Please, please, please... Stop separating families



12th day of peaceful protest Nauru ... ‏@elahe_zivardar [16/2/17]



The only people this "Hackathon" scheme helps are the fascists who want to keep refugees out of Australia. [Anthill - 16/2/17]



Myanmar Defense Minister visits Maungdaw to survey ruins and coerce Rohingya into accepting dubious identity card [Arakan Times - 16/2/17]



Refugee transit country Malaysia should learn from Acehnese treatment of Rohingya refugees so Australia can keep pushing them away [The Star - 16/2/17]



Regional nations - but not Australia, who has companies operating in Myanmar - should take a stand [Al Jazeera - 16/2/17]



Who will hold US and Australian officials, the UNHCR, ASEAN and Bali Process participants to account for the key role they have played in condemning refugees throughout South East Asia? --> Volker Turk calls on Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia to do something about the flow-on impact of Australia's anti-refugee atrocities [23/3/16]



UNHCR gives explicit endorsement of Australia's reheated proposal to traffick and exile refugees for slavery [ABC - 22/11/16]:


... MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: So a regional solution. One of the countries the Government is in talks with currently is Malaysia. Malaysia hasn't signed the UN Convention on Refugees. Would you be comfortable with any deal involving that country?

VOLKER TURK [UNHCR]: Well, Malaysia has had a tradition of hosting refugees.

It's true they haven't signed the convention, but there are a lot of opportunities, especially when it comes to access to the labour market, to ensure that one could negotiate a certain standard of treatment for people.

Obviously I am not privy to these negotiations. I've heard about it in the press.

There was a deal that was struck a couple of years ago and we thought that the deal was workable at the time. ...



What Australia's fanatical anti-refugee policies mean for people seeking asylum in our region [Academy of Social Sciences in Australia - 2016]



Rohingya call on the Japanese Government to back International Independent Investigation Commission on Atrocities in Myanmar [Rohingya Blogger - 15/2/17]



The President’s Office on Wednesday said a former military officer is suspected to have hired the killer of a prominent lawyer advising Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s ruling party, in a likely bid to destabilise the country. ... [DVB - 15/2/17]



Pilavu protestors stay put despite presidential pledge [Tamil Guardian - 15/2/17]



Students from the Eastern University held a demonstration on Monday to show solidarity for the Pilavu protestors.

In a demonstration organised by students of the Swami Vipulananda Institute of Aesthetic Studies, Eastern University students gathered outside the institute in Kallady, Batticaloa and called for the Sri Lankan government to release the Pilakudiyirippu lands. [Tamil Guardian - 15/2/17]




Protest in support of #Tamil refugees against @Deakin marched out of the Deakin Edge @FedSquare by line of police ... ‏@approachingcrit [16/2/17]


@approachingcrit [16/2/17]:  #Tamil refugee protest against @Deakin honouring #SriLankan war criminals at @FedSquare ...



Indonesia yet to deliver on its promise of full and free access for journalists to West Papua [RNZI - 16/2/17]



One Nation is a soft target for those who refuse to confront racist, anti-journalist phonies in the major parties. ---> Rudd's cemetery visit to honour veterans of the Indonesian National Revolution upsets Balibo Five widow [ABC - 13/6/2008]



Enforced journalist disappearances: International Federation of Journalists counts the missing days [29/8/16]:


… Across the region, the missing include, Juanita Nielsen (Australia), Prakash Singh Thakuri, Chitra Narayan Shrestha, Milan Nepali, Madan Paudel (all of Nepal), Ahmed Rilwan Abdulla (Maldives), Zeenat Shahzadi (Pakistan), Joey Estriber (Philippines), and Prageeth Eknaligoda, Subramaniam Ramachandran and Vadivel Nimalarajah (all of Sri Lanka).


The IFJ said: “Enforced disappearances are aimed to spread terror and fear. These 11 cases are indicative of the endemic impunity problem for attacks against journalists in the Asia-Pacific. The lack of progress in the cases only increases the suffering and loss; and serves to stifle press freedom in communities and societies more broadly.”


“The fact that Australia, Nepal, Pakistan and the Philippines are yet to sign [the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances] is also a red card on their human rights responsibilities,” the IFJ said. ...



I disagree with Pauline Hanson on almost everything - except her letter to the Prime Minister about Julian Assange ‏@PaulineHansonOz [28/11/16]



Pauline Hanson's Please Explain [16/2/17]:


Quite a number of you asked if I'd put my speech up relating to ending the parliamentarians gold passes (free flights / travel).

I have to say, thanks to everyone who contributed so quickly to my speech with comments posted to my Facebook page.

It means a great deal to me to have that instant connection with so many of you and to reflect your thoughts on the floor of the Senate.



‏@julianassange [15/2/17]:  Amazing battle for dominance is playing out between the elected US govt & the IC who consider themselves to be the 'permanent government'.



‏@wikileaks [14/2/17] Flynn-Kislyak intercept transcript should be released to the public so everyone can act with complete knowledge ...



Occupy activists talk with Julian Assange about global finance, politics, and direct action. [Journeyman Pictures - 2012]



Oliver Stone’s “Ukraine on Fire” – will we ever see it? [offGuardian - 16/2/17]



... Enough is enough,

It's time for love,

It's time to hear the guitar play ...


'Baltimore', Prince [2015]



Police officers fatally shoot North Carolina man during pursuit [ABC News - 15/2/17]



A newly declassified CIA document explored multiple scenarios of Syrian regime collapse at a time when Hafez al-Assad’s government was embroiled in a covert “dirty war” with Israel and the West, and in the midst of a diplomatic crisis which marked an unprecedented level of isolation for Syria.

 The 24-page formerly classified memo entitled Syria: Scenarios of Dramatic Political Change was produced in July 1986, and had high level distribution within the Reagan administration and to agency directors, including presidential advisers, the National Security Council, and the US ambassador to Syria.

The memo appears in the CIA’s latest CREST release (CIA Records Search Tool) of over 900,000 recently declassified documents.

The memo’s cover letter, drafted by the CIA’s Director of Global Issues (the report itself was prepared by the division’s Foreign Subversion and Instability Center), introduces the purpose of presenting “a number of possible scenarios that could lead to the ouster of President Assad or other dramatic change in Syria.” ... [ICH/Libertarian Institute - 15/2/17]



United States continues bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [CENTCOM - 15/2/17]



Russian, Syrian jets launch 40+ airstrikes over east Aleppo [AMN - 16/2/17]:


The Syrian and Russian air forces conducted over 40 airstrikes above the eastern countryside of Aleppo tonight, targeting the Islamic State’s (ISIS) defenses at several villages inside the Al-Bab Plateau and Deir Hafer Plain, the terrorist group’s official news page claimed on Wednesday. ...



Syrian Army establishes full control over Hayyan gas factory and Jahar station in Homs, foils fierce attack on Daraa city [SANA - 15/2/17]



ISIS has cut off water to Aleppo less than 20 hours after it was restored following an outage that lasted an entire month.

Water was cut off from its main supply source in al-Khafseh area, some 90 km east of Aleppo city. ... [SANA - 15/2/17]



Pentagon confirms use of depleted uranium rounds in Syria [TASS - 15/2/17]:


The report runs contrary to earlier US claims that it had never used depleted uranium in its operation against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

The spokesman said that a total of 5,265 rounds of Armored Piercing Incendiary (DU) using the 5:1 combat mix ratio were used in two operations on November 16 and November 22, 2015. ...



US commander expects tough battle in western Mosul [ - 16/2/17]



‏@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [15/2/17]:


Nineveh: News agencies: "14" civilians including women and children were either killed or wounded as an aerial shelling targeted Aglat flour firm and a home beside it at the right side of Mosul.


Nineveh: Press sources: "3" persons were killed and "6"wounded as US-led coalition shelled a resturant in which displaced families live in Matahin area at the right side of Mosul.


Baghdad: "15" persons were killed and "50" wounded as a car bomb exploded in Habibiya area in Sadr City east of Baghdad.


Baghdad: "4" persons were wounded as an IED exploded in Yusfiya Nahiya south of Baghdad.


Diyala: Civilians were killed as a militant attack targeted them near Abu Seba' Village in Abu Seida Nahiya east of Ba'quba.



... We are all same ... we are all human, and tomorrow it could be you that will be a refugee ...


'The Other Side Of Hope' - screens in Berlin [EURO News - 14/2/17]



German tabloid apologises for falsely reporting about a group of migrants allegedly assaulting women on New Year's Eve  [WPTV - 15/2/17]



@sol2refugees [15/2/17]:  Demo today at the #EllinikoCamp. The horrible #camp of Elliniko is 1 of the worst among almost 40 in all over #Greece. #refugees in protest.



Nine missing and two rescued from shipwreck in the Strait of Gibralter ...  ‏@HelenaMaleno [15/2/17]



@HelenaMaleno [15/2/17]:  25 personas muertas en 36 días en el Estrecho. 25 vidas tragadas por la desigualdad. 25 familias destrozadas. 25 razones para la VergUEnza.



10 arrested in Morocco, Spain for "migrant trafficking [Middle East Online - 14/2/17]



EU: Human rights cost of "refugee deal" with Turkey too high to be replicated elsewhere [Amnesty - 14/2/17]



Did the EU-Turkey deal bring down the number of migrants and of border deaths? [University of Oxford - Faculty of Law - 28/9/16]



Australia's torment and persecution of refugees and asylum seekers won't end until the "deterrence" policy ends ---> ... “I have never been a citizen of anywhere in my life,” Kyar tells the Guardian over sweet tea at a cafe near his home in western Sydney.

“I have always been an illegal. I cannot describe the feeling of this letter. It felt like a new life to me, finally I could start my life, I could have a family, I could be safe and feel secure.”

Kyar carries the letter to this day, carefully folded up in his wallet.

It is dated 11 November 2014.

Still Kyar is not a citizen of this, nor any other country.

Still Kyar waits. ... [Guardian - 16/2/17]



Little white girl saved, and policy intact, as Peter "protected and unaccountable" Dutton continues playing God [Tweed Shire Echo - 16/2/17]:


... The family lodged their applications for permanent residency in April 2015, and following government background, criminal record and skills checks, they were advised in November 2015 they had been refused residency on medical grounds.

Mr Tippett said the decision that Sienna would be ‘a burden to the Australian community’, due to her medical issues, was based on a doctors report who had never seen Sienna.

Determined to continue the life they had established in Australia, Mr Tippett requested Mr Dutton review their case in the hope he would overturn the original decision.

Hoping to influence Mr Dutton’s decision, Mr Tippett launched a petition on website, which attracted almost 30,000 signatures of support.

Once news broke of the families’ plight, their story went viral, appearing on several television and radio programs.

Sienna’s story was also published by print and online media across Australia and the United Kingdom.

After more than six months anxiously waiting, the Tippett family finally got the news they were hoping for last week. ...



Emergency medical evacuation procedures for detainees at the Manus Island detention centre were “ambiguous and deficient” ahead of Hamid Khazaei's death, a coroner’s inquest has heard. ... [SBS - 15/2/17]



"AUSTRALIA WHY ARE YOU KILLING US?" Photos of Australia's refugee concentration camp on Manus Island by political prisoner Behrouz Boochani [Reuters - 15/2/17]



Two uninspiring choices: Government sometimes seems the employer of last resort [ICH/UNZ Review - 15/2/17]:


... The other uninspiring appointee that unfortunately made it through the vetting process is Gina Haspel, who was named as Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency on February 2nd.

She was reportedly involved in the rendition and torture programs ca. 2003-4 and actually was senior officer in charge of one of the overseas prisons located in Thailand, which was the epicenter of the “enhanced interrogation” program and the site where al-Qaeda prisoner Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times, “tortured so brutally that at one point he appeared to be dead.”

In 2005 she also ordered the destruction of the video tapes made of the interrogations to avoid providing evidence to any congressional inquiry into what had gone on.

The appointment of Haspel is a sign that torturing people can be career enhancing if one works for the United States government.

Her promotion was endorsed by the usual suspects including Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former Acting CIA Director Michael Morell, who has recently advocated assassinating Iranians and Russians to send a message that the United States is “serious.” ...



In conversation: Mike Morell, former Acting Director of the CIA [Frank Lowy Institute - 14/2/17]




16 February 2017