Senate Inquiry resumes Monday [20/715]:  Recent Allegations relating to Conditions and Circumstances at the Regional Processing Centre in Nauru






Learning the lessons of the Mediterranean, Senator Hanson-Young [The Age - 17/7/15]:



... These rescue operations are an international effort requiring co-operation between various EU states, the Italian Navy and civilian vessels. Communication is key; no secrecy is trumpeted here.

The crew on board the Phoenix includes Maltese, Italian, British, Canadian, Swiss, Spanish, American, Russian and French.

There's even an Australian on board, a nurse whose presence reminded me that in Australia none of this would be possible under current policies.

As doctors, nurses and even humanitarian workers, in Australia they could be arrested and charged for helping people cross the border in this way. And even if they worked for the government, they'd be gagged from talking about it.

I travelled to the front line of the Mediterranean because I believe that in Australia we need to do better. We need to start working with others; we are part of an international community.

This isn't just an African or Italian problem, or European Union or Australia. This is a global problem, and it's a humanitarian one. It will not be solved by turning our backs or isolating ourselves.





Death investigation, Mackenzie

QPS Media [19/7/15]:

Police are investigating after a boy was found deceased in a residence in Mackenzie this afternoon.

Police were called to a residence on Mount Gravatt-Capalaba Road just before 5pm following reports that the body of a 10-year-old boy had been located at the address.

A crime scene has been declared, and investigators remain on the scene.

Investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.


Cairns detectives have charged a 27-year-old man following investigations into the death of a man at Parramatta Park last night. … [QPS Media – 19/7/15]



Armed robbery, Forest Lake [QPS Media - 19/7/15]



Armed robbery, Warner [QPS Media – 19/7/15]







Armed robbery, Flinders View [QPS Media - 18/7/15]







Robbery and assault, Inala [QPS Media - 18/7/15]





Armed robbery, Bellmere [QPS Media - 18/7/15]







Serious drug charges, Southport [QPS Media - 17/7/15]





Drug charges, Oxenford [QPS Media – 17/7/15]





Anti rights arrest, Fernvale [QPS Media - 18/7/15]





Alleged bikie associate fronts Ipswich Magistrates Court [Yahoo – 18/7/15]








House fire, Bongaree [QPS Media - 19/7/15]







A fierce fire has destroyed a two-storey house in Brisbane's inner west.

The roof of the Ashgrove home collapsed during the inferno, which broke out around 12pm Sunday and took firefighters about 40 minutes to bring under control. ... [Yahoo - 19/7/15]







Fire, Cairns [QPS Media - 18/7/15]



Man died from carbon monoxide poisoning after using 'heat beads' in Greystanes home [Sydney Morning Herald - 18/7/15]:


... Channel Seven reported Ajantha Navarathinam moved to Australia from Sri Lanka in 2012 and that his wife and two small children are still there. ...




Lucky escape for elderly man after Mount Mee home goes up in flames [Nine MSN – 17/7/15]




Four dead, thousands flee as floods hit northern Philippines

The Straits Times [19/7/15]:

Four people were killed and thousands forced to flee their homes as floods inundated large parts of the northern Philippines, the government said on Sunday.

Heavy monsoon rains lashed the largely agricultural provinces for days, bringing floods that left roads impassable and led about 3,000 people to be evacuated, government civil defence officers said.

At least four people died as a result of the rains, including a six-month old boy who was buried by a landslide in the northern province of Pangasinan, the officers said.

Social welfare and relief agencies are delivering aid to affected areas while the public works department is preparing to repair damaged infrastructure, said President Benigno Aquino's spokesman Herminio Coloma.

Although no storm is forecast to hit, the government weather station warned that "monsoon rains which may trigger flash floods and landslides will be experienced," over large areas of the northern Philippines on Sunday.

The disaster-plagued Philippines is hit by about 20 typhoons and storms each year, many of them deadly.

Earlier this month, Tropical Storm Linfa inundated whole towns in the north, although no fatalities were reported.




American Samoa dengue outbreak claims four lives

RNZI [18/7/15]:

Four people are now confirmed to have died from dengue fever as an outbreak of the mosquito-borne virus grips American Samoa.

An epidemiologist for the department of health, Scott Anesi, says lab test results have returned, showing that two recent deaths were a result of dengue fever.

Mr Anesi says people should continue to clear potential mosquito breeding sites, dress protectively and spray themselves with repellent containing Deet.

He says the virus is continuing to spread between people coming into contact with others, and is urging people who suspect they have the virus to isolate themselves at home if they're well enough.


Government funding for private schools to outstrip average public schools by 2020




Sydney Morning Herald [16/7/15]:

The average public school student could receive up to $100 less a year in state and federal government funding than a similar independent school student by 2020 without the final two years of Gonski reforms, a new report has revealed.

The "Private school, public cost" report, due to be released on Friday by the former president of the NSW Secondary Principals Council, Chris Bonnor, and education researcher Bernie Shepherd, has found that state and federal government funding for nearly half of the nation's independent schools could outstrip public funding for the average public school within the next five years.

The reports authors also found that public funding for up to 75 per cent of Catholic schools across the country would outstrip funding for similar public schools by 2016.

Bonnor and Shepherd targeted their research at the average socio-educational ICSEA of 1000 to 1099. ICSEA measures the educational and occupational outcomes of a school's parents. It can range from a very disadvantaged school at 500 to a very advantaged school at 1300.

​Data drawn from the MySchool database shows that less-advantaged public schools are already receiving equal public funding compared to more advantaged independent schools.

Rooty Hill High School, which educates more than 1000 students in Sydney's west, has a below average ICSEA of 958. It currently receives $10,469 in state and federal government funding per student.

The independent Shoalhaven Anglican School in Milton, which educates 300 students in the state's south, has an above average ICSEA of 1037. It only receives $6 less than Rooty Hill in state and federal funding per student before parent fees come into the equation. ​

Bonnor and Shepherd predict that funding pattern will continue across the country. ​

According to the report the median public school student will receive $11,350 in public funding by 2018, $380 less than the $11,720 for the median Catholic school student, while a similar independent student will receive $100 more than the comparable public school student by 2020.




Child sex abuse: Criminally liable institutions could be ordered to pay compensation [Sydney Morning Herald – 17/7/15]





Chinese billionaire buys $47m worth of Australian cattle stations



Sydney Morning Herald [16/7/15]:

A Chinese billionaire has bought two large Australian cattle stations for $47 million in at least the third deal this year involving a Chinese investor buying into the country's farmlands.

Xingfa Ma, who owns the ballbearing factory Tianma Bearing Group Co, snapped up 40,000 head of cattle along with the 705,700 hectare Wollogorang and Wentworth stations, located on the Northern Territory and Queensland border, according to a person close to the deal.

Ma, one of the wealthiest 400 people in China according to Forbes, already has significant agricultural holdings in Australia, including other cattle stations and a wine group, through the Australian arm of Tianma Bearing.

Realtors Heinemann Rural and CBRE Australia declined to comment on the buyer or details of the deal, but said the property held a strategic position in the red meat supply chain.

"Wollogorang is located within one of the country's most unique and diverse regions, with favourable land and soil types supporting what is already a successful cattle breeding operation," CBRE'S Geoff Warriner said in a statement.

News of the purchase comes just days after Australia's agriculture minister said that a new live cattle export deal will soon be signed with an unnamed country, stoking hopes of a long-awaited deal with China.

Australia and China have been in talks concerning a deal that is potentially worth billions of dollars as appetite for red meat soars in China.

A resolution continues to be delayed by concerns the live exports would introduce into China an insect responsible for Bluetongue disease in the Australian herd. Bluetongue isn't harmful for human consumption but can be deadly for animals.

Several Chinese investors have been jostling for an advantage ahead of a likely deal.

Hailang Group earlier this year bought more than $40 million of cattle stations in southern Queensland. Yiang Xiang Assets purchased a smaller property for around $11.5 million.

Chongqing Agriculture Investment Group said earlier this year it was looking to buy up to $100 million worth of cattle stations within the next year.

There's also interest more broadly across agriculture as China's rising middle class spurs demand for quality Australian produce.

Warriner said the Wollogorang and Wentworth stations had development potential beyond cattle breeding.

"There is scope to expand the current operation, enabling increased pasture utilisation and therefore an increase in carrying capacity," Warriner said.

New Zealand: Fonterra to cut more than 500 jobs [RNZI – 16/7/15]




Some farmers who produce raw, unpasteurised milk say new regulations will put them out of businesses and stop their thousands of customers from having the choice to drink it. ... [RNZI - 16/7/15]






Islamic State claims kidnapping of three African Christians in Libya [Reuters - 19/7/15]


11 soldiers killed in Algeria ambush [Naharnet - 18/7/15]


Three Egyptian army soldiers were killed and four injured in a militant attack by terrorists on Saturday evening against a security checkpoint south of the town of Sheikh Zueid in North Sinai, a military spokesman said. ... [Ahram - 18/7/15]



US allies IS suspected to be behind bombings in Gaza [Al Jazeera - 19/7/15]:


Two people have been injured in multiple car explosions in northern Gaza City, Palestinian security sources said.

The sources said six explosions took place at same time on Sunday morning in the Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood. ...




UK ends partial arms ban on Israel over Gaza war [Jerusalem Post - 19/7/15]




2 Yemeni civilians killed in Saudi airstrikes on Sa'ada province [Press TV - 18/7/15]




Saudi Arabia has arrested 431 people suspected of belonging to Islamic State cells and thwarted attacks on mosques, security forces and a diplomatic mission, the interior ministry said on Saturday. ... [Reuters - 19/7/15]



United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria




US Department of Defense [18/7/15]:


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 yesterday’s strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Airstrikes in Syria

Bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted eight airstrikes in Syria:

-- Near Hasakah, five airstrikes struck two ISIL large tactical units and two ISIL small tactical units and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL armored vehicle.

-- Near Raqqah, an airstrike destroyed three ISIL T-walls.

-- Near Kobani, two airstrikes struck two ISIL large tactical units and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions.

Airstrikes in Iraq

Attack, fighter-attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 23 airstrikes in Iraq, approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense:

-- Near Fallujah, two airstrikes destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL anti-aircraft artillery weapon.

-- Near Habbaniya, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Makhmur, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Mosul, two airstrikes destroyed two ISIL vehicles.

-- Near Ramadi, five airstrikes struck an ISIL large tactical unit, an ISIL small tactical unit and three ISIL improvised explosive devices and destroyed two ISIL IEDs, five ISIL vehicles and seven ISIL fighting positions.

-- Near Sinjar, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, an ISIL light machine gun position and an ISIL sniper position and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun position and an ISIL building.

-- Near Tal Afar, 10 airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units, three staging areas, two weapons caches, a command and control center andan ISIL heavy machine gun position, suppressed ISIL mortar fire, and destroyed an ISIL building and two ISIL vehicles.




New US Commander of the Pacific Fleet engages in the usual sabre rattling [Jakarta Post – 17/7/15]





Two years ago Rudd exiled boat refugees to Manus Island death camp in PNG.





 Today Australia isn't accepting ANY UNHCR refugees - to which there is no opposition.







Bourbon Argos not authorised to land 700 rescued refugees in Sicily

Médecins Sans Frontières Media Release [17/7/15]:


Médecins Sans Frontières' (MSF) search and rescue vessel Bourbon Argos is currently navigating the northern coast of Sicily with about 700 people on board, towards the port of Reggio Calabria, where it should land Saturday early morning.

Despite lengthy discussions with Italian authorities and efforts by the Italian Coastguards, the Bourbon Argos was not authorised to disembark the 700 migrants in Sicily due to lack of capacity of the reception system.

On Wednesday 15 July the Bourbon Argos rescued 678 people from six different boats and received one more patient transferred for medical reasons from an Italian Coastguards vessel.

Among the migrants rescued were people from Bangladesh, Cote d'Ivoire, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal and Somalia.

“The MSF team has worked round the clock and has provided care to those needing medical attention. The vessel is completely overcrowded and the migrants are staying on the deck in a very limited space,” says Alexander Buchman, MSF coordinator on the Bourbon Argos.

“For the last 24 hours this has caused tensions between the people and posed serious security concerns aboard the vessel.”

Despite good coordination with the Italian Coastguards and all the efforts done by the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), Italian authorities did not authorise the Bourbon Argos to disembark in any of the Sicilian ports due to lack of capacity of the reception system.

On Thursday evening, MSF was finally given permission to disembark 150 migrants out of the 700 in the port of Trapani, on the Western coast of Sicily. However, MSF decided not to proceed with a partial disembarkation as in such an overcrowded environment it could pose serious security risks.

Many of the people on board expressed their fear of being “brought back to Libya” and the situation on board was already extremely tense.

Only seven patients who needed urgent medical attention were disembarked, together with their family relatives. Two cases were particularly serious: an adult female, transferred from the Italian coastguard vessel, suffered from hypertension and hypovolemia with abdominal pain, and needed urgent medical hospitalization; and a 12-month child with pneumonia, fever and dyspnea, to whom MSF provided antibiotic treatment, needed urgent hospitalisation for further diagnosis and treatment.

“For two days, we have been trying to understand where we would be allowed to land, coordinating and working round the clock with the Italian Coastguards, while having to maintain an acceptable level of security on board,” adds Buchman.

 “This caused serious security risks aboard the vessel and forced 700 people in distress to spend two entire nights on the deck in very difficult conditions.”

On Friday morning, after lengthy negotiations, the Bourbon Argos was directed to the port of Messina, Eastern Sicily. This decision was eventually changed a few hours later and the final destination is now Reggio Calabria. The Bourbon Argos is currently navigating the northern coast of Sicily – so as to keep the Italian shores in sight and not feed fears among the migrants on board – and is due to arrive to Reggio Calabria on Saturday morning early.

“The lack of preparedness of the Italian reception system is having very concrete consequences that we are seeing first hand,” adds Loris De Filippi, President of MSF Italy.

“We are in July, and the arrivals are not likely to stop anytime soon, so this problem has to be addressed now. Concretely, the Ministry of Interior has to allow disembarkation in the closest Sicilian ports in order to allow vessels to return as quickly as possible to the search and rescue zone to carry out further rescues.”



Egypt deports 20 Sudanese refugees [Ahram – 18/7/15]




Italian protesters torch beds to try block migrant arrivals [Ahram – 17/7/15]






During their recent Operation MANITOU deployment to the Middle East, members of HMAS Success' ship's company took the opportunity to work on their personal fitness levels in a ‘Biggest Loser' style challenge. … [Navy Daily – 19/7/15]






Another Gold Coast icon - Trudie Fischer  - closing down



Southport [18/7/15]




There is no opposition to the endless spin and mockery of our democracy ---->  Eat more fruit and vegetables while fossil fuel conglomerates and the US military destroy Queensland's coastline



Image: @wishart88 [21/7/14]




Minister for Health Media Release [19/7/15]:

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick today delivered on an election commitment to update the fruit and vegetable campaign Go for 2&5.

The fresh colour wheel campaign encouraging Queenslanders to eat a range of different coloured fruit and vegetables was today launched at Eagle Farm markets

“Our new campaign doesn't just focus on eating two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables each day. We want Queenslanders to add colour to their plate,” Mr Dick said.

“Eating a rainbow of coloured fruit and vegetables ensures we are getting a variety of essential nutrients, like vitamins and dietary fibre.

“Our successful Go for 2&5 campaign, which ran from 2006 to 2009, really resonated with Queenslanders of all ages.”

“Why not take the challenge and take colour for a spin. I’d encourage everyone to add different vegetables or fruit to their day.”





The Trail of the Troika: Revealing documentary illustrating the contempt in which financiers hold democracy.





Murder investigation, Cairns



QPS Media [19/7/15]:


Cairns detectives have commenced a murder investigation following the death of a man at Parramatta Park on Saturday night.

Initial information suggests around 9pm two men were involved in a physical altercation at a Grove Street residence when one of the men sustained a stab wound to the chest.

The man, aged in his 30s, was pronounced deceased at the scene.

A 27-year-old man is currently assisting police with their inquiries.

A crime scene has been established at the premises as investigations continue. Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.




Serious traffic crash, Broadbeach



QPS Media [18/7/15]:


Police are investigating after a 12-year-old girl was struck by a car in Broadbeach this afternoon.

Initial inquiries indicate just before 5pm, the vehicle was travelling southbound on the Gold Coast Highway when the girl walked onto the road at the intersection of Hooker Boulevard and was hit by the car.

She has been transported to the Gold Coast University Hospital in a critical condition with serious head injuries.

The female driver remained at the scene and assisted police with their inquiries.

The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating. Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.



Serious traffic incident, Townsville



QPS Media [19/7/15]:


A 53-year-old man is in a critical condition after being hit by a vehicle in Townsville overnight.

Initial information suggests the man was running across Flinders Street at the intersection of Fletcher Street when he was struck by a car.

The man was transported to Townsville Hospital in a critical but stable condition. The 68-year-old male driver remained at the scene and assisted police with their inquiries.

Investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.



Fatal traffic crash, Port Stewart



QPS Media [19/7/15]:


A woman has died following a traffic crash involving an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) on One Mile Beach at Port Stewart in Far North Queensland yesterday.

Initial information indicates around 3pm the 21-year-old British national was driving the quad bike along the beach when it travelled through a stream of water and rolled.

The woman was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The passenger, a 37-year-old man, was uninjured.

Investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day




Serious traffic crash, Inala



QPS Media [19/7/15]:


The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating a serious vehicle traffic crash which occurred on Andromeda Street in Inala yesterday morning.  

Initial investigations suggest at around 7:15am the vehicle was travelling east along Andromeda Street when it collided with a parked car.  

A 45-year-old Inala woman who was a passenger in the vehicle was transported to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in a critical condition where she remains.  

The 20-year-old male driver was not injured in the crash.  

Investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.





Traffic crash, Darling Heights



QPS Media [18/7/15]:


 Police are investigating a traffic crash that occurred in Darling Heights overnight.

 Around 6.15pm, a police vehicle was travelling along Platz Street when it was struck by a car travelling on Wuth Street.

Both vehicles suffered significant damage, and the driver of the car, a 33-year-old woman, was taken to the Toowoomba Hospital with chest injuries.

Two police officers and four passengers in the car were treated for minor injuries.

Investigations into the crash are continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.









Another dangerous, resource wasting, race and class based police pursuit, Crestmead [QPS Media - 18/7/15]






A 22-year-old man is facing a string of driving charges following a police pursuit [resulting in a crash] in Perth's north overnight. ... [West Australian - 19/7/15]







Are you opposing fascism or legitimising it?  Angry clashes have erupted between members of the Ku Klux Klan and the New Black Panther Party as both groups rally at the South Carolina statehouse. Confederate flags were stolen and ripped up to cheers and applause from the New Black Panther demonstrators - while KKK members stood on the steps of the capitol performing Nazi salutes. ... [Daily Mail - 19/7/15]





#IgnoreThem  By participating in these spectacles you are creating Balance Fallacy.







… Recruiters are standard fare. In February, we sent a drone to kill an ISIS recruiter in Afghanistan, even though, according to a Pentagon spokesman, the recruiter had “decided to swear allegiance to [ISIS] probably no more than a couple weeks ago. And he didn't have a whole lot of depth to any network resources or manpower when he did it.”

Training facilities aren’t just fair game. They’re prized targets. President Obama has repeatedly bragged about hitting them. In February, White House spokesman Josh Earnest proudly informed reporters that coalition airstrikes had “succeeded in taking out at least 20 training camps.” Two weeks ago, Obama indicated that the tally had increased: “We’ve taken out thousands of fighting positions, tanks, vehicles, bomb factories, and training camps.”

When we target a training facility and kill its inhabitants, we don’t call that terrorism. ... [The Chattanooga killings are a rational, horrific act of war - Slate - 18/7/15]






Australian farmers seek cull of wild camels [Al Jazeera - 18/7/15]




The Australian government has announced a new controversial five-year strategy to save threatened native species. It plans to cull two million feral cats, which are said to pose a threat to Australian wildlife.

“The feral cat will be listed as a harmful pest and hunted down through various methods,” said Greg Hunt, the Australian federal environment minister, while presenting the new strategy at a Melbourne zoo, International Business Times reports. “Culling methods will include baiting, shooting or poisoning,” he added. ... [RT - 18/7/15]





Australia:  Where barbarity fills democratic voids  [Scientific American - 4/8/14]:



... The army tried gunning them down in moving trucks, but found they couldn’t aim properly at their speedy foes.

A lone victim rendered himself a nuisance all the way to the end, his corpse getting tangled up in the vehicle’s steering equipment, which caused it to veer off and destroy half a length of somebody’s fence.  ...





19 July 2015