Court freezes assets of alleged wife killer after application from wounding victim [17/7/15]
A jealous husband jailed for a frenzied knife attack in a central Queensland hotel will be eligible for parole eight months sooner than anticipated following an appeal. … [Yahoo – 17/7/15]
Man kicked, stomped wife's head in the presence of children [Canberra Times - 16/7/15]
... Several of Whitehead's victims have spoken of their belief that their abuser was protected by senior people in previous state government departments, given that he was first convicted of a child sex offence in 1959.
One victim told court this week that Whitehead was an "expert in grooming" who had "friends in high places". ... Paedophile leased station from state to abuse boys [Sydney Morning Herald – 17/7/15]
South Australian detectives investigating the discovery of a child's skeletal remains off the Karoonda Highway, east of Adelaide, have revealed the child died a "violent death in terrible circumstances," but would not reveal the results of an autopsy. ... [Nine MSN - 17/7/15]
Blood, sweat, and tears, police batons
Gas masks and bullets create graffiti on corners
Murals that salute freedom or death for liberty
Be it Inglewood or Egypt, Bedstuy or Baghdad
Syria or Liberia, the west bank or the west side of Chicago
Where food and liquor stores still occupy the block
While police and community watchmen justify why they shot ...
['Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1', Lupe Fiasco - 2012]
FBI joins investigation into death in custody of Sandra Bland [USA Today - 17/7/15]
... "She spoke out about this type of stuff in her life, and now in her death, she's a hashtag," Dean said through tears. "That’s very hard to put that in perspective. I think, that could have been me. How many times have I driven through Waller?" ... Sandra Bland’s loved ones want to know how a routine traffic stop led to her death in a jail cell [Huffington Post - 16/7/15]
At least 30 members of Somalia's Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebab militants were killed in a US drone strike on Thursday, the Kenyan government said, while backtracking on its earlier claim that the alleged mastermind of the Garissa University massacre was among the dead. … [Yahoo – 16/7/15]
Talisman Saber [14/7/15]:
ADF and US personnel clean up small marine fuel contamination
Australian Defence Force Environmental specialists and US Marines are responding to the discovery of a small amount of marine fuel on the sand at Lee Point in Darwin.
The ADF has notified all appropriate notifications to other government agencies.
The affected area was discovered by ADF environmental officers after an amphibious offload operation at Lee Point on Sunday.
The ADF’s environmental team took immediate steps to cordon the area and began to assess the extent of the incident.
The affected area is 20 metres long and 10 metres wide. The cause of the spill is not known.
“Defence takes its environmental responsibilities seriously and has monitoring equipment in place’’
Talisman Sabre 2015 spokesman, Brigadier Robert Brown said. ‘The incident poses no threat to the public. We expect the effected sand to be removed within hours.”
The ADF is now making an assessment to determine the extent of the affected area so that clean-up operations can begin. The ADF will remove and replace the sand and it will be managed in accordance with Territory environmental regulations.
Great Barrier Reef oil spill: aircraft to sweep area as slick confirmed [Brisbane Times - 17/7/15]
Navy divers recover US bombs from Great Barrier Reef [Telegraph - 1/9/13]
Oil spill off Great Barrier Reef
Brisbane Times [17/7/15]:
Oil has been located in the water south of Townsville, Queensland Transport has confirmed.
A specialist aircraft will leave Cairns early on Saturday to do a complete sweep of the area of Cape Upstart, between Ayr and Bowen and the reef islands to check how far the oil has spread.
Oil pollution teams are now being readied for work on Saturday.
A telephone hook-up early on Saturday morning will co-ordinate the next step of any clean-up, depending on what the early-morning flight finds.
"We can confirm some patches of oily water have been sighted in the water south of Townsville," spokeswoman confirmed.
The oil was confirmed by water police and by a helicopter crew on Friday evening.
"A water police vessel out of Townsville, and Emergency Management Queensland helicopter investigated and reported a sheen on the water and small oily patches about one metre in diameter," Queensland Transport said.
The statement did not say over what size area the oil was dispersed.
"An Australian Maritime Safety Authority specialised aircraft out of Cairns is being tasked for an early morning inspection tomorrow of the ocean area and also of the islands and coastline in the general areas."
Oil pollution resources and staff are on standby if required in Townsville and other ports.
Other agencies are also prepared to activate resources.
ABC Local Radio Queensland reported in their 6PM news bulletin that another worker has been injured at the Newlands mine in the Bowen Basin.
The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) has been running a safety conference this week, which coincides with the 29th anniversary of the Moura number four mine disaster, which killed 12 coal miners. ... [ABC - 17/7/15]
Workers are reportedly wearing safety stickers on their work gear today to promote safety in the workplace, despite being banned by employers.
The campaign to promote safety comes after the tragic death of three miners in Queensland this year “and safety standards dropping in the industry,” CFMEU district president Steve Smyth said. ... [Mining Australia - 16/7/15]
Sydney contractor paid for 'ghost' CFMEU memberships, royal commission told [Canberra Times – 17/7/15]
Anglo American announces multi-billion dollar impairment [Mining Australia – 17/7/15]
Union protesters have blockaded the front gates of Caltex's Brisbane refinery to rally against job cuts on board the Alexander Spirit fuel tanker ship. ... [Yahoo - 17/7/15]
Remembering the HIV/Aids researchers and activists lost on MH17
News that Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down in Ukraine sent shock waves around the world. The cracks in an already fragile political landscape began to widen and the senseless loss of innocent life united the world in horror and grief.
When it was announced that a group of high-profile Aids researchers travelling to attend an international conference in Melbourne were among the dead, it quickly became clear the impact of this tragedy would be felt far beyond the troubled borders of eastern Europe.
Missing from the delegates at the Aids 2014 symposium was the former International Aids Society president and professor of medicine Joep Lange. As a young doctor in the 1980s, in the early days of the Aids epidemic, Lange led research on the clinical evolution of HIV infection and in the 90s was instrumental in the development of antiretroviral therapy. His ambitions, however, were not limited to furthering scientific knowledge. He made it his mission to widen access to the drugs in developing countries and his loss is likely to be felt most keenly among development workers and activists fighting to improve HIV/Aids care in the world's poorest communities.
Dr Michael Merson, a longtime friend and colleague of Lange, describes the work he was undertaking in east Africa and Thailand as "critical". The founding director of the US-based Duke Global Health Institute says Lange didn't understand why these drugs had to cost so much, particularly for poorer populations: "If you go back to the mid-90s when the antiretroviral drugs first became available, the cost was about $15,000 (£8,800) a year for a patient. Now it is $100 a year. Lange was not the only one who did this, but he was out in front, saying that if we can get Coca-Cola out there why can't we get Aids drugs to the people who need it?"
Merson first met the medical pioneer, who founded the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development, in the 1990s while directing the World Health Organisation's global Aids programme. He hired Lange to lead the unit on clinical research, but after both left WHO they remained friends and continued to collaborate on global health programmes.
Merson mourns losing such an "exceptional" individual. He explains how a lot of people got into the field in the early 80s and bonded during those difficult years when there was no treatment and a lot of discrimination. Lange emerged from those harrowing years as a strong, inspirational leader. Whether you were an activist, scientist, physician, government bureaucrat or working in an NGO, Merson insists you wanted Lange on your side.
Lange's partner and colleague at the institute, Jacqueline van Tongeren, 64, also lost her life in the crash, as well as the director of support at the Female Health Company, Lucie van Mens, and the WHO media coordinator Glenn Thomas who was 49.
Martine de Schutter was another victim of the disaster. For the last year, she has been leading a programme called Bridging the Gap, aimed at providing vital drugs to marginalised groups most vulnerable to HIV/Aids across Africa, Asia and Latin America. According to the executive director of the International HIV/Aids Alliance, Alvaro Bermejo, she was making significant progress in identifying ways to break down the barriers for these groups to access crucial health services. He describes her loss as "a void which is difficult to fill", and her death is a particular blow to development workers in that field.
Bermejo also worked with and speaks of the loss of Pim de Kuijer. The 32-year-old Dutchman was working as an HIV lobbyist, trying to convince the Dutch government to allocate more money to finance Aids programmes in regions where it will make the biggest difference. Bermejo, who knew both de Schutter and De Kuijer well from sharing the same offices in Brussels, Geneva and Washington, claims his knowledge of the Dutch parliament was incredibly detailed and believes it will be difficult to replace him.
The Aids movement, however, is sadly used to losing leaders. Some have died as a result of the virus itself, while others have met a similar tragic fate to those travelling on MH17. In 1998, Jonathan Mann, former director of the WHO's international Aids programme, died when a Swissair flight from Geneva to New York came down over Nova Scotia. Replacing leaders, Bermejo says, is something that the Aids movement has had to do more than any other.
Despite the grief and disbelief one of the major strengths of the Aids community is the spirit of collaboration. It is the ability to work together on a global scale that Bermejo hopes will push the movement forwards after this tragedy.
He says: "Pim and Martine were really great examples, not just of researchers and implementers, but of how the power of alliances and collaboration can take you beyond what one organisation can do.
"That has to be part of their legacy – that commitment to continue working in partnerships across organisations to bring about the end of the Aids epidemic."
Former Townsville soldier jailed for life for murdering ex-partner [ABC - 17/7/15]
... Apolonia McDonnell carried her daughter's ashes through five days of disturbing testimony at Devenna's trial and sentencing.
A video-taped police interview in which Devenna, 32, recalled telling Ms Dower "you're going to die, I'm not calling an ambulance" was among the most confronting evidence. ... [Yahoo - 17/7/15]
New trailer for South Eastern Region Explosive Ordinance Response Team [QPS Media - 16/7/15]:
... Sergeant Austin currently manages two other bomb technicians within this elite team and is excited about the prospect of having another three fully trained members in this specialist area of policing. ...
At least four children were killed in an explosion in central Maidan wardak province of Afghanistan on Thursday morning, local officials said. ... [Khaama - 16/7/15]
Hundreds of Afghans who grew up in UK face mass deportation [Khaama - 17/7/15]
“Squish, Squish. I can't do that crying thing you do, darling, but squish squish.” - Edina Monsoon Merkel brings Palestinian refugee child to tears [The Local - 16/7/15]
... Reem is one of over 1.5 million Palestinians living in 58 refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
They are among the descendents of 750,000 Palestinians were fled or were expelled from their homes during and after the establishment of Israel in 1948. [Maan - 16/7/15]
US and Saudi-backed government in exile says Aden "liberated" as airstrikes, fighting continues throughout Yemen [Reuters - 17/7/15]
British pilots have participated in airstrikes over Syria on the behalf of allies such as the United States and Canada, the Ministry of Defense said on Friday. ... [Yahoo - 17/7/15]
United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria
The United States and its allies carried out 31 air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq on Wednesday, a U.S. military statement said.
Fifteen air raids were conducted near five Syrian cities, including five near Raqqa and four near Hasaka, said the statement issued on Thursday.
Islamic State targets near Falluja, Ramadi and six other cities were hit in 16 air strikes in Iraq, it added.
Colorado movie massacre gunman James Holmes was found guilty on Thursday of multiple counts of first degree murder, a verdict that enables prosecutors to seek the death penalty for the former graduate student who killed 12 people and wounded 70 at a midnight premiere of a Batman film in 2012. ... [Reuters - 16/7/15]
New Zealand's Corrections Minister says Serco will be held to account for prison fight club [RNZI - 17/7/15]:
The Corrections Minister says he will be holding the private operator of Auckland's Mt Eden Prison to account after videos of inmate fights were shared online.
Several videos depicting violent scuffles between inmates, some with Black Power affiliations, have been filmed, using smuggled mobile phones, and uploaded on social media.
Department of Corrections Northern Region Commissioner Jeanette Burns said an investigation was underway to find out how the incident took place, and whether the safety of prisoners was compromised by management.
Ms Burns said cellphones were considered contraband, and she was working alongside Serco, the British-based global outsourcing firm that runs the prison, to see if those involved would face charges.
The prison's operations were contracted out by the Government and it has been run by Serco since May 2011.
Labour Party justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern said the incident highlighted why the company should not be put in charge of New Zealand prisons.
"Serco are understaffing Mt Eden, making it dangerous for both staff, and prisoners."
"We've been raising this point for well over a year and with no response from the Minister."
Two suspended Nauru opposition MPs, and others bailed
Two Nauru opposition MPs who have been in custody on the island for the last month have been released on bail.
Sprent Dabwido and Squire Jeremiah are facing criminal charges in relation to a protest outside parliament last month.
They were remanded in custody after the protests.
Mr Dabwido's cousin Marelda Dabwido says the MPs were released after a bail hearing this morning.
She says Mr Dabwido did not attend the hearing as he remains in hospital following a heart attack early on Wednesday.
Eight young men facing similar charges have also been released on bail.
The two MPs are among five Nauru MPs who are the focus of international attention amid concerns over alleged rights violations on the island.
Stick your "solidarity" up your bum!
Are unions saying there is a level of pay and conditions below which staff would not inflict repression and torture on refugees?
Canberra Times [17/7/15]:
International visitors landing at Australia's airports are being greeted with an anti-Abbott government union campaign as part of the escalating public service wage dispute.
Border Force and Agriculture Department public servants say they will hand out 1 million flyers at the nation's airports, and other "contact points", seeking public support as the pay stalemate in most of the Australian Public Service limps into its second year.
The public servants, who caused low-level disruptions at airports around the country with stop-work action in June, stepped up their campaign on Thursday.
Employees of the departments of Veterans' Affairs and Defence are also involved in the flyer action which will spread to other parts of the public service in coming weeks, according to the Community and Public Sector Union.
The union's leadership says thousands of passengers entering or leaving the country each day will be handed statements by uniformed Border Force, Immigration or quarantine officers operating under protected industrial action.
Where were you "comrade"? A global anti-corruption group says it has become the second organisation to have a billboard banned at Brisbane Airport for political reasons in the lead-up to this month's G20 meeting.
It was revealed on Monday Brisbane Airport Corporation had banned a billboard about climate change because it was "too political". ... [ABC - 17/7/15]
Great to chat to @BarackObama about importance of minimum wage &Abbott's refusal to engage with L20
Image: @GedKACTU - President, Australian Council of Trade Unions [15/11/14]
Asylum seeker exiled, incarcerated and allegedly assaulted by guards on Manus Island enters 100th day of hunger strike
Doctors are warning the federal government will have blood on its hands if it doesn't evacuate a critically ill asylum seeker from Manus Island to Australia for urgent medical care.
Friday marks the 100th day of Mohammad Albederee's hunger strike protesting against a lack of medical treatment for kidney and shoulder problems, after an alleged assault by guards at the detention centre last year.
"He needs to be out of that environment and needs to be in a hospital where his urine output, blood pressure, weight are consistently measured," Dr Barri Phatarfod, from Doctors for Refugees, told AAP.
"If the government won't authorise him to come out to Australia and be cared for, and if he passes away, then the government has got blood on its hands."
Mr Albederee's condition has deteriorated significantly in the past three months and he spends hours vomiting when he tries to ingest food or drink.
It's believed the 31-year-old Iraqi has lost 21 kilograms.
Dr Phatarfod, who is familiar with the asylum seeker's case, said removing him from detention centre was the best way to improve negotiations to get him to eat.
Mr Albederee was reportedly flown to Port Moresby in mid-June for x-rays and a MRI but instead of being kept in a hospital he was put in a hotel room and guarded for 12 days.
Asylum seeker advocate and SA Democrat, Jeanie Walker, said Mr Albederee began his hunger strike after he refused to sign a document absolving Wilson Security of responsibility for his condition.
She spoke to Mr Albederee on Thursday and says he's in a bad way.
He was staying in his room while other detainees and detention centre staff bombarded him with pleas to eat and drink, she said.
"He can't cope with it, he's too fragile," she added.
Ms Walker says Mr Albederee needs a kidney removed and a neurologist to treat his shoulder damage, but the hospital facilities on Manus Island and Port Moresby don't have the resources and equipment to deal with his complicated medical conditions.
"All they can do is try to put a tube in his stomach, and give him fluids. There's nothing else they can do," she told AAP.
Comment has been sought from Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.
Malcolm Fraser: The ALP and libs are "beyond reform": 55 mins in ----> 2,000 attended this ASRC Information Evening [VIDEO - 30/10/14]
This is the BEST the Greens can do in response to a regional humanitarian crisis? An online PR campaign for the ALP, calling on fascists to stop refugee boat turnbacks?
Do they seriously believe legitimising the two party cartel, and not highlighting their own party as an alternative (along with the use of totalitarian anti refugee language), will do anything other than direct votes to the ALP?
Stop The Turn Backs!
Dear Minister Dutton and Mr Shorten,
Enough is enough.
This year we have heard allegations of the Australian Government paying people smugglers to turn back boats, we heard the desperate stories about appalling conditions on Manus Island and Nauru, we have seen the silencing of doctors and teachers who have spoken out about this abuse and we have seen the race to the bottom on refugees continue.
Well it has to stop. The Australian people deserve better than political point scoring with peoples’ lives.
As we approach the next Federal Election, and the Labor Party approaches its National Conference, we call on the Liberal and Labor Parties to draw a line in the sand under this appalling and illegal treatment of refugees and commit to no more turn-backs.
Turn-backs don’t save live they just condemn people to die elsewhere.
Not in our names,
Senate debates Tuesday, 11 October 2011:
Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (SA, Australian Greens)
That the Senate—
(a) notes the current dismal state of debate on asylum seeker policy in Australia with:
(i) the Prime Minister (Ms Gillard) calling the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Abbott) hypocritical, and
(ii) the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Abbott) calling the Prime Minister (Ms Gillard) hypocritical; and
(b) calls for Australia's international refugee obligations to be respected.
Question put. The Senate divided. [15:53]
(The Deputy President—Senator Parry)
And as Australian activists and the Greens
energy into the DEAD TWO PARTY FASCIST CARTEL ----> [teleSUR
- 16/7/15]: According to lawmaker Esteban Melo under a new migration
bill presented to the Ecuadorean National Assembly Thursday, “No human being
will be considered illegal.” ...
UNHCR's protection chief completes visit to Myanmar with call for more support to Rakhine
South East Asia
9 month ban on Australia's acceptance of UNHCR refugees continues being ignored by "opposition" and human rights establishment [SBS - 9/7/15]
UNHCR Media Release [16/7/15]:
A top official of the UN refugee agency responsible for protection has called for more concerted support to resolve the plight of displaced people in Myanmar and those with undetermined citizenship.
UNHCR's Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Volker Türk, made his remarks at the end of a five-day mission to Myanmar on Monday during which he visited Yangon and the capital Nay Pyi Taw, as well as Sittwe and Maungdaw in Rakhine state.
Rakhine state is one of the least developed in the country. It is home not only to internally displaced people, but also to an estimated 1 million people of undetermined citizenship -- predominantly Rohingya living in the state's northern townships.
This population is affected by restrictions on freedom of movement and access to livelihoods and services such as health and education.
Türk heard directly from the affected populations in Rakhine state, where 140,000 people are still internally displaced after the outbreak of inter-communal violence three years ago.
In a positive development, when breaking the Ramadan fast together with Rakhine and Rohingya community leaders in Maungdaw, he was told that while challenges remain in building trust, the communities have a long history of co-existence.
"We have been living together since before Maungdaw town existed," said one Rohingya leader. His comment was then affirmed by a Rakhine representative.
Travelling to a small village an hour's drive from Maungdaw, Türk saw first-hand the impact of restrictions on the Rohingya population and the harmful effects of their lack of rights associated with citizenship. "Local orders" are in place that prevent them from moving easily from one village to another, greatly limiting their livelihoods. They also lack access to higher educational opportunities.
Since June 2012, Rohingya students have been unable to attend Sittwe University – the only university in the state.
In Nay Pyi Taw, he held discussions with U Khin Yi, Minister for Immigration and Population, and other government officials and parliamentarians.
Following up on the issues raised in Bangkok in late May at a regional meeting on irregular migration in the Indian Ocean, Türk discussed the recent "boat crisis" in the region and the long-term situation in Rakhine state. He reiterated UNHCR's readiness to assist all governments in the region, including that of Myanmar, to address the movements of people from Bangladesh and Myanmar.
At the end of his visit, the Assistant High Commissioner shared his findings at a briefing with diplomats and representatives of international organisations in Yangon.
Describing the regional dimension of the maritime movements in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea, he emphasised that in order to find solutions, it is key to work with all of the communities, together with the authorities, to promote peaceful co-existence in the Rakhine state.
"The future of the country depends on the future of all of its composite parts," Türk said at the briefing, noting that everyone in the country should have the opportunity to benefit from the transformation currently taking place.
By Kasita Rochanakorn in Yangon, Myanmar
... "These effectively 'stateless' and 'restless' entities-the Rohingya children - are on their knees before the collective conscience of the international community. These glimmering flowers are being reduced to dusky coffins, floating on the Andaman Sea. The world is a global village; we are inhabitants of the same planet to which they belong and upon which they are being persecuted, thrashed and beleaguered. And if we fail, therefore, to respond at this vulnerable hour, or if the global community continues to shy away from taking a 'moral stand', there can be no more justifiable reason for the pursuit of a humane society" pleads the SAIRI report's principal investigator, Professor Dr. Qadhi Aurangzeb Al Hafi. ... SAIRI Report finds over 178,000 Rohingya children at high risk of multiple disabilities and enslavement [PR Newswire - 16/7/15]
Who is instigating the violence against the Rohingya in Myanmar? Azeem Ibrahim [Huffington Post - 16/7/15]:
… I recently returned from Myanmar, where I undertook research for my forthcoming book on the Rohingya minority. Whilst there, I had to ask: who is actually instigating these vicious attacks against the Rohingya? It is difficult to point the finger unequivocally to the government, even as there is evidence that at least some elements of the state administration have either enabled or even participated in certain attacks. And it is equally difficult to pin down any group or population, even as it is clear that many, many people in Myanmar are extremely hostile to the Rohingya.
But one name that repeatedly came up and in the case of which there is very little ambiguity is Dr Aye Maung, leader of the Arakan National Party (ANP), previously known as the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party (RNDP) . To put this into its proper context, the stated ideology of the ANP is to "represent the interests of Rakhine people in Rakhine (Arakan) state and the Yangon region". In other words, it is a self-declared ethno-centric, xenophobic and racist party. And they hate the Rohingya with a burning passion - for having a different color skin and most of all for having a different religion (Islam) .
...Mr Simpkins said there are several hundred Karen people living in his electorate who came from camps along the Thai border, adding they make a great contribution to Australia. ... Coalition MP flies the flag at rebels' get-together in Myanmar [Sydney Morning Herald - 3/2/15]
Time to reign in corporate colonisation, Nathan Willis [30/1/15]:
... My thoughts on the topic are informed by my own research in Rakhine State, Myanmar, where the following facts are notable:
1. the Australian company, Woodside Petroleum, has an interest in gas reserves off the coast of Rakhine state;
2. a gas and oil pipeline has been laid from that location to Yunnan province in China;
3. gas has begun flowing through this pipeline;
4. land has been confiscated from local communities in order to facilitate this process; and
5. Rohingya refugees are fleeing the region. While the violence that they are fleeing is traced by most commentators to ethnic and religious conflicts, these conflicts have been fuelled by the land confiscations just mentioned. A further fact worth noting is that many of these refugees are now incarcerated in detention centres such as Manus Island that are run under agreement with the Australian government and at great expense to the Australian people.
Are we observing criminal behaviour, or activity that constitutes a serious breach of human rights, in this case? While many individuals along with corporate interests are profiting from the gas and oil pipeline that runs through Rakhine State, it is premature at this point to conclude that their investment in Myanmar in itself amounts to criminal behaviour.
Journalists defend themselves in Rohingya story [Asia One - 16/7/15]
'You're Not A Real Reporter': If this catches on, Murdoch propaganda is in serious trouble [New Matilda - 16/7/15]
Australian cultural festivals continue gilding the fascist lily ----> Julia Gillard among stellar guests at Byron Writers Festival [Tweed Shire Echo – 16/7/15]
Thousands of handwritten pledges against mining giant Adani handed to Brisbane office in protest
More than 2,000 handwritten personal messages opposing plans for major coal mines in Queensland have been delivered to the Brisbane office of Adani.
Over 150 protesters marched on the steps of the international mining company's CBD office to speak out against the coal mining projects planned for Queensland's Galilee Basin and Abbot Point.
Instead of angry chants, protesters expressed their views by writing them on orange material and holding them in the air as they marched.
Aboriginal elder Carol Prior personally delivered these "pledges" to the Adani office which were accepted by the company.
Ms Prior said a peaceful protest was the most effect way to get their message heard.
"Rather than going in screaming and yelling it's best to sit down and talk in a civil tone and act like human beings," Ms Prior said.
The proposed coal mines are the largest of their kind in the world.
Ms Prior said the mines would devastate the environment and destroy sacred Indigenous sites.
Sandra Williams from Reef Defenders says major Queensland mining projects will cause "irreparable damage" to the Great Barrier Reef.
"Climate change and industrialisation are the greatest threats facing our reefs," Ms Williams said.
"Adani has repeatedly overstated the economic benefit of this project and exaggerated job figures by 80 per cent."
Adani have not responded to the group's attempts to discuss their concerns.
"We've asked to have a meeting with Adani and they have refused our request," Ms Williams said.
Despite the refusal Ms Williams said Reef Defenders would not be deterred.
"Right across Australia communities are ready to stand up and take action until Adani take notice," she said.
Queensland government has 'absolutely no intentions' of changing barbaric, environmentally destructive shark control program [ABC – 16/7/15]
Yahoo 7 [29/7/14]:
A humpback whale has been freed from shark nets off the Gold Coast days after two young whales became trapped in the area.
Sea World marine experts were alerted about 7.45am on Tuesday after reports a humpback was caught in nets about 300 metres off Kirra Beach.
A spokeswoman for the Gold Coast theme park told AAP a team cut the whale free about two and a half hours later.
Marine experts onboard a boat are following the mammal, which appears to be in good health.
An exhausted humpback calf was freed by a rescue team after struggling for hours in a net off the same beach last Thursday.
The whale suffered muscle and tail damage but was able to swim away.
However, a baby whale that became trapped off a southern Gold Coast beach on July 20 was not so fortunate.
The newborn hit the bottom of a shark net, was unable to free itself and drowned.
Sea World's director of marine sciences Trevor Long last week called for a review of the use of shark nets off the Gold Coast.
He said many inexperienced mammals ran into trouble on their first southern migration because they did not know where the "traps" were.
Mr Long suggested replacing the nets with drum lines during the whale season in winter, when the beaches aren't as popular.
Freak hailstorm hits Papua
Aid is on its way to three isolated districts in Indonesia's Papua region after a freak hailstorm and freezing temperatures killed 11 people, and severely damaged farmland.
Hail continuously fell over a number of days in Lanny Jaya regency earlier this month, with the temperature dropping to minus 2 degrees.
The regional administration secretary, Christian Siholait, told the Jakarta Post that it was the first time many locals had experienced such low temperatures.
He says most were not prepared for the extreme weather, and they are now vulnerable to disease, with many suffering from diarrhea.
Mr Siholait says they are also facing a food crisis after the hail severely damaged farmland and killed a large number of livestock.
At least 1,200 families live in the isolated region which can only be reached by small aircraft or by walking for two days from the regency's capital city of Tiom.
Local authorities are sending medical assistance and food supplies to the three districts by chartered aircraft.
Hailstorm in Papua kills 11, devastates plantations [TEMPO.CO – 14/7/15]
Battery problem grounds Solar Impulse until 2016
Today, the Solar Impulse team announced that its record-setting aircraft was done for the year.
Solar Impulse 2 has been stranded in Hawaii by battery problems that cropped up during its flight there from Japan.
The team has now determined that there's a need to replace a lot of this hardware and that the time required to do so will mean that the flight cannot be completed before changing seasons cut down on the hours of sunlight available for the remaining legs of its flight.
Despite the successful conclusion of the flight from Nagoya to Oahu, problems had cropped up during the initial ascent, when some of the aircraft's many batteries overheated. ...
Oklahoma State Supreme Court says residents can sue fossil fuel industry for earthquake damage linked to fracking
Desmog Blog [14/7/15]:
The Oklahoma State Supreme Court delivered a devastating blow to the fossil fuel industry last week when it unanimously decided that homeowners in Oklahoma could sue the industry for earthquake damage linked to hydraulic fracturing.
While the justices on the Court did not necessarily endorse the link between fracking and earthquakes — or frackquakes — they did acknowledge the fact that increased fracking activities have correlated with an increase in earthquakes, and that existing tort laws would allow plaintiffs to sue the industry if damage can be proven.
In liability terms, plaintiffs in Oklahoma would have to be able to prove that the earthquake that caused the damage — either to the individual or to their property — while the industry would have to prove the quake was not the result of their activities.
Correlation does not equal causality, but a plethora of studies have confirmed that hydraulic fracturing and wastewater injection does, in fact, trigger earthquakes. The bulk of these quakes are occurring in fracking-heavy states like Texas, Ohio, and Oklahoma.
For Oklahoma residents, causality is fairly easy to prove, given that officials in the state recently admitted that there is a direct link between fracking activities and the increased frequency of earthquakes occurring in the state.
In April of this year, the Oklahoma Geological Survey released a report that also concluded that the increased frequency and intensity of earthquakes in the state of Oklahoma was “very likely” tied to the increase of fracking within the state. In that report, seismologists stated that the rate of earthquakes in Oklahoma had risen by 70 times in the years between 2008 and 2013, with quakes of a magnitude of 3.0 or greater occurring two to three times per day, as opposed to twice a year before the expansion of fracking.
We have reported in the past that the increased likelihood of earthquakes around fracking sites was becoming a cause for concern for both the industry and governments (in the U.S. and abroad). This Court ruling should be an even larger concern for the industry.
The next step will be for the victims of these earthquakes to file individual lawsuits and hope that their attorneys are successful in getting these classified as a class action to be filed together. Once the class has been established and the lawsuit gets underway, lawyers will have access to records from the industry itself that have previously been off-limits to the public.
This discovery process is probably the most substantial in this case (as it is with any lawsuit), because this is where the real damning information is often found. If the industry knew that there was a link between fracking and earthquakes, it will be uncovered in their internal memos and emails, which has the potential to sink the entire industry.
In addition to individual citizens joining class action suits, governing bodies will also be given the opportunity to sue the industry for damage caused by earthquakes to infrastructure that the government is on the hook for repairing.
Successful lawsuits in Oklahoma will result in lawsuits against the industry in any locale where fracking and earthquakes are tied together, creating a judicial nightmare for the fossil fuel industry. A nightmare that has the potential to bankrupt fracking operations and put a stop to this dangerous practice once and for all.
... The trouble for Clinton started during a question-and-answer segment when she was asked a yes-or-no question about whether she would ban the extraction of fossil fuels from public grounds. “The answer is no until we get alternatives in place,” Clinton answered. That response, in turn, prompted an aggressive follow-up from a second person in the crowd: “Is your refusal to take leadership on climate change due to the fact that you have contributions from the fossil fuel industry in your campaign?” ... Hillary gets heckled [Slate - 16/7/15]
US officials, geezers say Ukraine rebels behind MH17 downing, Dutch team cannot confirm
US officials reportedly familiar with the Dutch report on the MH17 crash in Ukraine that took place a year ago blamed the rebels for shooting down the plane, according to US media. The Dutch investigators told RT they “cannot confirm” this.
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, heading from Amsterdam to Kuala-Lumpur, crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 people on board. The Dutch Safety Board has been heading an international investigation into the cause of the crash since a large number of passengers on the flight were from Holland while the plane itself flew out of Amsterdam.
According to CNN, who cited two anonymous US officials, the plane was downed by the eastern Ukrainian militia.
“Dutch accident investigators say that evidence points to pro-Russian rebels as being responsible for shooting down MH-17, according to a source who has seen the report,” CNN reported Wednesday. DSB is due to release their report in October, so what the channel’s sources may have seen is a draft.
One of the sources also alleged the draft identified the “exact type of missile used to bring down MH17 and the trajectory of the missile.”
Both the sources claimed the Dutch investigators partly put the blame for the crash on Malaysia Airlines, which did not divert the plane from the conflict zone.
“The Malaysia Airlines was not reading other countries' notice to airmen or NOTAMs and it continued to fly over the zone,” says CNN. NOTAM stands for Notice to Airmen, which is filed with an aviation authority to alert pilots of potential hazards along their route.
The Dutch Safety Board spokesperson told RT the investigators “cannot confirm” this information.
"I cannot confirm anything. It's a confidential draft report, which has been sent to the International Investigation Team and I cannot provide any details about it as long as it is a draft report - so we only give comments when the final report is issued,” Sara Vernooij said over the phone.
There are two parallel investigations into the disaster, both headed by the Dutch, with the first carried by the DBS looking into the cause of the crash. The second investigation carried out by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is a criminal inquiry.
There have been similar media reports blaming Ukraine anti-government forces for the tragedy, but the Dutch have not backed any of it.
In March reports made by Ukrainian media claimed that the Dutch team had already come to the conclusion it was a pro-Russian Buk surface-to-air missile system that shot down the Boeing airliner.
Regarding the Ukrainian reports, Dutch Public Prosecution Service (OM) spokesman Wim de Bruin told RT: “I can say for sure they are not correct.”
The same month the Netherlands broadcaster RTL alleged that MH17 was shot down by a Buk anti-aircraft missile showcasing a metal fragment from the crash site of the plane that supposedly matches a missile found by a journalist.
The report was turned down by the Dutch Safety Board as well, because the investigation “focuses on many more sources than only the shrapnel.”
A Dutch report on the official investigation published in September 2014 said the crash was a result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects that struck the Boeing from the outside. However, it did not conclude what the objects were, where they came from, or who was responsible.
In October 2014 the German Der Spiegel reported that the chief Dutch prosecutor investigating the MH17 downing as saying that he does not exclude the possibility that the aircraft might have been shot down from air.
This was in line with Moscow’s report on the
catastrophe. Following the downing of the Malaysian Airlines MH17 flight in
July, Russia’s Defense Ministry released military monitoring data, which showed
a Kiev SU-25 jet tracking the passenger plane shortly before the crash.
In July Russia’s Defense Ministry also urged the US to release the space photos and data captured by an American satellite flying over the area of eastern Ukraine at the moment of the MH17 crash.
No such images have yet been published.
On Tuesday, Malaysia submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council on the establishment of an international tribunal to prosecute those behind the crash.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported in December that relatives of MH17 crash victims addressed the Netherlands requesting the UN takes over the prolonged investigation into the downing of the passenger plane over Ukraine, blaming the Dutch of mishandling the inquiries into the disaster.
Former advisor to US Republican senators James G. Jatras told RT that he believes the investigation has been politicized.
“There is an ongoing investigation and I am concerned that that is headed by the Dutch who are a member of NATO. [The investigation] is already tainted by a political process,” he said. “All the countries that do have technical means and can point to what exactly happened should be transparent about this. And I don’t think that’s happening unfortunately. So this remains more of a political process than a process establishing responsibility and justice.”
Rural and Regional Queensland, Electoral Redistribution
Queensland Parliament Hansard [16/7/15]:
Mr KNUTH [KAP - Dalrymple]: My question without notice is to the Premier. As the Premier has expressed great passion for rural and regional Queensland, does the Premier acknowledge that, again, three to four of those seats are projected to be abolished in the next redistribution, removing further representation? Will the Premier work with the parliament to ensure rural and regional Queensland is not again robbed of that representation?
Speaker’s Ruling, Question Out of Order
Mr SPEAKER: One moment, Premier. Member for Dalrymple, I am going to have to rule that question out of order because, as I understand it, it is the subject of a bill currently before the House. Did you have an alternative question you would like to put?
Mr KNUTH: No, thank you.
What's wrong with the one they've got already? Developer mates get millions to build another pointless stadium, Townsville
Queensland Parliament Hansard [16/7/15]:
Mr HARPER [ALP - Thuringowa]: My question is to the Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland. Will the minister please update the House about plans for the new stadium in Townsville and what it will mean for the region?
Mrs O’ROURKE: I thank the member for the question. I know the member for Thuringowa is incredibly passionate about our region and he works incredibly hard every day for the people in his electorate. We understand the importance of attracting visitors to Townsville to see the growing city reach its potential as an economic powerhouse of the north. That is why we have committed $100 million over four years in the state budget for the Townsville stadium. The project will create more than 500 jobs during construction and a further 1,000 jobs through increased economic activity. As the Premier’s appointed champion of the stadium, I will work closely with my cabinet colleagues to make sure our stadium becomes a reality.
I am absolutely delighted to stand here today and advise the House that my federal Labor colleagues have listened. That is right. Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten was in our great city of Townsville yesterday and committed to funding the Townsville stadium. ...
Bernard Tomic arrested in Miami Beach over loud hotel music
The Province [16/7/15]:
Australian tennis player Bernard Tomic is facing resisting arrest charges after allegedly refusing to turn down loud music in his suite at a Miami Beach hotel.
Miami Beach police say officers responded Wednesday to the W South Beach Hotel after Tomic would not comply with requests from hotel security to lower the volume.
The security personnel and police officers then told the 22-year-old Tomic he was being evicted, but he refused to leave.
Tomic stayed in the suite after being warned he was trespassing and was then arrested on misdemeanour charges of resisting arrest without violence and trespassing.
Court and jail records did not list an attorney for Tomic.
Double shooting, Woodgate
QPS Media [17/7/15]:
Bundaberg Detectives are investigating an alleged shooting incident that occurred at Woodgate early this morning.
At around 3am, a 69-year-old man attended hospital with what appeared to be a gunshot wound.
Police were notified and proceeded to a Woodgate address.
On route, police located a 30-year-old man who had injuries to his hand.
Both men are currently receiving medical treatment at Bundaberg Base Hospital and under police guard.
A crime scene has been established at the Jarretts Road residence.
Police are appealing for any members of the public who may have heard or seen anything, or have any knowledge of what occurred to contact Bundaberg police or 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.
Another dangerous, wasteful police pursuit, Tingalpa [17/7/15]
Armed robbery, Aspley [QPS Media - 17/7/15]
You can tell this man is a terrorist because he has a beard: Four Marines were killed Thursday when a gunman attacked two military centers in Chattanooga, Tennessee. ... [CNN - 17/7/15]
Bunbury hostage taker is escaped Graylands patient David Charles Batty [Bunbury Mail - 17/6/15]:
... Mr Dawson [Opposition spokesman for mental health] said Mr Batty's [previous] escape put the spotlight on Graylands Hospital, which also faced several inquests into a spate of deaths at the facility in 2013.
He said the government's closure of wards at the facility could have compromised its security.
"If they've closed wards they probably have started to cut back on staff and this could have led to somebody who's got a violent past escaping from the facility." A second mental health patient, Samuel Enoch Walsh, escaped from Graylands in October last year and hasn't been seen since.
Graylands Hospital, an 'outdated, institutionalised old lunatic asylum', to be shut down [ABC - 4/12/15]
Beyond prisons, mental health clinics: When austerity opens cages, where do the services go? [Political Research - 9/10/14]
A second police press conference has revealed that the hostage has been returned to his family and is receiving medical treatment.
Police have refused to give any details about the offender's identity and will not confirm if he was armed or had any explosive material on him.
They have confirmed that the hostage was released by the offender as a result of police negotiations with him.
The scene of the siege in Bunbury has now been cleared as safe for the wider community.
7.03am: Police have arrested the 52-year-old man responsible for a 12-hour hostage situation on the bank of the Leschenault Inlet.
He appeared to fall to the ground after the gunfire but the Mail understands he was shot with non-lethal bullets.
He is now in the back of an armoured vehicle.
Police have confirmed that both men are in a stable physical condition.
… [Bunbury Mail - 17/7/15]
17 July 2015