Peshmerga operations continue; 167 killed in Iraq [ - 16/8/16]



Rocket attacks on Salah Eddin neighborhood in Aleppo kill 10 civilians, injure 16 [SANA - 17/8/16]



Nine months pregnant and desperate to cross from Italy into Switzerland after fleeing Ethiopia, a young woman along with her husband are among hundreds stranded by a Swiss border clampdown that is drawing international scrutiny.

Swiss authorities reject accusations they are violating would-be refugees' rights to seek asylum.

But a growing throng of migrants waiting near Como in northern Italy and aid workers tell a different story: The Swiss border is effectively closed. ... [Reuters - 16/8/16]



The director of the police border guards, Antonio Angelov, and his deputy Yotko Andreev stepped down on Monday after Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borissov demanded their resignations.

Borissov’s call followed media reports that revealed that an entrepreneur charged with smuggling undocumented migrants to Bulgaria won a public tender from the interior ministry for transportation of migrants who have been arrested inside the country to accommodation centres. ... [Balkan Insight - 16/8/16]



Greek coast guard rescue 59 refugees in Aegean off Kos [Ekathimerini - 17/8/16]



Turkish coast guard capture refugees trying to cross Aegean, transports them to deportation centre [Anadolu Agency - 17/8/16]



‏@IntMHR [17/8/16]:  Countdown to World-first Maritime Event ...  [The International Maritime Human Rights Conference, 14 September 2016]



... Médecins Sans Frontières today reiterates our position that policies - like boat turnbacks, offshore processing and indefinite detention - fail the medical and humanitarian ethics test.

As a medical organisation our operations working with people crossing borders – as with all our projects - start from the premise that we ‘do no harm.’

Our directly witnessed experience shows us that deterrence polices often do cause physical and mental harm.

Policies of boat turnbacks threaten to return individuals and families to harmful situations in countries they have fled.

Policies of indefinite detention consign them to seemingly permanent loss of liberty and loss of hope.

We know this causes the most serious of mental trauma. ... [Media Release - 17/8/16]



MOAS ends sea mission in South-East Asia, will continue using their ground network and advocacy in the region - apparently [Media Release - 15/4/16]



Days after MOAS abandons its South-East Asia mission, Rohingya refugees perish [Reliefweb - 20/4/16]



 ... Most of the passengers were inhabitants of Sin Tet Maw, in Paukaw township, a camp for Rohingya Muslim minority members forced from their homes by bouts of communal violence.

"It (the boat accident) happened because of unsafe transport... we cannot use direct transport (overland) to Sittwe to buy goods or medicine," Rohingya activist, Kyaw Hla Aung, told AFP from Sittwe. ... [Bangkok Post - 20/4/16]



Day 151 refugee protests, Nauru

Never give up



Image: ‏@elahe_zivardar  [17/8/16]



Mark Willacy and Queensland police demonstrate how beatups about bikies and guns are more important than your rights [ABC - 17/8/16]



The NSW Police chief has denied any strategic involvement during the deadly Lindt Cafe siege and repeatedly rejected suggestions he meddled in tactical decisions based on fears of negative public perception.

But Commissioner Andrew Scipione has accepted some of the blame for the tragic outcome.

"I wasn't responsible for the decisions that were made but in terms of the buck, it stops with me," Mr Scipione told a coronial inquest today.

Mr Scipione was the final witness to front the long-running inquiry into the December 2014 siege, after his deputy Cath Burn, the state's counter-terrorism head, was grilled for more than a day.

He faced intense questioning over an email sent to subordinates at 11.59pm on the night of the fatal stand-off about a YouTube video of a female hostage filmed inside the cafe.

"Let's move to have it pulled down from YouTube ASAP. I'll leave it to you and others," his email read. 

In the clip, the hostage said police were doing nothing.

Mr Scipione repeatedly denied his email was a direction to remove the video because it was critical of officers.

He was instead offering advice, worried about the video causing reprisal attacks in the days after the siege, the inquest heard.

Mr Scipione agreed removing the video may have angered gunman Man Haron Monis, but argued the final decision to do so rested with those in charge of "operational command".

He was also quizzed about a telephone call he made to Commander Mark Jenkins at 10.57pm on December 15, some three hours before the siege reached its deadly conclusion. ... [Nine MSN - 17/8/16]



Another reason why I voted informal --->  The AEC has authorised the second and final payment to political parties and candidates for votes received at the 2016 federal election.

The final payment is $2 311 632.59 bringing the total to $62 778 275.03. ... [AEC Media Release - 17/8/16]



Two ships owned by a Chinese company with 23 workers onboard have been abandoned at a shipyard in northern Vietnam since May, local media reported Tuesday. ... [Thanh Nien News - 16/8/16]



Vietnam's July coal imports surge 141% on year to 1.31 million mt [Platts - 16/8/16]



An inauguration and handover ceremony was held in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau on August 12 to launch the Tam Dao 05 offshore oil rig, the largest ever locally manufactured jack-up rig. ... [Vietnam. net - 15/8/16]



Australia launches $1.9 million project to "support women's economic empowerment" in Vietnam [Thanh Nien News - 11/8/16]



The sacred places of Vietnamese martyrs [ - 19/10/14]



Against a backdrop of plummeting farm-level milk prices and farm cash receipts for milk sales, the American Farm Bureau Federation this week asked the Agriculture Department to provide emergency assistance for the nation's dairy farmers. ... [Media Release - 11/8/16]



Up to 150 disability rights campaigners have been protesting outside IT firm ATOS, which carries out "fit for work" assessments for the government.

Campaigners say its tests for people on disability allowances are "damaging and distressing" and have led to suicides.

ATOS, a sponsor of the Paralympic Games, said it ensures its service is "professional" and "compassionate". ... [BBC - 31/8/12]



‘Vote for Trump’ chants greet Biden in Serbia [The Hill - 16/8/16]



Argentina's President Mauricio Macri will start using an armored car, fearing attacks from protesters, Security Minister Patricia Bullrich announced this week. 

“We will protect the president with all the possible means," she said Monday.

“We will not make this a political matter."

Bullrich denied the move was related to a verbal attack that Macri was subjected to on Friday in Mar del Plata, about 249 miles (400 kilometers) from the capital. ... [teleSUR - 16/8/16]




Peru's ex-dictator Fujimori absolved for bribing tabloids [teleSUR - 16/8/16]:


... Fujimori, 77, is currently serving a prison sentence for his role in kidnappings and murders carried out by the Grupo Colina death squad.



Fiji Times charged over 'inciteful' article against Muslims [RNZI - 17/8/16]



Australia has not agreed to close the Manus Island refugee concentration camp.  The media are LYING.

Dutton and O'Neill are attempting to undermine next week's PNG Supreme Court judgement.


PNG lawyer for Australia's political prisoners on Manus Island explains the rule of law [SBS - 12/8/16]



PNG Supreme Court ruling on resettlement of men illegally imprisoned by Australia on Manus Island further delayed until August 22 [PNG Loop - 8/8/16]



PNG Chief Justice requests Australian government provide a response to statement of five facts regarding the illegal detention of men on Manus [EMTV - 8/8/16]



Richard Marles lies about refugee concentration camps stopping death, says PNG should change their law [ABC - 28/4/16]:


... LOUISE YAXLEY: The Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, says there will be continued discussions with the PNG government to resolve the matters.

And the shadow minister, Richard Marles, says it is very important to try to convince PNG to keep the centre open.

RICHARD MARLES: Because it is very clear that offshore processing has been the single most important decision of any Australian government in bringing an end to the loss of life at sea.

LOUISE YAXLEY: Mr O'Neill is definitive that the centre will be closed but he also talks about the harm that that will cause the local economy and the need for Australia to help support businesses that will suffer. Richard Marles says the Government should talk to PNG about potentially changing the law to make the detention legal or offer PNG more money.

RICHARD MARLES: All of those options need to be talked through with the PNG government. ...



Cue UNHCR (and human rights establishment friends)  "welcoming" Dutton's latest lie - no doubt reiterating their vile "durable solutions" talking point.



"Unidentified employee" says Nauru refugees were under the impression an ALP government would help them [ABC - 17/8/16] WHO TOLD THEM THAT LIE? And why won't the Australian media give the men, women and children on Nauru a right of reply?


Even if you think you are providing "health and welfare" services on Manus and Nauru, you should be warned you may be held individually liable for crimes against humanity [The Age - 23/2/16]



Declaration of Tokyo



The Doctors Trial: The medical case of the subsequent Nuremberg proceedings [United States Holocaust Memorial Museum]:  


On December 9, 1946, an American military tribunal opened criminal proceedings against 23 leading German physicians and administrators for their willing participation in war crimes and crimes against humanity. ...



What are crimes against humanity?



International Criminal Court:


“Crimes against humanity” include any of the following acts committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:





deportation or forcible transfer of population;



rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity;

persecution against an identifiable group on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious or gender grounds;

enforced disappearance of persons;

the crime of apartheid;

other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering or serious bodily or mental injury.



AMA chief says demonising junk food giants won't solve obesity crisis [Guardian - 17/8/16]






@elahe_zivardar [18/7/16]



Image: ‏@elahe_zivardar [18/7/16]



Faces and voices:  The victims of war, economic displacement, anti-refugee policies and propaganda.  Australia doesn't want them, and neither does Sri Lanka ---> Tamil Goodbye: Sri Lanka, September 2012 [Journeyman Pictures/SBS Dateline]



Calling for "summits" and "inquiries" at this critical juncture does nothing but protect the policy [Liz Thompson - 12/8/16]:


I'm pretty amazed that academics for refugees have put out yet another letter which really reads like a plea for them to be invited to a conference to fix the refugee crisis.

This one has been put out with the assistance of the NTEU, who have actively lied to cover up the refusal of Unisuper to make a public commitment to not funding detention centres through member's super.


We don't need another fucking policy summit. We all need to stop funding detention, we all need to break our contracts. Academics content-scraping senate submissions to sell books about offshore, academics doing the predictable thing and saying "look at me, I'm doing good!" while actually just refusing to do something real about their direct complicity in mandatory detention. Gah - inarticulate rage. thats it



‏@riserefugee [17/8/16]:  When ex-detainees who've been tortured & abused in detention ask to boycott detention centres & you refuse,you prove it's all about the $$$.



A protester stormed the stage and forced the Prime Minister to stop speaking during his major economic address in Melbourne.

The woman — holding a sign that read "FFS close the bloody camps" — made it within metres of Malcolm Turnbull.

"For f***'s sake Malcolm, close the f***ing camps," the protester yelled at Mr Turnbull.

Organisers tried to dim the lighting as the woman was approached and ushered off the stage.

At least five other protesters were held back by security in the room.


Earlier today, "Opposition Leader" Bill Shorten again called for the Government to support a Senate inquiry into the immigration detention centre on Nauru.  ... <---- Shorten is still trying to separate ALP refugee concentration camp policy from its inevitable, predictable consequences. [ABC - 17/8/16]







Day 150 refugee protests, Nauru via ‏@InsurrectNews [16/8/16]








Doctors, teachers, social workers call for Australia's refugee concentration camps to be shut down, as their professional associations remain silent [Guardian - 17/8/16]



Join the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice, Culture Strike, and CIVIC for our week of action to denounce the mistreatment and abuse of detainees at the Adelanto Detention Facility!

This year commemorates 5 years of inadequate healthcare, overuse of solitary confinement, mistreatment, deaths of detainees, and the immoral practice of profiting from detaining immigrants.

It is time for our community to rise and show support for those currently detained in the facility and those that have been deported in this fusion of activism, art, and advocacy to demand that THE ADELANTO DETENTION FACILITY SHUTS DOWN! ... [Shut Down Adelanto Week of Action]



US organisations call on President Obama for a temporary moratorium on immigration raids and deportations [#NOT1MORE]



The BOP notified one of the country’s leading private prison companies, Corrections Corporation of America, on July 29 that a long-troubled federal prison the company had operated for 16 years will be closed down. 

The notice is exceptional in the BOP’s history of overseeing its privatized prisons—in the last decade, it has ended only three other private prison contracts before they were set to expire—and it follows reporting by The Nation and the Investigative Fund that documented poor medical care at the prison, including at least three questionable deaths.

The minimum-security Cibola County Correctional Center, in Milan, New Mexico, holds 1,200 prisoners, all noncitizens convicted of federal crimes, who will be moved to other prisons before the facility is shuttered at the end of September. ... [The Nation - 16/8/16]



Your backyard Australia


Trapped in Sittwe ghetto or rounded up and imprisoned while registering at a UNHCR office in Malaysia [Myanmar Now - 19/2/16]



Rohingya kids in the rain during the rainy season in Sittwe's Muslim Quarter, now effectively a sealed ghetto.


Image:  ‏@andreapitzer [16/7/15]



@Thestateless1 [16/8/16]:  ...  #Myanmar military enters Mishiri Deél, #Sittwe & beating every #Rohingya - including women. The harassment & nightmare continues.



In a conference held in Los Angeles on Saturday by the Burmese American Muslims Association (BAMA), an international panel of speakers condemned the ongoing persecution of Burma’s Rohingya minority, placing it within the framework of genocide, and calling on the country’s current government to restore the marginalized group’s rights. ... [The Irrawaddy - 15/8/16]



Trunkline:  The Magazine for Woodside People [2016]:


Exploring for hydrocarbons in frontier deepwater basins in developing countries can pose significant challenges but overcoming these makes success all the more gratifying.

Woodside’s first two exploration wells in Myanmar’s Rakhine Basin both found hydrocarbons – a result that was warmly welcomed in Woodside and Myanmar. ...



Australian government discloses one forcible return of a refugee boat with co-operation of Sri Lankan authorities [Huffington Post - 17/8/16]



18 Australia-bound refugees arrested by Sri Lankan navy after being captured 40 nautical miles off Batticaloa [Sunday Times - 16/8/16]



Turnbull, Dutton, Shorten and Neumann are mere puppets in this global game of life and death ---> Great job! says US ambassador after visit to Jaffna [Tamil Guardian - 16/8/16]


... “Given Sri Lanka’s strategic position in the Indian Ocean, it is a key player in regional efforts to ensure maritime security, respond to natural disasters, and protect freedom of navigation,” said U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives Atul Keshap. ... Major General Steven R. Rudder, Director of Strategic Planning and Policy for US Pacific Command visits Sri Lanka [US Embassy Sri Lanka & Maldives - 15/5/16]



Sri Lankan military presence adds to insecurity for Tamil women [Tamil Guardian - 16/8/16]



Tamil fishermen in Vadamaradchi East alleged that hundreds of Sinhalese fishermen from the south have been allowed by the Sri Lankan military to fish in restricted areas, as tensions between the groups heighten.

The Sinhalese fishermen have also been cutting the nets of the Tamil fishermen, they said at a meeting at the Divisional Secretariat in Marudhankeni earlier this month. ... [Tamil Guardian - 16/8/16]



Uprooted Tamil families from Paravip-paagnchchaan, a fertile suburb situated in the heart of Ki’linochchi town, have been protesting in front of the cantonment of occupying SL military’s 58 Division since Saturday. ... [TamilNet - 15/8/16]




The U.S. foreign policy establishment and its mainstream media operate with a pervasive set of hypocritical standards that justify war crimes — or what might be called a “normalization of deviance,” writes Nicolas J S Davies. ... [ICH/Consortium News - 15/8/16]



Palestinian teenager killed during massive raid on refugee camp [Electronic Intifada - 16/8/16]



Turkey’s UK ambassador tells British newspaper rights and freedoms are being respected as coup plotters are pursued. ... [Anadolu Agency - 16/8/16]



Istanbul police raid dozens of companies for alleged Gülen links [Hurriyet Daily News - 16/8/16]



Gendarmerie forces have searched the house of former Turkish international footballer and former MP Hakan Şükür in the Kandıra district of the northwestern province of Kocaeli, as a part of investigations into the failed July 15 coup attempt, believed to have been masterminded by the Fetullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ). 

A detention warrant has been issued for Şükür, who is accused of being a member of the organization of the U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen. 

The search was carried out as a part of the probe launched by the Sakarya Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office over the failed takeover bid, Doğan News Agency reported on Aug. 16. ... [Hurriyet Daily News - 16/8/16]



Turkey has made a formal request to Greece for the extradition of eight Turkish officers who fled to the neighboring country after last month's attempted coup, the state-run news agency reported Tuesday. ... [Ekathimerini - 16/8/16]



Iraqi airspace opened for Russia, confirms Abadi [ - 16/8/16]



Russia notified the US-led coalition about using an Iranian airfield and passing through airspace controlled by the coalition forces while conducting airstrikes targeting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists in Syria, the Pentagon said. ... [RT - 16/8/16]



MSF hospital bombing in Yemen earns rare Saudi rebuke at US State Department [The Intercept - 16/8/16]



Russia welcomes the decision of Saudi Arabia to develop use of civilian nuclear technologies that is part of the kingdom’s development strategy by 2030, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Monday in an interview with the Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat.

Moscow is interested in participation in Saudi Arabian projects related to nuclear power sector, the minister said. ... [TASS - 15/8/16]


Brazil justice opens investigation against Rousseff, Lula, TV says [Reuters – 16/8/16]



Brazil’s largest labor unions took to the streets in major cities across the country Tuesday to demand more jobs and stronger workers’ protections as conservative legislators prepare to permanently remove the moderate President Dilma Rousseff from office and deepen punishing austerity policies. ... [teleSUR - 16/8/16]



‏@wikileaks [16/8/16]:  WikiLeaks lawyers to Loretta Lynch: 'Clinton precedent' requires closing DoJ case against WikiLeaks



FBI gives Congress documents related to Hillary Clinton e-mail inquiry [New York Times - 16/8/16]


Nigeria: Families demand rescue of Chibok schoolgirls [Democracy Now - 16/8/16]


An Ethiopian court has charged 23 South Sudanese refugees with carrying out the "gruesome" murder of 10 Ethiopian civilians using sticks and shovels at a refugee camp in the western part of the country last April.

The defendants were accused of planning the attacks in retaliation for a car accident in which two refugee children were killed inside Jewi Refugee Camp in Ethiopia's Gambella region. ... [Reuters - 16/8/16]



Thousands of houses have been destroyed and several villages submerged after flooding triggered by torrential rainfall killed 100 people across Sudan, according to an aid group in the country.

The Sudanese Red Crescent Society reported on Sunday that 25 people died in eastern Sudan's Kassala, and around 8,000 houses have been destroyed since heavy rains lashed the state two weeks ago.

Nationwide, at least 100 people were killed, the group said. ... [Al Jazeera - 16/8/16]




17 August 2016