Indigenous art collective hits back at 2017 Meat and Livestock Australia advertisement with more satire [NITV - 16/1/17]



‏@Clintonswalk [17/1/17]:  Kids looking saying who this fulla walking up the road. It's me, The Walker! and they all jump out of the car to say hello! ...



Jallianwala Bagh centenary a ‘good time’ for British to apologise: Shashi Tharoor [Hindustan Times - 16/1/17]:


Congress MP and author Shashi Tharoor on Sunday said the Jalianwala Bagh centenary in 2019 will be a “good time” for the British to apologise to the Indians for wrongs committed during their rule.

The former diplomat, who was speaking on his book ‘An Era of Darkness: The British Empire In India’ before inaugurating the Kolkata Literary Festival-2017 here, said, “Either the British Prime Minister or a member of the royal family can come and convey their own profound apologies to the people of India, not just for that atrocity (Jallianwala Bagh massacre) but for all wrongs done during the empire.”

“Why not use that opportunity ? ... that would be a very fine gesture because after all the wrongs were done in the name of the Crown,” he said. ...



Letter from Palestinian father seeking justice for slain son [PNN - 17/1/17]:


Siam Nuwara, father of slain Palestinian teen, Nadeem Nuwarah, has been seeking justice for his son, who was killed at age 17 during clashes on the Nakba anniversary day, 15 May 2014, in the West Bank city of Ramallah.


Watching how my son was killed is so painful — you see Israeli soldiers joking and laughing as if they were making a hunting bet while firing at prey, and then they shoot.

The film is extremely painful to watch, but could bring justice. ...



Israeli forces shoot, kill Palestinian teen during clashes in Tuqu [Maan - 16/1/17]



Hundreds of Israeli police forces raided the Shufat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem before dawn on Tuesday to detain nine young Palestinian men, searching and ransacking more than 20 homes at gunpoint. ... [Maan - 17/1/17]



Palestinian, Israeli activists detained as Israeli forces uproot hundreds of olive trees [Maan  - 16/1/17]



Former hunger-striking prisoner and journalist Muhammad al-Qiq was detained by Israeli authorities on Sunday, after he participated in a protest in the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem held to demand the release of bodies of slain Palestinians held in Israeli custody. ... [Maan - 16/1/17]



An Israeli reconnaissance drone has been missing since Monday morning in south Lebanon, media reports said. ... [Naharnet - 16/1/17]



U.S. software provider Oracle Corp said on Monday it was opening an accelerator program in Israel for startups developing cloud technologies or whose technologies are based in the cloud.

Run by Oracle's research and development team, the program provides six months of mentoring from technical and business experts, advanced technology, access to Oracle's customers, and partners and investors. ... [Reuters - 16/1/17]



The Lobby [Al Jazeera]



Ten people have been killed in rocket attacks by Saudi military vessels against a residential neighborhood in Yemen’s southwestern coastal province of Ta’izz.

Unnamed local sources said the Saudi craft fired a barrage of rockets at a village in the Maqbanah district of the province, which is situated 346 kilometers south of the capital, Sana’a, on Tuesday morning, also injuring dozens of people, Arabic-language Saba news agency reported.

Shortly afterward, Saudi military aircraft carried out an airstrike against a truck as it was traveling along a road in the al-Khawkhah district of the western coastal province, of Hudaydah.

The attack claimed the life of a civilian.

Additionally, five people were killed and two others injured when Saudi fighter jets pounded a market in the Haydan district of the northwestern province of Sa’ada. ... [Press TV - 17/1/17]



@Ga1979wa [16/1/17]: Saada City markets was completely destroyed by US-Saudi missiles ...  



A U.N. envoy was in Aden Monday for talks with Yemen's President Abed-Rabbou Mansour Hadi as the United Nations said the death toll from the war had reached 10,000, a U.N. spokesman said.

The envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, was to "try to present (Hadi) the latest peace proposals" to end the nearly two-year war, said U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq.

The United Nations said the civilian death toll in fighting since a Saudi-led force intervened in March 2015 had reached 10,000, up from the previous figure of 7,000. ... [Daily Star - 16/1/17]



Next month campaigners will put UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia on trial [Huffington Post - 15/1/17]



Ivory Coast begins paying bonuses to mutinous soldiers [Reuters - 17/1/17]



Boko Haram claims Nigeria university attack that killed 2 [Reuters - 17/1/17]



UK top court says ex-Libyan rebel commander can sue former minister [Reuters - 17/1/17]:


A former Libyan Islamist commander, who says he suffered years of torture by Muammar Gaddafi's henchmen after British and U.S. spies handed him over to Libya, was given permission on Tuesday to sue the British government and its former foreign secretary.

Abdel Hakim Belhadj, a rebel leader who helped topple Gaddafi in 2011 and is now a politician, says he and his pregnant wife Fatima were abducted by U.S. CIA agents in Thailand in 2004 and then illegally transferred to Tripoli with the help of British spies.

Britain's Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed an appeal by the government to stop him taking legal action, paving the way for Belhadj and his wife to seek damages against former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, the domestic and foreign spy agencies MI5 and MI6, a senior former intelligence chief and relevant government departments.

However, Belhadj has said he would drop the case if he was given a token payment of 1 pound ($1.21) and an apology from all the parties involved. ...



... In a quick turn of events this week, Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar met Russian officials in an effort to secure crucial military support that would pave the way for his control of the North African county.

Haftar visited a Russian aircraft carrier off the cost of Tobruk from where he held a video conference with Russian defence minister Sergey Shoigu.

Italian State TV RAI reported that Haftar signed an agreement whereby Russia would build two military bases near Tobruk and Benghazi.  ... [Al Jazeera - 17/1/17]



North Dakota bill aimed at Standing Rock protest [Star Tribune - 16/1/17]:


... Under Kempenich's proposed legislation, drivers who negligently injure or kill pedestrians who are "obstructing vehicular traffic on a public road, street or highway" would not be liable for damages, and anyone who "unintentionally" kills or injures a pedestrian who was blocking traffic "is not guilty of an offense." ...



Eight people were shot Monday afternoon at a Miami park, disrupting an otherwise peaceful afternoon commemorating Martin Luther King Jr., police said.

Five minors and three adults were shot around 3:40 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park, Miami-Dade police said in a statement.

Several more were injured as a shooting sparked a stampede out of the park, which had wrapped up celebrations for Martin Luther King Jr. Day a couple of hours before, The Miami Herald reported. ... [USA Today - 16/1/17]



PTSD, other factors led airman to kill commander [Air Force Times - 16/1/17]:


U.S. Air Force investigators have determined that post-traumatic stress disorder and the unraveling of a distinguished military career led an airman to fatally shoot his commander last year at a San Antonio base before killing himself, according to Air Force documents.


"I do not like this world, and I do not want to be a part of it any longer," Bellino wrote in August 2015, the month he quit the pararescue program and then went home to Ohio and was charged with being absent without leave.

"I've searched for many years to find a home consistent with my ethics and such a place does not exist." ...



John Pilger: The issue is not Trump, it's us [ICH/teleSUR - 16/1/17]



The Syrian Arab Army has officially liberated the village of Aabed after launching a swift assault this afternoon in the eastern countryside of Aleppo. ... [AMN - 17/1/17]



Rebel fighters surrender to Syrian Army in Qalamoun Mountains [AMN - 17/1/17]



Terrorist groups fired rocket shells on two villages in the northern countryside of Homs, causing casualties among civilians.

According to SANA reporter, the attack, which came from Talbiseh city and targeted Jabbourine and al-Mikhtariyeh villages, left a woman dead and another person injured. ... [SANA - 17/1/17]



‏@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [17/1/17]:


Nineveh: News agencies: 6 civilians were killed and 8 wounded as US-led coalition aviation shelled their homes in Baysan neighborhood at the left side of Mosul.


Baghdad: A roadside bomb has exploded in Rashidiya area ,further details unknown.


5 persons were either killed or wounded as an IED exploded in Nahrawan area southeast of Baghdad.



US forces erect 4 military bases in Mosul preparing for new combat plans [ - 17/1/17]



United States continues bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [CENTCOM - 16/1/17]



‏@LighthouseRR [15/1/17]:  Yesterday, we assisted 2 landings, 102 people in total, now in overcrowded Moria. Lesvos landscape difficult to navigate in frozen weather.



Russian dissident artist Pyotr Pavlensky, whose protests against the state have included nailing his scrotum to Moscow's Red Square, has said he plans to seek asylum in France. ... [Reuters - 16/1/17]



Hundreds of US Marines land in Norway [Reuters - 16/1/17]:


... Soldiers from Camp Lejeune in North Carolina landed a little after 10 am CET at a snow-covered Vaernes airport near Trondheim, Norway's third-largest city, where temperatures were reaching -2 degrees Celsius (28 degrees Fahrenheit).

U.S. troops are to stay in Norway for a year, with the current batch of Marines being replaced after their six-month tour is complete.

A spokesman for the Norwegian Home Guards, who will host the Marines at the Vaernes military base, about 1,500 km (900 miles) from the Russian border, said the U.S. troops will learn about winter warfare. ...



Northern Ireland heads for fresh Assembly election just 10 months after last poll [Belfast Telegraph - 16/1/17]



So far this year the US Coast Guard has conducted 5 at-sea interdictions and forcibly returned 71 Cuban refugees [Media Release - 16/1/17]



Cuban migrants will no longer be exempt from expedited removal [American Immigration Council - 13/1/17]:


... Cuba committed to taking back more than 2,700 Cubans who arrived in the United States in the 1980 Mariel boatlift who were deemed excludable from the United States. ...



Why Obama will not close Guantánamo [One Small Window - 7/1/17]:


... Obama has consistently upheld those policies and practices, perhaps best epitomised in his flippant admission that “we tortured some folks” in 2014.

By consistently maintaining Bush-era rhetoric to justify Guantánamo’s existence, Barack Obama is stating that he believes the long-debunked founding myths of Guantánamo and supports the continuation of the extralegal regime it represents.

With over one thousand people shot dead by US law enforcement agents each year, the alleged risk posed by Guantánamo prisoners to the US is clearly exaggerated, and with the naval base home to another indefinite detention facility since 1991, for immigration detainees, there is no interest in ending indefinite arbitrary detention, a highly lucrative business. ...



Rotten ideology = rotten policy.  Corruption is inevitable. ---> The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has been accused of mismanaging offshore detention centre contracts, with an independent audit alleging more than $1 billion was spent over the last four years without proper authorisation. ... [ABC - 17/1/17]



Utility and gratefulness of handpicked Syrians and Iraqis investigated by the media as Australia's anti-refugee torture, exile and turnback policy remains unscrutinised and unopposed [Sydney Morning Herald - 161/1/7]



Syrian man returned from Manus Island gulag by Australian government injured - and his father killed - during shelling [ABC - 20/10/15]



Australia going to unthinkable lengths to return Syrian refugees imprisoned on Nauru and Manus [Guardian - 19/8/14]



‏@BehrouzBoochani [17/1/17]:  Manus refugees self-harm and hunger strike in protest



Authorities maintain calls for Australia's illegally and unconstitutionally held refugees to respect PNG laws [The National - 17/1/17]:


Two Iranian refugees have been arrested after a warrant of arrest was issued on Wednesday following their failure to appear in Lorengau District Court.

Mahboub Rabbani and Mohammad Mehdi Bohouli were arrested by police at the regional processing centre at Lombrum and taken into police custody at the weekend.

They were charged with drunk and disorderly behaviour, and resisting arrest last month.

Bohiouli was reported sick was taken back to the centre for medical treatment.

Mohammad was detained in police custody.

They are expected to appear in Lorengau District Court tomorrow.

Both failed to appear in court on Wednesday.

Senior magistrate Josephine Nidue issued the warrant for their arrest.

Acting provincial police commander Senior Inspector David Yapu said another refugee Ahmad Jasham, 25, from Iraq was arrested and charged with being in possession of drugs.

Police arrested him at a boat shed in Lorengau last month.

Yapu has appealed to foreigners, especially the refugees, to respect locals and the laws of the country.

He said police would not be lenient on them if they continued to break laws.



PNG Chief Migration Officer Mataio Rabura died at a hospital in Australia on Saturday [The National - 17/1/17]



National Capital District Metropolitan Superintendent Benjamin Turi says they have requested information from the army in regards to the confrontation with soldiers in Port Moresby on New Year’s Eve.

He said the information included the roster of the officers on duty, guns and the vehicles used by the soldiers during the confrontation at Boroko police station. ... [The National - 17/1/17]



New Zealand accepts two Rohingya refugee families who arrived in the "correct" manner [ - 17/1/17]:


Palmerston North has opened its arms to welcome Rohingya refugees fleeing from persecution in Myanmar.

The Rohingya ethnic group are the newest community to start life afresh in Manawatu – two families were accepted into the area in the last refugee intake in December.

For Mohammad Shafi, his new life in Palmerston North is the opposite of his existence in his former home. ...



One year ago ---> "No one cares, New Zealand is not listening, and Australia too, even after the Amnesty report came out. Please help us."  [Sydney Morning Herald - 17/1/16]:


The captain of an asylum seeker boat who said he was paid thousands of dollars by an Australian official to return to Indonesia has been sentenced to five years and eight months' jail on people smuggling charges.

The panel of judges also ordered Yohanis Humiang​, 35, to pay 700 million rupiah ($70,000) or serve an additional five months in prison. 

The remaining five crew members were sentenced to five years and six months' jail and a fine of 500 million rupiah or an extra three months' prison time.


The asylum seekers remain in limbo in Indonesia.

Kandiha Kayuran and his wife, who gave birth in December, are still in immigration detention in Kupang.

He told Fairfax Media they had no idea what the future held.  ...



We cannot pick and choose:  New Zealand government refers refugees to UNHCR Australia - who ignored them [RNZI - 13/6/15]:


The Government has told 65 asylum seekers wanting to live in New Zealand to contact United Nations officials in Australia.

The people, from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar, say they were heading for New Zealand when they were shipwrecked on an Indonesian reef earlier this month.

In a letter seen by Radio New Zealand, the group made a plea to the Government for asylum, saying it is unsafe for them to return home.

A written reply from the office of the Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse, said while New Zealand accepted 750 refugees annually, it could not pick and choose.

It said the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Canberra was responsible for inquires dealing with New Zealand and suggested the group approach that office.  [UNHCR Canberra said nothing.]

A UN representative in Indonesia said they met with the group, 52 of whom were registered as refugees. [As far as we know, these refugees are still detained in Kupang.]



STOP KILLING FAMILIES:   Rohingya refugees - now political prisoners of the Australian government - protest at Manus Island concentration camp



November 2016



Imam tortured to death by Myanmar Army battalion in Buthidaung [Aung Aung Sittwe - 17/1/17]:


... While returning the dead body of Baddullah, an officer warned victim’s family not to report about him anywhere or they would pay the price for that.

“Twenty soldiers led by two army officers were watching and waiting with families and relatives of Baddullah until his dead body was buried by them. No one was allowed to take any photo or video clip of corpse,” said Naja Muddin.



Worldwide Statement: Request Organisation of Islamic Co-operation to support UN Commission of Inquiry [Rohingya Blogger - 17/1/17]



Organisation of Islamic Co-opertion looks To restore Rohingya's status in Myanmar - Syed Hamid [Malaysian Digest - 16/1/17]



...“The special envoy also presented to the prime minister the state counsellor's letter expressing her confidence that Myanmar and Bangladesh would be able to address the issues of mutual concern in a spirit of good neighbourliness, trust and mutual understanding between the two countries,” according to a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar.

There is no mention of the word "Rohingya" in the statement.

The press release, which is available in the website of Ministry of Information of Myanmar, said Myanmar and Bangladesh “have agreed to start consultations for verification and repatriation of those who are proved to have fled from Myanmar following the 9 October attacks against police outposts.”


The statement said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed her desire to strengthen ties with its neighbouring countries and reiterated Bangladesh's zero tolerance policy against terrorism.

She also stressed that Bangladesh would not allow its soil to be used for terrorist acts against its neighbouring countries and sought Myanmar's cooperation to resolve the border issues through negotiations. ... [The Daily Star - 15/1/17]



A Navy officer, Lieutenant Commander Mapa Mudiyanselage Dhammikka Anila Mapa, was remanded on Monday over the disappearance and abduction of two Tamils in 2009, Vaduveli Pakkilasamy Loganathan and Ratnasamy Paramanandan. 

The officer was working with the navy intelligence wing at the time, the Daily Mirror reported.

He has been remanded until January 26.  A complaint was previously filed with the CID by Mr Loganathan's wife.

Both men were athe time employed by the Colombo Municipal Council. 

On January 11, 2009 they left for Wellampitiya in a van and were not seen since.  [Tamil Guardian - 16/1/17]



The European Commission's decision to restore GSP+ to Sri Lanka sets a dangerous precedent and undermines the EU compliance regime, the British Tamils Forum has said. ... [Tamil Guardian - 16/1/17]



... When the samba takes you out of nowhere

And the background's fading out of focus

Yes the picture's changing every moment

And your destination, you don't know it ...


'Avalon', Roxy Music [1982]



A group of Pakistani villagers brandishing guns and knives attacked the convoy of a Qatar royal family member on an expedition to hunt the houbara bustard, a rare bird whose meat is prized by Arab sheikhs, officials said on Monday.

The hunting party was unhurt, but three security guards were wounded during the attack on Sunday evening in Musakhel, in Pakistan's southwestern province of Baluchistan, district deputy commissioner Muhammad Yasar said.


The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the bustard as a vulnerable species with a global population ranging from 50,000 to 100,000.

It has almost vanished on the Arabian peninsula.

Last year, Pakistan's Supreme Court lifted a ban on hunting the bird after the government argued it hurt relations with Gulf states whose wealthy hunters traditionally travel to Pakistan to pursue the endangered species with falcons. ...  [Reuters - 16/1/17]



Senior photo journalist and chief photographer of Kashmir Life, a weekly magazine, Bilal Bahadur was injured on Monday by a teargas shell fired by the government forces.

Bilal, according to photojournalists, was hit by the shell when he was covering the funeral procession of Hizbul Mujahideen militants who were killed in Awoora gunfight. ... [Kashmir Reader - 17/1/17]



Three militants killed in Kashmir gun battle [Yahoo - 16/1/17]




17 January 2017