Firefighters and coast guard officers rescued dozens of migrants from a facility near the Thessaloniki Port Authority headquarters on Saturday after a fire broke out there for reasons that were not clear at the time.

A team of 12 firemen managed to bring the blaze under control but not before it had destroyed much of the camp, including beds and mattresses. ... [Ekathimerini - 20/8/16]



Forty-one migrants landed on a Mykonos coast on Friday afternoon, with the coast guard men transferring them to the island’s new port shortly afterwards. ... [Greek Reporter - 20/8/16]



‏@ItalianNavy [20/8/16]:  #SAR Nave Sirio #MarinaMilitare ha terminato il trasbordo di 17 migranti soccorsi da Nave Astral



‏@PROACTIVA_SERV [20/8/16]:  Fin de semana #Med Atendidas 2 barcas desde el amanecer y habrá más.Entregados al máximo para evitar más muertes.



‏@MSF_Sea [20/8/16]:  ... The #Aquarius has just rescued all those travelling on this rubber boat including 35 women and 2 kids.


@moas_eu [20/8/16]:  Silence reigned today as #Responder crew disembarked 304 survivors + 5 victims of latest #MediterraneanTragedy


@Francescorocca [20/8/16]:  Little C. lost his mother and sister in the crossing of the Mediterranean. #enough!! #protecthumanity



Day 154 refugee protests, Nauru



Image: ‏@elahe_zivardar [20/8/16]



 Who is telling these men, women and children that the ALP - Shorten, Marles, Neumann - would be any different, and why? ---> ... People chant: Turnbull shame on you, Aussies thank you ‏@elahe_zivardar



... People chant: Dutton shame on you, Aussies thank you ‏@elahe_zivardar



... people chant: Malcolm Turnbull shame on you, shut down Manus and Nauru @elahe_zivardar  



WHO TOLD THEM THIS LIE? ---> "Unidentified employee" says Nauru refugees were under the impression an ALP government would help them [ABC - 17/8/16]



Turnbull and Dutton are under no pressure while they are covered by the ALP and simply following their anti-refugee policy.  I urged Gillard to challenge Rudd: Bill Shorten [Sydney Morning Herald - 29/6/2010]



The Gillard government's offshore dumping policy [Project SafeCom]



 ALP helps LNP lock in offshore detention [ABC - 24/6/15]



... Ali does not want to be settled in Australia, he said, where taxpayers’ money is used to “torture innocents”.

“Never ever,” he said.

“Australia is the one who tortured us in Manus concentration camp – why would I wish to go there?”


“Any of the 27 countries that are participating in the UNHCR refugee resettlement program that are willing to take us, we will accept.” ... What Australia's political prisoners on Manus Island think [Buzzfeed - 19/8/16]



@the_erc [19/8/16]:  @the_erc & SRA #Sweden r marching in a peaceful protest on #WorldRohingyaDay in front of the @SwedishPM to speak up.



After NLD government led by Nobel laureate Suu Kyi came to power in Myanmar, the ever first Rohingya Demonstration Worldwide takes place as Rohingya face increased human right violations. ... [Burma Times - 20/8/16]



According to the local residents in Sittwe, the capital city of Arakan State, Rizwana (daughter of Yakub, Aged 25) was believed to have been gang-raped by soldiers of Myanmar Army’s Artillery in Sittwe. 

On Tuesday, 16th August 2016, she was taken to the Artillery cantonment by a group of soldiers while she was on her way to Thet Kay Pyin village from Lat-Ma-Shay village.

On 17th August 2016 early morning, Rizwana was discarded near the cantonment, and soldiers informed the village chairman of Thet Kay Pyin that they have found a Muslim lady nearby their cantonment and asked the village chairman to take her. 

The village chairman went there and took her to the rural clinic in Thet Kay Pyin while she was unconscious and injured.

She was given some medical treatment after arriving at the clinic but she died at 7pm on that day.  [RB - 19/8/16]



Aung San Suu Kyi discusses Myitsone dam with China PM [Eleven Myanmar - 19/8/16]



Tamils march in Mullaitivu demanding action over disappearances [Tamil Guardian - 20/8/16]



Family and loved ones of the disappeared protested in Kilinochchi on Thursday demanding to know the whereabouts of the missing. ... [Tamil Guardian - 19/8/16]



Puducherry chief minister V Narayanasamy wrote to India’s external affairs minister this week, calling for the release of four fishermen who were arrested by the Sri Lankan navy.

Mr Narayanasamy, who met with Minster Sushma Swaraj in Delhi last week to discuss the issue of the Sri Lankan military arresting fishermen, called for steps to be taken to release the men.

The group, from Karaikal and Tamil Nadu, were arrested last week by the Sri Lankan navy and are currently being held in jail. [Tamil Guardian - 20/8/16]



On Thursday evening, ambulance driver Ghulam Mohammad Sofi had to drop two emergency patients who were in need of immediate medical attention in two different Srinagar hospitals but just half an hour later he himself was being operated upon in a city health centre after a CRPF personnel ‘directly’ fired a full cartridge of pellets on him.

Sofi had traveled 28 kilometers – crisscrossing the roads barricaded by concertina wires and blockades installed by armed forces enforcing the curfew, from Public Health Centre Wussan in Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district to take a child suffering from acute diarrhea to a children hospital in Srinagar and another patient suffering from fracture to Bones and Joints (B&J) hospital.

There were three attendants with the two patients in the ambulance. ... [The Indian Express - 20/8/16]

Kashmiri teacher dies in Indian army custody [Al Jazeera – 19/8/16]



Mobile phone services restored in Kashmir after six days [Greater Kashmir - 20/8/16]



Singaporeans imprisoned 2 years for looking at incorrect websites and listening to the wrong radio station [Channel News Asia - 19/8/16]:


... Omar’s wife Dian Faezah Ismail, a 34-year-old housewife, was issued a restriction order for a period of two years.

A person given a restriction order is not allowed to change his residence or employment or travel out of Singapore without prior approval from the authorities.

Dian was an Islamic State supporter who believed that the terrorist group’s violent actions were legitimate, MHA said.

She supported her husband’s intention to join Islamic State and take up arms in Syria, and helped him in his plans to relocate their family to Syria.

She has moderated her views and will undergo religious counselling, the ministry added. 

Dian is not the first female to be dealt with under the ISA, but is the first female to be issued with a Restriction Order for her involvement in jihadi terrorism-related activities, MHA stated.

The second Singaporean issued a two-year restriction order was Mohamad Reiney Noor Mohd, a 26-year-old building technician. 

Reiney is related to Dian and Omar through marriage. ...


PNG blockade lifted but grievances remain [RNZI - 19/8/16]



The Bougainville Government is furious at statements by Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister that he has transferred his government's shares from Rio Tinto to the province's landowners.

The shares are in Bougainville Copper Ltd which had run the long closed Panguna mine in PNG's autonomous region of Bougainville. ... [RNZI - 19/8/16]



Dozens of people rescued after mudslide, flood hit Pondok Labu in Jakarta [Jakarta Post - 20/8/16]



"They [youths] are more disturbed when they come out then they were when they were in there."


Former Queensland youth detention worker 'took abuse concerns to Government in April' [ABC - 20/8/16]:


A former youth detention worker says Queensland's justice department failed to act on concerns about abuse at Townsville's Cleveland Youth Detention Centre she raised with them earlier this year.


Shayleen Solomon said she told a senior bureaucrat in the Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney-General in April this year about excessive use of force at the Townsville centre.

"I brought to his attention about the way they are using excessive force on the young people — the way that the young girls are being restrained, the way that the young boys are being restrained — I actually brought to his attention about one young girl that had a suspected fractured jaw," she said.

Ms Solomon, who worked at the centre for about five years and left in 2012, said the department had not acted on issues she had raised.

"Not at all ... [the bureaucrat's] words to me were that he would go back and do some recommendations ... and the recommendations would be sent back to Cleveland," she said.

"I sat opposite a table at the youth detention centre because I emailed the [senior bureaucrat] and asked if he would give me the time to meet with me about my concerns, because the Indigenous community of Townsville have a right to know what is happening to their Indigenous children in there."

ABC TV's 7.30 program this week aired CCTV images from the Townsville centre of a girl in a swimming pool being threatened by security guards with an unmuzzled dog in 2015.

It also revealed images of a 17-year-old boy being held face down by five adults, handcuffed, ankle-cuffed, stripped naked and left alone in isolation for more than an hour.

Townsville Deputy Mayor Les Walker said it was concerning it took an ABC investigation using the State Government's own internal reports to spark a review.

"That only goes to show that maybe the communication process upwards to departmental heads or ministers is not happening," he said.

"The story breaking the way it did shines a spotlight on it, but also highlights to the Minister that there are issues not only in the institution, but maybe in the department itself that it is failing to report upwards and that is a very serious concern."

Councillor Walker worked at the Cleveland centre until 2010 and said there needed to be a focus on restorative justice.

He said improving rehabilitation of detainees must be included in the review.

"Offenders are sent to those facilities as punishment for their indiscretions or offending behaviour - not for further punishment," he said.

"I think we need to be looking at how these facilities are structured to make sure that no further damage is actually occurring to these individuals."

Siyavash Doostkhah, the director of the Youth Affairs Network of Queensland, said in a statement he had serious concerns that the Queensland Government was refusing to acknowledge the need for a Royal Commission.

He said the Government was trying to "pull wool over public's eyes by calling yet another review".

"Only a Royal Commission will have the ability to call and cross-examine witnesses, obtain evidence, while also providing protection to witnesses and inquiry members from legal action such as defamation," he said in the statement.

Mr Doostkhah said Queensland's Attorney-General had already put limitations on its review and was trying to limit its scope to the allegations aired on TV.

"What we saw on the ABC 7.30 and Lateline programs this week were the tip of the iceberg and any attempt to limit investigations to what was aired is nothing less than an attempt to cover up much larger problems that have permeated all aspects of the youth justice system in Queensland for a long time," he said.

"If the Attorney-General wants to regain the confidence of the public in the youth justice system, she should accept that the best way to get to the bottom of all problems in the system and to use the opportunity for genuine reform is to support establishing a Royal Commission." ...


Queensland police officer investigated after allegedly helping mate find ex-wife despite domestic violence order [ABC - 20/8/16]:


... The alleged text messages joked about how the woman would "flip out" once she knew she had been tracked down.

Stalking expert Dr Phil Watts, who was in Brisbane attending a family violence conference, said he was very concerned this kind of private information could be released.

The forensic psychologist said it was very concerning that both men also joked about the incident.

"It is probably how he has rationalised what he is doing - like he has been fed a story about the ex which has probably distorted his perception," he said.

"So he is now acting in some immature way with his mate, which is how he has justified what he has done - thinking it is not that serious.

"Don't know whether he is a rogue officer or whether it is something within the culture." ...



An Indonesian man suspected of being al-Qaida’s chief operative in Southeast Asia appeared before a Guantanamo Bay review board on Thursday, making his first public appearance since his transfer to the detention facility in Cuba almost a decade ago.

Encep Nurjaman, better known as Hambali, was described by military officials as an “operational mastermind” of Jemaah Islamiah, the militant group that conducted the suicide bombing of a Bali nightclub in October 2002, killing more than 200 people in the region’s worst-ever terrorist attack.


A 2014 Senate Intelligence Committee report said the CIA used “enhanced interrogation techniques” – often a euphemism for torture – on Hambali about a month into his CIA detention.

According to the report, Hambali was told by an interrogator that he would never go to court: “We can never let the world know what I have done to you.” ... [National Post - 19/8/16]



A US federal judge made public still images from video in a lawsuit alleging that migrants caught "illegally" entering the country are held in dirty, crowded cells. [New York Times - 19/8/16]



US Coast Guard forcibly return 55 Cuban migrants after 4 interdictions in South Florida Straits [Media Release - 19/8/16]



Israeli forces use electric shock on 16-year-old Palestinian prisoner, assault others [Maan - 19/8/16]



Three Palestinian minors are currently being held without charge or trial in Israel’s Ofer prison, the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs said in a statement on Thursday.

The three, all under the age of 18, were identified as Ahmad Nimr, Luay Nairoukh, and Hamzeh al-Silwadi .

Luay Akkeh, a lawyer from the committee, highlighted in the statement that Israel is applying administrative detention -- a policy of detention without charge or trial -- in violation of all international laws, and using the policy to impose collective punishment on Palestinian communities. ... [Maan - 19/8/16]



3 injured with rubber bullets, dozens suffer tear gas inhalation during Kafr Qaddum, Bilin protests [Maan - 19/8/16]



Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil asked Lebanon's mission to the United Nations to file a complaint to the Security Council about Israel's incursions in the southern towns of Ghajar and Shebaa Farms, the National News Agency reported on Friday.

Bassil sent a letter to the mission in New York about Israel's violations which he said are “violating U.N. resolution 1701, the people's rights and the Lebanese sovereignty.” ... [Naharnet - 19/8/16]


Bomb explodes in Ain el-Hilweh refugee camp [Naharnet – 19/8/16]:


... A similar incident took place on Thursday when a hand grenade exploded at dawn at the intersection of al-Fawqani street's vegetable market but no causalities were reported. ...



Palestinian police searching for weapons clashed with gunmen in the West Bank city of Nablus into Friday morning, leaving four people dead, Palestinian officials said. ... [Naharnet - 19/8/16]


America delivers $50 Million in Humvees, weapons, and ammunition to the Lebanese Army [Centcom – 17/8/16]



10 officers from Burundi's army and police force flee country over fears of repression [Al Jazeera - 19/8/16]



Rwandan national police said they killed three suspected Islamist militants and arrested three others in the western district of Rusizi on Friday.

A police statement said the three who were killed had turned violent in resisting arrest during a raid that followed a tip-off from the public.

Police found the suspects had barricaded themselves inside a house for two weeks. ... [Reuters - 19/816]



Car bomb kills 1, wounds 4 in Mogadishu [Ahram - 19/8/16]



... Now the UN has intervened directly by spiriting Reik Machar out of South Sudan (Ethiopia is no longer stable and Mr. Machar apparently no longer trusts the regime there) to the D.R. Congo where he is has been handed over by the UN to be protected by the D.R. Congo government of Joseph Kabila where Mr. Machar says he is waiting for the UN “peacekeepers” to arrive and, he hopes, shoe horn him into power in South Sudan.

So much for the UN’s “neutrality”.

It’s regime change time and the UN once again shows itself as a lackey of the USA. ...  US pushes regime change in South Sudan; UN intervenes to protect rebel leader [Counterpunch - 19/8/16]



Yemen: Indiscriminate bombings and unreliable reassurances from Saudi-led coalition force MSF to evacuate staff from six hospitals in the north [Media Release - 19/8/16]



UN admits role in Haiti cholera outbreak that has killed thousands [NPR - 18/8/16]



Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton does not need to give sworn testimony in a lawsuit brought by a conservative watchdog group over her use of an unauthorized private email system while she was U.S. Secretary of State, a judge ruled on Friday.

Clinton must instead respond in writing within 30 days to questions submitted by Judicial Watch, a group that has long been critical of her conduct and which is suing the Department of State over Clinton-era records. ... [Reuters - 19/8/16]



Islamic State suicide bombings hit Libyan forces in Sirte [Reuters - 18/8/16]



A former CIA asset has become a US headache in Libya  [Washington Post - 17/8/16]



The flow in the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik oil pipeline from northern Iraq into Turkey has resumed, an energy official from the city told Anadolu Agency on Friday.

Necat Huseyin, a member of Kirkuk Provincial Council Member Energy Commission, said that the flow restarted last night at the instructions of the Iraqi Oil Ministry, and since then 70,000 barrels of crude oil have been sent down the pipeline to the Mediterranean Turkish port of Ceyhan.

Mentioning how the flow was disrupted for five months due to problems between the central government in Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), Huseyin said deliveries will continue today with an additional 30,000 barrels. ... [Anadolu Agency - 19/8/16]



18 Prime Ministry staff held in Turkey coup bid investigation [Anadolu Agency - 19/8/16]



Turkey on Aug. 19 detained dozens of academics suspected of backing Fethullah Gülen, the alleged mastermind of last month’s failed coup attempt, while pressing ahead with raids on businesses linked to the U.S.-based Islamic scholar.

Prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 84 academics nationwide, Doğan News Agency reported, while the state-run Anadolu Agency said Istanbul authorities were separately hunting 62 academics working at Istanbul University. 

Some 74 scholars have been detained so far in both operations, media said. ... [Hurriyet Daily News - 19/8/16]



Talks with Turkey and Iran not aimed at creating coalition, Russia says [RUDAW - 19/8/16]



Double Asshole --->  Biden holds calls with Cyprus president, Turkish Cypriot leader: White House [Reuters - 19/8/16]


U.S. Vice President Joe Biden spoke by phone on Friday with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and both leaders expressed concern over a recent surge in fighting in eastern Ukraine, where Kiev is fighting pro-Russian separatists, the White House said. ... [Reuters - 19/8/16]


More than 200 people have been wounded in hostilities on the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) since the beginning of the year, the DPR ombudsman's spokesperson said on Friday. ... [Sputnik News - 19/8/16]



Asshole ---> The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, has telephoned Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah and sought to resolve their differences, the State Department said. ... [Pajhwok - 19/8/16]



US Air Force resumes B-52H operations in Afghanistan [TOLO News - 19/8/16]:


U.S Air Force Chief of Staff General David L. Goldfein announced in a media release Tuesday that Boeing B-52H Stratofortress strategic bombers have completed airstrikes against targets in Afghanistan for the first time in 10 years.

"We got the B-52 back in the fight in Afghanistan and Iraq," he said.

"We have the B-52 contributing to a significant ground effort and employing weapons in close proximity of friendly troops who are under attack [and] who are preparing the battlefield in new ways," he added. ...



US approves major weapons sale to Afghanistan worth $60 million [Khaama - 19/8/16]



Local residents in Panjwayee district of southern Kandahar province have voiced concerns over what they say is government's inaction to reopen schools in the district.

Residents have said that many schools are closed for students in the area, adding that hundreds are being deprived of an education.

Panjwayee residents have called for urgent action by provincial authorities to reopen the schools. ... [TOLO News - 19/8/16]



Displaced people in Chah-e-Anjir in the war-weary province of Helmand said Friday that they are tired of war and just want peace.

In the past three weeks heavy battles have been ongoing in Helmand between security forces and Taliban.

As a result more than four thousand people have fled their homes and mostly converged on the provincial capital, Lashkargah. ... [TOLO News - 19/8/16]


Taliban shadow governor for Kunduz likely killed in US drone strike [Khaama - 18/8/16]



US sends aircraft into Syria to protect invading ground forces from attacks by Syrian jets [Reuters - 19/8/16]



The General Command of the Army and Armed Forces said that the Asayish, the military wing of the Kurdistan Workers Party, has recently escalated its provocative actions in Hasaka city, attacking state establishments, stealing oil and cotton, disrupting examinations, carrying out abductions, and causing a state of chaos and instability. ... [SANA - 19/8/16]



An alliance of Kurdish-Arab forces in Syria has discovered dozens of graves of people killed by the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in the recently-liberated town of Manbij in Aleppo province.

According to the Manbij military council, the 27 undocumented graves, which were found on Friday, hold the remains of civilians, who had attempted to escape the town when it was under the control of Daesh but had been killed by the terrorists. ... [Press TV - 19/8/16]



Dissecting the ‘humanitarian’ propaganda driving US intervention in Syria [Mint Press News – 2/6/16]



Washington’s media presstitutes are using the image of the child to bring pressure on Russia to stop the Syrian army from retaking Aleppo.

Washington wants its so-called moderate rebels to retain Aleppo so that Washington can split Syria in two, thereby keeping a permanent pressure against President Assad.

Let us not forget the tens of thousands of children that Washington’s wars and bombings of 7 Muslim countries have killed without any tears shed by CNN anchors, and let us not forget the 500,000 Iraqi children that the United Nations concluded died as a result of US sanctions against Iraq, children’s deaths that Clinton’s Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said were worth it. ... [ICH - 18/8/16]



"It's a pageant"---> Wag the Dog - Original Theatrical Trailer




20 August 2016