Ciobo conjures up a hall full of Gold Coast Bulletin readers
About 500 Murdoch reading old geezers attended a forum at the Albert Waterways Community Centre last night to complain about plans to expand flights into the Gold Coast airport.
One could despair at their self centred anger - which has been so obviously manipulated (and amplified) - but they are a minority voice in the electorate.
1,000s of Gold Coast citizens are NOT worried by a few more planes flying over their homes - just ask anyone who lives at Tugun.
Most citizens are acutely aware their politicians are above any kind of scrutiny and accountability.
This is not sustainable.
The biggest cheers of the night where when Ciobo mentioned the ABC, and Mermaid Beach MP Ray "chicken dance" Stevens said that it was all about favouring asian airlines.
Interestingly, three burly police officers circulated through the crowd - were they worried (or hoping) sympathisers of Zaky Mallah had the temerity to make an appearance?
The event was organised by Moncrieff MP and parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Trade and Investment Steve Ciobo.
Ciobo and Langbroek on Gold Coast Cruise Ship Terminal [VIDEO]
A federal MP says the Queensland Premier's opposition to a cruise ship terminal in the Gold Coast Broadwater is politically motivated.
The federal Liberal Member for Moncrieff, Steven Ciobo, told Parliament he does not want the terminal built on the Spit, but Peter Beattie says the broadwater is not an option.
Mr Beattie says the Member for Moncrieff is out of touch with his electorate, but Mr Ciobo says the last remnants of dunal vegetation at the Spit would be seriously threatened if a terminal was built there.
"It's a short-sighted, knee-jerk reaction that's simply seeing the Premier trying to protect his two state members in the Broadwater," he said.
The Age [4/7/08]:
Gold Coast MPs have called on the Queensland government to revisit plans for a cruise ship terminal in the tourist region.
Federal opposition tourism spokesman Steven Ciobo and Surfers Paradise MP John-Paul Langbroek said yesterday they wanted to see a new terminal on the Gold Coast in a bid to boost tourism.
They said the Gold Coast was losing out on being part of an industry worth $700 million a year.
A cruise ship terminal was proposed by the state government at the last state election in 2006, but was eventually vetoed because of its potential high costs.
Mr Ciobo said it was time to reconsider.
"It's time the Gold Coast diversified its key tourism infrastructure and we see a cruise ship terminal as being a valuable, ongoing component of being able to do that," he said.
"We've now got real opportunity to embrace a cruise ship terminal provided, of course, that it stacks up environmentally, and to get a piece of this $700 million industry, that's growing by over 25 per cent a year."
Mr Langbroek called on Premier Anna Bligh to release information about the proposal so Gold Coast residents could assess its pros and cons for themselves.
"The premier has the information, the premier has the studies that have been conducted into this matter and it's important to either rule it in or rule it out," he said.
"It's not fair to the people of the Gold Coast."
Both Mr Ciobo and Mr Langbroek were opposed to a terminal being built at The Spit, which has been the subject of local protests, but said they needed more information before suggesting a possible site.
The immigration officer started to talk to us. He informed us that we would definitely be transferred to Nauru, and suggested try not to resist.
Statement from an asylum seeker who was transferred from Wickham Point to Nauru [Medium.com [30/6/15]:
An asylum seeker who was transferred from Wickham Point detention centre near Darwin to Nauru on Wednesday 24 June has written a harrowing account of what happened that day.
Arezo* had been brought to Australia from Nauru for medical care. She was sexually assaulted in Nauru and reported this to the Moss Review.
Arezo says asylum seekers were forcibly removed from Wickham Point in the dead of night last Wednesday and taken to a prison, where they were held for many hours, before being taken to the airport.
She says asylum seekers were strip-searched by Serco officers at the prison.
Arezo also says one woman attempted suicide.
She told me that 48 asylum seekers were sent to Nauru, including 9 children, 3 of whom were babies.
This is her statement:
“We were all sleeping at night when the sound of dogs woke me up at one o’clock in the morning. I saw through the window of my room that about forty anti-riot guards attacked on the front doors of rooms that people whose names were in the list of returning to Nauru stayed there. They took everyone, including me, violently to the buses waiting for us. Anyone who resisted, they tied their hands by the use of force and with plastic handcuffs.
“There was a lady with her husband and her six year old son. She resisted getting on the bus. She was dragged to the bus and was put on the bus. There was a lady officer standing next to her, and she was having a plastic handcuffs in order to handcuff her. When the asylum seeker started screaming, the lady officer shook her shoulder with her palm and asked her to shut up: ‘you should be quiet, otherwise, if you scream one more time or make any loud voices, we will put you in an individual car by use of force and take you to the jail.’ She was scared and became silent because she had severe depression, and, before she was taken she was under high watch because she attempted suicide many times before. When we got to the prison, the lady cut her wrist with razor and she was taken to a place that we are still not aware of.
“When we were all collected and boarded, the bus left the place (Wickham Point). There were also many officers, special guards and immigration officers on the bus. After twenty minutes, we arrived at a prison. I was extremely stressed, I took a look at the name of the prison, but due to my severe stress, I could not read it. Afterwards, we were taken to a hall with a lot of cells around it, cells with metallic doors. We stayed in the hall from 3am to 10am.
“The immigration officer started to talk to us. He informed us that we would definitely be transferred to Nauru, and suggested try not to resist.
“Later on, everyone including women, men and children were taken to bathrooms. Female officers were assigned to accompany women and male officers were supposed to go with men. We were asked to remove all our clothes in front of officers, and give our clothes to them one by one. They provided us with some special clothing. Clothes were all similar to each other, all plain, black or dark blue.
“We took a shower in front of the officers who were standing in front of the showers. They wanted to make sure that we did not have anything with ourselves to use for committing suicide. Everyone entered the bath area one by one, including women and kids. Kids were also forced to change their clothes in front of officers. Parents were with their children when this happened.
“They took us to the airport at 11 in the morning. The airport was very close to that prison because we could hear the sound of other flights easily when we were in there. Also, it just took ten minutes to get to the airport. We got off the bus right in front of the airplane stairs. It was an airline from Nauru. The plane stopped at Cairns and then we arrived in Nauru at 8:30pm.”
A spokesperson for Immigration Minister Peter Dutton told me they “wouldn’t be able to comment on operational matters” when I asked if asylum seekers were held in a prison before being taken to the airport.
When I asked them if the dogs were brought into Wickham Point last Wednesday, the spokesperson said “I’m not sure about that. It wouldn’t be something we’d comment on.”
If this story has raised concerns for you, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.
Prisoners protest at Metropolitan Remand Centre in Ravenhall
[The Age – 30/6/15]:
... Special Operations Group and critical incident police officers have just arrived at the prison, adding to a huge police presence outside the centre who appear to be being briefed on the situation inside.
Prison staff seem have been evacuated and are gathered at the front door. Dark thick smoke that was pluming from the grounds has ceased. Road blocks have been put up on the road leading into the prison.
A fire has also started at the prison. Smoke can be seen billowing from the centre, and several bins have been lit on fire.
Inmates can be seen in the grounds wearing masks and carrying sticks, while police in riot gear carrying automatic weapons and shields can be seen moving into the centre. Prison staff have been evacuated and the centre is in lockdown.
West Australian [29/6/15]:
Prisoners will not be banned from smoking lighting up in WA jails.
Corrective Services Minister Joe Francis said he had asked about the issue during jail visits and it was clear officers and staff were divided on a ban, despite the move being backed by the WA Prison Officers Union amid concerns about the health of staff.
The decision is at odds with moves in other States, with complete Smoking bans have been introduced in jails prisonsin the Northern Territory, Queensland and Tasmania and are scheduled to come into effect in Victoria and NSW this year.
It also comes as WorkSafe investigates fresh complaints about prisoners smoking outside designated areas. Similar concerns led to an improvement notice issued early last year ordering the Department of Corrective Services to take action.
Mr Francis said he was watching the impact of bans in other jurisdictions and keeping an open mind on the issue.
“However, I am not yet convinced that the benefits of a smoking ban outweigh the potential negative impact on security and tension within prisons,” he said.
“A ban on smoking would create a new form of contraband and could be a bridge too far for prisoners with mental health issues and those nearing the end of their sentence.”
WA Prison Officers Union secretary John Welch said the time had come for a complete ban on smoking in prisons as the health of officers was being put at risk and WA was lagging behind other states.
But he said designated staff outdoor smoking areas, out of the view of prisoners, should remain because unlike other workplaces, officers could not leave the premises to smoke.
Why Smoking Bans in Prison Are Not The Answer [Huffington Post - 31/3/10]:
According to a major story in USA Today last week, more than half of U.S. states have now banned smoking in their prisons.
The rationale that drives prisons to prohibit smoking is that it improves the heath of people behind bars and saves health care costs.
While improving prisoners' health and saving scarce tax dollars are worthy goals, in reality these bans don't prevent prisoners from smoking -- but they do create a whole range of unintended consequences, none of which are discussed in the USA Today story.
Prohibition of drugs doesn't work in society or behind bars. Despite 40 years of a "war on drugs," marijuana and other drugs are as accessible as ever. The same is true behind bars. It is common knowledge that drug use is rampant in prison. It's ironic that drug war policies are premised on the promise of a "drug-free society," yet we can't even keep drugs out of maximum security prisons.
The prohibition of cigarettes doesn't stop smoking; it just hands over control of the commodity to the black market and causes prices to skyrocket.
An Associated Press article in 2007 looked at the impact of California's ban on tobacco in prisons and found a burgeoning black market where a pack of smokes could fetch up to $125 dollars! The end result is that the drug trade around cigarettes becomes as violent as the drug trade around illicit drugs.
If we acknowledge that tobacco use -- like other drug use -- is inevitable, the next question should be: What will happen to people who are caught smoking cigarettes? We know that people behind bars are already excessively punished for illicit drug use. My colleague Anthony Papa at the Drug Policy Alliance just wrote a piece about Amir Varick Amma, who served five extra years behind bars for smoking a marijuana joint in prison. Are people going to be punished in the same ruthless and counterproductive ways for breaking the tobacco ban?
Instead of criminalizing a popular coping mechanism, the state should offer incarcerated smokers educational resources and a helping hand if they are interested in quitting.
The cost of providing inmates with nicorette gum and nicotine patches would be far less expensive than adding more punitive sanctions to their already excessive time behind bars -- and it wouldn't create a new violent black market.
As we learned with alcohol in the 1920s and through decades of the counterproductive war on drugs, regulation is more effective at promoting safety and health than prohibition.
Tony Newman is the Director of Media Relations at the Drug Policy Alliance (www.drugpolicy.org)
Accused drug cartel go-between Peter Nash has now joined other prisoners who claim they were bashed by riot police during a May 5 protest at Wacol’s Arthur Gorrie prison after protest against smoking bans.
Anwar Ibrahim's health deteriorating rapidly, says his legal team
Channel News Asia [30/6/15]:
The health of Malaysia's former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is deteriorating rapidly as a result of not being provided access to treatments required to treat his health conditions, said his legal team on Tuesday.
In a media statement, the team said: "It is urgent that he be transferred immediately to house arrest where he can be permitted to visit his own doctors for regular medical care and treatment."
It said doctors who examined on Jun 2 at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital had told him he required further evaluation and treatment relating to a number of medical issues including irregular blood pressure, a 4cm growth on his kidney, gastritis, a shoulder muscle tear and chronic arthritis.
The prison, however, said it has received no medical reports from the hospital requesting further testing and has no facilities to conduct the tests or to treat these conditions, according to the statement.
"Anwar is being held in solitary confinement in a bare cell, having a bucket for bathing, a squat toilet, and being held in hot and humid conditions with minimal ventilation are exacerbating his health problems," it added.
“The injustice being perpetrated against Anwar continues,” said Sivarasa Rasiah, Anwar’s counsel.
“The international community should be alarmed by Anwar's deteriorating health, which has been greatly exacerbated by his being denied access to required care and facilities while he has been wrongly detained.”
Anwar was detained after the Federal Court on Feb 10 sentenced him to five years' jail on sodomy charges.
Glass houses anyone? MEAA splains to PNG journalists how to speak truth to power
PNG Loop [30/6/15]:
Journalists from four newsrooms in the city of Port Moresby are undergoing a training in having a media alliance.
Facilitated by the Media Entertainment Alliance Australia, director Katelin Mclnerney said the one day training session will cover areas of a media alliance as well as some advanced reporting on sports.
An important aspect of the training is to cover what journalists can do together in what they stand for based on the values of news.
Mclnerney says this is how to build a workers alliance that will be able to stand up against their employers, the government and companies.
Journalists from PNG Loop, NBC, PNG FM and FM 100 are at the training session.
Current and former Defence Force personnel are calling for a wide-ranging inquiry into whether thousands of servicemen and women have suffered serious illnesses due to exposure to toxic jet fuel.
The ABC has spoken to dozens of men and women who served in the Army, Air Force and Navy over the past five decades who believe their health, or that of their loved ones, has been detrimentally affected through working with fuel and other chemicals.
Some also say Defence has been aware for many years of the dangers of fuel exposure, but did not enforce the workplace precautions necessary to protect Defence personnel. ... [ABC - 30/6/15]
Indonesia: Hercules aircraft crashes into residential buildings, many feared dead [Jakarta Post – 30/6/15]
The U.S. State Department on Monday declined to say whether Secretary of State John Kerry would be willing to testify to a Republican-controlled congressional panel that is probing a 2012 attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya.
The panel's chairman, Representative Trey Gowdy, told CBS television on Sunday he would seek Kerry's testimony if the panel does not get "satisfaction" on why Kerry has been so "recalcitrant" in handing over State Department documents from the period of the attack.
Among other things, Gowdy is seeking emails from ten of Clinton's aides as part of his investigation of the Sept. 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans. ... [Reuters - 29/6/15]
Divided US Supreme Court upholds Oklahoma lethal injection process [Reuters - 29/6/15]:
The Supreme Court on Monday found that a lethal injection drug used by Oklahoma does not violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment, a ruling that provoked a caustic debate among the justices about the death penalty in America.
The 5-4 ruling, with the court's five conservatives in the majority, prompted liberal Justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg to say for the first time they believe capital punishment as currently practiced may be unconstitutional. They are the only members of the court to have expressed such views.
The decision was a defeat for death penalty foes and for the three death row inmates who challenged the use of a sedative called midazolam as part of Oklahoma's lethal injection process, saying it cannot achieve the level of unconsciousness required for surgery, making it unsuitable for executions. ...
US resume aid to military in Bahrain [BBC - 29/6/15]
First Iraqi troops "trained" by Australians and New Zealanders prepare to kill - and be killed - by their countrymen [West Australian - 30/6/15]
The War Criminal and the Scapegoat [Greg Role – 22/6/15]
United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria
US Department of Defense [29/6/15]:
U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
Officials reported details of the latest strikes, which took place between 8 a.m. yesterday and 8 a.m. today, local time, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Airstrikes in Syria
Attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted six airstrikes in Syria:
-- Near Raqqah, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL crane.
-- Near Hasakah, an airstrike had inconclusive results.
-- Near Kobani, four airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units, destroying eight ISIL boats, three ISIL vehicles, two ISIL bunkers, an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL mortar system.
Airstrikes in Iraq
Attack, bomber and fighter aircraft conducted 17 airstrikes in Iraq, approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense:
-- Near Beiji, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and land features denying ISIL a tactical advantage, destroying an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Habbaniyah, two airstrikes struck an ISIL logistics compound and an ISIL staging area.
-- Near Haditha, an airstrike struck an ISIL large tactical unit.
-- Near Makhmur, two airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units, destroying an ISIL building and an ISIL heavy machine gun.
-- Near Mosul, two airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units, destroying an ISIL building and an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Sinjar, three airstrikes struck three ISIL tactical units and three ISIL heavy machine guns, destroying four ISIL buildings.
-- Near Tal Afar, five airstrikes struck four ISIL tactical units and three ISIL bunkers, and also struck land features to deny ISIL a tactical advantage. Two ISIL mortar firing positions, an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL vehicle were destroyed.
Syria: deputy UN relief chief urges political solution amid 'extremely challenging' humanitarian crisis [Media Release – 29/6/15]
Iraq: Internally displaced peoples leave overcrowded Arbat for another home in Kurdistan region [UNHCR Media Release – 29/6/15]:
... Yassin was a farmer in Salahadin. Since he and his family fled last December he has exhausted his life savings and been unable to find work, leaving him entirely dependent on aid organizations for food, water and medical treatment.
"We used to have a house and cars," Yassin says of his life back home. Since coming to Sulayminayah he said he's been able to find a few intermittent days of work as a laborer, but he explains he has no hope of being able to build a livelihood capable of supporting his family, "In Salahhadin is where my land is, here I would have to rent or buy land and that's impossible for me now."
Yassin's experience mirrors that of many displaced Iraqis sheltering in Iraq's Kurdistan Region. The labour force is overcrowded with refugees from Syria as well as displaced Iraqis and the region is in the midst of an economic downturn following budget disputes with Baghdad and a drop in oil prices.
"[For us] to go home, Iraq needs to become a country governed by laws," Yassin said, explaining that while his home town, Yithrub in Salahadin, was wrested back from militant control by forces aligned with the Iraqi government months ago, he still doesn't feel safe enough to return because he no longer trusts Iraqi security forces to protect him.
"Everyone is ruling for himself, all the political parties, all the militias, there is no central government anymore," he said.
Tabarak, Yassin's brother nods his head in distracted agreement as he taps on a smartphone, trying to connect to the internet so he can check his Facebook page. But as the conversation turns to hopes for the future, Yassin's energy dissipates and a tone of hopelessness sets in.
"Of course if we could go back we would," he said, "we would go back the next day."
28 dead in attack on Shiites in Yemen claimed by ISIS [Daily Star - 30/6/15]
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the Coalition-led airstrikes on a United Nations compound in the Yemeni city of Aden, which resulted in serious structural damage and one casualty, a spokesperson for the Organization said today.
In a statement issued this afternoon, the UN spokesperson relayed the Secretary-General’s call for a full investigation into the incident and for those responsible to be held to account.
“International humanitarian law requires protection by all parties of civilians and civilian facilities, including UN staff and UN premises. The inviolability of UN premises and the important work of all United Nations staff must be respected at all times,” the statement confirmed. “Ensuring accountability is indispensable in preventing such incidents.”
International humanitarian law requires protection by all parties of civilians and civilian facilities, including UN staff and UN premises. The inviolability of UN premises and the important work of all United Nations staff must be respected at all times.
As a result of the airstrikes conducted on 28 June by Coalition forces, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) office was severely damaged and a guard working for the Organization injured. … [UN Media Release – 29/6/15]
Wondering where the reinvigorated push by the Australian political, media and human rights establishment to repudiate the UN Refugee Convention originates? ----> Some 1,200 rally for Israel at UN Human Rights Council [Haaretz - 30/6/15]:
Some 1,200 people demonstrated Monday outside the UN Human Rights Council, demanding it treat Israel fairly and end its "obsession" with the Jewish state. The protest took place as a commission of inquiry presented a report on last summer’s Israel-Gaza conflict.
Also Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly told a closed meeting that he would consider leaving the Human Rights Council over the United Nations body’s report issued last week that said both Israel and Palestinian armed groups may have committed war crimes during last summer’s 50-day conflict.
Army Radio reported on the closed meeting on Monday evening.
Israel and the United States boycotted the Human Rights Council session that discussed the report, which focused more on Israel’s role in the conflict and accepted Palestinian casualty figures. Israel did not cooperate in the investigation, saying the panel commission was biased against Israel.
Maori Television reporter Ruwani Perera has been deported from Israel after she and cameraman Jacob Bryant were filming a story onboard a flotilla of ships detained by the Israeli military.
Perera contacted relatives on Tuesday morning via satellite phone to say she was being deported, her partner Tim Werry said.
Werry said she was safe and that she would be flying back into Auckland on July 1. ... [Stuff.co.nz - 30/6/15]
Organisation chaired by one of Australia's best known refugees says "good" refugees stay where they are until selected for their desirability [Australian Financial Review - 30/6/15]:
... Thanks to humanitarian resettlement programs of the past, a refugee footballer and a draftsman with strong family values and faith are playing their part in creating a new Australia at a time when many Australians clamour for assistance and seem unable to adapt.
The brothers illustrate the undervalued ability of refugees to contribute in an undemanding and efficient way to the development of their adopted country. There would be many others in Kakuma, from countries like Burundi, Uganda and Somalia who could be model citizens in Australia and other refugee camps would have similar people.
Speaking to leaders from UNHCR and UNICEF in Kakuma and Nairobi, we discuss how this humanitarian story is also an economic one. There is agreement that the UN can adapt its narrative too in this sense. ...
Football Federation of Australia think refugees are like a box of chocolates, and certainly don't exist in our own region. ---> UNHCR says time running out for stranded boat people; urges South East Asian governments to act [Media Release - 19/5/15]
Afghanistan: 16 people injured in Uruzgan explosions [Pajhwok – 29/6/15]:
At least 16 people have been injured during separate incidents of violence in central Uruzgan province, a security official said on Monday.
A bomb ripped through a police post commander’s vehicle in the provincial capital, Tarinkot, on Monday afternoon, injuring a woman and three children, the city’s second police district chief 2nd Lt. Gul Agha told Pajhwok Afghan News.
The post commander, Sardar, escaped unhurt in the blast that damaged his vehicle, Agha said.
But a doctor on duty at the provincial civil hospital, Izzatullah, told Pajhwok Afghan News they had been delivered six wounded people, including three children, two men and a woman from the scene.
Another blast took place in the same area at about 6pm, injuring three policemen and a civilian, Agha said, adding the bomb had been fixed to a police vehicle. He said the blast took place when police visited the area to buy vegetables.
Dr. Izzatullah said six wounded people were brought to the hospital on Monday noon from the Dehrawud district. They included five men and a girl.
Senior UN official urges global action to end years-long plight of 2.6 million Afghan refugees [Media Release – 29/6/15]
11 killed in police raid on Boko Haram in Chad capital
[France 24 - 29/6/15]:
Eleven people died early Monday when Chadian police launched a raid against suspected Boko Haram jihadist militants in a district of the capital N'Djamena, police said.
"Five officers, five Boko Haram elements and one police informant" died in the operation in which officers seized several suicide belts, national police spokesman Paul Manga told AFP.
The assault follows a June 15 double suicide bombing blamed on the armed Islamist movement from neighbouring Nigeria, which killed at least 33 people in N'Djamena in the deadliest attack of its kind in the city.
On Sunday, Chadian troops stationed in neighbouring Cameroon killed "eight Boko Haram elements" in a raid into Nigeria, a military source said meanwhile.
Before Monday's raid in the capital, Chad's chief prosecutor announced "the dismantling (of a Boko Haram cell) and the arrest of 60 people" as part of an inquiry into the suicide bombings.
"A terrorist cell was identified and taken down. Sixty people were detained," including Nigerians, Chadians, Cameroonians and Malians, prosecutor Alghassim Kassim stated.
Kassim said that one of three people behind the June 15 attacks -- all killed in action by security forces -- had been positively identified, while the identity of the two others was being checked.
"The debris left by the kamikaze bombers enabled us to determine that the terrorists were wearing specially-made explosive vests in black fabric," Kassim said.
"Fragments (of the bombs) collected at the scenes of the attacks are identical," he added.
The suicide bombings by three people targeted the police headquarters and the police training school in N'Djamena and also wounded 101 people, according to the latest toll from the prosecutor's office.
A score of people injured in the blasts are still in hospital, one of them in serious condition.
While nobody has taken responsibility for the bombings, N'Djamena has blamed them on Boko Haram, a radical force that launched a bloody uprising in northeast Nigeria in 2009, killing thousands of civilians and putting more than a million to flight.
Boko Haram has several times threatened Chad, whose troops entered Nigeria at the beginning of February this year as part of regional military intervention to battle the Islamic sect.
Car bomb attack kills Egypt's top public prosecutor [Reuters – 29/6/15]
1,000s of refugees flee Burundi ahead of elections – UNHCR [Media Release – 29/6/15]
ICC Prosecutor says determination to bring justice to people of Sudan remains ‘unshaken’ [UN Media Release – 29/6/15]
Espionnage Élysée: US orders economic espionage for all French company contracts over $200 million [WikiLeaks - 29/6/15]:
... Central within the cache of documents are two long-term spying orders ("collection requirements") which define the kinds of intelligence the NSA is tasked with collecting in its surveillance operations against France. The documents make clear that the NSA has been tasked with obtaining intelligence on all aspects of the French economy, from government policy, diplomacy, banking and participation in international bodies to infrastructural development, business practices and trade activities. The documents establish that the US economic intelligence operations against France have run for more than a decade and started as early as 2002. Some of the documents are authorised for sharing with the "Five Eyes" partners – the group of Anglophone countries in close intelligence co-operation with the United States: Canada, New Zealand, Australia and France's fellow member state of the European Union, the United Kingdom, strongly suggesting that the United Kingdom has also benefited from the United States' economic espionage activities against France. ...
Obama signs “free trade” tyranny bills into law, says tough battle still ahead [Reuters – 29/6/15]
A string of black churches have been ravaged by fire in the past week, in what could potentially be a string of racially-motivated arson attacks.
Places of worship in Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Ohio were ravaged by flames this week.
Authorities have confirmed that three of the attacks were arson, while investigations are still underway for the remaining two.
The attacks come as national attention centers on racial divisions in the wake of the church massacre in Charleston, South Carolina, where nine people were gunned down by Dylann Roof. ... [Daily Mail - 29/6/15]
The California Legislature on Monday is expected to pass a bill requiring mandatory vaccinations for children, moving to end exemptions from state immunization laws based on religious or other personal beliefs..
The measure, which would be one of the toughest vaccination laws in the nation, would require more children who enter school, or day care, to be vaccinated against diseases including measles and whooping cough. … [LA Times – 29/6/15]
US-Australian anti-pain drug developer Spinifex Pharmaceuticals has been sold to Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Novartis for more than $US200 million.
Novartis will pay $US200 million for Spinifex, plus undisclosed "significant" milestone payments.
Spinifex's founding technology was developed at the University of Queensland by Professor Maree Smith and Dr Bruce Wyse. ... [Brisbane Times - 29/6/15]
French pensioner gored to death in bull run [France 24 – 29/6/15]
4,400 refugees rescued as Italy begins retrieval of 800 lost in April shipwreck
Japan Times [30/6/15]:
The Italian Navy on Monday said it had begun efforts to recover the bodies of some 800 migrants killed in a shipwreck in the Mediterranean in April, as authorities rescued another 4,400 people making the dangerous sea journey to Europe.
The April 18 tragedy was the deadliest sinking in the sea between Europe and Africa in decades and sparked international calls for reinforced efforts to deal with the growing migrant crisis.
“The navy … has begun the recovery of bodies outside the trawler that sank on April 18 … from a depth of around 380 meters (1,246 feet),” the navy said on Twitter.
Only 28 people survived the shipwreck at the time, out of an estimated 800 on board when the vessel set sail from Libya.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced in May that he wanted the wreck to be brought to the surface and victims’ bodies returned to their families for burial, saying the country could not “bury its conscience at a depth of 387 meters.
Also on Monday, Italian authorities said they were dealing with the arrival of another 4,400 migrants after a series of boats were rescued in the space of 48 hours from waters off Libya.
The rescues lifted to more 69,000 — a record for the first half of the year — the number of migrants to have landed in Italy so far this year, according to figures compiled by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
The latest operations involved Italian ships, British, Irish and Spanish navy vessels and a boat operated by Malta-based humanitarian organization MOAS, the Italian Coast Guard said.
The surge in migrant arrivals since the start of 2015 has left Italy’s reception facilities, currently housing around 80,000 asylum seekers and others seeking leave to remain in the country, under severe strain.
@moas_eu [29//15]: We approached this sinking boat at 8am today, 349 people are now safe aboard #Phoenix assisted by #MSF ...
@moas_eu ... Many #refugeechildren among +400 people assisted by #MOAS #MSF yesterday from 4 dinghies off #Libya
Australia's political, media and human rights establishment oppose the UN Refugee Convention and want to keep pushing refugees out to sea.
ALP and LNP vote against Greens Senate motion to save Rohingya [Senate Hansard - 24/6/15]:
Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (15:39): I move:
That the Senate—
(a) expresses concern at the disturbing reports aired on the Four Corners television program on 22 June 2015;
(i) that only 412 Rohingyans have been resettled in Australia through Australia's humanitarian program since 2008, and
(ii) the Government's recent refusal to provide assistance or resettlement for Rohingyans currently in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, and stranded at sea off these three countries; and
(c) urges the Government to:
(i) contribute to the search and rescue mission for thousands of migrants, including Rohingyans, currently stranded at sea,
(ii) resettle some of the Rohingyan migrants rescued by Indonesia and Malaysia, and
(iii) resettle an increased number of Rohingyans in the 2015 humanitarian program, increasing the number of the program if necessary.
The PRESIDENT: The question is that the motion be agreed to.
The Senate divided [15:39]
(The President—Senator Parry)
Ayes ...................... 13
Noes ...................... 33
Majority ................. 20
Di Natale, R
Siewert, R (teller)
McEwen, A (teller)
Former Deputy Prime Minister says Vietnam conscription ballot rigged
Nine MSN [29/6/15]:
Former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer reckons the ballot by which he and more than 63,000 others were chosen to serve in the army was rigged.
Mr Fischer was called up in the third national service ballot, conducted on March 11, 1966, and subsequently served in Vietnam.
Speaking on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the start of training for the first group of national servicemen, he said he would like to know who was playing God.
In the era before computers, the "nasho" ballot was conducted by drawing numbered marbles by hand from a barrel every six months.
Each marble represented two birthdates, with the 20-year-old men born on those dates required to serve two years in the army.
Records of birthdates drawn in each ballot show a much higher probability of being called up in earlier ballots.
Mr Fischer said in the first of the 16 ballots, conducted on March 10, 1965 for those born in the first six months of 1945, 163 birthdates were drawn.
Half that number were drawn in some subsequent ballots.
The process also appears far from random.
Mr Fischer said in the ballot in which his marble was drawn, four birthdates were drawn for February and 13 for May.
"That is beyond one standard deviation," he said.
"Once you go beyond one standard deviation (in probability) your eyebrows are raised. You have got to ask why."
Mr Fischer said a technical fault was that those conducting the ballot neglected to remove February 29 in non-leap years.
He said the pattern of selection appeared to be tilted towards young men from rural and regional areas, apparently reflecting trades the army needed.
"A number of national servicemen were killed in Vietnam. All I am asking is that, in the interests of fair play, those who played God step up and say what methodology they used," he said.
"It's too late to reverse anything."
The first march-in - the start of army training - of those called up in the first ballot will be marked with a march and ceremony at the Australian War Memorial on Tuesday morning.
A total of 63,735 young men were called up and served in the army, 15,381 of them going to Vietnam. Two hundred were killed.
The national service scheme was instigated by the Menzies Liberal government in 1964 and abolished in December 1972 as one of the first acts of the Whitlam Labor government.
Tourist falls to death from CBD tower, Brisbane
Brisbane Times [29/6/15]:
Police believe a man who fell to his death at the 1 William Street construction site may have been scaling a crane for fun when he slipped.
Investigators are not treating the 21-year-old French tourist's death as a suicide, and instead believe it was a case of misadventure.
The man broke into the site on Sunday evening before climbing the crane.
A police spokesman could not confirm a Nine News report that the man was taking a selfie when he fell.
His body was discovered about 6am on Monday.
A report is being prepared for the coroner.
Queensland Police issued a warning to the public in 2013 after an increase in "roof topping" and "sky walking", a trend where people scale dangerous heights and take photos to be shared on social media.
1 William Street was dubbed the Tower of Power after it was commissioned by the former Newman Government as a replacement to the Queensland Executive Building on George Street.
The building will be 258 metres high when it is complete next year.
Last week the Palaszczuk Government announced it would be filled entirely by public servants.
Tourist reported missing five years ago in Queensland found in Cairns
A man from the United States who went missing while holidaying in Queensland five years ago has been found alive.
In December 2010, Kenneth Rodman, then 55 years of age, was reported missing while visiting Australia on a tourist visa.
He was last sighted by a friend near Port Douglas and was believed to be heading to the beach near Mossman with his green kayak.
The kayak was later recovered from Wangetti Beach in January 2011.
Friends, family and police have been unable to make contact with him since 2010.
On Saturday, officers investigating a matter in the Smithfield area stumbled across the now 60-year-old man where he confessed to police that he had been listed as a missing person.
He has been featured regularly in police missing person's articles since 2010.
"Police would like to thank members of the public who have contacted Crime Stoppers over the past five years with information and reported sightings of him," a Queensland Police Service statement read.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has detained the man ahead of his removal from Australia.
Man dies in shooting in Sydney park
Nine MSN [29/6/15]:
A group of men are being sought by police after being seen leaving a Sydney park shortly after a fatal shooting.
Homicide detectives are investigating the shooting of a man in Punchbowl on Monday afternoon.
The man, who hasn't been formally identified, is believed to have been shot in the stomach several times.
He died at the scene.
Attempted murder charge, Sandgate
QPS Media [29/6/15]:
Detectives have charged a 79-year-old man with attempted murder following an incident in Sandgate this afternoon.
At around 1pm police were called to a Wakefield Street address [aged care facility] following reports of an alleged stabbing.
Upon arrival police located a 76-year-old man with lacerations to his face and neck.
The 76-year-old Sandgate man was subsequently transported to the Prince Charles Hospital for treatment.
A 79-year-old man from Sandgate has been charged with one count of attempted murder and is due to appear in Pine Rivers Magistrates Court tomorrow, June 30.
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.
Grievous bodily harm, Townsville
QPS Media [29/6/15]:
Detectives from Townsville CIB have charged a 54-year-old woman following an incident in Church Street, West End (Townsville) this afternoon.
At around 2:40pm police were called to a Church Street residence following reports of an alleged stabbing.
Upon arrival police located a 42-year-old man with a wound to his abdomen.
The man was transported to Townsville General Hospital where he remains in a serious but stable condition.
A 54-year-old woman from West End has been charged with one count of grievous bodily harm and is due to appear in Townsville Magistrates Court tomorrow, June 30.
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.
Men bailed on random street attack, West End
Three men arrested for allegedly bashing another man in an unprovoked attack outside a Brisbane apartment block have been released on bail.
Kane Juris Sternats, 48, Darren Stewart Fielding, 38, and Luke Thomas Rea, 26, appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday charged with one count each of assault occasioning bodily harm in company.
It's alleged the trio attacked a man outside a West End unit block on Saturday after an afternoon of heavy drinking, leaving the victim in hospital with broken ribs and injuries to his face and spine.
Attempted armed robbery, Molendinar
Gold Coast detectives are searching for a group of men responsible for an attempted armed robbery involving a gun.
Just before 10pm on Sunday, a 55-year-old man was stalked in Molendinar by a group of men in a car, who demanded cash and threatened him with a gun but fled when he refused.
Police believe the same group menaced a woman at a nearby service station using the pistol an hour earlier.
Armed robbery, Paget [QPS Media - 30/6/15]
Firearm related incident and attempted armed robbery, Maroochydore [QPS Media – 29/6/15]
Robbery charge, Currimundi [QPS Media – 29/6/15]
Property and drug offence charges, Coomera [QPS Media – 28/6/15]
Cyclist in critical condition after being hit by car, Tweed Heads
A cyclist is in a critical condition following a crash with a vehicle in Tweed Heads earlier today.
About 7.45am, a man riding his pushbike southbound the on the Pacific Highway, near the Kennedy Drive off ramp, collided with a vehicle.
The vehicle was being driven by an 18-year-old woman who immediately stopped and rendered assistance.
The cyclist, believed to be aged in his early 60’s was taken to Gold Coast Hospital where he is listed as critical.
The driver was also taken to hospital for mandatory blood and urine testing before being taken to Tweed Police Station where she is assisting with inquiries.
The crash is being investigated by officers from the Far North Coast Crash Investigation Unit, and anyone with information that could assist with the inquiry should contact them at Ballina Police Station on (02) 6681 8618.
Hibiscus Gardens Aged Care nursing home in Gladstone to close
Blue Care has announced it will be closing its Gladstone nursing home, in central Queensland, due to outdated facilities.
Executive director Robyn Batten said the Hibiscus Gardens Aged Care Facility could no longer support the high-level needs of residents.
The site was built in 1989 to provide low-level care.
Ms Batten met residents, their families and staff last week and told them the facility would not close until all 33 residents found new homes.
"Our priority now is to work with the residents and their families and the staff to find the residents another home," she said.
"Some of the people have gone to look at the Edenvale building.
"We'll do all we can to support the residents to move elsewhere."
She said Blue Care would also do whatever it could to find new jobs for its 33 employees.
"Our first priority will be that if they want to, to redeploy them to other jobs at Blue Care," she said.
"Blue Care is a large organisation and in Gladstone itself we have another residential facility and community care, so there'll be opportunities there.
"We've got 260 sites across the state so we do have opportunities to redeploy staff."
Free Transport in Athens Until Banks Re-Open
Public transport will be free in Athens for a week to ease difficulties created by the closure of the banks and a rush on petrol stations, Transport Minister Christos Spirtzis said today.
Locals and tourists will be able to ride buses, metro trains and trams for free in the country's capital and surrounding suburbs as soon as the decision is officially published, which is likely to be on Tuesday.
The offer is set to last until July 7, when in principle the banks will re-open.
As Greece teetered on the edge of default this weekend, anxious drivers queued at petrol stations, with fuel sales up 20 per cent on the previous week, according to the Greek union of petrol station owners.
"There is enough petrol... The lives of tourists in the urban centres, the peripheries or the islands will not be disrupted," the economy and tourism ministry said, amid fears the crisis would hit the tourism industry.
Grigoris Stergioulis, CEO of the biggest oil company in the country Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE), told ANA press agency that "the refineries are working as normal and supply is fully assured, we have oil reserves for several months."
57 countries hold signing ceremony to set up China-led AIIB
Channel News Asia [29/6/15]:
The 57 founding member countries of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank began signing articles of association setting up the new institution on Monday.
Australia became the first country to sign the document in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, an AFP journalist at the ceremony saw.
The AIIB, which will have billions of dollars to lend, is expected to go into operation later this year.
It has been viewed by some as a rival to the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, and the United States and Japan - the world's largest and third-largest economies, respectively - notably have declined to join.
Washington sought to dissuade its allies from taking part but European countries including Britain, France and Germany have rushed to sign up as they seek to bolster ties with the world's second-largest economy.
There are some concerns over transparency of the lender, which will fund infrastructure in Asia, as well as worries that Beijing will use it to push its own geopolitical and economic interests as a rising power.
The bank's voting structure will give China the "upper hand" as the largest shareholder, effectively granting it veto power, according to a report this month in the Wall Street Journal, which did not identify its sources.
According to the bank's articles of incorporation, China is providing nearly US$30 billion of the institution's US$100 billion capital base, giving Beijing between 25 to 30 percent of total votes, it said.
But supporters say fears over undue Chinese influence are overblown, and that the participation by more than 50 countries, ranging from Australia to Vietnam, will dilute Beijing's power.
Puerto Rico governor calls for bankruptcy; adviser says island 'insolvent' [Reuters - 29/6/15]
Argentina will pursue judge order on Falklands drillers: minister
Argentina will pursue in Britain and the United States a local judge's order to seize assets of oil drillers operating in the disputed Falklands Islands, the foreign minister said in an interview published in local media on Sunday.
On Saturday, a federal judge in Tierra del Fuego ordered the seizure of $156 million in bank accounts, boats and other property of six European and U.S. oil companies operating in the islands.
A source with knowledge of the situation said the ruling was meaningless because the companies do not generally hold assets in Argentina or use Argentine waters.
Foreign Minister Hector Timerman told local newspaper Tiempo Argentino on Sunday that on Monday he will formally request that the stock exchange regulators in London and New York implement the judge's order.
The companies named in the order are Premier Oil Plc (PMO.L), Falkland Oil and Gas Ltd (FOGL.L), Rockhopper Exploration Plc (RKH.L), Noble Energy Inc (NBL.N) y Edison International Spa (EDNn.MI).
"The companies can defend themselves in foreign courts, but that will have a cost or penalty to their market listing," Timerman said.
He said that international law forbid altering the state of territory where the United Nations has accepted that there is a sovereignty dispute, and that the companies had breached the rule by drilling wells.
Argentina claims sovereignty over the South Atlantic islands which it calls the Malvinas, located about 435 miles (700 km) off the coast of Tierra del Fuego and occupied by around 3,000 people who mostly say they wish them to remain a British overseas territory.
Britain and Argentina fought a short war in 1982, after the then Argentine military dictatorship briefly seized the islands, and tensions have escalated again in recent years with the discovery of oil deposits.
Ahead of Argentine elections in October, rhetoric is heating up. "What the United Kingdom is doing is what it did in classic colonialism: appropriate resources from its colonies and take them back to their country," said Timerman on Sunday.
Falkland Oil and Gas and Rockhopper declined to comment. Noble Energy, the British foreign office and the other mentioned companies could not immediately be reached for comment.
Jackson declares bankruptcy, court told
West Australian [29/6/15]:
Former Health Services Union boss Kathy Jackson has declared bankruptcy and has not appeared for the first day of a hearing into a civil claim against her, the federal court has been told.
Ms Jackson was due to appear in the Federal Court on Monday for the start of a civil case brought against her by the union for allegedly acting outside her authority as national secretary and spending $660,000 in funds on personal expenses, including holidays and shopping.
The HSU had also been seeking to freeze Ms Jackson's assets.
Barrister James Johnson, acting for Ms Jackson's former lawyer and her partner Michael Lawler, told the court on Monday that "events had occurred over the weekend involving the bankruptcy of Ms Jackson"
"She is, as of today ... bankrupt," Mr Johnson said.
Ms Jackson had no available assets, he said.
The court was told Ms Jackson had engaged a trustee.
Justice Richard Tracey asked whether Ms Jackson had appeared in the Sydney court, which was linked to Melbourne via video for the hearing, but a court official reported that she hadn't.
Barrister for HSU, Mark Irving, said he would need to consult with the union about their position on the hearing going forward.
In a hearing last week, the court was told Ms Jackson didn't have any assets left and was running out of money to pay her legal fees.
Mr Lawler said moves to seize her assets would hurt him because he's paying most of her bills.
The union's lawyers had argued for her assets to be frozen because they alleged Ms Jackson was attempting to transfer her property to her partner to thwart the union's lawsuit.
CFMEU faces $1.1 million lawsuit for alleged breaches [Canberra Times - 29/6/15]
Former Indonesian Foreign Minister says refugee boat turnbacks incompatible with good bilateral relations
A former Indonesian foreign minister has warned that Australia's asylum seeker boat turnbacks are "inherently incompatible" with good bilateral relations.
Marty Natalegawa addressed a leadership conference at Australian National University on Monday and reiterated his view that the controversial policy is a slippery slope.
Mr Natalegawa, foreign minister in the government of president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, said bilateral relations have been drawing down on the trust bank in recent years.
"National efforts should not be seen at the expense of bilateral and regional co-operation," he said.
Former Australian ambassador to Indonesia Bill Farmer said Prime Minister Tony Abbott had done a disservice to Australia's standing in the region before boat crisis talks in late May with his "nope, nope, nope" comment and emphatic refusal to accept any Rohingya refugees for resettlement.
Mr Farmer said Australia, in theory, is well placed to accept a small number of Rohingya refugees as part of a regional solution.
"I do believe we go too readily for the dog whistle on boats," Mr Farmer said.
World Bulletin [30/6/15]:
An Indonesian community deeply affected by the Southeast Asian boat people crisis has petitioned the government to take more action in solving the problems faced by Myanmar's Muslim Rohingya community.
At a press conference to launch its plea Monday, the Coalition for Caring for Rohingya urged the government to act decisively against Myanmar's government, which it said had played a key role in the humanitarian crisis faced by Muslim ethnic group today.
"This is not a sectarian conflict, and not a horizontal conflict... this happened because of strong support from the Myanmar government on some violent actions such as murder, slaughter, and destruction," Coalition Chairman Adnin Armas told reporters.
The group is a made up from several Aceh communities, where 1062 Rohingya have been living in four temporary shelters since the boat people crisis erupted almost two months ago.
On May 1, a people trafficking camp was discovered on Thailand's border with Malaysia, which lead to authorities clamping down on people smuggling in the country.
Subsequently, many smugglers left their victims on boats at sea, or dumped them on Malaysian or Indonesian shores.
On Monday, Armas claimed that a major factor in the problems faced by Rohingya today is the "Oppression" that has been going on in Myanmar since the 1950s.
"The Myanmar government has pursued a program of systematic genocide, calling the Rohingya illegal migrants, a threat to national security, a virus, [land] grabbers, and a threat to Buddhist culture," he said.
It's an oppression that has been going on since the 1950s, he added, sourcing a Pacific Rim Law and Policy Journal article titled The Slow-Burning Genocide of Myanmar's Rohingya by Buddhist academic Maung Zarni as proof.
The Coalition's petition underlines four demands.
First off, it wants President Joko Widodo to reconsider Indonesia's relations with Myanmar. Secondly, it demands Indonesian businessmen and state companies suspend investments in the country.
"Thirdly, we demanded Myanmar's ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] membership be revoked, and then all Myanmar officials who want to visit Indonesia should be blacklisted," added Armas.
Meanwhile, on the streets of Banda Aceh -- where the Rohingya have been embraced -- volunteers continued to collected signatures Monday to support the petition.
Many, however, have more local concerns.
"We want President Joko Widodo to accommodate Rohingya in Aceh until all their problems with their country are finished," said Fajri, a volunteer tasked with collecting signatures, told Anadolu Agency.
Indonesia - along with Malaysia - has said it will shelter the boat people for one year, but then the international community most find homes for them elsewhere.
"And we hope that Myanmar authorities immediately provide the status of their citizenship," he said.
Myanmar refuses to grant Rohingya citizenship and, as a result, the vast majority of the group's members have no legal documentation, effectively making them stateless.
Armas said the petition has been distributed to the public, and will be posted to the House of Representatives along with President Jokowi on Tuesday.
"We must ensure that their humanitarian needs are addressed and their human rights are protected and respected, regardless their legal status. Their need for assistance extends beyond the end of their intended journey."
Indonesia commenced on Monday a two-day international meeting aimed at increasing global comprehensive and coordinated approach to deal with irregular movement of persons at sea.
The meeting, themed International Workshops on Irregular Movement of Persons At Sea, was to follow suit the Jakarta Declaration on Addressing Irregular Movement of Persons that was agreed in Special Conference on Irregular Movement of Persons held here in Aug. 20 last year.
Inaugurating the event attended by delegates of 16 countries and three international organizations, Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa said that discussions on seeking comprehensive solutions need to be conducted as incidents at sea involving people in human trafficking, asylum seeking and other illegal activities remain a problem in many parts of the world despite efforts conducted through the Bali Process.
"The cross border and complex nature of irregular movement of persons defies national solution. It demands comprehensive national, regional and global approaches. It was recognition of this reality that laid the foundation of the Bali Process launched a decade ago. It was relevant then and remains relevant today," Marty told the delegates attending the meeting.
Indonesia has been actively involved in Bali Process, an international forum joined by 50 countries and many international organizations that facilitate discussion and information sharing related to people smuggling, human trafficking, trans-national crimes and appropriate responses to those issues.
He added that the workshop serves as a channel to translate the recommendations of the Jakarta Declaration into concrete actions, including the formulation of standard operating procedure in dealing with irregular maritime movements of persons.
The Indonesian foreign minister said that the workshop was highly expected to formulate procedures aimed at ensuring protection for those victimized by such activities.
"We must ensure that their humanitarian needs are addressed and their human rights are protected and respected, regardless their legal status. Their need for assistance extends beyond the end of their intended journey," the minister said.
Marty encouraged workshop participants to enhance the search and rescue operation to avoid loss of lives at sea, develop protection-oriented migration management centers to eliminate possibility of fatalities at sea and mobilize resources towards efficient management of irregular migration and victim protection.
Indonesia has been the stopover point of "illegal" migrants from Middle East and South Asia intending to seek asylum in Australia with illegal and risky boat trips that often ended up with deaths of those people due to mishaps at sea.
Jakarta called on governments Monday to stop "shifting responsibility" for asylum-seekers, in veiled criticism of Australia's hardline policy of towing boatloads of would-be refugees back to Indonesia.
The military-led operation has caused anger in Indonesia, which has been forced to take back seven boatloads of asylum-seekers turned around by the Australian navy since December.
At the opening of an international meeting on asylum-seekers in Jakarta, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said countries should stand by commitments to cooperate on the issue made at a conference last year.
Those commitments "confirmed our shared responsibility -- shared responsibility, not (the) shifting of responsibility. Shared responsibility that requires coordination and cooperation," Natalegawa said at Monday's meeting.
"For Indonesia the message is crystal-clear -- the cross-border and complex nature of irregular movement of persons defies national solution."
Asylum-seekers have for years used Indonesia as a transit point to cross to Australia, usually on rickety fishing boats. More than 1,000 asylum-seekers have died at sea in recent years attempting the perilous journey.
Tony Abbott came to power last year at the head of a conservative government in Australia on the back of a pledge to stem the flow of asylum-seekers, and has implemented the tough border protection policies.
His government says they are working, claiming that no asylum-seekers arriving by boat have set foot on Australian soil since December.
The UN refugee agency said last week the number of asylum-seekers registering in Indonesia had dropped dramatically since December, from around 100 a day to 100 a week.
The Abbott administration retained the policy of the former government of sending all asylum-seekers arriving by boat to Papua New Guinea or Nauru -- for permanent resettlement there if judged to be refugees.
Natalegawa acknowledged Monday the policies may have helped reduce the loss of life at sea between the two countries, but reiterated his opposition to them.
"We need to take the politics out of this whole endeavour," he said, adding there must be alternative ways of stopping the flow of asylum-seekers.
Australia was represented at the meeting by officials from its Jakarta embassy, but they made no comment at the opening.
The two-day International Workshop on the Protection of the Irregular Movement of Persons at Sea, attended by senior officials from 14 countries, is co-chaired by Indonesia and the United Nations refugee agency.
While the ALP ramp up their co-optation of the refugee liberation movement, former concentration camp health workers challenge disclosure laws
This "response to Professor Robert Manne" highlights Labor for Refugees' only priority: getting their team elected. [29/6/15]
Mark Butler will be addressing Labor for Refugees members on the ALP's refugee policies tomorrow evening on Tuesday 30 June 2015 at 6pm in Training Room 2 at Unions NSW, 4-10 Goulburn St city (entrance from Sussex St). ... [Labor for Refugees]
Senator Sue Lines speaking at Forum on Breaking the Bipartisan Cruelty on Refugees [Labor for Refugees - 26/6/15]:
... She handled a fairly hostile lefty audience well and explained her position as one of the minority in the Federal Caucus on refugees and asylumseekers ...
Senator Hanson-Young [Senate Hansard - 25/6/15]:
… These amendments provide that child abuse and assault inside detention facilities, when it occurs, would have to be reported to the police—both the Federal Police and the local police at the location of the facility—and, of course, to the department. They are basic mandatory reporting requirements. They mean that, for any staff member engaged in these facilities or any person who is contracted by the Commonwealth or subcontracted by another contractor, if you work inside the facility and you see child abuse, you must report it.
You would think that this type of mandatory reporting would go without saying, but it does not. We know it does not because months and months of evidence has come forward to show that the exact opposite is occurring inside Nauru. Children are suffering at the hands of child abusers; women are being raped and sexually assaulted and harassed; yet there is both underreporting of these incidents internally and no independent reporting as a matter of course.
The culture of secrecy inside these detention camps provides for a lack of reporting to an independent authority. That is wrong. It should not be the case that staff and asylum seekers are intimidated into staying quiet. They are not prepared to put their hand up and say what is going on. It must be a requirement of people engaged by the Commonwealth to report when they see things happening that are wrong. There is nothing worse than seeing a child sexually abused and saying nothing about it. It is wrong.
This amendment puts the onus on the staff member, on those engaged at the centre, to report these incidents. If they do not, it is a fine of $10,000 and a criminal offence. Basic mandatory reporting requirements are expected and widely accepted across other institutions and agencies. It should not be a hard thing to introduce here. It should make sense. I would argue that everybody across all sides, regardless of your political stripes, would understand that mandatory reporting should happen. It does not now. This amendment will make sure it must occur and it will give staff, in particular, not just the signal that they must report it, but the encouragement that it is the right thing to do. They will be abiding by the law and ensuring that they report these awful and insidious incidents of abuse and sexual assault. They are the amendments, and they are pretty basic.
Ayes ...................... 16
Noes ...................... 31
Majority ................. 15
Di Natale, R
Siewert, R (teller)
Bilyk, CL (teller)
Image: @prehumax ... and wtf is happening with @welcome2aussie's promotional graphics? [29/6/15]
Former doctors and case workers who have worked in Australian-run immigration detention centres are rallying in opposition to harsh new laws that will criminalise the disclosure of information relating to asylum seekers in Australia’s care.
The federal government, with the support of Labor, introduced a new offence relating to the operations of the Australian Border Force that comes into force on Wednesday.
The offence could render disclosures from routine activities of many doctors and contractors potentially illegal – including relating to work at the Manus Island and Nauru detention centres, with limited exceptions available.
Legal experts have taken the extraordinary step of warning doctors in detention centres to seek advice over the new laws, which could also potentially expose them to personal injury claims or professional misconduct proceedings.
... Whatever side of the asylum seeker debate you stand on, the Border Force Act should alarm you. This legislation has implications beyond clinicians working in immigration detention. It raises questions about the entire medical profession, complicity, and their stance on ethical and human rights issues. ... [Guardian - 30/6/15]
And if the Border Force Act isn't amended?
RACP unites health groups to fight gag on doctors [Media Release - 20/6/15]:
The Royal Australasian College of Physicians is one of thirteen peak health organisations who have released a joint statement calling for urgent amendments to the Australian Border Force Act.
The Royal Australasian College of Physicians President, Laureate Professor Nick Talley said the legislation gags healthcare professionals by threatening up to two years jail for sharing information about the health conditions of immigration detention centres.
“A doctor’s work is defined by examining evidence and recommending the best solution regardless of where this work takes place,” Professor Talley said.
“Threatening doctors with imprisonment is a direct attack on our ability to work for the health and protection of our patients.”
The health organisations are demanding the Federal Government amend the Act to ensure health professionals and contractors are free to speak in support of best practice care, and against harmful conditions or practices impacting detainees.
“Doctors must be free to advocate for aspects that prevent the well-documented and devastating harms immigration detention centres have on the health of children and adults seeking protection,” Professor Talley said.
“Refugees and asylum seekers have complex and unique needs as patients and yet this law stops health care professionals from fulfilling their duty of care.”
Professor Talley said reports and evidence from those working in detention centres has provided first-hand insight into the appalling conditions and health issues faced by detainees including skin conditions, vector-borne diseases, sepsis and mental health issues.
“It is inconceivable that the Government is trying to gag our ability to advocate for our patients’ healthcare - it is crucial these changes are passed immediately,” Professor Talley said.
“There is an expectation from the public that doctors will speak up about any conditions that are causing harm to their patients or denying them access to care,” Professor Talley said.
Today is National Refugee Day, a time to remember that each year, millions of people are forced to flee their home country to seek asylum for fear of being persecuted because of their race, religion, nationality, social background or their political opinions.
The joint statement is co-signed by:
The Royal Australasian College of Physicians
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
And where are Australian health groups on THIS legislation? Waiting for it to be passed before they say anything? [Guardian - 16/4/15]:
A former Victorian supreme court judge says new powers proposed for guards in immigration detention centres would in effect authorise them “to beat asylum seekers to death”.
In extraordinary evidence to a Senate hearing on Thursday, Stephen Charles SC said the migration amendment (maintaining the good order of immigration detention facilities) bill 2015 would substantially expand the powers granted to guards in detention centres in a way that would “inevitably encourage violence by guards against asylum seekers”.
The new powers would allow immigration officers – which may include private contractors – to use “reasonable force against any person” if the officer believes it is necessary to protect the life, health or safety of people in detention or to maintain the good order, peace or security of a detention centre.
Such powers potentially give staff with a low level of training a greater level of immunity than that granted to state and federal police forces.
Charles, who sat on the Victorian court of appeal until 2006, said the standard proposed in the bill would introduce a similar test to those that have been considered in the US, and drew parallels with the recent shooting of Walter Scott by the police officer Michael Slager.
“Time and again police in the United States have been acquitted in circumstances such as these,” Charles said.
“These amendments to the Migration Act will in effect authorise guards to beat asylum seekers to death on the basis they reasonably believe it is necessary … to do so.”
No trust in a health system that puts profits before patient care and ethics.
#HESTA, divest from Transfield & the detention industry | #Manus #Nauru [xborderops – 23/1/15]
The Doctors Trial: The Medical Case of the Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings [United States Holocaust Memorial Museum]:
On December 9, 1946, an American military tribunal opened criminal proceedings against 23 leading German physicians and administrators for their willing participation in war crimes and crimes against humanity.
30 June 2015