Dick Smith eyes bid to unseat Bronwyn Bishop [Brisbane Times – 20/1/16]








Heavy fuel oil, diesel, other oils and hydraulic fluids have been spilled 879 times into Queensland ports and coastal waters since 2002, Queensland government records show.

That is more than once-a-week in 2014-15 (86 times), although the quantities range from very small to very large.

Those 2014-15 spills range from 1000 litres of diesel from Graincorp Terminals at Port of Brisbane, an unknown quantity of oily bilge water off famous Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays, down to one litre of diesel off Heron Island. ... [Brisbane Times - 21/1/16]





Two Hunter coal mines under EPA investigation for dam blowouts [Lock The Gate - 16/1/16]






NSW police appeal following domestic assault - Mt Austin [Media Release – 20/1/16]:

Police are appealing for information following an alleged domestic assault in Mt Austin last night.

About 12am (Wednesday 20 January 2016), emergency services were called to a Bolger Avenue, following reports of an assault.

Officers from Ambulance Paramedics treated a 41-year-old woman who was found lying on the footpath.

She was taken to hospital, with serious but non-life-threatening head and arm injuries.

Initial investigations suggest that the woman was assaulted inside a home on Bolger Avenue, by a man in a domestic relationship with her, before he fled.

A crime scene was established at the home and investigations are continuing. Police from Wagga Wagga Local Area Command are hoping to speak with a man who may be able to assist with inquiries.

He is described as Caucasian in appearance, about 180cm tall, with a medium build, brown eyes, and short brown hair.

Police are urging anyone with information, or anyone who witnessed the incident and are yet to speak with police to call Wagga Wagga Police on (02) 6922 2599 or via Crime Stoppers.




Two-year-old boy crushed by concrete wall dies [MYGC – 20/1/16]:

A two-year-old boy crushed by a concrete wall at a property west of Toowoomba has died in hospital.

The boy, from Irongate, suffered multi-trauma injuries after the wall collapsed on top of him around 6.00pm Tuesday.

He was airlifted to the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane however sadly passed away today.

Queensland Ambulance Service and Queensland Police Service officers treated the boy at the scene of the accident before transferring him by road to the waiting CareFlight rescue crew at a helicopter landing site nearby.

He was airlifted with his mother by a Careflight helicopter to Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane.

Authorities are looking into how the wall came to fall onto the boy, and it is understood to be a domestic accident.





Australia and the US strengthen ties on “cyber security” [Prime Minister Media Release – 20/1/16]





The Australian federal police accidentally revealed the personal details of an assault victim to the alleged perpetrator, risking the safety of the complainant and his family, according to an AFP risk assessment.

The lapse is one of seven serious privacy and security breaches the AFP has suffered since 2012. Details of the breaches, which have all been referred to the privacy commissioner, have been obtained under freedom of information laws (FoI) by Guardian Australia.

The referrals reveal a number of errors in the handling of personal information, some of which appear to have stemmed from failure by AFP officers to properly redact or handle personal information. ... [Guardian - 19/1/16]




UK Court, in David Miranda Case, rules Terrorism Act violates fundamental rights of free press [The Intercept - 19/1/16]



Did the European Court of Human Rights just outlaw “massive monitoring of communications” in Europe? [CDT - 13/1/16]




The Svay Rieng Provincial Court on Tuesday denied bail to four garment workers arrested last month during industrial strife at two special economic zones, court officials said, contravening a deal between the provincial government and unions that brought a peaceful end to a dispute that was costing factory owners millions of dollars a day. ... [Cambodia Daily - 20/1/16]



The Prime Minister’s Department will investigate a report of death and starvation in a drought-affected area of Western which is yet to receive relief food supplies.

The department’s Deputy Secretary, Trevor Meauri, who is in-charge of drought relief programmes, admitted that the relief supplies had not reached some parts of the province because of transportation and accessibility problems.

He said transporting relief supplies to the areas was a logistical nightmare.

Australian Sally Lloyd, who was brought up in the remote Nomad in Western, where her parents served as missionaries, and who had spent the past two weeks there, said people were starving and dying because they had not received any government assistance. ... [The National - 20/1/16]




Tkatchenko [Minister for Sports and Tourism] to resolve Kokoda incident [PNG Loop - 20/1/16]:



... The incident happened on Monday January 11, when partners, British citizen Mattew Iovane and American Michelle Clemens, both 31, alleged that they were, robbed, assaulted, and Michelle raped at a place on the Kokoda track.

Their account was published in a London-based "newspaper". [Murdoch's Sun]



... Minister Tkatchenko said the claims are very serious and are being properly investigated by law enforcement authorities, but he questioned the way in which the matter has been sensationalized by misleading and racist claims through the British media. ... [PNG Today - 17/1/16]



Investigation into Hanuabada shootings continue one year on [PNG Loop - 19/1/16]:


... The incident which saw the shooting of Nicolas Rarua and Toka Gaudi as well as the subsequent wounding of Nou Karoho has since been investigated twice with the current investigations called for after Police Commissioner Gari Baki expressed dissatisfaction at the inconclusive investigations by the first team.

Currently the investigations led by Director Crimes Moses Ibsagi has uncovered new evidence as well as faults in the statements taken by police from the personnel alleged to have been on site.

Ibsagi claims that the same statement was duplicated and shared among the officers who just signed their names and submitted to the team.








The Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, applauded the work of the outgoing United States Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, H.E. Walter North, for his efforts to strengthen relations between our two countries.

PM O’Neill made the comments following a farewell call from Ambassador North prior to his return to the United States at the end of this month. ... [PNG Loop - 18/1/16]




Sri Lanka:  Mullaitivu villagers protest against Sinhala colonisation [Tamil Guardian – 19/1/16]



Sri Lankan government hails Chinese support during the war [Colombo Gazette – 19/1/16]




A labourer in Colombo revealed a horrifying eyewitness testimony of Sinhala soldiers burying the bodies of 35 Tamil prisoners that were killed during the 1983 anti-Tamil program that saw 1000’s of Tamils massacred in Sri Lanka.

Aneez Thuwan, a labourer working for the Colombo Municipal Council said he witnessed Sri Lankan military soldiers dig two 10x10x10 graves and dump 35 blood soaked bodies into the graves. The next day a further 18 bodies were brought and dumped into a similar grave at the back of the cemetery., reports Ceylon Today. ... [Tamil Guardian - 18/1/16]




US suddenly concerned about human rights in West Papua while arguing Freeport price [RNZI - 20/1/16]:



Fresh from a trip to West Papua, the United States Ambassador to Indonesia reportedly expressed concern about human rights abuses in the country's remote, eastern region.

As part of his trip, Robert Blake visited Manokwari in West Papua province where he met with the Executive Director of the Institute for Research, Investigation and the Development of Legal Aid, Yan Christian Warinussy. ...





The government has called an offer for a stake in PT Freeport Indonesia overpriced.

At US$1.7 billion, the shares offered to the government by the company were overpriced, State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) Minister Rini Soemarno said on Tuesday.

Freeport Indonesia must sell the Indonesian government a 10.64 percent stake in the huge Grasberg copper and gold mine in Papua as part of the process to extend its operating contract beyond 2021. ... [Jakarta Post - 20/1/16]




Plummeting oil prices could hit Myanmar production [Myanmar Times - 20/1/16]




Myanmar arrests leader of Saffron Revolution on immigration charges after visit by US Assistant Secretary of State [Reuters - 20/1/16]




Security forces are ‘selling’ around 150 shops confiscated from Rohingyas in Akyab.

On Saturday, police called an auction inviting Rakhine traders to bid for the shops in the Borobazar area of Akyab town.

The shops would be sold to the earliest convenient time, say local sources. Incidentally during the riots, properties belonging to Rohingya Muslims in the state capital were destroyed or seized.

Rohingyas who made up almost half of the town’s population were expelled and forced into the ghetto of Aung Minglar.

The rest of Akyab town is currently Rohingya free.

Former owners of these shops decried the auction and said the shops should be given back to the Muslims as part of the reconciliation process the government has promised the world. [Burma Times - 20/1/16]





A gunfire inside the forest near the cemetery of Kutupalong UNHCR Rohingya refugee camp of Ukiya of Cox’s Bazar was occurred on the night of January 16 around (12) pm which caused 3 registered refugees injury. ... [Burma Times - 19/1/16]





This kind of criticism and analysis is no longer published in Australia --->  Asylum seeker policy: cruel to be cruel, Jeff Sparrow [ABC - 30/9/13]:


... If we don't lock refugees in camps, the argument goes, they'll keep coming - and the drownings will continue. To paraphrase the Vietnam-era adage, we must destroy the asylum seekers (and, make no mistake, that's what prolonged detention does) in order to save them.

It's a nice way to assuage queasy consciences - except that it's flatly not true.

In reality, we are not saving refugees from the dangers of their journey, since the journey's not dangerous. There's no Bermuda Triangle sucking down travellers between Indonesia and Australia. Thousands of people go back and forth between the two nations each year.

If our priority truly was refugee safety, we could end the deaths tomorrow. If asylum seekers travelled by air like everyone else, none of them would die. For that matter, if they could hire commercial shipping, none of them would die.

But they can't do those things, because we make safe transport impossible. And so they drown. ...



One day organisations such as Save The Children will be doing more than apologising to the refugees, for participating in (and justifying) their cruel and inhumane incarceration and exile


Former SS medical orderly faces trial over Nazi mass murder at Auschwitz [BBC - 18/1/16]:


A 95-year-old former SS member will go on trial in north-east Germany next month accused of assisting in the mass murder of Auschwitz death camp inmates.

The indictment says Hubert Zafke was an accessory to the murder of at least 3,681 people during one month in 1944. It says he was an SS medical orderly.

The trial is to start on 29 February in Neubrandenburg. Mr Zafke remains at home, a prosecution spokesman said.

The Nazis killed about 1.1m people in Auschwitz, most of them Jews.

During the month covered by the indictment - 15 August to 14 September, 1944 - the teenage Jewish girl Anne Frank arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the most notorious Nazi camp complex.

Her diary, describing the ordeal of her family hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam, remains a worldwide bestseller.

She died in Bergen-Belsen, shortly before that camp's liberation by the British Army in 1945.

According to the indictment, Mr Zafke served in the SS in a different part of the Auschwitz complex from October 1943 to January 1944, during World War Two.

Prosecutors say that, like the other SS guards at Auschwitz, Mr Zafke was well aware of the camp's function as "an industrial-scale mass murder site".

Last year a German court sentenced Oskar Groening, 94, to four years in jail as an accessory to the murder of at least 300,000 people at Auschwitz.

Known as the SS "book-keeper of Auschwitz", he was allegedly responsible for counting banknotes confiscated from prisoners.






... Australian Psychological Society 18-Day International Study Tour to Israel June 2015 ...  [Upcoming Events:  Australian Association of Social Workers e-Bulletin - March 2015]







Australian Psychological Society PD Tour to Israel: 25 October to 2 November 2009:



... It is clear that Israel is a natural laboratory for trauma research, and some high-powered research studies were reported to the group.

The presentation from Professor Zehava Solomon, who is head of the Adler Research Center for Child Welfare and Protection and consults with the Israel Defence Force and the US military, highlighted that post traumatic stress is experienced in all situations where the military are serving in a war zone.

A highlight of the visit was a musical tribute to Richard Pratt, which was held during the study tour.

In addition to the quality of the artistic presentations, which provided a unique cultural experience, the wonderful range of over 350 projects that the Pratt Foundation is supporting in Israel was a powerful reminder of the extent of philanthropic support that benefits Israel.

The program was highly informative and the hospitality extended by Israeli colleagues far exceeded our expectations. ...





The Israel Prison Service announced that the facility now holds 3,360 asylum seekers and that it cannot take any more in.

According to the IPS, the Population Immigration Border Authority (PIBA) will have to decide what to do with asylum seekers who have already been summoned to the facility.  ... [YNet - 29/12/15]




This is child abuse: Social Worker breaks silence over conditions inside US immigrant detention centre [Democracy Now - 29/7/15]:


... OLIVIA LÓPEZ: Well, I was hired as the lead licensed social worker there to do social work with the women and supervise two other employees that would also assist in that effort. And so, what I discovered in my experiences there were that social work in that setting at Karnes City was much different than the social work that I know as—in employing and as I know as a social work professor. And that is to say, the basic functions of advocacy, empowerment and then just engagement were really not part of the interpretation of social work at Karnes City residential center.


And so, you know, they would take the kids and the mothers back to the rooms to draw blood. And the kids, really, were just so frightened and terrified, and they cried and they screamed. And we all heard it—I did—for the week or so that it happened. And then, just one day, I just came out of my office during the time when they were taking the blood draws, and I witnessed a small child, less than two, try to escape the medical department. He was so afraid about the blood draws. And all the kids really were, but he was the one that tried to escape. And that’s what I spoke about yesterday.

AMY GOODMAN: You talk about the women being put in isolation?






Submission 67 Nauru Senate Inquiry:


... We were expected to "manufacture" Individual Management Plans as this was what the Department of Immigration wanted.






 @johnkeypm Hello Sir. I'm one of Manus Island refugees. Please help us. Please get us out from Manus. we are In jail.




"tweeted" by @manusFad22 [20/1/16]






Refugees in Calais are forced from the ‘jungle’ into a prison [Socialist Worker - 19/1/16]






@MSF_Sea [19/1/16]:  ... A 7th boat has arrived to #Lesvos. It's -4 degrees and the glacial water is actually warmer than the air.





@Marodriguez1971 [19/1/16]:   Llegar vivo a Lesbos con esos chalequitos y flotadores de juguete es un puto milagro. ¿Europa? Foto Gabriel Tizón






UNHCR warns against perilous Horn of Africa sea crossings [Media Release - 19/1/16]







The UN Refugee Agency and its partners are struggling to help an estimated 100,000 people driven from their homes in recent weeks in south-east Niger's Diffa region in attacks launched by Nigeria's Boko Haram insurgency group. ... [Media Release - 19/1/16]



The year 2015 was the deadliest for civilians in southern Kandahar province, where 874 civilians suffered casualties in security incidents, officials said on Tuesday.

Up to 448 civilians, including women and children, were killed and 426 others wounded as a result of clashes, suicide attackers, roadside bombings and target killings in Kandahar in 2015, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) official Farhad Saqib told Pajhwok Afghan News 168 civilians were killed and 282 others wounded in roadside bombings.

Another 60 were killed and 56 injured in suicide attackers while airstrikes by foreign troops took seven civilian lives, he said, adding 14 others were wounded in last year’s air raids. ... [Pajhwok - 19/1/16]




At least six Taliban insurgents were killed in a clash with security forces in southern Helmand on Monday night, local officials said. ... [TOLO News - 19/1/16]




Gunmen kill security guard, torch girls school in Kabul [TOLO News - 18/1/16]




At least eleven people were killed and 31 others injured as a suicide bomber blew himself up near a check post in Karkhano Market, adjacent to Jamrud in Khyber Agency on Tuesday.

“Eleven people have been killed and 31 others injured,” officials of Hayatabad Medical Complex told The Express Tribune.

Casualties are feared to rise, the officials added.

Further, a hospital source said a child and four security officials are among the dead. ... [The Express Tribune - 19/1/16]





Hunger-striking journalist receiving 'forced treatment' [Maan - 19/1/16]





Israel: Businesses should end settlement activity [Human Rights Watch - 19/1/16]





An Israeli court on Tuesday postponed the trials of three Palestinian children charged with attempted murder, Palestinian sources told Ma'an.

Sources said the court announced that the trial of Ahmad Manasra, 13, had been postponed until Feb. 16, while the joint trial of Shadi Farah, 12, and Ahmad Zaatari, 12, was postponed until March 1.

The children, all from Jerusalem, are currently being held by Israeli authorities in a juvenile institution.

Israel's Jerusalem District Court indicted Manasra on charges of attempted murder on Oct. 30, following a stabbing attack near the illegal Israeli settlement of Pisgat Zeev in occupied East Jerusalem on Oct. 12, which left two Israelis, aged 13 and 21, seriously injured.

During the attack, Manasra's 15-year-old cousin was shot dead on the scene by Israeli forces, while Manasra was hit by a car and seriously wounded.

On Nov. 26, Israel's Central Court announced it would hear witness testimonies for Manasra's case on Jan. 6. Following November's announcement, the teen's lawyer, Tareq Barghouth, accused the prosecution of attempting to continuously postpone the case.

Some commentators have alleged that the Israeli courts are trying to delay the case until Ahmad turns 14 this month, at which time he would be old enough under Israeli law to be given a prison sentence. ... [Maan - 19/1/16]






Tributes poured in Tuesday following the death of a Franco-Moroccan photographer, the 30th and latest victim of a bloody attack by al-Qaida gunmen on a top Burkina Faso hotel.

Leila Alaoui, 33, whose pictures featured in the New York Times and Vogue magazine, and whose latest Paris art show wound up at the weekend, died of a heart attack shortly before her evacuation after being shot twice in the leg and thorax.

In France, where she was born, President Francois Hollande paid his respects while parliament observed a minute of silence for those shot Friday by six gunmen who targeted a hotel and cafe popular with foreigners in the heart of Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou.

Alaoui, who lived and worked in Beirut and Marrakesh, was on assignment there for Amnesty International to shoot pictures on women's rights when she and her driver were hit by bullets in the attack claimed by Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), as they sat in their car opposite the four-star Splendid Hotel targeted by the gunmen. ... [Naharnet - 19/1/16]





The Fat Man And The War




They sing of the pride of battle,
They sing of the dogs of war,
And the men that are slain like cattle
On African soil afar.


They sing of the gallant legions
Bearing the battle's brunt
Out in the torrid regions
Fighting the foe in front.


They sing of Mauser and Maxim,
And their doings across the foam,
But I hear none sing of The Fat man
Who sits at his ease at home.


And a fat little time is coming
When the turmoil has settled down,
And the dogs of war are silent
And the veldt is bare and brown.


When the sun has licked the blood up
And the brown earth hid the bones,
His miners will go out seeking
For gold and precious stones.


Nothing he knows of fighting;
He never was built that way;
But the game of war is exciting,
When the stakes worth more than the play.


Like a ghoul from the reeking shambles
He grubs out his filthy pelf,
Reaping a cursed harvest
Where he daren't have sown himself.


Now, this is one man's opinion,
And I think it is fair and right,
If he wants the land of the Dutchman,
Let him go like a man and fight.


If African mines have treasure,
And the Fat Man wants a bone,
Let him go by himself and find it,
Let him trek to the front alone!






Australian journalists reporting on PM Turnbull's speech to the US Chamber of Commerce



Image:  @ellinghausen [19/1/16]





Protected and accountable puppet stooge man sells Australia's arse to Washington degenerate 1% class [Prime Minister Remarks to US Chamber of Commerce Breakfast - 19/1/16]





... He also held closed roundtable meeting with high-profile business leaders, including Lockheed Martin chairman, president and chief executive Marillyn Hewson, Chevron vice-president and general manager of government affairs Maria Pica-Karp, and executives from oil and gas giant ConocoPhillips and insurer MetLife. [ABC - 20/1/16]




Kyogle Shire pretend tourism and farming is reason for replacing perfectly functional historic bridges with truck accessible monstrosities [Tweed Shire Echo - 18/1/16]





Why are Australian tennis players recruiting for the armed forces? ---> @7tennis [VIDEO - 18/1/16]:  Are you at the top of your game ? - Join @SamGrothTennis and #DefenceForceAustralia and find out ...





20 January 2016