Fears refugee boy
exiled on Nauru will be disabled after his broken arm not properly treated
West Australian [31/5/15]:
Australian doctors fear an 11-year-old refugee boy living in the community on Nauru could be permanently disabled if he does not receive urgent surgery on his arm.
Doctors for Refugees co-founder Barri Phatarfod is concerned those resettled on the island are not getting access to appropriate medical care.
She cited the case of an Iranian boy who fractured his left arm on May 4.
It is not known how the injury occurred, but his arm has been reset in a cast and the boy is still in severe pain.
A two-week window for surgery for this specific type of fracture had passed and, a month on, the International Health and Medical Services (IHMS) and Nauru doctors are still dithering on whether to operate, Dr Phatarfod said.
She said 11 Australian doctors, including an orthopedic surgeon, a radiologist and an emergency physician familiar with the case, have all said surgery is required otherwise he will lose complete function of his arm.
"If he's left-handed, he might never be able to write again," Dr Phatarfod told AAP.
She said if the bones are left to heal as they are, he risks losing the ability to rotate his forearm.
IHMS re-examined the boy on Friday, but it is not known whether he has been booked in for surgery or whether the procedure can be done on Nauru.
Comment has been sought from IHMS and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton's office.
A spokesman for the Nauru government said they would provide comment on Monday.
The case comes as doctors at the Australian Medical Association national conference in Brisbane this weekend vowed to ramp up a campaign against new federal laws that prevent them from blowing the whistle on failures in detention centre health care.
Myanmar navy stops journalists from accessing island where boat refugees are detained, orders deletion of footage
Zee News [31/5/15]:
Myanmar`s navy refused on Sunday to let journalists approach a remote island where more than 700 migrants are said to be held following their rescue last week.
Reporters have been trying to access Thamee Hla Island at the mouth of the Irrawaddy since the authorities announced that 727 people, including 74 women and 45 children, had been found drifting in a boat off Myanmar`s coast and had been taken there.
They are part of a recent exodus of persecuted Myanmar Rohingya Muslims and Bangladeshi economic migrants who have fled the region en masse in a crisis that regional nations have struggled to deal with.
Journalists who tried to take small boats out to Thamee Hla Island were being turned around by navy patrol vessels and were ordered to delete any footage on their memory cards, said an AFP reporter on the nearby island of Haigyi.
Those returning said they had been ordered to sign documents promising not to try to make the journey again.
The navy was unavailable for comment Sunday.
On Saturday a local official from Haigyi Island said the migrants were all Bangladeshis and would be taken to an area near the Bangladesh border in Rakhine state in the coming days.
But Bangladesh has insisted it will not take back any migrants who trace their origin to Myanmar.
And because Myanmar authorities refuse to use the term Rohingya, it is difficult to ascertain where exactly the migrants come from.
No media or aid group has yet been able to meet the migrants held on Thamee Hla Island to verify where they say they originate from.
Myanmar navy says it has arrested and detained 700 boat refugees after they were turned back from Thailand [Nation - 31/5/15]:
The Myanmar Navy claims it has arrested about 727 boat people, alleged to be Bangladeshis entering Myanmar waters, near Pyapon Township on May 29.
There are about 608 males, 74 females and 45 children on board. It is claimed they left Bangladesh and went to Thailand in three boats in an attempt to find work in Malaysia.
On arrival in Thailand they reportedly failed to meet their contact and tried to avoid the authorities.
They were then sent back to sea and told to return to Bangladesh, the navy claims. On their way back to Bangladesh, the Myanmar Navy said it intercepted them.
An unnamed naval officer said: "Thailand put these people on boats and sent them out of Thai waters. It's been 10 days since they left Thailand, according to the migrants. The navy is now sending them to the Haigyi island naval port. After interrogating them, we will make detailed plans about what to do next."
Pyapon Township police confirmed the migrants' detention.
Australia's obedient and obsequious Defence Minister Kevin Andrews echoes Ashton Carter's goading of China, asserts the importance of freedom of navigation for corporations and mining companies. [Channel News Asia - 31/5/15]:
Australian Defence Minister Kevin Andrews on Suinday (May 31) said Canberra is concerned by China's reported build-up of military assets on reclaimed land in the South China Sea.
Speaking to regional defence representatives at the Shangri-La Dialogue, Mr Andrews said "underlying tensions are likely to remain in the near-term strategic environment" but urged claimant states in the territorial dispute to exercise caution.
"Australia urges all parties to exercise restraint, halt reclamation activities, halt provocative actions," he said. "We are particularly concerned by the prospect of the militarisation of artificial structures. Disputes must be resolved peacefully."
Mr Andrews reiterated Australia's opposition to any attempt to "change the status quo" in the South China Sea or any moves that raised regional tension.
He said he was encouraged by the level of interdependence among the region and increasing cooperation in security and trade, but warned that closer ties did not ease the greater risk conflict.
"It will not prevent states from engaging in coercive behaviour, nor will it prevent miscalculation," he said.
New Zealand's Defence Minister Gerry Brownless echoed the concerns, stating his country's interest in understanding "the intentions of those undertaking reclamation in the South China Sea".
"Rapid military modernisation in an environment of mistrust is a worrying prospect," said Mr Brownlee, as he called for better transparency, trust and mutual respect.
Both nations' defence ministers spoke about the importance of the freedom of navigation to ensure the safe passage of regional trade and economic growth leading to better integration.
"These challenges are not insurmountable. It is critical that all regional countries work together as parties," Mr Andrews said.
... On Tinian, an island criss-crossed with overgrown runways left over from its previous use as a major US airbase in the Second World War, the military wants to construct four ranges to be used for live-fire high explosives from the air and ground.
It also plans to dredge part of a reef that the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality considers an essential habitat for fish to spawn, breed and grow so it can build a ramp for assault vehicles.
But most of the activity will be on Pagan, an island the military hopes to lease in its entireity for aircraft to drop light bombs on select targets and Navy battleships to fire at targets from the sea. It would also host beach and amphibious landings, mortar fire and night time operations.
The mayor of the Northern Islands, which includes Pagan, Jerome Aldan, opposes the idea, saying indigenous and cultural factors haven't been taken into account.
He says Pagan has a history dating back to Chamorro settlement in the 1300s right up until the 1980s, when the original inhabitants were evacuated during volcanic eruptions. He says this community was hoping to resettle on Pagan in the near future. ...
The NDIS was set up as a neoliberal model of privatisation and outsourcing.
It is austerity, and a political and media establishment con job.
There is confusion about how the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will work in Victoria and concern it may not be delivered on time, disability advocates and service providers say.
A national rollout of the scheme is due to begin in July next year, following the completion of a trial in the Barwon region of Victoria, which began in July 2013.
However, disability advocates are concerned the state and federal governments have not yet signed a funding agreement for the rollout, and the details of what would be included remained unclear.
One of the participants in the NDIS trial, Kirily Haywood, said she had received money for services such as occupational therapy and equipment.
"It's made a huge difference, it's made an absolutely huge difference," she said.
However, Ms Haywood has had to spend the past three years living in a nursing home, and she said the NDIS must address housing issues.
"To wither away in a nursing home as a young person ... that's a complete injustice in my mind," she said.
"The NDIS is going to be absolutely imperative for not only myself but other young people in nursing homes who want to essentially escape the system and gain housing with adequate independence.
"At the end of the day if people don't have those services then they can't live at home, they can't live a free life.
"Young people in nursing homes, it's just not right in this day and age.
"Quite frankly it upsets and angers me to the nth degree. We should not be seeing this in the year 2015."
Peter Willcocks is one of the many Victorians with a disability who will not be covered by the scheme.
He is not eligible because he is over 65 and will have to continue self-funding his treatment and equipment.
Peter Willcocks is confined to a wheelchair as a result of childhood polio.
"I think there'll be a lot of people that will be left out of the loop," he said.
"The new system, although it offers a lot of choice, I don't think is as inclusive, or as affordable as the current systems and that concerns me immensely.
"I think our healthcare has gone backwards. If you compare what used to happen, with me when I had polio as a child, I had full home support. I had physio night and day at home.
"Whereas it might not have been at the best level back in the 50s and 60s it happened very quickly. I think we've lost that immediacy of intervention."
He said the NDIS rollout should not mean other people with disabilities were forgotten.
Church welfare organisation Uniting Care will no longer provide disability care in the Hunter, and staff are blaming difficulties with the National Disability Insurance Scheme for the decision.
Uniting Care denies the move is related to the NDIS but acknowledges it will no longer provide disability services after conducting a ‘‘review’’ of its operations. … [Herald – 29/5/15]
Footballer suffers heart attack on field in Fawkner
The Age [30/5/15]:
A young suburban footballer, who died from a cardiac arrest during a match in Melbourne's north, is being remembered as a "wonderful kid loved by all".
Northern Saints player Mohammed Allouche, 22, collapsed on field in an Essendon District Football League game against Avondale Heights in Fawkner at about midday on Saturday.
He was flown to The Alfred hospital in a coma where he later died.
His first cousin Khalid Abou-Eid said his death was "massive shock" to their tight knit community, who come from the same small village in Lebanon.
"He was a wonderful, wonderful kid loved by all, cherished by his family," he said.
"He put his heart and soul into everything he ever did. He was a young kid going places and his life was cut short tragically.
"He will be sorely missed by a lot of people."
Mr Abou-Eid said Mr Allouche, of Fawkner, was an exceptional sportsman and avid Carlton Football Club and Manchester United supporter.
"The last thing he did in life was kick a goal," he said.
Mr Allouche's boss at Apogee Financial Planning, Michael Milne, remembered his employee and office manager as a "fine young man".
Ambulance Victoria spokesman John Mullen said mobile intensive care ambulance paramedics were called to Charles Mutton Reserve just after midday.
The incident comes on the same day as the state government has announced it is rolling out 1000 defibrillators to sports clubs across Victoria.
Body found at property in Brisbane
A man's body has been found at a property in Brisbane.
Police confirmed the body was found at Merthyr Road, New Farm on Sunday.
A crime scene has been established.
There was an incident involving several police, emergency services (and a body that appeared to have fallen off a balcony) at the Outrigger in Surfers Paradise last night.
Armed robbery charges, Glass House Mountains
QPS Media [31/5/15]:
Police have charged a 30-year-old man from the Glass House Mountains following the alleged armed robbery of a bottle shop yesterday evening.
It will be alleged the man entered the bottle shop on Bruce Parade in the Glass House Mountains at around 6:00pm yesterday and threatened a female staff member with a syringe, demanding money.
He then allegedly fled the business on foot with a sum of cash. Police located and arrested the man a short time later.
The man has been charged with assault, armed robbery and entering a premises with intent to commit an indictable offence.
He is due to appear in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on June 1.
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.
Australian Muslims in trauma over politics of 'war on terror', forum hears [Guardian – 31/5/15]
Not "rival rallies", "anti-racism activists clash with anti-Islam protesters" or a "violent clash"
Bigots tried to attack a town hall meeting in Richmond and THE PEOPLE fought them off.
My Sunday morning so far. Richmond town hall. Rally starts soon!
Image: @katiewood13 [31/5/15]
@NickAnarchistic: #noroomforracism, literally, in Richmond. Fascists physically pushed off town hall steps. So proud of community here!
UNITING AGAINST ISLAMOPHOBIA - How can we stop 'Reclaim Australia'? - Sunday May 31:
This is a free community forum hosted by No Room for Racism and supported by the Islamic Council of Victoria.
The forum will consist of a panel of speakers followed by discussion on how to counter the growing threat of right-wing, racist and Islamophobic groups like 'Reclaim Australia'.
This forum will be used to prepare for the July 18 'Rally Against Racism' (counter-demonstration to 'Reclaim Australia').
Vivian Malo - First Nations activist
Ghaith Krayem - President, Islamic Council of Victoria
Yassir Morsi - Author of “Islamophobia is Racism”
Robert Stary - Lawyer and anti-terror law expert
Omar Merhi - Electrical Trades Union organiser
Mel Gregson - No Room for Racism campaigner
The forum will be co-hosted by Monique Toohey & Cllr Stephen Jolly.
If you are concerned about rising Islamophobia and want to join the fight against racism come along and get involved! The time to get organised is now.
(Everyone is welcome except Islamophobes & racists)
If you don't have a song or dance about your country then you shouldn't have a country
Aboriginal Tent Embassy:
Attention all drivers in Canberra.
A protest In Solidarity with Shut Down Australia will be conducting a 60 minute Strike Nationally.
Commonwealth Avenue Bridge will be closed. Access to Parliament House will be restricted on June 1st 2015.
The Australian Government plan to Shut Down Aboriginal Peoples Communities and Homelands so on June 1st access to Parliament House will be Shut.
Commonwealth Avenue Bridge will be closed.
Expect Delays. ...
You could undertake a full investigation/report into every aspect of government involvement in the Manoora tragedy i.e. housing, family and welfare services, mental health so it never happens again.
Or you could engage in a ghoulish, intrusive media spectacle and eradicate the real issues.
Following a relentless campaign, Queensland's political and media establishment gear up for the self described “cathartic” demolition of a house. [Brisbane Times – 31/5/15]:
The razing of a Cairns house where eight children died will be a sombre yet cathartic milestone in the mourning process, locals say.
The Murray St property in Manoora became the scene of one of Australia's most shocking massacres in December.
Four girls and four boys, aged between two and 14 years, were found dead inside.
The mother of seven of the children and aunt to the eighth, 37-year-old Raina Mersane Ina Thaiday, has been charged with their murders.
The house will be torn down on Monday and there are plans to erect something to remember the children.
Community Healing Project coordinator Michael White says the revitalised site will provide a peaceful place of remembrance for locals.
"It will be a sombre moment (but) people are positively talking about moving forward," he told AAP.
"At this stage, it's the first significant milestone in reclaiming that healing journey."
No plans had been finalised yet, but he said locals were considering setting up a community garden or meeting place on the site.
"People are very keen to make sure it is not a place of sadness," he said.
"They want it to have a positive energy for that community."
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Sunday there would be emotional scenes when the house was torn down.
"I just think that the whole Cairns community would feel for the loss of that life, of so many children," she said.
Relatives of the victims, local council representatives and residents had been consulted about the demolition, Housing Minister Leeanne Enoch said.
"reclaiming that healing journey"???
Presumably prosecution and defence were consulted on the demolition of a crime scene before trial - because as far as everything else is concerned, it's business as usual in Queensland.
No justice. No peace.
Select Committee on Certain Aspects of Queensland Government Administration related to Commonwealth Government Affairs Report [27/3/15]:
2.80 The committee recommends the Queensland government make it a priority to review legislation that may be inconsistent with Australia's obligations under a range of international instruments, with a view to ensuring Queensland legislation is amended to ensure consistency with Australia's international obligations.
2.84 The committee recommends the Queensland government make a commitment to restoring the relationship between government and the Queensland people, through adequate consultation, transparent decision making and accountability for outcomes.
Queensland Govt Media Release [4/4/13]:
Rogue public housing tenants will soon face stricter penalties for bad behaviour with the Newman Government today launching a “three-strikes and you’re out” policy.
Minister for Housing Tim Mander said the new policy would see problem tenants evicted if they failed to curb their behaviour. ...
The Queensland Government's tougher policy on public housing tenants comes into effect today.
The so-called 'three strikes and you're out' policy will prohibit evicted tenants from reapplying for public housing for three months.
The member for the far north Queensland seat of Cairns, [and former Editor of Murdoch's 'Cairns Post'] Gavin King, says some tenants have been getting away with too much.
"Some public housing tenants have to get eight or nine breaches before the department and the court considers an eviction," he said.
"Often a public housing tenant will cause significant damage to their property, cause hell to their neighbours, and will get evicted.
"The trouble is they'll just be moved across town into another public housing tenancy."
Information for Queensland public housing tenants:
What happens if I receive 3 strikes?
If you receive 3 strikes within a 12-month period, we may take action to end your tenancy. You will be given written advice when each strike is issued and we will discuss the consequences with you.
Man dead after police pursuit in Roxburgh Park
The Age [31/5/15]:
A driver has been killed and five passengers taken to hospital after crashing into a tree in Melbourne's north on Saturday night.
Police believe Fawkner Highway Patrol officers were attempting to intercept a blue Toyota sedan travelling east on Thomas Brunton Parade near Donald Cameron Drive about 11.30pm.
The male driver, with five passengers in the vehicle, refused to stop and continued along Thomas Brunton Parade.
The car then veered off the road and crashed into a tree.
The driver, who is yet to be formally identified, died at the scene.
A female passenger was taken to The Alfred hospital where she remains in a life-threatening condition.
Four other passengers were also taken to hospital.
Major Collision Investigation Unit and Professional Standards Command detectives are investigating the incident.
Anyone with information can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or www.crimestoppersvic.com.au
Singaporean police say they have killed one man and detained two others near the Shangri-La hotel.
Defence ministers and leaders from around the world are attending the Shangri-La Dialogue at the hotel.
Police say that the car was stopped at a vehicle checkpoint, but accelerated after being asked to open the car boot and rammed through police barricades. ... [BBC - 31/5/15]
A man was shot to death by at least one Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper after he was told to get away from rising flood waters on a road and began fighting with a trooper, an official said on Saturday. … [Yahoo – 30/5/15]
United States, “allies” continue bombing Iraq and Syria
US Department of Defense [30/5/15]:
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 and fighter aircraft conducted six airstrikes in Syria:
-- Near Al Hasakah, four airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units, destroying four ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL mortar system.
-- Near Dayr Az Zawr, one airstrike struck an ISIL large tactical unit, destroying an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Kobani, one airstrike destroyed three ISIL fighting positions.
Airstrikes in Iraq
Attack, fighter, bomber and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 16 airstrikes in Iraq, approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense:
-- Near Baghdadi, two airstrikes struck three ISIL command and control facilities.
-- Near Bayji, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying two ISIL vehicles.
-- Near Fallujah, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL mortar system and an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Hit, one airstrike destroyed an ISIL flatbed truck and an ISIL armored personnel carrier.
-- Near Kirkuk, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying two ISIL mortar systems and two ISIL buildings.
-- Near Mosul, two airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units, destroying an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Ramadi, one airstrike destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun.
-- Near Sinjar, three airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and an ISIL staging area, destroying three ISIL heavy machine guns, three ISIL buildings and an ISIL mortar system.
-- Near Tal Afar, three airstrikes struck three ISIL tactical units, destroying two ISIL heavy machine guns, two ISIL mortar systems and an ISIL fighting position.
Coalition airstrikes and casualties in Iraq and Syria: May 22nd-29th 2015 [Airwars]:
... In an incident in Mosul on May 21st 2015, the destruction of an Islamic State weapons dump resulted in catastrophic secondary explosions which killed between 12 and 50 civilians in the surrounding area according to multiple reports.
Among those reported killed was Ayman al Hayali (who ran a clothing shop) and his family, including his wife, young son and daughter Habiba aged four. Other sources claimed that 5 women and 3 children were among the dead.
Scuffles later allegedly broke out between survivors and militants over ISIL’s policy of storing munitions in a civilian neighbourhood.
While the coalition has not commented directly on the event, its daily report for May 21st noted that “an ISIL cache” was destroyed in Mosul. ...
Saudi-led coalition warplanes pounded rebel positions across Sanaa overnight, only hours after the U.N. envoy to Yemen arrived in the rebel-held capital, residents said Saturday.
Among the air strike targets was a house of ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh in his home town of Sanhan, south of the capital. ... [Naharnet - 30/5/15]
UN Rights Chief seeks wider investigation into CAR peacekeeper abuses [Naharnet – 30/5/15]
Democracy Now [29/5/15]:
The United Nations is coming under criticism for failing to investigate allegations of sexual exploitation of children by French peacekeeping troops in the Central African Republic between December 2013 and June 2014.
The Guardian obtained a leaked report that says French soldiers raped and sodomized starving and homeless young boys who they were supposed to be protecting at a center for internally displaced people during intense fighting in the country.
Even after the exploitation was brought to the attention of senior U.N. officials, the U.N. never reported it to French authorities — nor did it do anything to immediately stop the abuse.
So far, the only person to be punished is a U.N. aid worker, Anders Kompass, who stepped outside official channels to alert French authorities about the sexual exploitation.
Kompass has since been accused of leaking the confidential report in breach of U.N. protocols and now faces dismissal.
We speak to Paula Donovan, co-director of AIDS-Free World, which has launched the Code Blue campaign. ...
Russian jets force US Navy destroyer away from territorial waters
Sputnik News [30/5/15]:
Russian Navy Su-24 jets forced US Navy destroyer USS Ross to go into neutral waters in the Black Sea, a source in Crimea's security forces told RIA Novosti.
The US Navy ship was noticed heading directly toward Russian waters after leaving the Romanian port of Costanta. The incident comes on the same day as fugitive Georgian ex-leader Mikheil Saakashvili's appointment as governor of Ukraine's Black Sea-bordering Odessa region.
"The ship's crew acted provocatively and aggressively, which caused alarm among operators of monitoring stations and Black Sea Fleet ships carrying out assignments in the Black Sea. Scrambled Su-24 attack jets demonstrated a readiness to forcibly suppress border violations and defend the country's interest," the source said.
According to the source, Russian Black Sea Navy ships are constantly monitoring Russian territorial waters and are ready to suppress any violations.
"It seems that the Americans did not forget the April 2014 incident when one Su-24 actually shut down all equipment on the new USS Donald Cook American destroyer with anti-missile system elements," the source added.
Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said that US missile ships near Russian borders pose a danger to strategic stability on Saturday, while at the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit in Singapore.
West knows Kiev impeding implementation of Minsk deal - Lavrov [Sputnik News - 30/5/15]:
In February Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine worked out a ceasefire deal later signed by Kiev and pro-independence fighters of the eastern Ukraine's Donbas region.
"I think that by now all the major Western states that follow the situation and possess facts, understand very clearly that, for a number of reasons, the Ukrainian authorities are the major obstacle on the way to the fulfillment of the Minsk agreements."
The 13-point Minsk Agreements comprised a set of measures to facilitate Ukrainian reconciliation. The provisions included a ceasefire that entered in force on February, 15, the withdrawal of heavy weaponry from the contact line in Donbas, an all-for-all-prisoner exchange and amendments to Ukrainian constitution, so as to decentralize powers.
On Thursday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that Kiev will only negotiate with Donbas after local elections, scheduled for the end of October under the Ukrainian law.
After 489 days on hunger strike in prison, Mohamed Soltan gives up Egyptian citizenship, deported to US
Hunger striking Mohamed Soltan, who was sentenced to life in prison in April, gave up his Egyptian nationality in order to be deported Saturday to the United States, where he holds dual nationality, a member of Soltan's defence team told Ahram Online.
Lawyer Halem Henish said the procedures were finalised last week after much delay because "Soltan absolutely rejected the idea of giving up his Egyptian nationality."
After the life in prison sentence in April, however, "Soltan's family and lawyers pressured him to give up his nationality as there was no other option," Henish added.
According to a newly passed law, foreign nationals can be deported to serve their sentences or be retried in their own country.
Soltan's family released a statement on Saturday saying that, "The US government has successfully secured Mohamed's deportation back home to the US, mercifully concluding this dark chapter for Mohamed and our family."
Soltan, who was on hunger strike for over 489 days, was charged with setting up an operations room at the pro-Mohamed Morsi Rabaa Al-Adawiya protest camp in August 2013. His family say he was not a Muslim Brotherhood member and had returned to Egypt from the US to care for his sick mother.
Boko Haram attack on Nigeria's Maiduguri city kills 11 [Daily Star – 30/5/15]
A suicide bomber has blown himself up inside a mosque in Nigeria's Maiduguri city killing at least 16 people, local sources said, after a night-time attack blamed on Boko Haram fighters on the outskirts of the city. ... [Al Jazeera - 31/5/15]
Iran rejects any inspection of military sites, interviews with nuclear scientists
Press TV [30/5/15]:
A senior Iranian nuclear negotiator has rejected calls for interviews with Iranian nuclear scientists as well as inspections of military sites.
Abbas Araqchi, who also serves as a deputy to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, made the remarks on Saturday as Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry resumed a fresh round of talks over Tehran’s nuclear program in the Swiss city of Geneva.
The Iranian official said the meeting between Zarif and Kerry is aimed at working out solutions to certain outstanding issues.
“There are issues, to which we are still looking for solutions, and we hope that today’s meeting would help their resolution,” Araqchi stated.
The Iranian deputy foreign minister added that the EU political director, Helga Schmid, is also present in Saturday’s talks between the senior Iranian and US diplomats.
Negotiators from Iran and the P5+1 group of countries – the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia plus Germany – are seeking to finalize a comprehensive deal on Tehran’s nuclear program. The two sides have set July 30 as the deadline for the final deal.
Araqchi also stated that among the issues of difference being discussed between Iran and the opposite side is how to implement the Additional Protocol to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s Safeguards Agreements.
The Additional Protocol requires member states to provide a detailed declaration of their nuclear activities and grants the IAEA broader rights of access to their nuclear sites.
In addition to Araqchi, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Majid Takht-e Ravanchi as well as Hamid Baeedinejad, who is the director general for political and international affairs at Iran’s Foreign Ministry, are in Geneva to accompany Zarif in the nuclear talks.
Filmmakers detained for "reenacting piracy scene" in Malacca Straits without proper papers
Jakarta Post [30/5/15]:
The Indonesian Navy handed over Friday evening to the police two Brits and nine Indonesians for reenacting a piracy scene in the Malacca Straits without proper papers.
The Brits are Neil Bonner, 31, and Becky Prosser, 30, and the locals are Zamira Lubis (their interpreter), Andi Kusnanto, Ahmadi, Marsel Karel, Indratno, Apson Kakahue, Samsul, Diki and Lamusa.
A naval patrol group from Batam Naval Base led by Capt. Rudi Amirudin arrested the team when they were filming around Belakang Padang Island in Batam, Riau Islands.
The arrest was made when they were waiting for a vessel that was set to be robbed for the reenactment on Thursday evening.
After initial questioning, the group was handed over to the Batam, Rempang, Galang (Barelang) City Police on Friday evening.
Prosser refused to give any statement to The Jakarta Post saying she was still waiting for her lawyer.
Rudi said the group did not have the proper documents for reenacting piracy, thus violating laws on immigration and broadcasting.
From the group, the navy confiscated four machetes, four masks, one daylight video camera, one evening video camera, one GoPro camera and one digital camera.
According to information gathered by the Post, the Brits are from a production house that plans to sell the finished video program to National Geographic.
More than 4,000 refugees rescued in 24 hours in Mediterranean
EURO News [30/5/15]:
In the space of just 24 hours more than 4,200 migrants have been rescued from boats in the Mediterranean.
It marks a new high in the numbers desperate to reach European shores this year.
The Italian coastguard said distress calls were released from 22 boats off the coast of Libya and Italy, and 17 bodies were recovered.
Ships from Italy, Germany, Ireland, Belgium and Britain took part in the rescue operation.
German navy rescues 880 refugees at sea near Libya [Times of Malta - 30/5/15]
Right wing love in: Fascists come together to mutally ignore the differences they don't really have
Australian corporations, political and media
establishment co-opt gay liberation movement (and use equal marriage for PR purposes) as the protected,
unaccountable Minister for Immigration plots arbitrary revocation of
Nine MSN [31/5/15]:
Labor's deputy leader Tanya Plibersek will join Tony Abbott's sister Christine Forster and other leaders at the rally in Sydney on Sunday, a day before the bill is introduced in parliament on Monday.
The words "two people" will replace "man and woman" under Labor's proposed change to marriage laws.
Gay and lesbian couples who have already married overseas will have their unions recognised under Australian law, with the repeal of section 88EA of the Marriage Act.
The full definition of marriage will be "the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life".
The law will still ban marriages between a person and an ancestor or descendant, as well as between two siblings.
Same-sex marriage debate in Australia heats up; corporations show full support in ad [IB Times – 31/5/15]
The major parties are beyond reform. If politicians truly disagreed with their party's policies, they would make a stand and leave. [Matthew "Fluffy" Guy backs same-sex marriage, gay adoption, more compassion for refugees [The Age – 31/5/15]
How to create a stateless slave class: Australia's protected and unaccountable Minister for Immigration looks to Myanmar as a template for the government's proposed arbitrary "dual nationality terrorism" law [Nine MSN - 31/5/15]:
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has played down a reported split within the government over plans to strip terror suspects of their Australian citizenship.
Dual nationals found fighting with terror groups will lose their Australian citizenship without facing court or being convicted of a crime under proposed laws.
But some cabinet ministers are understood to be reluctant to go further and extend the measure to Australians with sole citizenship, and the government has released a draft discussion paper on the issues for national debate.
"The position that came out of cabinet ... it was endorsed by the
party room, obviously there is overwhelming support in the party room for what
we are proposing," Mr Dutton told Sky News on Sunday.
The Star [31/5/15]:
For 18-year-old Mohamed Alam, balik kampung is a term lost on him.
“I would rather be arrested by the police and jailed here than to be killed in my homeland,” said the Rohingya.
He vowed never to go home.
“Back home, our identification cards were snatched from us. We were harassed constantly.
“We stayed at home everyday, we can’t go out like normal citizens,” he said when met at a construction site.
Mohamed Alam, who came from the Maungdaw district of the Rakhine state, has been here for eight months.
Despite having to work from 8.30am to 7pm and earning just RM30 a day, he felt contented.
“If we work overtime, the boss will pay us more,” he said.
He said the Rohingyas working at the site would pool their money to buy food and cook for all.
Meals are usually a large helping of rice with just some sauce or curry.
His temporary “home” looked messy with an untidy kitchen and a thin plywood as bed.
Knowing that not having a working permit here would land him behind bars, he said this worried him less compared to life in Myanmar.
Mohamed Alam said he would not have come to Malaysia if not for the uncertainties at home.
With a promise of better jobs in Malaysia, he said he was asked to pay RM3,000 to get onto a boat.
“But I was sent to Thailand instead and detained in a house. In the end, I paid RM8,000 to be released and brought into Malaysia,” he said.
A fellow villager, Sonso Alam, 16, is with him here.
Both of them found out that they were from the same village when they met at the construction site.
Sonso said he arrived on Thailand shores after an arduous 25-day journey from Myanmar. He was brought to a transit house where he was held for two months as he did not have RM8,000 to pay the agent.
“They kept me there until my family forked out the money. My parents had to sell their land for 1mil kyat (RM3,347) and went to live with my brother.
“They borrowed money from friends and neighbours but the total was only around RM6,000. The agent agreed to the sum and let me go,” he said, adding that he was beaten up with wooden sticks for not having enough money.
He was also instructed to cook for other people in the transit house.
After the payment was accepted, Sonso was led on a trail up a hill with several other Rohingyas for six days under tight supervision of the “agent” who led them into Malaysia.
There was a car waiting for them at the foot of the hill.
Sonso has been working at the construction site since then – for a year and five months.
... “This requires full assumption of responsibility by Myanmar towards all people on its territory. Granting of citizenship is the ultimate goal,” said the UN official.
Türk also stressed the urgent need for “a legal status for all habitual residents recognizing that Myanmar is their own country,” adding that “access to identity documentation and the removal of restrictions on basic freedoms is needed to normalize and stabilize lives.” ... [UN urges Myanmar to grant citizenship to Rohyingas - APA – 30/5/15]
NSW Premier tries to help the Australian government take the focus off its complicity in genocide
Nine MSN [31/5/15]:
Asylum seekers who bypass the city for the country will be settled in NSW regional towns as the state becomes the first to sign up to Australia's new Safe Haven Enterprise Visa scheme.
The five-year visas, introduced last year, will be an option for refugees prepared to work or study outside of Sydney, Newcastle or Wollongong.
NSW Premier Mike Baird said the scheme will provide labour to rural regions and offer security for asylum seekers.
"As Australia's economic powerhouse, NSW has an obligation to open its arms to those who are genuine refugees," Mr Baird said in a statement.
"I am proud that NSW is the first state to sign up in principle to the Safe Haven Enterprise Scheme (SHEV), which will give asylum seekers an alternative to the Temporary Protection Visa, with a five-year option to live and work in regional NSW."
There are 32,000 asylum seekers in Australia eligible for refugee assessment and waiting for final determination, most of whom are living in communities on bridging visa.
More than 8000 of these live in NSW, mostly in Sydney's west and south west.
Myanmar official says Rohingya refugees found by Myanmar navy to be forced back to Rakhine [Channel News Asia - 30/5/15]:
... "They will be taken to Rakhine State near Bangladesh tomorrow or the day after," Myo Win, a local official from Haigyi Island, which is close to where the navy towed the boat on Saturday, told AFP.
"As these people came from Bangladesh, we will take them back to Rakhine State because it's close (to the border)," he added, referring to the western state.
Myanmar state media reported that the 700-plus recently discovered migrants were originally on board three vessels that had tried to go to Thailand but turned back after the crackdown.
They were herded onto a single vessel after the Thai people smuggling team who ran the operation abandoned them. "About 50 people died on the way," the Myanmar News Agency reported.
Another state media publication, the Global New Light of Myanmar, reported Saturday that a Thai man who allegedly owned the first boat with 200 migrants on board had been arrested in Yangon.
"He was said to have contacted human trafficking gangs in Bangladesh and trafficked people into Thailand and Malaysia," the report said.
The report did not say what charges the man, who was apprehended Friday morning, would face.
Myanmar lands seized refugee boat on island [Reuters – 30/5/15]
31 May 2015