@AFP [31/3/16]: ... 500 migrants in first return from Greece to Turkey planned Monday: EU source
@PROACTIVA_SERV [31/3/16]: #EstaPasando 2 botes acaban de llegar norte #Lesbos. No hay fronteras para la desesperación. #opentheborders
Dozens feared missing after migrant boat sinks off Libya [Reuters - 30/3/16]
First faces of fortress Europe [Greenpeace - 30/3/16]:
... The worst incident was on December 16.
Shortly after being threatened with arrest from Frontex (we are not allowed to patrol) a wooden boat capsized and sank.
A total of 85 men, women, children and babies were in the water. We were the first responders to arrive, within 20 minutes. It was a scene from the Titanic. Death hung in the air.
The Greenpeace boats were magnificent. Our crew grabbed, hauled and wrestled folks on-board, but still we lost two people that day.
The Frontex boat couldn't do much as their freeboard was too high – they put out ropes instead!
They don't threaten us with arrest any more and these days often request our assistance.
I pray we never get another day like that, for everyone on the water it was traumatic, a day we will never forget. ...
25.9% support refugee concentration camps, torture, refoulement and exile
The Australia Institute Media Release [31/3/16]:
New state-wide ReachTEL polling in South Australia and in the seats of New England and Indi on refugee policy shows most voters do not support the current policy to send all boat arrivals to Nauru and Manus Island. The polling also shows majority support for the resettlement in Australia of those assessed as refugees who arrive by boat.
In South Australia, the poll showed only 25.9% support for the current government policy of indefinite, offshore detention.
58% supported the resettlement of those assessed as refugees in Australia, while 11.5% support all arrivals being allowed to stay.
In the regional electorates of Indi and New England voters also found strong support for the proposition that ‘those people found to be genuine refugees should be allowed to stay in Australia once their claims are assessed’.
21% of Indi respondents and 31% in New England supported Manus and Nauru detention, but in both electorates more than half of respondents supported allowing those assessed as refugees to stay in Australia, even when they arrive by boat.
“Despite a political perception that current refugee policies are popular, this poll shows that most Australians reject the idea that the government should lock up and never resettle asylum seekers who arrive by boat,” Executive Director of The Australia Institute, Ben Oquist said.
“The poll indicates the public does not support the current policy setting of sending all boat arrivals to offshore centres and demonstrates a depth of compassion in the Australian community for people who are fleeing persecution and hardship,” Oquist said.
Australia is NOT "cherrypicking" refugees. Australia hasn't accepted ANY refugees since July 2014.
Last week's Bali Process meeting condemned 1,000s of refugees in our region to indefinite detention, refoulement and genocide ---> UNHCR leadership pins hopes on democracy in Myanmar and "repatriation" - calls on Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia to sign refugee convention, while turning a blind eye to Australia's human rights atrocities [23/3/16]
UN extends mandate of special rapporteur [Myanmar Times - 25/3/16]:
... Despite a speech delivered by the current special rapporteur for Myanmar Yanghee Lee which identified a slew of pressing and extant rights abuses in the country, Australia pressed the council to drop Myanmar from the list of countries of concern with serious rights issues.
Dumping refugees on Nauru and Manus and in Cambodia is not "resettlement", it's EXILE. THIS is resettlement ---> A New Beginning in a Third Country [UNHCR]
… And as things fell apart
Nobody paid much attention …
'(Nothing But) Flowers', Talking Heads 
Attempted no confidence motion in PNG Prime Minister thrown out of Parliament [RNZI - 31/3/16]
TEPCO starts freezing soil around Fukushima nuclear plant [Japan Today - 31/3/16]
India: Flyover collapses in Kolkata; 2 dead, several trapped under debris [Hindustan Times - 31/3/16]
One dead, dozens wounded in wave of bombs in south Thailand [Reuters - 31/3/16]
One-time Khmer Rouge soldier recounts his torture [Phnom Penh Post - 31/3/16]
The Pentagon plans to transfer about a dozen inmates of the Guantanamo military prison to at least two countries that have agreed to take them, a U.S. official said on Wednesday, the latest move in President Barack Obama's final push to close the facility.
The first of the transfers are expected in the next few days and the others will take place in coming weeks, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Among them will be Tariq Ba Odah, a Yemeni man who has been on a long-term hunger strike and has lost about half of his body weight.
There are now 91 prisoners at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Most have been held without charge or trial for more than a decade, drawing international condemnation. ... [Reuters - 30/3/16]
Boeing plans to cut up to 8,000 airplane jobs: sources [Reuters – 30/3/16]
US military jet crashes in Afghanistan: Pentagon [TOLO News - 30/3/16]
The military attorney for central Daikundi province was killed along with his driver in a roadside bombing in Dara-i-Sauf Paeen district of northern Samangan province on Wednesday, an official said. ... [Pajhwok - 30/3/16]
At least four police force members were wounded in a roadside bomb blast in Company area in Kabul, a security official said.
The official said the explosion took place at around 8pm on Tuesday night after a police vehicle hit a roadside mine in the area.
No group has claimed responsibility for the blast so far. [TOLO News - 29/3/16]
Afghanistan opposes deportation of Afghans from Europe [Khaama - 31/3/16]
Saudi Arabia buying drones from Israel via South Africa: Opposition activist [Press TV - 30/3/16]
A lawsuit filed last week in Canada is seeking to halt a major $15 billion sale of light-armored vehicles to the government of Saudi Arabia, part of a growing international movement to stop arms sales to the Saudi government over its alleged war crimes in Yemen.
The suit, filed by University of Montreal constitutional law professor Daniel Turp, argues the vehicle sales to Saudi Arabia violate a number of Canadian laws, including regulations on the export of military equipment, which prohibit arms sales to countries where human rights are “subject to serious and repeated violations” and there is a reasonable risk exported equipment “will be used against the civilian population.” ... [The Intercept - 30/3/16]
At least four suspected al Qaeda militants in southern Yemen were killed in what is believed to be a drone strike on Wednesday as unidentified warplanes bombed outposts held by the Islamist militant group further east, witnesses and local residents said.
The four suspected militants were killed when what was thought to be a U.S. drone fired on a checkpoint at the entrance of the city of Azan in southern Yemen. ... [Reuters - 30/3/16]
Six children killed, maimed daily in Yemen since Saudi aggression began: UN [Al-Manar - 29/3/16]
Libya: UN envoy welcomes arrival of Presidency Council in Tripoli, urges peaceful handover of power [UN Media Release - 30/3/16]
The top United Nations official in Libya today condemned recent reported executions and killings of civilians in the northern part of the country and called for the responsible to be held to account. ... [UN Media Release - 30/3/16]
Israeli rights group B’Tselem on Wednesday placed blame for the deaths of two Palestinian children killed in the Gaza Strip earlier this month wholly on the shoulders of Israeli decision makers who failed to make policy changes after countless similar cases.
“Despite repeated civilian fatalities and casualties, Israel refuses to change its policy and continues to adopt a distorted and far-reaching interpretation of the provisions of international humanitarian law in order to justify its position,” B’Tselem said in a statement. ... [Maan - 30/3/16]
Israeli naval forces fired shells at Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday morning, locals said, with no injuries reported. ... [Maan - 30/3/16]
Thousands march on 40th Land Day to protest decades of Israeli land grabs [Maan - 30/3/16]
A Palestinian refugee is waiting to hear if he will be deported from France.
He and his lawyers say the decision to expel him is in retaliation for his refusal to act as an informant for French intelligence services.
Collectif Contre L’Islamophobie en France (CCIF), a group that combats Islamophobia and other forms of racism, is representing the man, who it has named only as Muhammad.
Muhammad is a pharmacist from the Gaza Strip, where his wife and four children still live.
He obtained refugee status in France several years ago. ... [Electronic Intifada - 30/3/16]
Palestinian who filmed the execution of Abed al-Fattah al-Sharif in Hebron being hounded by the IOF and settlers [PNN - 29/3/16]
Family of Mexican man tortured and killed by US border agents seeks justice at international tribunal [Democracy Now - 30/3/16]:
The family of a Mexican immigrant killed by Border Patrol agents in 2010 is launching an unprecedented effort to hold the United States responsible.
Six years ago, in May 2010, Anastasio Hernández Rojas tried to cross the border to return to San Diego, where he had lived for 25 years and fathered five children.
Hernández Rojas was stopped by Border Patrol agents. He would never see his children again.
The agents initially said Hernández Rojas became hostile and resisted arrest, but eyewitness video shows the agents beat and tasered him.
The San Diego Coroner’s Office classified Anastasio Hernández Rojas’s death as a homicide, concluding he suffered a heart attack as well as "bruising to his chest, stomach, hips, knees, back, lips, head and eyelids; five broken ribs; and a damaged spine."
Despite these findings, the Department of Justice announced last year there was insufficient evidence to pursue federal criminal civil rights or other federal charges against the agents.
Just after our broadcast today, the family of Anastasio Hernández Rojas is filing a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington, D.C.
We speak to Anastasio’s brother, Bernardo Hernández Rojas, and Roxanna Altholz, associate director at the International Human Rights Law Clinic at UC Berkeley School of Law. ...
Hollande drops bid to strip terrorists of citizenship after parliament fails to agree on measure [France 24 - 30/3/16]
An eight-year-old boy has been detained at Paris's main airport for nine days after arriving from the Comoros Islands with just a Spiderman backpack and a borrowed passport.
Children's rights groups have condemned the action, which they say breaks international child protection laws.
Local media reported that the boy – who has not been named – had been put on a plane from Comoros, in the Indian Ocean, by his mother to join relatives in France. He arrived on March 21.
Police were alerted when he tried to use a passport belonging to his cousin and has been kept in an airport holding area for illegal arrivals at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport ever since. ... [Telegraph - 31/3/16]
Queensland: Where abortion is illegal and men and women are charged. Please stop pretending to be outraged by Trump. ---> ... Police charged them under the archaic Queensland Crimes Act, that still sees abortion as a crime because the state has not had the courage to reform it.
Many politicians in New South Wales and Queensland see the continued inclusion of abortion in their crimes acts as a dormant issue.
Doctors get around the law by finding the women seeking abortions are doing so to prevent physical or mental harm in line with court rulings made last century.
They say why change the law when its not necessary? What they mean is they want to avoid the noisy minority who oppose abortion making their lives difficult. ... [Brisbane Times - 12/10/10]
Trump and the liberal intelligentsia: A view from Europe [Counterpunch - 30/3/16]:
... The intellectual left (who mostly enjoy stable incomes, for example in universities) has totally ignored this problem by viewing the issue solely in moral terms: wouldn’t it be marvelous to live in a world open to others, without racism or discrimination?
In short, the message to the white worker who lost his job as a result of delocalizations, with no better prospect than delivering pizza, that he should be delighted to live in a multicultural world where one can eat sushi, listen to African music and take vacations in Morocco.
He is told that he must absolutely not make any racist, sexist or homophobic remarks, that gay marriage is a huge progress and that the ideal society is not one aiming at relatively equal conditions for all, but rather an “equal opportunity” society in which there is no limit on economic inequalities so long as they do not result from discriminations against minorities.
All is well if one can find a good number of women, blacks and homosexuals among the billionaires. ...
Safety hubs among 227 recommendations made by Royal Commission into family violence in Victoria [Nine MSN - 30/3/16]
Woman hit by car in Upper Coomera [MYGC - 30/3/16]
Cyclist critical after accident in Miami [MYGC - 30/3/16]
Police are investigating a fatal single vehicle traffic crash at Moffat Beach this afternoon.
Initial investigations suggest shortly before 3pm a vehicle drove off a cliff at the ocean end of McIlwraith Street, landing on the shoreline.
The driver and sole occupant of the vehicle, a 52-year-old Pacific Paradise man, was pronounced deceased at the scene.
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. [QPS Media - 30/3/16]
A young boy has been rushed to Gold Coast University Hospital after nearly drowning at an Ormeau home. ... [MYGC - 30/3/16]
Armed robbery charge, Woodridge [QPS Media - 31/3/16]
Armed robberies, Logan District [QPS Media - 31/3/16]
Armed robbery charges, Varsity Lakes [QPS Media - 30/3/16]
Police have a released a comfit of a man they would like to speak to in relation to a burglary with violence incident which occurred in Toowong earlier last week.
Around 9.15pm on March 22, a male occupant of a Horrocks Road address was disturbed by two men who had entered his house.
One of the men assaulted him with what is believed a hammer before the pair fled the scene with a bag containing personal items from the property.
The 26-year-old man was transported to the Royal Brisbane Hospital suffering non-life-threatening injuries.
One of the men is described as Caucasian, approximately mid-30s, 178 centimetres tall with a tanned complexion, slim build and wearing a blue beanie.
Anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in Horrocks Street at this time or recognises the man in the comfit is urged to contact police or Crime Stoppers. ... [QPS Media - 30/3/16]
Police have charged man following a public appeal to help identify an individual allegedly involved in the sexual assault of a woman in Brisbane City earlier this month.
It will be alleged that around 10.25pm on March 24, a group of men approached two women handing out business cards outside a licensed premises on Eagle Street.
One of the men allegedly inappropriately touched one of the women on the chest, leaving her with an injury to her breast.
He also allegedly took a number of business cards the woman was holding before the group fled on foot north on Eagle Street towards Charlotte Street, entering a Mexican restaurant.
Following a public appeal yesterday, over twenty separate reports were made to police via Crime Stoppers and social media which assisted detectives.
A 19-year-old Ashgrove man has been charged with one count of sexual assault and is due to appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court on April 13. ... [QPS Media - 30/3/16]
Bombs continue raining down upon Iraq and Syria
US Department of Defense [30/3/16]:
U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq yesterday, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Strikes in Syria
Attack, fighter and ground attack aircraft conducted four strikes in Syria:
-- Near Mara, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed seven ISIL bunkers.
-- Near Manbij, a strike destroyed an ISIL mortar position.
Strikes in Iraq
Fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 20 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
-- Near Baghdadi, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL boat.
-- Near Habbaniyah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.
-- Near Hit, three strikes struck a large ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL safe house and destroyed two ISIL assembly areas and an ISIL vehicle bomb.
-- Near Mosul, five strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed six ISIL assembly areas, an ISIL weapons cache and an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Qayyarah, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL tunnels and an ISIL assembly area.
-- Near Sultan Abdallah, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL fighting position and suppressed an ISIL tactical unit.
-- Near Kirkuk, a strike destroyed two ISIL assembly areas.
-- Near Kisik, a strike destroyed an ISIL assembly area.
-- Near Makhmur, a strike destroyed an ISIL tactical vehicle.
-- Near Sinjar, two strikes destroyed an ISIL assembly area and an ISIL fighting position.
President Barack Obama will have the chance to decide on whether to increase the number of U.S. forces in Iraq in the "coming weeks," the top U.S. general said on Wednesday.
The extra troops would bolster the capabilities of Iraqi forces preparing for a major offensive against the Islamic State militant group in Mosul, U.S. Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a news briefing. ... [Reuters - 30/3/16]
Muqtada al-Sadr, Iraq’s firebrand Shiite cleric, warned Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to "stop giving futile promises" and start with grassroots government reforms if he wants to avoid impeachment.
"We advise the prime minister to stop giving futile promises," Sadr said in a message, convoyed by an official from his Sadrist Movement before supporters in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone, where Sadr is staging a sit-in. ... [RUDAW - 30/3/16]
The U.S. government has authorized the ordered departure of Defense Department dependents from Turkey, including those at Incirlik Air Base, according to Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook. ... [US Department of Defense - 29/3/16]
The Defense Department’s approach to an increasingly dynamic global environment and its recent focus on great-power competition is not a lead-up to war among powerful nations, but rather is a way to achieve comprehensive stability, Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said here today.
Work spoke during a forum titled “Securing Tomorrow,” hosted by the Washington Post and conducted by the newspaper’s foreign affairs columnist and author David Ignatius.
During a recent visit to a Silicon Valley company, the deputy secretary saw a machine that took in data from Twitter, Instagram and many other public sources to show the July 2014 Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shoot-down in real time.
“They had a … shot of the airplane taking off, they had another shot of a Russian surface-to-air missile vehicle with a serial number on it, and they had a picture of a contrail in the area where the airplane was shot down,” Work explained.
“They had another picture of the same surface-to-air missile launcher moving out of the area [without] a missile on one of its rails.”
With deep-learning machines and computers that are designed to help analysts understand the connections they're seeing, analysts will provide better input to commanders, who will better understand the effects they want to achieve, Work said.
“So we're very excited about the prospect of working these things into our fight,” he added. ... [US Department of Defense - 30/3/16]
How Associated Press cooperated with the Nazis [Guardian - 30/3/16]
WikiLeaks: Google and Al-Jazeera encouraged civil war in Syria [Mint Press - 29/3/16]
@blidfinnur [30/3/16]: Asylum claims will be accepted later today in the #Vial #hotspot, a full ten days after imprisonment of #refugeesGr started.
@blidfinnur [28/3/16]: Deputy minister visits #Vial #hotspot, greeted by #refugeesGr, children included, screaming FREEDOM FREEDOM FREEDOM
Benjamín Julian [30/3/16]:
Here's an open letter to the Greek government and the European Commission against cooperation with refugee prisons and against the horrifying agreement with Turkey.
To sign it, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
New Zealand: A Labour government would double the refugee quota, says Andrew Little [RNZI – 31/3/16]
But why is no-one asking New Zealand Labour if they would also accept these refugees? ----> ... The asylum seekers remain in limbo in Indonesia. Kandiha Kayuran and his wife, who gave birth in December, are still in immigration detention in Kupang.
He told Fairfax Media they had no idea what the future held.
"No one cares, New Zealand is not listening, and Australia too, even after the Amnesty report came out. Please help us." Jail for boat crew paid by Australian official to turn back [Sydney Morning Herald - 17/1/16]
Canberra Times [17/6/15]:
... The Kanak was shifting on the reef, and he was worried they would be cast adrift with no food or fuel.
Most of the 65 asylum seekers from Myanmar, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka [52 are registered as refugees] were already swimming ashore, but Mr Kayuran had stayed on board with his pregnant wife V. Nadhiya, and a handful of other women and young children.
The women were crying with fear. They tried to call for help but couldn't go outside because the ship was tilting sideways.
The Navy warship HMAS Wollongong and an Australian customs trip had transferred the asylum seekers onto two small boats, which they say was woefully inadequate.
Letter sent to the New Zealand government by the refugees via [RNZI - 7/6/15]
Our Voices summary report highlights overwhelming support for a refugee quota increase [Amnesty New Zealand - 22/3/16]:
... “Amnesty International, along with the thousands of people behind this report, is strongly urging the New Zealand government to stop taking a back seat to an issue that we have a global responsibility to address,” said Grant Bayldon.
The report is being released ahead of two crucial international meetings on refugee protection - the Sixth Bali Process Ministerial Conference in Bali tomorrow (23 March), and a high-level meeting convened by the UN Refugee Agency on 30 March which will look into sharing responsibility for the refugee crisis.
“New Zealand has a key role to play in refugee protection, but currently we can’t attend these meetings on the world stage with any integrity when we aren’t sharing the responsibility here in New Zealand,” said Grant Bayldon. ...
31 March 2016