In dark times, let’s be skillful enough to learn how to fly in the darkness like bats.

Let’s be healthy enough to vomit the lies we’re obliged to swallow each day.

Let’s be brave enough to have the courage to be alone and brave enough to choose the risk of being together because teeth have no use out of the mouth and fingers make no sense without hands.

Let’s be experienced enough to know that we may be compatriots and contemporaries of all who have a will of beauty and a will of justice no matter where they were born or when they led because we don’t believe in the borders of maps or time.

Let’s be stubborn enough to go on believing, against all evidence, that the human condition is worth the trouble because…we are still unfinished.

Let’s be crazy enough to be called “crazy” like the Argentinean madres in Plaza de Mayo—the “locas,” the nuts—who refused to forget in times of obligatory amnesia.

And let’s be clever enough to be disobedient when we receive orders in contradiction with our conscience—or against common sense.

September 11th, Second Tower: when it was beginning to fall apart, the loudspeakers ordered [people] to go back to work.

Those who obeyed did not survive.

 


-- Eduardo Galeano, May 2006, New York City

 

 

 

Eduardo Galeano in conversation with Arundhati Roy [VIDEO - Democracy Now - 2006]

 

 

... This exclusion of political possibility is reinforced by a corporate media structure, led by the BBC, in which ideas outside the narrow band of establishment consensus are ridiculed and denigrated.

 

Therefore even political ideas which have the consistent support of the majority of the population, such as nationalisation of railways and other natural monopolies including utilities, simply cannot get an airing. ...

 

 

Why Jeremy Corbyn is terrifying the London elite, Craig Murray [ICH - 16/8/15]

 

 

 

The anti rights laws (which the ALP voted for, and never said they would repeal) do not make the Queensland community safe.

 

 

 

Palaszczuk and the US-owned Queensland media are engaging in a charade to sideline any notion that rights (that they and the previous government removed) can be restored.

 

 

 

 

ABC [17/8/15]:

 

 

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says police are entitled to lobby to retain the anti-gang laws that were introduced by her predecessor.

Labor is keeping an election promise by launching a review into the LNP's controversial Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment (VLAD) legislation.

Ms Palaszczuk said it was being chaired by retired Supreme Court judge Alan Wilson.

"On that review panel are the Queensland police, the Queensland Police Union, the Law Society and the Bar Association," she said.

"The police are represented on the review of the laws, so they are entitled to make their views known, and the government will give careful consideration.

"But the premise we start with is zero-tolerance for outlaw motorcycle gangs."

The Premier described talk the VLAD laws will be scrapped as "conjecture".

"The same laws that applied in December last year are being applied now," she said.

"If police need additional resources to combat gangs, I will make those resources available.

"But the Police Commissioner has not raised any issues with me to date."

...

 

 

 

 

Katter's Australian Party has an ultimatum for the minority Queensland government: meet our demands for the bush or we'll withdraw support.

KAP state leader Rob Katter says the Labor government has failed to deliver on more than two dozen policy wishes that his party put forward in February.

He's given the Palaszczuk government 90 days to show action on key goals, which include mandatory 10 per cent ethanol in fuel, and jobs creation, or face losing the support of KAP's two MPs in parliament. ... [West Australian - 16/8/15]

 

 

 


Katter calls for review of Blue Card system [North West Star – 17/8/15]

 

 

 

 

Political, media and union establishment say Queensland doctors happy with continuation of neoliberal health policy if ALP in government [ABC - 16/8/15]

 

 



Melbourne man accused of making $16k donation to branch of Al-Qaeda

 


Nine MSN [17/8/15]:


A Melbourne man has faced court, accused of making almost $16,000 available to a terrorist organisation.

The Australian Federal Police allege that for almost two years, 24-year-old Seabrook man Hassan El Sabsabi used social network Facebook to talk to a man, who claimed to be part of Al-Qaeda.

Mr El Sabsabi is alleged to have made 11 separate transactions to various locations, including Turkey and Egypt, between June 2013 and September 2014.

The AFP believe they were made mainly through money transfer service Western Union and that they were destined for a single person, who claimed to be a foreign fighter, headed for Syria through Turkey.

According to members, the recipient's Facebook page contained references to Al-Nusra, a branch of Al-Qaeda.

The AFP allege at least two of the transactions were sent to the same name.

The Facebook page also allegedly contained photos of the alleged foreign fighter and a dead body.

On September 30 last year, police executed a warrant at Mr El Sabsabi's home.

A HP Pavilion laptop was seized, along with a Samsung Galaxy smartphone and iPhone 5.

The committal hearing before Magistrate Cameron resumes tomorrow, where Mr El Sabsabi is expected to learn if he will face a trial on charges of supporting a terror organisation.

 

 

 

 

 

Former Federal Opposition Leader Mark Latham has resigned as a columnist for The Australian Financial Review newspaper, following allegations he used a parody Twitter account to troll women, including the Australian Defence Force’s highest ranking transgender officer.

...

Mr Latham, who resigned as leader of the Labor party in 2005 after being trounced by Liberal Prime Minister John Howard at the October 2004 election, has previously used his column to suggest Australian of the Year Rosie Batty had commercialised her son’s murder. ... [Nine MSN - 17/8/15]

 

 

 

 

Convicted murderder also sentenced for child porn


Nine MSN [17/8/15]:

 

Almost four months after he was sentenced for the murder of Sydney man Morgan Huxley, Daniel Jack Kelsall found himself back in the dock, this time on child pornography charges.

But the six months he was handed at Central Local Court on Monday will have little impact on the 22-year-old killer, with Magistrate Alex Mijovich saying there was no benefit in adding time to his 30-year sentence for murder.

Police happened upon the images while they were searching his parents' Neutral Bay home on Sydney's north shore during their investigation into Mr Huxley's death in October 2013.

The majority are animated depictions of young children involved in sexually explicit conduct.

The images were on the lower end of the spectrum as they did not contain actual children, only computer generated ones.

Kelsall, who came up to the dock in a crumpled grey, pin-stripe suit, made no reaction as the sentence was handed down.

It comes after Justice Robert Allan Hulme described Kelsall's killing of Mr Huxley on September 8, 2013 as the work of a very disturbed mind.

Kelsall first spotted Mr Huxley at the Oaks Hotel in Neutral Bay and then followed him from the pub to his unit nearby.

When he realised the door was left open, Kelsall went inside and attacked the 31-year-old as he lay either asleep or incapacitated by alcohol.

He indecently assaulted him before plunging a knife into him more than 20 times.

Describing it as a "chilling case of murder", Justice Hulme sentenced him to a minimum of 30 years and a maximum of 40 years in prison.

"Whether the offender killed for the thrill of it ... or whether it was as a result of fantasy or obsession I am unable to say. It was entirely senseless and needless," he added.

Kelsall's parents, who sat in the gallery throughout his murder trial, were not in court on Monday.

 

 

 

 

 

A young boy who was raped during his time at a Victorian youth training centre was made to have shock treatment to "cure his homosexuality", the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard. ... [ABC - 17/8/15

 

 

 

 

Unlawful wounding, Thornlands

 

 

 

QPS Media [17/8/15]:

 

 

 

A man has been charged following an assault that occurred in Thornlands this afternoon.

Shortly after midday, police were called to a disturbance at an address on Woodlands Drive and located a 32-year-old woman with a puncture wound to her back.

She was transported to the Princess Alexandra Hospital where she underwent surgery and is in a stable condition.

A 29-year-old Thornlands man has been charged with one count of unlawful wounding and is due to appear in the Cleveland Magistrates Court tomorrow.

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

 

 


Man charged over stand-off at Upper Coomera

 


ABC [17/8/15]:



Charges against a man allegedly involved in a seven-hour stand-off on Queensland's Gold Coast have been mentioned in Southport Magistrates Court.

Officers were called to an Upper Coomera home shortly before 12:30pm after reports of a disturbance.

Police allege 27-year-old Bronson Wessels made threats and officers declared an emergency situation.

Police said he was alone inside the home in Elk Court, and officers continued negotiating with him.

Wessels was eventually taken into custody and the emergency situation was revoked shortly after 7:00pm.

He was charged with possessing explosives, going armed as to cause fear, serious assault and obstructing police.

Wessels did not appear in court this morning and the matter has been adjourned until next month.

 


 

 

Grievous bodily harm charge, Woolloongabba

 


QPS Media [17/8/15]:


Police have charged a woman following an assault that occurred in Woolloongabba this afternoon.

Police were called to an address on Wilton Street around 2.45pm following reports that a woman had been assaulted.

A 38-year-old woman was taken to the Princess Alexandra Hospital with a laceration to her chest and is in a serious condition.

Police took a woman into custody at the scene.

A 43-year-old Woollongabba woman has been charged with one count of grievous bodily harm and is due to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court tomorrow.

 

 

 

 


Two men charged with slavery offences have been remanded in custody after appearing in a Brisbane court. ... [Yahoo - 17/8/15]

 

 

 

 


A small southeast Queensland town devastated by deadly floodwaters in 2011 would suffer the same consequences if a similar amount of rain was to hit the area again.

That's the view of civil engineer John Macintosh, who was asked to consider what impact Grantham's quarry and railway embankment had on flooding levels and intensity in the town when 12 lives were lost on January 10, 2011. ... [Yahoo - 17/8/15]

 



Update: serious traffic crash, Rosalie


QPS Media [17/8/15]:


Police investigating a traffic crash that occurred on August 14 have charged a man.

Around 6.50pm, a male skateboarder [was hit by a] and a [grey Mercedes Benz] sedan have collided on the intersection of Baroona Road and Nash Street.

The male skateboard rider was taken to hospital where he remains in a serious but stable condition.

A 52-year-old man has issued with a notice to appear for failure to make reasonable endeavours to obtain medical aid.

He is due to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on September 2.

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


 


Firefighters battling house blaze at Greenbank

 

Brisbane Times [17/8/15]:


Firefighters are battling a blaze in Logan that has badly damaged a house.

Footage from Seven News shows flames engulfing the property at Banyulla Street in Greenbank.

A Queensland Fire and Emergency spokesman said crews were called to the scene just after 2pm on Monday.

The house was well alight when crews arrived.

He said the occupants managed to escape without injury.

Paramedics are expected to remain at the scene until the fire is brought under control.

 

 

 


Suspicious fire, Bowen Hills

 

 

QPS Media [16/8/15]:


Police are investigating following a suspicious fire at a block of units in Bowen Hills yesterday.

Around 7pm police and emergency services were called to the premises on Cintra Road following reports of a fire.

Fire services extinguished the blaze which caused moderate damage to the building. Two men were safely evacuated from their units during the incident and no one was injured.

The fire is being treated as suspicious with investigations into the cause of the fire continuing.

Police are appealing for anyone that may have witnessed anything suspicious in the area around the time of the incident to contact Crime Stoppers.

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


 


Rangers kill another dingo on Fraser Island


Yahoo [17/8/15]:


… The male dog was destroyed by Queensland Parks and Wildlife officers following the latest incident on Sunday, when a 19-year-old man was bitten on the thigh while he was on the beach.

A month earlier it bit a woman on both legs in an attack which saw it fitted with a satellite tracking collar, allowing rangers to better understand, monitor and capture [torture] the dog.

 


 

I hope the fact Australia is torturing refugees SEVERELY DAMAGES OUR BID to be on the UN Human Rights Council!

 

 

WE FUCKING DESERVE IT.

 

 

 

I really think Australians are sick of being lectured to by the United Nations, particularly, particularly given that we have stopped the boats, and by stopping the boats, we have ended the deaths at sea.  <--- LIE

 

 

 

Tony Abbott: Australians 'sick of being lectured to' by United Nations, after report finds anti-torture breach [SMH - 10/3/15]

 

 

 

 

 

Australian politicians living under rocks as they continue passing increasingly fascist laws.

 

 

 

Yahoo [17/8/15]:

 

 

An independent senator hopes allegations that asylum seekers on Nauru have been subjected to water-boarding don't damage Australia's bid for a spot on the United Nations' human rights council.

An unnamed Wilson Security guard made the explosive allegation in a submission to a Senate inquiry examining abuse at the centre.

"Any allegation such as water-boarding must be taken seriously," Senator Nick Xenophon told reporters in Canberra on Monday.

...

 

 

Debate on the Migration Amendment (Maintaining the Good Order of Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2015 resumes in the Senate this week

 

 

... We risk erasing the distinction between us and secular and theocratic dictatorships past and present.  ...

 

 

Fred Chaney [Senator 1974 to 1990.]


 

Guardian [16/4/15]:


A former Victorian Supreme Court Judge says new powers proposed for guards in immigration detention centres would in effect authorise them “to beat asylum seekers to death”.

In extraordinary evidence to a Senate hearing on Thursday, Stephen Charles SC said the migration amendment (Maintaining the Good Order of Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2015 would substantially expand the powers granted to guards in detention centres in a way that would “inevitably encourage violence by guards against asylum seekers”.

The new powers would allow immigration officers – which may include private contractors – to use “reasonable force against any person” if the officer believes it is necessary to protect the life, health or safety of people in detention or to maintain the good order, peace or security of a detention centre.

Such powers potentially give staff with a low level of training a greater level of immunity than that granted to state and federal police forces.

Charles, who sat on the Victorian court of appeal until 2006, said the standard proposed in the bill would introduce a similar test to those that have been considered in the US, and drew parallels with the recent shooting of Walter Scott by the police officer Michael Slager.

“Time and again police in the United States have been acquitted in circumstances such as these,” Charles said.

“These amendments to the Migration Act will in effect authorise guards to beat asylum seekers to death on the basis they reasonably believe it is necessary … to do so.”

He said the fact there would be “no effective way to take proceedings against the commonwealth” would further encourage guards to use excessive force in detention centres, and described the training requirements proposed in the explanatory memorandum of the bill as a “joke in extremely bad taste”.

The bill will give the commonwealth, private companies and guards immunity from civil and criminal liability unless it could be demonstrated that the use of force was not in good faith.

...

 

 

 

Senate Hansard [11/8/15]:



Senator WRIGHT (South Australia) (15:54): I ask that general business notice of motion No. 782 standing in my name for today, relating to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, be taken as a formal motion.

The PRESIDENT: Is there any objection to this motion being taken as formal?

Senator Moore: Yes.

The PRESIDENT: There is an objection.

Senator WRIGHT: I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator WRIGHT: I am greatly concerned that the government has chosen to deny me a chance to put this important motion to expedite the ratification of OPCAT, the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture. This OPCAT was voluntarily signed up to by an Australian government in 2009, and since then both Labor and coalition governments have inexplicably dragged their feet in its ratification. OPCAT would ensure independent monitoring and reporting on places of detention in Australia, all those places where some of the most overlooked marginalised and powerless people are kept detained: prisoners in jails and police lockups, patients in psychiatric facilities, young people in juvenile detention, and asylum seekers. With very recent examples of deaths in custody and cruel and inhumane treatment of people detained, it is very disappointing that I have been prevented from putting this motion today. It is crucial to fully ratify the protocol and set clear time frames to implement. Australia's own good standing is at stake.

Senator FIFIELD (Victoria—Manager of Government Business in the Senate and Assistant Minister for Social Services) (15:55): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator FIFIELD: Just for the sake of accuracy, while the government does not support Senator Wright's motion, it was the opposition that denied formality on this occasion.

Senator MOORE (Queensland) (15:56): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator MOORE: Yes, Senator Wright, we did deny formality to this important motion, because it is our longstanding practice. Where we have an issue such as this which is complex and creates a number of complex situations and also determines significant discussions across all states and territories, we believe it is not appropriate to use the notice of motion process for that, and that is our standard practice.

 

 

 

 

No matter your view on asylum seekers and offshore detention, a prohibition on torture is something we can all support, writes Greens Senator Penny Wright, who will present a motion to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture to Parliament today. ... [Lawyers Weekly - 11/8/15]

 

 

 

 

 

How many refugees have Australia's secretive, isolationist and murderous refugee policies condemned to death? ---->   The names of 17,306 people who have drowned crossing the Mediterranean laid out at entrance of European Parliament  via @marcuschown [16/8/15]

 

 

 

‏@AedenPillai [17/8/15]:  @SUHAKAM Commiss. James Nayagam [Human Rights Commissioner of Malaysia tells] @forum_asia consult: 1500 migrant #children in detention in #Malaysia /cc @AmnestyMy

 

 

 

 

Australia stopped accepting UNHCR refugees in October 2014.

 

 

 

 

City Square on a cold Melbourne afternoon, speaking out against detention and deportations to danger.

 

 

 

 

Image:  @racvictoria - Refugee Action Collective, Victoria [17/8/15]

 

 

 

Indefinite detention is torture.

 

 

 

We are sick of people being tortured.

 

 

 

"Failed" refugee locked in newly built torture compound at Australia's death camp on Manus Island.

 

 

 

In Senate question time Di Natale asked Cash why Hanson-Young was spied on - thus allowing Cash to continue lying about stopping the boats.

 

 

 

UNHCR, Amnesty, lawyers associations and other human rights groups say NOTHING.

 

 

 

Australian media continue their blackout.

 

 

 

RNZI [AUDIO - 17/8/15]:

 

An Australia-based refugee advocate says an Iranian asylum seeker on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island whose refugee application has been rejected twice has been locked in a solitary confinement unit.

The Refugee Action Coalition's Ian Rintoul says up to six PNG police officers walked into a compound at the Australia-run detention centre on Thursday and took the 27-year-old to the newly-built unit.

Mr Rintoul says the man could be held in the unit indefinitely, as he refuses to leave and because Papua New Guinea has no agreement with Iran to accept the forced removal of asylum seekers.

He told Jamie Tahana that he believes the raid and the use of solitary confinement is a show of force by PNG authorities to try and get people to agree to return voluntarily.

...

 

 

 

 

 

Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney [14/8/15]:

 

 

... “The use of force is designed to coerce people into signing to return ‘voluntarily’.”

The action against the ‘double-negatives’ also comes on the eve of final directions hearings for Supreme Court challenge in Port Moresby, scheduled for Monday 17 August.

“The Immigration Department is trying to pre-empt the Supreme Court challenge, “ said [Ian] Rintoul.

“We will seek injunctions in the Supreme Court to prevent any removals from Manus Island, before there is a final consideration of the Supreme Court constitutional challenge to the detention centre,” said Rintoul.

“The Australian and PNG government have been abusing asylum seekers human rights since they were first moved to Manus Island. The Immigration Department would like nothing better that to remove some of the evidence by getting some of them to sign to return to their countries.”

...

 

 

New Zealand:  Welcome to the brave new world of ethics free, US-style punishment health care

 

 

 

Standard practice in Australia's private health facilities.

 

 

 

RNZI [17/8/15]:

 

 

A woman receiving palliative care at an Oamaru rest home was in so much agony her daughter felt she needed to bring additional pain medication from home, a report says.

Health and Disability Commissioner Rose Wall today released a report in which she slams two nurses for not alerting staff or doctors that non-prescribed medicine was being given.

The 57-year-old patient had advanced pancreatic cancer and was in severe pain multiple times within four days leading up to her death in 2013.

Ms Wall said during this time no one at the Rendell on Reed rest home performed a pain assessment and her vital signs were not checked.

She recommended the nursing council check to see if there should be a competency review of the two nurses involved.

 

 

 

 

Nauru Opposition MP's passport appeal to go through

 

 

RNZI [17/8/15]:

 

 

The Chief Justice in Nauru has rejected a government move to strike out Roland Kun's appeal to get his passport back.

The suspended opposition MP has been challenging the authorities' decision to cancel his travel document, which has left him unable to return to his family living in New Zealand.

He was pulled off a plane by authorities in June amid anti-government protests on the island, with the government alleging he was a national security risk.

At a court hearing on Monday the Chief Justice found Mr Kun should have directed his appeal to the justice minister, not the Secretary for Justice, and directed him to apply to have his notice of appeal formally amended.

The application is expected to be made on Tuesday.

 

 

 

 

Cambodia:  Opposition senator arrested, charged on Hun Sen’s orders [Cambodia Daily - 17/8/15]

 

 



Opposition demonstrators shoot, injure 11 Ecuadorean officials [teleSUR – 16/8/15]


 

 

US tried to woo Ecuador indigenous leaders: WikiLeaks [teleSUR – 7/8/15]

 

 

 

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators returned to the streets in dozens of Brazilian cities on Sunday to call for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, blaming her for a vast corruption scandal and the economy's worst slump in a quarter century. ... [Reuters - 16/8/15]

 

 

 

GM employees in Brazil block highway to protest layoffs [Latin American Herald Tribune - 15/8/15]

 

 

 

Israeli forces disperse protest over hunger striker in Ashkelon [Maan - 16/8/15]

 

 

 

Israeli settler allegedly runs over Palestinian teen near Nablus [Maan - 16/8/15]

 

 

 

For days, neighbours, friends and family have been gathering at the home of Abdullah Abu Nab in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan, hoping to stop his family's looming eviction.

A recent ruling from Israel's Supreme Court gave Abu Nab's family - comprised of 16 people living in two separate homes - until August 11 to leave.

The ruling determined that Jewish settlers were entitled to the land, based on a presumption of historical Jewish ownership. 

But Abu Nab says he has no intention of complying. Instead, he has erected a makeshift tent in front of his home, lined up plastic chairs, and ensured the supply of coffee never runs low for the friends and neighbours who visit every evening, amid a significant police presence.

"My family has been renting this house since 1948," Abu Nab told Al Jazeera, noting his family had been previously expelled from the Jurat el-Anab neighbourhood in present-day West Jerusalem, which fell under Israeli control after the Arab-Israeli war in 1948.  ... [Al Jazeera - 16/8/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Israeli government on Sunday approved a major deal with a consortium including U.S. firm Noble Energy on natural offshore gas production in the Mediterranean, the prime minister's office said.  ... [Naharnet - 16/8/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morsi appeals death sentence in Egyptian court [Al Jazeera - 17/8/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi signed into law a controversial anti-terrorism legislation which was drafted by the cabinet in early July, Ahram Arabic news website reported on Sunday evening.

When it was first issued, the draft legislation stirred strong criticism within the Journalists Syndicate and among media workers, who claim the bill would curtail press freedoms.

Article 33 had threatened a minimum two-year sentence as punishment for "reporting false information on terrorist attacks in Egypt which contradict official statements."

The cabinet, a month ago, agreed to scrap jail sentences under Article 33, but replaced them with hefty fines between LE200,000 to LE500,000 (approximately $26,000 to $66,000).

The amendment didn't soothe critics since a fine within that range would be beyond the means of many journalists. The contentious article has become number 35 in the final draft of the 54-article law, which has been effective upon ratification. ... [Ahram - 16/8/15]

 

 

 

 

 

Air strikes kill 40 "militants" in NW Pakistan: Military [Ahram - 16/8/15]

 

 

 

 

 

@UNICEF [15/8/15]:   “Everything is gone. What remains are only memories. Please stop the war” Ommar, 13. #YemenChildren ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

US to withdraw Patriot missiles from Turkey in October [Ahram - 16/8/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Republic of Korea – United States Combined Forces Command will conduct the annual exercise Ulchi Freedom Guardian 2015 Aug. 17 to Aug. 28.

UFG is a routine and defense-oriented exercise designed to enhance CFC readiness, protect the region and maintain stability on the Korean peninsula. UFG is planned months in advance and it is not connected to any current world events. U.S. forces will join ROK military forces representing all services, and ROK government participants.

There are seven United Nations Command Sending States scheduled to participate in UFG 2015, including Australia, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. In addition, the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission will monitor the exercise to ensure it is in compliance with the Armistice Agreement. ... Australia participates in another provocative military exercise with the United States [USFK Media Release - 14/8/15]

 

 

 

United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria

 

 

 

US Department Of Defense [16/8/15]:

 

U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Airstrikes in Syria

Attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted seven airstrikes in Syria:

-- Near Al Hasakah, three airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed six ISIL fighting positions, three ISIL bunkers and two ISIL excavators.

-- Near Aleppo, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Ayn Isa, two airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and an ISIL resupply vehicle.

-- Near Kobani, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions.

Airstrikes in Iraq

Attack, bomber, fighter, fighter-attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 15 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with the government of Iraq:

-- Near Al Qaim, one airstrike struck an ISIL staging facility.

-- Near Bayji, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL car bomb.

-- Near Fallujah, four airstrikes struck land features denying ISIL a tactical advantage and destroyed two ISIL buildings, an ISIL VBIED, two ISIL heavy machine guns and an ISIL obstruction.

-- Near Habbaniyah, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed three ISIL vehicles and an ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Kirkuk, one airstrike struck an ISIL mortar firing position.

-- Near Makhmur, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL mortar tube and an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Mosul, four airstrikes struck three ISIL tactical units and destroyed 10 ISIL excavators, six ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL anti-aircraft artillery piece, an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Ramadi, two airstrikes struck one large and one small ISIL tactical units and destroyed seven ISIL buildings and an ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Sinjar, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed four ISIL fighting positions.

...

 

 

Sicily receives hundreds of refugees rescued from Mediterranean

 

 

 

EURO News [16/8/15]:

 

Sicily has received some of the 719 people rescued from the Mediterranean on Saturday.

Three operations were carried out, coordinated by the Italian Coast Guard.

A group of 420 arrived in Augusta, in the south east of the island.

A Civil Protection Officer described the situation: “They left from Alexandria, Egypt, ten days ago. They have arrived here in the Port of Augusta on two different ships, one from the Croatian Coast Guard and one from the Italian finance police. There are many families, many children, mainly from Iraq, but also from Libya,” said Marco Bertoni.

The group underwent medical examinations before beginning the process of applying for papers to stay in Europe.

They could be considered the lucky ones.

 On the same day, 49 people were found dead in the hold of a waterlogged boat, some 34 kilometres off the coast of Libya. They are believed to have suffocated as a result of inhaling fuel fumes. A group of 312 people was rescued from the same boat.

A Norwegian rescue vessel is expected to take them to Catania, Sicily, on Monday (August 17).

 

 

 

Australian media defends the oppressor. Refugees denied any right of reply. [Transfield Services sets the record straight - Media Release - 17/8/15]

 

 

Andrew Wilkie MP's submission to the International Criminal Court is old news. Why he hasn't followed it up as a matter of urgency -  or included the ALP in his submission-  IS newsworthy.

 

Why are Australian journalists, Greens, lawyers associations and Human Rights Organisations not SCREAMING about this bill - which will probably pass the Senate this week?

 

 

Why?  

 

 

 

If you think politicians who sneakily pass a bill legalising the killing of refugees in detention centres genuinely care about equality, you're a MUG.

 

 

 

Submissions to Migration Amendment (Maintaining the Good Order of Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2015:


... Reza Barati was beaten to death with a rock, inside an Australian-funded immigration detention centre facility. Many others were injured that same night.

Video footage has emerged from Manus Island which provides evidence of injuries sustained by asylum seekers when a hunger strike was ended by the use of force in January this year.

This Bill provides an open licence for further deaths and injuries to occur both onshore and offshore, at the hands of authorised officers.

It will remove the power of the courts to impose penalties on those responsible. ...


The Hon Stephen Charles QC.

 



... We risk erasing the distinction between us and secular and theocratic dictatorships past and present.

...

 

Fred Chaney [Senator 1974 to 1990.]

 


 

 

Senate Hansard [11/8/15]:



Senator WRIGHT (South Australia) (15:54): I ask that general business notice of motion No. 782 standing in my name for today, relating to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, be taken as a formal motion.

The PRESIDENT: Is there any objection to this motion being taken as formal?

Senator Moore: Yes.

The PRESIDENT: There is an objection.

Senator WRIGHT: I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator WRIGHT: I am greatly concerned that the government has chosen to deny me a chance to put this important motion to expedite the ratification of OPCAT, the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture. This OPCAT was voluntarily signed up to by an Australian government in 2009, and since then both Labor and coalition governments have inexplicably dragged their feet in its ratification. OPCAT would ensure independent monitoring and reporting on places of detention in Australia, all those places where some of the most overlooked marginalised and powerless people are kept detained: prisoners in jails and police lockups, patients in psychiatric facilities, young people in juvenile detention, and asylum seekers. With very recent examples of deaths in custody and cruel and inhumane treatment of people detained, it is very disappointing that I have been prevented from putting this motion today. It is crucial to fully ratify the protocol and set clear time frames to implement. Australia's own good standing is at stake.

Senator FIFIELD (Victoria—Manager of Government Business in the Senate and Assistant Minister for Social Services) (15:55): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator FIFIELD: Just for the sake of accuracy, while the government does not support Senator Wright's motion, it was the opposition that denied formality on this occasion.

Senator MOORE (Queensland) (15:56): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator MOORE: Yes, Senator Wright, we did deny formality to this important motion, because it is our longstanding practice. Where we have an issue such as this which is complex and creates a number of complex situations and also determines significant discussions across all states and territories, we believe it is not appropriate to use the notice of motion process for that, and that is our standard practice.

 

 

 

No matter your view on asylum seekers and offshore detention, a prohibition on torture is something we can all support, writes Greens Senator Penny Wright, who will present a motion to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture to Parliament today. ... [Lawyers Weekly - 11/8/15]

 

 

 

 

Exceptionalist, isolationist Australia leaves region to pick up the pieces of its murderous refugee policy

 

 

The 8th Regional Consultation on Migration and Human Rights in ASEAN (17-18 August 2015 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) [Forum-Asia]:


On the 17-18 August 2015 the 8th Regional Consultation on ASEAN and Human Rights – Migration and Human Rights in ASEAN will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The Regional Consultation on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Human Rights is a yearly initiative of Southeast Asian civil society organisations (CSOs) led by the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) and the SAPA Task Force on ASEAN and Human Rights (TFAHR).

The Regional Consultation serves as a platform for strengthening engagement of civil society with the ASEAN Human Rights Mechanisms, namely the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) and the ASEAN Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC), as well as for analysing the human rights situation in the ASEAN region.

Participants will this year will include: civil society organizations from ASEAN countries; representatives of the AICHR and the ACWC; international non-governmental organizations (NGOs); academics; members of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs); representatives of ASEAN Member States; and journalists.

The focus of this years’ Regional Consultation is in recognition of migration having become one of the core issue of concern in the ASEAN region.

This reality is exacerbated even more by ASEAN’s desire, as laid out in Article 2.6 of the ASEAN Charter, “to create single market and production base which is stable, prosperous, highly competitive and economically integrated with effective facilitation for trade and investment which there is free flow of goods, services and investment; facilitated movement of business persons, professionals, talents and labour; and freer flow of capital”.

ASEAN’s efforts to address and develop policies and instruments on migration in the region cover not only issues on migrant workers, but also on human trafficking, conflicts, statelessness and more.

Recognizing the existing challenges in ensuring the protection of the human rights of migrants and the various efforts towards this, the key objectives of the 8th Regional Consultation on ASEAN and Human Rights are:

a) To identify, map and scope the human rights issues which migrants in the ASEAN region currently face, particularly in the context of the launch of the ASEAN Community in 2015;

b) To provide a platform for dialogue, solidarity and coordination of activities focussed on the promotion and protection of the human rights of migrants between civil society, NHRIs, and other relevant stakeholders in the ASEAN region; and

c) To provide a platform for dialogue between CSOs and the existing human rights mechanisms of ASEAN, particularly the AICHR and the ACWC.

...

 

 

 

 

 

Which country on this map of  South East Asia is a supposedly a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention?

 


 

Global Rohingya Centre opens branch in Istanbul [Anadolu Agency – 16/8/15]:


 

The Global Rohingya Center has opened an office in Istanbul to provide support to Rohingya Muslims.

Abdullah Maruf, the head of the center, told Anadolu Agency that a branch was opened in Istanbul because they believed Turkey would stand by Rohingya Muslims.

The Rohingya are largely stateless and have been described by the United Nations as one of the most persecuted groups in the world.

Tens of thousands have fled Myanmar on crowded boats in recent years.

 

 

 

Rakhines impose blockade in Mrauk U village to prevent aid access [Burma Times - 17/8/15

 

 

 

Village administrator seize relief from Rohingyas [Burma Times - 17/8/15]

 

 

 

Flood affected Rohingyas in Kyauktaw have appealed to international relief organisations and media personal in the area to visit their villages and find out the actual situation for themselves and not depend on information propagated by the government. ... [Burma Times - 16/8/15]

 

 

 

 

ALP and LNP vote against Greens Senate motion to save Rohingya [Senate Hansard - 24/6/15]:



Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (15:39): I move:


That the Senate—

(a) expresses concern at the disturbing reports aired on the Four Corners television program on 22 June 2015;

(b) notes:

(i) that only 412 Rohingyans have been resettled in Australia through Australia's humanitarian program since 2008, and

(ii) the Government's recent refusal to provide assistance or resettlement for Rohingyans currently in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, and stranded at sea off these three countries; and

(c) urges the Government to:

(i) contribute to the search and rescue mission for thousands of migrants, including Rohingyans, currently stranded at sea,

(ii) resettle some of the Rohingyan migrants rescued by Indonesia and Malaysia, and

(iii) resettle an increased number of Rohingyans in the 2015 humanitarian program, increasing the number of the program if necessary.


The PRESIDENT: The question is that the motion be agreed to.

 

The Senate divided [15:39]

(The President—Senator Parry)

 

Ayes ...................... 13

Noes ...................... 33

Majority ................. 20



AYES



Di Natale, R

Hanson-Young, SC

Lazarus, GP

Ludlam, S

Madigan, JJ

Milne, C

Rhiannon, L

Rice, J

Siewert, R (teller)

Waters, LJ

Whish-Wilson, PS

Wright, PL

Xenophon, N



NOES



Back, CJ

Bilyk, CL

Brown, CL

Bullock, J.W.

Bushby, DC

Cameron, DN

Canavan, M.J.

Colbeck, R

Edwards, S

Fawcett, DJ

Fifield, MP

Gallagher, KR

Heffernan, W

Ketter, CR

Leyonhjelm, DE

Lindgren, JM

Lines, S

Marshall, GM

McEwen, A (teller)

McGrath, J

McKenzie, B

McLucas, J

Moore, CM

Nash, F

O'Neill, DM

Parry, S

Peris, N

Polley, H

Ruston, A

Ryan, SM

Urquhart, AE

Wang, Z

Williams, JR


Question negatived.

 

 

 

Jailed Papuan activist rejects Indonesia's freedom offer

 

 

 

RNZI [17/8/15]:

 

 

The jailed West Papua political activist, Filep Karma, has rejected an offer of remission on Indonesia's National Independence Day, saying he will only accept an unconditional release.

Mr Karma is serving a 15-year jail sentence for treason after he raising the banned Morning Star flag at a political rally in 2004.

The former public servant was told he could be freed from Abepura prison on Indonesia's Independence Day, August 17, due to usual remissions in a sentence for good behaviour.

But Mr Karma rejected the package of release on the national holiday.

He said he would be happy to walk free the day after, if his release was "unconditional".

In an open letter from his cell at Abepura prison, Karma said he did not commit any crime by raising the flag, and will continue to campaign for West Papuan independence.

In 2011, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said that Filep Karma's detention was arbitrary because he was imprisoned for the exercise of his rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

Karma has rejected several clemency offers by Indonesia in the past in a defiant stand against Indonesian rule in Papua region.

One of these offers came during a visit to Papua province in May by Indonesia's President Joko Widodo who presided over a ceremony to formalise the release of five Papuan political prisoners.

However a subsequent plan by the president to pardon up to 90 political prisoners in Papua region was rejected by Indonesia's House of Representatives.

 

 

 

Rescuers head to site of air crash in Papua

 

 

 

Channel News Asia [17/8/15]:

 

 

 

Rescue teams were heading to the site of an air crash in rugged eastern Indonesia on Monday after villagers found the wreckage of a passenger plane which went missing with 54 people aboard, officials said.

The plane operated by Indonesian carrier Trigana Air lost contact with air traffic control just before 3.00pm (2.00pm Singapore time) on Sunday (Aug 16) after taking off from Jayapura, the capital of Papua province, the search and rescue agency said.

The ATR 42-300 twin-turboprop plane was carrying 44 adult passengers, five children and five crew on the flight which was scheduled to take about 45 minutes, it said.

But the plane disappeared about 10 minutes before reaching its destination Oksibil, a remote settlement in the mountains south of Jayapura, shortly after it asked permission to start descending to land.

Officials said initially that villagers in the Okbape district of Papua reported seeing a plane crash. The transport ministry later said local residents had found the wreckage.

"The plane has been found (by villagers). According to residents, the flight had crashed into a mountain," said the transport ministry's director-general of air transportation, Suprasetyo, who goes by one name.

Officials were still verifying the information from local residents, he said. There was no information about whether anyone may have survived. Search and rescue teams, police and the military would head to the site as soon as possible on Monday, said transport ministry spokesman J. A. Barata.

...

 

 

 

Indonesian airliner carrying 54 people found crashed in Oktabe, Papua [Guardian - 16/8/15]

 

 


Manhunt after two assailants shoot police officer near Paris


France 24 [16/8/15]:


French authorities are searching for two assailants who shot a police officer in a government security building in the Paris suburb of Pantin on Sunday.

Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said the officer surprised the two attackers during his rounds early Sunday.

One of the assailants grabbed the officer's sidearm and shot him.

A national police official, speaking anonymously as per custom, told AP the policeman was hospitalised but his life was not in danger.

Special security forces surrounded and searched the building in the suburb of Pantin for the two suspects but did not find them, Brandet said on FRANCE 24.

Brandet added that “at this early stage in the investigation we believe that this was probably a burglary that went wrong” at the interior ministry complex, which includes a police vehicle garage.

...

 

 

Indiana: Chemical spill causes evacuation and hospitalisations


 

WTHITV10 [15/8/15]:

Vigo County Central Dispatch confirmed a chemical spill Saturday evening on Erie Canal Road on the south side of Terre Haute.

Officials told our crew on the scene that the exact location was 2400 Erie Canal Road which is the address for Hydrite Chemical Co. and near the intersection of Erie Canal Rd and E Voorhees Street.

Originally they stated that the chemical was sulfuric acid – but firefighters on the scene reported later that it was sulfur dioxide.

Those in the area were evacuated and officials were blocking many streets near the area.

Callers were telling News 10 that they could smell and taste the chemicals.

Many people were at the Terre Haute Quarter Midget track when the spill happened. Callers were stating that their lungs began to burn and as they were evacuating they had to use their shirts to cover their faces.

Our crew on the scene was told that those needing medical attention were taken to Regional Hospital.

Just before 10 p.m. Terre Haute Regional Hospital released a statement saying a total of 15 people were seen; of those only three had to be admitted for further testing and treatment.

“We do drills for situations like this, and we handled the real-life situation very well,” explained Chief Nursing Officer Angela Ellis. “A hospital emergency room is typically a busy place on a weekend night. Adding 15 patients to the mix at one time made it a little more hectic than usual, but we were able to handle it. I’m proud of the way we worked together-our firefighters and EMS, doctors, staff, housekeeping–everyone. I’m just glad the injuries weren’t more serious.”

...

 

 

Greek opposition party refuses to back PM in any confidence vote



Reuters [16/8/15]:


Greece's socialist PASOK party joined the main opposition on Sunday in saying it would not back Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras if he calls a confidence vote following a rebellion in the governing party over a new bailout deal.

Tsipras had to rely on opposition groups including PASOK to win a parliamentary majority on Friday in favour of the 86 billion euro bailout programme, Greece's third with international creditors since 2010.

By contrast, Tsipras suffered the biggest rebellion yet among anti-bailout lawmakers from his leftist Syriza party, forcing him to consider a confidence vote that would pave the way for early elections if he loses.

PASOK made clear that while it had backed the government over bailout for the sake of saving Greece from financial ruin, that support would not extend to any confidence vote in the coming weeks.

The party blamed Tsipras and Panos Kammenos, who leads the minority partner in the coalition government, for the fact that Greece had to take yet another bailout with tough austerity and reform conditions demanded by the euro zone and IMF.

"The government has signed the third and most onerous bailout. All the negative consequences for the country and its citizens bear the signatures of Mr Tsipras and Mr Kammenos," the party said in a statement. "We have no confidence in the Tsipras-Kammenos government and of course will not give it if we are asked."

PASOK, once the dominant force on the Greek left, now has just 13 members in the 300 seat parliament but Tsipras may need all the support he can get. Crucially, it did not say whether it would vote against the government, or merely abstain.

On Friday, support for the government from within its own coalition parties fell below 120 votes, the minimum needed to survive a confidence vote if some others abstain.

The main conservative opposition party, New Democracy, has also said it would not back the government, which won power in January on promises to reverse austerity policies. Tsipras was forced to back down to secure the new deal.

Opinion polls show Tsipras remains popular, even though he presided over the closure of banks for three weeks, the imposition of capital controls and a near brush with financial collapse. This has raised doubts about how much the opposition parties may want to force new elections.

A government official said earlier on Sunday that until Greece had secured the new funding, it would focus solely on the technicalities which need to be wrapped up.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Tsipras would hold meetings with government officials after Aug. 20, when a 3.2 billion euro debt payment to the European Central Bank falls due, "in order to determine further moves".

 

 


 

17 August 2015

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