Jeremy Corbyn: I would not use nuclear weapons
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said he would not use Britain's nuclear weapons if he were prime minister.
Speaking to the BBC the morning after his first conference speech as leader, he repeated his position that Trident should not be renewed.
"We are not in the era of the Cold War any more; it finished a long time ago," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
Asked if he would ever press the nuclear button if he was prime minister, Mr Corbyn said: "No."
"I am opposed to the use of nuclear weapons. I am opposed to the holding of nuclear weapons. I want to see a nuclear-free world. I believe it is possible," he said.
The head of the German navy has come to Adelaide along with delegations from Danish and French shipbuilders as lobbying for major defence shipbuilding contracts continues. ... [Nine MSN - 30/9/15]
Plibersek: People coming to Australia by boat should not expect to be accepted into our refugee & humanitarian intake ...
"tweeted" by @ABCNews24 [30/9/15]
Geert Wilders’ Dutch anti-Muslim party forced to reveal US donor [Electronic Intifada – 29/9/15]
Abandoned migrant workers ask Phnom Penh Court for return of passports
Cambodia Daily [30/9/15]:
About 50 migrant workers who were part of a group that was abandoned at the Thai border by a recruitment agency last week gathered outside the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday to ask for the return of their passports and the fees they paid the company.
A total of 90 workers had given the Chin Vanda Manpower Company between $250 and $400 each to find them work in Thailand, but were abandoned at the border by a fixer. Upon returning to Phnom Penh, they discovered that the agency’s owner, Chin Vanda, had closed up shop and fled.
Kim Chenda, chief of border crossings at the the Interior Ministry’s anti-human trafficking department, said the municipal court charged the fixer over his role in the scam late last week.
“The court charged Seng Salen, a fixer for the company, with the act of selling, buying or exchanging a person for cross-border transfer,” he said.
“We will give the passports to the migrant workers whenever we get a letter from the court” to release the documents, he added.
Neak Heng, a coordinator for the National Union Alliance Chambers of Cambodia, said he went with the workers to the court at 2 p.m. to ask that officials speed up the process of returning their money and passports.
“They wanted the court to put pressure on the company owner to get a refund and they wanted the court to provide their passports and to find the company owner so that he can be punished according to the law,” he said.
Outside the courthouse, Sen Sopheas, 33, said that she and many other workers had taken out loans from microfinance institutions to pay the recruiter and needed their passports back in order to travel to Thailand to make enough money to pay back their loans.
“I need money to pay back the microfinance lender, which is why I need to find another job in Thailand,” she said.
After protesting for more than an hour, Mr. Heng said he was allowed to meet with deputy prosecutor Top Chhun Long, who is in charge of the case. “He said he is working on the case and that the fixer for the company is still in jail,” Mr. Heng said.
Mr. Chhun Long could not be reached for comment.
Children of Tamil political prisoners protest in Jaffna [Tamil Guardian - 30/9/15]
Being a prisoner entails daily indignities, some of which are unavoidable. But for sheer cruelty and pointless degradation, it is hard to top the shackling of women who are pregnant, in labor or caring for their newborns.
The practice has never made any sense. Apart from the fact that women giving birth or about to give birth pose little threat to anyone, handcuffs, waist chains and ankle manacles introduce very real health risks to the mother and her fetus. The American Medical Association has called the practice “barbaric.”
Yet it is perfectly legal in 28 states, and was common practice in New York until 2009, when Gov. David Paterson signed a law prohibiting shackling a woman before, during or immediately after labor and delivery.
The practice appears not to have disappeared in New York. A survey revealed that 23 of 27 incarcerated women who gave birth in the five years after the legislation passed were shackled illegally, according to the Correctional Association of New York, an inmate advocacy group. Many others were shackled during their pregnancies on medical visits or transfers between prisons, which can involve bus rides of up to 10 hours. ... [New York Times - 23/9/15]
JESSICA van VONDEREN: Imagine living in a country where you could be picked up off the street and sent to jail without going through a courtroom. Well you do. Early this year police in Brisbane took a young mother into custody at her local shopping centre and locked her up for seven months. Her so called crimes were unpaid fines, mostly for traffic offences, some dating back ten years. Accumulated during a time when she was homeless. She was released from jail only after the prisoners legal service took up her case. Now the legal fraternity in Queensland is calling for a permanent change to the system to make sure no one goes to jail without the approval of a judge or a magistrate. Karen Berkman explains.
KAREN BERKMAN: Susan gave birth to baby Fabian while she was in the Brisbane Women's Prison.
SUSAN BEBBINGTON: Because I had a really bad birth with Fabian in there and you never get over that. I was handcuffed during my ultrasound handcuffed during, when I was in labour. It was horrible. It was the most hardest birth I've had. And then being there on my own.
KAREN BERKMAN: Corrective Services denies that she was handcuffed, but Sisters Inside, who lobby for the rights of women in prison, say it's a battle they've been having for years.
DEBBIE KILROY: We have a pregnant woman who then gives birth in handcuffs. Now Corrective Services have been very clear to us that that policy exists no longer. But it obviously does exist.
KAREN BERKMAN: Paying rent, and with only limited education, she just scrapes by from week to week while the State has spent a fortune locking her up.
MATILDA ALEXANDER [Prisoners Legal Service]: Well taxpayers have in fact spent $61,600 incarcerating this woman. It hasn't solved her problems in relation to employment, it hasn't given her stable accommodation, it hasn't drawn her or her family out of poverty, in fact, it's made all those situations a lot worse.
... In Anaheim alone, where Disneyland markets a fantasy vision of a happy America, the police shot 37 people between 2003 and 2011, killing 21 of them, mostly people of color. As is usual across the United States, all of the police officers involved were cleared of criminal wrongdoing. ...
Chris Hedges, State terror against people of colour [Truthdig - 28/9/15]
Nine MSN [30/9/15]:
Dramatic footage of Lex Wotton, the man jailed for inciting the 2004 Palm Island riots, telling locals "things gunna burn" has been played in the Federal Court.
Mr Wotton on Wednesday watched his younger self address gathered islanders after a coroner's preliminary report into Mulrunji Doomadgee's death found the local man died in custody from falling over a step.
"I tell you people ... things gunna burn," a shirtless Mr Wotton told the crowd.
"I'm not going to accept it (the report) and I know a lot of you people don't."
The local police station and house of arresting officer Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley were razed in the rioting, which started after Mayor Erykah Kyle read out the findings in November 2004.
The video shows her telling the crowd Mulrunji suffered heavy internal bleeding and broken ribs.
"How did he break four ribs from one fall?" one local can be heard yelling.
Mr Wotton's brother-in-law, David Bulsey, called the death "cold-blooded murder" and questioned why Snr Sgt Hurley shouldn't "rot in jail" before the riots.
"They're inciting the riots, cops," Mr Bulsey, who addressed the crowd much longer than Mr Wotton, is seen saying in the video.
"They want it to happen."
Mr Wotton, who launched the class action against the State of Queensland and Police Commissioner on behalf of Palm Islanders, said he told police the community wanted them to leave after the station was destroyed.
He said he tried to organise transport for police to depart the island but locals were reluctant to get involved.
The Federal Court, based in Townsville, heard rioters threw rocks at a fire truck and tried to block its path as the police station burned.
The council passed a motion to send a letter asking government officials, including then-Premier Peter Beattie, to come to the island and address the community before the riots, Mr Wotton said.
The four-week trial to determine whether alleged police failures after Mulrunji's death were racially discriminatory continues.
The critical events of the Mulrunji case on Palm Island [Treaty Republic/NIT - 22/2/12]
Palestinians to raise flag at UN for first time [Maan - 30/9/15]
Israeli forces launched air strikes on the Gaza Strip early Wednesday after a rocket was fired from the besieged coastal enclave overnight, the Israeli army said.
The army said in a statement that Israel's war planes "targeted four terror sites" in Gaza, without providing further details.
The rocket fired from Gaza was intercepted by Israel's "Iron Dome" defense system, and caused no injuries or damage, the army said. ... [Maan - 30/9/15]
Signs of increasing suicides in devastated Gaza [Yahoo – 30/9/15]
... “We note with concern allegations that Israeli security forces may, in some cases, have used excessive force against Palestinian protesters in East Jerusalem in recent days,” he stated.
“We also call for restraint following the authorisation granted by Israeli authorities on Sunday on the use of live fire in life-threatening situations in East Jerusalem.”
Mr. Colville warned that any lethal use of force could exacerbate the cycle of violence and further inflame an already tense situation.
“We urge the Israeli authorities to ensure that security forces only employ force as a last resort and in full accordance with the standards laid out under international law for maintaining public order, including detailed guidelines governing the use of live ammunition.” ... [UN Media Release - 29/9/15]
Judge concerned University of Illinois may destroy Steven Salaita evidence [Electronic Intifada – 29/9/15]
... Just before he was about to start teaching in August 2014, the university reneged on Salaita’s employment as a tenured professor in the American Indian Studies program following a campaign attacking him for tweets critical of Israel’s assault on Gaza.
In his ruling today, the judge found that evidence in the university’s possession “will likely be essential to proving [Salaita’s] case” and any loss of evidence would “undoubtedly result in irreparable harm.” ...
The US has conducted several air strikes with the state goal of protecting coalition troops at the airport near the key northern city of Kunduz as Afghan forces continue to battle Taliban to retake it.
NATO special forces have also reached Kunduz to also bolster Afghan troops after the Taliban seized the strategic city, the military coalition said on Wednesday.
"Coalition special forces are on the ground in Kunduz advising their Afghan counterparts," a NATO spokesman said. ... [Al Jazeera - 30/9/15]
30 people killed, over 200 injured in Kunduz clashes [Khaama - 30/9/15]
Time for UN to shift its mission in Yemen [Counterpunch - 30/9/15]
Two years after the controversial appointment of Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s leading human rights offenders, to the UN human rights council, Wikileaks cables have revealed a “secret deal” suggesting that the British government was a key player behind Riyadh's nomination. ... [RT - 30/9/15]
Italian police cleared a camp of migrants and activists from the border of France and Italy on Wednesday with the occupants moving to rocks on the shoreline to avoid arrest, an Agence France Presse journalist said. ... [Naharnet - 30/9/15]
UNHCR seeking urgent access to thousands fleeing Bangui, CAR violence [Media Release - 29/9/15]
Apple removes an app that tracks US military drone strikes from its store [Boing Boing - 29/9/15]
The U.S. state of Georgia executed its only woman on death row on Wednesday, marking the first time in 70 years the state has carried out a death sentence on a woman, a prison official said.
Kelly Gissendaner, 47, died by lethal injection at 12:21 a.m. EDT at Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, a prison spokeswoman said. ... [Reuters - 30/9/15]
United States "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria
US Department of Defense [29/9/15]:
Yesterday, U.S. and coalition military forces 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 strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Airstrikes in Syria
Remotely piloted and fighter aircraft conducted five airstrikes in Syria:
-- Near Abu Kamal, two airstrikes destroyed a crude oil collection point.
-- Near Dayr Az Zawr, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Mar’a, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed five ISIL rockets, an ISIL vehicle, and an ISIL mortar system.
Airstrikes in Iraq
Bomber, fighter, attack, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 12 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the government of Iraq:
-- Near Asad, an airstrike struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL buildings.
-- Near Huwayjah, three airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed nine ISIL fighting positions, three ISIL bunkers, and five ISIL tunnels.
-- Near Beiji, two airstrikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL buildings and an ISIL weapons cache.
-- Near Habbaniyah, an airstrike destroyed three ISIL weapons caches and two rocket positions.
-- Near Kirkuk, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Kisik, an airstrike suppressed an ISIL mortar position.
-- Near Ramadi, two airstrikes destroyed an ISIL tunnel and two ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Sinjar, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL fighting position.
Two civilians were injured as terrorists fired rockets and mortars on residential neighborhoods in Damascus city on Tuesday.
A source at the Police Command told SANA that three shells fell in Bab Touma neighborhood, injuring two civilians and causing material damage to a number of cars.
A rocket shell also landed in Mazzeh 86 neighborhood, causing material damage to a house, but no civilian casualties were reported. ... [SANA - 29/9/15]
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [29/9/15]:
Nineveh: 11 civilians were killed and 31 wounded as the alliance's planes shelled Nabi Sheeth neighbourhood in Mosul .........
Anbar: 10 raids have been conducted by the air force of international alliance for the third day targeting Albu etha area north of Ramadi ,material losses resulted..............
Baghdad: " An employee in the ministry of finance was killed and another wounded when unknown armed men attacked government's car at Qanat Street east of Baghdad", a security source reported......................
The Libyan coastguard said it rescued 346 migrants on Tuesday, almost 100 of them women and children, crammed onto rubber boats and stranded off the country's coast.
Three boats were intercepted around 10 nautical miles off Garabulli and Ghot el-Rommane, east of Tripoli, said coastguard officer Mohamad Jannane, who took part in the operation.
He said the migrants, who had been trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, were shuttled in a three-hour operation to a naval base in Tripoli before being transferred to reception centres. ... [Yahoo - 29/9/15]
Go back to where you came from: Turkey's Prime Minister changes course on refugees [KSL.com - 28/9/15]:
… Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is urging the international community to step up efforts to address the refugee crisis which has uprooted thousands from their homes and caused them to risk their lives in a flight to safety in Europe.
Speaking with journalists at the U.N. on Monday, Davutoglu said the world is not doing enough to tackle waves of refugees and migrants fleeing upheaval in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
Of the 1.9 million Syrians who have fled to Turkey, only about 300,000 are in refugee camps, while the vast majority has taken up life in towns and cities along the border.
Turkey this year began stopping cargo ships from taking Syrians and others to Italy. The Turkish action drove those migrants to try the shorter but dangerous Aegean Sea crossing to Greece.
He said the only way to prevent new waves of refugees is to stop the violence of the Syrian regime and the Islamic State group and with creation of safe areas for Syrians within their country.
Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Monday ruled out creating a processing centre for the thousands of mostly Syrian migrants trying to enter Europe from Turkish territory, calling instead for them to be hosted in "safe zones" inside Syria.
Responding to repeated calls by EU members for migrants' asylum claims to be handled in the countries from which they set sail for Europe, Davutoglu told Hurriyet newspaper: "We have told Europe that there will be no reception centre in Turkey."
EU leaders last week agreed to boost aid for Turkey and other countries neighbouring Syria, which have taken in the bulk of the over four million people fleeing the Syrian civil war and Islamic State extremists.
They also vowed to strengthen the bloc's outer frontiers and create controversial centres in frontline states like Greece and Italy to sort refugees from economic migrants more quickly.
Davutoglu said such centres were "unacceptable" and "inhumane" and repeated Turkey's call for the formation of a safe zone inside Syria stretching from Azaz to Jarablus in the north. ... [Ahram - 28/9/15]
ANZ to open first Myanmar branch on October 2
Rohingya kids in the rain during the rainy season in Sittwe's Muslim Quarter, now effectively a sealed ghetto.
Image: @andreapitzer [16/7/15]
ANZ reported half-year cash profits of $3.68 billion last week, a record for the Australian bank. Much of that growth has come in Asia, a market that the bank has pursued aggressively, generating extraordinary wealth for its investors.
But ANZ’s “super regional strategy” has come at an extraordinary human cost in Cambodia. Between 2011 and 2014, the bank lent tens of millions of dollars to finance a controversial sugar company. Relative to the bank’s enormous profits, the loan was small. Yet it contributed to outsized misery for thousands of poor villagers. ... [Cambodia Daily - 13/5/15]
Police have wrapped up their five-month investigation into Rohingya migrant trafficking with warrants issued for the arrest of 232 suspects involved in the human trade and money laundering. ... [Bangkok Post - 30/9/15]
Where is the UNHCR? Rohingya refugees flee Indonesian camps following rapes and beatings [New York Times - 29/9/15]
... Goledzinowski [Australia’s ambassador for people smuggling issues, Andrew Goledzinowski] said resettlement was raised during the Bangkok meeting on 29 May.
“All who spoke on resettlement said that this was not a durable solution for the Rohingya problem and that it would constitute a pull factor,” he told a Senate estimates committee on Wednesday. “The UNHCR was the most articulate on this point.”
He engaged in bilateral meetings with representatives from some of the other 16 countries in attendance, and is adamant that at least one will seek further briefings on adopting Australia’s key asylum seeker measures.
“We also were able to talk a little bit about our own experiences during operation sovereign borders where we’ve been very successful in disrupting people trafficking and smuggling networks,” Goledzinowski said.
... Anne Richard, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for population, migration and refugees, said resettling all Rohingya refugees in the United States would entice others to leave their homeland.
"The answer to the issue is peace and stability and citizenship for the Rohingyas in Rakhine state, and that is the solution," she said at the end of a three-day visit to Malaysia. ...
The United States is responsible for everything that happens to every single one of these people ---> Myanmar lands 700 refugees after keeping them in a warehouse - 1,000s still at sea [Yahoo - 3/6/15]:
Myanmar brought ashore more than 700 "boat people" it had kept at sea for days aboard a seized vessel, as the United States on Wednesday called on the country to help solve a migrant crisis by recognizing the rights of its Muslim Rohingya minority.
U.S. President Barack Obama has sought to make Myanmar's transition to democracy a legacy of his presidency, and Washington is stepping up pressure on the Southeast Asian nation to tackle what it sees as the root causes of an exodus of migrants across the Bay of Bengal that the region has struggled to cope with.
The 727 migrants were found drifting in the Andaman Sea on Friday in an overloaded fishing boat that was taking on water. Myanmar's navy brought the vessel to the coast of western Rakhine state, where they disembarked on Wednesday.
Two migrants who came ashore told Reuters that 200-300 people on the boat were Rohingya, and the remainder Bangladeshis. Myanmar authorities have said they believe most are Bangladeshis.
Authorities separated Bangladeshis from Rohingya, before taking the Bangladeshis away in buses, a Reuters witness said.
The Rohingya were kept inside a warehouse at the landing point, where they were watched over by dozens of police, the witness said. It was unclear if the group was moved later, as journalists were asked to leave the site.
No aid personnel had access to the site at that point, the Reuters witness said. The U.S. called on Myanmar authorities to allow aid agencies access to the migrants.
"We are strongly urging authorities to ensure the full protection and well-being of the migrants and to allow for immediate humanitarian access and assistance, including urgent medical care and adequate accommodation," a U.S. embassy spokesman said.
Women and children from the boat were taken to the same location where another 200 migrants, who came ashore on another boat in May, are being held, Myanmar's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Wednesday.
The rest were taken to near the border with Bangladesh, the statement said.
Hadi Ahmadi - And the Myth of the 'People Smugglers' Business Model' :
The case of Hadi Ahmadi is one of the highest profile prosecutions of people smuggling in Australia.
Convicted in August 2010 for bringing over 500 asylum seekers to Australia, Mr Ahmadi’s case is one of only a small number of prosecutions involving an organiser of migrant smuggling ventures — unlike the hundreds of cases before Australian courts which involve Indonesian captains and crew working on migrant smuggling vessels.
This article explores the case of Mr Ahmadi to shed light into the so-called ‘people smugglers’ business model’, which successive Australian Governments from both sides of politics are determined to ‘crush’.
The article examines the facts of Mr Ahmadi’s offending, the criminal proceedings against him, and draws comparison to other organiser cases and to the general patterns of people smuggling prosecutions in Australia.
Findings of this research cast doubt over the Government’s rhetoric and its strategies to prevent and suppress migrant smuggling.
An interesting Masters Thesis tracing the roots of the Australian political and media establishment's "stop the boats" lies:
The Political Origins and Development of Australia’s People Smuggling Legislation: Evil Smugglers or Extreme Rhetoric? Jack H Smit - Edith Cowan University Social Justice Research Centre School of Psychology and Social Science 
Which country on this map of South East Asia is supposedly a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention?
Australia's protected and unaccountable Foreign Minister Julie Bishop tells media in New York: We stopped the boats!
… Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told media in New York she had spoken to Mr Crepeau [United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants] and explained why the Coalition "took the stand that we did" on border protection controls.
"When the Government has control of our borders and control of our immigration processes, then we're in a position to offer 12,000 additional permanent places to people who are displaced from the Syrian conflict," she said.
"And so those kind of issues are put in context and I took the opportunity to do just that."
If elected to the council, Ms Bishop said Australia would use the position to push on issues such as gender equality.
UN official visit to Australia cancelled due to risk of reprisals [Human Rights Law Centre Media Release - 26/9/15]
It's a pretty simple request, but Australia doesn't have a properly functioning media ---> ... If you haven’t decided to resettle us in Australia because of any reason, we please expect to resettle us in countries that participate in the UNHCR resettlement program and UNHCR confirm them. ... Refugees incarcerated on Manus Island plead with the Australian government to be handed to the UN [via Jeanie Walker - 17/9/15]
... "TO AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT. STOP TORTURING US. IF YOU THINK WE DON'T DESERVE AUS. THEN HAND OVER ALL OF US TO THE UN. WE DON'T WANT YOUR HELP!" ... [CNN - 21/1/15]
Senator Hanson-Young asks Attorney-General George Brandis about the 8,000 stranded refugees in the Straits of Malacca.
His answer: "Thanks to this government, it isn't Australia's problem anymore". [Senate - May 2015]
... Destitute migrants escaping countries like Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq in a bid to reach Europe via land and sea have been well-documented by the mainstream media over the past couple of months.
However, an equally bigger humanitarian emergency is about to erupt – again – in the Southeast Asia and the international community remains as negligent as ever about it.
The United Nations has issued a warning over an expected surge of mostly Rohingya and Bangladeshi refugees heading out into the Andaman Sea in September.
The last time these asylum-seekers, mainly hailing from Myanmar, made headlines was in May when police in Thailand discovered dozens of graves of suspected Rohingya migrants in an abandoned jungle camp.
Subsequently, thousands of refugees were discovered stranded in Southeast Asian waters; they were initially denied help from neighboring nations, including Indonesia and Malaysia.
The refusal to rescue these "boat people" – as they were collectively dubbed by international media – led to protests by human rights activists. After much outrage, several countries, including Japan, finally offered asylum.
The flow of boats eventually subsided but now the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has warned the crisis will resume before the end of the monsoon season in the region.
“We expect this to resume again in about a month,” said UNCHR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming.
“There are appalling conditions on these boats and a bit of ping pong, and real concerns about access to territory.”
Thousands of Rohingya have tried to escape atrocities by Buddhist extremists in Myanmar by risking their lives on dilapidated vessels. Since the conditions in the country remain the same, members of the persecuted minority will yet again attempt to flee violence.
According to the agency, around 31,000 Rohingyas and Bangladeshis left from the Bay of Bangal on boats since the beginning of the year; that’s almost 34 percent more people from the same period in 2014.
A total of 94,000 people are believed to have embarked on similar perilous journeys since 2014.
At least 1,100 more have reportedly drowned in the same time period.
The migrant crisis in Europe is undoubtedly one of the biggest humanitarian challenges of this decade.
As world leaders continue to work on a possible solution to the problem, it’s important that they do not leave out the refugees fleeing Myanmar and Bangladesh since they too deserve to be rescued and saved.
... Morally, it is Australia’s neighbours to whom it owes its first duty of assistance. ... Catherine Renshaw [The Conversation – 9/9/15]
UNHCR urges region to establish search and rescue effort before next expected wave of refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh [Media Release - 28/8/15]
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)
I am deeply concerned about Australia's treatment of refugees on Nauru and Manus island.
It's time we put a stop to imprisoning refugees just because they are seeking refuge from horrendous situations in their own countries.
I have heard it said that these places are the Guantanamo Bay of Australia - THIS SHOULD NOT BE. How could we treat people so inhumanely!!!!
This is about women and children but it's also about ALL people.
Open letter to the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader signed by over 19,000 Australian women
... They are taken from their beds in underpants, pyjamas – one man said he made the entire trip in one shoe. They are handled with extreme force and any resistance is met with violence and verbal abuse. One very small and young detainee was shoved to the floor and his head was hit. He still had the scar on the side of his face. ... [Detention, Australian style - Christmas Island September, 2015 via Julian Burnside - 29/9/15]
Is this why the Australian media isn't following up on the death threats to refugees on Nauru?:
US Ambassador Cefkin with the Republic of Nauru media team [17/8/15]
@xBorderOps: It's @LyallMercer, Nauru PR, Hillsong PR and all round creep
LNP and Hillsong PR man (now Nauru government spin doctor ) Lyall Mercer advocates transparency. [Federal and Queensland Governments must communicate better in 2014 - Mercer PR Media Release - 11/1/14]:
... He believes Australians want to know what the Federal Government is doing to manage asylum seekers.
“It’s reasonable that they stop the endless media obsession of the former Rudd and Gillard Governments, but refusing to bring the people of Australia into their trust is foolish. The public should never be taken for granted.”
“Ironically, I believe greater communication and transparency would result in more – not less - support for the Government’s policies and strategies.” ...
No UNHCR. No journalists. No lawyers. No justice.
Australia's getting away with this.
Australia did this. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton is responsible. ----> This is a jail cell some of the female refugees were imprisoned for 30 hours and given only one bottle of water to share. ... [Refugees on Nauru - 5/3/15]
Refugees settled on Nauru woke on Monday to find an ominous letter, signed “Youth of Republic of Nauru”, had been delivered overnight. Copies had been left at shops, homes, workplaces employing refugees… [Manifesto for a pogrom: hostility to exiled refugees grows on Nauru - The Conversation - 20/11/14]
Each time an asylum seeker complains about their human rights or about the conditions in the centre, they are offered an appointment with IOM to discuss voluntary return. Submission 94, Nauru Senate Inquiry
Instructing Australians how to help a cohort of handpicked non-muslim Syrian refugees denies the human instinct to help ALL refugees.
Fluffy "how you can offer a home" articles validate the Australian government's cruel PR stunt that is deliberately trying to invisibilise and dehumanise boat refugees.
The truth is that Australians are being denied the right to render assistance to refugees - something Europeans take for granted ----> ... “I have just been floating around in the water and then they found me and brought me here.” ... [VIDEO - UNHCR - 22/9/15]
While the political and media establishment view refugees as the enemy - most Australians want to help them - and are being prevented from doing so.
A ramshackle fishing boat carrying 66 suspected asylum seekers from Sri Lanka has arrived in Australia - carrying passengers holding a sign saying "We want to go to New Zealand".
The overcrowded wooden fishing vessel carrying men, women and children was spotted off the coast of Geraldton, about 400km north of Perth in Western Australia. ... [NZ Herald - 10/4/13]
Jason Smith, Everything Geraldton [9/4/13]:
"Quick, get down to the foreshore! There's an asylum seeker boat here."
I started to jog down from the centre of town after a friend dropped her sandwich in disbelief as to what she was seeing, then quickly rang whoever she knew might be near by.
The boat had gotten within a few metres of the shore, as though they were heading for a casual coffee from Skeetas, before a customs boat encircled them and guided them back out a little.
Still only a stones throw from the shore, we took some photos and I quickly uploaded them to Everything Geraldton, Facebook and Twitter.
Within moments the story went viral as of course it would. Comments were rather mixed. Some people were simply gob smacked, others upset that a boat could make it this close to the shore.
But for the most part, people were compassionate and understanding... that some people had travelled a long way under harsh conditions risking their lives.
They must have been leaving something not very pleasant to risk such a journey and the least we could do is treat them like fellow human beings.
People were asking how they could provide assistance, and who to talk to offer any help they could. The desire of Geraldton locals to be hospitable to these people was touching.
The boat was towed into the port. Onlookers started to flock down to the port and at one point the car park was gridlocked. No one hung around for a long time, as the idea of being a gawker didn't sit too well with anyone. But it was such a strange thing to have happen in our city, that people really wanted to see it for themselves.
There were indeed a lot of people on board for the size of vessel it was, and the boat did not look in great condition. Children and adults sat atop the roof of the boat, probably greatly relieved to see land at long last after their massive journey.
Eventually the people were able to disembark, and they will now likely start the long journey of applying for asylum in our country.
The media from Perth began to arrive. Helicopters and hire cars and cameras everywhere. Geraldton began to "trend" on twitter, and Politicians from all camps were working out what to say to respond to the inevitable onslaught of media enquiry, posturing in order to capitalise on the situation.
The fact that a boat had made it all the way to the mainland was a rarity. The fact that it had made it as far south as Geraldton was incredible.
Others will claim to speak for the people of Geraldton, putting words in our mouths telling the world we now feel unsafe. But standing there on the beach with a boat full of strangers just a few metres away did not feel dangerous. It certainly felt a lot safer than walking through many Geraldton locations at night.
As details emerged, it became believed that the people were from Sri Lanka, were aiming for New Zealand, were between 66 and 72 in number and had been at sea 44 odd days.
To precis Turnbull: "We stopped the boats." ----> ... In no small part because we have been successful in securing our borders, we can play our part in helping resettle an additional 12,000 refugees from Syria and Iraq. ... [House of Representatives Hansard - 15/9/15]
Immigration head launches legal bid to keep boat turnback document secret [Guardian - 2/9/15]
The lengths to which the Australian immigration department has gone to facilitate the repatriation of traumatised Syrian asylum seekers detained in offshore detention centres has been extensively revealed in departmental emails obtained under freedom of information laws. ... [Guardian - 19/8/14]
Australia stopped accepting UNHCR refugees in October 2014.
Crowds gather in Papua to protest alleged police shooting
Crowds have reportedly gathered in the Papuan town of Timika to protest the police shooting of two high school students.
An Australia-based West Papuan campaigner, Paula Makabory, says the 17-year-olds were shot, one of them fatally, near a market in Timika on Monday when they were pursued by Indonesian police.
She says the police were pursuing them because their fathers are said to be members of the rebel organisation, the Free West Papua movement, the OPM.
Ms Makabory says the Papua police chief, General Paulus Waterpauw, has reportedly apologised to the victim's family, but that's been rejected because similar incidents have gone without prosecution.
She says crowds gathered in the town last night to protest the killing.
"I have heard that a house has been burned, but I haven't got detail yet. I have heard that people are now demonstrating against this shooting by the Indonesian police and then the family are gathering to mourn together in the KNPB office."
Paula Makabory says Monday's shooting is the latest in a string of incidents of Indonesian security forces shooting Papuan youth.
Skotchio villagers in West Sepik have accused the governments of Papua New Guinea and Indonesia of using them to rescue two hostages from Indonesian rebels.
Village councillor Manase Jordon has called for an independent inquiry into the operation.
“We were accused of harbouring the rebels and were harassed. These rebels are from Wamena and not from the areas along the border,” he said.
“This is a serious breach of international human rights. We did the dirty and risky job and were never acknowledged by both governments.
“The PNG soldiers forced us at gun point to go into the jungle and negotiate with the rebels for the hostages’ release. We risked our lives to go in and negotiate with the OPM rebel commander (Jerry Pakawak).”
However, West Sepik deputy provincial administrator Conrad Tilau said they were harbouring the rebels and should be responsible for negotiating the hostages’ release.
“Manase is also the face of the Government at the ward level and he should not be asking for compensation,” he said.
“He is now on government payroll to provide leadership at his ward.” Office of Security and Coordination director-general Ian Jinja said: “I was with him for three days and no villagers were used as such (human shields).”
Sudirman, 18, and Badar, 30, were kidnapped on September 10 in the Skofro hamlet in Kerom regency (district) of Papua province, Indonesia.
They were brought across the border to PNG territory and held in a remote area in Skotchio. [The National - 30/9/15]
Inside Rebekah Brooks' Sun: Anger, Humiliation and F-Words
Rebekah Brooks was a “nightmare” newspaper editor who would unleash foul-mouthed volleys at her executives, the Sun’s news chief told a court today.
Chris Pharo, Assistant Editor (News), told the Old Bailey that the Sun was a harsh workplace where complaints were not tolerated.
If he had suggested ending the payments system that led to £9,000 being paid to a police officer he “would have been fired,” he told the court.
Painting an ugly picture of working for Mrs Brooks, Mr Pharo said: “She could occasionally be fine but more often than not she was nothing more than a nightmare.”
Entering the witness box for the first time, he recalled: “You would frequently receive anything up to 20 abusive emails starting at about 7.30am, when she had the papers delivered to her home.
He went on: "Occasionally you had an explosion in conference and she could sulk for days over a missed story."
Mr Pharo, 46, remembered the day when he frankly admitted to conference in the paper’s Wapping HQ that his news list (a list of proposed stories for the next day’s paper) was "terrible.”
"She got all of the pieces of paper, screwed them into a ball and threw them at my face,” he told the jury, adding that Mrs Brooks shouted: “If you can't put together a fucking news list in the next hour you can fuck off.”
She then stormed out of the glass-walled conference room, Mr Pharo said.
"She slammed the door so hard she broke the door handle."
He said that Mrs Brooks then emailed Sun staff asking: "Have any of you got a story because my idiot news editor can't find any."
Man accused of murder of Warriena Wright to face Gold Coast court
The man accused of the murder of New Zealand tourist Warriena Wright will face a Gold Coast court today.
29-year-old Gable Tostee was charged with murder after Ms Wright fell to her death from his Surfers Paradise apartment in August, 2014.
The pair had met through the dating app Tinder earlier in the night and were heard arguing prior to the young woman’s legs been seen dangling from the balcony.
Tostee faces several charges including one count of murder.
He is currently on bail and is set to appear in Southport Magistrates Court for a committal hearing to determine if there’s enough evidence for him to stand trial in the Supreme Court.
A former fly-in fly-out worker convicted of killing a man who had a threesome with his girlfriend will face a sentencing hearing. ... [West Australian - 30/9/15]
Police officer suspended, South Eastern Region
QPS Media [30/9/15]:
A Constable from South Eastern Region has been suspended from official duty with the Queensland Police Service.
It is alleged the 32-year-old male officer victimised another officer in the workplace.
The allegations are now under investigation.
In keeping with our commitment to high standards of behaviour, transparency and accountability, we have undertaken to inform the public when an officer faces allegations of serious misconduct.
This does not mean that any allegation against the officer has been substantiated.
Intercepted phone calls between alleged Syria recruiter and accused played in Victorian Supreme Court
The Age [29/9/15]:
Key intercepted phone calls between a man accused of preparing to leave Australia to fight in war-torn Syria and his alleged recruiter have been played to a Victorian Supreme Court jury.
Crown prosecutor Lesley Taylor, QC, claimed the phone calls proved Amin Mohamed, 25, was getting ready to fly to Turkey before heading into Syria to fight against the Assad regime.
Mr Mohamed, a New Zealand citizen originally from Somalia who was living in Melbourne's Sunshine West, has pleaded not guilty to three charges of preparing to enter a foreign state to engage in hostile activities.
When Mr Mohamed was stopped at Brisbane international airport on September 22, 2013, after his New Zealand passport had been cancelled, he claimed he was on his way to Denmark via Turkey to meet his fiancee whom he had never met.
In the September 2013 phone calls between Mr Mohamed and alleged recruiter Hamdi Alqudsi played to the jury on Tuesday, Mr Alqudsi asked, "You got the boys ready?".
Mr Mohamed replied: "The three doctors are ready for surgery, myself and the other two doctors are back home in New Zealand. My pay day is Monday so I can buy my surgical equipment, sell my car, definitely in one week I will be ready."
Ms Taylor said the two men would speak in code as they suspected their phones were being tapped.
The prosecutor had earlier given the jury a brief background on the civil war in Syria, detailing how widespread protests and demonstrations against government policies in Syria had turned into an insurrection calling for the downfall of the Assad government in 2011.
"The situation rapidly developed into an armed insurgency supported by some other states and with an increasingly Islamist tone to the opposition forces," Ms Taylor said.
"Armed groups opposed to the government operating in Syria include the Free Syrian Army, Jabhat al-Nusra, sometimes referred to as JAN or JN, and Islamic State of Iraq and Sham or ISIS.
"Thousands of citizens of other states have travelled to Syria to fight in hostilities there, and the vast majority of these foreign fighters have joined either JN ... or ISIS."
Ms Taylor said Mr Mohamed, a customer services officer at Couriers Please in Port Melbourne, and other alleged would-be fighters "behaved in a manner designed to ensure their plans were not detected by authorities who may have been listening to their conversations or observing their travel arrangements".
The prosecutor claimed Mr Mohamed had been warned there was no turning back and he was planning to leave Australia and never return, to die in battle.
"He resigned from his employment about a fortnight after he had received a promotion, he sold his car, and the overseas ticket (to Istanbul) was one way," she said.
Defence barrister Julian McMahon urged the jury not to prejudge Mr Mohamed who denied ever intending to fight in Syria.
The trial, before Justice Lex Lasry, continues.
A man who stabbed a police officer and was repeatedly tasered during a violent outburst at a Gold Coast petrol station has had his sentence slashed by two years.
Michael Harley Lappan, 33, is eligible for parole from Tuesday, after the Court of Appeal found his original five-year sentence was "manifestly excessive" because of a judge's miscalculation.
Lappan was charged with three counts of assaulting police after causing a disturbance and resisting arrest at a 7-Eleven at Palm Beach on February 25 last year.
He was tasered repeatedly and, after pulling wires from the taser, produced a short knife.
During a struggle on the ground, he stabbed one police officer in the right buttock and cut another officer on the wrist and bit his hand.
It wasn't until the wounded officer produced his gun that Lappan dropped the knife, although he had to be subdued with capsicum spray.
When he was handcuffed he told police: "I have HIV ... you've all got it now."
The Court of Appeal found the sentencing judge failed to properly consider Lappan's 14 months in pre-sentence custody when sentencing him in April this year.
His sentence was "manifestly excessive" because it effectively amounted to six years and two months' prison, the ruling said. [Yahoo - 29/9/15]
Man savaged by police dog during resource wasting, class and race based pursuit on the Gold Coast bailed [Yahoo - 29/9/15]:
A man who led Gold Coast police on a dramatic chase has been granted bail on the condition he stays away from drugs.
Police used dogs to track Dylan James Hines, 24, at Molendinar last month after he fled when officers allegedly found ammunition and up to 1.5kg of cannabis in a car.
Hines was granted bail in the Brisbane Supreme Court on Tuesday subject to conditions, including that he submit to weekly drug testing.
He was allegedly found with cannabis, ammunition, a firearm silencer and unprescribed anti-depressants when Gold Coast police stopped his car on August 22.
Hines fled, but was tracked by the police dog squad and was bitten on the neck.
Tuesday's bail hearing was told Hines had a drug problem and abused cannabis and methamphetamine.
When he was arrested he was on bail for charges of unlawful dealing with shop goods and unlicensed driving.
Supreme Court Justice Jean Dalton said although Hines was facing serious charges, she agreed with the Crown that the risk of him reoffending could be addressed by a strict drug testing regime.
She ordered him to undergo weekly urine tests while his case goes through court.
Convicted hit-and-run driver denied lung transplant before death [Canberra Times - 29/9/15]
Detectives are trying to piece together the moments leading up to a fatal crash on a motorway south of Wollongong last week, in which a teenager left a moving car at high speed before being struck by a truck and killed.
A number of vehicles tried to swerve to avoid the 19-year-old woman, from Sydney's south-west, who tumbled out of the passenger's seat door and onto the north-bound lanes of the M1 Motorway at Dapto during peak hour on Friday. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 29/9/15]
Fatal traffic crash, Rollingstone
QPS Media [30/9/15]:
A teenage boy has died after a car crashed on the Bruce Highway at around 5am near Sleeper Log Creek.
Initial information suggests that the car crashed into a horse carcass that was on the road. The boy was pronounced deceased at the scene.
A woman has sustained critical injuries and was transported to Townsville Hospital.
Another teenage boy has suffered non-life threatening injuries, and was also conveyed to hospital.
The Highway is currently closed, and motorists are advised to take alternative routes.
The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating the circumstances surrounding the crash. There is no further information available at this time.
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.
Attempted armed robbery charges, Maryborough [QPS Media - 30/9/15]
Woman arrested in Darwin after allegedly concealing ice in chocolate wrappers on flight from Sydney [ABC - 29/9/15]
Male arrested for theft from motor vehicles – Reedy Creek [QPS Media - 29/9/15]
A 16-year-old boy had to be winched to safety after plunging more than 40m down a cliff face at Mulgoa, outside Sydney this afternoon. ... [Nine MSN - 29/9/15]
Man falls 40m down Nepean Gorge [Nine MSN - 29/9/15]
Six-year-old boy injured in 60-metre fall at Mount Ainslie in Canberra's north [ABC - 29/9/15]
Thanks for numbering
every box and putting the LNP last!
Brisbane Times [30/9/15]:
The Queensland government is poised to backflip on an election promise to scrap "reforms" that would allow resource companies to extract large amounts of groundwater for their operations.
A leaked document shows the government will no longer repeal the law introduced by the Newman government, which deregulated the use of groundwater for the mining industry, the ABC reports.
Critics fear the controversial legislation could affect regional town water supplies, however the leaked document suggests the government will keep key aspects of the laws so as to implement "a more consistent framework for underground water rights and obligations".
WA Today [29/9/15]:
The analyst at the centre of a global commodity selloff is as surprised as anyone at the savagery of the mining stock slump that followed the publication of his research note on commodity company Glencore.
Tuesday's market turmoil in Australia, chiefly amongst mining and energy stocks, was sparked by an analyst note from Investec Securities in London on Monday.
It argued Glencore's equity value could be wiped out if metal prices remain at current levels.
Within hours 30 per cent was slashed from the value of the Swiss-based miner in London trading. In early London trading on Tuesday, Glencore pared back a portion of those losses with its shares up 8 per cent.
... Rockhampton man Lex Partridge wants greater flexibility in rental contracts for workers who have lost their jobs.
He moved out west to capitalise on the mining boom and signed a six-month lease, but was made redundant after just a few months.
"It was booming, everything was good, and then all of a sudden it just went real quiet and a lot of people lost their jobs ... and a lot of people couldn't pay for things."
He asked his real estate agent to be released from his contract, but was refused.
"I was looking for jobs and no-one was hiring," he said.
"I went down there and told them I couldn't afford to pay it and handed them the keys and signed some paperwork ... and they said I'd have to keep paying until the end of the lease."
His mother Leanne Partridge said Lex was only given reprieve after she started an online petition.
She said many people living in mining communities were suffering similar problems. ... [ABC - 29/9/15]
Mining giant Rio Tinto has agreed to sell its 40 per cent stake in the Bengalla coal mine in NSW to New Hope Corporation for $865 million. ... [Yahoo - 30/9/15]
Police to search Bendigo parkland for missing mother, after three men charged with murder [ABC - 30/9/15]
Two of the three men charged with the murder of missing mother-of-two Simone Quinlan have requested not to appear in court. ... [The Age - 29/9/15]
30 September 2015