Since last fall, without any public acknowledgment by the US government and military, US warplanes have been bombing civilian areas in Iraq and Syria under loosened rules of engagement, the US Defense Department announced Wednesday.
Under the new rules, US forces may attack any area considered to have a “non-combatant value” of 10, that is, a likely fallout of fewer than 10 civilian deaths. ... [WSWS - 21/4/16]
US Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford visits Iraq to survey ruination wrought by the empire of chaos [US Department of Defense - 20/4/16]
Syrian refugee dies after being hit by police van in Greece [Independent - 21/4/16]
@MSF_Sea [21/4/16]: This family of 6 from #Kurdistan has been at Pireus port in #Athens for 40 days. Their oldest son is disabled.
Desde las últimas semanas más de 200 migrantes han llegado a las costas de Andalucía, según los medios se debe a un repunte de las Mafias, pero los colectivos denuncian que la salida se debe a las redadas policiales d contra los campamentos de migrantes en Marruecos... [VIDEO - Entrefronteras - 21/4/16]
Raids against the migrant community near Selouane, Nador [Interzone Voices - 15/4/16]:
IV just received a report from Nador stating that from 7.30 till 11.30 the Moroccan Auxiliary Forces raided three camps near Selouane.
They burned ALL of the possessions, including tents, clothes, food and medicines, of the migrant community. Usually, they do not interfere with the tents of women and children but today they destroyed everything meaning there are many women and children who will have no shelter and no place to sleep tonight.
Activists in the forest are working hard to build shelters for the women and children following the raid: “we don’t care about ourselves but the children need somewhere to sleep”.
There were no arrests or refoulements (deportations) were reported and no one was wounded directly by the MAF although some men suffered foot and leg injuries as a result of running away from the scene.
This occurred after 21 people, 19 men and 2 women, made BOZA via a large boat to Almeria, Spain yesterday, followed by another 53 people today.
It is thought that the attacks carried out against the community are a form of punishment for those who made it to Spain.
UN Secretary General heralds opening of permanent home for ICC as milestone in global effort to uphold rule of law [Media Release - 19/4/16]
Day 33, Refugee Protests on Nauru
Image: @InsurrectNews [21/4/16]
Australia is a wonderful island: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard with truth subtitles.
The making of Depp and Heard's border hygiene "education" video.
No opposition and a complicit media/faux human rights establishment allows Dutton to continue boasting how Australia stops people from seeking asylum [ABC - 21/4/16]:
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has confirmed an asylum seeker boat en route to Australia has been stopped by the Sri Lankan Navy.
The Navy reported that six adults and three children were onboard the boat when it was stopped on April 19 in the waters west of Negambo.
The passengers – five men, one woman, two boys and one girl – have since been handed over to police for further investigations.
Mr Dutton told 2GB radio the boat had left a Sri Lankan port, but was stopped before it reached international waters.
"The Sri Lankan Navy intercepted that boat, turned it around and took them back to shore," he said.
"It just shows you that the people are still there … We're dealing with these on-water matters all the time."
The report follows the sentencing of a convicted people smuggler in Western Australia.
The 44-year-old Iraqi man appeared before the District Court of Western Australia, where he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
In a statement, Mr Dutton said the man had been extradited from Germany in 2014 after an investigation identified his role in organising a "people smuggling venture" in 2010.
"There are currently 18 people serving a sentence in Australian prisons for a people smuggling offence," he said.
Rampant militarisation across the North-East - Report [Tamil Guardian - 21/4/16]
Feel safe in island fortress Australia as your protected and unaccountable government escalates its war on the most vulnerable people on the planet? [Navy Daily - 21/4/16]
... ONE OF THE WORST OF DAYS AT THE MITA – formerly a transit camp at Broadmeadows- now a HIGH SECURITY PRISON. ... [Julian Burnside - 21/4/16]
Excellent PR for a twisted endeavour that belittles the process of seeking asylum Lisa Millar [ABC - 21/4/16]
Hey Australia! You trust a health sector that refuses to condemn the arrest, conviction of refugees for attempted suicide? [ABC - 20/4/16]
Half of children returned from Nauru have mental illness, Senate told [Guardian - 21/4/16]
... It is important to consider that health care staff are not functioning in a humanitarian role at present, they are well remunerated – a recent position for a doctor working on Nauru was offering $13,000 a week.
This unfortunately lends credence to accusations of profiteering. ... [Guardian - 5/3/16]
The PrisonDivest townhall was a 1-hour Twitter conversation on building the movement to challenge mass incarceration, immigration enforcement and criminalization. Immigrant rights, criminal justice, BDS and student organizations and activists came together to answer 10 pressing questions. ... [20/4/16]
... The GEO Group Inc., a large multinational operator of prisons and detention facilities, is seeking the City Council's support for the variance in order to operate a 788-bed immigrant processing facility on land across from the airport. ... Protesters, "supporters" come out for GEO meeting, Gary Indiana [nwi.com - 20/4/16]
More than 600 people from several African countries are stranded after crossing the Atlantic by boat to Brazil and then passing through Colombia and Panama before getting stuck in Costa Rica en route to the United States.
With more arriving every day - so far from seven countries on the continent - to the small border town of Paso Canoas, both the Red Cross and the government have warned it could turn into a crisis.
The whole journey took the people four months. ... [Al Jazeera - 21/4/16]
NUMBER EVERY BOX AND PUT THE ALP LAST.
Antony Green [ABC - 21/4/16]:
... In my view making such a major change to the state's electoral system unannounced and at short notice is exactly the sort of slip shod legislative behaviour that the single chamber Queensland Parliament has been criticised for so often in the past.
Even the Northern Territory parliament allowed a decent period of consultation and debate before moving to optional preferential voting earlier this year. Jarrod Bleijie as Attorney General asked for submissions before changing the Electoral Act when the Newman government had a massive majority.
It also makes Labor's recent confected outrage about Senate reform look pretty shallow. This bill has been amended and passed in less time than the committee hearing into the Senate reform bill that the Labor Party so heavily criticised, and without the production of a major committee inquiry two years before the legislation.
Now in a matter of two hours the Queensland Parliament has abandoned a method of voting that was recommended by a post-Fitzgerald inquiry body, the Electoral and Administrative Review Commission (EARC), way back in November 1990.
No call for submissions. No inquiry. No committee. No warning. Just the moving of an amendment in committee to an opposition bill. It backs every argument that no campaigners made last month against granting fixed four year terms to a parliament with no upper house. ...
How would you fight the greatest purveyors of anti-Science propaganda?
GIVE THEM MONEY?
… They shake your hand and they smile
And they buy you a drink
They say we'll be your friends
We'll stick with you till the end ...
"Money Changes Everything" is a song written by Tom Gray, frontman of The Brains, and was the band's only underground hit. It was recorded by Cyndi Lauper for her debut album, She's So Unusual … [Wikipedia]
Is the US backing Rousseff's ouster in Brazil? Opposition holds talks in DC [Democracy Now - 20/4/16]:
... JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Mark, I’d like to ask you how we got to this point in Brazil. For years, Brazil had become a darling of international finance, was seen as an economic miracle, even during the period when a avowed socialist and workers’ leader, Lula, was president of the country. And now, how is—if this is not a truly legal situation that’s happening with the Congress, why is there so little apparent support for Dilma in the rest of the country?
MARK WEISBROT: Well, there is support. I mean, there’s a base within the Workers’ Party, and they’re in the streets, too. And the media was ignoring them for quite a while, and still does to a large extent. So—but I think the reason—well, the media is a huge part of the thing. I mean, imagine if we had—Fox News was, you know, 70 percent, 80 percent of the media here. Would Obama even have gotten elected, you know? So, that’s a huge, huge part of it. Again, they could convince the whole country that she’s tied up in corruption, and Lula is, too, and all that kind of thing. ...
'GetUp!' Does It Again [Stop Murdoch - 12/11/09]:
... The journals of choice of the "polluter lobby" are Murdoch's.
By paying to advertise your view in News Ltd. publications, you are giving credibility to their totally discredited writing and editorial views and therefore complicit in pushing the deny and delay line. ...
Angry and frustrated with Australia's asylum seeker and refugee policies, Eva Orner, Academy Award®-winning filmmaker, returned home after a decade living in the States to make the documentary Chasing Asylum about the issue. ... [HarperCollins]
Dogwhistling [Stop Murdoch - 31/7/10]
Oops! ... I did it again [Stop Murdoch -18/11/09]
Justice is achieved through empowering the vulnerable, Eugenia Flynn [Right Now - 21/4/16]:
... Take the example of asylum seekers coming by boat to Australia. Successive federal governments have been deaf to calls for the abolition of detention centres and mandatory offshore detention, including the detention of children and babies.
As a result, refugee advocates are centring their arguments against Australia’s refugee policy on the emancipation of asylum seeker children and babies. By locating their concern on the vulnerability of babies and children, the racialised and Islamophobic nature of the refugee public discourse goes largely unexamined.
Islamophobia and racism are much harder topics to discuss publicly, but the vulnerability of children and babies are more easily accepted as an issue to galvanise the masses.
Further, the interrogation of foreign policy that creates mass displacement of peoples, and the need to identify and dismantle the prison-industrial complex, are ideals that are pushed further in to the background.
“To change the status quo of power in society, we must privilege the voices of those directly impacted.”
In the negotiation between those with immense power and those with little-to-none, the debate regarding refugees has become circular and shallow. We apply band aids to the problems, but we never get close to challenging the root causes of the “refugee problem”: racism and Islamophobia, war and conflict, the prison-industrial complex. ...
Can you see the war?
Surfers Paradise [21/4/16]
... Tom: You won't do anything about it - you're doing the f - -ing opposite! You could clean up on renewables for God's sake.
Mack: Don't you understand? They like climate change! They like it! Carbon dioxide's the wind and the stars and stripes now - it's part of our foreign policy. The Himalayas melt, no show from the monsoons, drought, rice crops failing, famine in China, hundreds of thousands of people die, probably millions.
Tom: That's foreign policy?
Mack: No, this is the way they think. It's cheaper than the military - it's definitely more efficient. Political, economic, military dominance assured. God bless global warming! They're just trying to protect their interests Tom - it's their job. ...
Tom: Do you think America's somehow immune?
Mack: No, It's just a question of who's the last man standing.
Burn Up is a 2008 BBC/Global Television Drama dealing with the issues of climate change and peak oil. ... [Wikipedia]
Chris Hedges interviews documentary filmmaker Josh Fox to discuss the catastrophe of climate change and Fox's new film How to Let Go of the World, which showcases the role of art and culture in helping us embrace what climate can't change [VIDEO - TRNN/teleSUR - 19/4/16]:
... FOX: It was remarkable. Occupy Sandy, 20,000 volunteers a day. So our spirit towards community, generosity, human rights, democracy, courage, innovation. These are the things that are so inside of us that climate can't change. If we're going to look at a world which starts to spiral out of control in terms of the climate, we simply can't have humanity spiral out of control along with it.
During Hurricane Katrina, when you saw all those people on the bridge trying to get out of flooded New Orleans and then on the other side of it, the cops with shotguns trying to hold them back, this wasn't a climate change problem. This was a humanitarian problem. This was man's inhumanity to man.
Our civilization right now is based on greed, competition and on violence, and if we continue to have those as the [inaud.] of our system, we're going to see incredible calamity with the rising seas and all the things that are coming. So we have to start thinking about different sets of value structure that's based on creativity, based on community, based on human rights, based on love. ...
Can you see the police state?
Fiji government says 63 villages need to move [RNZI - 21/4/16]:
Sixty-three villages in Fiji have been earmarked for relocation following Cyclone Winston, according to a government assessment team.
The Fiji Times reports the villages include 13 on Koro, one on Batiki, four in Cakaudrove, five on Vanuabalavu, seven on Ovalau, 11 in Tailevu North and seven villages in the province of Ra.
Thirty-six villages have already completed their relocation procedures.
The permanent secretary for iTaukei Affairs, Naipote Katonitabua, said the remaining 27 were awaiting advice from their respective provincial councils.
He said the landowners of 25 villages needed to officially present their consent and two villages were waiting on advice from the Ministry of Lands, since the recommended new village sites were freehold lands.
Mr Katonitabua said technical assessments will still be carried out before a site was confirmed to be secure for a village setup.
@NYWFP [20/4/16]: HAPPENING NOW: large projection asking about NYC voter purge at the Board of Elections in Brooklyn.
@annabelpark [20/4/16- Brooklyn, NY]: We are so fed up. #NYPrimaryProblems #DemocracySpring
Apple reveals how the US government requested data on thousands of devices [Salon - 20/4/16]
"The threat is that the public will know what the government is up to." Noam Chomsky discusses WikiLeaks and declassifying information [VIDEO - Alternet – 18/4/16]
A massive explosion rocked a major petrochemical facility of Mexican national oil company Pemex in the Gulf state of Veracruz on Wednesday, killing at least three people, injuring dozens more, and pumping a cloud of noxious chemicals into the sky.
Luis Felipe Puente, head of federal emergency services, told Reuters that three people had died in the blast and as many as 45 were injured. The governor of Veracruz state, Javier Duarte, told local television that more than 60 people were injured. ... [Reuters - 20/4/16]
Sinai Province” claimed responsibility for an attack on a security vehicle inside in Sheikh Zuweid on Tuesday evening.
The attack targeted a convoy and left 20 personnel either dead or injured, according to a statement issued by the militant group on Wednesday. ... [Daily News Egypt - 20/4/16]
A Palestinian youth, who Hamas has claimed was one of its operatives, succumbed to his wounds on Wednesday evening after being severely wounded in an explosion on a Jerusalem bus two days prior, a spokesperson for the Shaare Zedek hospital told Ma’an on Wednesday evening.
The hospital spokesperson said the young man had lost both of his legs and been severely burned in the blast which injured 20 other people.
Although he had been operated, his did not survive his severe injuries, she added.
Soon afterwards, the Palestinian Ministry of Health declared that 19-year-old Abd al-Hamid Abu Srour, from the Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank, had died of wounds sustained in the Jerusalem bus explosion two days earlier. ... [Maan - 20/4/16]
Displaced Palestinians in Gaza protest Israeli ban on cement imports [Maan - 20/4/16]
Two Palestinian prisoners moved to Ramla prison hospital due to critical conditions [PNN - 20/4/16]
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Wednesday at dawn began an intense campaign against Palestinian residents of the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya, detaining at least 25, the majority children, and summoning many others for questioning, local sources report.
According to the Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic), Israeli soldiers closed all roads leading to the neighborhood, and prevented Palestinian residents from entering or leaving it, while a military helicopter hovered overhead. ... [PNN - 20/4/16]
Israeli forces on Tuesday destroyed the unrecognized Bedouin community of al-Araqib in the Negev for the 97th time in a row, amid a record-high wave of demolitions to be carried out by Israel this year. ... [Maan - 19/4/16]
Herzog: Labor Party must stop giving Israelis the feeling it always loves Arabs [Haaretz - 20/4/16]
21 April 2016