US airstrike kills 10 Afghan soliders

 

 

 

Pajhwok [20/7/15]:

 

At least 10 Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were killed and another four wounded on Monday morning when US forces’ airstrikes “mistakenly” struck their outpost in the Baraki Barak district of central Logar province, an official said.

Mohammad Rahim Amin, the Baraki Barak district chief, told Pajhwok Afghan News the airstrike involved two US helicopters that targeted the ANA outpost at 6:00am in Chaltan area.

He confirmed 10 ANA soldiers had been killed and four others wounded.

Gen. Zahir Azimi, Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesman, tweeted that a delegation had been sent to the area to investigate the incident.

American forces in Kabul also confirmed the incident, saying investigations were ongoing.

“We are aware of an incident involving US forces in Logar province this morning.  This incident is under investigation,” the coalition said in a statement.

Mohammad Tahir, a local resident, said: “Today morning two helicopters attacked the army post where Afghan flags were hoisted and killed all the soldiers inside.”

For some moments, he added, firing was heard from the post.

 

 

At least 28 dead in suspected ISIL suicide bombing in Turkey's border with Syria  [Hurriyet Daily News - 20/7/15]:

 

 

An explosion has killed at least 28 in a municipal culture center in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa’s Suruç district, as scores of people have been hospitalized.

"We are concerned that the number of death will increase. The perpetrators will soon be found and put on trial," Turkey's interior minister said in a statement on July 20.

Şanlıurfa Governor İzzettin Küçük has said the death toll has risen to 28, while around 100 people are injured.

There is speculation that the blast was caused by a 18-year-old female suicide bomber from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

At least 300 members of the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations (SGDF) were staying at the Amara Culture Center as part of a summer expedition to help rebuild Kobane, which lies directly across the border from Suruç.

The culture center, which is run by the Suruç Municipality under the control of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), frequently hosts visiting journalists and volunteers who work with refugees from Kobane, which had been repeatedly attacked by ISIL in the past months.

...

 

 

Two killed in suicide bomb on edge of Nigeria's Damaturu city [Daily Star - 20/7/15]

 

 

 

France delivers first batch of fighter jets to Egypt [20/7/15]

 

 

 

Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) has agreed to buy United Technologies Corp's (UTX.N) Sikorsky Aircraft for over $8 billion, two sources said on Sunday, cementing a deal that would confirm Lockheed's dominance in weapons making and giving the Black Hawk helicopter to the maker of the F-35 fighter jet. ... [Reuters - 19/7/15]

 

 

 


Anonymous vows revenge for masked activist shot dead by confused Canadian police [RT – 20/7/15]

 

Dominique Strauss Kahn, addressing “German friends” [via Yanis Varoufakis - 20/7/15]

 

 

... BlackRock Inc., which oversees about $4.7 trillion, bought Greek debt last week, benefiting from prices that were overly depressed by investor concern that the nation would struggle to implement requirements of its latest bailout deal, according to Michael Krautzberger, head of euro fixed income for the company in London.

“For the more aggressive total-return accounts, we actually bought a tiny bit of Greece a week ago,” Krautzberger said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “On The Move” with Jonathan Ferro. “Obviously the headlines didn’t look good, but if you looked at the pricing terms we thought that the pessimism had gone too extreme.”  ... [Ekathimerini - 20/7/15]

 

 

 

This is not democracy, it is obscenity ---->  Echo Entertainment wins $2b bid to build Brisbane casino [Australian Financial Review - 20/7/15]

 

 

 

 

Building railway lines for multinational mining companies isn't democracy either.  It's theft.  ---> Glencore supports the Federal Government’s talks to upgrade the ageing Townsville to Mount Isa railway. ... [North West Star - 19/7/15]



 

 

Queensland:  More US-style class and race based policing and dangerous, wasteful pursuits as the government closes police communications centres throughout the state

 

 

 

 

When the priority is cultivating community acceptance of the state's immunity to challenge the use of force, no-one is safe.

 

 

 

QPS Media [20/7/15]:



Police have charged a man after he evaded police and collided with their vehicle in Crestmead overnight.

Police will allege that just before midnight the vehicle was observed by POLAIR 2 driving dangerously along Mitchum Way.

Police will further allege that when they attempted to intercept the vehicle at the dead end of Mitchum Way, it drove towards two police vehicles, colliding with one.

The vehicle then fled the scene but was abandoned a short time later in Lockyer Place.

Shortly after, a man was apprehended by police in Judith Street.

The police vehicle sustained minor damage and no one was injured during the incident.

A 23-year-old Yelarbon man was charged with 10 offences including dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, unlicensed driving, uninsured and unregistered vehicle, possessing dangerous drugs, possessing suspected stolen property and obstruct police. He is due to appear in the Beenleigh Magistrates Court on August 18.

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.




QPS Media [20/7/15]:


Police are investigating a series of incidents that occurred in the Logan and South Brisbane police districts yesterday afternoon.

Around 4pm, officers conducting random breath tests on Paradise Road in Underwood sighted a vehicle sharply turn away from them before speeding off.

The vehicle was monitored by POLAIR 1 and POLAIR 2 as it drove dangerously along the Gateway Motorway and onto Old Cleveland Road.

A short time later, the vehicle travelled through a red light at the intersection of Redland Bay Road and Moreton Bay Road in Capalaba before colliding with another vehicle.

Following the crash, two men fled the scene on foot. One the men was arrested nearby while the other man remains outstanding.

The driver of the second vehicle, a 90-year-old man, was treated for minor injuries.

Investigations are continuing.

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.

 

 



QPS Media [20/7/15]:


A 26-year-old man has been charged after a woman was allegedly robbed while driving her vehicle at Victoria Point yesterday afternoon.

It will be alleged around 6pm a woman was stationary in her vehicle at the intersection of High Street and Bunker Road when a man opened the driver’s door and threatened her with a knife.

The woman was allegedly forced out of the four-wheel-drive before the man drove away in the vehicle.

Members of the public who witnessed the incident ran after the vehicle in an attempt to stop it.

Police located the vehicle on Mount Cotton Road at Mount Cotton a short time later. The dog squad arrested the man after he was located in nearby bushland.

A 26-year-old Thornlands man has been charged with eight offences including one count each of armed robbery, unlawful use of a motor vehicle, possessing dangerous drugs, failing to dispose of a syringe and unlicensed driving.

He is due to appear in the Cleveland Magistrates Court today.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Police considered calling off a car chase but didn't do so moments before a crash that killed the fleeing driver, a Victorian coroner has been told. ... [Nine MSN - 20/7/15]

 

 

 

 

10 traffic fines per shift: email [Nine MSN - 20/7/15]

 

 

 

 

Serious assault, Coolangatta


QPS Media [20/7/15]:


Police are appealing for public assistance with their investigation into a disturbance at Coolangatta that has left one teenage girl in hospital.

Initial investigations indicate an altercation occurred between a group of teenage girls at a bus stop on Griffith Street around 2.30pm.

One teenager has since been taken to the Gold Coast University Hospital with a serious stab wound.

A crime scene has been established with detectives continuing investigations.

Police are asking for anyone who witnessed the incident to contact Crime Stoppers.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gold Coast detective's convicted killer loses bid for more time to prepare appeal  [West Australian - 20/7/15]

 

 

 

 


Fatal traffic crash, Cannonvale



QPS Media [20/7/15]:


Police are investigating a fatal traffic crash that occurred at Cannonvale on Sunday afternoon.

Initial information indicates around 4.15pm, a car was travelling on Parkview Terrace when it left the roadway and crashed near the intersection of Illawong Street.

A 42-year-old Cannonvale man, a passenger in the vehicle, was transported to Proserpine Hospital but was pronounced deceased upon arrival.

The driver, a 46-year-old man, sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was also transported to Proserpine Hospital.

The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating.

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



 

Suspected murder in South Lake



West Australian [20/7/15]:


Detectives are at the scene of a suspected murder of a 50-year-old woman in South Lake.

Police were called to a home on Gwenneth Terrace just before 1pm yesterday.

It is understood the woman’s body was found inside the home.

The property has been cordoned off and forensics officers are investigating.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


 

 

 

 

 

A Melbourne man fatally bludgeoned his partner with a chair but it was not a premeditated or frenzied attack, a court has been told. ... [West Australian - 20/7/15]



 

 

 

 

A 10-year-old boy found dead in a house in Brisbane's south had been in the care of his aunt for eight years, according to Queensland Police. ... [ABC - 20/7/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Man, 75, charged with abusing girls



West Australian [20/7/15]:


A Moora man has been charged with alleged child sexual abuse of two girls who were in his foster care in the 1970s.

The WA Police Taskforce Tonalite investigating historical child sexual abuse complaints have laid 10 charges against a 75-year-old Moora man.

It is alleged between February 1976 and June 1977, the man sexually assaulted two girls aged under 14 who were in his foster care.

He has been charged with six counts of Indecent Treatment of a Child under 14 years; Three counts of Indecent Assault on Females; and One count of Rape.

The man is due to appear in the Bunbury Magistrates Court on Monday, 20 July 2015.

If you are or have been a victim of child abuse, or if you have information about someone being abused, please contact police on 131 444.


 

 

Ex-Geelong Grammar teacher admits molesting boys [Nine MSN - 20/7/15]

 

 

Visa blunder allowed sailors to work illegally



RNZI [20/7/15]:


Foreign workers on a Philippine ship were allowed to work in Port Taranaki without the correct paperwork, leaked emails have revealed.

The information, obtained by Radio New Zealand, showed in June, Immigration New Zealand discovered the Geo Resolution's 40-strong crew did not have the right visas.

The emails also revealed Immigration New Zealand admitted the blunder, but would not punish the local agent responsible for the booking.

The vessel was in Port Taranaki for a month doing surveying work for a new trans-Tasman cable.

In the emails Immigration New Zealand blamed the blunder on ''miscommunication'', and the vessel's local agent, McKay Shipping, for not knowing its responsibilities.

"As the vessel is now departing [to a foreign port], we are going to consider the unfortunate matter a learning experience for all," said an official.

Merchant Service Guild President Russell Petrie said that was unacceptable.

"Miscommunication isn't very justifiable and they haven't taken any disciplinary action, but that doesn't discourage McKay or anyone else," he said.

Immigration New Zealand would not comment yesterday, and McKay Shipping did not respond to messages.

...

The Geo Resolution used to be the New Zealand navy's HMSNZ Resolution, until it was sold last year.

Records show it is flagged in the Marshall Islands and owned by a Philippine company.

It arrived in Sydney for its next berth three days ago.



 

Solomons food struggle expected to last months

 



RNZI [20/7/15]:

 

 

The National Disaster Management Office in Solomon Islands says it will be a struggle for many to find food over the next few months, after heavy rain ruined crops.

Tropical Cyclone Raquel and a subsequent tropical disturbance swept through the country at the start of the month, with about 10 thousand people affected across seven of the nine provinces.

The director of the National Disaster Management Office, Loti Yates, says interim reports strongly indicate that the food and agriculture sector is most affected, and food relief is a must.

He says 85 to 90 percent of people are subsistence farmers that only grow enough to feed their families.

"So when we have events like this, potato garden, or kasava garden is washed away or inundated by water, it means that these people will be having difficulties finding food for the next three months, because it takes up to three months for the new plants to start to bear fruit, mature and people can eat them."

Loti Yates says the NDMO is asking the government to fund the distribution of rice to those in need.



Chad's Hissene Habre removed from Senegal court


BBC [20/7/15]:


Chad's former President Hissene Habre has been removed from the courtroom at his trial for crimes against humanity.

This was after he shouted that the process was "a farce" as he was waiting for proceedings to begin.

The trial in Senegal's capital, Dakar, marks the first time one African country has prosecuted the former leader of another.

Mr Habre denies being responsible for hundreds of deaths during his rule from 1982 to 1990.

The trial follows a 25-year campaign to bring him to justice.

Sitting in court before the trial opened, the former Chadian leader shouted: "Down with imperialists. [The trial] is a farce by rotten Senegalese politicians. African traitors. Valet of America".

Mr Habre was then taken out of the court, and the trial has begun without him, the BBC's Thomas Fessy reports from the courtroom.

This is the first time an African head of state will be tried in another African country - for torture, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Some campaigners think it will show that Africa can hold its own leaders to account rather than rely on the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The African Union has become increasingly hostile to the ICC, believing that it has unfairly targeted Africans.

Hissene Habre could not be tried before the ICC as his alleged crimes were committed before it was established in 2002, but the special court established jointly by Senegal and the African Union in Dakar could set a template for future trials.

Addressing the court, the victims' lawyer Jacqueline Moudeina said that the trial "is in the name of humanity, a humanity which Hissene Habre never allowed his victims".

Many of his alleged victims have been calling for the trial since his overthrow and exile in Senegal in 1990.

A Chadian truth commission found in 1992 that the Habre regime was responsible for 40,000 deaths and disappearances, leading many to dub him Africa's Pinochet, after the Chilean military ruler Augusto Pinochet.

In 2005 a court in Belgium issued a warrant for his arrest, claiming universal jurisdiction but, after Senegal referred the issue to the African Union, the AU asked Senegal to try Mr Habre "on behalf of Africa".

Progress has been slow as Senegal's previous President Abdoulaye Wade appeared to be reluctant to put him on trial.

He first said the country lacked funding and then, apparently fed up with the process, suggested that Mr Habre should be sent back to Chad where he had already been sentenced to death.

President Macky Sall, elected in 2012, agreed to a trial in a special tribunal set up within the Senegalese court system, and in 2013 the African Extraordinary Chambers was established with AU backing.

Mr Habre was indicted in 2013 but he refused to cooperate with the special court.

 

Nauru Senate Inquiry once again confirms the Immigration Department's role is to keep refugees out of Australia, while deflecting responsibility for their exile, incarceration and torture

 

 

 

... "If you are convinced that the destruction of Judaism is necessary, then it no longer matters how the killing takes place," he said, describing his feelings as a young SS officer. ...

 

 

Auschwitz bookkeeper admits moral guilt [Reuters - 21/4/15]

 

 

 

 

 

Snippets from today's hearing:

 

 

A Transfield representative said guaranteeing the security of refugees in Australia's concentration camp on Nauru is "not our contractual obligation".  They later said the Nauruan government is responsible for the security of refugees.

Transfield took on notice a question from Senator Ludlam about what actions they took to correct Peter Dutton when his lie about Senator Hanson-Young fabricating her allegation she'd been spied on during a trip to Nauru was unquestioningly reported by Australia's anti refugee media.

A Wilson Security representative said spying on Senator Hanson-Young was an "isolated incident" - the actions of a rogue employee who had been "stood down".

They apologised, then went on to reveal that while the employee was "suspended with pay", he was later promoted.

(Journalists Vlad Sokhin and Mark Davis have been followed whilst reporting on Nauru and Manus respectively.)

Secretary of the Department of Immigration, Mike Pezzullo, said he couldn't recall whether he had briefed Peter Dutton about Senator Hanson-Young being placed under surveillance during her visit to Nauru.

Compromised ALP senators pondered mouldy tents and Wilson Security assertions that Australia's refugee concentration camp in Nauru is a "complex and challenging environment".

 

 

A former Save the Children employee said staff on Nauru were instructed not to report any crimes they may become aware of to police, but to their supervisors.

Though $1.2 billion of public money has been spent, Save the Children witnesses said refugees' material needs were deliberately not being met.

Inadequate clothing was supplied - an example of this ritual humiliation was an elderly Burmese refugee being issued short, pink hotpants.

A former worker who advised hunger strikers to unstitch their lips and instead write to the Refugee Council of Australia (she gave them the email address) was accused of encouraging self harm.

She suspects action was taken against her because she informed refugees of their rights.

Save the Children staff were also instructed  to downgrade a report of children fainting in the education tent (where temperatures regularly reached 40-50 degrees). 

[Imagine if instead of Mick Fanning, tonight's ABC 7PM news bulletin lead with: Workers on Nauru instructed to downgrade reports of children fainting in 50deg in education tent.  The News Director MUST know that if they conveyed this truth, the camps would be closed tomorrow.]

An Immigration Department official responded to Senator Hanson-Young's question whether she would consider a child fainting to be a minor incident with weasel words.

 

 

Former Chief Justice Eames AM QC said he inspected the camp in November 2013 and was struck by the sight of children huddled beneath any shade they could find.  Evidently Scott "fluffy" Morrison had refused to have airconditioning installed  - even though millions were spent airconditioning adjacent worker accommodation.

Eames said the camp has had a devastating impact on the island and its people.  While a minority may have benefitted financially, there has been a massive loss of culture.

He said that far as he is aware, not one allegation of abuse or assault (in the camp) has proceeded through the Nauruan justice system.   Department of Immigration officials later contradicted this by claiming 15 allegations of abuse had been refurred to Nauruan police and had progressed through the court.

Eames recounted how a former AFP official was sacked after attempting to peacefully diffuse protests and a breakout from the camp in July 2013. Instead, locals were deputised (via the use of a blanket SMS system designed for natural disasters) to attack refugees, and a subsequent riot ensued.

The Department of Immigration refused to answer Senator Hanson-Young's question why a sexually abused 7 year old girl remains in detention, and whether or not she is safe.

They concluded proceedings with some light banter with ALP senators about the importance of adhering to international conventions and obligations.

 

 



Details about asylum seeker turnbacks to remain secret, commissioner rules [Guardian - 20/7/15]:

Australia’s information commissioner has ruled that custom vessel logs, emails and cables about asylum seeker turnback operations at sea should remain secret.

The information commissioner, Professor John McMillan, ruled that requests for watch officer logs and authorisations for turnbacks were exempt from release because they could have a “substantial adverse effect” on the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS).

Guardian Australia sought access under freedom of information laws to the documents from all asylum seeker turnback operations between November 2013 and February 2014.

During this period a number of turnback operations occurred, including at least one that led to Australian vessels breaching Indonesian waters.

Four watch logs were identified within scope, along with another 11 documents that were internal requests, cables, briefing papers and emails relating to turnback operations.

...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nauru issues visa to lawyer representing opposition MP [RNZI - 20/7/15]:

 

 

The Nauru opposition MP Roland Kun has high hopes he'll be able to reunite with his family in New Zealand after a lawyer arrived at the weekend to help him fight his case.

Mr Kun has been forced to stay on Nauru after the government cancelled his passport.

He is waiting for his lawyer Georgie Coleman to be admitted to the Nauru bar under urgency so his case against the Nauru government can proceed.

Ms Coleman was granted a visa by the Nauruan government and is representing Mr Kun for free.

They are hoping the case will go ahead tomorrow if certain formalities are waived.

Mr Kun was pulled off a plane a month ago as he tried to leave Nauru and has since remained apart from his young family.

He's one of five opposition MPs in Nauru who have either had their passports cancelled or are facing criminal charges in the wake of protests against the government last month.

Two of the MPs were bailed last week after a month in custody.

There has been mounting international pressure on the Nauru government over its treatment of the MPs.

 


 

 

 

One shot dead in religious violence in Papua



RNZI [20/7/15]:

 

 

Police have reportedly opened fire on protesters in Indonesia's Papua province, in an incident they are blaming on church officials.

The National police chief, General Badrodin Haiti, says police shot at people on Sunday in Tolikara, as they were pelting stones at Muslims who were praying.

The Antara News agency reports one attacker was killed and 11 others wounded in the incident.

He says the violence may have been prompted by a circular letter distributed a week earlier, bearing the signatures of local church officials.

General Haiti says he was sent to investigate after the President, Joko Widodo, asked for a report about the letter.

General Haiti says he calls on all parties, including community members, religious figures and administrative officials, to help to get at the root cause of the incident.






Mosque attacked, Idul Fitri prayer disrupted in Papua [Jakarta Globe - 17/7/15]

 

 

 

 

 

More than two dozen civilians have lost their lives and many more sustained injuries as Saudi military aircraft conducted a fresh round of attacks against several areas across Yemen.

On Sunday morning, a total of 13 people, among them women and children, were killed in airstrikes by Saudi warplanes against Yarim District of the southwestern city of Ibb, located about 170 kilometers (106 miles) south of the capital, Sana’a, Arabic-language al-Masirah satellite television network reported.   ... [Press TV - 19/7/15]



United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria

 

 

US Department of Defense [19/7/15]:

 

 

U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

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

Airstrikes in Syria

Fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted nine airstrikes in Syria:

-- Near Hasakah, eight airstrikes struck an ISIL large tactical unit and seven ISIL small tactical units and destroyed six ISIL fighting positions, three ISIL vehicles, two ISIL weapons caches, an ISIL vehicle bomb and an ISIL bunker system.

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

Airstrikes in Iraq

Attack, fighter-attack, bomber and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 16 airstrikes in Iraq, approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense:

-- Near Huwayjah, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL tunnels and an ISIL building.

-- Near Makhmur, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL building.

-- Near Mosul, an airstrike struck an ISIL mortar and destroyed an ISIL building.

-- Near Ramadi, six airstrikes struck four ISIL small tactical units and destroyed two ISIL improvised explosive devices, three ISIL tanks, three ISIL armored personnel carriers, an ISIL vehicle, two ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL weapons cache.

-- Near Sinjar, four airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL light machine guns, six ISIL buildings and an ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Tal Afar, three airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed four ISIL bunkers, two ISIL buildings and an ISIL light machine gun.

...

 

 



LÉ NIAMH rescues 98 refugees from the Mediterranean



Independent [19/7/15]:



The LÉ NIAMH successfully conducted the search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean after it picked up distress calls 76 nautical miles north west of Libya.

The vessel took on board 78 men, 18 women, and two children, who were found stranded off the coast near the capital Tripoli in a rubber craft.

The operation was successfully completed at 12:50 pm.

The LÉ NIAMH was immediately re-tasked by the Italian Marine Rescue Coordination Centre to another operation 58 Nautical Miles north-west of Tripoli at 4 pm Irish time.

It was subsequently joined by the Italian patrol vessel the 'ITS SIRIO' who took an estimated 250 people on board.

The LÉ NIAMH departed Ireland on Friday 10th of July with a crew of fifty-seven personnel, including two Army medics and is commanded by Lieutenant Commander Danial Wall.

It replaces the LÉ Eithne and her 69-strong crew, who returned to Ireland after an eight week mission in which it saved almost 3,400 refugees.

 

 

 

 

 

... The Maltese father of three thought some of the 32 children looked especially afraid. ‘Usually they start crying when they come to us but their faces just froze,’ he said. ‘It still gets me to see the kids. I feel such relief to see them sitting on our boat safe.’

Already 137,000 people have crossed this 300-mile stretch of water in 2015 – nearly double last year’s number. Almost 2,000 are known to have died. The majority are refugees from wars in Syria, Somalia and Afghanistan or fleeing barbaric regimes in Eritrea and Gambia.

Regina Catrambone, who set up MOAS with her husband, admitted the venture has soaked up most of their savings. But this passionate Calabrian believes there is a moral imperative to save people from drowning. ‘Even if just one person is dying something should be done to help,’ she said. ‘What else should we do: let them sink because they are running away from war?’

...

A 60-year-old Syrian, travelling with her daughter and teenage grandson whose parents went missing in the country’s civil war, told me she escaped a besieged area of Damascus to Libya without knowing there was fighting there too.

More than two-thirds were fleeing Libya, many of them guest workers from Bangladesh and Pakistan. This was the first time Will Turner, the Briton leading the onboard MSF team, had seen people from these countries attempting the crossing in such numbers.

He said: ‘Most have been there for several years but indiscriminate violence and risk of beatings make it untenable to stay.

‘And the only way out is to board the leaky boats to Europe.’   ... [Ian Birrell becomes first reporter to assist in refugee rescue operation - Daily Mail - 19/7/15]

 

 

 

 

 

How many refugee boats trying to reach Australia haven't been spotted by shipping, and what happens to them?  Government refuses to comment on reports of asylum seeker boat off Western Australia [The Age - 20/7/15]

 

 

 

 

 

Refugee boat reportedly off Australian coast, WA

 

 

 

West Australian [20/7/15]:

 

A suspected asylum seeker boat is reportedly approaching Western Australia's north coast.

It's understood the boat has been spotted off Dampier.

A spokeswoman for Immigration Minister Peter Dutton says the government does not comment on operational matters.

 

 

 

 

 

9 month ban on Australia's acceptance of UNHCR refugees continues.

 

 

 "Opposition" and human rights establishment's non interest continues

 

 

Refugee Council of Australia says [today] it will follow up with the Immigration Department.  [SBS - 9/7/15]

 

 

... Comment is being sought from now Immigration Minister Peter Dutton and the UNHCR.

 

 

 

 

UNHCR still has not responded, and has republished an earlier, and inaccurate, report.

 

 

 

 

South East Asia

 

 

 

 

Myanmar:  Interfaith and peace activist arrested  [Burma Muslim Association Media Release - 17/7/15]

 

 

 

 

Myanmar’s authorities are intensifying restrictions on media as the country approaches crucial national elections, scheduled to be held in November, using threats, harassment and imprisonment to stifle independent journalists and outlets. ... [Amnesty International Media Release - 17/6/15]

 

 

 

 

 

Australia's political and media establishment beg to differ ---->  A free press slowly emerges in Myanmar [ABC Media Report - 18/5/15]  <---- reported in the midst of a regional humanitarian crisis:   The Indonesian city where about 1,500 migrants have landed after being abandoned at sea says it urgently needs help to care for them.  The mayor of Langsa, in Aceh province, told the BBC that finances were tight.   "We need some help, immediately, from our national government or any other institution," said Usman Abdullah.  ... [BBC - 18/5/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australian Embassy in Myanmar [17/7/15]:  Australia is a strong supporter of Myanmar's political and economic reforms. On 16 July Australian Ambassador to Myanmar Mr Nicholas Coppel met Minister of the President's Office U Soe Thane to get an update on Myanmar's reform process.

 

 

 

 

Living With Evil.

 

 

 

The Star [18/7/15]:

 

… But even those who are in Malaysia don’t have it easy. If they are lucky, they are able to work informal jobs for a menial salary.

Nurul said that he could not get treatment for a whole host of health problems he was suffering from, even though he had valid refugee status. It doesn’t help that he can’t work, he said.

“I have to depend on the community to help me out, to pay for my rent and food,” said Nurul.

As of April, there were almost 46,000 Rohingya registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the country.

There are many more who are still seeking refugee status, such as 22-year-old Anwar Shah, who has only been in the country for about seven months.

In Myanmar, he said that congregation at mosques is not allowed and that he was arrested several times for trying to pray with his friends.

Fed up with the situation, he came to Malaysia with his uncle paying the cost for him.

Unlike at home, he can pray anytime he wants at the surau Al-Islamiah, where the main congregation is made up of Rohingya.

He, however, can’t work or go anywhere he pleases as he fears arrest by the authorities.

“I am very confused … My family is facing ethnic cleansing in Arakan. But at the same time, there are many problems here. I want to go back to Myanmar one day … not now … but one day I hope,” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

20 July 2015

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