If you're not confused, you're not thinking

The Love Police: Liberation of Canary Wharf [VIDEO]:

Public spaces in city centres are increasingly being turned into private estates, with their own security forces who get to decide who can be there and what they can do. Since their aim is primarily to create footfall for the retail outlets that provide a huge chunk of their income, they tend to be sanitised, sterile places weeding out any "undesirable" people and activities. In this video The Love Police challenge the private security at Canary Wharf in London, whose security guards wear uniforms that look a lot like the city's Metropolitan Police.

G20 Brisbane Police do the Nutbush

Exclusive: First pic from inside the cordon for President @BarackObama motorcade #G20 #GaveItABurl #breaktheinternet

Image: @QPSmedia [17/11/14]

Russell Brand on Revolution, Fighting Inequality, Addiction, Militarized Policing and Noam Chomsky

Democracy Now [14/11/14]:

For years Russell Brand has been one of Britain’s most popular comedians, but over the past 12 months he has also emerged as a leading voice of Britain’s political left. He has taken part in anti-austerity protests, spoken at Occupy Wall Street protests and marched with the hacker collective Anonymous. A recovering addict himself, Brand has also become a leading critic of Britain’s drug laws. He has just come out with a new book expanding on his critique of the political system. It is simply titled "Revolution."

...

What happens when the political and media establishment create a disadvantaged, ignorant underclass then greenlight bigotry

Yahoo [17/11/14]:

A teenage girl convicted of a racial attack on a security guard could face fresh charges over an attack on a photographer.

Tiffany Jager, of Ipswich, was walking out of the Police-Watch House in Brisbane on Monday when she racially abused a cameraman waiting outside.

“Get the f****** camera out of my face you dog,” she yelled before pushing and hitting the cameraman.

“You are not even Australian you dog.”

The 18-year-old had just been found guilty of racially abusing a rail guard at Roma St Station on Sunday night.

The court heard she also hit a German Shephard security dog in the sides and repeatedly punched it.

“You were very lucky that dog had a muzzle on because the wounds to your leg very well have been far more serious,” Magistrate John McGrath said.

She was arrested by police a short time later.

The teenager told the court she was drunk and could not remember half of the attack.

She was fined 500 dollars.

Victorian government gives $5.4 million to Scotch College for land previously valued at $1 million [The Age - 16/11/14]

Police officers used unnecessary force in tasering Brazilian student, court hears [ABC - 17/11/14]

Woman found dead in Sydney yard; husband arrested [ABC - 17/11/14]

Man pleads not guilty to wife's brutal stabbing murder, Toowoomba [Chronicle - 17/11/14]

Former policeman admits arranging for his home to be torched so he could claim insurance payout [Sydney Morning Herald - 17/11/14]

Serious assault investigation, Fortitude Valley

QPS Media [17/11/14]:

Police are investigating an incident in which a 45-year-old man sustained serious injuries after falling from an apartment complex balcony in Fortitude Valley this afternoon.

Around 2.10pm police were called to an address on Brunswick Street after receiving reports of a man falling from a third-floor balcony.

The man sustained serious injuries and was transported to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital in a critical condition.

Detectives are treating the incident as suspicious and a crime scene has been established at the location.

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.

Robbery, Victoria Point

QPS Media [17/11/14]:

Police have charged a 24-year-old man with four offences after an alleged robbery of another man at a licensed premises in Victoria Point.

About 9pm on Friday the man approached the other man in the toilets and produced a knife. He demanded money and the man’s wallet which contained an ATM card.

The man provided his ATM card without incident and the other man unsuccessfully attempted to use the stolen ATM card a short time later.

Police conducted a search the following day and located and arrested the man.

The Redland Bay man has been charged with one count each of armed robbery, deprivation of liberty, enter premises with intent to commit indictable offence and attempted fraud. He is expected to appear in the Cleveland Magistrates Court today.

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.

Police investigate third CSG worker death in three months

Chronicle [17/11/14]:

A third coal seam gas worker in the Surat Basin has died in just three months.

Australian Mining is reporting that a worker was found dead at the APLNG Reedy Creek camp near Yuleba, east of Roma.

Roma police are reportedly investigating the sudden death, which an Electrical Trades Union delegate said was a suicide.

It is the third worker death in the Surat Basin in three months.

A 29-year-old male died as a result of injuries from an operational incident on September 15, also at Origin's Reedy Creek work site.

The Gold Coast man was a contractor for Origin Energy and a WDS employee.

On September 12, an Ostwald Brothers worker was also found dead in his room at the nearby Eurombah Creek camp.

Need help? Contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, 24 hours a day.

Department of Human Services public servants vote to take industrial action [Canberra Times - 17/11/14]

Victims reject apology for NT abuse

Nine MSN [17/11/14]:

The head of a religious group running services for Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory for 20 years knew nothing of horrendous abuse at one of its homes until a national inquiry was underway.

The conduct of Reverend Trevor Leggott, general director of Australian Indigenous Ministries (AIM) was roundly criticised on Monday by two barristers representing people who were horribly abused at the Retta Dixon home for Aboriginal children in the 1960s and 70s.

The sex abuse royal commission in September uncovered horrendous sexual, psychological and physical abuse of Aboriginal children - some of them very young - at the home.

But Rev Leggott admitted he was not really aware of the abuse until he read witness statements before the commission.

George Georgiou SC, representing three victims, told the commission Rev Leggott's recent apology was too little too late and his admission he only learnt of the abuse when the royal commission started asking questions was "extraordinary", as was his failure to acquaint himself with AIM's child protection procedures before giving evidence.

The commission has heard that it was not until 2013 that AIM had a manual on policies and procedures around child safety.

John Lawrence SC, for six of the victims, classed Rev Leggott's apology during his evidence to the commission as abject, insincere, cloying and made at "five-minutes-to-midnight".

The commission has been told of attempts to try an alleged perpetrator, Donald Henderson, one in 1976 and another in 2002.

Henderson worked as a house parent at Retta Dixon for 11 years and was convicted in 1985 of unrelated child sex abuse offences. He was fined $300 and placed on a good behaviour bond.

Counsel for the commission has already recommended a finding that apart from the public apology delivered by Rev Leggott no effort has been made to provide redress for victims.

The unconditional apology was repeated on Monday by AIM's lawyer Mark Thomas.

Mr Thomas argued that it was not AIM's failure Henderson was never tried. He blamed the Northern Territory legal process and said AIM was being made a "whipping boy" for its failure.

Mr Lawrence said the apology, now repeated three times, should have come a lot earlier and his clients would not accept it.

The response of AIM then and now "is not just inadequate, it is a disgrace", he said.

Rev Leggott has told the commission that AIM cannot afford to pay compensation. It has two properties that could be sold and this would mean stopping work done by the organisation.

Mr Lawrence said AIM needed to explain in more detail how asset protection was more important than compensating people who were horrendously abused in AIM's care.

Mr Thomas said AIM would participate in a national redress scheme.

Child abuse helpline calls quadruple: survivors wait decades to seek support [Brisbane Times - 17/11/14]

The Peter Kassig I knew

Telegraph [16/11/14]:

Ruth Sherlock, Middle East correspondent

One of the first conversations I had with Peter Kassig was a discussion of why the western world and its aid agencies couldn't do more for Syrians whose lives had been destroyed by the war.

It was a Friday night and we were at a party in the Lebanese capital, Beirut. The event was in full swing; guests, mostly aid workers or reporters, were dancing and drinking, having temporarily set aside the concerns of their day jobs.

But Peter couldn't quite let go. It haunted him that outside refugee families were living on the street or in tents, surviving on what scraps they could.

Across the border in Syria, the civil war was decimating livelihoods, killing hundreds of men, woman and children every week.

Peter had always struggled with some inner demons: his friends knew him as an enthusiastic, passionate and kind person, who also suffered from an inner fragility that could throw him off balance. It would not allow him to hurt anyone, but it made it difficult for him to feel grounded.

His first experience of the Middle East had been as a Ranger serving in the US army in Iraq in 2007. It was a short tour that ended in Peter being honourably discharged, but it left deep scars.

He suffered from bouts of depression, and was tortured by the ever-present sense that he needed to make "amends".

As his friend Michael Downey wrote in a tribute, he didn't want that experience to define his life. And so Peter threw himself into the aid world with unparalleled dedication. He moved to Lebanon and set up an office in Burj al-Barajneh, a Palestinian camp defined by its narrow alleyways, exposed sewers and tangles of live electricity cables, where battles between rival militias regularly upset the quiet.

When refugees began flooding across the border to Lebanon from Syria in their thousands, Peter moved to work in a hospital in the northern Lebanese town Tripoli that received the wounded.

But it wasn't enough. He decided to "cut out the middle man" as he once told me, to circumvent the bureaucratic procedures of large institutions, and deliver what aid was needed quickly and directly.

In the summer of 2013 he moved to the Turkish border town of Gaziantep and founded SERA (Special Emergency Response and Assistance), a non-governmental organisation providing first-response humanitarian aid for Syrians.

Peter poured all his energy, and often his own money, into making "her", as he referred to SERA, work. His enthusiasm was infectious; a close friend gave up his comfortable life in Beirut to join him in running the organisation.

Peter reeled people in; he greeted everyone, be it friend, colleague or stranger with the same wide smile. He made no distinction between foreigner and Syrian, an approach which won him friends and dedicated colleagues, but also put him in danger.

Peter continued to make trips into Syria, delivering aid, long after journalists and other aid workers deemed it too dangerous because of the targeted kidnapping of foreigners.

Going to Deir Ezzour in northern Syria a year ago, Peter was snatched by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).

From that moment Peter vanished from view. Friends couldn't reach him and then, several days later, his Facebook page was taken down.

One friend spoke of the helplessness and even guilt they felt at his disappearance: "I wish now we had stopped praising him for his good aid work, and just intervened to force him not to go."

A news blackout was imposed and Peter's parents, Ed and Paula, began dealing with the messages sent to them by his kidnappers.

The letters were screaming and abusive and unclear. They had all the hallmarks of someone who was brought up in the UK but had failed at school.

Perhaps they were written by the British-accented jihadist known as "John", who eventually played Peter's masked executioner in the video announcing his death.

Previously, the jihadists forced Peter to record an audiotape in which he said his life was in jeopardy if US air strikes did not stop.

His mother and father also received a letter, ostensibly from Peter, in which told of his fear of being killed and wrote a heartfelt goodbye.

He also told them he had converted to Islam, finding solace in the religion: "I pray every day and I am not angry about my situation in that sense. I am in a dogmatically complicated situation here, but I am at peace with my belief."

Former hostages who knew Peter in captivity confirmed his conversion was sincere.

Then, the jihadists lifted the blackout themselves, showing Peter, wearing orange overalls, kneeling on the sand in a desert landscape as they announced his imminent death.

His parents and friends reacted by campaigning day and night, trying to make his captors see sense.

"I beg you in the name of God to please communicate with us so we can discuss the fate of our son who just wants to serve God and teach Islam," his mother tweeted, trying to reach Isil's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The deadline for his murder passed, and there was no news: Peter's friends and family started to hope that their campaign had worked.

But perhaps that was just a game, for the jihadists showed no mercy, even for someone who had adopted the faith by which they profess to live.

Perhaps in time the jihadists' extremism will cause their own demise, if the populations they claim to rule - who also suffer daily public executions and a regime of fear - choose to revolt.

But that is little comfort for Ed and Paula Kassig, or the families of the other victims, who must now live with an ever-present void.

"Jihadi John" reportedly injured in US air strike [ABC - 16/11/14]

"Jihadi John" appears in latest ISIS video showing beheading of US hostage Peter Kassig [RT - 16/11/14]

Areas controlled by Islamic State are news “black holes” [RSF - 24/10/14]

Who will liberate and rescue the refugees stranded on Nauru, Manus and Christmas Island?

After decades stranded in Thailand, 28 Vietnamese refugees arrive in Canada [CTV - 15/11/14]

... A war state will eventually fall. ... This is what history teaches us. ...

Chinese President Xi Jinping to Australia's Parliament [17/11/14]

US forces already advising Iraqi forces in Anbar province [Reuters - 16/11/14]:

American forces have begun advising Iraqi troops in the western Anbar province, the top U.S. general told Reuters, in a faster-than-expected expansion of an operation that is central to its campaign against Islamic State.

General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said a small group of advisers had already established themselves in a preliminary fashion at Ain al-Asad air base in the province, much of which is controlled by the militant Islamist group.

They would also eventually start training the Iraqi army's seventh division, which suffered major setbacks during the Islamic State's advances across the country this summer.

"We have a train, advise and assist team in al-Asad air base," Dempsey said in an interview conducted on Saturday. "There's enough there that are already working with the seventh division to help them plan and help them understand the threat, to advise them on how to consolidate their forces."

President Barack Obama's administration announced on Nov. 7 it would send up to 1,500 more U.S. troops to Iraq, widening its advising mission and initiating training of Baghdad's forces. At the time, officials suggested the expansion would take weeks to get underway.

The seventh division's ability and willingness to engage Sunni militant forces in Anbar could be vital to any sustained offensive to reverse Islamic State's gains. The jihadist group took Anbar's two main cities, Falluja and Ramadi, several months before it overran much of the rest of the country, often facing little resistance from Iraqi government forces.

...

@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [16/11/14]

Baghdad Centre for human rights stated that 133 detainees have been killed by militias and government's forces for sectarian reason in Iraq prisons during one week.......

Salah-il-deen: Air force has shelled the civilian homes in the left side of Shurqat losses resulted unknown.......

Suicide attack in Nigerian market kills at least 12: witnesses

Reuters [16/11/14]:

A female suicide bomber blew herself up on Sunday, killing at least a dozen people in a cellphone market in Azare, a town in Nigeria's Bauchi State where a similar attack at a bank last week killed seven, witnesses said.

No one claimed immediate responsibility for Sunday's blast, but Boko Haram, which has waged a bloody five-year campaign to establish an Islamic state in northern Nigeria, is suspected of having carried out a wave of attacks this week.

The group has also seized two towns and occupied a third in the country's northeast region since it rejected a ceasefire announced last month by the government.

"I was near the market when I heard a loud sound inside. After a while we rushed to the scene of the blast. I saw lots of people in the ground and blood all over the place," said local resident Ibrahim Ahmed, adding that he had counted at least 12 bodies.

"The severed head of the female suicide bomber was later found, and a crowd of boys took it to the front of the Emir's palace and set it on fire," he said. An official at the town's hospital said six bodies were brought in and four other people had later died there of their injuries.

Another witness at the market, Shehu Aminu, said: "I got to the scene immediately after the blast. I saw about 20 bodies just lying in blood. Only one person I noticed that was moving."

The state's government and police officials were not immediately available to comment.

...

Lieberman tells German Foreign Minister no limits on East Jerusalem settlements

Reuters [16/11/14]:

Rebuffing international criticism, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told his German counterpart point-blank on Sunday that Israel will not stop building homes for Jews in East Jerusalem.

His remarks were likely to compound Western frustration over Israeli settlement policy on occupied land that Palestinians seek for a state.

"We won't accept any limitations on building in Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem," Lieberman told a joint news conference with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Since the start of October, Israel has advanced building plans for some 4,300 homes on West Bank land annexed to Jerusalem, heightening tensions in a city which is already on edge following confrontations over access to a renown holy site.

The slew of construction announcements have angered the European Union and the United States, which deem Israeli enclaves on occupied land as illegal and an obstacle to peace.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of the state they aspire to establish in the West Bank and Gaza Strip -- areas captured by Israel in a 1967 war. Israel quit the Gaza Strip in 2005, but blockades the Hamas Islamist-ruled enclave.

Israel considers all of Jerusalem as its united capital, a claim that is not recognized internationally, and an estimated 150,000 Jews live in East Jerusalem.

"Whoever dreams the Israeli government will surrender and limit construction in Jerusalem is mistaken," said Lieberman, who himself lives in a West Bank settlement.

"We are ready to defend our independence, our sovereignty, and there won't be any compromise. I think any pressure here will be very, very negative and very counterproductive."

Steinmeier said the establishment of an independent Palestinian state was the only solution to the decades-old conflict. Palestinians fear settlements will deny them a viable and contiguous country.

European officials have said they are looking at new ways to halt settlement building. Discussions are at an early stage, but officials say the European Union, Israel's biggest trading partner, may look at stopping settlers from visiting the EU and could examine the fine print of a free-trade agreement.

Asked about Lieberman's remarks, Nabil Abu Rdeineh, a senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said settlement building in East Jerusalem was illegal.

"We ask the international community, especially the United States and the EU to stop this Israeli escalation," he said.

Spain moves towards recognising Palestine [The Local - 14/11/14]

Catalan leader sets one-month deadline to decide on early elections [El Pais - 14/11/14]

Air Force chiefs meet for annual conference

TVNZ [17/11/14]:

New Zealand's Chief of Air Force will host this year's Air Chiefs' Conference starting today in Dubai.

The conference of Air Force Chiefs of New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States takes place every year and hosting is rotated.

Air Vice-Marshal Mike Yardley says holding regular meetings with counterparts from NZ's closest defence partners is an important connection.

"The discussions at this meeting always have great benefits, for all of us. Each Air Force goes about its business in its own way, but there is also extensive common ground. We have much to learn from each other as modern Air Forces."

Mr Yardley says while they meet regularly in exercises around the globe, the meeting between Air Force leaders builds on day-to-day relationships.

US base relocation opponent elected Okinawan governor

Japan Today [17/11/14]:

Okinawans on Sunday elected a governor who opposes plans to relocate a U.S. military base within the island chain, a fresh setback in efforts to resolve a thorny issue in military relations.

Voters in the southern prefecture chose Takeshi Onaga over the incumbent Hirokazu Nakaima, Kyodo News agency reported, citing the local election board in Okinawa.

Kyodo described the victory as a “landslide” win for Onaga, who secured 360,820 votes to incumbent Nakaima’s 261,076, according to Okinawa’s local election board.

Onaga’s apparent victory is a significant blow to the central government because the governor can veto the landfill work needed for a new base to be built.

In his first comments, the 64-year-old indicated he would do just that.

Any veto would leave Prime Minister Shinzo Abe having either to overrule locally-elected officials—risking charges of authoritarianism—or reverting to the cajoling and persuading of recent years, which would not be popular with Japan’s close ally the United States.

It would also take some of the wind out of Abe’s sails just days before he is expected to announce a snap general election.

Years of deadlock on the planned base relocation have frustrated the Americans and been a thorn in the side of successive Japanese governments.

Okinawa is home to more than half of the 47,000 U.S. service personnel stationed in Japan, and strategically key to the US-Japan security alliance at a time of simmering tensions in East Asia.

But there is widespread local hostility to the military presence, with complaints over noise, the risk of accidents and a perception that the presence of so many young servicemen is a source of crime.

There have been plans for years to move the US Marines’ Futenma air base from a crowded urban area to a sparsely populated coastal district elsewhere on Okinawa—some 50 kilometers to the north of the current location.

But opponents like Onaga say Okinawa already hosts a disproportionate share of the U.S. military presence in Japan, and the US base should be moved outside the islands altogether.

...

Japan's economy dips into recession [BBC - 17/11/14]

Japan’s Pension Fund Cutting Local Bonds to Buy Equities [Bloomberg - 31/10/14]

Senator Madigan asks for the third time - what percentage of Chinese exports to Australia now attract no tariff? A. No figure given #qt [Question Time]

"tweeted" by @annajhenderson - Anna Henderson - ABC Parliament House reporter [17/11/14]

How big a hole will the China FTA punch in Abbott's Budget?

Greens Media Release [16/11/14]:

The Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson is calling on the government to release details of the estimated budget impact of the impending China-Australia trade deal. He is calling on the government to be upfront about what they are going to "trade away" to land the China agreement.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “Trade deals always come with significant costs, but the government will never tell you about them.

"The recent Korea deal slashed $900 million from the budget over the four-year forecast period and it is likely that the Japan deal will cost us upwards of a billion dollars over the same timeframe.

“At a time when the government is slashing revenue streams by axing the carbon price and the minerals super-profit tax, the government needs to upfront about what the impact of the China FTA will be.

“Tariffs still make up a sizeable part of the government’s revenue base and the Henry Review highlighted that if future trade deals erode this, then alternative revenue streams will have to be found.

“By signing this deal the Abbott government will have less funding available to invest in education, health and renewable energy.

"It puts their cruel budget and chaotic management of the economy under even more pressure.

“On Monday, when Tony Abbott announces more details about the China FTA, a major question he has to be upfront about it is how much it will cost the budget in revenue,” Senator Whish-Wilson concluded.

Battling the dry

101 East [VIDEO - Al Jazeera - 14/11/14]:

The Australian state of Queensland is experiencing its worst drought on record.

Some regions have had as little as five percent of their usual rainfall. Others have had no rain at all while struggling through some of the hottest years on record.

Droughts have always been part of the Australian weather cycle but high temperatures linked to climate change are exacerbating problems, driving farmers to the brink of ruin. Some are left with no choice but to destroy their cattle; others have even taken their own lives.

For Debbie Smith, a farmer in the drought-ravaged north, shooting her beloved cattle has become an all-too common part of life.

With barely a blade of grass left on her property, her cattle are in a desperate struggle to survive. She is down to her last bale of hay, and fears the bank could foreclose on her $4.2m loan.

It is a heart-breaking story playing out on farms across Queensland; many in the region speak of this drought as the most severe they can remember.

Queensland is home to half the country’s 27 million cattle. The situation is creating a silent crisis in some of the nation’s most remote areas with a growing number of suicides linked to the drought.

This week, 101 East follows farmers making big decisions about their future on the land as the banks circle to foreclose, and explores the damage the drought is inflicting on rural communities.

101 East airs each week at the following times GMT: Thursday: 2230; Friday: 0930; Saturday: 0330; Sunday: 1630.

Anti rights (bikie) laws making people safe in Broadbeach

QPS Media [16/11/14]:

Police are investigating after two men were assaulted in Broadbeach earlier this morning.

Initial information suggests that about 3.45am, two 36-year-old men were using an ATM in a nightclub located on Albert Avenue when a verbal altercation began between one of them and another man.

A short while later, one of the 36-year-old men was again approached by the same man on the dance floor, who then pushed a glass into his face.

Another man then punched the other 36-year-old in the face, before both feeing the scene on-foot.

The men were both transported to the Gold Coast University Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening facial and head injuries.

One of the men is being described as being Middle Eastern in appearance and around 170cm tall, with a proportionate build and black hair. He was last seen wearing a white long sleeved t-shirt and black pants.

Police urge anyone with information which could assist them with enquiries, or who may have seen this man, to contact Crime Stoppers or Policelink.

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.

A scheduled bail hearing for accused Gold Coast balcony killer Gable Tostee is due to go ahead on Tuesday*. ... [Brisbane Times - 17/11/14]

Update – fatal traffic crash, Caboolture

QPS Media [17/11/14]:

The Forensic Crash Unit are investigating a fatal three vehicle crash that occurred on the D’Aguilar Highway at Caboolture on Sunday afternoon.

Initial information suggests that three vehicles collided around two kilometres west of the Caboolture Showgrounds just after 2pm.

A 67-year-old Bray Park man was located deceased at the scene.

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.

Fatal traffic crash, Yarraman

QPS Media [16/11/14]:

A 69-year-old woman has died following a traffic crash on the D’Aguilar Highway, east of Yarraman this afternoon.

Initial information indicates around 4pm, two vehicles travelling in opposite directions collided head-on on the Gilla Bridge.

A female driver of one of the vehicles was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The woman’s 14-year-old female passenger and the 57-year-old female driver of the second vehicle were taken to Kingaroy Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The highway was closed for several hours while crews attended the scene.

The Forensic Crash Unit has commenced an investigation into the incident.

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.

Rescue helicopter called to three crashes at weekend [North West Star - 16/11/14]

Ciaron O'Reilly released on bail

Yahoo [17/11/14]:

Well-known political activist Ciaron O’Reilly has faced court in Brisbane after breaching his G20 ban on Saturday.

He was slapped with an exclusion notice on Thursday, barring him from the G20 security zone.

O’Reilly was arrested by police near Musgrave Park around 3pm (AEST).

“In less than two minutes, an unmarked car pulled up and two plain clothes detectives came out and had this standing order,” Mr O’Reilly told ABC News.

“I think it is an outrageous infringement of my civil rights.”

He told officers he wanted to speak to US President Barack Obama about freeing Chelsea Manning, the US soldier imprisoned for leaking confidential documents to WikiLeaks.

He also shouted “Free Julian Assange!” before being taken away in a police van.

O’Reilly describes himself as a non-violent, anti-war protester.

He was previously jailed in the United States after breaking into a military base in New York.

His case has been adjourned until December four.

Brisbane Times [17/11/14]:

... Deputy Commissioner Ross Barnett said activist Ciaron O'Reilly, who was arrested on Saturday when he entered the G20 zone as a prohibited person, was the only person to experience the repurposed G20 magistrates court in Brisbane.

...

"... can I just again compliment the protesters, the protest organisers and our people for the way they handled today's oppressive conditions."

...

Rockhampton man apologises for internet thought crime [Morning Bulletin - 16/11/14]

Australia: Where historical revisionism and the opposite of what is happening is the truth

The World Is Run By Fools, And We Let Them [The Automatic Earth - 16/11/14]:

... It would seem to be painfully obvious that what the world needs really urgently badly today is not so much economic growth, but growth in the dendrites, synapses and neurons in the heads of both our leaders and of those who put them where they are, ourselves. No use holding your breath. As things are, none of us are any smarter than either Dumb or Dumber.

As Brussels and the leaders of the allegedly healthy economies in the North sacrifice southern Europe on the altar of their megalomania, the G20 does the same with emerging economies and the even poorer rest of the world. The formerly rich part of the world has gotten stuck in its own dreams and faulty models, and the only place left to eke out any semblance of growth is weaker nations. The Roman empire revisited.

If the G20 nations could have ‘grown’ growth at a 2.1% clip with the sort of ease with which their reports were issued this weekend, they would have done so already, all along, long ago. The fact that they haven’t, it doesn’t get any simpler, implies that they can’t this time either. It’s all hot air, and perhaps that’s too positive still, make that tepid.

Still, when the Anglo-Saxon dipshits are together they have the guts to make such claims, just as when they’re together they have the guts to ‘shirtfront’ Putin. Canada’s Harper reportedly shook hands with Putin and told him to get out of Ukraine. Nobody present wanted to quote the reaction he got, but I’m thinking a simple ‘You first’ is a distinct possibility. None of these guys have anything on Putin, and they all know it. So does he.

[via @TondaMacC - Tonda MacCharles - parliamentary reporter for the Toronto Star: Russian Fed spox: Putin & PMSH shook hands. Harper: "You should go away fr Ukraine." Putin: "Impossible. We are not there." - 15/11/14]

Meanwhile, their home media have cooked up the Putin is Bad story to such heights that they can’t be seen as doing nothing, even if proof for any of the allegations concerning what Russia is supposed to be guilty of is still sorely lacking. The Anglo-Saxons need enemies to make their stories stick, so the ‘he probably shot down that plane’ line is awfully helpful.

And that dumber-ass approach is the same one they use for their economic, what shall we call it, ‘policies’(?), it’s the exact same thing. It’s the surface that counts, not what’s underneath it. It’s the storyline, not the veracity of it. Who in the west still doubts that Putin is a bad man? Very few. Though he hasn’t done anything for which the west has provided any proof.

...

Sputnik News [17/11/14]:

Moscow is concerned by the risk of ethnic cleansing in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Sunday.

"We are very concerned that an idea of ethnic cleansing could arise there. We are afraid of Ukraine slipping into neo-Nazism,” the Russian leader said in an interview with German ARD broadcaster.

“It will be a disaster for Ukraine and Ukrainian people," he stressed.

In order to preserve integrity of Ukraine, Kiev government should stop using force in southeastern regions and create conditions for a political dialogue, added Vladimir Putin.

"If the central authorities in Ukraine wants to establish not a demarcation line, which is currently very important to stop shelling and killings, but want to preserve the territorial integrity of the country, then it does not matter if it’s a particular village or a town, but it is important to stop the bloodshed, mutual attacks and create the conditions for a political dialogue. This is important. You have none of this — you have no political dialogue," the Russian leader said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted that Moscow had convinced independence supporters of southeastern Ukraine to conclude Minsk agreements.

“Minsk agreements exist only because we, Russia, had plunged into work, worked with Donbas militia, and convinced them that they should go the length of certain agreements. If we did not do this, it [Minsk agreements] would not happen," the Russian leader said in an interview.

Heavy shelling rocks rebel-held Donetsk in east Ukraine [Reuters - 16/11/14]

Merkel puts on a show for Lowy Institute numpties - omits recent history of US aggression.

Huffington Post [6/7/09]:

It has been 10 years since the U.S.-led war on Yugoslavia. For many leading Democrats, including some in top positions in the Obama administration, it was a "good" war, in contrast to the Bush administration's "bad" war on Iraq.

And though the suffering and instability unleashed by the 1999 NATO military campaign wasn't as horrific as the U.S. invasion of Iraq four years later, the war was nevertheless unnecessary and illegal, and its political consequences are far from settled. Unless there's a willingness to critically re-examine the war, the threat of another war in the name of liberal internationalism looms large.

Throughout most of the 1990s, the oppressed ethnic Albanian majority in Kosovo waged their struggle almost exclusively nonviolently, using strikes, boycotts, peaceful demonstrations, and alternative institutions. The Kosovar Albanians even set up a democratically elected parallel government to provide schooling and social services, and to press their cause to the outside world.

Indeed, it was one of the most widespread, comprehensive, and sustained nonviolent campaigns since Gandhi's struggle for Indian independence. This was the time for Western powers to have engaged in preventative diplomacy.

However, the world chose to ignore the Kosovars' nonviolent movement and resisted consistent pleas by the moderate Kosovar Albanian leadership to take action. It was only after a shadowy armed group known as the Kosovo Liberation Army emerged in 1998 that the international media, the Clinton administration and other Western governments finally took notice.

By waiting for the emergence of guerrilla warfare before seeking a solution, the West gave Serbia's autocratic president Slobodan Milosevic the opportunity to crack down with an even greater level of savagery than before. The delay allowed the Kosovar movement to be taken over by armed ultra-nationalists, who have since proven to be far less willing to compromise or guarantee the rights of the Serbian minority.

...

Modi is receiving a "rock star welcome" from Australia's political and media establishment because he's a fascist.

Countercurrents [17/4/10]:

While law of the land is trying to catch up with the acts of commission and omission in the Gujarat carnage, another set of laws, the global ones have been very clear about permitting the entry of a person like Narendra Modi into their country.
...

The observation of German delegation raises one additional major point about the state of Gujarat being similar to that of Germany under Hitler. Who will know it better than Germans who have suffered the political tragedy of fascism for bad many years? Modi’s point that he is an elected person again matches so well with Hitler. One recalls, Hitler came to power through democratic means and then he gradually eroded liberal-democratic norms from inside to bring in worst type of fascist state.

The parallels are unmistakable. There are some differences from German fascism here but all the same the basic phenomenon is the same. Fascism is a politics where the liberal democratic space is abolished in the name of targeting some section of society for the supposed cause of National interest.

In case of Germany the process was accompanied by a cultural paradigm shift and political aggression against communists, then trade unionists and then the Jews. Millions of Jews were subjected to the gas chambers, one of the greatest tragedies of the human history of twentieth century.

The politics of Hitler, and his clone Mussolini was praised by M.S. Golwalkar the ideologue of RSS, the organization where Modi has been indoctrinated and trained. Golwalkar’s formulations of aggressive nationalism and relegating minorities to second-class citizenship are being actualized by Modi and company in different ways.

...

See the Australian media speaking truth to power ...

Love this shot of @mjrowland68 [ABC personality Michael Rowland] and #AmbBerry [US Ambassador John Berry] at President Obama's speech yesterday! Everyone loves a #Selfie!

Image: @Travis_Longmore [15/11/14]

Who cares what US National Security Advisor Susan Rice discussed with Julie Bishop - here - have some pro war propaganda about foreign fighters ---> Sydney mum receives text saying 'see you in Paradise' after children flee country [Nine MSN - 17/11/14]

Sydney Morning Herald [16/11/14]:

... 1:26pm: Bishop then led Rice away into the bilateral room, for more serious discussions.

They were accompanied by US Ambassador John Berry and DFAT head Peter Varghese.

Here, Rice thanked Bishop for hosting foreign ministers for dinner last night, describing it as a "worthwhile exchange".

(We were ushered out of the room before they started discussing foreign fighters.)

...

Fairfax reports Julie Bishop's criticism of ABC's "shirtfront" skit without mentioning Andrew Bolt [The Age - 16/11/14]:

The ABC is being urged to have a "long, hard think" about a skit it aired mocking the Prime Minister's threat to shirtfront the Russian President over the MH17 tragedy with Julie Bishop warning it had the potential to devastate the families of the victims.

...

This is Murdoch propaganda by default.

Obama defends healthcare law after adviser criticism

Reuters [16/11/14]:

U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday defended the transparency of his signature healthcare law, after one of the White House's advisers on the reform said the law passed, in part, because of the "stupidity" of American voters.

Obama said the law, which extends private health coverage to uninsured Americans, was extensively analyzed and written about before its passage in 2010, and in subsequent debates.

"The fact that some adviser who never worked on our staff expressed an opinion that I completely disagree with is no reflection on the actual process that was run," Obama said during a press conference at the Group of 20 leaders meeting in Brisbane, Australia.

"I would just advise every press outlet here, go back and pull up every clip, every story. It was a tough debate."

Obama was responding to the comments of Jonathan Gruber, a health economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who advised the White House on the Affordable Care Act as well as Massachusetts on the health law enacted by former presidential candidate Mitt Romney when he was governor of that state.

In several speeches from prior years that came to attention in the past week, Gruber said the law's ultimate passage benefited from the "stupidity" of American voters, who did not fully understand the provisions.

Gruber's comments were quickly picked up by Republicans in Congress, who are committed to repealing or dismantling parts of the healthcare law.

But the White House trumpeted some good news about the health reforms this weekend, saying 100,000 people were able to submit new online applications for health coverage during the start of open enrollment on Saturday.

The HealthCare.gov website was beset by technical glitches last year that shut down the operation within minutes of its opening and drove Obama's signature domestic policy to the brink of disaster.

The administration expects 9.1 million people in total to enroll in government-backed federal and state health insurance marketplaces this year, down from an initial target of 13 million.

"When you give the American people the tools to make the right choices for themselves, they're going to do that," Health Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said of the enrollment figures on NBC's "Meet the Press."
"And that's what this is about."

New Zealand Prime Minister talks privatisation with Queensland Premier

RNZI [16/11/14]:

Prime Minister John Key has told Queensland Premier Campbell Newman to slow down his privatisation agenda.

AAP reports that Mr Newman held talks with John Key on the sidelines of the G20 today about how the New Zealand government has boosted growth.

"It's our impression that because New Zealand made the tough decisions and didn't shirk the necessary policy that you've emerged from the GFC better positioned than most nations around the world," the premier told Mr Key.

"So I'd like to have a bit of a yarn about that if we may."

Mr Key advised the premier not to rush things, and to make policy changes incrementally, as the New Zealand government has done.

He said voters in New Zealand had not been scared of the changes, because they were gradual.

Queensland's government has been trying to sell its policy of leasing state assets to pay down state debt it puts at $80 billion.

Queensland taxpayers to fund multinational coal exporter trainline to Great Barrier Reef [Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Media Release - 17/11/14]:

... “We have worked hard since we were elected just two and a half years ago to find the money needed to make these important investments.

“Today I announced that the State Government is prepared to take a short-term, financial stake in the rail, port or other infrastructure needed to open up this region to create the jobs Queenslanders need.

“To build on our Galilee Basin Development Strategy, we are now prepared to sign agreements with Galilee Basin proponents who can demonstrate they will meet the majority of the cost of providing this common-user infrastructure.”

The first Infrastructure Enabling Agreement would be signed with Indian company Adani to build the rail line needed to link the $16.5 billion Carmichael project to the Port of Abbot Point.

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17 November 2014

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