Dear Australia - A Global Call to End Mandatory and Indefinite Detention [VIDEO]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imaginary Australian journalist to Minister for Immigration Peter Dutton: The Moss Review shows your government (and its News Corp propaganda arm) fabricated stories. Any comment?

 

 

 

 

 

Minister for Immigration Media Release [20/3/15]:

 

 

 

 

... Mr Moss has made 19 recommendations.

The Department has accepted and responded to all of those recommendations.

Secretary Pezzullo assures me there is a clear implementation plan and the Department is already working with the Government of Nauru and the RPC service providers to implement that response.

Over and above the Moss recommendations, I have advised the Department of further strategies to be taken.

The Secretary is working on these matters and will provide more information in the near future. ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Moss Review shows that the No. 1 priority for the Australian government in its torture of refugees is TOTAL information suppression.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is Scott "fluffy" Morrison's Children Overboard.

 

 

Where's the opposition?

 

 

 

Immigration report finds no evidence charity staff encouraged Nauru detention centre refugees to self harm or manipulate abuse allegations [ABC - 20/3/15]:

 

 

...   Editor's note (20/3/15): This story has been updated to clarify that former immigration minister Scott Morrison did not make allegations Save The Children employees acted inappropriately.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bulletproof liar Scott "Fluffy" Morrison confident the Australian media will protect him and the  "opposition" will remain silent:   Pensioners up to $78 per fortnight better off since election [Minister for Social Services Media Release – 20/3/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

@rranwa - Refugee Rights Action Network WA [20/3/15]:  We can hear flash bangs and see people running by the fence as dogs brought into the compounds at yongah

 

 

 

 

 


Australia: Minister for Immigration's goon squad attacks protesting refugees at Yongah Hill concentration camp

 

 

 

ABC [20/3/15]:



Detainees at the Yongah Hill immigration centre claim several people were injured in scuffles with guards during a protest over the level of medical care and other services provided.

About a dozen detainees yesterday climbed on rooftops in several compounds at the centre, 80km north-east of Perth.

They said they were protesting over the time it took to process their cases and cuts to after-hours medical care.

One of the men on a roof was a Lebanese detainee who another detainee claimed had partly lost sight in one eye after allegedly being given the wrong eye drop treatment.

Another detainee watching from the ground said a guard had told him to go back inside his accommodation unit.

"He grabbed me by my T-shirt and another officer beat me," he claimed.

He said he was thrown against a fence and hit his head and collapsed.

Another detainee said other men then tried to intervene and fought with guards.

He alleged several detainees were left injured and bleeding.

"Detainees were just helping each other, paper towels and bath towels were all we could use to clean up guys who were badly injured," he said.

The claims were put to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, but it did not directly respond.

The department has also been asked if any guards were injured.

It confirmed a small number of detainees had been involved in a protest and said trained negotiators were engaging with the detainees.

But it would not comment on claims detainees were injured or whether they received medical treatment.

"It would not be appropriate to make further detailed comments on matters that are subject to continuing operations," the department said in a statement.

"The wellbeing of those in our care is a high priority for the department.

"People in immigration detention receive medical care commensurate with that available in the wider community."

The department said the centre was presently calm and normal routines were being followed.


 

 


Refugee Rights Action Network WA [20/3/15]:


Huge protest in Yongah Hill RIGHT NOW. Their are supporters on the hill now if you can get down. There were up to 10 people protesting on the roof last night, they were all arrested and taken somewhere. Now there are over 36 people on the room in one compound alone - have heard there are others on roof in other compounds.

The whole centre is joining in the chants for freedom.

3 people seriously self harmed last night, all Serco had left out of the compounds and centre was in lock down. One was very badly injured, my friend said to an officer to check on him and the officer said they weren't allowed. Police came with dogs, they are still there in Green Heart.

All the compounds are still locked, dinner is not being given, I can hear people shouting freedom over the phone.


 

 

 

Rangers break up Perth's Nyoongar tent embassy on Heirisson Island again



Guardian [20/3/15]:



Rangers have broken up the Nyoongar tent embassy on Perth’s Heirisson Island for the second time in a week.

The campers pitched tents on the Swan River island earlier this month, declaring it a refuge for homeless Nyoongar people and part of the national sovereignty movement.

Last week dozens of mounted, dog squad and air wing police stood watch as council workers removed the protesters’ tents after they refused to leave.

But the action failed to deter the group, who set up camp again soon after.

On Friday, police accompanied City of Perth rangers to the island again to remove more tents and extinguish campfires.

A City spokeswoman said protesters were noisy but did not interfere.

No arrests were made and no move-on notices were issued.

The protesters have since set up more tents.

Weeks of protests were held on Heirisson Island in 2012 after a group of Aboriginal activists objected to the WA government’s $1.3bn native title offer to the Nyoongar people.

Earlier this week, there were more protests about the offer on the steps of the West Australian parliament.

 

 

 

 

 

Brisbane Refugee and Asylum Seeker Resource Network:

 

 

Rise Up For Refugees @ Greenslopes Bowls Club

 

 

March 21 @ 3:00 pm - 11:00 pm

 $10

BANDS & COMPS & BOWLS & CHEAP BEER!!!

Everyone welcome! 3.00pm – 11.00pm Saturday, March 21st @ Greenslopes Bowls Club!

131 Ridge Street, Greenslopes (near the soccer fields, just a 3 minute walk from Greenslopes Busway Station, and on the bikeway too).

$10 donation upon entry and wear orange to show your support for Harmony Day_AU & Rise Up For Refugees!

...

 

 



 

 

Queensland political and media establishment ventilate views of a minority group of bigots in the leadup to Harmony Day. [Sunshine Coast Daily - 20/3/15]:

 

 

 

 

Steve Dickson will take a Sunshine Coast group's petition, which is effectively calling for a ban on mosques, to State Parliament.

Sunshine Coast Safe Communities launched the petition last year calling on the State Government to support changes to the Sustainable Planning Act to the definition of "place of worship". ...

 

 

 

 

 

ABC [20/3/15]:



An Adelaide Jesuit priest and teacher found with more than 1,500 pornographic images of boys has been jailed for more than two years.

Stanislaus Hogan, 70, was found with books, magazines and videos of young and teenage boys, in his private quarters at Saint Ignatius' College in Adelaide's eastern suburbs in August 2013.

He was on the college staff at the time of his arrest.

...

 

 

 

 

 

 

'Things happen': Tony Abbott on sexual assault allegations in Australia's offshore refugee concentration camps [Guardian – 20/3/15]

 

 





Manus Island PNG constitutional challenge wins lawyers’ access to Australia's refugee death camp

 

 

 

Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney [20/3/15]:



In a major breakthrough in the legal challenge to the Manus Island detention centre, the PNG government has agreed to provide access to lawyers to obtain statements from asylum seekers incarcerated there.

Final orders by the Supreme Court will be made on Tuesday 24 March, but initial access will be for a period of two months with provision to apply to extend the time period, if necessary.

“We are extremely happy to finally have legal access to the detention centre,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“Ever since the detention centre was opened, asylum seekers have been denied access to lawyers and legal advice. The centre has operated under a complete cloak of secrecy under which the Australian Immigration Department, the PNG government, G4S, Transfield and Wilson’s Security violated the human rights of asylum seekers with impunity.

“Hopefully that dark time is coming to an end. For the first time asylum seekers will have an opportunity to openly make statements regarding their treatment to a lawyer.

“Asylum seekers have been denied the fundamental right of people to obtain legal advice. They have been denied habeas corpus, the fundamental democratic right to be taken before a court, established by the Magna Carta, 800 years ago, has been denied to them by both the Australian and PNG governments.”


 

 

 

The leadership tribunal has found Manus MP Ronny Knight guilty of three of the five allegations levelled against him.  ... [PNG Loop - 20/3/15]

 

 

 

 

New Zealand media report Nauru refugee protests continue, trial of those "arrested' adjourned

 

Australian media blackout continues.

 

 

 

RNZI [20/3/15]:

 



A refugee advocacy group says around 350 refugees from camps across Nauru staged a peaceful protest yesterday.

The Refugee Action Coalition says the protest follows an assault on refugees at Ananbare camp on Wednesday night.

It says two masked assailants, carrying a baseball bat, on a motorcycle and a machete, attacked two refugees outside the camp.

One refugee was struck across the back by the bat as they rode past.

Earlier this week two refugees were badly hurt when they were hit by a shower of rocks thrown by locals.

...

Meanwhile, on Wednesday a scheduled court appearance by protesters arrested on the 4th of March was adjourned until the 8th of April after the magistrate listed 11 people , while the prosecution listed only 10 - including children.

There is still no indication of what charges are being laid against those arrested. [or whether they have access to legal representation.]

 

 

 

 

Two still on roof-top protest at Yongah Hill concentration camp

 

 

 

Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney [20/3/15]:

 

 

 

Almost 24 hours after the protest began, two asylum seekers remain on the roof of the Yongah Hill detention centre.

From around 3.00pm (Perth time) yesterday (Thursday) the number on the roof grew to 12 by around 7.00pm.

Seven asylum seekers came off the roof around midnight Perth time.

One of them was hospitalised shortly after, following a serious self-harm incident.

Around 11am (Perth time), another asylum seeker came off the roof and was immediately tackled and handcuffed by Serco staff.

A scuffle developed between guards and detainees in the yard, after which Serco agreed that the man would be taken to hospital for mental health treatment.

The two remaining protesters are able to get water and food.

 

 

 



... But nobody ever hears him

Or the sound he appears to make

And he never seems to notice




But the fool on the hill

Sees the sun going down

And the eyes in his head

See the world spinning round ...

 



'The Fool on the Hill', The Beatles [1967]

 

 

 

 

 

Australia's Minister for Immigration Peter Dutton "Takes out the Trash":  Rapes and fears for safety on Nauru uncovered by Moss Review [Guardian – 20/3/15]

 

 

Moss Review

 


 

 

 

Australia's Minister for Immigration and his media friends justify ongoing torture of asylum seekers at Villawood (and other) concentration camps. [Transcript of Doorstop - 19/3/15]:

 

 

 

... I want to send this very clear message to people who are in detention centres across the country, that is, that we will not tolerate unlawful behaviour. People will be dealt with, with the full force of the law.

People who commit offences, whether it's assault or unlawful damage or other offences - that will not change the migration outcome for that individual.

It will bring no pressure to bear on me or on the government whatsoever. Where the police are required, where the Serco officers are required to use reasonable force, they will use that force.

...

We have put in place a very important policy which has stopped the boats and we are not about to go down Labor's path in restarting the boats.

...

 


 

 

Germany Promises Additional Assistance over Refugee Crisis



Naharnet [19/3/15]



German Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Mueller vowed on Thursday to increase assistance to Lebanon to help it confront the burden of Syrian refugees.

In the past three years, Germany granted 850 million euros to the countries hosting the refugees, with 250 million euros to Lebanon alone, Mueller said following talks with Prime Minister Tammam Salam at the Grand Serail.

“We will increase this assistance and consolidate our support in the future,” he added.

Mueller, who arrived in Beirut on Wednesday, stressed that Germany “stands by Lebanon in dealing with the huge problems resulting from the refugee crisis.”

He said his country will donate around 55 million euros at the Kuwait donors conference on March 31.

The Gulf state has hosted previous such conferences in the past two years.

But despite the pledges, U.N. humanitarian agencies have complained that many donors have not followed through on promises, forcing them to cut assistance to millions of Syrians.

The representatives of agencies told Mueller on Wednesday that the funds will dry out by the end of March.

He urged the European Union and the international community not to stop the aid flow for Lebanon and the countries of the region.

“We will discuss the issue in Kuwait because we don't want this difficult situation to continue. Germany wants to play a leading role in that regard,” the minister told reporters at the Grand Serail.

Mueller later toured several refugee encampments in the eastern Bekaa Valley.

There are more than 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Well over half of them are living in insecure dwellings – up from a third last year.

 

 



Desperate situation in Vanuatu's outer islands



RNZI [20/3/15]:



People from Vanuatu's Shepherd Islands are painting a grim picture of their situation in the aftermath of Cyclone Pam.

The group of eight islands lies north of the capital Port Vila.

George Simone from Emae Island said families are living off any food they can find, and water supplies are running so low the men were giving their rations to the women and children.

Mr Simone said there are helicopters and planes flying over the island taking pictures but they have no idea when relief will arrive, and are struggling to contact the Government.

Further north on Ambrym Island, volunteer doctor Richard Henderson said the 5000 there were facing a serious hunger problem.

Mr Henderson has been in Ambrym for the past couple of months and said they have been hit by an earthquake, tsunami and volcanic eruption in the past month.

He said acid rain from the volcanic eruption rotted all of their crops, and now Cyclone Pam has destroyed 98 percent of their fruit trees.

The Government has been criticised for its slow distribution of aid but said they were still assessing where resources should be sent.

UNICEF spokesperson Alice Clements said a barge is leaving the capital, Port Vila, today with supplies for the Shepherd Islands.

Mrs Clements said the barge has been donated from a local business and loaded with 10,000 litres of drinking water and portable jerry cans.

She said it could take up to a week to get to all eight islands in the group.

  

 



Cyclone Nathan to move over NT



Nine MSN [20/3/15]:



Cyclone Nathan is expected to strengthen again over the Gulf of Carpentaria and could threaten the Northern Territory as a category two storm.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says there's been no reports of injuries after Nathan crossed the coast near Cape Flattery, in the far north, early on Friday as a category four.

She said aerial surveillance would continue throughout the day, but it appeared the communities of Cooktown and Hopevale, south of Cape Flattery, had escaped relatively unscathed.

Nathan has already been downgraded to a category three storm and could be nothing more than a tropical low by the end of the day.

But Ms Palaszczuk said the system was expected to head out over the gulf and re-intensify.

"This cyclone will cross the cape and then head towards the Northern Territory, and probably then re-intensify from a category one to a category two," she told reporters.

She said Queensland authorities were in contact with the Northern Territory, as Nathan headed west.

In the indigenous community of Hopevale, 480 homes are without power and a banana plantation that provides jobs for locals has lost 60 per cent of its trees.

But she says the mayors of Hopevale and Cooktown have reported little damage.

"Overall we have some very good news."

Ms Palaszczuk said a helicopter would fly over evacuated Lizard Island, off the coast north of Cape Flattery, to assess damage.

Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said although there was no major damage on the mainland, residents shouldn't be complacent.

"There will be flooded roads. There will be winds," Mr Gollschewski said.

Bureau of Meteorology regional director Robb Webb said the strongest winds the bureau recorded were of category three strength at Cape Flattery, while measurements in Cooktown showed a category one level strength.

He said Nathan would re-intensify over the Gulf and could threaten the Northern Territory in two days' time.

 

 

 

 

 

‏@paulburt07 - Weather Presenter, Channel 7 [20/3/15]:  Waters are rising from the run off of TC Nathan. The Isabella heading to Hopevale looking very angry. ... 

 

 

 



 

A successful north Queensland indigenous employment project has again been hit hard after Cyclone Nathan razed half the trees on a banana farm.  ... [Yahoo - 20/3/15]

 

 


 

 

Firefighters in central Queensland have called in extra resources to battle a blaze in a cyclone-ravaged pine plantation ahead of another wind change.

The fire at Byfield, north of Yeppoon, jumped containment lines on Thursday, prompting authorities to doorknock nearby residents and tell them to enact their bushfire plans.

The situation became more serious when a 20km/h wind change swept through the region. Crews were working to further strengthen containment lines ahead of a similar wind change on Friday, fire incident controller Ross Macrae told AAP.  ... [Yahoo - 20/3/15]

 

 

 

 

Put the LNP last = Business as usual in Queensland

 

 

Red Hill, Brisbane



Yahoo [20/3/15]:



Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the consumer watchdog needs to be fully briefed on the government's electricity plans before it warns of rising power bills.

Ms Palaszczuk's Labor government claimed a surprise victory earlier this year on the back of a commitment to merge state-owned coal-fired generators CS Energy and Stanwell, and not sell state assets.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims has since criticised the amalgamation move, saying it would result in less competition and higher power bills.

But Ms Palaszczuk says the government's plans would still ensure there was a competitive generator market.

"This government will not do anything that will drive up household electricity bills," she told Fairfax radio.

The premier said Treasurer Curtis Pitt would meet Mr Sims to allay his concerns.

"There are conversations that are happening at the moment, but the ACCC needs to be fully briefed on what our planned structure is and that is the process the treasurer will follow," Ms Palaszczuk said.

...

 

 

Yahoo [20/3/15]:



The Great Barrier Reef could collapse under the pressure of climate change if local threats are not reduced, scientists are warning.

A team of international researchers have singled out dredging and coastal development as two major non-climate change threats to the reef.

The reef is one of three world heritage sites Queensland University professor Terry Hughes and 12 other researchers from across the globe have been studying closely, and the news is not good.

"It's an unfolding disaster," Prof Hughes said.

"The reef needs less pollution from agricultural runoff and port dredging, less carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels, and less fishing pressure.

"Ironically, Australia is still planning to develop new coal mines and expand coal ports, despite global efforts to transition quickly towards renewable energy."

Queensland's new Labor government is pushing for the expansion of dredging at the Abbot Point coal terminal, south of Townsville.

Prof Hughes said this would further weaken the reef's ability to cope with ocean acidification and coral bleaching, both caused by carbon emissions.

The researchers, whose study has been published in the journal Science, also examined the Amazon rainforest and Spain's Donana wetlands.

Prof Hughes is the director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University in Townsville.



 

 

Tsipras told not to expect breakthrough at EU summit talks


ekathimerini.com [19/3/15]:


Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was due to meet late on Thursday night with a number of key European Union figures in Brussels in a bid to kick-start the stalled negotiations between Athens and its lenders but was warned not to expect a breakthrough.

Following a European Union leaders summit in the Belgian capital, Tsipras was due to meet with a group consisting of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem and European Council President Donald Tusk.

The meeting was arranged following requests from Athens as technical teams from Greece and its creditors have made limited progress in the last few days on agreeing reforms that could help unlock at least some of the 7.2 billion euros in remaining bailout tranches that the government needs to avoid running out of cash.

“The talks in Athens were paused yesterday,” an EU official told Reuters. “This is normal procedure and can be helpful to take stock. There is willingness to talk but the Greeks must deliver.”

There appeared little prospect, though, of any significant achievements being made at last night’s meeting.

Merkel played down expectations of any noticeable progress at the meeting, stressing that it is still up to the 19 euro-area finance ministers to define the process.

“I want to say: Don’t expect a solution, don’t expect a breakthrough. It’s not the right setting,” she told reporters on arrival at the summit. “Decisions are made in the Eurogroup and that is how it will remain.”

Dijsselbloem also dismissed any hopes that the various parties would come to some kind of conclusion at the mini-gathering.

“Tonight we’ll just take stock of the progress being made, which seems to be small, and I hope we can get the whole thing moving again because we have a lot of work to do,” said the Dutch finance minister.

Ahead of the summit, Tsipras insisted that Greece’s partners needed to do more. “The EU needs more political initiatives that respect both democracy and its treaties so that we leave behind the crisis and move to growth,” he told journalists.

Government sources said that during the European Council meeting that took place ahead of the talks on Greece, Tsipras expressed frustration at the country’s lenders for their objections to the legislation aimed at tackling the social impact of the crisis.

Sources said Tsipras told his counterparts that it was unfair for Athens to be accused of unilateral actions.



I faked Yanis Varoufakis middle-finger video, says German TV presenter [Guardian – 19/3/15]




Yanis Varoufakis: The Global Minotaur: America, Europe and the Future of the Global Economy [VIDEO - 15/05/2013, 18h, Cinema Europa, Hall Müller, Zagreb, Croatia]


 

Piers Morgan ordered journalists to dig for dirt on editor of Private Eye after being mocked on TV show court hears



Hacking Inquiry [19/3/15]:



Former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan ordered journalists to dig for dirt on the editor of Private Eye after being mocked on a TV show a court was told today.

Morgan appeared on the BBC’s satirical quiz show “Have I Got News for You” in May 1996.

During the programme, Ian Hislop, accused him of arranging for reporters follow him around and stake out his home.

During evidence at the trial of ex-Mirror reporter, Graham Brough, it was revealed that after the show Morgan instructed Brough, who was the senior reporter at the newspaper, to carry out an investigation on Hislop.

However Brough later reported back that he had found nothing scandalous about the Private Eye editor as it appeared he had led a “blameless life”.

In 2002 Hislop was quoted as saying about Morgan “all he’s been offering for information about my private life is a £50 reward. My friends think that’s not nearly enough”.

The revelation came during the trial of Brough over allegations that he made payments to a prison officer in exchange for information, including the inside story of singer Boy George’s time in Pentonville Prison. Brough has denied being aware that his source was a serving prison officer or that he was knew paying a public official was a criminal offence.

Also in the dock at the Old Bailey’s court 6 are a former immigration detention officer, Mark Blake and three reporters from The Sun newspaper.

After Brough’s evidence had been completed one of The Sun reporters, Neil Millard, entered the witness box to discuss his contacts with public officers including another prison officer, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Millard told the jury that at the time of the alleged offences he had been a junior reporter working on the paper’s night shift team, which mainly involved answering the telephone and writing a memo if any of the calls received could have led to a story.

The court was shown a memo, written by the defendant, in which he reports a call from a “screw” about child murderer John Venables being “given special treatment” following his recall to jail for child pornography offences.

The journalist testified that he did know the caller was a prison officer as he had asked him to send a photograph of his prison ID card to establish he would be in a position to know about Venables’ treatment.

He said however that he had never received any instructions or training that it was illegal to pay a public official for information and that he was not in a senior enough role to decide which stories the paper should run or who should be paid for information.

Millard said that it had never occurred to him he may have been committing an offence until he was arrested in 2012.

All of the defendants deny all of the charges, the trial continues.

 

 

 

 

Egypt Court Adjourns Al-Jazeera Retrial to Wednesday



Naharnet [19/3/15]:



An Egyptian court adjourned until Wednesday the retrial of three Al-Jazeera journalists accused of supporting the banned Muslim Brotherhood movement, after listening to expert witnesses.

Australian journalist Peter Greste, who was deported to his home country in February, is being tried in absentia.

Also on trial are Canadian reporter Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed, as well as others, all of whom attended Thursday's hearing as free men after the judge released them at their first retrial hearing.

Greste, Fahmy and Mohamed, who are accused of "spreading false news" while covering demonstrations after the army ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, spent more than a year in prison.

Last year, the trio were sentenced to from seven to 10 years in jail, but an appeals court in January granted them a retrial, saying the verdict had not been supported by evidence.

On Thursday, the court ordered creation of a new technical committee to review the videos used as prosecution evidence, said an Agence France-Presse journalist who attended the trial.

It also heard several witnesses, including a member of the technical committee whose testimony was used during the first trial.

The expert denied the conclusions of the technical report attributed to him that was used against the defendants in the first trial.

"I did not write in the report if (the videos) are a threat to state security or not," Kamel Mohamed Kamel said.

"Some videos have been edited, but I can not say if they have altered the reality (of events) or not," he added.

The journalists were arrested in December 2013 during a crackdown on Morsi's supporters.

Their initial trial came against the backdrop of strained ties between Egypt and Qatar, where Al-Jazeera is based and which supported Morsi.

 

 

 

 

Yemen president evacuated as unidentified warplanes attack palace

 


Al Jazeera [19/3/15]:



Yemen's president has been forced to flee his presidential palace after two fighter planes targeted his residence in Aden, a government official has said.

President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi was evacuated on Thursday after the planes opened fire, hitting his residence in the southern city.

"President Hadi has been evacuated to a safe place but he has not left the country," Hadi's aide told the AFP news agency as a plane made a second pass over the palace.

The aircraft dropped a bomb or fired a missile at the compound in al-Maasheeq district of the southern port city, where Hadi is based, the official said, in a sharp escalation of Yemen's months-long armed turmoil.

Residents said anti-aircraft guns opened fire at the planes, and smoke was seen rising from the area, but it was not immediately clear if Hadi was in the compound.

A Yemeni security source said the situation at the presidential palace "was under control and there was nothing to be worried about".

The attack on Hadi's compound came after forces loyal to Yemen's former president forced the closure of Aden's international airport after clashes left at least thirteen people dead and 13 wounded, security sources said.

A special forces unit, led by renegade General Abdel Hafez al-Saqqaf, stormed the airport grounds on Thursday before being repelled by fighters linked to the current president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

A military source told the AFP news agency that "Saqqaf's troops were forced to retreat to their camp [north of the airport] after being subjected to heavy shelling."

During the hours-long fighting, more than a 100 passengers who had boarded a Yemenia aircraft flight to Cairo, were ordered off a plane as machinegun fire rang out and explosions shook the terminal building.

At least two shells hit the airport's grounds, security and aviation officials at the scene said, with at least thirteen people killed and 13 wounded. Another 10 others were captured.

Sporadic clashes also erupted throughout Aden. Sounds of explosions periodically shook the city, and streets were largely deserted as residents hid in homes.

Meanwhile, a fighter jet attempting to target Hadi's palace in Aden hit a nearby hill instead, leading to smoke billowing in to the sky.

Speaking to Al Jazeera from the Yemeni capital Sanaa, Hakim Al Masmari, editor in chief of the Yemen Post, said the forces who lanched the assault were still in Aden and were expected to continue attacks against Hadi.

Tensions have been building in Aden for days. Hadi loyalists dominate the city, but two army units are loyal to Saqqaf, a pro-Saleh commander, who leads a force of 3,000 special forces police.

Hadi unsuccessfully tried to remove al-Saqqaf from his post earlier this month, prompting some clashes.

Hadi insists he remains the country's legitimate leader and enjoys much support in Aden, where he has been based since fleeing house arrest in Sanaa last month.




 

 

... Out on the road today I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac

 

A little voice inside my head said "Don't look back you can never look back" ...

 

 

 

'The Boys of Summer', Don Henley [1984]

 

 

 

Surfers Paradise [20/3/15]

 

 

 

 

United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria

 

Centcom [19/3/15]



On March 18, U.S. military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists in Syria, using fighter, attack, bomber and remotely piloted aircraft to conduct seven airstrikes.

Separately, U.S. and Coalition military forces conducted 12 airstrikes in Iraq, using attack, fighter, bomber and remotely piloted aircraft against ISIL terrorists.

All strikes took place between 8 a.m., March 18, and 8 a.m., March 19, local time.

The following is a summary of the strikes conducted since the last press release:

Syria

o Near Al Hasakah, three airstrikes struck three ISIL tactical units.

o Near Ar Raqqah, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL tank and an ISIL armored personnel carrier.

o Near Kobani, three airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL vehicle.

Iraq

o Near Ar Rutbah, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

o Near Fallujah, two airstrikes struck an ISIL-controlled bridge and destroyed a different ISIL-controlled bridge.

o Near Hit in Al Anbar Province, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

o Near Kirkuk, two airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL vehicles, an ISIL building and an ISIL heavy machine gun.

o Near Mosul, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL pieces of engineer equipment and an ISIL vehicle.

o Near Ramadi, three airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL bridges, an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL building and an ISIL tunnel system.

o Near Sinjar, an airstrike had inconclusive results.

Airstrike assessments are based on initial reports. All aircraft returned to base safely.

...

 

 

IraqiNews.com [19/3/15]:

 

On Thursday, a security source in Nineveh province said, that dozens of ISIS militants have been either killed or injured in an air strike by the international coalition in western Mosul.

The source informed IraqiNews, “Warplanes of the international coalition conducted three air strikes against sites for the ISIS group militants in the districts of Badush and al-Ba’aj, located in west of Mosul,” pointing out that, “The air strike resulted in killing and injuring dozens of ISIS militants.”  



ICC should prosecute Islamic State for Iraq genocide, war crimes: UN [Reuters – 19/3/15]



Afghanistan: Uruzgan police chief killed in Kabul suicide attack



Khaama [19/3/15]:



The provincial police chief for central Uruzgan province of Afghanistan was killed following the suicide attack in capital Kabul late on Wednesday night.

Gen. Matiullah Khan was one of the prominent security officials who was serving as provincial police chief for Uruzgan since 2011.

A spokesmn for the Taliban group, Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, claimed responibility behind the attack.

The incident took place around 8:15 pm local time in Qala-e-Ali Mardan area in the sixth police district of Kabul city.

Earlier reports suggested that the suicide bomber was looking to target a religious place where Shi’ite Muslims are gathering for religious affairs.

The spokesman for the Ministry of Interior Sediq Sediq confirmed the incident said two people were killed following the attack.



ABC [19/3/15]:

 

... The police chief of Uruzgan Province, Matiullah Khan, was a provincial strongman who allied himself with Australia, the United States and former Afghan president Hamid Karzai.

...

Australian soldiers praised him publicly, and genuinely admired him, while privately admitting he might have been guilty of gruesome acts.

When Australian and other coalition troops left Uruzgan province at the end of more than a decade of war against the Taliban, it was hoped that Mr Matiullah would provide stability and keep the Taliban at bay.

If he has been killed by the Taliban, it is a significant scalp for the insurgent group.

When the Dutch military led the Coalition effort in Uruzgan province, its members were forbidden to work with Mr Matiullah and his men, due to concerns over alleged human rights abuses.

However, when Australia took the lead role in the province, it proved less squeamish, working with Mr Matiullah, and even bringing some of his militiamen to Australia for training.

...



US advisers see progress in Afghan police training [Centcom – 19/3/15]

 

 

The U.S. military bases in Kandahar and Jalalabad are likely to remain open beyond the end of 2015, a senior U.S. official said, as Washington considers slowing its military pull-out from Afghanistan to help the new government fight the Taliban. ... [Reuters - 18/3/15]

 

 

 

A raid to “neutralize” an international terrorist that went awry has severely discredited the administration of Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, encouraged forces seeking to destabilize it, and underlined the perils of governments that are at the beck and call of Washington.

Very early in the morning of January 25, thirty seven commandos belonging to the Seaborne Unit of the Philippine National Police’s Special Action Force (SAF) entered the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) stronghold of Mamasapano in Maguindanao Province and made straight for a hut where Zulfiki bin hir, aka Marwan, a Malaysian bombmaker at the top of the US FBI’s most wanted list, was sleeping. 

The commandos were able to kill Marwan, but as Moro insurgents woke up and started to fire at the intruders, they had to leave his body behind and be content with cutting off the corpse’s index finger to turn over to the FBI.   ... [teleSUR - 1/3/15]

 

 

African-American man found hanging from tree in Mississippi, FBI investigating  [The Times-Picayune - 19/3/15]



Dallas police opened fire on schizophrenic man [CNN - 19/3/15]

 

 

Australia is still torturing refugees.

 



Roof-top refugee protest at Yongah hill detention centre [Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney - 19/3/15]:



The Yongah Hill detention centre has been locked down this evening after growing numbers of asylum seekers have joined the roof-top protest that began around 3.30pm (Perth time).

Twelve asylum seekers from Iran, Iraq and Lebanon, and from three compounds, Eagle, Hawke and Swan, are now on the roof.

The protest began with a couple of asylum seekers climbing onto the roof; numbers have grown throughout the afternoon.

The protest is over the long times in detention times as well as the general conditions.

Some of those on the roof have been detained for two and half and three years. One asylum seeker in Yongah Hill has been detained for almost six years.

“The protest is against IHMS [the health provider]; it is against Serco and it is against Immigration,” one Yongah Hill asylum seeker said.

There is no nurse at Yongah Hill after 5pm and none are on duty on weekends. There are complaints of racism and abuse by some of the Serco guards.

Yongah Hill was also the scene of a bashing by so-called criminal deportees on 5 March that left a Nigerian asylum seeker in a coma.

 

 

 

 

Malcolm Fraser: The ALP and libs are "beyond reform"

55 mins in ----> 2,000 attended this ASRC Information Evening [VIDEO - 30/10/14]

 

 

This right now Melbourne is #StandUpToProtect #refugees at Melbourne Town Hall for @ASRC1 [Asylum Seeker Resource Centre]

Image: @Kon__K [30/10/14]

 

 

 

 

Malcolm Fraser and Senator Hanson-Young: Why Humanity Matters in Politics - A Public Forum [VIDEO - July 2013]

 

 

 

 

 

Malcolm Fraser: ‘we have lost our way’ [The Conversation - 10/10/11]:

 

 

 

 

… Eckersley: Let’s turn to refugees because you have a really strong record there. There were massive numbers of Vietnamese boat people which Australia comfortably accommodated. We now have much smaller numbers of boat people, many from war torn areas we are involved in, just like Vietnam.

The Cabinet documents that have been revealed from your time show that the same items were on the menu: offshore processing, mandatory detention and so forth but you were able to resist that.

How did you manage to persuade your colleagues?

Fraser: I said we had an ethical responsibility to do what we could to help. Those other arguments might have had three minutes of Cabinet time over the years. They weren’t even considered. They were in departmental papers.

The department won with Gerry Hand, who introduced mandatory detention in 1992, and the Liberal party supported it.

Politicians have done more to distort facts on this issue than almost any other. Over 80% of those who come by boat have been proven be genuine refugees by fairly harsh judgement standards.

Of those who come by air, which is a very much larger number, 15, maybe 20%, are found to be genuine refugees. These are all people who have had money, who have had money, they have had papers certainly, but they have also lied to get the visa.

They generally come on an education visa or a visitor’s visa. The Refugee Convention recognises that genuine refugees often travel without papers, often travel in unorthodox means because if you haven’t got papers you can’t travel by orthodox means.

If you ask refugees who fled out of Eastern Europe or from the Soviet Union after the war, a lot of them would have paid today’s people smugglers for some part of the journey. There is a minister of the crown in one of the states whose parents were refugees and I said “Do you know if they had to pay for any part of the journey to get to Australia”. He said yes, they had to pay for a boat to get across to Italy.

...

 

 

 

 

... Whichever way the dice fall, whether a conflict or war occurs between China and the United States or whether peace is maintained, Australia is better off being strategically independent. Certainly, if war occurs, we will then not be part of another American war with potentially disastrous consequences. That perhaps is the strongest reason for us to pursue strategic independence. The overall benefits that would flow from strategic independence are great, and could result in the making of Australia.



The most effective diplomacy is undertaken quietly, often behind closed doors, while people are seeking agreement and working to create a more secure world. The example of ASEAN, in particular, gives us grounds for optimism. Progress has been made; more progress will be made. The more countries that quietly participate in this process, the better it will be. The West has never truly recognised the progress, the advancement, the contribution, to security and safety throughout the region the ASEAN countries have themselves achieved without Western intervention or support. As a more independent country, we can help build on that. As a lackey of America's, it will be hard for others to take Australia seriously. ...

 

 

 

Malcolm Fraser, 'Dangerous Allies' [Melbourne University Press - 2014]

 

 

 

 

 

 

20 March 2015

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