United States continues bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 30/9/16]
Refugees traveling to Greece via Aegean double in September [Anadolu Agency - 30/9/166]
Five people were killed and 22 others went missing after a boat carrying 31 refugees capsized in the Aegean Sea, a security source said Thursday.
The boat had set sail from Bodrum town in western Turkey's Mugla province before it capsized off Karaada island about four miles away, the source said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media. ... [Daily Sabah - 30/9/16]
Three Georgian nationals - including a pregnant woman - arrested in Turkey for helping people seek asylum in Greece [Daily Sabah - 28/9/16]
Day 195 refugee protests, Nauru
Never give up
Protest in the rain
Image: @elahe_zivardar [30/9/16]
Listening Eyes at Manus and Nauru
Review underway after DIBP transfer wrong man from Maribyrnong concentration camp to Christmas Island concentration camp [ABC - 30/9/16]
Refugee appears in Sydney court on people smuggling charge after allegedly helping others seek asylum in Australia [Nine MSN - 29/9/16]:
An Iranian man accused of trying to smuggle 73 people into Australia has appeared in a Sydney court after being extradited from Indonesia.
Mohammad Naghi Karimi Azar arrived in Sydney last night after spending two and a half years in an Indonesian jail, his lawyer said.
The 56-year-old appeared at the Central Local Court, via video link from a nearby police station on Thursday, facing 43 people smuggling charges.
Outside the court, Karimi Azar's solicitor said his client intended to plead not guilty to the charges.
"The burden of proof is on the prosecution," Mr Sayar Dehsabzi said.
"As of now we believe in the principle of innocence."
Karimi Azar is the eighth person extradited on people-smuggling charges since 2008.
Court documents show Karimi Azar allegedly facilitated the passage of 73 men, women and children between 2011 and 2013.
He did not apply for bail, with his lawyer Archie Hallas telling the court he and his client needed time to read a 100-page Commonwealth DPP statement of facts.
Through a Farsi interpreter, Karimi Azar told the court that police had taken documents from him including the names and addresses of his lawyers in Indonesia.
Mr Dehsabzi said Karimi Azar told him he was a registered refugee with the UNHCR and that he had fled Iran in fear of persecution because he's a member of an ethnic minority.
His wife and children are still in Iran, the solicitor said.
Karimi Azar will next appear at court on October 5.
Three Chinese fishermen were killed on Thursday in a fire that broke out on their boat when South Korean coastguard men trying to apprehend them for illegal fishing threw flash grenades into a room they were hiding in, a South Korean official said. ... [Reuters - 30/9/16]
A once-hugely popular Korean-American singer, who was vilified for giving up his South Korean citizenship to avoid military service, lost his legal bid Friday to be allowed back in the country.
Just as he was about to be called up in 2002, pop singer Steve Yoo, better known in South Korea as Yoo Seung-Joon, gave up his Korean nationality and became a naturalised US citizen.
The South Korean government considered it an act of desertion and he was deported and banned from returning for life.
In an effort to overturn the ban, Yoo had filed a lawsuit with the Seoul Administrative Court, challenging the decision of a South Korean consulate in the United States to deny him a visa.
But the court ruled against him on Friday. ... [Channel News Asia - 30/9/16]
Police brutality highlighted in Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission report [Nine MSN - 30/9/16]:
More than 60 percent of corruption allegations made last year related to police, Queensland's Crime and Corruption Commission report has revealed.
The Crime and Corruption Commission's 2015-16 annual report, tabled in parliament today, also shows it received 2674 complaints of corrupt conduct involving 6736 separate allegations.
Of those, 64 percent related to police, with the remainder associated with the public sector including local government.
The excessive use of force by Queensland police officers was a key focus of the CCC last financial year, chairman Alan MacSporran QC announcing measures in September to increase the watchdog's oversight of allegations.
Of 40 allegations of excessive force probed, two had resulted in criminal charges, another 13 were under investigation and 24 cases were referred back to or dealt with by the Queensland Police Service.
The cases included an officer who allegedly gouged a female prisoner's eye and cut the webbing between her fingers, and an officer charged with assaulting a female child at a residential care facility.
The watchdog is also monitoring another 44 excessive-force allegations being investigated by police. ...
Queensland police have welcomed a massive increase in domestic violence offences as a "good news story" saying it shows people are more confident in coming forward. ... [Brisbane Times - 30/9/16]
The ears of two cattle have been severed and tied to a gate with a piece of wire in a bizarre case of animal cruelty in central Queensland. ... [Yahoo - 30/9/16]
After a month of uncertainty, the live cattle trade to Indonesia has resumed with a ship leaving Townsville port yesterday and another due out on Sunday. ... [ABC - 30/9/16]
A former Catholic priest has been charged in NSW over child sexual assaults between 1999 and 2006.
Police say the 69-year-old was arrested in Port Macquarie last Friday.
He faces multiple charges including sexual intercourse without consent, aggravated indecent assault, inciting an act of indecency with a victim under 16, committing an act of indecency and indecent assault. ... [Nine MSN - 30/9/16]
Three men to face court after rape, robbery of Canberra prostitutes [Canberra Times - 30/9/16]
The step-father of an Iranian woman allegedly stabbed to death in her Sydney apartment has spoken of the family's grief.
The body of hairdresser Nasrin Abek, 35, was found in their Potts Point apartment yesterday.
Police allege Ms Abek had been stabbed multiple times by her husband, Amir Darbanou, 42. ... [Nine MSN - 30/9/16]
Two men have been acquitted of killing Wayne Dover outside a Sunshine Coast nightclub in 2013.
Wade Goldsworthy and Matthew Hill, both aged 30, were on Friday found not guilty by a Brisbane Supreme Court jury of the manslaughter of 45-year-old Mr Dover.
Mr Dover died outside the Factory nightclub at Maroochydore after suffering a tear to a major artery in his neck. [Yahoo - 30/9/16]
The NSW government has given tens of millions in taxpayer dollars to help train staff at private corporations including global giant McDonalds.
A freedom of information request by the NSW Greens reveals the state government has awarded Mcdonald's Australia $1,809,485 in funding for vocational education and training. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 30/9/16]
McDonald’s Japan is offering french fries covered in pumpkin and chocolate sauce for Halloween.
The fast-food chain came up with the “Halloween Choco Potato” to mark its 45th anniversary in Japan.
The fries cost 330 yen. [Japan Today - 30/9/16]
Indonesia raids Google office after warning on tax audit refusal [Jakarta Post - 30/9/16]
A woman whose partner died after being given too much morphine is suing a Brisbane hospital and doctor for $5 million.
Michael Calder, 33, died in the Holy Spirit Northside Private Hospital at Chermside on July 11, 2014 after being treated for viral meningitis and repeatedly complaining of severe headaches.
His partner, Andrea Young, this week filed a statement of claim in the Supreme Court seeking damages from the hospital and treating doctor, Rodd Brockett, over the death.
Her lawyer Margaret Brain, of Maurice Blackburn, said the damages were being sought to help provide for the couple's three young sons. ... [Yahoo - 30/9/16]
Queensland's 15th case of black lung has been confirmed in a miner twice cleared of the potentially deadly disease, the mining union says.
The CFMEU says the man worked in underground longwall mines for 36 years, most recently at the Carborough Downs in Central Queensland, where four other black lung cases have been identified. ... [Nine MSN - 6/9/16]
Safe coal dust exposure levels don’t exist: study [Australian Mining - 28/9/16]:
... Queensland’s coal dust limit is 3mg/m3 air – higher than that of NSW and the US – with the Select Committee on Health’s black lung report recommending coal mining companies adopt the lowest Australian level of 2.5mg/m3, found in NSW, until a national standard is implemented.
The Centre, a partnership between the university’s department of Pharmacology and Royal Melbourne Hospital, has gathered a team of cross-disciplinary researchers to call for extending diagnosis and management of black lung from chest x-rays and measuring breathing. ...
Black lung disease: Ventilation woefully inadequate in mines, Senate hearing told [ABC - 7/3/16]:
... Ian Hiscock worked in Queensland coal mines for more than a decade, and told the hearing ventilation was woefully inadequate.
"It's not enough," he said.
"The bane of the coal mine worker at the start of every shift is we always say we want more air, we need more air, and we're not getting it, because the act and regs (regulations) say 'This is what you need to work to' and the companies supply the minimum amount of air. But it's not enough," he said. ...
Mining firm fined $110k over WA worker death [WA Today - 30/9/16]
A man has been rushed to hospital following a serious crash on the M1 at Gaven.
The accident, involving a motorcycle and car, occurred in the southbound lanes just before Nerang at exit 69. ... [MYGC - 30/9/16]
Man found unconscious in car after serious crash, Mermaid Waters [MGYC - 30/9/16]
Australian NGOs and media continue helping the government invisibilise atrocities against refugees in our region [SBS - 29/9/16]
... In fact, our country has spent, and is continuing to spend billions of dollars detaining and further traumatizing refugees and asylum seekers for years once they show up on our doorstep.
Asylum seekers don’t come to Australia anymore.
Boats carrying these vulnerable people are turned around in international waters, in direct contravention of international law.
Increasing levels of governmental secrecy seek to distance our population from the inhumanity that we inflict.
We have spent $A9.6 billion over the past three years on our refugee policy.
It consists of an immigration detention system that includes two offshore detention centers on the impoverished Pacific Island nation of Nauru and on Manus Island, off the coast of Papua New Guinea, mandatory onshore immigration detention, and turning back asylum seeker boats (usually to countries where the occupants face persecution, torture and even death). ... [JURIST - 28/9/16]
Migrant workers rounded up in latest Thai crackdown face 5 years prison, 3,000 baht fine and deportation [Reuters - 29/9/16]
Ninth Circuit finds Court has no authority to hear lawsuit seeking access to Counsel for kids [American Immigration Council - 29/9/16]:
In 2014, a legal challenge was mounted against the federal government for its failure to provide legal representation to indigent children in deportation proceedings.
The case, F.L.B.. v. Lynch was brought by the American Immigration Council, American Civil Liberties Union, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Public Counsel, and K&L Gates LLP.
Despite some victories over the two years including intense media coverage of the case, on September 20, the Ninth Circuit issued a decision dealing a major setback to children forced to defend themselves in immigration court. ...
... "I also want to say that I’m very appreciative of the hospitality and the way the Australia Defence Force has given us the space to train and grow.” ... Republic of Singapore Air Force F-15SG fighter jets make Exercise Wallaby debut [Channel News Asia - 29/9/16]
On USS Carl Vinson in San Diego, US Defense Secretary Ash Carter highlights Asia-Pacific rebalance [US Department of Defense - 29/9/16]:
... The rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region has three parts, Carter explained.
The first phase began five years ago, when DoD enhanced its military force posture in the region; the second phase launched last year, when the U.S. made qualitative improvements to its force posture; and the third phase will cement the progress made in the first and second phases, the secretary said.
The United States will continue to invest and make high-tech improvements in its military assets to "sharpen our military edge so we remain the most powerful military in the region and the security partner of choice," he added.
Carter highlighted the strong ties the U.S. military has with its many allies in the region. America's regional partnerships are growing in number and strength, he said.
"The rebalance is about the future," he said, noting that the effort entails helping to unlock the tremendous potential in the region.
He highlighted the Trans-Pacific Partnership, saying it would bind the United States more closely with 11 other economies and is an opportunity the United States cannot afford to miss.
In addition, partnerships and cooperation among Asian-Pacific nations are critical to regional security, he said. ...
Mundine calls for Grand Final anthem boycott [Triple M - 29/9/16]
6-year-old 'fighting for his life' after South Carolina elementary school shooting, official says [ABC News - 29/9/16]:
A 6-year-old boy is "fighting for his life" today after being critically wounded in the shooting at an elementary school in Townville, South Carolina, according to the city's fire chief, who spoke at a news conference this afternoon.
Jacob Hall, a kindergarten student at Towville Elementary School, was shot in the leg by a suspected 14-year-old gunman who opened fire at the school's outdoor playground during recess on Wednesday afternoon, officials said. ...
A Louisiana judge released body cam video Wednesday showing officers firing multiple rounds into a car, unknowingly striking and killing a 6-year-old boy.
The incident, which happened in September 2015, resulted in the indictments of two marshals on second degree murder and second degree attempted murder charges. ... [CNN - 30/9/16]
The mother of an unarmed black man shot to death in Southern California said on Thursday her son was having a mental breakdown when he was confronted by police and they should have helped him instead of quickly opening fire.
Within two minutes of police arriving, Alfred Olango, 38, was shot to death in the San Diego suburb of El Cajon on Tuesday after he pointed an object that turned out to be an electronic cigarette at police, authorities said.
The shooting has sparked protests and calls from activists for a federal investigation.
It is the latest in a string of shootings of mostly unarmed black men by white police officers in the United States that have led to sometimes violent protests. ... [Reuters - 29/9/16]
21 arrested during peaceful prayer ceremony at Standing Rock [EcoWatch - 29/9/16]
Jordanians will rally in downtown Amman on Friday to protest a $10 billion deal signed this week by the government-owned electricity company to buy Israeli-supplied natural gas.
Demonstrations are being planned in other cities, backed by a coalition of parties and groupings from across Jordan’s political spectrum. ... [Electronic Intifada - 29/9/16]
Israeli army to flood Gaza border with water [PNN - 29/9/16]
Israeli forces open fire at Palestinian lands in central Gaza Strip [Maan - 29/9/16]
A 20 year-old Palestinian was being treated in the hospital on Thursday after being hit by a sound bomb in the back of the head during an Israeli forces raid in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Tur. ... [Maan - 29/9/16]
How Palestine was colonised [VIDEO - teleSUR - 28/9/16]
Senior Egyptian prosecutor survives car bomb assassination attempt [Reuters – 29/9/16]
Egyptian journalist Mahmoud El-Sakka released on bail in Red Sea islands case [Ahram - 29/9/16]
The U.N. Human Rights Council on Thursday declined to set up an independent inquiry into abuses in Yemen, instead calling on a national inquiry to investigate violations by all sides, including the killing of civilians and attacks on hospitals. ... [Reuters - 29/9/16]
Saudi airstrikes kill 8 across Yemen [Press TV - 29/9/16]
Two senior members of al Qaeda's Yemen branch were killed in a suspected U.S. drone strike in the central province of Bayda, local officials told Reuters on Thursday.
The strike, which took place in al-Ridaa district, was the third in central Yemen in a week.
Previous strikes targeted regional commanders in Bayda and nearby Maarib province. ... [Reuters - 29/9/16]
1.5m expected to flee Iraq's Mosul when another US operation begins mid-October [Al Jazeera - 29/9/16]:
... Intisar Mohamed Suleiman came here from Makuk with her husband and nine children - between one and 12 years in age.
In April, Kurdish and Iraqi forces supported by the US took out ISIL targets near her village with air strikes.
"It was very difficult - we walked five hours to get here," said Suleiman, 34, who has been at Dibaga for six months.
She was part of the last wave of people who headed towards Erbil.
"We did not think we would stay long when we came here," she said, still hopeful that a return would be imminent.
While she is anxious to go back, like many here she is unsure of what she has to go back to.
"Most people have no idea what we are dealing with here," said Vian Rasheed, who heads the Erbil Refugee Council which reports to the governor's office.
"They have a few thousand refugees show up in Europe and they start to worry. When fighting broke out in Mosul in 2014, we had 100,000 people show up in one night at checkpoints," said Rasheed. ...
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [29/9/16]:
Baghdad: A roadside bomb has exploded near a traditional market in Abu Dsheer area in Doura south of Baghdad resulted in death and 8 injuries.
Baghdad: A roadside bomb has exploded in No'eiriya area east of Baghdad resulted in two deaths and 6 injuries.
Anbar: Press sources: An attack has targeted the government army at the surrounding of Heet west of Anbar resulted in 5 deaths and 13 injuries and destroying of two vehicles.
Baghdad: Militias attacked two persons while they were passing through Jameela Grocery east of Baghdad resulted in their deaths.
Sources: An attack has targeted Aniya Village in Isahaqi nahiya north of Baghdad resulted in 33 deaths including senior officers of the government forces.
Indonesian Ambassador to Syria Djoko Harjanto visited on Thursday a number of archaeological and tourist sites in Homs. ... [SANA - 29/9/16]
US outcry over Syria... tears followed by NATO bombs [ICH/SCF - 29/9/16]
Syria's U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari rejected accusations on Thursday that the Syrian government was killing civilians.
"The Syrian government is not bombing civilians. These people are our own people. We don't bomb civilians, we don't kill civilians. We don't bomb humanitarian convoys. We don't do that. Those who did it are the terrorists," Ja'afari told reporters after a U.N. Security Council meeting on Syria. ... [Reuters - 29/9/16]
... Its ability to resist this onslaught has been astonishing. Government, people and army have held together against the most intense attempt to destroy an Arab government in modern times. ... [21st Century Wire - 29/9/16]:
... The attack outside Deir al Zor was not accidental. It was planned, it was deliberate, it was preceded by drone reconnaissance and it lasted for at least an hour, way past the point at which the US would have been informed that it was bombing the wrong target.
The aerial assault was immediately followed by an ISIS attack on what was left of the Syrian military installations. In context, the attack was foreshadowed four months ago when 51 State Department personnel petitioned the US government to launch direct attacks on the Syrian military.
It was foreshadowed by the Defence Intelligence Agency evaluation that the establishment of a ‘salafist’ state in eastern Syria would serve US interests: in the form of the Islamic State, this is what the US now has. It was foreshadowed by Hillary Clinton’s statement that if elected president she would authorize direct military attacks on Syrian targets. Finally, after these threats, noone should be surprised that it finally happened.
What has been made clear, yet again, as if the point needs to be made again, is that the US has no more interest in bringing peace to Syria than it did five years ago. It remains determined to break it apart, towards which end it is utilizing the most brutal terrorist groups operating in the world today.
They include the Islamic State. The US did not begin launching serious attacks against the Islamic State until shamed by Russia: how serious these attacks have been since remains a matter of conjecture.
Their demarche against Russia is not just deeply dishonest but extremely belligerent. The US attack on the Syrian military position is not mentioned: it is Russia that is responsible for the breakdown of the ‘cessation of hostilities’, Russia by insinuation that bombed the aid convoy outside Aleppo, Russia that is supporting the ‘siege’ of eastern Aleppo and Syria by insinuation that has launched chemical weapons attacks.
These liars warn that their patience with Russian unwillingness to live up to its commitments is not unlimited. This has to be read as a threat to Russia and Syria, perhaps of direct intervention in the form of an entirely illegal no-fly zone to relieve the pressure on the beleaguered takfiris in Aleppo. ...
Internal disagreements in the US as well as Washington’s support for terrorist groups in Syria are hampering peace efforts, President Assad’s Political and Media Adviser Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban told RT.
... "Every time we liberate any area from the terrorists, the United States raises the alarm. They do not want us to liberate Aleppo from the terrorists, they do not want us to liberate our country from the terrorists. They only reach a truce when they want to protect terrorists, and they want the terrorists can regather and rearm themselves so they stay occupying part of our land.” ... [RT - 29/9/16]
30 September 2016