Thai military fixed migrant boat 4 2nd time Sat. Today a trawler with armed men towed it towards Indonesia.

What about 350 people on board?

 

 

 

"tweeted" by @pakhead - Jonathan Head - BBC South East Asia Correspondent  [17/5/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Abbott please stop lying.

Truth is the boats haven't stopped, they are marooned out on the high seas and people are starving to death

 

 

 

Aust can't just sit by while thousands of refugees die at sea in our region.

We must urgently increase our refugee intake & offer sanctuary

 

 

"tweeted" by @sarahinthesen8  - Senator Hanson-Young [17/5/15]

 

 

 

 

 

The western section of the Gold Coast Spit is being remodelled for set construction/filming of the next Disney Pirates of The Caribbean movie.




A sign on site says the principal contractor is Mukiri Productions Pty. Ltd.

 

 

The tip of the western section of the Gold Coast Spit is offlimits to the public until July 2015.

 


 

Dead casuarinas on an adjacent section of the western Gold Coast Spit that isn't being "beautified" for Disney's latest Pirates Of The Caribbean movie.

 

 

 

 

Crowds gather for Rockhampton Mosque Open Day



Morning Bulletin [16/5/15]:



It was a day designed to break down barriers and create better understanding among the community about the Islamic faith.

Binil Kattiparambil said he believe many who came to the open day at the Rockhampton Mosque had learnt something new about Muslims in their community.

The secretary of the Islamic Society of Central Queensland said the day was all about promoting peace.

During the event, visitors were able to ask questions of a panel which included Assistant Commissioner Mike Condon, Deputy Commissioner for the Anti Discrimination Commission Queensland Neroli Holmes and Imam Uzair Akbar from the Holland Park Mosque in Brisbane.

People asked questions about terrorism and ISIS, Halal certification, wearing the Hijab and the recently-held Reclaim Australia rallies before enjoying a lunch featuring a wide range of cuisines.

 

 



Serious assault, Telina (Gladstone)

 

 

 

QPS Media [17/5/15]:


Police are investigating after two men were injured at a disturbance at Telina early this morning.

Sometime between 1 and 1.20am the two men, aged 24 and 18, attended the Gladstone Hospital with life threatening injuries.

Initial investigations indicate the two had attended a party on Vernon Road where it is believed they were injured during a disturbance.

Police are asking anyone who attended the party and who may have witnessed the incident that lead to the two men being injured to contact Crime Stoppers.

Investigations are continuing.

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.

 



Armed robbery, Nundah

 

 

 

QPS Media [17/5/15]:



Police are investigating after a woman was robbed at Nundah last night.

Around 10.45pm the woman was walking along Ryans Road when she was approached from behind by a man armed with a knife.

The man demanded her handbag. After the woman complied the man ran off back along Ryans Road.

The woman, 24, was not physically harmed during the incident.

The man is described as Caucasian, 170cm tall, of average build, clean shaven and aged late 20s to early 30s. He was wearing a black hooded jumper.

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





Man has dies in a car accident on Capricorn Highway



Morning Bulletin [17/5/15]:

 


A man has tragically died in a single vehicle rollover on the Capricorn Hwy today at 3.42pm.

Authorities confirmed the man was severely trapped in the vehicle and sustained severe injuries before passing away on scene.

The accident occurred just 3km West of Woorabinda.

 



 

Injured woman seen fleeing crashed car, Brassall



Queensland Times [17/5/15]:

 


Police are trying to work out why a woman ran from the scene of a crash at Brassall this afternoon.

Witnesses reported seeing a woman in her early 20s crash a white Ford Focus into a paddock near Carlson Ct, about 12.15pm.

Sporting a head wound, the woman was then seen running towards Holt St.

Crews are patrolling the area and the dog squad has been called in to assist.

The vehicle is registered to a nearby address, however police are yet to speak to the owner.

Investigations are continuing.




 

 

 

 

 Alongside domestic violence porn, eugenics, cruelty and laughing at the disabled, the latest edition of Australia's '60 Minutes' reheats, warmongering anti Russian propaganda.

 

 

 

 

 

Counterpunch [February 2015]:

 

 

 

... Higgins aka Brown Moses aka BM claimed to have proven that the chemical weapons attack on Ghouta, Syria on August 21, 2013 could only have been carried out by the Syrian military and government. His claims are based on his own “expert” analysis of missile trajectories and other “evidence” he claims to have obtained through videos and other open source information. Of course, in making this claim, Higgins places himself in direct opposition to former UN weapons inspector Richard Lloyd and Prof. Theodore Postel of MIT, the authors of an actual report from the MIT Science, Technology, and Global Security Working Group entitled “Possible Implications of Faulty US Technical Intelligence in the Damascus Nerve Agent Attack of August 21, 2013.” The report, conducted by real experts, not armchair bloggers, concluded that the Syrian government could not have carried out the attack, and that such intelligence was nearly used as justification for yet another aggressive war.

Also debunking BM’s spurious charges is the report from Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh which revealed the existence of a classified US Defense Intelligence Agency briefing which noted unequivocally that the Al Nusra Front had its own chemical weapons, not to mention deep ties to Saudi and Turkish intelligence and chemical arms suppliers. Hersh’s reporting finally firmly established the fact that the rebels were indeed capable of carrying out the attack on East Ghouta, and that they had help from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and possibly other regional actors. And so, not only did they have the motive (to blame Assad for using chemical weapons while international investigators were in Syria, thereby justifying a military intervention and regime change), but also the means and opportunity. This is an essential point because the entire ‘case’ against Assad relied on the fact that only Damascus was technologically and logistically capable of carrying out such an attack. ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most seriously, some GPS programs are run by officials who have a dismissive attitude towards domestic violence and view GPS monitoring primarily as a substitute for jail.

 

 

Law Enforcement Today [16/9/13]:

 

Some victims of domestic violence have been feeling safer recently, thanks to expanded use of GPS monitoring as a tool for supervising defendants. Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Connecticut already have successful GPS programs in place, and the Pennsylvania legislature is considering instituting a program.

A Department of Justice study released in June 2012 shows that GPS monitoring is an effective way to protect victims of domestic abuse. No victims in the study group suffered abuse during the study period, and a year later defendants from the GPS study had fewer program violations than defendants not using the devices.

The study included extensive interviews with victims, defendants, and criminal justice professionals that offer provocative insights into what works and what doesn’t in the ongoing battle against domestic violence.

GPS monitoring has been a feature of some pretrial release programs for domestic violence defendants since 1996. While awaiting trial, selected defendants are allowed to avoid jail and return to their communities if they agree to undergo continuous GPS monitoring.

Those who enter the program are issued a GPS device that sends a warning signal to the supervising agency if they enter a “safe zone”—the area around a victim’s home, workplace, or other designated area that a victim visits frequently.

For example, a defendant might be forbidden to enter a neighborhood where his alleged victim is serving as a caregiver for an elderly family member. Defendants pay a fee to cover agency supervision and use of the technology, and they must keep the device charged and stay within range of the electronic signal.

The GPS program offers defendants much more freedom than they would experience in jail or under traditional house arrest. Defendants can continue to work and meet financial obligations to their victims and children. Defendants are free to visit friends and relatives, attend church, pursue sports and hobbies, and enroll in school as long as they respect the safe zones programmed into their devices.

The DOJ study testifies to the effectiveness of GPS monitoring: Victims, defendants, and supervising officers listed numerous benefits, and statistics bear out their positive impressions. But the study also uncovered areas of misunderstanding—and, in some cases, dangers—that courts and agencies need to recognize.

Victims report many benefits: They feel safe and experience freedom they may not have enjoyed in a long time. Victims can shop, work, see friends, and move within their safe zones with more confidence. Before GPS monitoring, their attackers were able to harass, intimidate, and abuse them almost at will. “He got away with everything,” one victim complained—until he enrolled in the monitoring program.

But GPS monitoring doesn’t work for everyone. The device won’t stop an offender who’s determined to harm an ex-lover, especially if he (or she) is willing to risk a return to jail.

The safe zones (which, paradoxically, are not always shared with the defendant) sometimes decrease victims’ security, since a defendant can work the GPS system to discover where a victim is living or a child has been hidden.

And, in an ironic twist, the technology can increase a victim’s anxiety. When a defendant cooperates fully with the program, the warning system may be silent for weeks at a time. That silence can be unnerving, victims say.

How can they be sure the technology is still functioning?

Most seriously, some GPS programs are run by officials who have a dismissive attitude towards domestic violence and view GPS monitoring primarily as a substitute for jail.

The DOJ study included interviews with officials who cynically believe most victims will eventually recant—and that many of them are secretly meeting their alleged attackers outside the safe zones. Those officials say that there’s no reason to set up notification systems to warn victims that a safe zone has been violated.

Those officials sometimes employ a kind of tunnel vision when a defendant violates a safe-zone boundary. Officials may accept a defendant’s excuse without checking his or her story—and without notifying the victim about the violation and subsequent danger.

In one case, a defendant claimed that his job delivering mail required him to enter a safe zone repeatedly.

No one checked to see if he was really working for the post office. And in several jurisdictions, no one notified victims that the defendants they feared had been released from the GPS program. The victims continued to believe they were protected by a warning system that had been terminated without their knowledge.

Clearly GPS monitoring isn’t the perfect solution to domestic violence. Still, the DOJ study (and subsequent data) show that victims are much safer when their alleged attackers enter a GPS program.

And—surprisingly—many defendants were grateful for the program because it provided the incentive and accountability they needed to restructure their lives. Because they could no longer fill their empty hours with harassment and abuse, they had to find new ways to use their time. Forbidden to enter safe zones to return to old hangouts, and aware that their whereabouts were constantly monitored, some defendants enrolled in school or entered treatment programs.

Many defendants mentioned a program supervisor who provided valuable counseling and encouragement.

Some also said that GPS monitoring provided objective, unarguable proof that they were indeed honoring their pretrial agreement. Victims could not lie about unauthorized visits or harassing behavior.

But a number of defendants also complained that GPS monitoring violated the “innocent until proven guilty” principle that is supposed to be the cornerstone of American justice. Program participation is usually limited to defendants awaiting trial, and the DOJ study showed that almost half of all GPS clients’ cases were dismissed, suggesting that enrollment guidelines may need to be revisited and revised.

Some problems center on the technology. Devices can lose contact with the signal in some locations, such as rural areas and workspaces deep inside large buildings. Batteries need frequent recharging, and electronic noises from devices can create awkward moments and raise uncomfortable questions at school, work, and social situations. Clearly the devices and monitoring technology need improvements.

Despite the negative factors, the evidence in favor of GPS monitoring is impressive. Perhaps the most valuable input was provided by criminal justice professionals who work with defendants and victims. When used properly, GPS monitoring can have an unexpected benefit: Victims protected by the program are more likely to appear in court and testify, according to the DOJ study. The accountability built into a GPS program reassures victims that the criminal justice system is committed to helping them. As a result, they’re more likely to cooperate with prosecutors.

Still, officials warn, GPS devices are not a one-size-fits-all solution to domestic violence.

“Mismatching”—hooking up defendants who don’t belong in a GPS program—sets up defendants for failure and strains caseloads. For example, a first-time offender might need an anger-management class rather than a GPS program. And officials must be careful not to be lulled into overconfidence. All victims should be taught how to make and carry out a safety plan, and they may also need to learn how to keep children and pets safe.

GPS monitoring has proven its effectiveness, and its usefulness can be expected to grow as the technology improves. We can expect to see more jurisdictions adopting GPS technology soon.

...

 

 

 

Ankle-monitoring faces budget, privacy concerns [Yale Daily News - 13/9/13]

 

Sex offender policies: Considering unanticipated consequences of GPS sex offender monitoring

 

 

 

Katharine Mieszkowski , Salon [19/12/2006]:

 

It's not every Election Day that voters can cast a ballot to banish thousands of people to the hinterlands, but Californians did just that last month, and eagerly so. Seventy percent voted to ban registered sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park, effectively outlawing them from many residential areas in the state.

Known as "Jessica's Law," after a 9-year-old Florida girl who was kidnapped from her home, sexually abused and murdered by a registered sex offender, the California proposition swept in a myriad of punitive changes. The crackdown on residency applies to all registered sex offenders, including those convicted of a misdemeanor, such as indecent exposure. Most notably, felony sex offenders will now be tracked 24 hours a day, seven days a week, via GPS (global positioning system), even after they're out of prison and off parole. The state senator and advocates behind the proposition call the GPS devices a necessary and vital tool to control sexual criminals.

The California measure makes no distinction between habitual offenders at high risk of striking again, worth having their every move tracked electronically once they're out of prison, and the felons who have served their time and present no apparent threat to public safety in the eyes of the court. Just put a GPS device on all of them, voters said, forever. Now, the state's government and the courts are puzzling out how to bring the voters' sweeping mandate to life.

The broad California measure is symptomatic of a national tide of fear about sexual predators lurking in the bushes by the playground, at the mall, just on the other side of the elementary school fence, and skulking about on MySpace. A sort of boogeyman come to life, sex predators even have their own gotcha TV reality show masquerading as a news program, Dateline's "To Catch a Predator." Every state in the nation now has a sex offender registry, tracking where offenders live. But Virginia, for one, is taking the fight to cyberspace, considering legislation to have offenders register their e-mail addresses and instant-messenger handles, so the Internet can be cleaned up, too.

But as states rush to impose harsher penalties on sex criminals, critics -- legal and criminal analysts, and even some victims of sex crimes themselves -- state that the punitive new laws violate civil liberties and are ineffective. And while a technological fix like fastening GPS devices to former felons may make the public feel safer, it will do little to protect the children who are the victims of most sex crimes. ...

... Critics say that beyond the legal issues, the draconian new laws, and in particular the GPS ankle bracelets, will have little impact on preventing crimes against children, who are the victims of most sex crimes. Two-thirds of the victims of sex crimes are under age 18, and 58 percent of those underage victims were under age 12, according to the Department of Justice. Yet the majority of those victims aren't preyed on by strangers but know their attacker.

Pamela D. Schultz, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, is skeptical that broad application of GPS technology will do anything to prevent crimes like the one she suffered as a girl, which was committed by a neighbor. Now an associate professor of communications at Alfred University, a private school in western New York, she is the author of "Not Monsters: Analyzing the Stories of Child Molesters." Schultz is also a mother of two, who has a daughter in the second grade and a 21-month-old son. Regarding the new California laws, she says, "I think it's another example of feel-good legislation to get communities to feel that actual action is being taken to stem the problem. GPS monitoring and residency requirements are not going to do anything with the vast majority of offenders. They're just not."

As the state of California's own sex offender registry Web site attests, 90 percent of child victims know their attacker. And almost half the time that person is a family member.

"The vast majority of offenders abuse kids who they know," says Schultz. "They have close relationships with the children and the children's families."

Niki Delson, a social worker who is the spokesperson for the California Coalition on Sexual Offending, which opposed the California proposition, says that GPS monitoring will serve no purpose in most of these cases.

"The problem with using GPS for people who committed incest is you can't establish a zone which would make a child safe," says Delson. In fact, many sex offenders continue to be acquainted with their actual victims after the crimes occurred, according to Coombs of the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault. "That person doesn't stop being a father or a brother, and in many cases, is brought back to the family. GPS doesn't fix that," he says.

In fact, many sex crimes, notably those committed by family members or acquaintances, go unreported. Schultz fears that residency requirements and GPS tracking will have the unintended consequence of making victims of these crimes less likely to turn an attacker over to authorities. "When the bulk of abuse happens within families and close relationships, there is going to be less of a tendency to report those crimes," she says. "If something happens inside your family, and you report that, it's going to be plastered all over the place. Not only is the offender under public scrutiny, so are the families of the victims." For these types of offenses, adding GPS monitoring and strict residency requirements into the mix adds "another level of pressure into silence."

Schultz would rather see the tens of millions of dollars California is about to spend monitoring felony sex offenders be poured into counseling for victims of sex crimes and into programs for offenders that aim to prevent recidivism.

"As a society we need to become less hysterical and more informed about sexual abuse," she says in an e-mail. "When we demonize the offenders, we're pretty much feeding the crime. We further isolate and alienate the offenders, which is a precipitating factor in many offenders' impulses to act out. We're so focused on the minority of offenders who seem to fit our skewed perceptions of what sexual abuse and sexual abusers should be, we fail to recognize that the crime actually occurs closer to home.

 

 

 

Controversial security giants G4S and Serco are to lose contracts tagging criminals for the Ministry of Justice, following an overcharging scandal.

However, the companies will continue to be paid public money for key roles in the Scottish justice system, including electronic monitoring and running Kilmarnock prison.

G4S also remains a leading contender for lucrative contracts with Police Scotland during the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, despite failing to provide enough security personnel for last year’s London Olympics and having to be bailed out by the Army and police. ... [Scotsman - 13/12/13]

 

 

 

 

Malaysian MP asks Prime Minister Najib what he's going to do for Rohingya refugees adrift at sea NOW



Australian politicians - except Senator Hanson-Young - silent.

 

 



Free Malaysia Today [17/5/15]:



Sadly Malaysia’s prime minister, Najib Razak, has said nothing new. He has merely reiterated what human rights activists, political analysts and academics have been putting forward by finally saying ASEAN needs to work together to solve the Rohingya issue.

And even then, instead of being stern and decisive as the ASEAN chair, Najib says he hopes the Myanmar government will not consider this as interfering with domestic matters but look at it as a means of preventing a human tragedy of gargantuan proportions.

I welcome the fact that Najib has finally found the time to respond to an impending humanitarian disaster. But getting the rogue-state, Myanmar, to the negotiations table will take time.

ASEAN, getting its head wrapped around the Rohingya issue and finding a workable solution, is also a long process.

But people are dying at sea. The Rohingya are reportedly drinking their own urine. They have run out of food supply and water. They are diseased and run the risk of developing hypothermia.

While Najib has the time to wait around for Myanmar to decide how it’s going to respond to an Asean solution to the Rohingya problem, the men, women, children and old people on rickety boats face imminent death as the clock ticks.

Mr Prime Minister, your people have spoken.

 They have sent a clear message by organising and mobilising aid collection for the Rohingya, defying Putrajaya’s stand to turn back the refugees to sea.

As a person and head of state, what are you going to do for the Rohingya who are adrift at sea?

What are you going to do for the Rohingya whose bodies may wash up on our shores, if they are not rescued now?



Charles Santiago is the Member of Parliament of Klang



 

 

 

 

Malaysia said on Sunday that its foreign minister would meet his Indonesian and Thai counterparts to discuss the surge in stricken boatpeople from Bangladesh and Myanmar flooding to Southeast Asia. ... [Channel News Asia - 17/5/15]

 

 

 

 

Are Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia signatories to the UN Refugee Convention?

 

 

Australia is.

 

 

 

 



@pakhead - Jonathan Head - BBC South East Asia Correspondent [16/5/15]:  Thai military is now blocking local boats from being hired by journalists trying to cover drifting migrant boats.

 

 

 

 



Cambodia Daily [15/5/15]:

 

 

... Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch, pointed to Cambodian authorities’ recent deportation of Montagnards fleeing persecution in Vietnam as an example of why the country should not be considered a possible home for the asylum seekers.

“​Cambodia doesn’t have the capacity to take care of the 80 or so refugees already in the country, so clearly it doesn’t have the ability to absorb this wave of Rohingya and Bangladeshi boat people,” Mr. Robertson said in an email.

“But in some ways, Cambodia has brought these problems on itself by signing up to the Australia deal and agreeing to become Canberra’s refugee dumping ground,” he said, referring to Cambodia’s controversial agreement with Australia to take in an unspecified number of refugees currently being held on the South Pacific island nation of Nauru.

“Are we surprised really that Malaysia thinks it can join the parade and do the same?”

 

 





US drone strike kills four in Pakistan: officials



Yahoo [16/5/15]:



A US drone strike killed at least four militants in Pakistan's restive tribal region near the Afghan border on Saturday, Pakistani security officials said.

The strike took place in Warokey Mandi area of Shawal district in North Waziristan, a tribal region where the Pakistani military has since June been battling militants linked to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

"The US drone fired two missiles targeting a militant compound, killing four rebels," a senior security official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

He said the identities of those killed in the strike were not immediately known.

Another security official confirmed the strike and details of the casualties.

...




3 dead, 20 hurt as suicide bomber hits foreign forces convoy, Kabul



Pajhwok [17/5/15]:



At least three people, including a foreign soldier, died and 20 more wounded when a suicide bomber targetted foreign forces' convoy on an avenue close to the Hamid Karzai International Airport on Sunday morning, a security official said.

Brig. Gen. Haqnawaz Haqyar, security chief of Hamid Karzai International Airport, told journalists the bomber targeted foreign troops' convoy at around 9:00 am in front of Meteorological Department’s eastern gate.

He added a foreign soldier and two civilians were among the dead and many women and children were wounded.

Enayatullah, an eyewitness, told Pajhwok Afghan News seven persons died in the attack and more than 20 others injured. He did not give more details.

[A] Pajhwok Afghan News journalist in the locality said the powerful blast also damaged the nearby buildings and stores.

The Resolute Support (RS) mission in Kabul said in a statement: “We are working to gather further details on explosions near KAIA. At this time, no reports of coalition involvement or casualties.”

No group has claimed responsibility so far.



 

 

 

 

 

Eight soldiers have embraced martyrdom and 15 insurgents killed in newest military operations across the country, Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced Sunday morning.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Defense states that the eight soldiers embraced martyrdom in landmine explosion and militant fire in past 24 hours.

 ...

A newest report released by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) states that a rise of 16 percent was recorded in civilians casualties in the first four months of 2015 compared to the first four months of 2014.

2,937 fatalities have been recorded in these four months out of which there are 974 deaths and 1,963 wounded. [Khaama - 17/5/15]

 

 

 

 

 

NATO to continue supporting ANSDF: Rabbani [Pajhwok - 16/5/15]

 

 

 

 

 

Dancing to His Masters' Tunes: The Liberal Apologies for Obama’s Ugly Reign, Paul Street [Counterpunch – 15/5/15]:

 

 

... A second liberal and “progressive” apology for Obama’s corporatism, imperialism, militarism, and eco-cidalism places the blame on the rest of us. It’s our failure, this second storyline goes. The citizenry and activists are at fault for not making Obama be the progressive, populist, environmentalist, and peace-dividend president he really wanted to be. We didn’t compel him to advance the decent, egalitarian, and ecologically sustainable policies he sincerely desired to enact by organizing and protesting from the bottom up.

This justification for Obama’s power-serving presidency is barely less idiotic than “the Republicans blocked him” excuse. It is certainly true that the U.S. “progressive movement” – if such a thing even exists now or existed in 2009 – has failed badly on numerous levels. Any such movement ought to seek to be powerful enough that it has to be taken into consideration by whoever sits in the White House and other top public offices, elected and otherwise. There isn’t much to say for progressive efforts along those lines in the Age of Obama, with some partial exceptions.

Still, there are two critical flaws in this rationalization. The first problem, shared with the “blame the Republicans” narrative, is the silly idea (revealingly shared with the Teapublican “insurgency”) of Obama as a left-leaning politician who wanted to do good progressive, populist, social-democratic, and peaceful things. Any remotely serious investigation of the real Obama and his career (what I undertook in my 2008 volume) would have revealed someone very different: a “deeply conservative” agent and servant of American Empire and Inequality, Inc. masquerading (like fellow arch-neoliberal Bill Clinton in 1992) as a man of the people – an old and deadly character (with a tantalizing racial twist fit for the post-Civil Rights era in Obama’s case) at the long duplicitous heart of U.S. political culture.

The second flaw is that the Obama administration and Democratic Party operatives and elective officials across the country have worked diligently precisely to destroy left progressive movements through a combination of repression and co-optation. Take the Occupy Movement, a populist uprising against the bipartisan corporate and financial oligarchy in the late summer and fall of 2011. It was crushed by a coordinated federal campaign of surveillance, infiltration, and violent assault, with the lion’s share of the repression carried out by Democrat-run city governments across the country. At the same time, Obama and other corporate Democrats did everything they could to steal and incorporate Occupy’s populist message in their fake-progressive campaign against the former “equity capitalist” Mitt Romney and other “1 percenter Republicans” in the 2012 elections. ...

 

 


Appeal for public assistance: Hit and run, Mermaid Beach



QPS Media [16/5/15]:



Police are appealing for public assistance following a hit and run accident in Currumbin Waters early this morning.

Around 4am a vehicle reportedly crashed into a residential fence on Wilkinson Crescent before quickly leaving the scene.

Police are appealing for anyone who may have seen a dark coloured utility (possibly Toyota) in the area or has any information that may assist police with this investigation to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

 

 



Attempted armed robbery, Pacific Pines

 

 

 

QPS Media [17/5/15]:



Gold Coast detectives are investigating after a man armed with an edged weapon attempted to rob a Pacific Pines service station early this morning before violently attacking and robbing a taxi driver.

Around 3.25am the man entered the service station on Binstead Way before threatening a male attendant with the edged weapon and making demands for cash.

The attendant took refuge in a back room and the man fled the scene on foot.

The attendant was not injured during the incident.

The man is described as being 180cm tall, thin build and wearing shorts, a blue, black and white spray jacket and canvas shoes.

Just before 4am police were also called to an address at Helensvale following reports that a taxi driver was assaulted and robbed by a man matching the same description.

The man who was armed with an edged weapon set upon the male taxi driver who was stationary on Warrago Way, assaulting him on the head before fleeing with a sum of cash.

The taxi driver suffered a laceration to his head and was taken to the Gold Coast University Hospital for treatment.

Detectives believe that the incidents are linked and are urging anyone with any information that may assist with their investigations to contact Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000.

Investigations are continuing.

 

 




Stealing charge, Mermaid Beach


QPS Media [17/5/15]:


Police investigating an alleged armed robbery at a Mermaid Beach business have charged a woman with stealing.

Police were called to the Gold Coast Highway business around 9am yesterday following reports that it had been robbed, a glass counter smashed and the female staff member struck with a baseball bat.

A sum of money was then allegedly taken from the business.

The woman received no physical injuries.

Following investigations detectives determined that there had been no robbery.

A 35-year-old Maudsland woman has been charged with stealing by servant and wilful damage. She is expected to appear at the Southport Magistrates Court on May 28.

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.





Fatal traffic crash, Eubangee

 


QPS Media [16/5/15]:



Police are investigating a fatal traffic crash that occurred earlier today at Eubangee.

Around 4.35pm, a vehicle travelling north on Dinner Creek Road has struck a power pole.

The driver of the vehicle, an 18-year-old man, was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Two female passengers, both 14-year-old girls, were taken to Cairns Hospital where one received treatment for a fractured leg and the other for minor injuries.

The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating.

 

 

 



United States, “allies” continue bombing Iraq and Syria



Daily Star [16/5/15]:



The United States and its allies conducted six air strikes in Syria and 15 in Iraq since early Friday targeting ISIS militants, the Combined Joint Task Force carrying out the operations said Saturday.

In Syria, air strikes using bomber and fighter aircraft hit near Al-Hasakah, the task force said in a statement.

In Iraq, air strikes using attack, fighter aircraft and drones hit near Al-Hawijah, Bayji, Mosul, Ramadi, Sinjar and Tal Afar, it said.

The statement said the air strikes took place between 8 a.m. local time Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday.

The statement made no mention of the overnight U.S. special operations raid in eastern Syria announced by the White House and Pentagon Saturday.







US says its troops killed senior Islamic State leader in Syria raid [Reuters – 16/5/15]:

 

 

... The White House said the U.S. did not inform Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government in advance of the raid, or coordinate with Damascus.

Shortly before the U.S. announcement, Syrian state television said the Syrian army killed an Islamic State leader responsible for oil-related affairs, identifying him as Abu al-Taym al-Saudi. ...

 

 

 

 

 

Turkish jets shoot down Syrian helicopter after violating airspace: Turkish defense minister [Daily Star - 16/5/15]:



Turkish armed forces Saturday shot down a Syrian helicopter that violated Turkey's airspace in the south of the country, the Turkish defence minister said.

"A Syrian helicopter was downed that violated the border for a period of five minutes within a seven mile [11 kilometer] limit," Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz was quoted as saying by the Dogan news agency.

Syrian state television had earlier indicated the aircraft was a drone.

"Having rightly fulfilled their duty, I congratulate the armed forces and kiss the eyes of them all," Yilmaz said, using a traditional Turkish expression.

He did not give any further details on the helicopter.

The incident happened in the area of the Cilvegozu border crossing in the Hatay region of southern Turkey on the Syrian border, he said.

Military sources quoted earlier by Turkish media said it could have been a plane, helicopter or unmanned drone that had been shot down by the Turkish F-16s.

"At the moment, investigations are being made," a source told the Hurriyet daily, saying the targeted craft had broken into three pieces and crashed on the Syrian side of the border.

Syria meanwhile vehemently denied it could have been a manned aircraft.

"It is not true that Turkish fighter jets shot down a Syrian plane. What was shot down was a small drone flying nearby," Syrian state TV said, citing a military source.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has emerged as one of the main opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying his exit is key to solving the conflict.

Turkey's forces in March 2014 shot down a Syrian warplane, and the air force shot down a Syrian helicopter in September 2013.



 



Turkish police have detained eight serving members of the army in the latest wave of arrests in a hugely controversial case over the interception last year of an alleged consignment of arms bound for Syria, reports said Saturday. … [Naharnet – 16/5/15]

 

 

 

 



12 civilians killed in south Yemen clashes: official [Daily Star – 16/5/15]

 



 ‏@theLemniscat [13/5/15]:  Saudis bombed the newly restored Al-Qahira Citadel in Taiz which was older than Islam



 

 



Shelling kills eight children in Libya's Benghazi: UN



Ahram [16/5/15]:



Shelling of residential areas of Libya's second city Benghazi killed at least eight children this week, the United Nations said, warning that such attacks may amount to war crimes.

The UNSMIL mission to Libya, in a statement posted on its website, did not specify exactly when or where the children were killed nor indicate who may have been behind the deadly attacks.

It condemned "in the strongest possible terms" the targeting of residential areas of Libyan cities that also included Gharyan, south of Tripoli, and Zawiya to the west of the capital.

UN envoy "Bernardino Leon strongly deplores the death of at least eight children and the injury of four more, as a result of the shelling of residential areas of Benghazi on two occasions this week," said the UNSMIL statement issued late Friday.

"The artillery shelling of residential neighbourhoods in the cities of Gharyan and Zawiya are also a tragic reminder of the heavy toll borne by the Libyan people in this conflict.

"UNSMIL reminds all parties that attacks against civilians are prohibited under international humanitarian law and can constitute war crimes."

Libya's internationally recognised government said on its Facebook page that seven children and one man were killed in shelling that hit residential areas of Benghazi on Tuesday night.

The government, which is based in the east of the country, had already announced on Facebook on Wednesday that four other children from the same family were killed the day before in shelling of Benghazi.

It was unclear from the statement if these four children were the same that the UN mission said had been wounded.

...


 



Six armed men shoot police officer dead in Egypt's Kerdasa



Ahram [16/5/15]:



Six gunmen shot dead a policeman in the early hours of Saturday in Giza's Kerdasa on the outskirts of Greater Cairo, an interior ministry statement read.

The assailants, riding three motorcycles, shot the lower-ranked police officer, who worked for the National Security Agency, as he left a youth centre.

Security forces are said to be intensifying their efforts to apprehend the assailants.

Hundreds of policemen have been injured or killed in similar drive-by shootings by Islamist militants since the ouster of Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

Kerdasa, once a vibrant a base for the now-banned Muslim Broherhood, was the site of a number of deadly Islamist attacks on police stations and officers in the immediate aftermath of Morsi's ouster.


 

 



Egypt sentences Mohammed Morsi to death [Al Jazeera – 16/5/15]

 





Palestinian president meets Pope Francis in Vatican



Press TV [16/5/15]:



Pope Francis has described Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as “an angel of peace” during a Vatican meeting, just days after the Catholic leadership vowed to recognize Palestine as a state.

The Saturday meeting between the pontiff and Abbas came ahead of a Vatican ceremony to canonize two Palestinian nuns, who will become the first from the Israeli-occupied state to gain sainthood.

The 20-minute meeting followed a Wednesday declaration by the Holy See, saying, it has reached an agreement with the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the the Palestinian government over the recognition of Palestine as a state, a move that enraged Tel Aviv.

"Israel heard with disappointment the decision of the Holy See to agree a final formulation of an agreement with the Palestinians including the use of the term 'Palestinian State,'" said an Israeli foreign ministry official.

"Such a development does not further the peace process and distances the Palestinian leadership from returning to direct bilateral negotiations. Israel will study the agreement and consider its next step," he further claimed.

Vatican’s Deputy Foreign Minister Antoine Camilleri said in an interview earlier this week that the agreement on Palestine, 15 years in the making, reflects the Holy See’s "hope for a solution to the Palestinian question and the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians according to the Two-State Solution."

During the interview with the Vatican's L'Osservatore Romano newspaper, Camilleri further expressed optimism that "the accord could, even in an indirect way, help the Palestinians in the establishment and recognition of an independent, sovereign, and democratic State of Palestine."

During the Vatican meeting, Abbas and the Pope exchanged views over the treaty, whose details have not yet been fully disclosed.

The Vatican further stated on Wednesday that a bilateral commission is putting the final touches to the agreement, which "will be submitted to the respective authorities for approval ahead of setting a debate in the near future for the signing".

 

 

 

 



Bulldozers closing in Kurringal Flats public housing in Fannie Bay [ABC – 17/5/15]:



... Toni Vine-Bromley, from housing and homelessness advocacy body NT Shelter, described the site as one of the most troubled public housing complexes in Darwin.

"The most needy people, the people with the most problems, and the people who are most, most, most reliant on welfare all gathered in one place, hence the idea of the ghetto we've seen in recent years," she said.

"It's an absolutely fabulous address. But look at the deterioration of what we've seen here.

"I guess there's been a lot of money spent on Kurringal to keep it up to date. But it's been let go".

NT developer Halikos Group will build in its place an upmarket residential development.

In a flyer, developer Halikos described the new complex as "a modern and stylish residential development consisting of five separate apartment buildings".

...


 



Poland pays compensation to ex-inmates of CIA torture sites on its territory



RT [15/5/15]:



Warsaw has paid €230,000 to two former inmates of CIA "black site" prisons, which used to be on Poland's territory - a move that has raised questions in the country.

"Poland has fulfilled the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights," Deputy Foreign Minister Rafał Trzaskowski said on Thursday, RIA Novosti reports. He said that money had been sent to one victim's bank account. The other's share had been transferred to his court deposit, as he is under international sanctions.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in July 2014 that Poland must pay compensation to the two terror suspects: Palestinian Abu Zubaydah and Saudi Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who were held and tortured in CIA-run detention centers in Poland between 2002 and 2003. The court set this Saturday as the deadline for the payments.

The two men are now being held in America's Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. They are to receive €100,000 each for psychological damage, plus Zubaydah is due an additional €30,000 in court expenses.

Warsaw's decision to pay up raised questions in Poland. Opposition lawmaker Witold Waszczykowski, cited by AP, said: “I think we shouldn’t pay, we shouldn’t respect this judgment. This is a case not between us and them – it’s between them and the United States government.”

However, no US officials have been held accountable to date. The only other related ruling handed down by the European Court of Human Rights was to Macedonia. In 2012, it was ordered to pay €60,000 for the detention of a Lebanese-German, who was subjected to abuse by the CIA on trumped up terror suspicions.

Poland has been investigating allegations of secret CIA detention centers or "black sites" on its territory since 2008. In December 2014, Poland's former President Aleksander Kwaśniewski officially admitted that a secret CIA prison had existed at an airbase, where terror suspects were brought for torture and interrogation. He insisted, though, that Warsaw had no idea about the abuse happening at the site.

Kwaśniewski's statement came on the heels of a US Senate committee report on CIA activities. In August the same year, Barack Obama admitted for the first time that torture had indeed taken place in American custody after the 9/11 attacks.

The authorities should have expected to be held accountable sooner or later, criminology professor Ben Davis told RT. "The only people who have been betrayed in all of this are the ordinary people in all of these countries," he said. "The ordinary citizens who count on their governments not to torture people, to comply with their obligations in international law or domestic law."

 

 



 

US: Man kills stepfather with an 'atomic wedgie'



NZ Herald [16/5/15]:

 

 

A 33-year-old Oklahoma man has been charged with killing his stepfather by giving him an atomic wedgie, that caused the victim to suffocate in his own underwear. He pleaded guilty on Monday to first-degree manslaughter.

Brad Lee Davis was charged with murder in the death of 58-year-old Denver St. Clair in a drunken family fight at a residence just east of Oklahoma City, the Pottawatomie County Sheriff's Office said in an arrest affidavit obtained on Wednesday.

Police arrested Davis on Tuesday. The affidavit said he 'grabbed St. Clair's underwear and gave him an atomic wedgie. Davis allegedly pulled the elastic waistband of St. Clair's underwear over his head and around his neck.'

An atomic wedgie is the slang name for an extreme version of the common underwear-yanking prank that bullies are known to use in schools across America.

Oklahoma Medical Examiner spokeswoman Amy Elliott said the cause of death was asphyxiation and blunt force trauma after the elastic band was stretched too tightly over St. Clair's neck.

Pottawatomie County Sheriff Deputy Travis Palmer said Davis and St. Clair were drinking beer on the night of December 21, 2014 at the older man's residence when St. Clair began speaking ill about his wife, who is Davis' mother.

Davis told investigators the two fought because St. Clair was calling him and his mother worthless. St. Clair had filed for divorce in September, reports News Ok.

Investigators said St. Clair's elastic waistband was stretched over his head and that it left ligature marks around his neck.

Blood splatter was also found in the kitchen, the living room and on the living room ceiling.

Davis was being held in Pottawatomie County without bond. His lawyer was not immediately available for comment.



 

 

 

Strong aftershock hits Nepal, near Kathmandu: USGS

 



Reuters [16/5/15]:

 

 

 

A magnitude 5.7 earthquake hit Nepal on Saturday, about 76 km east south east of the capital Kathmandu, at a shallow depth of 10 km, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck on April 25, killing more than 8,000 people and there have been a series of aftershocks since then.



 

 



‘Emergency relief is never enough,’ says Ban, urging UN to help Nepal build back better [Media Release – 15/5/15]

 

 

 



Greece finalises latest proposals to lenders

 

 

 

ekathimerini.com [16/5/15]:

 

Greece is due to finish sending on Saturday its latest proposals to the country’s lenders in the hope that it will have a response by the beginning of next week and that talks in Brussels can resume with the aim of concluding a deal that would unlock another 7.2 billion euros in bailout funding.

Kathimerini understands that there are five key areas in which Athens and its creditors are still some distance apart and will have to work on over the next few days.

These are macroeconomic forecasts, fiscal targets, new measures, labor market reforms and pension cuts.

Greece and the institutions appear to have converged on the growth forecast for this year, with both sides predicting the economy will expand by 0.5 percent.

On fiscal targets, there also appears to be a meeting of minds. The primary surplus target for this year is expected to be between 1 and 1.5 percent, rising to 1.5 to 2 percent next year and to 3.5 percent from 2017.

With regards to new measures to cover this year’s fiscal gap, Athens and its lenders have yet to agree on a comprehensive package. It will, however, include an overhaul of Greece’s value-added tax. It is likely that there will be just two, rather than the current three, rates. The top rate is set to be between 18 and 20 percent, while the lower rate between 8 and 9 percent.

The government is also considering leaving in place the solidarity tax on incomes above 30,000 euros without the 30 percent reduction that the previous coalition had introduced. Other taxes may also be introduced.

Greece and its lenders seem far apart on the issue of labor reform as the government insists that collective contracts should be reintroduced and that the institutions’ demands for relaxing the restrictions on mass dismissals should not be met.

On pensions, the government is proposing the scrapping of early pensions as an alternative to introducing the “zero deficit” rule, which would mean stopping public subsidies to pension funds.

Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis insisted that “no red lines have been crossed” by the Greek side so far. However, on Thursday night Deputy Prime Minister Yiannis Dragaskis was on the receiving end of heavy criticism regarding the government’s negotiating strategy when he met with members of SYRIZA’s political secretariat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

US caught spying on Greek diplomatic communications in 2004-2005 [WikiLeaks – 23/9/13]

 





Indian, Chinese firms sign deals worth US$22 billion [Channel News Asia - 16/5/15]

 

 

 

 

 

United States Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting Chinese leaders in Beijing, where he said he would take a tough line over China's island-building in the strategic but disputed waters of the South China Sea.  ... [Channel News Asia - 16/5/15]


 



Train crash in western Germany kills two, injures 20 [Daily Star – 16/5/15]

 

 

 

 



Wall Street Analyst Encouraged Rail Company to Lobby Against Train Safety Rules [The Intercept – 15/5/15]:

 

 

 

Positive Train Control, a technology system used to monitor trains and automatically keep them from reaching unsafe speeds, would likely have prevented the tragic Amtrak derailment earlier this week and many other train crashes in recent years, according to the National Transportation Safety Board and train safety experts.

But ever since Congress passed a law in 2008 requiring train companies to implement PTC by the end of 2015, the railroad industry has mounted a ferocious lobbying campaign to delay the rule.

Amtrak, like many other railroads, has been slow to comply. The federal government has been accommodating. And most recently, senators have been fighting primarily over how long an extension should be granted.

...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Piketty to work with London School of Economics

 

 

 

France 24 [15/5/15]:



French economist Thomas Piketty, best-selling author on inequality, will teach at the London School of Economics as a professor at its new international inequalities division, the university said.

Piketty, 44, will work on research with postgraduate students on a part-time basis and the LSE said on Friday that it was planning for him to come over for four days next year.

The economist's best-selling and highly controversial book, "Capital in the Twenty-First Century", sparked a political debate about the widening gap between rich and poor.

"I am thrilled by my appointment to work in LSE's new International Inequalities Institute," said Piketty, who is a former student at the university.

"Rising inequalities is one of the great challenges of our time, which we desperately need to address.

"We have a unique opportunity at LSE to create a truly dynamic and exciting inter-disciplinary centre which will make a real difference to our understanding of the causes and consequences of inequality," he said.

Mike Savage, professor of sociology at the LSE, said that Piketty "has revolutionised our understanding of inequality through demonstrating how fundamental historical shifts towards escalating capital accumulation disproportionately enhance those who are already wealthy".

 

 

 

PNG Rugby teams gear up for Digicel Cup.

 

Nauru Facebook blackout enters 17th day.

 

 

 

 

PNG Loop [17/5/15]:

 

 

 

Teams in the Digicel Cup 2015 season are geared up for today’s round robin matches as the competition enters round five.

Teams playing away matches travelled into their competition venues yesterday and have settled in well with plenty of action in store for rugby league fanatics.

Round five will kick off with the North-western matches at 2pm as Simbu Lions take on the Enga Mioks in Kundiawa.

Lions are hoping to continue their unbeaten run. In Mendi, home team Muruks will battle with the struggling newcomers Waghi Tumbe while Mt Hagen Eagles will play host to the reigning premiers Hela Wigmen.

All Eastern pool matches will kick off at 3pm with Port Moresby Vipers to lock horns with home team Goroka Lahanis at the National Sports Institute (NSI).

The Lae Tigers will look to devour the Gulf Isapea when they go up against them at home at the Lae Rugby League Ground.



 

 

Digicel has won two awards in the Consumer Service Innovation category at the annual Global Telecoms Business Innovation Awards 2015 at the Sheraton Park Hotel in Piccadilly, London.  ... [PNG Loop - 16/5/15]

 

 

 

It is in the interests of empire and transnational capital to undermine the UN refugee convention at every opportunity.

 



Trapped in Dubai airport: the father and son who had nowhere to go [The Guardian 15/5/15]:

 

 

His recent life evokes the plot of The Terminal, in which Tom Hanks plays a fictional refugee trapped in an American airport after being refused a visa.

But the experiences of Wael al-Sahlee are all too real: until finally being deported on Thursday evening, the 41-year-old Palestinian-Syrian refugee and his nine-year-old son, Montasser, were stuck in Dubai airport for a fortnight.

While Hanks’s character finds a room where he can sleep in privacy, the Sahlees had no such luck. Their home was on the floor behind a row of seats next to the Fly Dubai offices at gate 12 of terminal two. There were some nearby loungers to sleep on, but there was always competition for them, and Sahlee did not want the hassle.

“It’s an ugly experience,” Sahlee said by phone, shortly before various governments and UN officials finally agreed on where he could go next. 

“I’m looking at people going to the duty free and going on holiday, while my son is sitting there doing nothing,” he added, in a conversation frequently interrupted by the public address system of one of the world’s busiest airports.

“And he’s watching other children have fun at a time when he’s imprisoned.”

...

 

 

 

 

MOAS saves refugees at sea in record numbers: more than 1,400 saved from inhumane conditions in first two-week mission [Media Release - 16/5/15]

 

@MarquardtA [16/5/15]:  407 migrants/refugees from Eritrea, Somalia, Gambia and Syria arriving in Messina, Sicily on @moas_eu @MSF_Sea ship

 

@ItalianNavy [16/5/15]:  #MarinaMilitare Nave Espero ha terminato lo sbarco di 617 #migranti a Reggio Calabria

 

@ItalianNavy [16/5/15]:  #MarinaMilitare nave Foscari ha terminato le operazioni di sbarco di 98 #migranti a Pozzallo

 

 

 

Australia's media covers up the refugee tragedy unfolding in the Malacca Straits with hateful lies: 

 

 

 

Bangladeshi boy, 14, kidnapped, forced onto Asian migrant boat [ABC - 17/5/15]

 

 

South-east Asia migrant crisis: Violent clashes over lack of food and water leave seven dead, reports say  [ABC - 17/5/15]

 

 

 

 

Anti trafficking, crack downs on people smugglers and modern day slavery, or keeping people in their place so they can't flee oppression?

 

Imperious Freedom: The Tangled Narratives of Anti-Human Trafficking Discourse, Kari J. Winter and David R. Castillo [2011]:

 

 

… While the horror of slavery is inarguable, the goals of anti-trafficking agitation are often murky.

Unlike eighteenth and nineteenth-century abolitionists who aimed to end the licit and illicit transatlantic transport of enslaved Africans and to abolish the legal institutions of slavery within nation-states, twenty-first century abolitionists seek to end practices of enslavement that are, in most cases, illegal, subterranean, and hard to locate.

The most popular methods of contemporary abolitionists, which are clearer than their goals, include increasing police surveillance, tightening borders, growing prisons, and conducting “rescue missions.”

Like many “moral” issues, human trafficking is a porous concept that expands and contracts easily to suit a range of purposes.

In this essay we analyze the standard narrative structures through which bondage and freedom are imagined and represented in contemporary British and American political discourse. ...

 

 

Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest lectures Myanmar business leaders about slavery and human trafficking [Myanmar Times - 17/2/12]:

 

Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest pleaded with governments and businesses to do all they can to end modern day slavery during an address to business leaders in Yangon on Friday, December 14.

“We cannot rest until we extinguish this evil,” Mr Forrest said during his address at the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) building in Lanmadaw township.

“We are all a little bit harmed by the existence of even one slave in the world,” added Mr Forrest, who is the third wealthiest Australian and founder of Fortescue Metals Group, the fourth-largest iron ore supplier in the world.

Matthew Friedman, project manager at United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP), told the audience of several hundred that slavery is not an obsolete concept.

“When a person loses control of their life, when they’re not getting paid, and they can’t leave that situation – what else [can] we call it?” Mr Friedman asked. “It’s slavery. Call it what it is.”

Mr Friedman said that there are more than 20 million slaves in the world, compared to 11.3 million over 450 years of the African slave trade (1450-1900).

“There are more slaves in the world now than any time in history,” he said. “That’s an embarrassing thing for me to say.”

Mr Friedman cited specific scams that affected Myanmar citizens abroad. In one scheme, he said that Myanmar men and boys are tricked onto boats in Thailand and forced to stay on for four years.

“They’ll work 18 to 19 hours a day – and to be able to work that much they’re drugged. So this has a terrible effect on their bodies,” Mr Friedman said. “At the end of this four-year period they ask for their [pay]. But the captain says ‘You’re from Myanmar. I don’t have to pay you. Go away.’ ”

Police Colonel Ral Lyan Mone, from the Central Body for Suppression of Trafficking in Persons, overviewed the anti-trafficking programs undertaken by his agency and the co-operation taking place with neighbouring countries.

Col Ral Lyan Mone said forced marriage was overwhelmingly the most common fate met by Myanmar slaves overseas, according to 2012 statistics. He said other slavery scenarios for Myanmar victims included children forced to beg in Malaysia, physically abusive domestic work in Thailand, and prostitution in China.

“Most people when they think about human trafficking they think … a woman or a girl who is forced into prostitution … there are 4.5 million people [worldwide] in this situation”, said Mr Friedman.

“The typical scenario is a girl who is tricked or deceived … away from her home, put into a forced prostitution situation and forced to have sex with anywhere from five to 10 people a day, seven days a week until she gets a disease and is often cast out. It’s a horrible thing.”

Both Mr Forrest and Mr Friedman urged that support from the business community was essential to fight modern day slavery.

“Either donate your time or funding to help out,” said Mr Friedman.

The presentation was organised by the anti-slavery organisation Mr Forrest founded, Walk Free, and UNIAP. It came ahead of the historic MTV EXIT modern day slavery awareness concert in Yangon on Sunday December 16, which Walk Free and UNIAP are also involved in.

“Slavery does not have a right to exist in this world,” Mr Friedman said.

“There’s not a single person in this room who can come up with any justification why it should be there. So let’s all work together and see if can knock it out.”

 

 

 

It appeared to the journalist that many of the (half starved) refugees wanted to come ashore. 

 

Where is the Australia media?

 

 

BBC [VIDEO - 16/5/15]:

 

 

The United Nations has accused countries in South East Asia of "appalling and inhumane" treatment of thousands of migrants who are stranded at sea.

Most of them are ethnic Rohingya Muslims who face persecution in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

The BBC's Jonathan Head has been following the fate of one boat of migrants.

 

 

 

 

Thailand and Malaysia to increase joint border patrols amid migrant crisis [The Straits Times - 16/5/15]

 

Australian Embassy in Myanmar [16/5/15]:   Check out Australia’s new trade and investment publication, ‘Business Envoy’ at our Business@DFAT page. It provides a direct line to the Australian Government’s global diplomatic network, offering perspectives and insights on the economic and market impacts of geopolitical events and trends.

 

 

 

 The CEO of Australian company Woodside, Mr Peter Coleman, and Australian Ambassador to Myanmar, HE Nicholas Coppel, met with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to discuss Woodside's investment in Myanmar on 12 May 2015.  Australian Embassy in Myanmar

 

 

 

 

 

Australian Embassy in Myanmar  [14/5/15]:  President Thein Sein met with the CEO of one of Australia's leading oil and gas companies Woodside Energy, Mr Peter Coleman, and the Australian Ambassador to Myanmar, HE Nicholas Coppel, to discuss Australian investment in Myanmar. Woodside are leading Australia's investments in the energy sector in Myanmar, with the support of the Australian Embassy in Myanmar.

 

 

 

 

 

17 May 2015

HOME