The family of a Muslim middle school student has filed a $25 million federal civil rights lawsuit against the child’s school district.
Nashwan Uppal is a 12-year-old special needs student originally from Pakistan.
His family is suing the East Islip School District, alleging school authorities forced the boy to lie and say he was a member of ISIS and that he was planning to blow up the school’s fence, WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported.
Attorney David Antwork said the school’s assistant principal forced Nashwan “under extreme duress” to fill out a written confession.
The suit also claims that school employees looked the other way when Uppal was being bullied and harassed. ... [CBS - 17/8/16]
Chicago's police superintendent says he will recommend the firing of seven officers involved in the shooting death of black teenager Laquan McDonald.
Superintendent Eddie Johnson on Thursday said he was accepting the recommendations of the city's inspector general who concluded that the officers filed false police reports. ... [Yahoo - 18/8/16]
Russia says Turkey could provide İncirlik base for Moscow’s Syria campaign [Hurriyet Daily News - 17/8/16]
United States continue bombing everyone, especially Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 18/8/16]
Russian Defense Ministry affirmed the destruction of munitions and fuel depots and command centers for ISIS in Syria in airstrikes that carried out by Russian long-range bombers that took off from airbases in Russia and Iran. ... [SANA - 18/8/16]
Ash-covered child brings home horror of Syrian war to the world [RT - 18/8/16]:
... According to the Telegraph, eight others were wounded in the air strike, including four other children.
Most media sources have described the attacks as coming from either the Syrian military or Russia, largely because the video was first shared by an anti-government activist group, the Aleppo Media Centre, and posted on its Youtube channel late Wednesday night.
However, there is still no confirmation as to the source of the attacks. ...
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [18/8/16]:
Nineveh: News agencies: US air force has shelled a square of oil tankers gathering owned by civilians in Uboor neighborhood west of Mosul resulted in blazing of 13 tankers..........
Baghdad: News agencies: A car bomb exploded in Rashidiya area north of Baghdad today night wounding 5 including 3 policemen...........
Baghdad: A roadside bomb attached to a car has exploded resulted in death of a university professor in Nafaq Al-Shurta area west of Baghdad.......................
Baghdad: A roadside bomb has exploded in Jisr Diyala area southeast of Baghdad resulted in death and 7 injuries ...............
Greek Coast Guard rescue 19 refugees @HCoastGuard [18/8/16]
@ItalianNavy [18/8/16]: #SAR Nave Sirio #MarinaMilitare in attività #VigilanzaPesca nello Stretto di Sicilia ha soccorso e trasbordato su nave Phoenix 157 migranti
@moas_eu [18/8/16]: ... 175 people rescued aboard #Responder being cared for by @crocerossa. Wet & exhausted but recovering slowly.
@moas_eu [18/8/16]: ... Despite choppy seas, multiple rescues ongoing in the #Mediterranean by #Phoenix & #Responder. ...
@PROACTIVA_SERV [18/8/16]: ... just arrived #Med 3 boats rescued this morning. Over 80 ppl #Astral board Still 5 missing.We keep working
Day 152 refugee protests, Nauru
Image: @elahe_zivardar [18/8/16]
@ElissaSGreens16 [18/8/16]: Community come together @EmeraldCommunityHouse to protest our treatment of asylum seekers. ...
Paper dolls outside DIBP, Perth, for #NauruFiles protest [Guardian - 17/8/16]
PNG media join deranged Australian media-LNP-ALP-Greens pantomime obscuring next week's Supreme Court hearing --> ... However, O’Neill said the implementation of their transfer has been complicated as most of the refugees do not know their countries of origin.
O'Neill added that most of them (refugees) have deliberately lost their travel documents and were not cooperative.
This had made it difficult for the officials to find out their countries of origin and return them. ... [PNG Loop - 18/8/16]
Behrouz Boochani [18/8/16]:
From Manus prison:
To the Australian people, the Australian High Commission, the Ombudsman, the Australian Commission for Human Rights and all other relevant bodies.
I am writing this letter from inside Manus prison as a refugee who has witnessed assault, death, sexual abuse and torture here.
The Australian government has kept us here in this remote island for more than three years and is controlling this prison secretly, operating behind the cover of PNG and controlling us and all information with high security.
During the last three years International organisations like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the UN Special Rapporteur for the Convention Against Torture, amongst others, have published reports about Manus prison conditions describing in detail how the Australian government has tortured us in Manus.
I am writing this letter in this moment when more than 8000 pages of documents about Nauru have been published and which international media and human rights organisations have covered widely.
I would like to ask you to investigate Manus prison. I am asking that all documents and reports all the companies involved in running this place - to name a few, Broadspectrum, Wilson Security, IHMS - be released.
These documents should be published widely, and made available to the Australian people so they know what is exactly happening in Manus prison and what your government has made it.
Investigations into the reports and documents should be thorough, independent and transparent.
The results of proper investigations will make clear who is right, who is telling the truth - the International organisations or the Australian government who keep the truth smothered in secrecy.
Another legal challenge to Australia's refugee concentration camp policy [Sydney Morning Herald - 18/8/16]:
Nauru's highest court could be forced to decide whether the indefinite detention of asylum seekers breaches the island nation's constitution after legal action was launched in Australia's High Court.
Lawyers representing a Pakistani asylum seeker, who is still on Nauru, say his detention there has denied him "the most basic human right" and resulted in an unfair hearing on his refugee status.
If the action succeeds, Nauru's Supreme Court would be forced to abandon its refusal to hear his constitutional challenge and decide if more than 450 asylum seekers can remain in the Nauru centre.
The case could also pave the way for hundreds of refugees now living outside the centre to claim compensation from the Australian government for false imprisonment. ...
Shorten rubs Blue Mountains true believers' noses in his election faeces - and they lap it up [Blue Mountains Gazette - 13/8/16]:
Opposition leader Bill Shorten has urged Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to visit Nauru with him in light of widespread reports of abuse and self-harm at Australia's detention centre on the island.
Mr Shorten made the call at a community forum in Springwood on Saturday afternoon, hosted by new Labor Macquarie MP, Susan Templeman.
"I think it would be a really smart idea for Malcolm Turnbull and I to go and have a look at Nauru,” Mr Shorten said in response to questions about Labor’s support of offshore detention of asylum seekers. ...
Abbott acknowledges Gillard more fascist than he could ever be, says he should have helped her create more regional misery [Address to the Samuel Griffith Society - Stamford Plaza Hotel Adelaide - 12/8/16]:
.. I wonder, though, about the former government’s people swap with Malaysia.
The 800 boat people that could have been sent to Malaysia was less than a months’ intake, even then.
I doubt it would have worked. Still, letting it stand would have been an acknowledgment of the government-of-the-day’s mandate to do the best it could, by its own lights, to meet our nation’s challenges.
It would have been a step back from the hyper-partisanship that now poisons our public life.
In the last parliament, I could invariably count on Bill Shorten’s support on national security issues.
On deploying the armed forces or strengthening anti-terror laws, there were cabinet ministers harder-to-persuade than the Leader of the Opposition! ...
... Why, the Rudd government, it was reported, had made a special allowance in 2009 of $21 million for two years of "covert operations" to try to stop the people smuggling trade out of Indonesia.
The money went to the Australian Secret Intelligence Service. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 16/6/15]
I urged Gillard to challenge Rudd: Bill Shorten [Sydney Morning Herald - 29/6/2010]
The Gillard government's offshore dumping policy [Project SafeCom]
... But the routine detention of asylum seekers arriving without visas and the construction of remote detention centres to house them followed the landing of a boat carrying 26 people at Pender Bay near Broome in November 1989.
It was the first boat to carry asylum seekers to Australian territory since 1981 and its arrival marked the beginning of a second wave of boatpeople landing on Australia shores. (The first wave lasted from 1976 to 1981. It was made up of about 2000 refugees arriving in small groups who were fleeing Communism in Indochina after the end of the Vietnam War. They were not detained on arrival.)
There were many Cambodians aboard the Pender Bay boat and subsequent vessels and their arrival came at a sensitive time for the Labor government of Prime Minister Bob Hawke.
Hawke’s high-profile foreign minister Gareth Evans was deeply involved in crafting a peace process for Cambodia, which involved the repatriation of 300,000 Cambodian refugees from camps along the Thai border.
The federal government feared that confidence in the plan could be undermined if Cambodians in Australia were found to be refugees or if their personal stories were allowed to become public.
Hawke was quick to declare categorically that the Cambodians were not ‘political’ but ‘economic’ refugees.
He said he would not allow Cambodian asylum seekers to ‘jump the queue’ of Australia’s orderly migration program .
The label ‘queue jumper’ has been used to denigrate asylum seekers arriving by boat ever since. ... Australia's sledgehammer, Peter Mares [APO - 25/2/2004]
Ute towing boat T-bones bus on the Gold Coast [MYGC - 18/8/16]
A man has walked away unharmed after a car-jacking at an Ashmore service station on Wednesday morning.
Police say the 24-year-old got into his car around 4.00am at the Ashmore Road servo when a man armed with a handgun walked up and demanded the keys.
He got out and the gunman drove off in the black 2006 Commodore with Queensland registration 996 MDW. ... [MYGC - 17/8/16]
A Christian brother accused of sexually abusing a student decades ago has told a court he had no sexual contact with the boy "whatsoever".
Christopher Rafferty, 65, has pleaded not guilty in the District Court in Sydney to six sex offences from when the boy was aged 14 until he was 16.
They allegedly occurred in the mid-1980s at a school in the NSW town of Goulburn. ... [Nine MSN - 18/8/16]
Michael Calder inquest: Partner says sons still paying price for death of father [ABC - 18/8/16]
A doctor has made an emotional apology at an inquest into the death of a man admitted to a Brisbane hospital with a severe headache.
Michael Calder, 33, died in Holy Spirit Northside Private Hospital at Chermside in the early hours of July 11, 2014, less than three days after being admitted suffering from a severe headache.
Lawyers representing Mr Calder said an autopsy found he had lethal levels of morphine in his blood.
Dr Robert Brockett, who treated Mr Calder, told the inquest he was horrified at the amount of morphine in Mr Calder's blood, as revealed in a subsequent toxicology report. ... [ABC - 17/8/16]
Nurses' records on man who died inconsistent, Brisbane inquest hears [ABC - 16/8/16]
Adelaide man charged over alleged stabbing after five-hour police stand-off [Nine MSN - 18/8/16]
Man arrested after alleged hammer rampage in Melbourne’s CBD [Nine MSN - 18/8/16]
A Victorian man has been charged with a string of offences after allegedly punching another passenger in a drawn-out mid-air disturbance over far north Queensland.
The Ballarat man, 27, is due in Townsville Magistrates Court on Thursday morning following the Wednesday night incident. ... [Brisbane Times - 18/8/16]
Man stabbed at Molendinar [MYGC - 17/8/16]
A judge has found Nikola Novakovich not guilty of murdering teenager Karen Williams in outback South Australia, despite being satisfied the 44-year-old had some involvement in her death.
SA Supreme Court Justice Tim Stanley on Thursday delivered the not guilty verdict after a trial spanning more than a year, leaving one of the state's most enduring cold cases unresolved.
Ms Williams was 16 when she disappeared from Coober Pedy in August 1990. ... [Nine MSN - 18/8/16]
Man who stabbed wife to death with scissors made earlier threats [ABC - 18/8/16]
Man to face court after partner found dead in Sydney home [Nine MSN - 18/8/16]
The man who allegedly broke into his ex-partner’s home and attacked her and her mother with a chainsaw has been refused bail in a NSW court.
Terrance Purvis is accused of attacking his former partner Chloe Griffiths as two terrified children watched on and young neighbours heard the screams for help.
The 30-year-old later turned himself in to the Port Macquarie Police Station just hours after the incident.
It is alleged Griffiths’ mother Julie bravely stepped in to stop the chainsaw attack and suffered severe cuts to her arms.
The 49-year-old was airlifted to John Hunter Hospital on Wednesday, due to the extent of her injuries.
“I heard chainsaw noises and then I heard a scream for help,” schoolgirl neighbour Jada Tuckwell said.
Police confirmed two children were inside the home at the time, describing the ordeal as “extremely horrifying”.
Appearing in court on Wednesday, it was established an apprehended violence order had been taken out against Purvis leading up to the attack.
Ms Griffiths was lucky not to be seriously injured and suffered bruising in the attack.
Purvis was refused bail and Wednesday and will reappear in court next month. [Yahoo - 18/8/16]
Accused balcony murderer Gable Tostee fronts up for court appearance
[Brisbane Times - 18/8/16]
NT Aborigines 'most policed' in Australia [Nine MSN – 18/8/16]:
Indigenous people in the Northern Territory are the most policed in the country, a land council representative said.
The Central and Northern Land Councils held a full joint meeting at Kalkarindji in central Australia on Thursday and several members told both Chief Minister Adam Giles and Opposition Leader Michael Gunner that ever since the 2007 intervention they had felt disempowered as parents, which has led to an increase in youth crime.
Leaders were particularly unhappy about the Four Corners program on abuse of young Aboriginal inmates in Darwin's Don Dale youth detention centre.
"We are the most policed people in the territory, let alone Australia," said Barbara Shaw, from Alice Springs.
"The worst thing the intervention ever did was take us adults off the street and put our children in the street."
She said she spoke with the mother of Dylan Voller, the boy shown hooded and tied to a chair in the most shocking footage on Four Corners.
"Joanne Voller came to me when she first saw her son with a mark on him when she went to visit him. You see the footage of that little boy? She was actually on the phone, she heard the screws slapping her son around, she couldn't do anything," Ms Shaw said.
"Why can't these screws go to jail for beating and stripping our boys?"
Ms Shaw also told the meeting that the Country Liberals government's slew of alcohol and policing measures unfairly targeted Aboriginal people living in remote communities, and said black market alcohol vendors had sprung up as a result.
"The rest of Australia, they look at us as useless blackfellas, women-beaters, child-rapists, mothers and fathers that can't look after our children, that's how they stereotype us and that's because it's come out of Canberra through the intervention," she said. ...
Investigation launched into wrongful conviction of Sudanese refugee jailed over Edward Spowart murder [ABC - 18/8/16]:
The NSW Director of Public Prosecutions has launched an inquiry into a miscarriage of justice that saw a young Sudanese refugee wrongly convicted of murder.
The family of the young man, who spent almost seven years in prison for a crime they insist he did not commit, say their experience in the justice system has destroyed their faith in the rule of law in Australia.
In submissions to the NSW Supreme Court, the NSW Attorney-General said the Crown prosecutor as well as the prosecuting solicitor, and investigating police had all failed to reveal to the defence that the key witness who implicated JB in the stabbing murder was a registered police informant. ...
... Cleveland MP Mark Robinson used a parliamentary debate on bipartisan counter terrorism laws to raise his concerns with what he said was a growing threat, calling for stronger legislation to address "jihadi terrorism". ... [Brisbane Times - 18/8/16]
"Timely reminder" that Queenslanders live in a police state, and Logan should continue to expect "special treatment" [QPS Media - 18/8/16]
Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath has again defended the state's youth justice system following unrest at a Townsville youth detention centre.
Ms D'Ath said the six-hour incident at the Cleveland Youth Detention Centre last weekend would be the subject of an investigation.
But she insisted it was "de-escalated" without the use of force. ... [Yahoo - 18/8/16]
Police Puppy Drago has reported for duty just in time to hear all the woof about Cupcake Day for the RSPCA, happening this Monday August 15 at Stafford Police Station. ... [QPS Media - 14/8/16]
FOI documents reveal torture at Townsville and Brisbane Youth Detention Centres between 2010 to 2015
... "This has been a mass conspiracy of silence and people at the top who have just shelved these reports need to be dealt with. They need to be taken to task and sacked." ...
Professor Gracelyn Smallwood [ABC - 18/8/16]
PD Oakley spreads the woof about Dogs on Patrol – we are all ears PD Oakley! [QPS Media - 23/3/16]
Australia urgently needs an independent investigator for all places of detention, said Amnesty International today, after uncovering over 1,000 pages of documents detailing abuse and mistreatment against children in detention in Queensland.
The documents include incidents at Townsville’s Cleveland Youth Detention Centre (CYDC) and Brisbane Youth Detention Centre (BYDC) from 2010 to 2015.
On an average day in 2015, 89 per cent of children in CYDC were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.
One incident at CYDC in January 2013 involved a 17-year-old boy identified as being at a high suicide risk.
When he refused to return to his room and sat on a bench with his arms folded, 14 staff responded to the situation.
Several staff members held him down on the floor, putting him in handcuffs and legcuffs.
They then took the child to a tiny isolation cell where they cut his clothing and underpants off with a knife.
The boy was left naked in the cell for over an hour, before being given a gown to wear.
Despite the brutal nature of this event, it was not reported as an ‘incident of concern’. An internal review was not held immediately afterwards because the child himself did not make a complaint. The inspectorate later recommended an internal review, but the documents do not say if it was carried out.
“This case demonstrates both the failure of care for vulnerable children, and the lack of accountability in the detention system,” said Roxanne Moore.
“It should not be left to a traumatised, suicidal boy to report the abuse carried out against him, in order for people to be held responsible for serious violations against a child in their care.”
Other incidents outlined in the documents include:
Use of dogs. In 2014, a child on a roof threatened to self-harm or suicide by hanging. A security guard and his dog were deployed to the scene, which was found to increase the young person’s anxiety. In August 2015, a guard allowed an un-muzzled dog to approach an Indigenous girl in an “aggressive manner” while she was attempting to get out of a pool.
Amnesty International has documented the use of dogs to instil fear into prisoners as a torture method used around the world.
Solitary confinement. In March 2012 eight Indigenous children were held in isolation for 10 days in “near-continuous cell confinement” (approximately 22 hours a day). For the first two days of isolation, they were not allowed to leave their rooms at all.
Frequent attempts at self harm or suicide, particularly at CYDC. According to the documents, last year saw 31 incidents of children in CYDC attempting suicide by “tying ligatures around their necks”. This number rose from 20 instances at CYDC in 2014.
Excessive use of force. For example, in 2010 at CYDC there were four incidents when children suffered fractured wrists as a result of control and restraint techniques.
Partially clothed searches, during which children were asked to squat, with young girls asked to lift their breasts and young boys to lift their genitals prior to squatting - despite practices of squatting and lifting being prohibited in adult prisons.
Amnesty International is calling for an independent body to be appointed, entirely separate from the Queensland Government, to investigate all allegations of abuse in detention and make public the findings.
Any staff suspected of being involved in abuse should be suspended until investigations are completed.
The Federal Government must ensure independent oversight mechanisms are established in every State and Territory, by immediately ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture.
“No more secrecy, no more sweeping it under the carpet. We’ve seen abuses happening in Northern Territory detention, now we’ve seen them in Queensland - we know it’s happening everywhere. It’s time to turn the spotlight into places of detention across Australia, so these abuses never happen again,” said Roxanne Moore.
Last August, a Senate motion to expedite the ratification of OPCAT [Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment] didn't even get to a vote because protected and unaccountable Queensland ALP Senator Claire Moore objected.
Senate Hansard [11/8/15]:
... Senator MOORE: Yes, Senator Wright, we did deny formality to this important motion, because it is our longstanding practice.
Where we have an issue such as this which is complex and creates a number of complex situations and also determines significant discussions across all states and territories, we believe it is not appropriate to use the notice of motion process for that, and that is our standard practice.
"This is a dirty policy"
No more lies and exploitation of misery for partisan advantage.
LET THE PEOPLE SPEAK!
Fariba Sahraei spoke to a young female refugee from Iran. Shaghayegh has been imprisoned on Nauru for three years. [AUDIO - BBC - 17/8/16]
"AUSTRALIA. WHAT IS JUSTICE?" @InsurrectNews [17/8/16]
... “After we our found to be refugees they said that Nauru will be responsible for re-settling. Australia would be one of 22 countries where we could be resettled.
“We asked about UNHCR, but we were told that there will be no UNHCR. We asked, ‘how will be resettled in there is no UNHCR?” but we were told that is Nauru’s problem.” ... Nauru hunger strike enters fourth day [Refugee Rights Action Network - 4/11/2012]
Former Ombudsman slams Government on asylum seeker removals [ABC - 2/11/2012]
"Without access to technology the Australian government could do anything to us, even kill us, and no one would know."
How Australia keeps imprisoned refugees in tech limbo [CNET - 17/8/16]:
... Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull declined to be interviewed for this story.
I put through eight requests over a number of weeks for an interview with the Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.
His office advised me that he received a "large number of interview requests" but ultimately did not respond to my emails.
Dutton's predecessor, former Immigration Minister Scott Morrison, also declined to be interviewed.
Former Prime Ministers Tony Abbott, Kevin Rudd and John Howard declined to be interviewed.
Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard didn't respond to a request for an interview.
The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights didn't respond to request for comment.
The former security contractors for Manus Island, G4S, declined to respond to questions about the centers, citing "confidentiality obligations."
Current security contractors for Manus and Nauru Wilson Security declined to comment on the record. ...
... Curr said that phone communication is a particular problem at Christmas Island, Darwin and Scherger detention centres and that asylum seekers who arrive by boat are denied mobile phones.
A spokesperson for the Department of Immigration confirmed that “irregular maritime arrivals” held in detention are not allowed access to mobile phones.
“The detention services provider conducts targeted and random searches to find and remove contraband,” said the spokesperson.
Recently, asylum seekers have used Facebook to send a plea to the federal government and to communicate with the media.
However, Curr and the volunteer claimed that on Christmas Island detention centre computers are closed down and some asylum seekers are denied access to the internet during protests, such as the recent riots in March.
The importance of Facebook for sharing information about asylum seekers takes on new meaning in light of detention centre media access policies.
SERCO, the contractor that runs many detention centres, considers the unauthorised presence of journalists as a “critical” threat and bans them from taking cameras and recording devices inside.
In July this year, The Media Alliance wrote to the Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen, and the Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O’Connor, asking them to re-examine the guidelines governing journalists’ access to detention centres.
Perhaps Facebook’s most essential function is to help asylum seekers gather emotional support.
Community activists use the social networking site to organise visits to detention centres and to offer encouragement and hope.
A message on the Facebook page of a Christmas Island detainee reads: “I hope u always fine n ur family too take care of ur self”.
This emotional support could be critical considering the epidemic of self-harm across the detention network.
Last Friday, Commonwealth Ombudsman Allan Asher announced an inquiry into suicide and self-harm in Australian immigration detention facilities.
There were more than 1100 reported incidents of threatened or actual self-harm across the network in 2010-11, with 54 incidents of self-harm reported during the first week of July 2011 alone. ... [Crikey - 1/8/2011]
Sometimes, Behrouz Boochani looks at the sky above Manus Island detention center.
He watches the birds flying.
“It is hard to describe, but I have some beautiful friends in this prison that I will miss one day.”
Boochani is a Kurdish-Iranian journalist detained at the offshore detention facility that houses more than 800 refugees and migrants who were trying to make it to Australia.
He’s been there since August 27, 2013.
He’s 32. ... [reported.ly - 7/6/16]
Indonesia asks Australia for more money to fund IOM gulags and UNHCR "durable solutions" as refugee bottleneck intensifies [TEMPO - 9/8/16]
Australia stopped accepting refugees in July 2014.
Why is the United States incarcerating asylum seekers? [Huffington Post - 17/8/16]
How the US took over Myanmar’s Ministry of Information [Burma Times - 13/8/16]
Myanmar authorities have recently decided to prevent Rohingya Muslim minority from teaching the Holy Qur'an and principles of the Islamic religion to their children, in an escalating move described by local observers as a risk to the future of the Islamic presence in Arakan State [Rakhine].
Arakan News Agency reported that the authorities summoned dozens of Rohingya teachers in a number of neighborhoods, south of Maungdaw city, and forced them to sign a written pledge not to engage in the future in teaching the Qur'an or anything related to Islamic religion even inside their homes. ... [Ummid - 17/8/16]
Japan, China, South Korea plan maritime talks [Inquirer - 18/8/16]
... Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying last week welcomed Ramos to visit the Chinese mainland.
Ramos also said the Philippines wants formal negotiations with China to explore pathways to peace and cooperation after meeting with former Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying in Hong Kong.
Liu [Chinese Vice Foreign Minister] urged Singapore not to get involved in the maritime disputes.
"Singapore is not involved in the South China Sea disputes. We hope Singapore could play a bigger role in promoting China-ASEAN cooperation as long as it does not interfere in the disputes," Liu said. [Global Times - 17/8/16]
The owners of a bulk carrier stranded off the coast of Gladstone have paid for supplies, however the issue of the crew's wage issue is still uncertain, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) says. ... [Maritime Executive - 17/8/16]
Indonesian crew 'takes' tanker due to commercial row [Al Jazeera - 17/8/16]
Indonesian crewman swims to freedom from militants in Philippines [Reuters - 17/8/16]
Voicing concern over alleged human rights violations, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein Wednesday appealed to both India and Pakistan to grant his team access to Jammu and Kashmir as well as PoK. ... [The Indian Express - 17/8/16]
Amnesty India charged with sedition over Kashmir slogans [The News International - 16/8/16]:
Indian police have charged Amnesty with sedition after several Kashmiris called for independence for the troubled region at an event organised by the rights group, an officer said Tuesday.
Police in the southern city of Bangalore filed the initial charges against Amnesty following complaints by a Hindu nationalist student organisation whose members recorded the event. ...
50 Turkish academics dismissed from Azerbaijan college [Yeni Safak - 17/8/16]
Turkey began freeing 38,000 prisoners on Wednesday, after announcing a penal reform that will make space for tens of thousands of suspects rounded up over last month's attempted coup.
The reform was one of a series of measures outlined on Wednesday in two decrees under a state of emergency declared after the July 15 failed putsch during which 240 people were killed.
Wednesday's decrees, published in the Official Gazette, also ordered the dismissal of 2,360 more police officers, more than 100 military personnel and 196 staff at Turkey's information and communication technology authority, BTK. ... [Reuters - 17/8/16]
At least four police officers and three civilians killed in a car bomb blast near Turkey's southeastern Diyarbakir city. ... [Al Jazeera - 16/8/16]
Special police commandos on Wednesday arrested a 27-year-old German man in the eastern town of Eisenhuettenstadt who is suspected of stockpiling materials that could be used as explosives, a spokesman for the Brandenburg state police said.
The spokesman declined comment on whether there was any connection to militants.
A spokesman with the police in Frankfurt (Oder), a larger city nearby, said the suspect was a local citizen with no migration background.
Asked if the suspect was an Islamist, the spokesman said "any suspicion of terrorism has not yet been confirmed". [Reuters - 17/8/16]
Iran says it has detained a dual national linked to British intelligence [Reuters – 16/8/16]
For the third straight day, Saudi Arabia’s warplanes are caught up in a high-profile incident of civilian deaths in Yemen, this time attacking a house in the Nehm District near the capital of Sanaa.
The attacks destroyed a house, and killed 17 civilians.
The large toll for a single home was the result of a “double-tap” incident, with the first strike collapsing the house on top of the family, and relatives from the neighborhood scrambling to try to rescue them, only for the rescuers themselves to be targeted in subsequent strikes. ... [Antiwar.com - 16/8/16]
Cindy Sheehan: What’s worse? Trump’s background checks or Clinton’s policy of mass murder? [Mint Press News - 9/8/16]
US bombs Libya again [US Depeartment of Defense - 17/8/16]
The US imperial campaign against Libya marked a watershed moment in the Obama legacy.
The overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi by way of US-NATO sorties and jihadists made Obama the first Black President to bomb an African country.
In addition, Obama became the first President to invoke the so-called R2P (Responsibility to Protect) doctrine as a justification for what he called a "humanitarian intervention."
The Obama war doctrine rewrote the rules of war in the realm of international law. "Humanitarian intervention" and the "Responsibility to Protect" provided a more effective justification for the destruction of sovereign nations. ... [Black Agenda Report - 9/8/16]
Does the US ignore its civilian casualties in Iraq and Syria? [New York Times - 17/8/16]:
... Airwars, the organization I lead, at present estimates that at least 1,500 civilians have been killed by the United States-led coalition — around one death for every nine strikes.
Similar or higher tallies are reported by other monitoring groups, like Iraq Body Count and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
But coalition officials have publicly admitted just 55 deaths. ...
Market owner shot dead by policeman in Baghdad [IraqiNews.com - 17/8/16]
A source in the Ministry of Interior informed that an IED explosion near a popular market at northeast of Baghdad killed one person and injured seven others. ... [IraqiNews.com - 17/8/16]
18 August 2016