Helping Australia "take the sugar off the table": UNHCR abandons refugees in Indonesia, blames Syrian crisis
Women's Weekly [July 2015]
Sydney Morning Herald [16/10/15]:
A group of 120 refugees stuck in Pekanbaru, on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, have gone on a hunger strike to protest their frustration over delays to their resettlement in a third country.
Ahmad Zaki, a Hazara refugee from Pakistan, said the refugees wanted the UN refugee agency to come to Pekanbaru to discuss their resettlement cases and open an office in the Sumatran city.
"We are waiting for our resettlement process from more than one year," Mr Zaki said. "I want to go to Australia or any other country."
The men, who are from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan and Myanmar, have been found to be genuine refugees by the UNHCR. Their accommodation, medical care and a living stipend is paid for by the International Organisation of Migration.
"We tried to contact UNHCR many times. They make excuses every time. They reached other cities every two to three months regularly," Mr Zaki said.
About 13,000 asylum seekers and refugees are registered with the UNHCR in Indonesia.
Many found to be genuine refugees remain stranded in the archipelago while the UNHCR tries to find a third country in which to resettle them.
In an interview with Fairfax Media last week, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said Indonesia was not a destination country for refugees.
"So we hope that countries like Australia could take more. But of course I understand the domestic situation," she said. "Shared responsibility, shared burden is very important. I leave it to the UNCHR to have a discussion with destination countries that belong to the Convention [relating to the Status of Refugees]."
The UNCHR's Indonesia representative, Thomas Vargas, strongly advised the men against the hunger strike. "It's not going to solve their problem or have their resettlement cases expedited," Mr Vargas said.
"It just causes a lot of problems and the possibility of harm to themselves, which we would consider to be terrible."
Mr Vargas said resettlement was a long process, which could take up to two years in Indonesia due to the limited resettlement places available globally and the various procedures that needed to be completed to comply with requirements made by resettlement countries.
He said the UNHCR regularly visited all locations where refugees were in lndonesia and was about to post a few staff members permanently in Pekanbaru given the high volume.
However he warned this did not mean the resettlement process would move any quicker.
"The UNHCR can't force countries to take refugees," Mr Vargas said. He said the Syrian crisis made it even harder to find resettlement options for refugees coming out of Indonesia.
Former immigration minister Scott Morrison announced on November 18 last year that Australia would cut its annual intake from Indonesia from 600 people to 450. He said anyone who registered with the UNHCR in Indonesia after July 1, 2014, would not be eligible to come to Australia.
The intention, he said at the time, was to "drain the pool" of asylum seekers and refugees in Indonesia.
Mr Vargas said while this had had an impact, he was appreciative that Australia continued to accept refugees who had registered with the UNHCR before July 1 last year.
He said resettlement was only one of a range of protection options.
"We recognise that a very small fraction of the refugee population globally will ever be resettled, which is why we also look at other options and appeal to governments for family reunification, temporary protection and providing labour [programs] for refugees to be able to take care of themselves."
Australia stopped accepting UNHCR refugees in October 2014.
2,500 flee to North Sumatra after church burning in Aceh Singkil [Jakarta Post - 14/10/15]
The United Nations (UN)’s Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson says the world body has been engaged in talks to end the blockade that Saudi Arabia has imposed on impoverished Yemen.
The official made the comments during a Thursday news conference in Geneva, adding that the talks are aimed at opening more ports in Yemen to allow in fuel and other supplies.
He did not specify, however, what individuals, groups or governments the UN has been in talks with over the Saudi blockade. ... [Press TV - 15/10/15]
Israeli forces raid home of Palestinian killed after suspected attack [Maan - 15/10/15]
Israeli authorities overnight Wednesday and during the day Thursday executed punitive measures against the families of Palestinians accused of carrying out attacks against Israel, giving four families 72 hours to evacuate their homes before demolition, and raiding the homes of three others. ... [Maan - 15/10/15]
Two dead, six injured in blast at Egypt's El-Arish police station [Ahram -15/10/15]
Militants kidnapped three pro-government tribal fighters manning a checkpoint in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on Thursday, officials said, in an attack claimed by jihadists. ... [Naharnet - 15/10/15]
Secret military documents obtained by The Intercept offer rare documentary evidence of the process by which the Obama administration creates and acts on its kill list of terror suspects in Yemen and Somalia.
The documents offer an unusual glimpse into the decision-making process behind the drone strikes and other operations of the largely covert war, outlining the selection and vetting of targets through the ranks of the military and the White House, culminating in the president’s approval of a 60-day window for lethal action. ... [The Intercept - 15/10/15]
US troops deployed to Cameroon for "Boko Haram fight" [Al Jazeera - 14/10/15]
Sailing in South China Sea not provocative, US says [Reuters – 15/10/15]
Over the past 24 hours, Russian warplanes completed 33 sorties in Syria, striking ISIL facilities in the provinces of Idlib, Hama, Damascus, Aleppo, and Deir az-Zor, the Russian Defense Ministry said Thursday.
Russia and the United States are moving closer to a possible agreement to provide for the safety of their aircraft over Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry said Thursday. ... [Sputnik News - 15/10/15]
United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria
US Department of Defense [14/10/15]:
U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Airstrikes in Syria
Fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted two airstrikes in Syria:
-- Near Hawl, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL building.
-- Near Raqqah, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.
Airstrikes in Iraq
Attack, bomber, fighter, ground attack, remotely piloted aircraft and rocket artillery conducted 16 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the government of Iraq:
-- Near Baghdadi, one strike hit an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL homemade explosives cache.
-- Near Beiji, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL building, an ISIL resupply vehicle, and two ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Kisik, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Mosul, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions and two ISIL heavy machine guns.
-- Near Ramadi, four strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed five ISIL buildings, five ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL tactical vehicle, two ISIL improvised explosive clusters used as minefields, and denied ISIL terrain at three separate locations.
-- Near Samarra, one strike destroyed two ISIL weapons caches.
-- Near Sinjar, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed eight ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL vehicles, ten ISIL bunkers, and two ISIL tunnel systems.
-- Near Tal Afar, one strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
@MSF_Sea [15/10/15]: Of course there are loads of kids crossing to #Europe on boats - no parent wants to raise their kids in a war zone!
A migrant woman and two children drowned on Wednesday when a boat carrying about two dozen people capsized off the Greek island of Lesbos, the Greek coastguard said.
The coastguard said a helicopter of the EU border control agency Frontex spotted the overturned boat and local divers helped recover the bodies of a woman, girl and baby.
It could not confirm their nationalities. Twenty-one others on board had been rescued earlier on Wednesday by the Turkish coastguard.
The circumstances of the accident were not immediately clear. ... [Reuters - 14/10/15]
@MSF_Sea [14/10/15]: Haseeb, now in #Serbia, remembers @MSF from treatment at our now destroyed trauma hospital in #Kunduz #Afghanistan
The Finnish Border Guard says it has cracked a ring of clandestine people-smugglers who arranged for around a hundred people over the last year to come to Finland and lodge claims for asylum.
The 15 suspects in the case all have Iraqi backgrounds, and the group includes Finnish and Swedish citizens. Those smuggled into Finland paid around 10,000 euros a head. The majority are Iraqi citizens. ... [yle - 15/10/15]
The United Nations refugee agency has been forced to step in to save scores of “orphan” children from detention in filthy police cells on the Greek island of Kos after its complaints at the squalid conditions went unheeded.
Children as young as 11 who arrived by boat from Turkey without their parents or other adult relatives have been held for weeks at a time in cells smeared in faeces, alongside adult criminals, while Greek authorities determined where to relocate them. ... [The Independent - 15/10/15]
Mussie Zerai, Eritrean priest who saves migrants by phone [Yahoo - 8/10/15]
... One day we'll dance
on their graves
One day we'll sing our freedom
One day we'll laugh in our joy
And we'll dance ...
'They Dance Alone (Cueca Solo)', Sting 
Australia's protected and unaccountable Immigration Minister now deporting refugees from Pinochet's dictatorship [Brisbane Times - 15/10/15]
Koala found wandering amid cleared parcel of land at Pimpama on the Gold Coast [Brisbane Times - 15/10/15]
UK uses Australian
tactic of denying access to health care to torture an asylum seeker
hospital visit for MRI and diagnosis [Justice 4 Assange - 14/10/15]:
In a press conference on 14 October 2015, Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino read out a letter from Assange’s UK doctor who conducted a medical examination in August.
The letter says that he is in constant and severe pain, which is growing worse and has been present since June 2015.
The doctor stated that an MRI scan needs to be performed. This can only be carried out in a hospital.
The Foreign Minister quoted from Dr. Wood’s letter:
"He has been suffering with a constant pain to the right shoulder region for the past three months [since June 2015]. There is no history of acute injury to the area. [...] I examined him and all movements of his shoulder (abduction, internal rotation and external rotation) are limited due to pain. I am unable to elicit the exact cause of his symptoms without the benefit of further diagnostic tests, [including] MRI."
The cause is unknown. There was no fall or injury. The source of the medical condition can only be diagnosed with hospital equipment that cannot be brought into the embassy due to size and weight.
Ecuador wrote to the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 30 September 2015 to request that Mr. Assange be permitted to go to the hospital under conditions agreed upon by UK and Ecuador ("they can guard the car with 10.000 police officers if they wish").
The safe passage would be for a few hours in order to allow Mr. Assange to be able to have medical tests undertaken and in order to diagnose the cause.
The UK FCO replied on 12 October that it would not permit the safe passage to the hospital for purposes of medical tests.
The Foreign Minister said that even in times of war and conflict, safe passage are given for humanitarian reasons to ensure that persons are given the medical attention they need.
The UN refugee agency has joined 110 nations in pledging to strengthen steps to protect people displaced across borders by disasters and climate change and launched an overview highlighting its work in the area.
Delegates endorsed the "Agenda for the Protection of Cross-Border Displaced Persons in the Context of Disasters and Climate Change" at a two-day Nansen Initiative Global Consultation 2015 in Geneva, which concluded on Tuesday.
The non-binding agreement adopted at the meeting seeks to protect people driven to other countries by disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, droughts and rising sea levels, some of which have been linked to climate change.
"Among the most important lessons derived from the Nansen Initiative is that states can prevent and prepare for increased displacement in future when the right policies are in place," UNHCR said in a news release. ... [Media Release - 14/10/15]
UN drops plan to help people displaced by climate change following opposition from Australia [Guardian - 7/10/15]
DEMANDING the following is NOT "rhetoric":
1. CLOSE THE CAMPS.
2. BRING THE REFUGEES TO AUSTRALIA.
3. START ADHERING TO THE UN REFUGEE CONVENTION.
4. BOYCOTT COMPANIES AND POLITICAL PARTIES THAT SUPPORT AUSTRALIA'S CRUEL AND INHUMANE REFUGEE POLICY.
Dithering and attempting to reset the parameters of the debate is not "humane", it's pathetic. [Guardian - 15/10/15]:
A number of politicians will work with religious leaders on creating a new, humane asylum seeker policy, after conceding that public opinion on the issue has shifted.
The 5/5 working group, containing five politicians from different parties and five cross-denominational religious leaders, was created during a forum in Parliament House on Thursday.
Around 50 leaders representing Christian, Muslim and Jewish faith groups met with 15 politicians from the Liberal, National, Labor and Greens parties on how to create a “solution c” on asylum seekers, away from the polarising “stopping the boats” and “opening the borders” rhetoric that has surrounded the debate.
Murdoch Press report that pregnant refugees on Nauru “are refusing medical attention” is FALSE
Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney [15/10/15]:
The report carried by some News Corp papers that pregnant women on Nauru “are refusing medical attention” is incorrect.
“The truth is simply that there is no medical attention available for them on Nauru,” said Ian Rintoul, from the Refugee Action Coalition.
The Australian Immigration Department has made a political decision, over-riding medical advice, to order that asylum seekers will only be offered to go to PNG or to have their babies on Nauru.
The Immigration decision, taken in August, reversed previous best-practice for asylum seekers and their families to be taken to Australia to have their babies.
“But it is clear that Nauru is not equipped to deal with complicated births. Infant mortality on Nauru is 30 per 1000 live births compared to 4.4 in Australia. The risk is obvious.
“One of the asylum seeker women due to give birth has a diabetic pregnancy that Nauru cannot safely manage. It that case a letter, asking for help, was sent to IHMS four months ago – but there was no answer. There will be further risks to mother and baby if a caesarean section is necessary.
“Increasingly, it has been Immigration policy to only act when a life-threatening situation arises. But every birth is a potentially a life-threatening situation, for mother and baby. When there are complications, the risk is even higher. The onus is on the government to provide proper medical care for a safe birth.
“If the government acts quickly, the pregnant women can be transferred to Australia on a normal commercial flight. The longer they leave it, the greater the risk becomes.
“Comparing Nauru to regional areas of Australia is vacuous, when emergency care is only available by medivac.”
Calling for the release of only refugee children and their families is BULLSHIT.
FREE ALL THE REFUGEES.
Free the children from detention [Greens – 15/10/15]
Australian Council of Social Services and Australian Council for International Development call for immediate release of children from detention and Nauru [15/10/15]
Find out how UNHCR is supporting refugee mums, dads, babies and children around the world (BUT NOT ON NAURU):
Our friendly Face to Face Team will be at the Pregnancy Baby and Children's Expo in Melbourne Friday and this weekend!
Find out how UNHCR is supporting refugee mums, dads, babies and children around the world.
Punishment continues [RNZI - 15/10/15]:
The Nauru government says a 26-year-old Somali woman may face charges of making a false complaint after police found there was no basis to her claim that she was raped.
The justice minister, David Adeang, says a police investigation showed there was no rape and therefore as far as Nauru is concerned the person in question is not a rape victim or a victim of any crime.
Rohingya refugees detained in Aceh were also threatened with legal action after being attacked ---> Police say language barrier stalling investigation into alleged rapes of Rohingya refugees in Aceh [AP - 12/10/15]
Convicted rapist allowed to join Nauru police reserves [ABC - 15/10/15]
Fascism 101: Ignore the human rights atrocity ---> “In school, I learned that education is a treasure that no one can rob from you.” - Ambassador Cefkin. [US Embassy Suva - 10/10/15]
Hopefully MOAS' expedition begins to expose what the Australian political and media establishment have been covering up for years. [Guardian - 15/10/15]:
... After spending the northern summer rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean sea, the privately owned ship MY Phoenix – operating under the name MOAS, the Migrant Offshore Aid Station – is moving to the Bay of Bengal to assist stricken vessels in south-east Asia.
“MOAS will be shedding light on another aspect of this pressing global phenomenon in an area where there is no known NGO rescue presence at sea,” MOAS’s founder, Christopher Catrambone, said.
“Once the monsoon rains subside, tens of thousands of Rohingya and others are expected to resume their dangerous sea crossings.” ...
How two lies became accepted folklore [Online Opinion - 21/10/11]:
... Australia has never jailed a single person for people smuggling.
We jail Indonesian crewmembers not for people smuggling, we jail them because we must assess the refugee claims of those who arrive here.
A recent Senate investigation showed that Article 232 of the Migration Act, used to detain innocent people was in breach of Article 32 of the Refugee Convention and the People Smuggling Protocol.
As has been observed in relation to other cases of this kind, the prisoners were not involved in a people smuggling exercise.
There was nothing covert about either operation. They were transporting the non-citizens to Australia for presentation to Australian authorities. There was no attempt to hide from the authorities or to disguise what they had done."
It is only now that the courts are realising that it is a lie to call it people smuggling and the real insult is in the language of the protocol itself:
Imagine if our leaders today simply told the plain truth that under Australian and International Refugee Law anyone is allowed to claim asylum in this country and there is no crime in coming by sea.
Without "smugglers" no genuine refugee could ever escape their persecutors. Imagine if our leaders simply told that truth?
Would so many still blame the refugees if the truth was told openly by the 'leaders" we have today or are they all so tainted we would not believe them? Or is it simply that the two ignorant lies have taken hold and no amount of truth will ever dispel them? ...
Teenager to be charged with supplying gun to Farhad Jabar, ABC understands
An 18-year-old Sydney man will be charged with supplying the gun used to kill police accountant Curtis Cheng at Parramatta almost two weeks ago, the ABC understands.
Raban Alou has been in custody for eight days since he was arrested during a series of counter-terrorism raids last Wednesday.
Alou was among four young men, aged between 16 and 22, who were arrested during the raids.
Three of the men were released without charge the same day, but the Australian Federal Police (AFP) successfully applied last week to keep Alou in custody for a further 100 hours.
Farmer's death prompts renewed calls for CSG moratorium
A famer's suicide in his home state has prompted Queensland senator Glenn Lazarus to demand a halt to coal seam gas (CSG) mining projects until the human impacts can be established.
Western Downs landholder George Bender took his life on Wednesday.
He was involved in a long-running dispute with resources companies, one of which reportedly wanted to put 18 wells on his farm near Chinchilla.
In an interview on Macquarie Radio, independent senator Lazarus said he had known Mr Bender for some time and was "gutted" by his death.
"Not only does this community have to live with this scourge of CSG coal seam gas mining on a daily and nightly basis, now they have to deal with one of their most-respected and most-loved community members taking his life.
"What really gets me so frustrated is the governments of the day just don't care what they're doing to Australians and Queenslanders ... just honest hard-working people that want to work the land.
"They've given them no rights to say 'no' and they just don't care that these people are living in an absolute nightmare and they don't care because these governments are being given donations."
Senator Lazarus said the situation had become "un-Australian".
"These mining companies are bullying, they're berating, they're threatening these people on a daily basis," he said.
"They go on ... until they break them.
"We've brought these hard-working, hard men to tears they're just so frustrated they have nowhere to go, they have no-one to back them up."
Senator Lazarus said he did not want Mr Bender's life to have been in vain and had come up with a list of demands to put to government and resources companies.
"I need a royal commission into the human impacts of CSG mining which I've been calling for for months and months now.
"They [landholders] don't have anywhere to go - we need a resource ombudsman to be established so they have somewhere to go.
"And let's just take a deep breath and pause further CSG mining projects until we can establish the human and environmental impacts."
Senator Lazarus said he would be putting his calls to Federal Parliament and would be knocking on the door of newly appointed Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg.
Adani gets federal re-approval for Carmichael coal mine [ABC - 15/10/15]
Yet another review of uncovered coal trains through Brisbane is unnecessary as the health and environmental impacts are already known, says Clean Air Queensland (CAQ).
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said this week that she and Science Minister Leeanne Enoch would work to progress a motion adopted at the ALP state conference supporting “an independent, scientific review” of measures to mitigate the effects of coal dust. (See p.54; 7.76)
CAQ spokesperson, Michael Kane said while the group was pleased that Minister Trad’s announcement signalled the State Government was prepared to investigate coal pollution, he questioned the value of yet another review. ... [Lock The Gate - 14/10/15]
Queensland police drop case against three men charged under the state's draconian anti-rights laws
Queensland police have dropped the case against the first three men charged under the state's controversial anti-association laws.
Prosecutors on Wednesday offered no evidence against alleged Mongols bikies James Cleave, Leslie Markham and Bradley Baker, who were arrested in November 2013 for gathering in a group of three or more at the Palazzo Versace hotel on the Gold Coast.
"They were lawfully there, they spent the night in the accommodation - which was lawful," solicitor Michael Gatenby told ABC radio on Thursday.
"When they attempted to pay the bill, regrettably, the third person came over to check the bill and that's when their conduct became unlawful."
Queensland's Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Act was introduced in 2013 by the former Newman government [and supported by the ALP] in response to a now-infamous bikie brawl outside a Surfers Paradise restaurant [a media beatup about a tapas bar table tipover at Broadbeach].
The laws made it illegal for bikies to wear club insignia in public, use club houses and gather in a group of three or more.
It also mandated higher minimum sentences for any office bearer found guilty of serious crimes, such as drug trafficking, and reversed the expectation that bail would be granted to accused bikies unless opposed.
The laws were criticised by civil libertarians as draconian and stirred up outrage by recreational motorcyclist groups.
A High Court challenge to the act mounted by 17 motorcycle gangs was struck out in November 2014.
The Palaszczuk government is conducting an inquiry into the effectiveness of the legislation, with a report expected at the end of the year.
17-year-old [?] charged over alleged assault of girl and woman, Gold Coast
A 17-year-old from Upper Coomera has just been charged over the violent assault of a teenage girl and a woman.
Detectives from the Gold Coast Child Protection Investigation Unit laid charges after the 16-year-old girl sought refuge from the 17-year-old in the child care centre of a Gold Coast school on Reserve Road, Upper Coomera on Wednesday afternoon.
It is alleged around 12.40pm the 17-year-old and the 16-year-old girl, who are known to each other, were arguing when the girl was thrown to the ground and assaulted by the man.
A 34-year-old woman who witnessed the incident attempted to help the girl and was also assaulted by the man.
A male staff member walked outside and was able to break it up so that the police could be called.
During the ordeal the man also allegedly punched the glass doors of the centre, smashing them.
A 17-year-old man from Upper Coomera has been charged with two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm and one count each of enter with intent and wilful damage.
He is due to face Southport Magistrates Court today.
Teen assaults 16yr-old girl on Gold Coast [Yahoo - 15/10/15]
Is he a boy? Is he a teen? Is he a man? Is he 16, 17? Why are Queensland police issuing such confused statements? [15/10/15]:
Detectives from the Gold Coast Child Protection Investigation Unit have charged a 16-year-old over the alleged assault of a girl and a woman near a Reserve Road business at Upper Coomera yesterday afternoon.
It is alleged around 12.40pm yesterday the man and a 17-year-old girl, who are known to each other, were arguing when the girl was thrown to the ground and assaulted by the man.
A 34-year-old woman who witnessed the incident attempted to help the girl and was also assaulted by the man.
A male employee of the business came out of the premises and was able to intervene and police were called.
During the incident the man also allegedly punched the glass doors of the business, smashing them.
A 16-year-old man from Upper Coomera has been charged with two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm and one count each of enter with intent and wilful damage.
He is due to face Southport Magistrates Court today. ...
... Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller says the overall crime rate has dropped by 12 per cent over the past 10 years, but rose by 0.4 per cent in 2014/15. ... [Yahoo - 15/10/15]
UN’s new ‘Mandela Rules’ shine a light on sub-standard Australian prison conditions and practices [Human Rights Law Centre Media Release - 14/10/15]
Senate fails to support action needed to reduce poverty in Australia [Greens Media Release - 14/10/15]:
Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has today expressed disappointment that the Senate didn't support the Australian Greens' motion calling on Government to address poverty in national Anti-Poverty Week.
“The Senate has not supported my motion calling for an increase to Newstart, increased support services and a national anti-poverty plan.
“Just today St Vincent De Paul Society released a report urging the Government to urgently address major inequality in Australia that is entrenching poverty.
“The report ‘Sick with Worry…’ Stories from the front line of inequality 2015 showcases frontline accounts of struggle and makes calls to action that will reduce poverty in Australia.
“Struggling single parents on Newstart desperately need an increase of at least $50/week. We know that the current Newstart allowance is inadequate and keeps people in poverty.
“Living in poverty affects your ability to search for and gain work, particularly if you face other barriers such as age, disability or education, as many long term recipients of Newstart do.
“The Government should use this week as an opportunity to increase the Newstart allowance and to commit to a national anti-poverty plan.
Senate votes in favour of cashless welfare card trials with Labor backing [Guardian - 14/10/15]
A shock-measure: civil servants and pensioners will be subject to stricter capital controls than the rest of the Greeks. They will be able to withdraw only €150 per week – with the cash withdrawal cap being €420 per week – that is a total of €600 per month. The rest of their wage or pension they will have to spend by using debit or credit card. ... [Keep Talking Greece - 12/10/15]
Woman left her mother dead in bed for months, inquest hears [Sydney Morning Herald – 14/10/15]
Australia's Prime Minister opens national meeting greenlighting further harassment, anti-Muslim bigotry and fearmongering
Nine MSN [15/10/15]:
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has implored security agencies to work together to combat the evolving threat of home-grown terror.
Opening a national meeting on countering violent extremism in Canberra on Thursday, Mr Turnbull said the shooting of a NSW police accountant by a 15-year-old showed radicalisation and extremism could be seen in the very young.
"This is a real home grown threat," he told policing and education officials. Mr Turnbull said those present must be prepared to experiment and try new approaches.
"Some of you will have tried things that didn't work," he said.
"Some of you will have tried things that worked a lot better than you thought."
There also needed to regular meetings to share experiences, Mr Turnbull said as he told the meeting he was looking forward to its results.
[Former Ambassador to Indonesia] Greg Moriarty, Australia's first counter-terrorism coordinator who is leading the talks, said agencies need to provide quality intervention programs to stop people who are at risk.
"The most effective defence against terrorism is to prevent people becoming terrorists in the first place," he said.
Instead of condemning the revelation police are spying on a
12-year-old, the political and media establishment condemn the victims of the
Morning Herald - 15/10/15]:
A 12-year-old boy is one of more than a dozen young males being monitored by security agencies in connection with suspected terrorist activity, authorities have confirmed.
Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin told the ABC's 7.30 program he was "shocked" that the boy was on the police radar for such matters, while acknowledging the dramatic drop in the age of terrorism suspects.
The boy, who can not be named due to his young age, was one of 18 males listed on a Federal Circuit Court order imposed on Sydney terrorism suspect Ahmad Saiyer Naizmand in March this year in a bid to thwart an alleged terrorist attack, according to the ABC. ...
Israel and Australia: A conversation with Turnbull [Jewish Journal - 25/8/15]:
... Rosner: And you also have an issue with people from the Middle East coming into Australia illegally…
Turnbull: We have some asylum seekers, but that’s pretty much stopped. We have stopped the boats with our policies, which are regarded as cruel by many people. But I have to say again, our policy on border protection is harsh, but it has been absolutely demonstrated that it is better than any other alternative. … Regarding the question of Muslim extremism, it is not just about radicalizing the young Muslims; you’ve got some people who are not Muslims at all that have become attracted to this, and they pick it up, converting to Islam for the purpose of being part of these groups, as you see with the foreign fighters in Syria. ...
Appeals court reinstates lawsuit over NYPD surveillance of Muslims [NPR - 13/10/15]:
A federal appeals court has reinstated a civil rights lawsuit against the New York Police Department that accuses police of spying on Muslims in New Jersey.
A three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday reversed a lower court's ruling last year that found police did not violate the rights of Muslims by routinely putting some people and businesses under surveillance in an effort to prevent terrorism.
NPR's Joel Rose tells our Newscast unit that the appeals court sent the case back to district court. Here's more from Joel:
"The lawsuit, which was filed in 2012, accuses the NYPD of conducting secret surveillance of Muslims in New Jersey without suspicion of criminal activity. The spying was revealed in a series of articles by The Associated Press.
"The plaintiffs said NYPD surveillance subjected them to discrimination and threatened their careers, among other harms. But a federal judge dismissed the case in 2014, after lawyers for New York City argued the surveillance program was an anti-terrorism measure that did not discriminate against Muslims.
"According to court documents, lead plaintiff Syed Farhaj Hassan and others associated with the Islamic faith say that following the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the NYPD "conducted the program in secret 'to monitor the lives of Muslims, their businesses, houses of worship, organizations, and schools in New York City and surrounding states, particularly New Jersey.'
"U.S. Circuit Judge Thomas Ambro wrote that the plaintiffs' complaints tell a narrative in which "there is standing to complain and which present constitutional concerns that must be addressed and, if true, redressed."
"What occurs here in one guise is not new. We have been down similar roads before. Jewish-Americans during the Red Scare, African-Americans during the Civil Rights Movement, and Japanese-Americans during World War II are examples that readily spring to mind.
"We are left to wonder why we cannot see with foresight what we see so clearly with hindsight—that '[l]oyalty is a matter of the heart and mind[,] not race, creed, or color.' "
As the Two-Way reported, the NYPD announced last year that it was disbanding the special unit, known as the Demographics Unit, that was formed in 2003 and carried out surveillance of Muslim groups.
At the time, New York Mayor Bill De Blasio said New York would have "a police force that keeps our city safe, but that is also respectful and fair."
@davidsheen [14/10/15]: Lawmaker calls to jail families of Palestinians that killed Jews in Israel’s concentration camp for African refugees [Holot]
Israel rabbi on how to treat an alleged terrorist who’s been subdued: Slam his head to the ground till he’s dead [Kikar - 14/10/15]
“Understand: you are the slave of Jews!” - Israeli demands girl be kicked out of kindergarten… because she’s Bedouin [Ynet - 13/10/15]
15 October 2015