One person was killed and four were injured early Sunday in two separate shootings in a crowded area of downtown Austin, Texas, police said. ... [CNN - 31/7/16]



United States continue bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 31/7/16]



Dunford arrives in Baghdad [US Department of Defense - 30/7/16]



Helping out with migrants stuck in Calais [Global Voices - 31/7/16]



Aegean Islands alarm as refugee numbers rise after Turkey coup attempt [Guardian - 31/7/16]



Refugees at risk in Turkey and Calais, Letters to the Editor [Guardian – 28/7/16]:

Amid reports of human rights abuses in Turkey (Report,, 25 July), I fear that the ill-fated EU migrant deal is doomed.

Academics from Middlesex University have been studying the flow of refugees fleeing to Greece and Italy for over a year as part of an Economic and Social Research Council funded programme.

We were sceptical about the EU-Turkey deal from the very start and questioned both its legality and design.

When the deal was agreed, I challenged the idea that Turkey was a safe country to return refugees. Today I find it hard to see how anyone could claim Turkey is safe.

With thousands of people being arrested and allegations of torture, the situation is too unstable to treat Turkey as a credible partner.

As a result of the purge and collective persecution, we may well witness new flows of refugees trying to reach our shores in the form of Turkish journalists and academics.

The unrest in Turkey and the growing number of migrants fleeing across the Aegean will put even more pressure on Greece.

At a time of huge challenges facing the global community in terms of political change and terrorist attacks, I fear that vulnerable families fleeing war and persecution will pay the price.


Brad Blitz

Professor of International Politics, Middlesex University

As a medical team providing humanitarian assistance in the unofficial refugee camp, we have witnessed an appalling state of affairs.

Despite the army of volunteers in the camp, public health and child safeguarding remain woefully inadequate. The lack of infrastructure, organisation and coordination precludes effective healthcare delivery. As a result, contagious diseases such as tuberculosis and syphilis are becoming more prevalent. Small unaccompanied children in the camp are at risk of sexual exploitation and injury on a nightly basis.

Approximately 600 children are in this category. The tangible lack of governance risks forcing the refugees into increasingly desperate actions and represents a missed opportunity to win hearts and minds.

The emotive debates in the House of Commons appear to have produced little concrete change. Public discussion today seems to focus more on the numbers of migrants than on the need for humanitarian assistance for the desperately needy people caught up in this ongoing tragedy.

We call upon the French and British governments to augment their coordinated response to the public health, medical and humanitarian challenges that the Calais jungle poses, and to do so before the imminent evictions.


Dr Polly Nyiri, Mr Gerry Clare, Dr Emma Preston, Dr Chie Yamamoto



‏@Souidos [31/7/16]: Anarchists invaded the cathedral of #Thessaloniki to protect the eviction of squats for #refugees and the involvement of the greek church



In a move unprecedented in times of “democracy”, the Greek government raided and evicted today, 27 July in the early morning, three squats in the city of Thessaloniki, which were being used as shelter for refugees. ... [Squat!net - 27/7/16]



More than 120 migrant bodies washed up in Libya's Sabratha in July [Reuters - 31/7/16]



‏@moas_eu  [31/7/16]: ... 700+ now aboard #MOASResponder. People being taken onto the bow & upper decks ...



@ItalianNavy [31/7/16]:  #SAR #MarinaMilitare oggi recuperati:134 #Migranti da N.VEGA, 115 #migranti da Nave GRECALE e 485 #Migranti da M/V TOPAZ RESPONDER.



Spain's maritime rescue service on Sunday saved 74 migrants crammed into three small boats attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea.

The rescue service said it collected 25 migrants before dawn from one boat, followed hours later by the rescue of 19 others from a second craft, and then a third operation reached a boat bearing 30 more migrants.

No casualties were reported.

Captains of passing ships had reported the vessels carrying the migrants as they approached Spain's southeast coast. ... [US News - 31/7/16]



Day 134 refugee protests, Nauru



Images: ‏@Mums4Refugees [31/7/16]




Gabrielle M. Rose [31/7/16]:


I've just got a distressing contact from a detainee on Manus. He has been on a stable medication for sleeping and depression, no more and no less, for a long time now since he was interned on Manus.

These meds are addictive and yet essential to the detainees stability and wellness. The contact is saying that IHMS have stopped all sleeping medication to the detainees.

You can't just go off this medication. You must go off it gradually.

This ceasing of his medication smacks of an attempt to cause him and the other detainees great anxiety and destabilization before the court hearing next week.

Three nights of no sleep will serve as a volatile situation in the lead up to the court case.

This sort of medication cannot just be stopped. This is malpractice. I have spoken with this man again this evening and they have refused to give his medication again.

He has been on Promethazine two tablets nocte for just on three years. They can't just stop it like this.

He states that IHMS are saying they are not providing sleeping medication anymore and that many men are affected.




Medical torture in Australia's concentration camp on Manus Island being used as a deterrence weapon against refugees ---> ... Sometimes I wake suddenly, because of too much pain. I feel scared of IHMS because they are using my pain to put me under pressure. I am sure that they will leave me with my pain. ... [The Saturday Paper - 16/4/16]



SBS [5/5/14]:


Asylum seekers on Manus Island are being given a type of anti-malaria medication that detention centre staff have been warned not to take because of serious side effects.
Centre staff were warned not to take Mefloquine, also known as Lariam, because of adverse health effects.
Salvation Army worker Simon Taylor says in a submission to a Senate inquiry that he is aware asylum seekers have been given the drug despite the warnings to staff.
Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration warns that patients with a history of depression, anxiety disorders or other major psychiatric illness should not be prescribed the drug.
It's common for asylum seekers in detention to suffer depression, post traumatic stress disorder and other mental illnesses.
The US military developed the drug in the 1970s and has curbed its use among troops after it was linked to permanent brain damage, suicide, murder and domestic violence. ...



Antimalaria drugs used in "an experimental program in interrogation and torture" of detainees at Guantanamo [Kevin Gosztola  - 5/4/15]



Mass administration of the antimalarial drug mefloquine to Guantanamo detainees: a critical analysis, Remington L. Nevin Department of Preventive Medicine, Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital, Ft. Polk, LA, USA [2012]:


... One possibility is that the use of mefloquine was simply erroneously directed by senior US military medical officials overly confident of the drug’s safety and unfamiliar with its appropriate use, in an apparent foreshadowing of its later, broader misprescribing among US military personnel (Nevin 2010).

Another possibility, which is deeply troubling to consider, is that the decision to administer the drug was informed and motivated at least in part by knowledge of the drug’s adverse neuropsychiatric effects and the presumed plausible deniability of claims of misuse in the context of its seemingly legitimate clinical or public health indication. ...




Abortion and/or forced pregnancy is also used as as a "deterrence" weapon against refugees [The Age - 10/5/16]:


... The young woman who, as Fairfax revealed last month, was semi-conscious after suffering a suspected epileptic seizure when she was attacked on Nauru, had begged authorities to let her come to Australia to terminate the pregnancy.

Instead, Australia sent her to Papua New Guinea, where the criminal code states abortion is illegal.

There she remains in limbo in a Port Moresby hotel room after her legal team issued emergency legal proceedings to prevent Australian authorities from arranging an abortion in PNG where, they say, her complex medical and mental health needs could not be assured.

She is now in her second trimester of pregnancy and, the court was told, her mental health is deteriorating rapidly.

Her barrister, Ron Merkel, told the court the woman had told her legal team on Thursday she felt she was "going crazy" and said she might hurt herself "like Hodan" - a reference to the young Somali woman who last week set herself on fire on Nauru.

"I feel bad," she told her lawyers.

"Can you please hurry up the court? My belly is growing bigger every day; I want the baby out." ...




Women protesting torture of children in detention centres removed by police at 4am [The Age - 31/7/16]:


... Melbourne rally organiser Meriki Onus said they were tired of Royal Commissions. 

"If they implemented the recommendations from the Royal Commission into deaths in custody and the Royal Commission into the stolen generation, I don't think we would be protesting here today," she said. ...



Former worker claims abuse rife at Cleveland Youth Detention Centre in Queensland [ABC – 30/7/16]:


... Shayleen Solomon, a youth worker at the Cleveland Youth Detention Centre in Townsville, told Lateline that physical and emotional abuse was rife in the north Queensland centre.

Ms Solomon worked at Cleveland for almost six years from 2009.

She described an incident in 2012 in which she alleges a 15-year-old boy was involved in a physical altercation with a group of male staff.

Ms Solomon said she was returning the boy to his room when he yelled out at the group of men.

"[He was saying] 'I'll have a go at you', stuff like that. So they came out and absolutely trashed this boy," she said.

"There were 15 fully grown men on top of this child. They had him in a sort of crucifix position trying to bend his arms back behind his body to put handcuffs on him.

"The young boy was head butting the ground because he was face down. He had blood coming out of his forehead. There was no room to move.

"I was the worker that went down and put my hands underneath his head to stop him hurting himself more. And he was pleading with them to stop and everything, but they didn't."

Ms Solomon's claims follow similar allegations of abuse made earlier this week at the Cleveland centre.

Ms Solomon said the Four Corners report on the Northern Territory's Don Dale detention centre proved incidents like this had been going on for too long.

She alleged that she regularly witnessed verbal and emotional abuse of detainees at the Cleveland centre.

"In the detention centre the things that you see — and it's not only the physical abuse — the way that these big brutes of men will boast about how many young people they've smashed," she said.

"They strip them of everything ... they strip them of all their self-esteem."

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has ordered a Royal Commission into the juvenile detention system in the Northern Territory.

But many people, including Eileen Baldry, a Professor of Criminology at the University of New South Wales, have said its scope should be widened.

Professor Baldry said mistreatment of children was systemic in every jurisdiction.

"It's in Northern Queensland, Victoria, we know Western Australia, we know that virtually every other jurisdiction has instances of abuse of children in detention, in out of home care, in a range of places," she said.

"I really think that we need a completely different approach to this and a Royal Commission might be helpful to uncover things but it's not going to be the solution."



Teenagers charged following policing spectacle, Surfers Paradise [31/7/16]



A 50-year-old man has faced court accused of intentionally driving his vehicle into a police station in the Gold Coast hinterland on Friday.

Lachlan Pearson was granted bail and the court ordered he must undergo a mental health assessment.

Pearson appeared at Southport Magistrates Court on Saturday on charges of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and being adversely affected by an intoxicating substance, wilful damage of police property, assaulting or obstructing police and driving under the influence.

It's alleged he drove through a car park and into the side of the Mudgeeraba Police Station late on Friday afternoon.

Nobody was injured in the collision but the crash caused extensive damage to a wall of the station.

The driver allegedly narrowly avoided hitting a police officer who was inside the station, working at the time.

Following the incident he was later arrested in a nearby park by authorities and allegedly returned a blood alcohol reading of .182. [Yahoo - 31/7/16]



A siege at a Brisbane house has ended after police found the body of a man inside.

Heavily armed officers surrounded the home at Chandler, in the city's outer southeast, after the man made threats towards two people and armed himself with a gun. ... [Yahoo - 29/7/16]



Lawyers for a Queensland police officer accused of pulling his gun on a motorist will apply to have charges against him dismissed, a court has heard.

Stephen Patrick Flanagan, 45, was charged with one count each of common assault and deprivation of liberty after allegedly drawing his firearm on a driver suspected of speeding near Longreach in May 2015. ... [Yahoo - 29/7/16]


WA police officer charged with assault following traffic stop [WA Today – 30/7/16]



Motorcyclist dies after bike collides with parked police car, Sunshine Coast [Brisbane Times - 31/7/16]



A woman has been killed in a collision between a truck and a car on the New England Highway at Stanthorpe in southeast Queensland. ... [Yahoo - 31/7/16]



A person has died in a crash involving a truck, car and motorbike in central Queensland.

The vehicles collided on Hanson Road, Gladstone, just before 3.30pm on Friday. ... [Yahoo - 29/7/16]



Man killed walking along the highway near Byron Bay [MYGC - 31/7/16]



71-year-old pedestrian killed, Kippa Ring [Yahoo - 31/7/16]:


... She was walking with another woman, aged 74, at Kippa Ring just before 6am on Sunday when a hatchback travelling along Anzac Avenue veered off the road and onto the footpath, police said.

The 71-year-old woman died at the scene while the other woman and the 31-year old male driver were taken to the Redcliffe Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.



Elderly man dies after mobility scooter hit by car, Geelong [Nine MSN - 31/7/16]



Young boy injured after being hit by car in Logan [MYGC - 29/7/16]



A man has been rushed to hospital in a serious condition after crashing his bike at Currumbin Valley this morning.

Emergency services were called to Tomewin Currumbin Creek Road around 6.20am after receiving reports a cyclist had suffered serious head injuries after falling off his bike.

Paramedics treated the 40-year-old at the scene before transporting him to Gold Coast University hospital. [MYGC - 28/7/16]



A Gold Coast woman has been spared serious injury after flipping her car on a suburban street overnight.

The woman, who is believed to be aged in her early 20s, lost control of her 4WD along Frank Street in Labrador at around 2am. ... [MYGC - 31/7/16]



Three charged with manslaughter over death of Caboolture boy Mason Jet Lee [ABC - 30/7/16]



Father's years of abuse against athlete daughter revealed [Canberra Times - 30/7/16]



A Carrara man is due in Southport Court on Thursday, after he was accused of torturing his three-month-old child.

The 23-year-old father of two allegedly broke his baby’s arm, leg and ribs last month, he was rushed to hospital on June 28. ... [MYGC - 28/7/16]



Bowen teenager Rachel Antonio died due to a physical altercation at the hands of her alleged boyfriend, Robert Hytch, a Queensland coroner has found.

The 16-year-old was last seen on Anzac Day in the small town south of Townsville, in 1998.

Mr Hytch was found guilty of her manslaughter in 1999 but was acquitted after a retrial.

Handing down his findings, coroner David O'Connell said he believed Rachel was in a relationship with Mr Hytch at the time she went missing in 1998, despite repeated denials by Mr Hytch.

After the two-year inquest hearing from 60 witnesses, Mr O'Connell ruled she was most likely killed by Mr Hytch. ... [ABC - 28/7/16]



A man has been charged after dangerous drugs and cash were found inside a Surfers Paradise apartment on Thursday morning.

Taskforce Maxima detectives investigating links to the Nomads OMCG, executed a search warrant at the Ferny Avenue complex where they seized a quantity of GHB, pipes, scales, documents relating to the supply of drugs and money.

A 27-year-old Ashmore man was charged with seven offences including one count each of drug trafficking, possessing dangerous drugs, possessing items used in the commission of a crime and possessing drug utensils. 

He is due to appear in the Southport Magistrates Court on August 11. ... [MYGC - 29/7/16]



Woman charged after police seize guns, drugs and cash from Ormeau home [MYGC - 28/7/16]



Victorian cold-storage workers have agreed to a new deal after three days of strikes saw fresh food supplies at Coles supermarkets run low.

More than 600 Polar Fresh workers set up a picket line outside their company's Truganina warehouse, which holds cold items for Coles stores in Victoria and Tasmania, calling for a pay rise and more stable jobs.

Mid evening on Friday, they and their union won a negotiated average 4.75 per cent wage increase per year and secured more stable positions. … [Nine MSN - 29/7/16]



Dozens of workers have reportedly been sacked from the set of the latest Thor blockbuster being filmed at Movie World on the Gold Coast.

According to Channel Nine, more than 50 jobs have been axed with the production company reportedly citing a lack of work on set. ... [MYGC - 29/7/16]



Two of Clive Palmer's companies have successfully applied to set aside a money lender's statutory demands over almost $26 million used to buy a private jet.

QNI Resources and QNI Metals applied to the Brisbane Supreme Court to set aside a statutory demand from Harrenvale Australasia, formerly GE Capital, over the $25.8 million debt.

A loan for the amount was taken out in June 2012 by Palmer Aviation, which went into liquidation in February, to purchase the Bombardier aircraft.

Justice Peter Lyons granted the applications at a hearing on Friday after finding they satisfied the low threshold for a "genuine dispute". ... [Yahoo - 29/7/16]



A Queensland man threatened with extradition to the US on fraud-related charges has told a court his "fundamental rights" are being abused.

Baron Matson represented himself at a hearing in the Federal Court in Brisbane on Thursday, where he's trying to halt extradition proceedings against him.

He's facing accusations such as conspiring to commit mail fraud over an investment scheme, which involved horse-racing programs, allegedly run by him and his father Roger from 1997 to at least January 2001. ... [Yahoo - 28/7/16]



Chad's ex-ruler Hissene Habre has been ordered to pay millions of dollars in compensation to victims of his crimes against humanity.


The ex-president, who received strong backing from the US while in power, denied accusations that he ordered the killing of 40,000 people during his rule. ...  [BBC - 29/7/16]




The other people opposed to Kevin Rudd’s UN bid [New Matilda - 29/7/16]




‏@Mums4Refugees [30/7/16]:  Today is Day 133 of protests on Nauru. 1,106 days illegally detained. ...




"WE CAN NOT RETURN.  MONEY CAN NOT BUY LIFE."  "WE SAY NO TO $20,000 REFOULEMENT BRIBE" ‏@racvictoria [30/7/16]:  Day 79 of peaceful protests on #Manus  ...




Displaced Tamils say Sri Lankan army not only continues to occupy their land, but is using it to play cricket [Tamil Guardian - 30/7/16]




House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) today sent a letter to Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S Permanent Representative to the United Nations, urging her to request an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council to address the dire humanitarian and human rights situation facing Burma’s Rohingya, who continue to be among the world’s most persecuted people. ... [Media Release - 27/7/16]




Hamid Ullah's face lights up when he has to present his identification card at the start of every game.

Like the 20 players of Lakemba's all age division nine team, having a recognised identity was as far-fetched as playing registered football when he was growing up as a Rohingya in Burma.

The closest they got in their native country were social games held in secret deep inside rice paddies, far from the sight of authorities.


As a teenager, he was forced to leave his family and take the dangerous, lonely and uncertain voyage to Australia: two days by boat to Bangladesh, five days by sea to Thailand without food or water before spending 18 days in jungles enroute to Malaysia.

From then, he dodged authorities in urban areas before braving the Indian Ocean to reach Christmas Island, but nothing on that journey prepared him for the hell of indefinite detention.

"When we first got there ... everyone was crying, scared; it was really hard," he says. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 30/7/16]




The regional impacts of Australian asylum seekers policies:  What "stopping the boats" means for people seeking asylum in our region [Academy of Social Sciences in Australia - 2016]:


... Australia has only resettled 250 Rohingya since 2008 (most from Bangladesh) and refused to accept any who were rescued after being stranded in southeast Asian waters in May last year.

This further diminishes their resettlement prospects and leaves little space for them to find safety anywhere. ...




The ALP and LNP voted against a Senate motion for Australia to provide SAR assistance and to help resettle Rohingya refugees [Senate Hansard - 24/6/15]






... We also told the Australian delegation that since the conference did not formally discuss the Rohingyas - originally slated to be the key point of the conference - that the AHG [Ad Hoc Group] mechanism should be pursued quickly to address this pressing issue.

Bringing Burma to the table was a major accomplishment, we acknowledged; however, we cannot wait for Burma to change its policy before discussing the Rohingya crisis. This can be discussed without Burma.

Foreign Minister Steven Smith later approached us privately to assure us that Australia would press for the AHG mechanism to "be invoked soon to deal with the Rohingyas."

Australia announced at the conference its contribution of AD300,000 to care for the Rohingyas in Aceh. IOM said the Dutch are promising a similar donation, perhaps conditional upon a U.S. donation. ...




Watch the world argue,

argue with itself ...



'Dancing On The Jetty', INXS [1984]




Bangladesh detains Saudi Arab, Rohingya ‘militant’ in meeting with ruling MP Badi [ - 31/7/16]:

... The BGB  [Border Guard Bangladesh] official earlier said the number of detainees, including the Saudi national, was three and they were detained for distributing cash and relief among Rohingya refugees from Myanmar without permission. ...



Three Sufi Muslims have been attacked and their hair chopped off by eight unidentified men in western Bangladesh’s border town with India, the second incident in less than two weeks when three singers, including two women, were assaulted in a similar manner. ... [The Indian Express - 30/7/16]



The Bangladesh Police on Saturday identified one of the suspects behind the Dhaka cafe attack as Bangladesh-origin Canadian citizen Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury, according to PTI.

He is suspected as being the head of the local chapter of the Islamic State, according to a media report. ... [The Indian Express - 30/7/16]



More than 500 people rallied in Canada’s capital on Saturday to protest the death of a mentally ill black man following an arrest, marching against what they see as race-based police brutality in a country that prides itself for being tolerant.

Abdirahman Abdi, 37, died on Monday after being hospitalized in critical condition following his arrest.

Witnesses told local media he was beaten by Ottawa police officers who responded to calls of a disturbance. ... [The Globe and Mail - 30/7/16]




Full statement of the Canadian Somali Mothers Association on the death of Abdirahman Abdi [Ottawa Citizen - 30/7/16]



Canadian couple freed after judge rules entrapment, redetained under thought crime section of anti-terror laws [CBC - 29/7/16]:


Crown lawyers are seeking a special 'terrorism peace bond' on a B.C. couple who were convicted of terrorism charges, but freed today by a B.C. Supreme Court judge concerned by police entrapment in the case.

John Nuttall, 41, and Amanda Korody, 32, were released Friday morning, after a B.C. Supreme Court judge entered a stay of proceedings in their terror plot case.

The Victoria pair headed out with family to celebrate their freedom and have lunch at an outdoor café in East Vancouver.

"It was such a relief for them to get out. It was so relaxing," said Nuttall's mother, Maureen Smith, who joined them.

After lunch, Smith said they had driven just three blocks when Vancouver police cruisers boxed them in, ordered the group out of the car, and handcuffed Nuttall and Korody. 

"Oh, I was just terrified," said Smith. 

"I just thought, what the hell? What's going on? Oh, my God, are they ever going to be free?" 

Korody's lawyer, Mark Jette, called it "very disappointing."

"There was a real lack of courtesy in the way we were dealt with," he said.

Late Friday, Nuttall and Korody were released on bail. 

They're scheduled to return to court Sept. 7.

Crown lawyer Peter Eccles said Nuttall and Kordoy were taken into custody as prosecutors sought a peace bond under the 'fear of terrorism' section of the Criminal Code.

The section was added as part of controversial Bill C-51 brought in by the Harper government. ...



French authorities filed terror charges on Friday against two men, including Pakistani national Mohammad Usman, who are suspected to be members of the same militant Islamic State (IS) group cell that massacred 130 people in Paris last November, a judicial source said. ... [DAWN - 30/7/16]



Libya's U.N.-backed government said on Tuesday it had summoned France's ambassador to protest over the presence of French special forces in eastern Libya.

The summons came after France confirmed last week that three of its soldiers had been killed when a helicopter crashed near the eastern city of Benghazi.

France said they had been conducting intelligence operations. ... [Reuters - 26/7/16]



Two militants and two soldiers were killed in the Kashmir Valley on Saturday as curfew and restrictions affected life for the 22nd day.

An Army spokesman said some militants were intercepted on Friday night in Kupwara district of north Kashmir. ... [The Hindu - 30/7/16]



Kashmir unrest: Killing of Burhan Wani was an accident, says Deputy CM Nirmal Singh [India Today - 30/7/16]:


... The BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister also claimed operations would continue against the terrorists.

"If terrorists would not surrender they will meet the same fate. There is no other way to deal with them but to neutralise them". ...



Armenia hostage standoff: Clashes erupt in Yerevan [Al Jazeera – 30/7/16]



Some 7,000 armed police with heavy vehicles have surrounded and blocked the Incirlik air base in Adana used by NATO forces, already restricted in the aftermath of a failed coup.

Unconfirmed reports say troops were sent to deal with a new coup attempt. ... [RT - 31/7/16]

Istanbul court orders release of 758 soldiers, 62 cadets in coup purge [Daily Sabah - 30/7/16]:


... The case of the students had amplified concerns that many of the thousands of soldiers detained nationwide over complicity in the coup may have only been following orders and had no idea a putsch was in progress. ...



Turkey's army killed 35 militants after they attempted to storm a base in the southeastern Hakkari province early on July 30, the military said in a written statement. 

The overnight attack came hours after clashes in Hakkari's Çukurca district between soldiers and militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that left eight soldiers dead, the statement said.  ... [Hurriyet Daily News - 30/7/16]



Turkey is a key United States ally and any suggestion of a Defense Department official supporting a recent military coup there is unfounded, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook told reporters today.

Cook reiterated a statement issued today by Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel, commander of U.S. Central Command, who said in a release today,

“Any reporting that I had anything to do with the recent unsuccessful coup attempt in Turkey is unfortunate and completely inaccurate.” ... [US Department of Defense - 29/7/16]



Seven family members found dead in Mexico's Guerrero state [Reuters - 30/7/16]



Election Justice USA study finds that without election fraud Sanders would have won by landslide [Daily Kos - 29/7/16]



On Wednesday night, Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, delivered a prime-time speech in which he spoke about the nine months he spent with Jesuit missionaries in Honduras in 1980.

To talk more about the significance of Tim Kaine’s time in Honduras, we speak with Greg Grandin, professor of Latin American history at New York University.

His most recent article for The Nation is headlined "Eat, Pray, Starve: What Tim Kaine Didn’t Learn During His Time in Honduras." ... [Democracy Now - 29/7/16]



Spain's government is seeing if it can bring criminal charges against the speaker of the Catalan parliament for letting the assembly vote for independence.

Politicians in Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, voted on Wednesday to continue with a plan to detach the north-eastern region from Spain.

On Friday, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, deputy prime minister in the caretaker administration in Madrid, said the government had asked the Constitutional Court to annul Wednesday's resolution and see if Catalan assembly speaker Carme Forcadell had broken the law by trying to press ahead with the independence plans. ... [Al Jazeera - 30/7/16]



Hundreds of protesters waving Lebanese flags marched Saturday across Beirut to demand the government pass a proportional representation law.

"We are starting over with a new battle," Nehmat Badreddine, an organizer with the We Account Movement which emerged during last year's garbage crisis, told Al-Jadeed.

She said the protesters would set up tents in Downtown Beirut's Riad al-Solh Square "to show that this is just the beginning" of a new movement aimed at achieving a proportional representation law. ... [Daily Star - 31/7/16]



Hong Kong pro-independence candidate disqualified from election [Reuters - 30/7/16]



Despite being used by Labor as one of the reasons it was necessary to change how Queenslanders voted, the Electoral Commissioner of Queensland has been unable to answer how compulsory preferential voting will lower the state's informal vote rate.  ... [Brisbane Times - 26/7/16]



Glasgow:  3,000 rally for Scottish independence after Brexit vote [Yahoo - 30/7/16]



Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid has been ousted after overwhelmingly losing a vote of confidence in parliament. ... [Al Jazeera - 30/7/16]



Yemen: Hadi's government withdraws from UN talks [Al Jazeera - 30/7/16]



The Saudi Arabian-led coalition battling Houthi rebels in Yemen has lashed out at rights groups' evidence that it is causing a humanitarian catastrophe in the country by blocking aid and goods bound for the country.

In a statement on Friday, the coalition singled out Human Rights Watch and Paris-based Doctors Without Borders for "belittling the efforts of coalition forces and their positive role in delivering humanitarian aid and facilitating access for commercial goods and fuel products".

Both groups have gathered evidence that the coalition's blockade of sea and air routes into the country was having a severe impact on civilians.  ... [Middle East Eye - 30/7/16]



Saudi airstrikes kill five Yemeni civilians in Hajjah Province [Press TV - 29/7/16]:


At least five Yemeni civilians, including three women, have lost their lives in new Saudi airstrikes after the Saudi side said the peace talks in Kuwait came to an end without a deal.


A truce meant to facilitate the talks came into force on April 10, but Saudi air strikes have continued almost on a daily basis.

Meanwhile, Ansarullah movement and former president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s General People’s Congress party have reached a consensus to set up a governing council to run the conflict-ridden country, with a focus on fighting the Saudi aggression.

“The aim is to unify efforts to confront the aggression by Saudi Arabia and its allies,” said the Houthis and their allies, adding that the 10-member council is tasked with managing “state affairs politically, militarily, economically, administratively, socially and in security" based on the country’s constitution.

Disappointed with the role of the Saudi side in the peace efforts, Ansarullah and its allies say both the Hadi government and Riyadh lack the political will to promote the diplomatic process aimed at settling the conflict in Yemen. ...



Afghan commandos deployed to Helmand to push Taliban out of Khanshin [Khaama - 30/7/16]




At least 36 loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group were killed in ongoing operations in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. ... [Khaama - 30/7/16]




Two children were killed in an Improvised Explosive Device blast in eastern Kunar province while a policeman lost his life in a clash in southern Kandahar province, officials said on Saturday. ... [Pajhwok - 30/7/16]




At least one civilian was killed and five others including a police force member were wounded in an explosion in Herat city on Saturday morning, local officials said. ... [TOLO News - 30/7/16]



Head of Parliament's HR department killed in Kabul blast [TOLO News - 29/7/16]



Three people are dead and one injured following a shooting at a house party in Mukilteo, Washington, a suburb of Seattle located about 25 miles north of the city, police said early Saturday morning. ... [ABC News - 30/7/16]



US government finally pays family of Italian aid worker killed in drone strike [The Intecept - 29/7/16]:


... An Italian state prosecutor could still, in theory, bring charges related to the strike, although so far there has been little progress on that front, according to Giulia Borgna, an attorney with the Italian firm representing the Lo Porto family.

If the prosecutor dismisses the case, she said, it would be up to the family to decide if they would pursue other legal avenues. ...




31 July 2016