... They sought to portray the deportations as a "resettlement" ...
[Deportations to Killing Centres - US Holocaust Memorial Museum]
Sydney Morning Herald [20/4/15]:
The United Nations agency responsible for refugees has washed its hands of Australia's controversial deal to send refugees from the tiny Pacific island of Nauru to Cambodia.
A spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has told Fairfax Media the agency will play no role in resettling refugees who have agreed to give up their hopes of life in Australia to resettle in one of the world's poorest nations.
While Australia had said the first group of up to 10 refugees on Nauru were expected to be flown to Cambodia "in the near future", on Monday night a spokesperson for Immigration Minister Peter Dutton conceded that "a Cambodian government delegation is currently travelling to Nauru … They will be helping to progress arrangements for the first group of refugees to be transferred to Cambodia."
That statement came after Koy Kuong, a spokesman for Cambodia's foreign ministry, told The Phnom Penh Post that they had no knowledge of any plane being booked to carry the refugees.
The $40 million Australia-Cambodia refugee deal caught a snag on Monday when the first chartered flight to relocate detainees from Nauru to the Asian kingdom was cancelled, the Asian Correspondent said. … [Daily Mirror – 20/4/15]
An Iranian man who has a one-year refugee visa for Papua New Guinea has been told he cannot leave Manus Island to look for work on the mainland until a formal resettlement policy is created. ... [ABC - 1/4/15]
Would the Australian government have funded this disaster capitalism if PNG hadn't agreed to host the refugee death camp on Manus Island? [The National - 20/4/15]:
The K139.4 million Oro bridge construction project is the largest in the country and a major investment by the Australian Government, High Commissioner Deborah Stokes says.
She said the project was an important step in the recovery programme after Cyclone Guba caused so much devastation in 2007. ...
Organisation providing medical services in Australian concentration camps supports legislation indemnifying the beating to death of refugees
A contractor International Health and Medical Services, or IHMS, says it supports an Australian Bill that would allow its staff to use force against detainees in immigration centres.
Mary Baines reports.
"In its submission to changes on the Migration Act, IHMS, which has 260 staff at Australian-run detention centres, says it has seen an increase in violent and aggressive behaviour.
It says that includes the damaging of furniture, walls and doors, throwing objects, and some isolated incidents of inappropriate touching and physical aggression.
It says there has been a small number of serious attempts to harm IHMS staff in which individuals have had to be physically restrained by security staff.
It says given the serious repercussions should security personel not have the capability to restrain an individual who is harming themselves or another person, IHMS supports the Bill.
Opponents of the Bill say it would allow
immigration officers to beat asylum seekers to death with impunity, and allow
excessive force to be used in almost any circumstance."
Shipwreck corpses brought ashore in Malta, another boat sinks off Greece [Reuters - 20/4/15]
Iraqis fleeing fighting between the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and government forces say they are being prevented from entering the capital, Baghdad.
Several Iraqis from Anbar, the region where most of the fighting is taking place, said the government has not allowed them to enter the city without prior sponsorship from Sunni Islamic institutions. ... [Al Jazeera - 20/4/15]
@narrabyee - Yemeni journalist [20/4/15]: Sanaa now under Saudi barbaric aggression bombings for 25th consecutive day
A bomb blast hit the Indonesian Embassy in Yemen on Monday. Two embassy staffers sustained minor injuries, an official said. ... [Jakarta Post - 20/4/15]
Oxfam has vehemently condemned yesterday's Coalition airstrike on one of its storage facilities in Saada Governorate in northern Yemen. ... [Media Release - 19/4/15]
At least nine killed in bomb attack on UN vehicle in Somalia [Reuters – 20/4/15]
Mexican officials reported Sunday the arrest of two major drug bosses, one of whose gunmen attempted to rescue him from police detention in a spectacular shootout that left at least three of the assailants dead, as well as two innocent bystanders. ... [teleSUR - 19/4/15]
An Egyptian court has sentenced 22 men to death for involvement in an attack on a police station in the town of Kerdasa east of Cairo.
The ruling on Monday is the latest in a wave of mass death sentences handed out by Egyptian authorities since the overthrow of former President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. ... [Al Jazeera - 20/4/15]
Sydney doctor and Ugandan presidential hopeful Aggrey Kiyingi accused of funding murder [ABC – 20/4/15]
The One Day of the Year to be performed at the Gold Coast Arts Centre
… Alan Seymour’s landmark Australian play returns to the stage to incite as much passion as ever. The One Day of the Year looks at our national legend through the eyes of generation, class and character. On the 100 year anniversary of the Gallipoli landing, HIT Productions brings a thoroughly fresh take on this truly Australian classic.
Christine Keogh (Blue Heelers, Neighbours, Underbelly – Fat Tony.)
Don Bridges (Fiddler on the Roof, Man from Snowy River, Stingers,Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries.)
Luke Clayson (Puberty Blues, The Trial, Hamlet, The Broken Shore, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.)
Olivia Solomons (Force of Destiny,The Libertine, Inside the Masterpiece)
Mackay: The One Day of the Year opens at Paxtons Warehouse on
Thursday at 7.30pm. Performances will also be on Friday and Saturday night. ...
Mercury - 20/4/15]
Stirring struggle endures to this Day [Sydney Morning Herald – 2/4/03]
Anzac Day in Queensland:
Anzac Day is our national day of remembrance for Australians and New Zealanders who have served and died in conflict, and an opportunity to reflect on the many different meanings of war.
Held on 25 April each year, Anzac Day marks the anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli in 1915.
How did Anzac Day evolve? As a parade? As a religious service? And what key part did Queensland play in its development?
Join historians Mark Cryle and Professor Martin Crotty as they discuss the origins of Anzac Day in Queensland and how the intentions of organisers in 1916 have developed into the event we know today.
Original collections from the John Oxley Library will be on display.
When: Tue 21 Apr 2015, 6:00 pm - 07:30 pm
Venue: John Oxley Library Reading Room, level 4, State Library
Cost: Free, bookings required
Bookings: slq.eventbrite.com | (07) 3840 7887
Greece and lenders see progress in Brussels Group talks
There was progress in talks between Greece and its creditors over the weekend but the various sides still have much ground to cover, sources have told Kathimerini.
Both sides have indicated that the Brussels Group technical talks, which were held in Paris, were more productive than recent deliberations between representatives from Athens and the institutions.
Sources from the lenders’ side indicated that the Greek side was much better prepared than in previous encounters. However, there are still differences over a range of issues, including fiscal targets.
The issues covered over the weekend, included this year’s primary surplus, macroeconomic targets and privatizations. There is an attempt to arrive at common ground ahead of a Euro Working Group teleconference on Wednesday in preparation for the next Eurogroup meeting on April 24.
Golden Dawn trial adjourned until May 7, witnesses attacked outside court [ekathimerini.com - 20/4/15]
Chevron has made the most of the fallout of cyclone Olwyn to cut short a long-standing drill rig charter contract with Atwood Oceanics, likely to save the US oil and giant at least $US100 million ($129 million). ... [West Australian - 20/4/15]
A public-private partnership between Cargill, Monsanto and the Indonesian government on agriculture since 2012 aims to double the country’s corn production capacity in the wake of the government’s food self-sufficient program, a Cargill executive said on Sunday. ... [Jakarta Globe - 20/4/15]
Morning Bulletin [19/4/15]:
In a major coup for Beef Australia, three of the world's most influential figures in the food industry will travel to the national exposition to speak at a symposium.
The United States Department of Agriculture's Under Secretary for Food Safety, Alfred Almanza, and McDonald's Corporation Senior Director Strategic Sourcing and Sustainability, Gary Johnson, will fly to Rockhampton to speak at the event.
The issues of food safety, consumer trust and the beef industry's social license to operate will be major topics to be addressed.
Beef Australia chairman Blair Angus said the line-up of speakers aimed to ensure Australian beef producers were informed on the challenges that might lie ahead.
"The symposium represents an opportunity to connect with some of the people ultimately influencing our ability to access key markets," he said.
Mr Almanza will speak on the topic of food safety, including the impacts of product recalls and changes in international food safety laws.
Mr Johnson will then discuss how the beef industry can "close the gap between taste and trust", with consumers expecting to know more about their food.
The global president of animal health company Elanco, Jeff Simmons, will join the symposium via videolink to discuss how the beef industry can continue to play a role in feeding a hungry world within its social license to operate.
The symposium will be held on May 4 at the Rockhampton Showgrounds.
The Intercept [16/4/15]:
The Office of the United States Trade Representative, the agency responsible for negotiating two massive upcoming trade deals, is being led by former lobbyists for corporations that stand to benefit from the deals, according to disclosure forms obtained by The Intercept.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a proposed free trade accord between the U.S. and 11 Pacific Rim countries; the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a similar agreement between the U.S. and the E.U.
The Obama administration is pushing hard to complete both deals, which it says will increase U.S. trade opportunities. Critics say the deals will provide corporate interests with sweeping powers to challenge banking and environmental regulations.
Thousands in Germany protest against Europe-US trade deal [Reuters – 18/4/15]
Ben Affleck suppressed slave-owning ancestry, hacked Sony emails claim [Guardian – 19/4/15]
Baltimore investigates death of man in police custody [USA Today - 19/4/15]
A Jennings man was shot and killed by St. Louis County police late Friday after authorities said he charged at them with a knife during a standoff outside his home.
Two officers shot Thaddeus McCarroll, 23, multiple times, authorities said. ... [St. Louis Post-Dispatch - 19/4/15]
Boy, 14, from Blackburn held over Australia 'terror plot'
A 14-year-old boy from Blackburn is being held in the UK in connection with an alleged terror plot at a World War One centenary event in Australia.
Greater Manchester Police said the boy was arrested on 2 April on suspicion of preparing for an act of terrorism.
Officers said they had uncovered a "credible terrorist threat".
Australian police confirmed it was linked to the arrest of five teenagers in Melbourne over alleged plans to target police at an Anzac memorial.
In a joint statement, Victoria Police and the Australian Federal Police said they "can confirm a link between the arrest of a 14-year-old boy in Blackburn, Lancashire, in the United Kingdom on Saturday with Operation Rising, a Joint Counter Terrorism Team operation."
Australian Police arrested five men on Saturday and two remain in
custody. The other three have been released but police have said that one man is
expected to be charged on weapons offences.
"I just wanted to say 'here's some wood,
"After all, Jesus was a carpenter.
A lone stand against intolerance and vandalism spoke for many Toowoomba residents disgusted by the apparent arson of the Garden City Mosque.
Liz, who asked that her surname not be published, sat in her wheelchair outside the burnt-out West St mosque in a quiet showing of solidarity - a Christian supporting the Muslim community.
She had brought with her some wood, nails and a hammer.
"I thought of making a sign saying something like 'Mosques are churches too and they are important to people', but then I thought, they don't need words, they need building materials," she said.
"I just wanted to say 'here's some wood, rebuild'.
"After all, Jesus was a carpenter.
"Hopefully, other people will now help out too (with building materials)."
Liz, who only recently found Jesus, said she felt for the mosque community.
"Until recently I had tried to be an atheist but I never really believed it," she smiled.
"But everyone has the right to worship in their own way.
"I don't agree with what happened here and I know a lot of people feel the same.
"I don't know why it was burnt down; there's nothing to be achieved by it.
"If they (arsonists) are Christians then I don't agree with their type of Christianity."
Thanks for numbering every box and putting the LNP last but my heart belongs to daddy!
"My Heart Belongs to Daddy" is a song written by Cole Porter, for the 1938 musical Leave It to Me! which premiered on November 9, 1938. It was originally performed by Mary Martin, who played Dolly Winslow, the young "protégée" of a rich newspaper publisher. ...
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says her Labor government owes the union movement nothing for helping in its surprise election victory.
Her comments come after United Voice state secretary Gary Bullock declared in a YouTube video earlier this month that the union "won some fantastic commitments from Labor".
"United Voice supported seven successful candidates in the election and two of them are now ministers in Cabinet," he said.
"These United Voice MPs know Labor's commitments, they made the same commitments themselves and now they'll help to make sure those promises become reality."
Mr Bullock was referring to MPs Aaron Harper (Thuringowa), Don Brown (Capalaba), Mick de Brenni (Springwood), Nikki Boyd (Pine Rivers), Craig Crawford (Barron River) and ministers Coralee O'Rourke and Steven Miles.
When asked whether Labor owed the unions, including United Voice, for their part in the election victory, Ms Palaszczuk replied: "No."
"I believe that we should be working as one," she said.
"The business community, the labour movement and my government should be working as one to generate jobs for this state."
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad's department is working through almost 300 submissions received over the future of Brisbane's newest suburb, the $900 million Cedar Woods on bushland between The Gap and Upper Kedron.
Ms Trad will make a decision next week on whether to call in the project, a statement from her office confirmed. ... [Brisbane Times - 20/4/15]
Brisbane Times [9/12/14]:
... The group's specific task is to raise objections to Cedar Woods, the large new suburb of around 1000 homes being proposed for bushland between The Gap and Upper Kedron.
A final vote to approve the first two stages of this new suburb comes to Brisbane City Council on Tuesday afternoon.
Critics say the site is designed to promote Labor candidates Kate Jones and Mark Furner.
Since Sunday afternoon the Save The Gap website has published Labor Party strategy to oppose the council vote and to promote future actions of two Labor candidates in the 2015 state election.
"We have received word from Kate Jones and Mark Furner that they have received confirmation from Cr Milton Dick that all Labor Councillors will stand up and vote to support our Local Plan," the site reads.
The 2007 Ferny Grove Local Plan wanted less dense development over the cleared-bushland site.
Ms Jones is Labor's candidate for the crucial seat of Ashgrove, held by Premier Campbell Newman.
Former senator Mark Furner is Labor's candidate for the seat of Ferny Grove – where the new suburb would be – and is running against the LNP's Dale Shuttleworth.
Shane Bevis confirmed his family – including his father, brother and wife - had set up Save the Gap, but denied it was Labor election campaign vehicle.
Gordon seeks briefing on FNQ bauxite mine
… "I am very concerned that critical due process may not have been administered by the Newman government in its oversight of such a significant and symbolic project," he said.
"I have sought an urgent briefing from the Minister for State Development, Anthony Lynham, regarding the actions of the Newman government ... on whether due process has occurred and that the legal rights of the Wik and Wik Way people have not been trampled upon."
Mr Gordon said he would be requesting a halt on the project to allow an independent review to consider the views of the traditional owners.
He had earlier told ABC Radio that he would stay full-term and had the "ability to become a really effective member".
Mr Gordon returned to his electorate office in Mareeba on Monday after recovering from eye surgery.
Scout leader granted bail
A Queensland scout leader has been granted bail after appearing in court on more than 20 child exploitation charges.
The 30-year-old from West Ipswich was arrested after an investigation by the Crime and Corruption Commission's (CCC) criminal paedophilia team.
Officers raided his address on Sunday and seized a computer, camera equipment and hard drives, all of which allegedly contained child exploitation material.
The man faced the Ipswich Magistrates Court on Monday on a string of charges including 14 counts of making child exploitation material and five counts of using a carriage service to publish child pornography.
He was charged with 26 offences in total.
The man was granted bail and will reappear in the same court on May 13.
He was immediately suspended from his position after Scouts Queensland was made aware of the charges, the organisation said in a statement.
"We will, of course, be working with the CCC and all other authorities in relation to their investigations."
Brian Illington Trent Tapim was 14 when he first spent time in custody.
Now 20, he's back behind bars. ... [Daily Mercury - 18/4/15]
Retired Rockhampton Bishop Brian Heenan has apologised for the sexual abuse of children at St Joseph's Orphanage at Neerkol in central Queensland and for failing victims when they came forward.
A senior member of the Sisters of Mercy gave evidence after Bishop Heenan and said she too did not offer to help a victim.
Sister Berniece Locke said she first became aware of abuse allegations when she saw an article in a Rockhampton newspaper in the early 1990s.
The article quoted a former resident who suffered a miscarriage after she was raped when she was 11 years old.
Sister Locke has testified that she knew the victim but did not contact her.
"I wasn't sure if the story was correct or not, wasn't convinced it was true," she told the inquiry.
Sister Locke denied trying to protect the reputation of the Catholic Church, and said there were no proper protocols for responding to abuse at the time. [ABC - 20/4/15]
Ex-Bega Cheese boss Maurice Van Ryn avoided the gaze of one of his victims as she described how he had stolen her right to choose her "first time".
The once-successful businessman had his face turned toward the judge in Sydney's District Court on Monday as the young woman, who cannot be named, described the pain, fear and guilt that has flowed from his abuse.
Psychologist Dr Donald Rowe told the court Van Ryn's "high level of intelligence" would help prevent him from re-offending as would the testosterone suppressant medication he is currently taking.
One of the contributing factors to Van Ryn's offending was that he had experienced a "decrease in sexual activity" with his then partner, he said.
But forensic psychiatrist Professor David Greenberg said "one has to be cautious about making those statements", adding a pedophile's wife should not be held responsible for pedophilic behaviour. ... [Nine MSN - 20/4/15]
Queensland man accused of torturing, burning victim
News Mail [20/4/15]:
A Kepnock man will face court on Monday accused of torturing and burning a 29-year-old man in the Bundaberg region.
Police said they had charged a man following an alleged assault that occurred in Mount Perry last month.
Police commenced an investigation after making inquiries with a 29-year-old man who had presented himself at the Bundaberg Hospital with fractures, head injuries and burns last month.
Police will allege that the man was assaulted at an address on Heusman Street between March 20 and 27.
A 32-year-old Kepnock man has been charged with one count each of grievous bodily harm, deprivation of liberty, torture and acts intended to main/disfigure or disable.
He is due to appear in the Bundaberg Magistrates Court.
Fire forces evacuation of Gold Coast vet clinic
A small chemical fire has forced the evacuation of a vet clinic on the Gold Coast.
Fire crews were called to the Greencross Vet at Worongary just before midday following reports of a fire.
Staff and animals were evacuated as a precaution while crews cleared smoke and made the scene safe.
Fortunately, no one was injured and the clinic only sustained minor damage.
Workers rupture gas line at Currumbin Waters [MYGC – 20/4/15]
Fire destroys Bundaberg house
News Mail [20/4/15]:
A house was destroyed by fire early yesterday in the second Bundaberg blaze in a week.
A police spokesman said details were sketchy, but police received the report of the fire in Crapps Ave, Avondale, about 1am yesterday.
But he said police were treating it as a crime scene and were guarding it yesterday.
Scientific officers were due to arrive last night to process the scene.
The police spokesman said several vehicles were also destroyed.
A Queensland Fire and Rescue Services spokesman said the house was well alight when fire trucks arrived.
"No one was hurt," the spokesman said.
"Initially we thought there was someone in the house but he later turned up."
A Woongarra house was destroyed by fire last Sunday morning, with the site also a crime scene.
Police ask anyone who may have seen anything suspicious at either blaze to phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Party pooping police keep busy looking for trouble in certain places
Police have charged four people with drug possession after they were called to a large rave party on private property in the southern Darling Downs.
More than 300 people attended the event on a rural property at Sugarloaf on Saturday night.
The majority of partygoers were camped on the roadside in a public area.
Four people were charged with possessing a variety of drugs including ecstasy, LSD and cannabis.
Update – missing woman, Kallangur
QPS Media [20/4/15]:
The search for a woman reported missing in the Kallangur area since last week continues with police holding grave concerns for her welfare.
June Dunstan, 64, was last seen at a Narangba Road residence on April 15 and spoke with family on April 18 but has not been seen nor heard from since.
Concerns are held for her welfare due to her medical condition and the inclement weather in the area.
Police have been searching the area around Narangba Road and nearby bushland with the assistance of approximately 17 State Emergency Service volunteers, the police helicopter and officers on trail bikes but have so far not located any sign of her.
The search has been suspended this evening to resume at first light with police continuing patrols throughout the night.
Police are appealing for residents in the Kallangur area, especially those around the Narangba Road area to check their yards and any sheds, outbuildings and caravans in case Mrs Dunstan has sought shelter from the weather.
Motorists travelling through the area are also being asked to report if they may have seen a woman matching her description walking beside the road.
Mrs Dunstan is described as Caucasian in appearance, around 165cms tall with short brown hair, brown eyes and of solid build.
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.
Sydney woman to appeal manslaughter conviction over abusive ex-partner's death
Sydney woman Jessica Silva will appeal the manslaughter conviction handed down for the stabbing death of her abusive former partner.
Silva killed James Polkinghorne on Mother's Day 2012 outside her parents' Marrickville home in Sydney's inner west after he turned up in a violent rage and attacked her and her family.
She was convicted of manslaughter last year but was last month handed a two-year suspended jail sentence, with a judge describing the matter as "exceptional".
Her lawyer said she should not have been charged with anything and he will seek a full acquittal in the New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal.
"If anything she deserved an award for her bravery," Adam Houda told the Nine Network.
"We believe it should have been a complete acquittal. We believe it was a straight out self-defence case. And that's why we're appealing.
"We're very, very confident that the three judges sitting on the Court of Criminal Appeal will agree with us and exonerate her completely."
Silva told Nine that she became hysterical after her drug-affected ex partner arrived at the home.
"And he just started punching my face, trying to pull me down to the ground. and then my brother just stepped in and took him off me," she said.
"I was just screaming 'he's going to kill my brother, he's going to kill my brother', and so I went in and got a knife just to scare him.
"I wasn't thinking I was going to use it. I just grabbed the knife."
Serious traffic crash, Sunnybank Hills
QPS Media [20/4/15]:
Police are currently at the scene of a serious traffic crash on Borella Road in Sunnybank Hills.
Initial investigations suggest around 3.15pm today a 7-year-old girl was struck by a vehicle.
She was taken to hospital in a serious condition.
Borella Road between Symons Road and Kentucky Street is is currently closed and motorists are asked to avoid the area if possible.
The Forensic Crash Unit are investigating.
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.
Fatal traffic incident, Deception Bay
QPS Media [19/4/15]:
Police are investigating a fatal traffic incident that occurred at Deception Bay this evening.
Initial information suggests around 6.30pm, a man was walking on the roadway on Deception Bay Road when he was struck by a utility.
The 18-year-old Burpengary East man was pronounced deceased at the scene.
The Forensic Crash Unit is continuing its investigation into the incident
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.
Truck rolls over onto train tracks, Raglan
Gladstone Observer [20/4/15]:
Onlookers helped an injured man out of his truck this morning after he rolled it onto a train track near Raglan.
Gladstone Fire and Rescue station officer Graham Smith said the driver was heading north on the Bruce Hwy north of Raglan.
He veered across the south bound lane into the tall grass where he rolled the truck onto the train tracks.
The truck driver is at the Gladstone Hospital being treated for minor injuries.
Cyclist hit by car in Roleystone
West Australian [20/4/15]:
A cyclist is recovering in Royal Perth Hospital after he was hit by a car in Roleystone yesterday.
The man was riding along Canning Mills Road at about 8.20am when he was struck.
St John Ambulance rushed him to Armadale Hospital, but he was later transferred to RPH.
He is believed to be in a serious but stable condition.
“I am a cage, in search of a bird.”
― Franz Kafka
How does Australia benefit from the millions spent jailing and torturing Iran's dissidents? [Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney - 20/4/15]:
More than 100 Ahwazi Arabs from across the country will converge on Canberra to protest at the Immigration department and at the Iranian embassy on Monday 20 April.
The Ahwazi are a persecuted minority in south-west of Iran; the most oil-rich region. Ahwazis are denied the right to education in their own language.
April 15 marks the 10th anniversary of the peaceful Ahwazi intifada against forced displacement, discrimination and persecution of the indigenous Arabs by the Iranian regime.
In the 2005 Intifada,the Iranian regime gunned down at least 130 civilians in cold blood. At least 2,000 were incarcerated and more killings were carried out in the following months and years.
At least four Ahwazis were executed in 2014; in January, two Ahwazi Arab teachers, Hadi Rashedi and Hashem Shaabani, and on June 12, Iranian authorities informed the families of Ali Chabishat and Seyed Khaled Mousavi, that they had secretly executed and buried, regardless of appeals by the United Nations.
The Ahwazis will protest against the detention of Ahwazi Arab in Australia and on Manus and Nauru and against the on-going persecution by the Iranian regime.
It is estimated that more than 100 are in detention in Australia and offshore. Around 1000 are on bridging visas in the community waiting to be processed.
On 28 May, last year, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop issued a statement expressing Australia concern at the use of the death penalty, on-going human rights abuses in Iran, including the mistreatment of ethnic and religious minorities – http://www.bahai.org.au/NewsMedia/NewsStories/ArticleView/tabid/72/ArticleId/239/Australian-Foreign-Minister-expresses-deep-concerns-for-Baha-is-in-Iran.aspx.
In her visit to Iran last week – she said
nothing about such persecution.
The Ahwazi community will protest in Canberra, Monday 20 April:
(i) In front of Department of Immigration in Canberra on Monday 20th April from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm. Dr John Minns, representing Canberra’s Refugee Action Committee, Canberra will speak at the protest;
(ii) protest in front of the Iranian Embassy in Canberra from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.
Australia brokers intelligence-sharing deal with Iran [Yahoo - 20/4/15]
Where is the outrage? Have we become so used to such border protection system cruelties we no longer have heart to protest or even report them?
Australia crosses another red line in Vietnam refoulement, Tony Kevin [Eureka Street – 20/4/15]:
The 40th Anniversary of the fall of Saigon, on 30 April 1975, is fast approaching: a meaningful day both for the people of Vietnam, and for the Vietnamese diaspora around the world.
For the former, the end of a terrible decades-long war which ravaged their country and maimed so many lives. For the latter, a sad anniversary marking forced emigration and exile from a country and culture irreparably lost.
Slowly, the emotional wounds are healing with time. The business-friendly Vietnamese communist government is putting out the welcome mat for overseas Vietnamese to return there on family reunion holidays, or even (if they have capital and/or skills) to live and work. As one Vietnamese entrepreneur who successfully returned from Britain told the Financial Times recently:
The reality is that once the government knows you’re here to do business, they leave you alone.
And yet, it seems, some people still try to flee Vietnam, either as political refugees or perhaps in search of better opportunities.
The Australian Government has found its own egregious way to commemorate the anniversary. Last Friday 17 April, Nick Butterly of the West Australian broke a remarkable story from Canberra: that HMAS Choules was currently standing off the Vietnamese coast, in an operation to hand back to Vietnam a group of almost 50 asylum seekers. They were ‘believed to have been intercepted by Customs and Navy vessels earlier in April, north of Australia’.
It was unclear ‘whether HMAS Choules had already handed them over to Vietnamese authorities or whether they were still in the process of being transferred’. The weeklong return voyage of HMAS Choules to Vietnam to return the asylum seekers was estimated to cost at least $1.4 million each way.
I would guess this story was officially leaked to the West Australian, perhaps as a way of putting pressure on Vietnam to accept the returnees.
It seems hardly credible that the government would mount a costly $2.8 million voyage without first checking that the people would be accepted by Hanoi.
Ministry of Public Security Prisons where political and religious detainees are held: Excerpted from "Vietnam: Torture and Abuse of Political and Religious Prisoners," Campaign to Abolish Torture in Vietnam, 2014.
Kitten thrown into
city traffic from moving car
A motorist was disgusted by a brutal act of animal cruelty in which a kitten was thrown from a vehicle at traffic lights in Toowoomba.
The motorcycle rider was at the intersection of James and Pechey Sts when he witnessed the cruel act.
"I was waiting to turn right on to James St and when the lights turned green (a passenger in the vehicle) threw the young kitten out of the window and drove off," they said.
The motorcyclist estimates the kitten was no more than eight weeks old.
"(It) was hit by the traffic - it wasn't killed but was seriously hurt," they said.
"With the help of the young truck driver behind me we picked it up and headed straight to Herriot House Veterinary Surgery, but I'm afraid to say the poor little thing died on the way to the vets.
"How can people be so mean?"
Cruelty is not inexplicable.
It is a hallmark of fascism: "Communists are like pussy cats" - Bertolucci's 1900 [VIDEO *** WARNING ... GRAPHIC ***]
APG Chairperson held up at Brisbane international airport by customs officials for presenting Aboriginal passport
APG Media Release [18/4/15]:
Nyaywana man and Chairperson of the APG Callum Clayton-Dixon was held up by customs officials at Brisbane international airport for at least 40 minutes yesterday evening when he insisted on presenting only his Aboriginal passport on return from a trip to Aotearoa.
They eventually allowed him to re-enter Aboriginal land without producing any other documentation.
After being told to stand aside from the queue, Clayton-Dixon was approached by an official who proceeded to ask, "Do you have an Australian passport," to which Clayton-Dixon replied, "I am an Aboriginal person returning to my country using my Aboriginal passport."
A number of customs and immigration officials attempted on multiple occasions to get him to produce other forms of identification (Australian passport, drivers licence etc).
Clayton-Dixon says it is crucial that as many of our people travelling overseas, for whatever reason, attain and use their Aboriginal passport when re-entering Aboriginal land via an Australian international airport:
"They may hassle and harass us, but they have to let us through eventually. It's our country, and we have the right to use our own passport instead of having to use a foreign and colonial travel document. We have the right to put 'Aboriginal' on the nationality section of the incoming passenger card instead of 'Australian'. The United Nations states clearly that indigenous peoples have the right to determine our own political status, to be self-determining. This is the issue we're trying to raise with the Aboriginal passport. It's an act of Aboriginal sovereignty."
The APG has been talking with an international passport company since January this year about revamping the Aboriginal passport so that it fulfils international security requirements set down by the United Nations.
The rollout of the revamped Aboriginal passport will take place in early 2016, and the APG will then work to get official recognition from countries sympathetic to our struggle for self-determination.
Canberra's Aboriginal Tent Embassy won't be given extra protection through inclusion on the ACT Heritage Register.
Already included on the Commonwealth Heritage List as part of the Old Parliament House precinct, the Tent Embassy was rejected for provisional registration by the ACT Heritage Council this week. ... [Canberra Times - 19/4/15]
34 migrants saved off southwestern Turkey
Hurriyet Daily News [19/4/15]:
A total of 34 migrants who set sail from Turkey en route to Greece were rescued April 19 after their boat sank off of Turkey’s southwestern coast.
Initially, the Turkish Coast Guard rescued three migrants, including a three-year-old child, from a boat that sank off the coast of the southwestern province of Bodrum.
According to initial reports, the vessel was heading to the Greek island of Kos, about two miles (3.2 kilometers) from the coast of Turkey, when it capsized off Bodrum in Muğla.
Coast guard officials said the boat was carrying Syrians, Afghans and Iranians. Some rescued migrants were taken to Bodrum State Hospital, the officials added.
Meanwhile, a 33-year-old pregnant woman from Cameroon gave birth to her twin children April 19 on a dinghy which had set sail from the Aegean province of Aydın’s Didim district and was en route to Greece’s Samos Island, Doğan News Agency reported.
The twin babies, which suffered from hypothermia after being delivered, were taken to a hospital in nearby Rhodes via helicopter. The mother and babies were reported to be in good health.
The Cameroonian mother was among 25 migrants trying to illegally cross over to Greece via Turkey.
Turkey is a regular transit point for undocumented immigrants trying to reach Europe.
According to a recent report, Turkish teams have rescued 1,497 migrants and apprehended six human traffickers in about 60 incidents as part of its operations in the Aegean Sea in 2015.
If the United States (and its puppet states) curbed their military aggression and colonialism, people wouldn't have to flee their countries
United States, “allies” continue bombing Iraq and Syria [US
Department of Defense Media Release - 19/4/15]:
U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
Officials reported details of the latest strikes, which took place between 8 a.m. April 18 and 8 a.m. today, local time, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Airstrikes in Syria
Attack aircraft conducted an airstrike near Al Hasakah and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
Airstrikes in Iraq
Fighter, attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 12 airstrikes in Iraq, approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense:
-- Near Bayji, three airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and two ISIL sniper positions.
-- Near Fallujah, two airstrikes struck an ISIL large and smaller tactical unit, destroyed an ISIL anti-aircraft artillery weapon, an ISIL machine gun and three ISIL vehicles.
-- Near Kirkuk, three airstrikes struck two ISIL large and one smaller tactical unit and destroyed three ISIL buildings.
-- Near Ramadi, three airstrikes struck three ISIL tactical units, destroyed an ISIL structure, an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL mortar system.
-- Near Sinjar, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL buildings.
Egypt's Sisi meets CIA chief Brennan in Cairo [Ahram - 19/4/15]:
President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi met on Sunday CIA director John Brennan during his visit to Cairo, the Egyptian presidency said.
According to a presidency statement, Sisi discussed common interest issues including the latest developments in the Middle East and the war on terrorism.
Egypt supports the US-led coalition against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria but has not taken part in military operations.
The meeting was attended by Major General Khaled Fawzi, the head of Egypt's General Intelligence and US ambassador to Cairo Stephen Beecroft.
In late March, US President Barack Obama released the $1.3 billion military aid to Egypt that was suspended after the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, in an effort to boost Cairo's ability to combat the extremist threat in the region.
Yemen rebel leader Abdulmalik al-Huthi vowed Sunday he will "never give in" to a Saudi-led air war on his Shiite militants, branding the campaign "savage aggression".
"Our Yemeni people will never give in -- it will resist in the face of the savage aggression," Huthi said in an television address on the 25th day of the air strikes targeting his rebel group. ... [Ahram - 19/4/15]
The US and the Philippines are set to launch their biggest annual joint military exercises in years, amid growing tensions over China's recent activities in disputed South China Sea waters.
The "war games" beginning on Monday will involve an estimated 12,000 troops - double the number from last year - in simultaneous drills across the Philippines for 10 days. ... [Al Jazeera - 19/4/15]
New Zealand Plotted Hack on China With NSA [The Intercept – 18/4/15]
Cambodia Daily [18/4/15]:
At a ceremony marking 40 years since the Khmer Rouge seized Phnom Penh and began their bloody rule of Cambodia, opposition leader Sam Rainsy said on Friday that he and Prime Minister Hun Sen had, for the time being, ended the country’s long history of conflict.
Speaking to some 300 CNRP supporters at the Choeung Ek Genocidal Center, commonly called the killing fields, Mr. Rainsy said that after centuries of violence it was time for Cambodians to achieve peace on their own terms.
“For 500 years in the past, we have seen Khmers suffering and killed by other Khmers or by foreigners,” Mr. Rainsy said.
“When Khmers fought for power, one group had conflict with another group and they killed each other with no end. When foreigners intervened, they allowed one group to win and they appointed them to hold power,” he said.
“There is only one lesson: To avoid having a tragedy like this in the near future, we have to change our mindset, our habit, our culture of trying to get rid of each other through violence and a culture of war.”
Abbott, Dutton, Morrison, Gillard, Rudd, Bowen, Burke?
Murdoch propaganda has laid the groundwork for a bipartisan
delegation of Australian politicians,
your mothers" Commanders and concentration camp operators
to preach deterrence and "stop the boats" delusion to the world.
Where are you?
Are you not extremely keen to share your expertise in refugee torture with the international community ASAP?
Italy has called for an emergency summit of European Union leaders following the latest migrant boat tragedy in the Mediterranean. … [RTE – 19/4/15]
Truth about British shock-jock and migrant boats, Andrew Thomas [Al Jazeera - 19/4/15]:
An article by a reality TV contestant, turned opinionated columnist has provoked outrage in Britain.
Writing in The Sun, Katie Hopkins takes aim at the migrants taking boats from Africa to Europe, and those who die trying.
They are, she writes, "a plague of feral humans...cockroaches ... built to survive a nuclear bomb".
If they drown, she writes, she does not care. "Show me pictures of coffins, show me bodies floating in water ... I still don't care".
So far, so shock-jock. Katie Hopkins makes a career out of being provocative and extreme.
It is what comes next that should really make those in my part of the world sit up and take notice - because the hatred Hopkins has for migrants is matched only by the admiration she has for Australians, one in particular: Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Australia's approach to migrant boats, she writes, is different from Europe's.
"They threaten them with violence until they bugger off, throwing cans of Castlemaine in an Aussie version of sharia stoning".
In Hopkins’ eyes, it is working. "Migrant boats have halved in number since Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott got tough".
... At the end of 2014, 4270 refugees and 6916 asylum seekers were registered with the Jakarta office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, an organisation whose resources have been stretched, worldwide, by the largest number of people in refugee-like situations since relevant data started being collected. UNHCR’s Jakarta office is chronically underfunded and Australia’s policy changes have added to the pressure by reducing the exit options for refugees and asylum seekers in Indonesia either by boat or via resettlement. According to the UNHCR, the waiting period between initial registration as an asylum seeker and a first-round interview ranges from eight to eighteen months. Further interviews are usually required to determine refugee status. For people found to be refugees, the wait then continues until a country willing to offer resettlement is found. The longest wait-time we are aware of is eleven years in total. ... Out Of Sight, Out of Mind [Inside Story - 14/4/15]
UNHCR - New Mediterranean boat tragedy may be biggest ever, urgent action is needed now [Media Release - 19/4/15]:
... "This disaster confirms how urgent it is to restore a robust rescue-at-sea operation and establish credible legal avenues to reach Europe. Otherwise people seeking safety will continue to perish at sea," said António Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
"But it also points to the need for a comprehensive European approach to address the root causes that drive so many people to this tragic end. I hope the EU will rise to the occasion, fully assuming a decisive role to prevent future such tragedies." ...
EU needs a new refugee policy, Johannes Beck [Deusche Welle – 19/4/15]:
... I don't want to hear any more words of mourning from European politicians after the most recent tragedy in the Mediterranean.
Those who don't want to participate in search and rescue missions like Mare Nostrum because they have been deemed too expensive should at least be honest enough and openly say that lives of people from Eritrea, Ethiopia or Syria are not worth very much.
First, as a short-term approach: Search and rescue operations need to be expanded to the entire Mediterranean Sea again and should be financed by all EU member states, of course. Italy can by no means be left in a lurch again like it was with Mare Nostrum.
Second, as medium-term approach: the European immigration policy needs to be reformed. In addition to the right of asylum due to political persecution and protection of refugees from war zones such as Syria, migrants should also be allowed to come to Europe for economic reasons.
Europe is de facto already an immigration continent. Many countries have to deal with an aging population and will continue to need immigrants in the future. Quotas and point systems could help in making this process legal and transparent. This would help curb those leaving in search of work from running to the boats of human traffickers in the Mediterranean.
Third, in the long run: The EU has to spotlight the reasons why people are fleeing and leaving their countries. Those who destroy all governmental structures in Libya by launching a military operation can't withdraw from the country and simply watch how it descends into chaos.
The EU has to vigorously insist on observing human rights, for instance in Eritrea which is home to many boat refugees in the Mediterranean where the EU and its member states - Germany as well - have turned a blind eye for a long time and initially even helped support the dictatorial regime with development aid.
We've had enough time to talk and lament. It's high time to act.
'Remembrance has no expiration date' at Sachsenhausen, Ravensbrück [Deutsche Welle – 19/4/15]:
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was among dignitaries marking 70 years since the liberation of the Sachsenhausen Nazi concentration camp, saying remembrance must endure after survivors have passed on.
"The crimes of the National Socialist regime are incomparable to any others," Frank-Walter Steinmeier said at the Sachsenhausen memorial on Sunday, "they make us shiver."
At the camp north of Berlin, liberated on April 22 and 23 of 1945, Steinmeier alluded to the site itself standing "for the monstrosity of a regime which institutionalized horror."
The Social Democrat foreign minister pointed out how the camp - the first to be designed by the Nazis for purpose - was planned "with the best architecture for the completion of barbaric goals."
Steinmeier said the Tröglitz attack was not worthy of 'the multicultural country which the vast majority of Germans want'
The triangular design of the facility was supposed to ensure both that the site could be expanded without difficulty, and that the minimum number of guards could patrol the site.
Its layout allowed a single machine-gunner a line of sight on the 68 prisoner barracks, arranged in a semi-circular layout in front of Watchtower A.
"Remembrance has no expiration date," Steinmeier said at the ceremony, where he also warned of the recent attacks targeting asylum seekers in eastern Germany.
He stressed that the majority of Germans stood for an open, multicultural country, "but nevertheless, all of this is happening here in Germany."
The foreign minister said that, for him, taking responsibility meant standing up against any such form of discrimination or xenophobia in modern-day Germany.
"What kind of country we want to live in 70 years after the horrors of the Shoah [the Hebrew word for Holocaust] is in our own hands," Steinmeier said.
Australia's "opposition" immigration spokesperson OK with torture, incarceration, allowing guards to beat refugees to death with impunity, exile and deportation - but critical of "secrecy".
... Mr Marles accused Mr Dutton of being even more secretive than the Government was last year, when it returned a group of Tamil asylum seekers at sea.
"There was at least some indication from the Government about what assessment process had been undertaken," he said.
"Right now we're hearing nothing.
"This actually represents a new low in the secrecy of this Government in terms of how it's handling the question of asylum seekers, and that is utterly inappropriate." ...
20 April 2015