Image: @ASRC1-  Asylum Seeker Resource Centre [16/2/15]




RALLY: Justice for Reza Barati! Shut Manus and Nauru!:

Hosted by Refugee Action Collective Queensland RAC

Saturday, February 21 at 11:00am

King George Square

Brisbane, Queensland

On the anniversary of Reza Barati's murder inside the Manus Island detention centre, join the Refugee Action Collective Queensland RAC as we protest to demand justice for Reza Berati, and to shut down Manus Island and Nauru.

Reza Barati, a 23 year old Kurdish asylum seeker from Iran, was brutally murdered while detained in an Australian Immigration Detention Centre on Manus Island, PNG.

He was beaten by 10 security personnel employed to guard the Australian facility while he lay defenceless on the ground.

His murder was part of an attempt by guards to silence the hundreds of refugees protesting against their detention.

A fresh round of protests, hunger strikes and other collective actions by hundreds of asylum seekers has swept through the camp in the past month, and there have been familiar scenes of brutal attacks and intimidation from the guards and officers who run the facility.

Reza's death and the constant protests highlight that the whole offshore processing system must be ended now! Bring the refugees to the mainland and process them in the community, out of detention.

Free the refugees!

Vigil 5.30pm Friday 20 February, Sydney Town Hall:

On 17 February last year Reza Barati, a 23-year-old Faili Kurd from Iran, was murdered in an attack on the Manus Island detention centre by local guards. Dozens of other asylum seekers were injured. One man was shot in the hip and others lost eyes.

This was an act of retribution against asylum seekers after they had been holding protests for a month, demanding that the processing of their claims begin.

Two guards have now been charged with Reza’s murder. But the Australian government has failed to accept responsibility, despite reports finding that the violence was “eminently foreseeable”.

Manus Island is still not safe for asylum seekers. In the year since the attack there have been numerous threats from PNG police and local guards against the asylum seekers.

Fear about what might happen to them if they were moved to a new centre at Lorengau triggered a mass hunger strike last month.

Join this vigil to demand justice for Reza Barati.

The Australian government must accept responsibility for his death.

Manus Island must be closed.





Egypt launches military strikes against Libya

Ahram [16/2/15]:

The Egyptian army announced in a statement Monday morning it has conducted air strikes against Islamic State targets in Libya including training camps and arms depots.

On Sunday night President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said Egypt reserves the right to retaliate against the killing of 21 Egyptian Copts by the Islamic State (IS) group in Libya at the suitable time and place.

IS had published earlier on Sunday a graphic video on the internet purportedly showing the beheading of Coptic Christians it said it had kidnapped recently, and vowing to fight what it described as "crusaders."






Libyan Air Force planes bomb targets in Sirte, Ben Jawad [Daily Star - 16/2/15]:

Libyan war planes bombed targets in the central cities of Sirte and Ben Jawad, its air force commander said Monday.

Both locations are home to forces loyal to a self-declared government in Tripoli which the official government says is backed by Islamist militants.

Air force commander Saqer al-Joroushi told Reuters the strikes on Sirte and Ben Jawad were a Libyan operation only.

He said earlier Libyan planes had joined Egyptian planes which had attacked ISIS targets in the eastern town of Derna, a day after the group released a video appearing to show the beheading of 21 Egyptians.

Japan said Monday it had temporarily shut its embassy in Yemen, adding to the latest exodus of foreign diplomats over security fears after a Shia militia takeover. ...  [Ahram - 16/2/15]



Police raid Internet café in major Copenhagen operation

Al Arabiya [15/2/15]:

Armed Danish police on Sunday raided an Internet cafe in a major operation in Copenhagen near the spot where officers killed the suspected gunman behind fatal shootings, local media said.

TV2, which reported from the scene, showed footage of armed officers in dark uniforms outside the Internet cafe and said at least two people had been taken away by police.

“It’s part of our investigation,” a police official told broadcaster DR.

The swoop came hours after police told reporters they were carrying out searches in several parts of the Danish capital.

The weekend shootings -- one targeting a meeting on freedom of expression, the other the city's main synagogue -- have come as a shock to Denmark, which has so far escaped any major acts of terror.



Danish Jews rebuff Israeli PM’s call to emigrate to Israel [Al Arabiya [15/2/15]:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday urged European Jews to move to Israel after a Jewish man was killed in an attack outside Copenhagen's main synagogue.

“Israel is your home. We are preparing and calling for the absorption of mass immigration from Europe,” Netanyahu said in a statement, repeating a similar call after attacks by jihadists in Paris last month when four Jews were among the dead.

However, Denmark’s small but vibrant Jewish community rebuffed Netanyahu's calls.

“We appreciate the invitation, but we are Danish citizens, this is our country,” Dan Rosenberg Asmussen, chairman of the Jewish Society in Denmark, told Reuters as he offered condolences to mourners at the synagogue. ...




Hong Kong Captain Jailed for 8 Years over Ferry Tragedy

Naharnet [16/2/15]:

A Hong Kong boat captain was on Monday sentenced to eight years in prison for the manslaughter of 39 people in a 2012 ferry collision, the city's worst maritime disaster in nearly four decades.

Sea Smooth skipper Lai Sai Ming, 56, was found guilty on Saturday following a trial that gripped the city, over the accident between his high-speed ferry and a pleasure boat near Lamma Island.

"I have concluded you should go to prison for eight years," judge Brian Keith told a court.

"You were in command of a fast ferry, not a small pleasure boat. You knew if you didn't check for the presence of other vessels you would be risking lives your conduct that night fell way below the standard of professionalism," he said.

"The case has been personal tragedy for your and your family but that cannot begin to compare with the unimaginable grief to those who lost their loved ones," he said, as Lai listened from the dock with his head lowered.

Lai was jailed for a further 18 months for endangering the safety of others at sea, but the terms will be served concurrently.






Newly elected Gov. Tom Wolf imposed a moratorium on the death penalty in the state on Friday, calling the current system of capital punishment "error prone, expensive and anything but infallible."

The Democrat said the moratorium will remain in effect at least until he receives a report from a legislative commission that has been studying the topic for about four years.

Wolf announced the policy less than a month after taking office, fulfilling a campaign promise. ... [Yahoo - 13/2/15]



Refugees rot, death penalty looms for Bali 2 - Foreign Minister reinforces Australia as an international laughing stock


For Indonesia, where the impending execution of two Australian drug convicts could strain ties, Bishop offered a thumbs up and a tick for the relationship, but added a downcast face.


Australia FM uses angry face to describe Putin in emoji interview [France 24 – 16/2/15]:

Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has conducted what is reportedly the world's first political emoji interview, using an angry red face to describe Russia's Vladimir Putin and a running man to depict her boss Tony Abbott.

Buzzfeed, which on Thursday released a video with US President Barack Obama doing "things everyone does but doesn't talk about" such as posing in front of a mirror, interviewed Bishop by sending her text messages.

Bishop responded using only emojis, the ideograms used for various visual messages sent online, many of which are based on variations of a smiley face.

"The foreign minister accepted the challenge in the spirit in which it was offered to her," her spokeswoman said.

Asked about her prime minister, fitness fanatic Tony Abbott, Bishop replied with an image of a man running. For Abbott's potential leadership challenger, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, she offered a mobile phone.

For Russian President Putin, however, she came back with a fuming red face with angry eyes and a downturned mouth.

The foreign minister gave the relationship with long-standing ally the United States a thumbs up, a tick, and a broadly smiling face, and for China pretty much the same -- except the grinning face was wearing black sunglasses.

For Indonesia, where the impending execution of two Australian drug convicts could strain ties, Bishop offered a thumbs up and a tick for the relationship, but added a downcast face.

Bishop also revealed via emoji that she prefers cats to dogs, her spirit animal is a monkey and her guilty pleasures are high-heeled shoes, cookies and donuts.

Asked whether she wanted to be prime minister, the popular foreign minister replied with an expressionless face with a straight line for a mouth.

On a lighter note, asked which emoji she could not live without, she opted for a winking smiley face blowing a kiss.





The fate of the man is unknown but the match resumed soon after. Australia eventually beat England by 111 runs.  [World Cup: Political Activist Halts Australia vs England Match  - NDTV - 15/2/15]

‎Refugee‬ rights protestors disrupt Cricket World Cup: Australia’s Asylum Seeker Policy is just not cricket! [Whistleblowers, Activists and Citizens Alliance - 14/2/15]



South Africa has protested after a prominent columnist in a leading right-wing newspaper in Japan praised racial segregation under apartheid as a model for Japanese immigration policy, the paper said Sunday.

Mohau N Pheko, South Africa’s ambassador to Japan, accused novelist Ayako Sono of glorifying the system of apartheid in the column published on Wednesday in the Sankei Shimbun.  ... [Japan Today - 16/2/15]





US Ambassador attends Qatar protest against North Carolina terrorism

 Al Arabiya [15/22/15]:

Around 1,000 people marched Sunday in Doha in solidarity with the three Muslim American students murdered last week by a white neighbour in what protesters in Qatar called “a terrorist act”.

The marchers carried banners calling for the “end of hate crimes”, “unity” and another read: “We all have the right to live free from hate.”

Among the marchers was the U.S. ambassador to Qatar, Dana Shell Smith, who tweeted that it was “good to see young people rejecting hate of all kinds”.

The march was a rare public demonstration for a country where protests are largely discouraged.

The three students -- Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and her 19-year-old sister Razan -- were allegedly killed by a neighbour, Craig Stephen Hicks, in the North Carolina university town of Chapel Hill.

The 46-year-old was believed to be strongly opposed to religion, as his Facebook page showed dozens of anti-religious posts, including statements against Islam, Christianity and Mormons.

Police said they were investigating the crime as a parking dispute, but victims’ families believe the attack was religiously motivated.

Some have accused Western media and politicians of not responding quickly enough to the deaths of the three students, saying there is a double standard when Muslims are the victims of violence.

Hicks has been charged with three counts of murder.

Sunday’s march in Doha was organised by a foundation chaired by Sheikha Moza bint Nasser al-Masnad -- the mother of Qatar’s emir.

At the end of the march, participants heard a pre-recorded video message from Deah’s brother and sister, Suzanne and Farris Barakat.

In the video, Farris said it was “amazing” that “the people of Qatar were thinking about us and the family.”




White supremacist graffiti sprayed on Perth mosque in third attack in eight months [ABC - 16/2/15]




Australia's top rabbi resigns after revelations at Royal Commission

Brisbane Times [16/2/15]:

Australia's most senior rabbi has resigned days after revelations at a royal commission that he called the father of three child abuse victims a "lunatic".

The senior vice-president of the Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia, Rabbi Yoram Ulman, confirmed to Fairfax Media that Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant had stepped down as president of the organisation on Monday morning. Rabbi Ulman said he could not comment further at this stage.

Rabbi Klugwant has also resigned from all his duties and positions at the Rabbinical Council of Victoria.

He is still a member of the Victoria Police Multi-Faith Council. Spokesman Sergeant Kris Hamilton said Victoria Police was aware of the statements made at the Royal Commission and would meet with Rabbi Klugwant shortly to discuss his membership of the council.

This follows calls for Rabbi Kluwgant to resign from all his public positions after appearing at the Royal Commission on Institutional Responses to Child Abuse on Friday, the final day of its hearing on Yeshivah Melbourne and Yeshiva Sydney's response to child sexual abuse allegations against convicted offenders David Cyprys, David Kramer and Daniel Hayman.

The commission heard that Rabbi Kluwgant sent a text message a week earlier calling Zephaniah Waks, the father of prominent victims' advocate Manny Waks, a "lunatic" who had neglected his own children.

Three of Mr Waks' children were abused as students of Yeshivah College in Melbourne, including Manny, the founder of Jewish victims support group Tzedek.

Asked by the Waks' lawyer, Melinda Richards, SC, whether he sent a text message to Australian Jewish News editor Zeddy Lawrence about Mr Waks' evidence that day, he said "I don't recall."

Ms Richards asked: "Did you, Rabbi, send a text message to Mr Lawrence saying 'Zephaniah is killing us. Zephaniah is attacking Chabad. He is a lunatic on the fringe. Guilty of neglect of his own children. Where was he when all this was happening?'"

"I may have said that, yes," he replied.

Both Manny and Zephaniah previously told the commission they had relocated overseas following years of intimidation from the ultra-orthodox Chabad community, in response to going public with abuse allegations.

Manny Waks said on his Facebook page on Monday that Rabbi Klugwant's position as a community leader was "untenable" and that his thoughts were with him and his family at this difficult time.

"Hopefully he will take the time to educate himself about this issue. Also, hopefully this will assist in the healing for victims/survivors and their families, as well as the broader community."

Tzedek's acting chief executive officer, Danny Blay, said the organisation welcomed Rabbi Kluwgant's resignation.

"It sends a clear message that any less than safe and transparent responses to allegations of child sexual abuse won't be tolerated," he said.

Executive director of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) David Marlow said Rabbi Kluwgant's resignation was necessary, given the contents of his text message.

"I believe he genuinely wants to do the right thing in terms of the victims and the police, and ensuring there is counselling and psychological services available to victims," Mr Marlow said.

"But unfortunately, he said what he said and no matter what he says (now) or how he says it, it won't be taken well."

Mr Marlow said the Yeshivah Centre in Melbourne also needed to review its practices and policies in relation to child sexual abuse allegations for any hope of progress in future.

"They will need to think about their approach to responding to complaints. I don't know that replacing a person or a couple of people will fix it. I think they need to have a good hard look at their failings in terms of governance and responding to victims."


Secular Turks opposed to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday boycotted schools and took to the streets to demand a secular education and denounce a claimed creeping Islamisation of the schools system.

The protests were led by Turkey's largest religious minority the Alevis, who adhere to an offshoot of Shia Islam, as well as leading education union Egitim Sen. ... [Ahram - 13/2/15]



Queenslanders have spoken on asset sales and politicians still aren't listening

 ABC [16/2/15]:

... Earlier Sunday, Ms Palaszczuk was greeted with a round of applause as she made her way into the Caucus meeting at Parliament House, flanked by her Deputy Premier and Treasurer.

"Well done, everyone," Ms Palaszczuk said to her gathered MPs.

"I think back three years ago there were seven us of us look now.

"We have climbed Mount Everest but having climbed Mount Everest there is now an enormous amount of responsibility that needs to be placed on each and every caucus member sitting here today.

"That's the responsibility of standing up for your constituents each and every day, not to be silent, but to represent them and fight for them every step of the way."


Australia: Man, 19, considers legal action after spending weekend in jail for no reason

ABC [16/2/15]:

A 19-year-old Darwin man has been set free after spending a weekend in lock-up for apparently no reason.

Curtis Fejo appeared in the Magistrates Court on Monday after spending the weekend in a jail cell, but lawyers and the magistrate were none-the-wiser as to why he was appearing in court.

"Nobody knows why he's here," lawyer Beth Wild told the court.

The court did not have any documentation regarding relevant charges.

A bewildered looking Mr Fejo was then allowed to walk free after Magistrate Alan Woodcock decided there were no grounds to keep him detained.

"I don't know why he's in custody," Magistrate Woodcock said.

When a court security guard started to open the door leading to the court cell, Magistrate Woodcock intervened.

"I should think he should be walking out of court now," Magistrate Woodcock said.

Mr Fejo was ushered out of the dock and paused briefly in the public area of the courtroom before leaving through the door used by the general public.

A spokeswoman for the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency said Mr Fejo would be considering legal action.



Deprivation of liberty and torture, Bundaberg

QPS Media [16/2/15]:

Three men are currently assisting police with their inquiries into an incident in which a man was allegedly abducted from a residence and assaulted in Bundaberg this morning.

It will be alleged around 8.20am a number of men attended a McMannie Street address where they confronted a 39-year-old man and assaulted him at the residence.

It will further be alleged the man was forced into a vehicle before being driven to another location and further assaulted and tortured.

Police located the man around 1pm at a Tarakan Street residence. He was taken to the Bundaberg Base Hospital in a serious condition with head and facial injuries as well as burn injuries to his torso, arms and neck.

Three men were taken into custody this afternoon and are currently assisting police with their inquiries.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.

Taskforce Maxima detectives investigating an illicit laboratory at a Kurwongbah residence last year have issued a 33-year-old man with a Notice to Appear (NTA) regarding further offences. ...  [QPS Media - 16/2/15]


Man charged with animal cruelty following death of kittens, Mt Isa

QPS Media [16/2/15]:

Police conducting a routine traffic stop in Mount Isa on January 15 were amazed to find a shoebox sized container on the floor of the back seat containing several dead kittens.

Police will allege four kittens were placed in the container around 9am to prevent them wandering around the 4WD.

The vehicle was intercepted by Mt Isa police around 6pm that afternoon on Falcon Street with officers finding three of the kittens had died and one clinging to life.

This kitten was given to an animal carer.

The driver, a 31-year-old man from The Gap in Brisbane, has been issued with a Notice to Appear in the Mount Isa Magistrates Court on March 2 charged with animal cruelty.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.



Concrete firm sacks Toowoomba staff as work slows

Chronicle [16/2/15]:

Boral has cut seven jobs at its Toowoomba concrete business in response to what it says is a slowdown in roads and infrastructure construction.

A company spokeswoman said the slowdown had resulted in positions being made redundant nationwide, with the most pronounced cuts in the asphalt business as well as support services and administration in construction materials.

In its half year results announcement last week, Boral revealed it had cut about 240 positions since June last year.

"Since the start of December we have made 11 positions in Queensland redundant including seven in the Toowoomba concrete business," the spokeswoman said.

"While we have been working to minimise the impact of the re-sizing of the business on our workforce including offering redeployment opportunities where possible, all employees who have been directly impacted by the restructuring have received their full entitlements."

The company employs about 6500 people in its Australian workforce, which includes about 1400 employees in Queensland.



Truck hits pedestrian overpass at Kangaroo Point

Brisbane Times [16/2/15]:

Significant traffic delays are continuing across the Story Bridge after a truck carrying a cherry picker struck an overpass in Kangaroo Point early Monday.

Outbound lanes of Main Street remain closed and traffic is being diverted down Shaftson Avenue.

The cherry picker being hauled by the truck struck the overpass when the driver attempted to pass underneath about 7.15am.

The machine fell onto the road causing significant damage.

Diversions have been in place throughout the morning, prompting widespread traffic delays.

At the morning traffic peak, cars were banked back as far as Lutwyche Road in Windsor, according to a spokeswoman for the Australian Traffic Network.

The road is not expected to open until at least 11.30am, with heavy haulage equipment required to remove the cherry picker.

The ATN spokeswoman said further work would need to be done to repair the road under the overpass, which had been damaged by the cherry picker.

Motorists are being advised to avoid the area where possible.



Senate Inquiry investigates Queensland electricity prices

Greens Media Release [16/2/15]:

The Greens-initiated Senate Inquiry into electricity prices held a public hearing in Brisbane today, gathering information to end systematic rorting of taxpayers and consumers by the electricity networks.

"Our Senate Inquiry is getting to the bottom of why Queenslanders have such astronomical electricity network charges - the highest in Australia," said Senator Christine Milne, leader of the Australian Greens, in Brisbane for the hearing today.

"The inquiry is looking into how to stop chronic over-investment in poles and wires, and improve transparency around how power prices are set.

"The fact is that state governments are maximising profits at the expense of jobs and innovation. It's time to write down these assets and admit failure to see the energy revolution that has sent them into a death spiral.

"Queensland sugar mills have given evidence at the public hearing today, saying they're being squeezed by a doubling of electricity costs as well as the Liberals' attack on the Renewable Energy Target," said Senator Milne.

"Tony Abbott's threats to slash the RET have destroyed confidence for those who are investing in generating energy from sugarcane waste. Queensland sugar mills are outraged that they can't roll out renewable projects that are ready to go, to help them avoid the ever-climbing power prices.

"Queensland's electricity prices are so high because the state government is making record dividends at the expense of households, farmers and industry.

"This inquiry will look closely at shifting this burden away from Queenslanders and on to the balance sheets of the state government," said Senator Milne.

"The Queensland Government, no matter who was in charge at the time, needs to be held accountable for such irresponsible over-investment in poles and wires. It cannot continue."

Australian Greens Senator for Queensland, Larissa Waters, said:

"More and more Queenslanders are taking the power back through solar energy so they can control their own power bills - one in five Queensland homes have solar.

"The more people use solar, the less peak demand on the grid, which makes electricity and energy infrastructure cheaper for everyone.

"Our Sunshine State is leading the way in lowering power bills through solar, but a lack of transparency in electricity network charges and the network's habit of building more infrastructure than we need is forcing Queenslanders to pay more," Senator Waters said.

Daily Mercury [16/2/15]:

Wilmar Sugar growers in the Plane Creek area got a preview of how things may be conducted in the future when many opened the most recent official letter from the Singaporean-based owner of Plane Creek Mill yesterday.

Canegrowers Mackay chairman Kevin Borg said growers received in the mail a Notice of Termination of their Cane Supply Agreement effective from the end of 2016.

"This latest move shows once again that Wilmar Sugar is hell-bent on destabilising the growing sector of Queensland's sugar industry, regardless of the cost to growers," Mr Borg said.



Rail freight firm Aurizon doubles profits to $308m

ABC [16/2/15]:

Rail freight operator Aurizon Holdings has more than doubled its half-year profit to $308 million for the six months to December 2014.

Underlying earnings, which strip out one-off items, grew by a more modest 15 per cent because profits in the half year ended December 2013 were affected by redundancy costs and asset write-downs.

Aurizon chief executive officer Lance Hockridge said the result was driven by cost control and productivity improvement in a low-growth environment.

The company said trading conditions remained subdued, but its forecast for coal haulage this financial year was unchanged at 210-220 million tonnes.

Iron ore haulage was expected to reach 23 million tonnes for the year.

Aurizon, known as QR National before being publicly listed, increased its interim dividend by 26 per cent to 10.1 cents per share.

The company's stocks fell 0.9 per cent on the ASX in the first hour of the session.


Cancer cases in Queensland triple in the past 30 years, statistics show

ABC [16/2/15]:

The number of people diagnosed with cancer in Queensland has more than tripled in 30 years, but the number of people surviving has risen, statistics show.

Data from the Queensland Cancer Registry showed 25,614 cases of cancer were diagnosed in 2012, compared with 8,250 cases in 1982.




Big mining and big media say protest groups ought not receive “special tax treatment”

Lock The Gate Media Release [16/2/15]:

The NSW Minerals Council has today made an outrageous attempt to shut down the right of farmers to speak out about their concerns on the impacts of coal seam gas mining, according to The Lock the Gate Alliance.

National Coordinator of the Lock the Gate Alliance, Phil Laird, said it was crucial the NSW public could hear from farmers who were taking a stand against the threats of mining to their community, their land and their precious water resources.

"It's outrageous that the mining industry thinks it can shut down a charity which was created to provide basic support for farmers who are being booted off their land or having their water supplies ruined by multi-national mining companies,” Mr Laird said today.

“This smacks of bullying - mining giants kicking communities while they are down, and trying to shut down the one organisation that is there to help them out.

“It also raises a serious question of why big overseas mining industries are trying to stop debate about the role of coal seam gas and mining in the lead-up to the NSW State Election.

"The Lock the Gate Alliance operates in accordance with a peaceful code of conduct and our main purpose is to protect farmland, environmentally sensitive areas and water resources, and to advocate for people whose properties, livelihoods or health are at risk from unsafe mining operations

“The NSW Minerals Council is a lobby group with unfettered access to Premier Mike Baird, now it wants to make sure other voices are locked out of the public discussion on mining.

"It's inappropriate for the industry to try and silence community debate on the impacts of coal seam gas and coal mining on communities and the essentials for life, and to take away the basic right of people to have a charity who advocates on their behalf when they are up against some of the biggest mining companies in the world.

“It’s famers and community groups that are bringing forward evidence of environmental damage, water contamination and mining corruption. It’s no wonder the industry is doing whatever it can to shut down these voices and avoid effective scrutiny,” Mr Laird said.





A Bit of Fry & Laurie - If Rupert Murdoch hadn't been born [VIDEO]






 Horrible old fascist Rupert Murdoch hates peace - and so do all his arselickers in the Australian media establishment


Rupert Murdoch's 'Times of London' REVEALS a recently discovered letter showing John Lennon to be "a drug abuser, bully and cheat".

Australian media excitedly repeat this dubiously acquired information without question ----> ... Written as Lennon's marriage to his first wife Cynthia was deteriorating in 1968, the letter reveals his mood swings, marriage tensions and aggressive behaviour towards his son, according to The Times. ... [Brisbane Times - 16/2/15]




News Corporation and Telstra loans to Foxtel questioned [Sydney Morning Herald – 16/2/15]:

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation and Telstra Corporation are lending money to their cashed-up pay TV business Foxtel at 12 per cent, claiming tax deductions on the loan and lending the money back to themselves at an interest rate of zero.

An investigation by Fairfax Media has found this irregular transaction helped the Foxtel Partners reduce their tax in Australia, but the ATO seems to have missed out in taxing the interest income. Both companies have responded by saying they comply with tax laws although neither was prepared to address specific questions on the Foxtel transaction.



Aged care facility issues statement after abuse allegations [News Mail - 16/2/15]:

A Bundaberg aged care facility has issued a statement in response to an article in The Australian which claimed residents were subjected to abuse and neglect.


"We are deeply sorry that these incidents occurred. Our residents, their families and our staff were happy that these issues were behind them until today's media report. It unfortunately only adds to their trauma to have these incidents replayed again in the public arena."



“No limits” on who The Sun would pay for stories court told [Hacking Inquiry – 12/2/15]:

The former chief reporter for The Sun has agreed that there were “no limits” on who the paper would pay for information, including the police, prison officers and nursing staff at state hospitals.

John Kay, 71, who made the admission while testifying on charges of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office, was then asked if “you were all above the law?”. He replied that “we operated within the parameters set in the office”.

When the prosecution asked him if there was ban on paying policemen in place at the office he responded “in special circumstances, no”.

The charges against Kay relate to payments of £100,000 to a Ministry of Defence civil servant, Bettina Jordan-Barber, for what the prosecution say was confidential information relating to military issues.

The journalist told the court that in his view his actions were justified as the articles that appeared were in the “public interest”.

He also said that the civil servant was paid twice as much as other contributors due to the seriousness of the stories she produced and that all of the payments were authorised by the then editor of The Sun Rebekah Brooks.

Asked by prosecution barrister Michel Parroy QC “It would have been better for The Sun if you didn’t have to pay for stories?” the defendant replied “that doesn’t happen in the real world” as “free stories don’t grow on trees”.

When Parroy asked “Would The Sun want to put out stories that were obtained unlawfully?” Kay responded “the means were there to serve the ends”.

Earlier Parroy had suggested to Kay there was a “profound difference between what is in the public interest and what the public are interested in” such as “sexual peccadilloes”.

The defendant disagreed saying he was right to publish information about sex scandals in the army as these could cause a break-down in discipline.

He later confirmed that in his view everything that appeared in the Sun was in the public interest.

The court was shown a letter from Rebekah Brooks to the Press Complaints Commission stating that regular seminars were held to train staff on privacy issues and Kay was asked if he had ever attended one. “I don’t think they ever took place” Kay replied.

Also on trial at the Old Bailey are Sun royal reporter Duncan Larcombe; executive editor Fergus Shanahan, deputy editor Geoffrey Webster, army officer John Hardy and his wife Claire.

All of the defendants deny all of the charges, the trial continues.



Bondage is NOT "a big hit for Brisbane's sex shops", but Brisbane's media establishment ARE a bunch of lying degenerates.


‘Pornography Is What the End of the World Looks Like’, Chris Hedges [Truthdig – 15/2/15]:

“Fifty Shades of Grey,” the book and the movie, is a celebration of the sadism that dominates nearly every aspect of American culture and lies at the core of pornography and global capitalism.

It glorifies our dehumanization of women. It champions a world devoid of compassion, empathy and love.

It eroticizes hypermasculine power that carries out the abuse, degradation, humiliation and torture of women whose personalities have been removed, whose only desire is to debase themselves in the service of male lust.

The film, like “American Sniper,” unquestioningly accepts a predatory world where the weak and the vulnerable are objects to exploit while the powerful are narcissistic and violent demigods.

It blesses this capitalist hell as natural and good.






Shut Down Manus vigil Wellington:

Hosted by Doing our bit

Tuesday, February 17

8:00am - 9:30am

Australian High Commission

72-76 Hobson Street, Thorndon, Wellington, New Zealand

It's one year on from the murder of asylum seeker Reza Berati in the Manus Island detention centre. Come join us as we gather for a vigil on Tuesday morning outside the Australian High Commission in Wellington to lend our support to all the wonderful Australians wanting to #shutdownmanus

I've seen so many amazing acts of humanity by Australians in the last few years and I want to show them that we are with them and against their government's policies. There are other ways to address the issue of asylum seekers arriving by boat than mandatory detention.





Evidence used to convict asylum seeker Sayed Abdellatif in an Egyptian military court – the basis for his indefinite detention in Australia – was obtained by torture, court documents state. ... [Guardian - 16/2/15]






Scott Morrison - liar and enemy to journalism - rewarded with another puff piece by the Australian media establishment. --->  [Pension increase shows government cares about pensioners  - ABC, AM - 16/2/15]




Here Comes The King!


Did he meet with the IOM? Perhaps he dined with Australian journalists who were on Manus Island at the time? Maybe he tortured some folks? How would we know given the Australian media blackout on the Minister for Refugee Death Camps' visit to Manus Island in December 2014?

Scott Morrison arrives on Manus Island [Humanitarian Research Partners - 16/12/14]


… Soar above the battle sown
Leave all behind
Wake into a world unknown
To peace and find
The Queen is kind

The life of rule is never quite completed
But it knows itself defeated
To equality of men

If oppression had a mirror
Would liberty be used?
When the quest had been abused
The reflections cracked and shattered

If freedom was a tyrant
Who roamed above the land
Would a people live in freedom?
Would the tyrant understand? …

'The Queen', stringmansassy [2004]



Day 3 of Senate Inquiry into the "incident" on Manus Island [June, 2014]:



Former Salvation Army employee Nicole Judge being questioned by Senator Ian McDonald [AUDIO via Paul Farrell]



 It seems everyone except the Department of Immigration is under the impression the Department of Immigration controls Australia's detention centre on Manus Island.

Giving evidence to the inquiry, former G4S guard Martin Appleby said he believed the asylum policy of both parties is responsible for what happened on Manus.

Two former salvation workers Nicole Judge and Christopher Iacono spoke of their experiences working on Manus where they say asylum seekers were "treated like animals", and the main threat to their safety was that they were being detained.

They dismantled many of the talking points the political and media establishment has used to draw attention away from atrocities being committed in the name of the Australian government.

If you still believe what happened on Manus was a "riot" (it was a violent and brutal attack which the media dishonestly describe as a riot), read the Hansard.

Ms Judge referred to a "Here comes the King!" protest against Minister for Immigration Scott Morrison during his visit to Manus in September 2013 which highlighed the asylum seekers acute awareness of their predicament and that our politicians are to blame for it.

Migration Agent Liz Thompson told the inquiry that what she was instructed to do during her time on Manus was contrary to her professional obligations.

It was made clear to migration staff on 5 February that there was no intention to conduct RSD interviews - only CAPS (which is the first stage of refugee assessment).

Daniel Webb from the Human Rights Law Centre told the inquiry that more people had been killed or injured on Manus than have been assessed or resettled in PNG.

Essentially, the Manus Island detention centre is a place of illusory process and open ended imprisonment, where asylum seekers can choose where/how their human rights are violated i.e. it is a concentration camp.

Senator Ian MacDonald's "performance" was more than just a disgrace, it was creepy.

This is a man with no humanity.





Pacific churches press Jokowi over Papua [RNZI – 16/2/15]:

Pacific churches have urged Indonesia's President, Joko Widodo, to honour an election promise to address human rights abuses in West Papua.

The moderator of the Pacific Conference of Churches, Reverend Dr Tevita Havea, says despite Mr Widodo's assurances last year, security forces have continued to torture and kill West Papuans.

The Reverend Havea says there is no place in the Pacific for wanton violence and the region's leaders must act decisively to stop police and military officers from taking power into their own hands.

He also called for the lifting of a ban on foreign journalists from entering West Papua.


Prime Minister Peter O’Neill used a visit by Indonesia’s new ambassador to repeat his stand on human rights for West Papuans. ... [PNG Loop - 16/2/15]

Free West Papua Campaign [15/2/15]:

Photo action, AMP (Aliance of West Papuan students) Yogyakarta. Demand Close Freeport!! (Worlds biggest gold mine which was built on stolen land and worst pollution in the world).

Self determination for West Papua.

Free West Papua!! We want to be free in our homeland.

You can see more pictures here.

A substantial amount of Jet A1 fuel has accidently been spilled off at the Inter Oil storage camp at Harisu, Gulf province, affecting local people. ... [EMTV - 14/2/15]



Palmer to Introduce Private Member’s Bill to Stop Future Executions of Australians in Indonesia

PUP Media Release [16/2/15]:

Palmer United Party federal leader and Member for Fairfax, Clive Palmer, says he plans to introduce a private member’s bill to help stop the future executions of Australians in Indonesia.

His comments come as Australians Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31, face imminent execution on drugs charges.

Mr Palmer is urging the Indonesian government to show mercy for the two Australians.

“By all accounts these men are fully repentant for their actions and have been rehabilitated whilst in prison. The death penalty is barbaric and will solve nothing,’ Mr Palmer said.

Mr Palmer said the member’s bill would address issues of Australian authorities cooperating with Indonesian police when it meant the death penalty could be imposed on Australian citizens in that country.

“If the Australian Federal Police are aware of Australians involved in a capital punishment crime committed in Indonesia, then they should not be allowed to provide information which could expedite the death penalty,’’ Mr Palmer said.

“If these two Australian citizens were arrested on their return to Australia, their lives would be saved.

“There needs to be an urgent review of policies that could expose Australians to the death penalty.

“I will introduce a private member’s bill to restrict co-operation between Australian and Indonesian authorities when the outcome involves capital punishment for our citizens,’’ Mr Palmer said.




Indonesia is pressing on with preparations to execute up to six of 11 inmates on death row, including seven foreign citizens involved in drug trafficking, despite growing protests from the international community. ... [Jakarta Globe - 15/2/15]




Lawyers face Brisbane court for 'hiding cash'

Yahoo [16/2/15]:

Two lawyers have faced a Brisbane court over allegations they helped clients hide money from the federal government's special financial intelligence unit.

Jason Murakami, 45, and Ron Behlau, 34, appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday on charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice and conducting transactions to avoid reporting requirements.

It's alleged the former Nyst Lawyers employees engaged in structuring, which involves banking cash sums of $10,000 or more in smaller amounts to avoid the transaction being reported to the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).

The Crime and Corruption Commission alleges they did so to obstruct criminal confiscation proceedings.

Murakami, of Sydney, is charged with two counts of attempting to pervert justice and four counts of conducting transactions to avoid reporting requirements relating to threshold transactions.

Behlau, from Broadbeach Waters on the Gold Coast, is charged with one count each of attempting to pervert justice and conducting transactions to avoid reporting requirements.

Neither entered a plea when they appeared in court on Monday, represented by Guest Lawyers.

They were allowed bail and the case was adjourned until March 9.



Attempted armed robbery, Beenleigh

QPS Media [16/2/15]:

A man armed with a handgun fled empty handed after a failed  armed robbery of a Beenleigh service station this morning.

Around 1.15am the man entered the City Road business, threatening a 19-year-old man, an employee of the business, and demanding cash.

The man fled after the employee refused to hand over any cash and retreated to a back room.

The man is described as Caucasian, aged in his early to mid 20s, approximately 183cms tall with a thin build and brown hair.

No one was physically injured and investigations by Logan detectives are continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.




Man charged with "unregulated high risk activity", Bundamba

QPS Media [16/2/15]:

A 32-year-old man who allegedly climbed a high tension electrical tower at Bundamba last night has been issued with a Notice to Appear in the Ipswich Magistrates Court for unregulated high risk activity.

Shortly before 10pm the Bundamba man was observed by Polair to climb up the tower, climbing about 50 metres from the ground.

 Police at the scene negotiated with the man, who continued to move up and down the tower over the next hour, before he decided to climb down around 11pm.

When he was approximately three metres from the ground the man lost his grip and fell.

He was treated at the scene before being transported to Ipswich General Hospital with a suspected broken leg.

He is due to appear in the Ipswich Magistrates Court on March 13.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.



Dangerous driving and drug charges, Lowood

QPS Media [16/2/15]:

Police have charged two women with driving and drug related offences following a pursuit of a vehicle and the deployment of tyre deflation devices at Lowood last night.

Around 6.50pm police patrolling in Lowood attempted to intercept a vehicle on Railway Street due to the manner it was being driven.

Police will allege that the vehicle failed to stop and sped away.

Police followed the car with the passenger allegedly throwing items, including a bottle, at the police vehicle.

Polair2 was deployed and followed the vehicle directing police on the ground to the vehicle’s movements and whereabouts.

A tyre deflation device was deployed on Patrick Estate Road, Lowood however the vehicle failed to stop and a pursuit was commenced.

Additional tyre deflation devices were deployed further along Patrick Estate Road with the vehicle eventually stopping in nearby Haslingden Park Drive after three tyres were deflated.

Two women, the 17-year-old driver and her 22-year-old passenger, attempted to flee the scene but were apprehended by police.

The driver, a teenager from Karana Downs, has been charged with unlicensed driving, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, failing to stop and possession of a drug utensil.

The passenger, a woman from Brassall, has been charged with endangering the safe use of a vehicle by throwing objects.

Both women are due to appear in the Ipswich Magistrates Court this morning.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.


A Queensland man has been handed a nine-month suspended sentence for a police pursuit involving speeds of up to 160 kilometres per hour. ... [Tweed Daily News - 11/2/15]



Unlawful Wounding, Labrador

QPS Media [15/2/15]:

Police have charged a 61-year-old man with unlawful wounding following an incident in Labrador this afternoon.

At around 1.40pm officers attended the car park of a Frank Street address following reports of a physical altercation between a 61-year-old man and a 27-year-old man.

It will be alleged that during the altercation the 27-year-old man has received a knife wound to his hand.

He was later transported to Gold Coast University Hospital.

The 61-year-old Labrador man will appear in Southport Magistrates Court tomorrow.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.




Unlawful wounding, Berserker

QPS Media [15/2/15]:

Police are investigating following an incident in which a 61-year-old man and a 36-year-old man received stab wounds at an Edington Street address in Berserker, this evening.

Police were called to the address at about 6.20pm and initial investigations suggest the incident occurred following an argument between the two men, who are known to each other.

Both men were transported to Rockhampton Base Hospital in a serious condition.

A crime scene has been established and investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.




Earthquakes hit Queensland town of Eidsvold, south-west of Bundaberg, causing tremors in state's south-east

ABC [16/2/15]:

The small town of Eidsvold in Queensland's North Burnett region has been hit by two earthquakes, with tremors felt hundreds of kilometres away.

A magnitude 5.2 earthquake occurred near the town, south-west of Bundaberg, shortly before 2:00am (AEST).

A second earthquake measuring magnitude 2.9 hit the region about 45 minutes later.

Geoscience Australia (GA) estimated the earthquake could have been felt by people up to 206km away and could have caused damage up to 16km away.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) said they had not yet had any calls reporting damage but its Rapid Damage Assessment Team had been sent out to the epicentre region as a precaution.

In a statement, the Queensland Police Service said research suggested the central Queensland area from Bundaberg to Rockhampton was prone to earthquake activity

Senior Sergeant Cameron Barwick, the Rockhampton disaster management support officer, has asked residents to be aware of these types of events by registering any information on the earthquake, or any damage or injuries sustained, with GA.

"If people have information regarding an earthquake, damage or injuries sustained they can record this history into this site after the event."




All eyes are on a Coral Sea low that could develop into a cyclone this week.

The Bureau of Meteorology is monitoring the weak tropical low, which may form into a cyclone, and is warning residents from the far north to central coast to be prepared.

The low is located east of Cape York Peninsula and is causing heaving rainfall in the north of the state.  ...  [Daily Mercury - 16/2/15]


Cyclist dies after being hit by truck, Perth Hills

West Australian [16/2/15]:

A cyclist has died after being hit by a truck in the Perth Hills.

The accident happened on Toodyay Road in Gidgegannup about 5.15am on Monday.


Car crashes into home on Malcomson Street, Mackay

Daily Mercury [16/2/15]:

A vehicle has crashed into a house on Malcomson St in North Mackay.

Emergency services were called just before 9am and remain on the scene.

A Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman said a 15-year-old girl had been treated at the scene but no one was taken to hospital.


Telecommunications tower opponents submit to blood tests

Tweed Daily News [16/2/15]:

In an Australian first, 12 residents close to a proposed 30m NBN tower in Clothiers Creek have had base level blood tests taken.

The tests have been submitted to NBN Co and the landowner who agreed to have the tower on his property, in what opponents hope will kill off the plan in its current proposed location.

Friends of Condong Ridge spokesperson Josh Broom said the group had replicated communities in the UK who successfully fought off towers through a lawyer, arguing that if there are changes to their blood counts NBN Co would be liable.

"A range of international studies have linked this radiation to significantly increased health risks including cancer, in particular leukaemia."

He said the community feared children would be harmed by the radio frequencies from the tower.

"There have been no long-term studies on the effects of emissions from towers on children," he said.

"Seven young children, including two babies, live within 500 metres of the proposed tower.

"Their safety, given their developing skull bone structure, cannot be guaranteed."

China, Russia, Switzerland and Italy have emission standards 100 times more restrictive than Australia.

NBN and the landowner are both required to take out public liability insurance policies for $20 million and $10 million respectively.


Copenhagen shooting victim Finn Norgaard made Boomerang Boy documentary in Australia

Sydney Morning Herald [16/2/15]:

One of the victims of a shooting spree in the Danish capital Copenhagen, believed to be an act of terrorism by a lone Islamic gunman, is a filmmaker who once made a documentary in Australia about a junior boomerang throwing champion.

Finn Norgaard, 55, died after being shot in the chest at a gathering in a cafe in Copenhagen to discuss Islam and free speech in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shooting in January.

Also present at the gathering on the weekend was the Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who received death threats after depicting the head of the Prophet Muhammad on a dog in a series of cartoons in 2007. Vilks was not harmed in the attack.

The means of Norgaard's death was especially cruel, wrote a friend of many decades standing, as Norgaard had had surgery some years ago to correct a hole in his heart.

Norgaard was a documentary filmmaker who worked for the Danish Broadcasting Corporation from 1989 to 2001, before becoming a partner in the independent production house Filmselskabet.

In 2004, he came to Australia to make the documentary Boomerang-Drengen (aka Boomerang Boy), about 13-year-old Trent Carter, a Melbourne teen who had ambitions of becoming the world champion of boomerang throwing.

Trent succeeded in that aim and later went on to win a junior world championship in table tennis.

In 2009, Norgaard made the film En anden vej: Historien om fire nydanskere og en koncernchef – which roughly translates as "Another way: The story of four Danes and a CEO" – in which he put a Danish businessman and four criminals from immigrant backgrounds together to see if they could find a way past the stereotypes and assumptions that plague modern society.

Norgaard's Facebook page illustrates his continued concern with defending free speech and combating the divisions threatening to tear apart the multiculturalism that has been the hallmark of many advanced Western societies in the past few decades.

His most recent post, on February 6, was to an article in which an imam claimed there was no prohibition in the Koran against depictions of the Prophet Muhammad.


Trailer: Boomerang Boy



Abbott Talks Tough to Mask Weakness

Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia Media Release [4/2/15]:

In the Name of Allah, The Gracious, The Merciful

On the 2nd of February 2015, Prime Minister Abbott delivered an address at the National Press Club.

In it, he made mention of potentially strengthening anti-terror legislation and banning Hizb ut-Tahrir.

In response, Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia relates the following:

1. At a time of immense political pressure and weakness, Tony Abbott is playing tough to score cheap and opportunistic political points. The issue of national security is one conveniently raised only for politically expedient purposes.

2. Mention of banning Hizb ut-Tahrir and further strengthening already overreaching anti-terror laws have little to do with security, and much more to do with silencing dissent. Hizb ut-Tahrir's activities are not illegal and to alter that would demonstrate that the Australian government is willing to change law to suit political agendas and stifle critical voices.

3. Hizb ut-Tahrir is a party of ideas – it is exclusively intellectual and political. To institute measures to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir would be nothing other than an effective banning of certain concepts and discussions that the government is uncomfortable with. This is troubling to say the least.

4. The accusation of Hizb ut-Tahrir being somehow linked to terrorism is a tired and baseless claim that is unworthy of a serious response. The Australian government has no moral standing when talking of terrorism as it supports some of the greatest terrorists of our age - state terrorists such as America and "Israel", as well as dictators in the Muslim world such as El-Sisi of Egypt.

5. Australia's anti-terror laws have already created a two-tiered legal system that treats Muslims not as ordinary people before the law, but as a national security issue to be policed. The cover of legality afforded to the anti-terror laws worryingly justifies state oppression and discrimination.

6. The objective of such talk is to threaten and intimidate Muslims into not accounting the Australian government for its foreign policy crimes and to have them accept a localised, secular version of Islam that is not the Islam revealed by Allah (swt) to Muhammad (saw). This must be staunchly rejected. Today Abbott is taking aim at Hizb ut-Tahrir, but tomorrow it could be any other Muslim or Islamic group.



Thousands gather in Athens to support government

RTHK [16/2/15]:

About 15,000 people gathered in central Athens on Sunday to support the newly elected government's push for a better deal on Greece's debt.

Protesters carried banners denouncing economic austerity and Greece's creditors.

Similar rallies took place in other cities and about 40 other solidarity gatherings are planned across Europe and in Australia, Brazil and the US.

The Greek government has enthusiastically welcomed the rallies while insisting that they are spontaneous affairs, organized through social media.

On Monday, a gathering of eurozone finance ministers will consider Greece's proposal for short-term "bridge financing" without the onerous terms previously imposed on the country, until a longer-term solution to Greece's crushing debt is found.




Anglo American's 51% stake in Dawson mine operations is to be sold, in a announcement made on Friday. ... [Central Telegraph - 14/2/15]




Coal miner killed by exploding tyre in central Queensland

ABC [16/2/15]:

A coal mine worker has been killed and another person has been badly injured in a mining accident this morning in central Queensland.

Queensland Police said a tyre had exploded at Dawson mine near Moura, 180km south-west of Rockhampton.

The Queensland Ambulance Service said one person has been taken to the Theodore Hospital with shoulder and collarbone fractures.

He will be flown to a Brisbane hospital some time today. Mine safety authorities are investigating the incident.

It was the second mine accident involving a tyre explosion in recent years.

A man was killed at the Foxleigh mine, also in the Bowen Basin, while changing a tyre in 2010.




Reuters [16/2/15]:

Anglo American said it had suspended operations at its Dawson coal mine in Australia after two contractor workers were injured at the site on Monday morning.

The Dawson mine, Anglo American's third biggest coal mine in Australia, produced 4.24 million tonnes of metallurgical coal and thermal coal for export in 2014.

Anglo American and its contractor at the mine, Leighton Holdings, gave no further information on the incident. ...



Wayne was my soulmate and it was all taken away from me ... I had no chance to say goodbye or anything.

Daily Mercury [24/9/14]:

On December 18 back in 2010, Pam MacDonald's life changed forever.

Her husband, Wayne MacDonald, was killed in a tragic incident at Foxleigh Mine when a tyre he'd just finished changing exploded.

He was killed by the air blast of a 22.5 inch truck tyre, which was attributed to "zipper failure" when the vehicle was lowered to the ground.

"Wayne was my soulmate and it was all taken away from me," Mrs MacDonald said.

"I had no chance to say goodbye or anything."

Coroner David O'Connell published his findings after a two-day inquest into the death was held in May this year.


Mr MacDonald was in the gap between two sets of tyres underneath the trailer attached to a prime mover.

It has been recommended a trolley jack with an extended handle be used to avoid such close proximity to the tyres.

"Something so simple why wasn't that in use long before this happened," she said.

Mrs MacDonald said it "hurts the most" that his life could have been saved by the implementation of such a simple piece of machinery.

She was happy that Mr O'Connell had put time limits on some of the recommendations.



Grieving widow’s statement read out at mine death inquest

Daily Mercury [23/5/14]:

A framed photo of Wayne Robert MacDonald was positioned on a table not far from his grieving widow.

Pam MacDonald had prepared a statement to read at the end of the two-day coronial inquest into the death of her husband, who was killed while changing a tyre at Foxleigh Mine on December 18, 2010.

Mrs MacDonald said her husband was "let down by his employers", Brisbane company LCR, with whom he'd been employed as a truck operator for four years.

Overcome with emotion, she was unable to continue.

So her words were read by a woman who was there for support because she understands better than most the heartbreak Mrs MacDonald feels - Rachel Blee.

Her husband, Jason Blee, died in April 2007 after he was pinned to a wall by a shuttle car at Moranbah North underground coal mine.

"Wayne was hard-working, nothing was too much trouble, he loved life and he was my life," the statement read.

"The pain and hurt I've have to deal with and (am) still dealing with cannot be put into words and I just hope it doesn't take another fatality for changes to continue.

"If something good has to come out of all of this for those who work in the industry, then I feel Wayne's life has not been wasted."

The replacement tyre ruptured, in what was called a "zipper failure", while Mr MacDonald was still underneath the trailer.

Witnesses questioned about the correct inflation pressure of a trailer tyre gave varied answers, ranging from 100psi to 144psi. An under-inflated or overloaded tyre could compromise its integrity, the inquest was told.

On closing the inquest Central Queensland Coroner David O'Connell asked the four interested parties - Dunlop, Anglo American, LCR and the CFMEU - to submit agreed recommendations by June 20.

He will give his findings on a date to be set.


Inquest into CQ mine death reveals tyre pressure confusion

Morning Bulletin [22/5/14]:

An investigation into the death of an experienced truck driver after a tyre exploded at a mine site revealed "a great deal of confusion" over the correct inflation pressure of a tyre.

Wayne Robert MacDonald was at the end of a 12-and-a-half hour shift when he was killed at Foxleigh Mine on December 18, 2010.

The 53-year-old was in the gap between two sets of tyres underneath the trailer attached to a prime mover, having just changed a tyre.

Although two other men were at the site when Mr MacDonald was killed, neither witnessed the explosion that occurred about 6am.

Mr MacDonald had pulled into "the mailbox", which was the designated location at Foxleigh Mine to change a tyre.

The tyre chosen to replace the flat tyre had had the words "slow leak" painted on the side wall. These words had been crossed out and the word "ok" was painted there.

Mr MacDonald inflated the tyre to 110psi. He had just finished changing a flat tyre and had released the "bottle jack".

When the replacement tyre was lowered onto the ground, it exploded.

At the inquest, which began yesterday, John Aberdeen, Counsel assisting Central Queensland Coroner David O'Connell, said the "inner side wall of the inside tyre" had failed in what was called a "zipper failure".

The tear in the side wall "was sudden and catastrophic" resulting in a "powerful torrent of air" escaping, he said.

Mr MacDonald "suffered the full force to his chest and upper body".

An audit was done on Anglo American's Foxleigh Mine operation as part of a Mines Inspectorate investigation. The tyres of four prime movers and trailers were examined.

Mines inspector John Slade, who was the lead investigator, said there was "some confusion" from the employees who measured the tyre pressure about what the correct tyre pressure should be.

A range of figures was given including 100, 110, 120, 125 and 130psi.

Mr Slade admitted he didn't check the pressure of the tyres of the vehicle involved in the incident in the days following Mr MacDonald's death.

Mr Slade said a forensic examination of the tyre that exploded showed the previous repair and the zipper failure weren't connected.




Italy begins rescue operation for 1,000 migrants at sea

Imaginary Australian media outlet publishes this image.

Highlights the sadism of ALP and LNP refugee policy.


#UltimOra Nave Libra #MarinaMilitare inserita in #Triton ad #Augusta. I due bambini nati ieri con team sanitario MM

Image: ‏@ItalianNavy [17/1/15]



Al Jazeera [15/2/15]:

The Italian coast guard has launched a major rescue operation for more than 1,000 migrants in difficulty in the sea between Europe and North Africa.

Italy's coast guard said on Sunday that more the migrants were located between the Italian island of Lampedusa and the Libyan coast.

"More than 1,000 migrants" are involved in the rescue operation, a spokesman for the coast guard in Rome told the Reuters news agency.

The coast guard said it had rescued more than 130 people from two rubber boats about 180km south of Lampedusa so far, and was working to save eight more vessels.

Improved weather has encouraged migrants to make the perilous journey from North Africa.

Since the beginning of 2014, more than 150,000 migrants have arrived in Italy on unseaworthy boats, many refugees of war and conflict.

About 3,500 people died last year attempting to reach Italy by boat from North Africa.


Image: ‏@sophbenj [15/2/15]


Appointment of Julia Gillard to beyondblue [Minister for Health Media Release - 18/12/14]



 Free the children but keep beating and torturing Manus Island refugees calling for the UN? --->
Greiner criticises Abbott, wants children freed from detention [Sydney Morning Herald – 15/2/15]







Treblinka: A Survivor's Memory 1942-1943, Chil Rajchman [MacLehose Press - 2009]:

At midnight we set off and leave the forest. The night is clear, and we realize that we are not very far from ... Treblinka. We roam around, then return to the forest where we walk till morning. On the way we come to a muddy stream. Our comrade Masaryk crouches on all fours and drinks the muddy water. We do the same.

After three days of wandering, tired and hungry, we decide that we have to take a chance and go to a peasant's house to find out where we are and ask for something to eat.

I and my comrade Kalman, the one who set the gas chambers on fire, knock at a peasant's gate. The others remain hidden in the forest, afraid that we might encounter unfriendly people.

The peasant opens the gate but will not let us in. He tells us that Germans in automobiles and on bicycles have been looking for us all day long. At the same time we learn that the mayor has let it be known that any peasant who turns over a Jew to him or to the police will receive a big reward.

The peasant gives us a loaf of bread and some milk, asking for gold in exchange. We give him two watches. We learn that we are 15 kilometres from Treblinka. We want to find out if he knows where there are partisan units. He doesn't know, but he informs us that there are big forests 5 kilometres from here. We head in that direction and wander around for fourteen days. But we do not encounter any partisans. It often happens that when we knock at the gates of a peasant house, they refuse to open or to answer our questions. We are so weakened by hunger and thirst that we can hardly stand. We pull up potatoes and beets in the fields and eat them raw. Our situation is desperate. By day we are afraid to show ourselves since everyone we meet tells us that there are round-ups going on.

After a fortnight in the forests, seeing no way out, I propose that we take a chance and travel to Warsaw. Several of us have acquaintances there, and perhaps we will succeed in saving ourselves.

My proposal is rejected out of fear that along the way we might fall into the hands of the murderers.

Seeing that it is impossible for me to remain, I decide to leave for Warsaw by myself. It is painful for me to take leave of my friends. Still, I start on my way. We embrace each other and express our wish that we may meet again.

After walking several kilometres I come to a village. It is evening. I enter a peasant's house. He is afraid to talk to me. He hands me a piece of bread and tells me that Warsaw is 99 kilometres away. As I stand there, I suddenly hear the sound of shooting in the distance. The peasant runs back into the house and shouts to me to run away at once. I run into the potato fields and hide there. I hear more shots. Night has fallen. Heavy rain begins to fall and continues all night. I lie there for twelve hours until dawn. I feel I will not be able [to] get up, but with my last ounce of strength I get back on my feet. After walking a few kilometres, I see a man approaching me. By now indifferent to everything, I keep going. the man comes closer. I see from his clothes that he is a peasant and ask him the way. He thinks about it for a little while then asks me: - Are you one of those who fled Treblinka?

Seeing that he feels compassion for me, I tell him that I am indeed one of those who fled and ask him for help. He tells me that he has to go to the mill to buy flour for tomorrow's holiday. But he turns back with me towards his house, some 2 kilometres away. He leads the way and I follow.

When I enter his house I see a woman with a child in her arms. I embrace the little child and kiss it. The woman looks at me in astonishment and I tell her: - Dear lady, it is a whole year since I have seen a living child ... The woman and I cry together. She gives me food, and, seeing that I am soaked through, she gives me a shirt of her husband's to put on. She mentions that it is her husband's last shirt. ...





Italy said Sunday it was pulling out staff from its embassy in Libya and suspending operations there because of mounting insecurity in the troubled country.

The move came as Rome reiterated its willingness to lead a multinational force to tackle the growing jihadist threat in Libya, a former Italian colony.

In total, about 100 Italians were being evacuated by ship from the north African state, foreign ministry sources said. ... [Ahram - 15/2/15]







Egyptian Church confirms 21 killed in Libya after Islamic State issues video [Reuters - 15/2/15]




United States, “allies” continue bombing Iraq and Syria [15/2/15]:

The US and its allies staged nine airstrikes on ISILtargets in Iraq and four in Syria from early on Friday through to early Saturday, the Combined Joint Task Force said in a statement.

The attacks in Iraq hit Isis tactical units, buildings, fighting positions, a rocket system and a facility where improvised explosive devices were made, the statement said.

The strikes inSyria were near the city of Raqqa and destroyed tanks and a bunker.

Isis has been forced on the back foot by US-led air strikes, which began in Iraq on 8 August and in Syria on 23 September, including its defeat in the long battle for control of Kobani, a town on the border between Syria and Turkey.

On Friday, however, Isis fighters led a suicide attack on an airbase in Iraqwhere US and coalition troops are training Iraqi forces. Isis launched the attack after taking the nearby town of al-Baghdadi, their first territorial gain in months, the Pentagon said.

Most of the Isis fighters died in the attack, killed either by Iraqi government forces or by detonating their suicide vests, said Navy Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, who added that no Iraqi or US troops were killed or wounded, and no US troops were involved in the gunfight.

It was also reported on Saturday that the supreme leader of Iran,Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has responded to overtures from President Barack Obama amid nuclear talks by sending the US president a secret letter.

Co-operation against Isis, in the event of a nuclear deal being secured, was reported to be at issue.





A female suicide bomber has killed at least ten people at Damaturu Central Motor Park, a bus station in the northeast Nigerian city.  ... [Al Jazeera  - 15/2/15]





16 February 2015