esp y rescatada por Salvamar Hamal. Unas 54 personas (1 niño, 1 bebé). Llegan a #Motril a las 21:30










Australia's political prisoners protest on Nauru,  August 2016



Nauru minister died of kidney failure while in Russia. Australia's political prisoners are still imprisoned. [RNZI - 15/12/16]



Bishop is Teflon on human rights because there is no opposition and no credible criticism of Australia's anti-refugee torture, exile and turnback policy [Yahoo - 15/12/16]



Region continues pushing back Rohingya refugees to Aung San Suu Kyi's genocide [Dhaka Tribune - 15/12/16]



Behind the fence:  Inside Myanmar’s modern-day concentration camps [Huffington Post - 15/12/16]



Pathological ---> "Tread carefully with regard to the Rohingya crisis" ???? [Jakarta Post - 15/12/16]



‏@SeanCroweTD [13/12/16]:  Met members of the Rohingya community in Ireland outlined awful human rights abuses in Myanmar/ Burma in end to raise issue with Minister



Mentally ill Adelaide man charged with advocating terrorism after allegedly posting anti-Jewish videos [ABC - 15/12/16]



What was the US government’s last experience with a Muslim Registry? [American Immigration Council - 14/12/16]:


... After a significant backlash, in December 2003, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), who inherited the program from INS, suspended the domestic registration requirements but allowed DHS to use its discretion to continue to selectively subject certain individuals to heightened scrutiny. 

In April 2011, DHS finally de-listed the 25 countries noting that other intelligence and tracking programs superseded the need for this program.

However, the damage to many immigrants and their families had already been done– 83,000 individuals in the country registered and more than 13,000 were placed in deportation proceedings.

The regulatory infrastructure for NSEERS remains in place to this day. ...



From Obama, Trump will inherit an efficient deportation apparatus [Paste - 14/12/16]:


... “The tactics that we used in the past will be the foundation for what we do in the future. This means that we will hold all politicians accountable, both Democrats and Republicans. This is not the time to be hiding families. We have to be more public about what we are fighting for and who we are fighting for,” Mateo said.

 “We will continue to leverage social media, hold rallies and public protests, and contact elected officials at the federal and local level. This includes contacting elected officials about people who are scheduled to be deported who live in their districts.”

Mateo is hopeful that activists will continue to talk about the parents of DREAMers, who often aren’t given the sympathy that undocumented youth receive.

 She would like to see people move away from the “deserving” and “undeserving” immigrant narrative and instead for people to consider the whole family in this debate. ...



Deploying National Guard to border hurt Texas economy [American Immigration Council - 15/9/14]:


... However, according to a recent report by the Perryman Group, the Texas Governor’s National Guard deployment will have even higher costs than originally thought.

The Economic Cost of Deployment, found that “economic performance is dampened” when National Guard troops have been deployed to the border.

Military deployment “increases feelings of uncertainty about the area’s stability,” and discourages business investment, tourism, and other economic activity. ...



US Sergeant pleads guilty to funneling guns to Mexican cartel [Sputnik News – 15/12/16]



Germany has deported 50 Afghan refugee men to their home country after rejecting their asylum requests.

A German charter plane arrived in the Afghan capital, Kabul, from Frankfurt on Thursday, carrying out a first collective deportation based on an agreement Berlin and Kabul reached in early October.


Meanwhile, the then-planned deportation of the Afghan refugees prompted a protest at the Frankfurt Rhein-Main Airport on Wednesday.

The pro-refugee rally drew hundreds of protesters, who chanted anti-deportation slogans and carried banners that read, “No deportation to Afghanistan” and “Solidarity instead of xenophobia and racism.”

The rally, organized by the Afghan Refugee movement, was staged to defend the rights of the deported people, with protesters and activists arguing that Afghanistan was still unsafe for the asylum seekers to return and that returnees might face reprisals. ... [Press TV - 15/12/16]



"8 ISIS militants" killed in US airstrikes, Afghanistan [Khaama - 15/12/16]



Two children have been killed and three others including a woman wounded in a bomb explosion in Shahr-I-Safa district of southern Zabul province, an official said on Thursday. ... [Pajhwok - 15/12/16]



Shooting in Kabul airport leaves foreigner dead [Khaama - 14/12/16]:


... According to the sources, the incident took place after a policeman opened fire on the foreign national, leaving him dead along with two others wounded.

The sources speaking on the condition of anonymity further added that the rogue policeman was arrested shortly after the incident and is in the security forces custody. ...



EU Police Mission in Afghanistan comes to a successful close after nine years of progress [Media Release - 14/12/16]



Pakistan and Russia hold consultation in Islamabad [Times of India - 15/12/16]



Pakistan tests Babur cruise missile successfully [Pakistan Today - 151/12/16]



Five days of peace every week in Kashmir Valley, as Hurriyat parties issue fresh calendar [Firstpost - 14/12/16]



The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Central government to submit the report prepared by an Expert Committee regarding the use of pellet guns by security forces during the prevailing uprising in Kashmir. ... [Kashmir Today - 15/12/16]



Digicel brings 4G/LTE to Nauru.  Australia's political prisoners are still imprisoned. [Satellite Today - 14/12/16]



King tide hits Manus Island.  Australia's political prisoners are still imprisoned. [PNG Loop - 14/12/16]



IOM thanked for "helping" Jiwaka villagers stay where they are and accept their fate as drought ravages their communities [The National - 15/12/16]:


... “This is not a government service but it is a gift of goodwill from the American people to underprivileged families in Jiwaka,” Kawage said.

“We were hit hard with the drought but thank God that He brought IOM to rescue us.”

Provincial disaster coordinator John Kupul said the aim of the assistance was to build disaster-resilient communities in the districts and province. ...



UN highlights their near irrelevance in the Pacific [The National - 15/12/16]:


UN Women country representative Dr Jeffery Buchanan has announced a UNiTE campaign song 2016 competition and asked Papua New Guinea artists to take part.

They will have to produce music videos depicting the theme of UN Secretary General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign. ...



... “Australia gives priority to gender equality and women’s empowerment in our foreign policy, which is reflected in our aid program for PNG,” Fierravanti-Wells said. ... Australia's Minister for International Development and the Pacific pretends she has nothing to do with keeping refugees imprisoned in an illegal concentration camp [The National - 15/12/16]



Two elderly women were brutally murdered for allegedly practising sorcery following the death of a young school teacher in Asaro, Eastern Highlands, last Friday, according to police. ... [The National - 14/12/16]



PNG Prime Minister O’Neill thanks US military for support [PNG Loop - 15/12/16]:


Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has thanked the United States military for its ongoing support for the hosting of APEC Papua New Guinea 2018.

Meeting with United States Navy Admiral Harry Harris, Commander of the United States Pacific Command, in Port Moresby this week, O’Neill said APEC security is a joint operation for every APEC host economy. ...



Prime Minister O’Neill says Rex Tillerson is a “very good and genuine friend” of PNG [The  National - 15/12/16]



‏@wikileaks [14/12/16]:  Why Secretary of State Tillerson will oil the US empire ...



A pipeline just two and half hours' drive from the Indigenous water protectors' ongoing stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline has leaked more than 170,000 gallons of crude oil into a tributary of the Little Missouri River and into a hillside, according to reports late Monday. ... [Eco Watch - 13/12/16]



Business chiefs optimistic, but urge more policy clarity [The Irrawaddy - 10/12/16]:


A survey of almost two hundred senior executives from companies of different sizes during August and September indicated that most were positive about the business outlook for growth and expansion, but caveats remain.

Executives from a wide range of sectors were surveyed, including telecommunications, media, technology, construction, real estate, utilities, chemicals, retail, banking, and tourism.

Almost 80 percent of respondents cited Burma’s status as a frontier market with a large and growing population as a top reason for investing in the country. ...




 The CEO of Australian company Woodside, Mr Peter Coleman, and Australian Ambassador to Myanmar, HE Nicholas Coppel, met with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to discuss Woodside's investment in Myanmar on 12 May 2015.  Australian Embassy in Myanmar



Letter to the Editor [News Mail – 26/5/15]:

In 1960 the Abbott family, taking advantage of Australia's generosity, accepted a subsidised boat passage and migrated from London to Sydney for the princely sum of 10 quid.

Like many of his kind, Abbott has developed a near hatred for people fleeing poverty and persecution and travelling to Australia by the same method as did he and his family.

Australia has an obligation under the Human Rights Charter to accept asylum seekers and afford them basic protections and rights, but has chosen to ignore that charter and do the exact opposite.

The recent instances of people in our region fleeing persecution in leaky boats has softened the reactions of Indonesia and Malaysia who are saving them from starving and dying of thirst by allowing limited access to their lands and helping with basic shelter, food and other assistance.

These countries have asked Australia to help, but our Tony has made another of his infamous "captain's calls" and said "nope, nope, nope", without as much as talking it over with his colleagues or allowing parliament to debate the issue.

Other countries have pledged to accept thousands of the refugees as residents, but we are again displaying how selfish and inhumane we can be by ignoring their plight and doing absolutely nothing to help.

Australians are better than that, but with the present leadership actions we are being shown up to the world at large as heartless.


Elliott Heads



Abbott's sister Christine Forster becomes Woodside spinner [Australian Financial Review - 5/10/16]:


... Forster's appointment comes as the streets of Woodside's hometown of Perth hum with talk that former Saturday Paper journo (and one-time scribe for this esteemed organ) Sophie Morris has also joined the mining company. ...



Sexual assaults by Burmese military continue in Northern Maungdaw [Rohingya Vision - 15/12/16]



‏@nslwin: 11 #Rohingya houses & 9 shops burnt down in Ward 13 #PhonNyoLake VT in #Buthidaung Tsp on Dec 15 at 3am. Don't know arson attack or accident



‏@nslwin [14/12/16]: #Rohingya villagers from #NgaSaKyu are fleeing their homes and are arriving nearby village. #Myanmar military is abusing them since morning.



We need an excuse for Aung San Suu Kyi's genocide:  Myanmar's Religious Affairs Ministry to write history book excluding the Rohingya [The Straites Times - 15/12/16]



Iranian, Indonesian presidents politely "discuss" Myanmar genocide in the context of geopolitical energy and cultural goals [Tasnim - 14/12/16]



‏@ATEmbassy [15/12/16]:  Gee #EddieObeid receives the penalty a 12 year old black kid gets for stealing a chocolate bar



Dylan Voller seeking release from prison after being tortured at Don Dale [ABC - 14/12/16]: 


... His lawyer Peter O'Brien said the judge did not take into account this mistreatment when sentencing Voller in 2014.

"We say that Dylan Voller's circumstances have changed significantly," he said.

"Had the judge sentencing him in July of 2014 known the type of circumstances in which he'd been housed and accommodated and the way he'd been treated ... then there would have been a different sentence applied.

"The second basis is that he's currently being diagnosed with difficulties related to those ongoing problems and we're seeking to prove that there's additional traumatisation for his continued incarceration."

Voller is serving a sentence of more than three years in the adult prison for aggravated robbery and is not due for release until October next year. ...



‏@JusticeForDhu [15/12/16]:  "Dhu Justice on Twitter Has Been Reinstated"  ...



Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Tuesday afternoon opened fire on a Palestinian vehicle at Qalandia checkpoint, north of Jerusalem, under the pretext of a car-ramming attempt. ... [PNN - 13/12/16]



Israeli police shoot, kill Palestinian after stab attack leaves 2 lightly injured [Maan - 14/12/16]



More than 20 Israeli military vehicles raided the campus of Birzeit University in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah before dawn on Wednesday, with Israeli forces "leaving a great deal of havoc" in their wake, an official university statement said. ... [Maan - 14/12/16]



Two killed in gunfight at Palestinian refugee camp in Southern Lebanon [Daily Star - 14/12/16]



Troops and court needed fast to avert South Sudan genocide: UN [Reuters - 14/12/16]



Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan had a telephone conversation on Wednesday, in the course of which they discussed the Syrian problem and the ongoing situation in Aleppo, the Kremlin press service said. ... [TASS - 14/12/16]



Turkish military strikes Islamic State targets in northern Syria: Army [Reuters - 13/12/16]



Russian Defense Ministry: Staged videos showing 'Russian bombardments' in Syria made by militants [TASS - 13/12/16]:


... Terrorists in Aleppo held more than 100,000 civilians hostage as a human shield and all those people left for the Syrian government-controlled areas as soon as the opportunity offered itself, according to Konashenkov.

"The Syrian army’s operation to retake Aleppo’s eastern districts, successful and in every sense humane towards the civilians, has demonstrated a number of important things," Konashenkov said.

"In the eastern districts the terrorists held hostage more than 100,000 civilians as a human shield. At the very first opportunity they left that enclave and moved to the Syrian government-controlled districts for safety, real aid and food," Konashenkov said. ...



Three people were killed and scores were injured on Wednesday due to terrorist attacks with rocket shells and explosive rounds on neighborhoods in Aleppo city. ... [SANA - 14/12/16]



Al-Jaafari: Protecting civilians in Aleppo and other cities is the Syrian government’s constitutional duty [SANA - 13/12/16]



ISIL has produced weapons on a scale and sophistication that matches national armies, standardising production across its self-styled caliphate, according to an arms monitoring group.

The UK-based Conflict Armament Research (CAR) said the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) had a "robust supply chain" of raw materials from Turkey, and the technical precision of its work meant it could not be described as "improvised" weapons production. ... [Al Jazeera - 14/12/16]



@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [14/12/16]:


Ta'meem: News agencies: The US-led coalition aircraft has targeted the bridge linking Haweeja and Zab and made it out of service .


Press reports : In spite of pledging of Haider Al-Abadi that he will not use the heavy weapons ,dozens of deaths and injuries are resulted mostly women and kids -as an aerial and artillery shelling target the neighborhoods at the left side of Mosul.


Press reports: Medical sources in Mosul Hospital reported that more than 40 civilians were buried under rubble last night and today dawn and dozens of wounded people cannot be reachable due to the ongoing bombing targeting the eastern neighborhoods of Mosul.


Nineveh: News agencies: The Islamic State has recontrolled E'lam neighborhood east of Mosul.


Nineveh: News agencies: 12 persons were killed as an artillery shelling targeted Sukkar neighborhood northeast of Mosul.


Baghdad: Two persons were killed and 10 wounded as a car bomb exploded in washash area west of Baghdad.


Diyala: A civilian was killed and another wounded as an IED exploded southwest of Ba'quba.



Islamic State militants executed an Iraqi journalist in central Mosul on Saturday, a press freedoms organization said Monday.

ISIS executed Hashem Fares, a photojournalist for al-Haqiqa, a local newspaper, and a former reporter for al-Diyar, a local TV, said the Iraqi Observatory for Press Freedoms , an Iraqi Journalists Syndicate body. ... [ -13/12/16]



The U.S. State Department has given its approval for a possible $1.7 billion military sale to Kuwait for the recapitalization of 218 M1A2 tanks and related equipment, services and training, a Pentagon agency said on Tuesday.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, in a statement, said the contractors involved included General Dynamics Corp, Raytheon Co, Meggitt PLC, Northrop Grumman Corp, Lockheed Martin Corp and Honeywell International Inc, among others. [Reuters - 13/12/16]




15 December 2016