Israeli revenge demolitions leave 2 dead, dozens homeless [Electronic Intifada - 20/11/15]
Hundreds attend funeral of Palestinian killed in Gush Etzion [Maan - 20/11/15]
An Israeli court in Ashkelon has extended the detention of an injured Palestinian kidnapped from a hospital in Hebron on Nov. 12 by undercover Israeli forces. ... [Maan - 20/11/15]
Jean-Michel Fauvergue, the commander of the RAID special police forces unit which carried out the raid in the Paris suburb of Saint Denis on Wednesday, said that many of the methods used by his charges were learned from their Israeli counterpart.
In an interview with the French-language daily Le Figaro, Fauvergue said that the operation, which resulted in the deaths of two terrorists and the arrest of five others, took seven hours.
It included the exchange of heavy gunfire, dozens of stun grenades, and the deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles and robots.
According to other reports, the operation required close to 100 officers who shot 5,000 rounds of live fire.
The commander said he told the officers that the apartment which they raided was housing three people - two men and one young woman who ended up blowing herself up during the raid. ... [Jerusalem Post - 20/11/15]
Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard was released from prison in the United States on Friday after being behind bars since his arrest in 1985, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
"The people in Israel welcomes the release of Jonathan Pollard," Netanyahu said in a statement.
"After three long and hard decades, Jonathan is finally reunited with his family." [Reuters - 20/11/15]
Afghanistan: 12 ISIS militants killed after attacking security post in Nangarhar [Khaama - 20/11/15]
Hundreds of people on Thursday staged a protest rally in the Muqar district of southern Ghazni province, blocking the Kabul-Kandahar highway for one hour.
Some 500 people took to the streets after some individuals visited the provincial police chief to ask him to transfer back the Muqar district police chief, who had been transferred elsewhere.
One of the protestors, Rahmatullah, told Pajhwok Afghan News the district chief, Col. Haji Mohammad, was an inefficient person and had been involved in harassing people over alleged cooperation with insurgents. ... [Pajhwok - 20/11/15]
At least 19 people were injured on Thursday morning when a motorcycle bomb was detonated in front of the police headquarters in Baghlan-i-Markazi district in northern Baghlan province. ... [TOLO News - 19/11/15]
Five killed during attack on Kandahar government building [TOLO News - 19/11/15]
Special forces have stormed a five-star hotel in the Malian capital Bamako after gunmen stormed it and took 170 people hostage.
Mali's state broadcaster reported that 80 of the hostages have been released with commandos going floor to floor inside the Radisson Blu Hotel. ... [Al Jazeera - 20/11/15]
Nearly 30 dead in Qaeda attack and clashes in Yemen [Reuters – 20/11/15]
Thousands of Yemeni people have once again flooded the streets of the capital, Sana’a, to denounce Saudi Arabia’s relentless military aggression against their country as well a recent decision by the United States to sell more arms to the regime in Riyadh. ... [Press TV - 20/11/15]
At least four of the Paris attackers were listed in a central counter-terrorism database maintained by the U.S. intelligence community, five U.S. officials said on Thursday.
At least one and possibly more of the attackers was also on a more selective U.S. "no fly list", three of the officials said, though they would not provide a specific number. ... [Reuters - 19/11/15]
Signs point to unencrypted communications between terror suspects [The Intercept - 19/11/15]
United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria
US Department of Defense [19/11/15]:
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 the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Strikes in Syria
Attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted eight strikes in Syria:
-- Near Palmyra, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL checkpoint, an ISIL vehicle, and an ISIL crane.
-- Near Mar’a, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL mortar position and an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Hasakah, four strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed five ISIL buildings.
-- Near Dayr Az Zawr, one strike struck an ISIL gas and oil separation plant.
-- Near Raqqah, one strike struck an ISIL storage facility.
Strikes in Iraq
Bomber, attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 19 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
-- Near Kirkuk, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Kisik, six strikes struck five separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL weapons caches, 12 ISIL fighting positions, three ISIL vehicles, and an ISIL heavy machine gun.
-- Near Mosul, four strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL weapons cache and two ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Ramadi, four strikes struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL tactical vehicles, an ISIL tunnel, seven ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL- controlled bridge, an ISIL vehicle-borne bomb, an ISIL bed down location, an ISIL staging area, and cratered two ISIL roads.
-- Near Sinjar, four strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL tactical vehicle, and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.
A roadside bomb followed by a suicide bombing near a Shiite mosque south of Baghdad killed at least six people and wounded 19 on Friday, security and medical officials said.
The first blast struck as worshippers were leaving Friday prayers, while the suicide bomber detonated explosives after security forces arrived.
Security forces members were among the dead and wounded, but the exact number was not immediately clear. ... [Naharnet - 20/11/15]
Unknown gunmen killed four paramilitary soldiers as they guarded a mosque in Pakistan's volatile megacity of Karachi Friday, officials said. ... [Naharnet - 20/11/15]
The voting by the United States, Canada, Ukraine and Palau in the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly against the resolution on the need to counter the glorification of Nazism raises eyebrows and is regrettable, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday. ... [TASS - 20/11/15]
Balkan border controls leave migrants in limbo: aid agencies [Reuters - 20/11/15]
UNICEF awards Greek Coast Guard for rescue work in the Aegean [Greek Reporter - 20/11/15]
Nearly half of the 115 refugees who arrived by boat at a British military base in Cyprus last month have been taken in by the east Mediterranean country after its foreign minister said it would take on a “substantial number”.
Fifty three migrants were bussed to a tented reception facility in Kokkinotrimithia, near Nicosia, on Thursday afternoon.
Month-long background checks on the the refugees, including 29 children, who arrived at RAF Akrotiri in October, were nearly finished, according to a senior Cypriot official, who asked not to be named. ... [Guardian - 20/11/15]
... KAKISSIS: Another lifeguard is Urial Canals (ph), who's 31 and from Barcelona. He invites politicians who would turn away refugees to come to Lesbos.
URIAL CANALS: What is happening here is so crazy. It's so sad, and it's so hard. You know, it's really difficult to understand. And if you are a political leader, and you are at home and with your ministers and blah, blah, blah, you need to come here to see what is happening in the real life here, here.
KAKISSIS: Here, he says, they will see unity - people helping each other off boats, hugging each other, praising God in many languages. And that will put fear into perspective. ... [NPR - 19/11/15]
China's top admiral said his forces have shown "enormous restraint" in the face of U.S. provocations in the South China Sea, while warning they stand ready to respond to repeated breaches of Chinese sovereignty. ... [Reuters - 20/11/15]
ALP and LNP fascism has imprisoned this refugee child on Nauru for 759 days.
Free the refugees!
Stop the wars!
Image: Free the Children NAURU [20/11/15] ·
Waiting for some leadership and intellectual honesty from the Australian human rights establishment. ... Waiting ...
Waiting ... Waiting ...
Singling out a particular religious group - and greenlighting their harassment - is extremism.
The "mainstream" Australian political and media establishment are extremists.
Fight the power i.e. the lying, warmongering, fascists - not Reclaim Australia's uneducated, underprivileged bigots.
Surfers Paradise [20/11/15]
Leaders of the Muslim community in Australia need to consistently make it clear that there is no excuse or tolerance for terrorist activity.
... Calls for Muslims to reject terrorism are presented as an innocent suggestion, a piece of well-intentioned advice. But, in reality, these calls for condemnations often further entrench the stereotype that Muslims and their religion are inextricably tied to violence. ... [Informed Comment - 14/11/15]
... Cuba issued Otto Frank a visa on December 1, 1941, according to the documents, but it was canceled 10 days later when Germany declared war on the United States.
The following summer, as Jews were being sent from Amsterdam to Nazi camps, the Frank family went into hiding for two years before being discovered and sent to concentration camps.
Otto Frank survived the camp but died in 1980. ... Anne Frank's family sought US visa, letters show [Reuters - 14/2/07]
Australian government continues harassing refugees on Nauru to accept exile/disappearance to Cambodia [Phnom Penh Post - 20/11/15]:
... A government contractor on Nauru, Connect Settlement Services, has reportedly been passing out leaflets in a camp reserved for single male asylum seekers, angering residents.
“In the last few days, Connect has started to put the Cambodian information sheet under the doors of every room in the single men’s camp,” said Ian Rintoul of the Refugee Action Coalition Sydney.
“This has really angered the men, who see it as harassment and mental torture. They said [they] have already rejected Cambodia.”
Nauru's government says one lawyer has been granted access to the country to represent one of the suspended opposition MPs, but it has rejected the applications of two others. ... [RNZI - 20/11/15]
Kiwi Christmas Island deportees handcuffed [Stuff.co.nz - 20/11/15]:
... Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox said it would have been inappropriate to handcuff the deportees during the flight, as they had already served their time in Australia.
"If they had been released out of a [New Zealand] prison they would be walking out the door, free, with a bag under their arm, into the community.
"Now they're coming home on a plane, shackled - if that's correct, to me that is just further diminishing their mana, their self-esteem, their human rights."
Fox said she also had concerned about a lack of communication between authorities and the families of those who had returned.
"They asked me, 'Are they on the plane? We don't know, we don't know if they've just left, we can't contact them anymore'.
"There's no information going back to families to have them prepare to meet their loved ones - they want to be able to support them to get back into society which is what we want, but there was no information going back or forward."
Who's protecting Australia as our Navy expends all its efforts repelling refugees?
... The small boat which arrived unescorted at Christmas Island this morning had earlier been covered by a tarpaulin to prevent any contact between the asylum seekers and people on the shore. ...
the Coalition government has banned the resettlement of any UNHCR refugees from Indonesia. The government’s policy means they have no alternative but to try to reach protection by boat. ...
Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney [20/11/15]
... Christmas Island residents supplied photos showing a long, narrow green and white fishing boat dwarfed by an Australian Customs and Border Protection vessel, the ABC reported.
"I saw it being towed out to sea by RAN patrol boat, at 4 to 5 km distance around 6.45am Christmas Island time," Christmas Island Shire president Gordon Thomson said.
"I saw a photograph of an Indonesian fishing boat that shows the boat at Smith Point in the port of [Christmas Island] waters."
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull refused to confirm whether a boat had been intercepted.
Sarah Hanson-Young called for those on board to be taken to Christmas Island.
"If the government really does care about saving lives at sea, they wouldn't tow this boat away from Christmas Island, they would let it land safely," Ms Hanson-Young said in a statement on Twitter.
Minister for International Development and the Pacific Steve Ciobo was also unable to confirm whether it was an asylum seeker boat, but stressed the federal government's policies remained unchanged.
"Suffice to say that I think that Australians and, importantly those that are engaged in people smuggling, know the absolute resolute way Australia now deals with this matter," Mr Ciobo said.
"We will not tolerate those people that seek to come to Australia by boat, they will be processed offshore and they will not find a home here in Australia." <--- Ciobo - and all the others - get away with spouting this infantile nonsense because it goes unchallenged.
Irish navy vessel LÉ Samuel Beckett rescues 111 refugees in Mediterranean [News Talk - 19/11/15]
The case of Hadi Ahmadi is one of the highest profile prosecutions of people smuggling in Australia.
Convicted in August 2010 for bringing over 500 asylum seekers to Australia, Mr Ahmadi’s case is one of only a small number of prosecutions involving an organiser of migrant smuggling ventures — unlike the hundreds of cases before Australian courts which involve Indonesian captains and crew working on migrant smuggling vessels.
This article explores the case of Mr Ahmadi to shed light into the so-called ‘people smugglers’ business model’, which successive Australian Governments from both sides of politics are determined to ‘crush’.
The article examines the facts of Mr Ahmadi’s offending, the criminal proceedings against him, and draws comparison to other organiser cases and to the general patterns of people smuggling prosecutions in Australia.
Findings of this research cast doubt over the Government’s rhetoric and its strategies to prevent and suppress migrant smuggling.
... Jakarta entered into a similar scheme in the past, hosting about 200,000 Vietnamese on Galang island off Sumatra between 1979 and 1996, after many fled the country by boat following the Vietnam War.
Under the new plan, Panjaitan said asylum-seekers should only be housed temporarily on the island, as many of the Vietnamese ended up staying in Indonesia for too long.
He made the offer after a trip to Australia earlier this week and ahead of a return visit from Australian officials to Indonesia in the coming weeks.
However, the minister also demanded that Australia end its policy of turning boats back to Indonesia.
"I told them that such actions are wrong and against humanitarian principles," he said. ...
Sydney Morning Herald [16/10/15]:
A group of 120 refugees stuck in Pekanbaru, on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, have gone on a hunger strike to protest their frustration over delays to their resettlement in a third country.
Ahmad Zaki, a Hazara refugee from Pakistan, said the refugees wanted the UN refugee agency to come to Pekanbaru to discuss their resettlement cases and open an office in the Sumatran city.
"We are waiting for our resettlement process from more than one year," Mr Zaki said. "I want to go to Australia or any other country."
The men, who are from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan and Myanmar, have been found to be genuine refugees by the UNHCR. Their accommodation, medical care and a living stipend is paid for by the International Organisation of Migration.
"We tried to contact UNHCR many times. They make excuses every time. They reached other cities every two to three months regularly," Mr Zaki said.
Why does the UNHCR's Australian branch never respond to example after example of Australia violating the UN Refugee Convention?
@UNHCRCanberra [16/11/15]: Walk to welcome: Wodonga SC students embark on 10km hike to help new arrivals better integrate with their Aus peers ... <---- i.e. Love it or leave.
Australian media continue protecting Turnbull ---> @abcnewsNT [20/11/15]: Turnbull refuses to be drawn on suspected asylum seeker boat intercepted off Christmas Island early today at Darwin press conf ... <-- So What? We demand to know what is being done to these human beings in our name.
Demand answers. Demand disclosure. Reject "we do not comment on operational matters". Contact Peter.
Australia hasn't "stopped the boats".
Australia continues violating the UN Refugee Convention.
Why aren't the media, so called opposition politicians and human rights establishment holding Turnbull, Dutton, Bishop, Shorten, Plibersek and Marles to account?
ROYAL COMMISSION NOW!
We have some asylum seekers, but that’s pretty much stopped.
We have stopped the boats with our policies, which are regarded as cruel by many people.
But I have to say again, our policy on border protection is harsh, but it has been absolutely demonstrated that it is better than any other alternative.
Israel and Australia: A conversation with Turnbull [Jewish Journal - 25/8/15]
@AlJazSydANDREW [20/11/15]: We're spoken to 2 people on #ChristmasIsland - both say saw boat just off Christmas Island. It was 'escorted' (not towed) back out to sea.
Australia stopped accepting UNHCR refugees in October 2014.
Refugee boat arrives at Christmas Island
A suspected asylum seeker boat has made it near Flying Fish Cove on Christmas Island before being intercepted by the Australian Navy.
Locals on the island told SBS WA Correspondent Ryan Emery, who is on Christmas Island, that it was the first time such a boat had made it that close since 2013.
Speaking down the line from Christmas Island, Mr Emery said locals told him the boat arrived within 200 metres of the cove in the early hours of this morning and was moved to Smith's Point.
He said it appeared Navy staff had boarded the boat and given the occupants life jackets.
It was unclear whether they would be taken to the mainland or whether the boat would be towed back to its origin however Mr Emery said it appeared the boat was moving further out to sea.
The Department of Immigration has been contacted for comment.
... They said it was intercepted by the Navy a short time later and escorted to Smiths Point, where the group was then offloaded onto another Navy ship.
It is unclear where those on board were taken.
A spokeswoman for Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has refused to provide any details in relation to the reports.
"We do not comment on operational matters," the spokeswoman said in a statement. <---- I do not accept this response and neither should the media. Why aren't they DEMANDING the truth?
West Australian [20/11/15]:
... It is believed the passengers will be taken to a secure location to be processed.
News of the boat arrival broke as Immigration Minister Peter Dutton was holding a press conference on the number of people that had been taken off aircraft bound for overseas amid security concerns.
... We call on the Prime Minister to do the right thing, and end the secrecy.
The time has come for a Royal Commission into Operation Sovereign Borders.
Only a Royal Commission, with the power to assess all the evidence, will uncover all the facts. ... [Amnesty - 11/11/15]
US begins rounding up, interning Syrians in immigration concentration camps [Reuters - 19/11/15]:
Members of two Syrian families had turned themselves in to U.S. authorities in Laredo, Texas, at the Mexican border, and were being processed by immigration officials, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said on Thursday.
Two men, two women and four children who "presented themselves" Tuesday at the port of entry were taken into custody by Border Patrol agents and then turned over for immigration processing, DHS said in a statement.
"Due to privacy issues, no additional information will be provided at this time," DHS said in a statement.
Still, there was no evidence the Syrians had any connection to terrorism, U.S. government officials said on condition of anonymity.
The women and children were taken to the South Texas Family Residential Center in the city of Dilley, DHS said, while the two men were held at the South Texas Detention Center in the city of Pearsall.
There was no indication the two Syrian families were trying to sneak into the country.
Anxiety over Syrian refugees seeking to enter the United States has intensified since the deadly Paris bombings last week claimed by Islamic State militants. There have been concerns one of the attackers may have arrived in Europe from Syria using a faked Syrian passport.
Tens of thousands of Syrians, fleeing more than four years of civil war, have flocked to the West, but the presence of the Islamic State militant group in their country has jeopardized the refugees' prospects of settling elsewhere.
Separately, Honduran authorities said on Wednesday they had intercepted six Syrians traveling with doctored Greek passports over the past week, including five who were trying to reach the United States. Police there said there were no signs of extremist links. The original photos on the passports were said to have been replaced with those of the Syrians.
Syrians were also detained over the weekend in the former Dutch Caribbean colony of St Maarten and in Paraguay.
... Honduran officials said on Thursday the five, including four students, do not belong to "any terrorist cell" and were fleeing war at home in a bid to reach the United States.
The five traveled to Honduras via Turkey, Greece, Brazil, Argentina and Costa Rica, the officials said.
"We got lucky on these guys. Think about the ones we didn't' catch," said a U.S. government source familiar with their case. ... [Reuters - 19/11/15]
US House of Representatives passes bill suspending admission of Syrian refugees and allowing for enhanced security screening [Reuters - 19/11/15]
Democrats propose legislation allowing for enhanced security screening of ALL refugees [Reuters - 19/11/15]
US Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Anne Richard explains all refugees are not equal, says accepted Syrian refugees tracked for three months [Reuters - 19/11/15]:
... "They're not treated differently than other refugees. Syrians are less of a threat, actually, because they've fled their country. They've voted with their feet," Richard said. ... <--- Which refugees haven't "fled their country"?
... U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Malaysia on Friday for a Southeast Asia leaders’ summit comes amid allegations by U.S. lawmakers and rights groups that his administration ignored Malaysia’s abuse of trafficking victims such as Baser to secure the country’s help sealing a high-profile trade deal and strengthen ties to offset China’s growing political clout. ... [Reuters - 19/11/15]
Immigrants end hunger strike at Adelanto detention facility [LA Times - 166/11/15]:
A hunger strike at California’s largest immigrant detention center is over, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Monday.
The action began Nov. 4, when 26 asylum seekers being held at Adelanto Detention Facility stopped eating to protest what they described as prolonged imprisonment.
The group -- which included a man fleeing anti-gay laws in Ghana and others escaping religious and political persecution in Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh -- sought release from detention while their asylum cases were pending.
Immigration agency spokeswoman Virginia Kice said the men ended their protest late Friday night and resumed eating regular meals over the weekend.
Victoria Mela, a monitor with the group Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement, which had been working with the hunger strikers at Adelanto, said the men decided to start eating after one of them collapsed Friday. She said they were hoping that immigration officials would reduce the amount of their bonds and expedite processing of their cases. She said the men may relaunch their strike if their demands aren't met.
The hunger strike at Adelanto came on the heels of similar strikes at other ICE facilities in Louisiana and Texas.
In each case, detainees have complained that they should be set free on their own recognizance or on reasonably priced bonds.
Some have languished in detention for years as their cases were decided in immigration courts.
20 November 2015