Update on ALP law firm Slater and Gordon's Manus Island class action [Huffington Post - 20/2/17]



Following the PNG Supreme Court's ruling that detention on Manus Island is illegal, the class action on behalf of detainees has recently been amended to include allegations that the Defendants were falsely imprisoned. ... [ABC - 20/9/16]





... Sawari has been restrained from further acts of obtaining another passport.

He is not to commit another offense, not to leave NCD without leave of the court and not to interfere with any state witness.

The passport he used to leave PNG is currently in Fiji and the court ordered that it be returned to PNG. 

It will be held by the custody of the PNG Immigration office till it is handed over to the court.

He was deported to PNG with a Certificate of Identification. Sawari's case is adjourned to next week Monday [20 February]. ...



"I am not a criminal, I am a refugee, do you understand what that is?"  [ABC - 8/2/17]



‏@EMTVOnline [20/2/17]:  More than 500 Settlers in Saraga were evicted today by Police acting on a court order



‏@EMTVOnline [20/2/17]:  Landowners Block Off Access to [EXXON] LNG Facility, whilst calling on Government to Pay Royalties ...



‏@EMTVOnline [20/2/17]:  Telikom PNG [workers] staged stop work protest ...



Singapore aims for low-key Netanyahu visit [i24 - 20/2/17]:


... Netanyahu then met privately with Loong, later calling Israel and Singapore "kindred spirits" in that the two are both "small nations that have become in many areas global powers."

"I believe that our cooperation makes us even more successful, cooperation in every field," Netanyahu said.

"Israel and Singapore are innovation nations, and together we can bring more prosperity, more hope for our peoples and I think for beyond our peoples, for the neighborhoods in which we live...we have much to learn from each other."

In keeping with Singapore's request, Netanyahu is not expected to make any large public appearances, scheduling only a small meeting with the country's Jewish community, the Jerusalem Post reports. Israel and Singapore have strong economic ties, with a number of Israeli high tech firms based in the country, one of Asia's key financial hubs.

Israel also helped Singapore establish its army in 1965, and it has since developed to one of the strongest in the region. ...



Kindred spirits bond during visit to Israel [SBS - 20/2/17]:


...Addressing the Australia Israel UK Dialogue in Jerusalem on Sunday (local time), Mr Shorten conceded they're unlikely companions.

"In the heat of our respective political debates in Australia, we argue with each other, we ridicule each other, we label each other every insulting adjective we can get our hands on and when we run out of those labels, we go back to the top of the list and start again," he said.

"But something interesting has been happening on this trip. Our domestic instability is receding. Such is the power of Israel."

All of the Australian guests are united in a form of awe, Mr Shorten said, explaining how captivated they were by the nation with the oldest traditions and newest inventions.

He noted Israel and Australia were both multicultural, with the former home to more than 100 different nationalities. ...



7 lessons from Israeli activists on how to fight for refugees‏ [Haaretz -  2/2/17]



Philippines:  House Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, Jr. on Monday said voting on the death penalty bill, a priority measure of President Duterte, would take place on February 28, a few days earlier than the initially agreed March 8 schedule. ... [INQUIRER.net - 20/2/17]



Former Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang, the highest-ranking ex-official to be charged in the city's history, was remanded in custody on Monday ahead of his sentencing later this week for misconduct in public office.

A nine-person jury had earlier found that Tsang failed to disclose private rental negotiations with property tycoon Bill Wong Cho-bau while his cabinet discussed and approved a digital broadcasting license for a now defunct radio company, Wave Media, in which Wong was a major shareholder.

Tsang, 72, is due to be sentenced on Wednesday in what the judge said was unlikely to be a suspended sentence.

He faces a possible seven-year sentence. ... [Reuters - 20/2/17]



A court in China on Monday jailed for 13 years a former deputy Communist Party boss of the capital, Beijing, after finding her guilty of corruption, state television said. Lu Xiwen, who was also head of the city's party school, which trains rising officials, was put under investigation in 2015.

The court in Jilin province said that between 2001 and 2015,

Lu took bribes worth 18.8 million yuan ($2.73 million).

Because she admitted her guilt and repented she has been granted a lighter sentence, state television added, citing the court. ... [Reuters - 20/2/17]



Cambodian government approves coastal 135MW coal-fired plant [Phnom Penh Post - 20/2/17]:


The government has approved an additional 135-megawatt coal-fired plant to be built in Preah Sihanouk province, a Ministry of Mines and Energy representative said yesterday.

“The 135-megawatt coal fired power plant in Sihanoukville is an additional installed capacity to substitute for the Stung Cheay Areng Hydro project,” ministry spokesman Victor Jona said.

“The plant will be in operation by 2020.” ...



Sole suspect in the July murder of political commentator Kem Ley, 44-year-old former soldier Oeut Ang, on Friday was assigned a defence lawyer by the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia, just weeks before he is scheduled to go on trial.

Ang, a resident of Siem Reap province and a former monk, is accused of shooting Ley point blank in broad daylight as Ley sat at a Caltex petrol station sipping his morning coffee.

The accused is scheduled to go on trial March 1 and faces charges of premeditated murder and illegal gun possession.


A lawsuit in the US is currently trying to force Caltex owner Chevron’s hand in obtaining CCTV footage of the killing, which police grabbed in its immediate wake. [Cambodia Daily - 20/2/17]



Malaysia recalls its ambassador to North Korea [The Star - 20/2/17]



Four suspects being hunted by Bukit Aman in the assassination of North Korean exile Kim Jong-nam are believed to be back in Pyongyang after leaving the country for Jakarta immediately after the attack.

The four – Rhi Ji-hyon, 33, (arrived in Malaysia on Feb 4), Hong Song-hac, 34, (arrived Jan 31), O Jong-gil, 55, (arrived Feb 7) and Ri Jae-nam, 57, (arrived Feb 1) – left for Jakarta from KLIA2 immediately after the attack on Monday.

 From Jakarta, sources say they flew to Dubai and Vladivostok before reaching Pyongyang. ... [The Star - 20/2/17]



Vietnamese sailor killed, 7 abducted in Philippine "pirate attack" [Reuters - 20/2/17]



An American charged with raping and murdering an Okinawa woman blamed the victim and thought he would get away with the attack because of Japan’s culture of shame, according to a report.

The suspect, Kenneth Franklin Shinzato, “didn’t fear being caught because of Japan’s low rate of reporting sexual assaults ... due to cultural and social stigma,” according to a Stars and Stripes article published on Feb. 14. ... [Asahi Shimbun - 16/2/17]



...  I can't see

I can't hear

They've burnt out all the feeling

I've never been so crazy

And it's just my second year

Four walls, washbasin, prison bed   ...


'Four Walls', Cold Chisel [1980]



Fire delays Logan bookshop owner's extortion trial [Nine MSN - 20/2/17]:


The trial of a former Queensland Islamic bookshop owner charged with extortion has been adjourned due to a fire in one of Brisbane's main court buildings.

Omar Succarieh had been due to face a two-day judge-only trial in Brisbane District Court on one count of extortion from Monday.

But the case has now been adjourned due to the closure of the Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law, which houses Brisbane's Supreme and District Courts, after a fire on Friday night.

The fire ocured on level 11 of the complex on Friday night and was confined to a small area but the building has been closed because of a residual odour.

A few cases have been shifted to the nearby Brisbane Magistrates Court as a result of the closure, while the remainder have been adjourned to a later date.



Queensland man Omar Succarieh has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years' jail for foreign incursion offences for helping Australian fighters in Syria in 2014. ... [ABC - 2/11/16]



Omar Succarieh pleads guilty to foreign incursion after terrorism charges dropped [ABC - 24/10/16]



Brisbane Times [23/1/15]:


Court documents have revealed how an undercover police officer infiltrated a Logan Islamic bookstore community, gaining the trust of three members who were later charged with terrorism offences.

The Australian Federal Police agent known as UCO317656 met Omar Succarieh, Agim Kruezi and Robert Louis Maestracci in June 2014 at the iQraa Islamic Centre, according to material filed in the Brisbane Supreme Court this week.

iQraa, which was run by Mr Succarieh, was raided on September 10 last year by AFP anti-terrorism police.  [Following a Murdoch Press beatup.] ...



Lawyers for two men facing terrorism-related charges have criticised police for taking too long to provide evidence against their clients, who remain in custody in Queensland. ... [SBS - 19/12/14]



Justice QLD [20/2/17]:


Police and Corrective Service Officers are looking for prisoner Adrian BOUGHTON who escaped from the Capricornia Correctional Centre Low Security Prison Farm prior to 9.45 am on 20 February 2017.

He is serving 1 year 8 months for Robbery with actual violence. ...



A property developer and a mortgage broker are together accused of making, selling and trafficking countless kilograms of crystal methamphetamine and high purity cocaine on the Gold Coast.

The men are part of a group of four facing more than 650 separate criminal charges following Operation Altana – a major covert operation led by the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC).

The group allegedly “cut, recrystallised, and packaged” large amounts of crystal methamphetamine at an “ice production site” on Main Beach’s popular Tedder Avenue and trafficked kilo’s of it across the city.


A 46-year-old security systems expert from Main Beach was also arrested and is facing 26 charges.

The CCC alleges the men were “major players” in a drug distribution network linked to the Hells Angels bikie gang.

The trio was bailed and are expected to appear in the Southport Magistrates Court on 3 March 2017.

A fourth 55-year-old Gold Coast man was arrested last month. He was charged with 91 offences, including 72 counts of supplying ice and cocaine.

A range of weapons were also seized during the operation, including a pump action shotgun, rifle and taser. ... [MYGC - 18/2/17]



Detectives are continuing investigations into the death of a former Rebels bikie member who had moved to the Gold Coast to start a new life.

Ricky Ciano, 35, left Sydney in 2015 after parting ways with the outlaw motorcycle club for which he had once been president.

He returned to Penrith last weekend to visit his daughter, but never made it to see her.

Mr Ciano spoke to his wife Rachel on Saturday night, before stopping all contact.

He was reported missing on Monday.

About 7.45pm on Tuesday, NSW Police and emergency services found his body inside his white BMW near Oberon in the Blue Mountains. ... [MYGC - 18/2/17]



Two men, including a Mongols bikie, have been arrested after police found them sitting in a stolen Mercedes packed full of high-end designer frocks at Robina ... [MYGC - 15/2/17]



Murdoch Press report Gold Coast police officer charged with hacking offences after allegedly accessing private details on database [MYGC – 17/2/17]



A 61-year-old man was taken to Gold Coast University Hospital last night with a gunshot wound to the leg.

Queensland Ambulance say they picked up the man at the Southport Indoor Pistol Club after 8pm.

Police say they are not investigating the matter, and that the wound was self-inflicted. [MYGC - 16/2/17]



A woman has been charged with murder after her mother's body was found at a far north Queensland property on Saturday, following a five-hour siege.

The 46-year-old daughter, who was allegedly armed with a gun, was taken into custody about 4pm after surrendering to police at the Hope Vale property. ... [Brisbane Times - 19/2/17]



Woman escapes uninjured after being carjacked at Labrador [MYGC – 16/2/17]



Man and woman injured in dispute with flatmate, Soutthport [MYGC – 15/2/17]



Body discovered at Purling Brook Falls, Springbrook National Park [MYGC - 15/2/17]



Man found dead in Lismore petrol station carpark [Tweed Shire Echo – 10/2/17]



@9NewsGoldCoast [20/2/17]:  A burst water main has caused chaos in Broadbeach this morning, blasting sludge into shops and restaurants. ... 



A 50-year-old cyclist has passed away in hospital after a collision with a car in Chapel Hill early on Friday morning. ... [Brisbane Times - 18/2/17]



Child hospitalised after being hit by car at Ashmore [MYGC – 17/2/17]



Because what Queensland URGENTLY needs right now is MORE police powers! ---> New laws giving police stronger powers during next year’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games have been introduced to State Parliament.

The new laws will allow officers to stop and search people and vehicles without a warrant.

It will also allow officers to declare areas where people gather in large crowds as ‘protective security zones’... [MYGC - 14/2/17]



Children by Choice Association Inc [20/2/17]:


 There are a few major hospitals in Metro South but none of them provide abortions for any reason other than fetal anomaly.

One of them - not the Catholic one - has told us that under no circumstances are women to present there requesting abortion, as it will not be provided to them.

These include women reporting domestic and sexual violence, homelessness, and severe suicidality and mental health conditions.

This is why Metro South is our biggest recipient of financial assistance for abortion.

Almost a third of our funds have gone to this HHS in the past three years, and they get more than double the amount for Metro North, despite the two regions being geographically similar and representing a similar number of Queenslanders.



Queensland, Australia: Women seeking abortions are being turned away from hospitals [Buzzfeed – 15/7/16]



Media, Health Minister and QAS spokesperson discourage Queenslanders from accessing THEIR hospital and ambulance services in an emergency [Yahoo - 20/2/17]:


... Mr Dick urged Queenslanders to exercise common sense when it came to health concerns and instead see their GP or call the home doctor service.

"There is no reason for 2700 Queenslanders who need a medical certificate to come to an emergency department," he said.

"It's simply not on." ... <--- Has he considered that in these cases, perhaps there wasn't a bulk billing Doctor available because all the public funding is being thieved to prop up the private hospital sector?



A group of women have given up their Sunday to clean the home of Gold Coast mother Teresa Bradford who was murdered almost three weeks ago. ... [Yahoo - 19/2/17]



... Ms Degraaf said Ms Bradford needed help moving because of her health issues, which proved more difficult than she imagined.

"I'd been going through a range of options. She tried to get help, I tried to get her help - it was so easy for him to find her too," Ms Degraaf said.

Ms Napper said she was "very disappointed" with how the system had failed to prevent the tragedy from happening.

"You would think being in a domestic violence relationship that somebody would have helped her move out quicker," she said. ... [Brisbane Times - 31/1/17]



Almost one child known to Child Protection dies every week [Brisbane Times - 20/2/17]:


... "It's why we've taken measures like allowing childcare centres to exclude unvaccinated children." ... <--- Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk



Royal Commission finds Peter Hollingworth made serious error of judgement by letting child abuser stay [ABC – 13/2/17]:


The former governor-general and Archbishop of Brisbane Peter Hollingworth has been found to have made a "serious error of judgement" for allowing a rector who admitted to abusing a child to continue in the ministry.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has handed down its report into the response by the Church of England Boys' Society (CEBS) and four Anglican dioceses into allegations of child sexual abuse.

Public hearings were held in Hobart in February 2016.

The report detailed the case of John Linton Elliot who the commission had been told abused a boy in the 1970s when he was a lay preacher at St Barnabas Anglican Church in Sunnybank, Brisbane, and also CEBS branch governor. ...



The former partner of rugby league star Semi Radradra has told a Sydney court he punched her in the face, and then confessed to their pastor. ... [ABC - 13/2/17]



Heatwave kills thousands of bats across New South Wales [ABC – 13/2/17]



UQ "welcomes" Glencore's Mount Isa lead exposure study [UQ News – 9/2/17]



Dotcom Legal Team on High Court judgment [Scoop.co.nz - 20/2/17]



Nicky Hager’s complaint against Westpac has been upheld by the Privacy Commissioner.

The Privacy Commissioner found that Westpac had breached Mr Hager’s privacy by releasing his personal information to the Police without a warrant.

This is part of the continuing fallout from the Police’s unlawful raid on Mr Hager’s home in 2014. ... [Scoop.co.nz - 20/2/17]



Dear outraged liberals: Trump’s just taking over where Obama left off [Mint Press News - 14/2/17]:


... Because the truth is, it doesn’t’ matter if a Republican or Democrat is in office — the policies from both parties look the same.

But we can’t begin to fight against the looming attacks against our civil liberties and the human rights of people everywhere — not just in the United States — without first acknowledging the crimes of previous administrations –Republican or Democrat — and the powers that they expanded for their successors.

If there’s going to be any genuine resistance to the Trump administration, then we have to be prepared for what tools he now has available, thanks largely to the former Democratic and Republican administrations before him, especially Obama.

With large swathes of America ready to protest, it’s time for the real anti-war movement to seize on that momentum and push for real change that actually creates conditions for a more peaceful world. ...



... Because the system is a manifestation or reflection of ego, its only purpose is to serve ego, which means to serve itself.

It will feed, house, entertain and care for you, but only while you are useful to it; i.e. while you are self-ish.

If you are not sufficiently ambitious, mean-spirited, cynical, violent, addicted, subservient, inhuman or lacking in fundamental dignity—if, in short, you don’t take your self seriously—you will be discarded from the institutions of the world, prevented from rising through its hierarchies, ignored, ridiculed, exiled (into poverty or precarity), imprisoned or, in extremis, killed by its authorities. ...


How to institutionalise the world by Darren Allen [offGuardian - 18/2/17]



UFO art adorns restaurant site ruins - Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach



Police fire rubber bullets at Sylhet Shahjalal University of Science and Technology protest in Bangladesh [bdnews24.com - 20/2/17]



Rohingya refugees return from Bangladesh to Myanmar to check if elderly relatives survived military operation [The Straits Times - 19/2/17]



Island chosen to exile Rohingya refugees not fit for habitation, says Bangladesh forest department [bdnews24.com - 18/2/17]



‏@RohingyaVision  [16/2/17]:  Despite announcement of end of 4-months long army operations, armies deployed in #Rohingya Regions in #Maungdaw havent been withdrawn ...



Former LTTE cadre found dead in Vavuniya [Tamil Guardian - 19/2/17]



Murdered journalist Sugirtharajan remembered in Batticaloa [Tamil Guardian - 19/2/17]



The former president Chandrika Kumaratunge this week acknowledged that Tamil war widows continued to face sexual exploitation from those in power, including by army officers and local government servants.  ... [Tamil Guardian - 18/2/17]



"Shameful" tweets the Refugee Council. But refusing to actually CONDEMN Australia's anti-refugee policy, emboldens its replication. ---> ... The latest draft EU asylum plans - believed to come from the French and German governments - plan an "Australian solution" in the event of future perceived "migration crises". ... [Statewatch - February 2017]



In any case, Australia's anti-refugee policy is a direct import from the US, and it is dishonest to suggest otherwise [BBC - 7/10/10]:


... Refugees International, in its report titled Haiti: Still Trapped in the Emergency Phase, said the people of Haiti were "still living in a state of emergency, with a humanitarian response that appears paralysed".

"Living in squalid, overcrowded camps for a prolonged period has led to aggravated levels of violence and appalling standards of living," the report says.

 "Despite these alarming conditions, the UN co-ordination system in Haiti is not prioritising activities to protect people's rights." ...



... Bill Clinton continued the Bush policy of keeping refugees at Guantanamo indefinitely.

But Clinton introduced a new policy as well: testing the Haitians for HIV, and segregating those who tested positive.

In doing so, he created “the world’s first HIV detention camp.” ... [Jacobin - 22/10/16]



Australia's refugee concentration camps on Nauru and Manus Island were reopened by the ALP under the watchful guidance of the United States (i.e. Hillary Clinton's State Department) [Buzzfeed - 4/6/16]:


Star Labor candidate Peter Khalil has confirmed he acted as a protected source for the US government, feeding them information about Labor’s asylum seeker policy.

Khalil served as a foreign policy adviser to former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd back in 2007 and was also director of national security policy for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq from 2003-04.  ...



"I won’t feel secure until I am with my family.": 1,000s of migrants separated from their loved ones and detained throughout the US [AZ Central - 17/2/17]



What could happen if you refuse to unlock your phone at the US border? [arsTECHNICA - 16/2/17]



New Zealand actor Oscar Kightley says government should raise humanitarian concerns with Australia over offshore detention of refugees [RNZI - 20/2/17]:


... "I thought maybe New Zealand as a close and trusted neighbour might mention something. I guess we have our own problems, but I don't think there's any excuse to treat people like that, especially when half of the detainees are children." ...



Lauru Tingle perpetuates vile "utility of the deserving" propaganda as Australia's atrocities against refugees continue [Australian Financial Review - 19/2/17]




20 February 2017