Belgian media reports say police have shot an armed man who refused to hand over a gun he was carrying in the city of Ghent, with the country still on high alert in the wake of suicide attacks in Brussels in March. ... [ABC News - 15/8/16]



A north Louisiana firefighter from Benton Fire District #4 who traveled to Baton Rouge to help with flood rescue efforts is believed to have accidentally discharged his weapon, wounding another firefighter, officials said. ... [WAFB - 16/8/16]



Video shows DC officer lifting small woman up, pressing her against car [NY Daily News - 15/8/16]



A military court arraigned a U.S. sailor on Monday on charges of raping and attempting to kill a fellow sailor and for allegedly attacking a civilian woman in a separate incident months later. ... [Yahoo - 16/8/16]



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



‏"... But the police brutality and the racist gangs in Calais were the worst. ...." @MSF_Sea [16/8/16]:  Hassan is 17 and from #Syria. This is the story of his journey to be reunited with his mum and sister in the #UK ...




... I'm not looking for a clearer conscience

Peace of mind after what I've been through ...


'Walking In My Shoes', Depeche Mode [1993]



Day 150 refugee protests, Nauru



Image: ‏@elahe_zivardar [16/8/16]



Were men, women and children on Nauru invited to participate? They have Skype - why is their right of reply being denied?  Was the forum recorded, and will it be posted online so everyone can see it in full - unfiltered by Murdoch's anti-refugee propagandists? ---> @rac_canberra [16/8/16]:  #SkyNews filming at #DefyGovt ... <--- Why is the forum "Whistleblowers Defy Government", when the policy is bipartisan?


@rac_canberra [16/8/16]:


"Male #Nauru guards engaged in grooming, seduction, flirtation... Kids r easy pickings. Parents have PTSD etc" - Paul Stevenson #DefyGovt


 Stevenson: "One rape, vicious [anal] only saw male doctors. Insisted she wasn't raped - reason was cos not vaginal. It was shame" #DefyGovt



So it's back to business as usual for the purveyors of anti-refugee atrocity propaganda [Sydney Morning Herald - 16/8/16]:


NSW Police are investigating an incident at Sydney's Villawood detention centre following allegations that a male detainee was gang-raped by three other detainees. ...



At least they're disclosing their ALP membership now, but do people who opinionate for The Conversation know Obama is the "Deporter in Chief", and that the UNHCR are complicit in Australia's anti-refugee policy? ---> Cast adrift: Australia risks its international standing over asylum-seeker policies [16/8/16]




VettingMake a careful and critical examination of (something) ...



Washington is seeking closer coordination with several Latin American countries to tackle a jump in migrants from Asia, Africa and the Middle East who it believes are trying to reach the United States from the south on an arduous route by plane, boat and through jungle on foot.

U.S. agents deployed to an immigration facility on Mexico's southern border have vetted the more than 640 migrants from countries outside the Americas who have been detained at the center since October 2015, according to U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) documents reviewed by Reuters.

The migrants often fly to Brazil, obtain fake passports there, and are smuggled to Panama before heading through Central America to Mexico's porous southern border, according to transcripts of 14 interviews conducted at the center and other internal briefing documents seen by Reuters. ... [Reuters - 16/8/16]



Gunmen abduct suspected gang members from Mexico resort town: official [Reuters - 16/8/16]



Men "rescued" from seeking asylum in railroad boxcar, California [US Customs and Border Protection - 15/8/16]:


... “We all have the same goal making our community a safer place for our families,” said Assistant Chief Patrol Agent David S. Kim.  

“By working together, and sharing information, we will be better suited to dismantle these criminal organizations and deliver a consequence to these people who try to exploit our borders and put people’s lives in danger.” ...



US says it has exiled 15 Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United Arab Emirates [BBC - 15/8/16]



Five civilians were killed when Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and army fired on protestors in two separate incidents in south and Central Kashmir on Tuesday taking the toll of people killed to 65. ... [The Indian Express - 16/8/16]


Deaths in Kashmir clashes on Indian Independence Day [Al Jazeera – 15/8/16]



Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."


Lewis Carroll



Packing up last weekend's Mad Hatter's tea party, Broadwater Parklands [16/8/16]



After Queensland police profiling and harassment was exposed by ABC journalist Josh Bavas on social media, is this just a co-incidence? ---> A woman is being praised for her courageous actions after video footage of her confronting a stranger in her neighbour's backyard was posted on social media.

In the footage, the woman can be seen challenging the man as he appears to try and make a run for it out of the side gate of a home in Yarrabilba, Logan.

“I’ve got you on camera now… I’m already sending it to the cops,” the woman can be heard saying before the man tries to threaten her by saying he knows where she lives.

The video, which was posted to the Crime Watch Logan Facebook by Tash Connors, has already racked up more than 48,000 views since Sunday. ... [MYGC - 16/8/16]



@7NewsQueensland [16/8/16]:  7 News at 6pm: What happened to a man who did a burnout outside a police station. ...




A man has been issued with a Notice to Appear for hooning after a video depicting a vehicle performing a burn out outside the Bundaberg Police station was posted online.

Police were alerted to the video earlier today which depicted a vehicle pulling up out the front of the station on Bourbong Street. ... [QPS Media - 16/8/16]



Front page of today's 'Gold Coast Bulletin' --> Coomera police are appealing for information in relation to a man allegedly performing indecent acts in the Coomera and Southport areas.

The man has allegedly posted nude images of himself online in public areas around parklands in Arundel and in the vicinity of a shopping centre in Helensvale.

Officer in Charge of Coomera police station, Senior Sergeant Andrew Godbold said the images mostly take place in daylight hours and are explicit in nature. ... [QPS Media - 16/8/16]



Detectives are investigating a serious assault that occurred this afternoon in Molendinar.

Police were called to an address on Parkridge Drive around 3.20pm following reports that a man had been stabbed in an altercation.

On arrival, a 25-year-old man was located with a stab wound to his stomach and he was taken to hospital in a serious condition.

Investigations into the incident are continuing. ... [QPS Media - 16/8/16]



Three men are in police custody after crashing a stolen car at Robina this morning. ... [MYGC - 16/8/16]



“Crime, once exposed, has no refuge but in audacity.”





A successful system designed to prevent Aboriginal deaths in custody was not used when a Wiradjuri woman died at Maitland police station earlier this year.

Rebecca Maher died on July 19 after NSW Police failed to notify the Custody Notification Service (CNS) that she had been taken into custody, the Aboriginal Legal Service said today. ... [New Matilda - 16/8/16]



Ashley Youth Detention Centre standoff: Tasmanian Minister demands report into staff conduct [ABC - 16/8/16]



Queensland government continues undermining rule of law by removing rights, violence against women and children continues [ABC - 15/8/16]




Yesterday, 1,000s of Australians protested at their MPs' offices demanding an END to anti-refugee policy.




"I saw the navy patrol boat towing the Indonesian fishing boat out to sea away from Christmas Island ...


"It's a wicked thing to do."


SBS [20/11/15]



Frightened child being tagged by Customs and Border Protection on interception off Christmas Island


Image: @pamelacurr - Refugee Rights Detention Rights Advocate [August 2014]





And round in circles we go as the Australian media refuse to hold politicians to account and/or give the men, women and children a right of reply [ABC - 16/8/16]:


The Nauruan Government has criticised the coverage of alleged abuse in its immigration detention centre, saying most claims are fabricated. ...



"They [the jailers] see this place as a battlefield"  Teenagers describe conditions inside Australia's refugee concentration camp on Nauru [VIDEO - Journeyman Pictures - 12/8/16]



Enthusiastically endorsing Australia's cruel handpicking of refugees is in very poor taste.  At least have the decency to blush ---> ‏@amnestyOz [15/8/16]:  Great News: Fadi Mansour settled in Aus after 1 year stuck in Turkish airport ...  



The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council has agreed to ask the United States government to address a range of concerns about a proposal to expand Hawaii's protected waters.

The government plans to expand the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in Hawaii five-fold, which would prohibit fishing in two-thirds of the US Exclusive Economic Zone. ... [RNZI - 15/8/16]



You would think the Queensland Greens and union movement might have something to say about this - wouldn't you? ---> The Australian Council of Mission to Seafarers has committed up to $10,000 after the Australian Marine Safety Authority found a coal ship’s crew weren’t paid wages in more than two months and its food supplies were dangerously low.

The owners of a coal ship that’s stranded off Gladstone’s coast have either “vanished” or are “watching from the background”, an International Transport Workers Federation inspector says.

The 93,000 tonne Five Stars Fujian, believed to have $40 million worth of coal on board, has been off the Port of Gladstone since July 19. ... [Australian Mining - 15/8/16]



Australian Greens welcome ACTU commitment to mobilise against CDP [Media Release - 16/8/16]



NIRS [28/6/13]:


Communities will undergo a major shift in employment policy next week as the Community Development Employment Projects, or CDEP, will be replaced by the new scheme, the Remote Jobs and Communities Program.

The Federal Government says it’s providing extra support to help job seekers make the change to what it describes as a streamlined approach to getting people into real employment.

But economic policy expert Jon Altman, from the Australian National University, says the scrapping of CDEP is based on flawed thinking.

Professor Altman says the policy has helped people contribute to their community where jobs don’t exist.



ACTU moving towards a work for the dole challenge welcomed by the Australian Greens


We left our homes in Central America to escape corruption, threats, and violence. We thought this country would help us, but now we are locked up with our children in a place where we feel threatened, including by some of the medical personnel, leaving us with no one to trust. On Monday, we decided to begin this hunger strike, hoping that our voices will be heard and that we will obtain the liberty from detention that we need so much. We are desperate, and we have decided that we will get out of here dead or alive.


Why 22 mothers are on a hunger strike at the Berks Family Detention Facility [American Immigration Council - 15/8/16]



Image: ‏@GedKACTU - President, Australian Council of Trade Unions [15/11/14]



‏@wikileaks [15/8/16]:  Tomorrow, Aug 16, marks 4 years of political asylum & siege for Julian Assange ...



UN Victory in Assange Case:  Decision has big implications for refugees and whistleblowers - but was roundly dismissed by Australia's establishment "refugee advocates" and migration and international law "experts", who ignored the majority decision and inexplicably focussed on the minority dissenting opinion [Center for Constitutional Rights - 5/2/16]:


... In our briefs to the WGAD, we argued that someone is effectively detained when they are forced to choose between confinement and running the risk of persecution. That is the precise dilemma faced by Mr. Assange, who would lose the protection of his asylum if he stepped out of the embassy. The risk of extradition is the 'fourth wall' for the now repudiated claim that he is free to leave the embassy. As a result, it has been years since Mr. Assange has had access to proper medical care, sunlight, or the ability to see his family.

The WGAD's decision in Mr. Assange's case sets an important precedent for refugees. In our submissions we analogized the situation faced by Mr. Assange to that of asylum-seekers in detention facilities. States may claim that asylum-seekers held in subhuman conditions are not 'detained' because they are technically free to leave for their home country, but this is a non-choice, since the home country would persecute the asylum seeker.

The WGAD decision could mean that so-called 'open' facilities like the Israeli Holot, deep in an Israeli desert, and the Australian-run center in Nauru are legally equivalent to closed prisons.

This concept of detention builds on arguments already adopted by many sources of international law, including the European Court of Human Rights, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and WGAD case law.

We expect this decision to be cited in future refugee detention challenges.

The decision is also resounding victory for freedom of expression as it recognizes that whistleblowers and publishers need protection, and acknowledges the coercive effect of an extradition threat. The WGAD announced today that the “Republic of Ecuador granted asylum because of Mr. Assange’s fear that if he was extradited to Sweden, he would be further extradited to the United States where he would face serious criminal charges for the peaceful exercise of his freedoms.”

The decision is a major milestone in the growing international consensus about the need to protect those who promote the publication of truth about government. Last October, the European Parliament voted to protect whistleblower Edward Snowden from extradition to the United States. That same month, the UN envoy charged with safeguarding free speech around the globe issued a report calling on governments to protect whistleblowers and confidential sources rather than punishing them.  ...



Shouting to make himself heard from the soundproof glass dock during a break in his trial, Egyptian photographer Mahmoud Abdel Shakour said he feels he has been "forgotten" in prison.

Three years ago, Abdel Shakour -- known as Shawkan -- had been covering the police dispersal of an Islamist protest camp in Cairo when he was arrested, and he has been in jail ever since.

August 14, 2013 was the bloodiest day in Egypt's modern history, and one of the deadliest in the region since the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.

Hundreds of Islamists supporting ousted president Mohamed Morsi, toppled by the military in July that year, were mowed down by police in clashes. About 10 policemen were killed.

Three years later, thousands of Islamists remain in prison after a wide-ranging crackdown that has extended to leftists and even journalists like Shawkan.

Shawkan had been photographing the carnage that day for the Demotix photo agency when he was arrested.

Three journalists, including Sky News cameraman Michael Deane, were shot dead in the violence. ... [Naharnet - 15/8/16]



@Haithamtabei [15/8/16]:  Shawkan's cracked photo frame on his desk in his room, a paper wiz the main photo websites he freelanced on the wall



Egyptian authorities have released two prominent human rights activists who had been jailed for over a year for demonstrating against police brutality.

Lawyer Mahienour el-Masry and journalist Youssef Shabaan were freed Saturday after serving 15 months in jail having been convicted of "storming a police station" at a demonstration in the coastal city of Alexandria in 2013. ... [KPVI - 13/8/16]



Twitter bows to Israeli government pressure to censor tweets [Mint Press News - 15/8/16]



Holland investigates threats against Palestinian group’s lawyer at The Hague [Electronic Intifada - 15/8/16]



Palestinian, 52, falls ill during Israeli detention raid on his Hebron shop [Maan - 15/8/16]



Israel laying ground for new settlement near Bethlehem which would 'cut West Bank in two' [Maan - 15/8/16]



Israeli military vehicles staged a limited incursion across the borderline of the besieged Gaza Strip to level land on Monday morning, locals said. ... [Maan - 15/8/16]



Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Monday morning have exploded the home of Mohammed Tarayra (16) in Bani Naim village east of Hebron, as a collective punishment against his family.

Tarayra, who broke into a settler’s house and stabbed a 13-year-old Israeli girl on 30 June, causing her death, was shot dead on the sport.

On Monday morning, Israeli Military Forces and Civil Administration broke into the village and began the demolition of the home as ruled by the Israeli court. ... [PNN - 15/8/16]



The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America approved a resolution calling on the US government to end all aid to Israel if Israel does not stop building settlements and “enable an independent Palestinian state.”

Voting at its triennial assembly in New Orleans that ended Saturday, the church also sought a halt to all investment in companies that profit from Israel’s occupation and called on US President Barack Obama to recognize the State of Palestine.  ... [Times of Israel - 14/8/16]



Meanwhile, in Baltimore, 12 people were arrested in a protest at the opening of Maryland’s Fraternal Order of Police conference Sunday afternoon.

Members of the group Baltimore Bloc locked themselves together using PVC pipes and chained themselves to a railing to block the escalator leading to the conference at the Hyatt.

It’s the latest in a series of protests in recent weeks against police unions, which activists say defend officers accused of brutality. [Democracy Now - 15/8/16]



Police State Fascism [ICH/BAR - 15/8/16]:


... The woman arrived at court wearing only a pair of shorts. She reported that she had been denied feminine hygiene products and clean pants.  

The judge dismissed the charges but not before lecturing the woman.

“The fact that you’re in custody is your fault. You gotta come to court. But once you were arrested, the rest of this is completely inhumane and unacceptable and I’m very sorry that you had to go through this.”

She added, “This is not normal. I’ve never seen this.”

Of course this treatment is normal and happens all the time.

Her arrest for a minor offense was normal and so was the denial of her human rights in an American jail.

Actually the humiliated woman may be considered lucky.

It was recently revealed that 6,900 people died in custody in Texas jails and prisons in the last ten years.

All of the tools which are supposed to protect the public from this system are useless. Paul O’Neal (*link O’Neal) was summarily executed by Chicago police while driving a stolen car.

Again their cameras were turned off during the shooting.

But once they felt safe, they recorded themselves rejoicing over their kill, giving one another high fives.

One complained, “Fuck, I’m going to be on desk duty now for 30 days.”  

The nonchalance is logical. The officer has no reason to fear anything worse.

Body cameras and other “reforms” won’t save black people’s lives because they are meant for public relations purposes only.

The system in this country spends large sums of money, passes legislation and empowers the police to do what they like to black people. The suffering is quite intentional. ...



Suspected rebels killed at least 36 civilians in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the provincial governor said on Sunday, marking the deadliest massacre in the conflict-ravaged region this year.

The assailants hacked to death 22 men and 14 women late on Saturday in their homes and fields on the outskirts of the local commercial hub of Beni, Julien Paluku said in a statement. ... [Reuters - 14/8/16]



Local officials on Monday confirmed the Dahna-I-Ghori district of northern Baghlan province was under the Taliban’s control.

One official, who wished not to be named, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the district fell to the militants after heavy fighting on Sunday night. ... [Pajhwok - 15/8/16]



2 girls equipped with suicide vests killed in East of Afghanistan [Khaama - 15/8/16]



An explosion rocked Kabul city earlier today targeting a civilian vehicle that left at least 3 people wounded.

The incident took place in Makroryan area of the city after a magentic bomb planted in the vehicle was detonated, leaving at least three people wounded. ... [Khaama - 15/8/16]



A bomb blast organized by militants destroyed a primary school in Afghanistan's Zabul district with Qalat as its capital 340 km south of Kabul on Sunday, a local official said. ... [Xinhua - 15/8/16]




16 August 2016