"I implore Australians and international organisations to obtain justice for my son."
Rez Nez Film [20/2/15]
Manus: Dying for a Better Life [AUDIO - ENGLISH - 19/215]: Australia is one of the most popular destinations for asylum seekers escaping their home countries. But Australia doesn’t want them. Asylum seekers dreaming of a life in Australia are being banished to camps in Papua New Guinea. Fariba Sahraei presents. via Carramore.com
BBC Persian [VIDEO - 19/2/15]
Australia's 'beautiful prison' in Papua New Guinea [BBC - 18/2/15]
Australian media - who are currently engaged in a media blackout re Manus - to BBC journalist: Aren't you just helping us with our demented "stop the boats" propaganda?
BBC World Service to air documentary on life inside the Manus Island immigration processing centre [AUDIO - ABC News Radio - 18/2/15]
Iran executes young Iranian Kurd despite global outcry [France 24 -20/2/15]
CIA-planted ‘evidence’ may force IAEA review of Iran’s alleged nuke arms program – report [RT – 21/2/15]
Police in the Emirati capital of Abu Dhabi say 10 people were killed and eight others were wounded in a fire that tore through an industrial area where laborers were sleeping. ... [Daily Star - 21/2/15]
Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, who resigned last month under pressure from Shiite militia, left Sanaa on Saturday after weeks under effective house arrest, an aide told Agence France Presse. … [Naharnet – 21/2/15]
New U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Saturday he would not telegraph the precise timing of an upcoming Iraqi offensive to retake the city of Mosul from ISIS militants, after a U.S. military briefing caused an uproar. ... [Al Arabiya - 21/2/15]
The US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Saturday that 10,000 US-led coalition forces will remain Afghanistan. ... [Khaama - 21/2/15]
Missiles hit Libya’s Labraq airport from Derna [Al Arabiya - 21/2/15]
Egypt is Calling the West’s Bluff Over its Phony War on ISIS [ICH/RT – 20/2/15]
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center - 21/2/15]:
Anbar: Civilian homes in Baghdadi nahiya have been destroyed in the shelling carried out by international coalition aircrafts ..........
Vancouver Airport taser death: RCMP officer guilty of perjury
Const. Kwesi Millington, the RCMP officer who fired a Taser the night Robert Dziekanski died eight years ago at the Vancouver airport, has been found guilty of perjury and colluding with his fellow officers before testifying at the inquiry into the Polish immigrant's death.
A B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled today that Millington "patently" lied at the Braidwood inquiry into the fatal confrontation at Vancouver International Airport in 2007.
Millington fired his Taser multiple times after he and three other officers were summoned over calls that Dziekanski, who spoke no English, had been throwing furniture in the international terminal.
Each of the officers was compelled to explain his actions at the inquiry and all four were later charged with perjury. Millington was accused of lying 10 times at the inquiry, including about whether he thought Dziekanski was standing or on the ground after the first shock from the Taser.
Judge William Ehrcke said it was "preposterous" that the Mountie claimed Dziekanski was standing while he was stunned a second time, when it's clear from bystander video that Dziekanski was already on the ground.
"The Crown has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Const. Millington gave oral evidence under oath which he knew at the time to be false, and he did so with the intention to mislead the inquiry," Ehrcke said Friday as Millington listened from the prisoner's dock.
Dziekanski's mother, Zofia Cisowski, sat quietly in the public gallery as the judge read the verdict.
A family of five who had their house searched by police as part of the Urewera raids has reached a confidential settlement with the police outside court.
According to court documents the five were at a house in the South Auckland suburb of Manurewa when armed police arrived at the address.
The family of Tuhoe Lambert had claimed they were unfairly detained by the police during the search. ... [RNZI - 21/2/15]
Thailand bans commercial surrogacy for foreigners
Thailand has passed a law banning foreigners from paying Thai women to be surrogates, after two high-profile cases sparked debate last year.
The legislation also bans the use of agents, or any promotion of women willing to carry babies for others.
Last year the case of a little boy born with Down's syndrome put Thailand's surrogacy industry in the spotlight.
His Thai surrogate mother said his Australian parents abandoned the boy but took his healthy twin sister home.
Under the new law, only married Thai couples or couples with one Thai partner who have been married at least three years can seek surrogacy, and commercial surrogacy is banned.
Anyone caught hiring a surrogate mother faces a maximum jail sentence of 10 years.
Agents touting surrogate mothers would also face imprisonment if caught.
New Zealand: Third Queensland fruit fly found
A third Queensland fruit fly has now been found in Auckland.
Like the others, it was found in the suburb of Grey Lynn. Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said it was a male.
"We've just found out that we've found one Queensland fruit fly male in a trap, it's a shame, there are 140 people that are working on this response."
Mr Guy said they were going to ensure that there was 100 percent dog detector screening at international airports.
This followed a second fly that was found this morning along with 39 larvae and one pupa in Grey Lynn. Officials said the female had not mated.
The Ministry for Primary Industries said a resident found the second insect in a lemon tree on his property, trapped it and reported it.
It was found in the part of the control area called Zone A, which was labelled high risk by the Ministry.
The first fruit fly was found on Monday.
Ministry for Primary Industries Chief Operations Officer Andrew Coleman said thanks must go to the resident who captured and reported the second fruit fly, allowing MPI to act swiftly to scope the problem.
Antarctic clash with ship wanted by Interpol
WA Today [21/2/15]:
Two Sea Shepherd ships have confronted a poaching vessel wanted by Interpol.
The clash happened in Antarctic waters 750km south of South Africa.
The Sea Shepherd vessels in the area have turned their attention from tracking Japanese whalers to focus on poaching vessels fishing for Antarctic and Patagonian Toothfish.
One of the known poachers is a Nigerian listed fishing boat called Thunder, which has been wanted by Interpol for illegal fishing since 2013.
Two Sea Shepherd vessels, the Sam Simon and the Bob Parker, found the poaching ship on Thursday.
They launched an inflatable boat and raced up to the vessel before thowing plastic bottles containing letters to the crew onto the fishing boat's deck.
At that point a masked man appeared on the deck and started throwing objects at the Sea Shepherd crew. They say he threw a metal object, a piece of chain and a flare. No-one was hurt.
The Thunder is one of six illegal fishing vessels that are known to target vulnerable Antarctic and Patagonian toothfish in the Southern Ocean.
In the late '90s and early 2000s toothfish fisheries nearly collapsed under the pressure of over-fishing.
Thunder is the subject of what's called a "Purple Notice" - an official statement from Interpol naming the vessel as a suspected poacher and asking for any information as to its whereabouts.
The Purple Notice says: "Thunder has changed its name, national registration and other identifying characteristics several times to avoid detection. The owners and operators are suspected of violating national laws and regulations as well as international conventions and other being engaged in fraud and fisheries related crimes."
Sea Shepherd says it worried about the effect of illegal fishing on toothfish stocks and is also concerned for the crew on board the Thunder.
Captain Sid Chakravarty of Sea Shepherd ship Sam Simon said: "Slavery is rife in the high seas fishing industry with crew forced to work obscenely long hours in dangerous conditions for little or no pay."
In January Sea Shepherd reported that another confrontation with the Thunder had resulted in the Sam Simon reeling in 50km of illegally set fishing nets.
Hundreds of toothfish were found in the gillnets, which are banned internationally.
Boy, 3, hit by car in Tasmania
West Australian [21/2/15]:
A three-year-old boy has serious head injuries after being hit by a car in Tasmania.
Police believe he ran out of a shop on Macquarie Street in George Town and into the path of a car being driven by a 21-year-old learner.
Investigators have seized the car but don't believe speed, drugs or alcohol were a factor in Saturday's accident.
Launceston General Hospital said the boy was in a critical condition and would be transferred to Hobart.
Rockhampton lawyer calls for repeal of draconian anti right laws
Rockhampton Bulletin [21/2/15]:
Rockhampton lawyer Doug Winning says the "draconian" VLAD laws need to be repealed in full.
Mr Winning said it would be wrong for the newly-formed Palaszczuk Government to think its predecessor's downfall was solely the result of its position on asset sales and an arrogant approach.
He said the Newman government's defeat was more complex with law and order issues a big part of the picture.
Queensland's Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment (VLAD) Act, commonly referred to as anti-bikie legislation, will be reviewed and replacement laws introduced by the end of the year, Queensland's Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said.
During the election campaign, Labor said it would set up a task force consisting of members of the Law Society, Bar Association and Queensland Police Union to review the legislation.
Mr Winning said it was clear the community wanted a change.
"The general public felt these (bikie) laws were over the top," Mr Winning said.
He said the laws needed to be fully repealed.
"It is a test of their mettle to see if they are prepared to be the social justice party again and reverse these draconian and unfair laws," Mr Winning said.
"It's my view we need to repeal the whole package and not just water it down.
"If this government does not severely moderate or repeal the laws I will be a constant critic.
"Australians time and time again have adopted the position whereby they will not accept extremist positions by a government."
The outspoken lawyer had been a vocal critic of the government about the laws since they were introduced.
Big business needs to realize this, if they require better work practices, then big business must learn the valuable and basic human rights in the workplace of patience, teaching and most of all some bloody respect.
Letter to the Editor, Chris Brodsky - Vice President of the CFMEU Mining and Energy Division Central Queensland [CQ News – 18/2/15]:
... Coal Mine Workers in the Bowen Basin live in a world of fear, Why you say ???? well here are the facts. Coal miners of all categories Enterprise Agreement Employees, Union Members, Contractors and Staff Employees all live and work in this "Beast" they call Coal Mining.
This week again we were reminded of just how dangerous this Industry really is, with another death at an Anglo American Mine, just to be clear that is 3 deaths in less than 10 months.
That's 3 daddy's that don't go home to the kids, that's 3 wives/Partners that never see them or hold them again, that's irreparable scares and losses on those families and most of all that's 3 men never to see their kids grow up, see and feel special events and times, and never hold their love one's again.
And how has that affected the Mining Companies?? Well apart from the mandatory statements on how bad they feel, and will do everything for that person and their loved ones, and for all Coal Miners to think about their Safety, there mates, etc. etc. I can say with absolute certainty that its business as usual.
The production rates of Bowen Basin mines is at record levels, exports at record levels, but hang on, one thing that isn't at record levels is Safety.
I worked in the industry as a Miner for 17+ years as a Underground miner, and now I look after coal miners in the workplace, I see firsthand how they are treated. I see the big companies approach on safety and it's not what you all think.
Australian Bernard Tomic beats Yoshihito Nishioka to reach semi-finals of Delray Beach Open
Australia's Bernard Tomic will play in the semi-final of the ATP Delray Beach Open in California after a straight sets win over Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka on Saturday (AEDT).
Tomic, playing his fourth quarter-final of the season, ended the run of 19-year-old Nishioka 6-3, 6-1.
Tomic saved all seven break points he faced on his way to dismissing the 154th-ranked Nishioka in less than an hour.
SARCIS investigate killing of cattle in Mount Isa and Cloncurry
QPS Media [21/2/15]:
Detectives from the Cloncurry Stock and Rural Crime Investigation Squad (SARCIS) are seeking assistance from the community in relation to an investigation into incidents in which cattle have been killed and butchered in and around Mount Isa and Cloncurry.
In the most recent incident two cows were shot and butchered on a property on Lake Julius Road, Mount Isa, between February 6 and February 10. Initial investigations suggest unknown people have driven to a dam and shot the two cows, before butchering the animals and removing the meat. The carcasses of the animals were later located by the owners.
Between January 10 and January 12, a single cow was shot and butchered on a property at Oorindi, between Cloncurry and Julia Creek, with the carcass later located by the owners of the animal.
Constable Nick Hempel of Cloncurry SARCIS said the squad was concerned about the increase in such offences and the squad is investigating the possibility of links between the two incidents.
Detectives are also aware of recent, unconfirmed reports of similar activity around the community of Doomadgee area. There is no suggestion these reports are related to the incidents around Mount Isa and Cloncurry.
Police would like to remind the public that offences of this nature are serious crimes and can attract a maximum penalty of up to seven years imprisonment, as well as impacting on the livelihood of rural property owners.
Any person with information that may assist in any of these matters is urged to contact the Cloncurry SARCIS on (07) 4742 8813/8814.
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 [21/2/15]:
Police have released an image of a man who may be able to assist with their investigations into the theft of a sum of money from a Gladstone hotel yesterday morning.
At about 2.10pm a man has reached over the bar area of a Gladstone Dawson Road hotel and removed money from a cash tin and then left the hotel.
The man is described as between 25 to 30 years of age, Caucasian, with a slim build, and having sandy coloured hair with facial stubble.
He was wearing a white t-shirt, grey knee length shorts, light coloured canvas shoes and sunglasses.
Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000
Armed robbery, Wishart
QPS Media [20/2/15]:
Police are investigating following the armed robbery of a Wishart bottle shop this evening.
Around 6.45pm a man armed with a metal bar approached the shop attendant inside the Mt Gravatt Capalaba Road store and demanded cash.
The male shop attendant complied and the man fled the store with a sum of cash.
The man is described as being 30 to 40 years of age, Pacific Islander in appearance, 175cm tall, solid build with dark hair. He was wearing black gloves, a black bandanna with a skull image on the front, a black leather jacket and blue jeans.
No one was physically harmed during the incident.
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.
68-year-old man dies in crash at Gailes overnight
Queensland Times [21/2/15]:
A 68-year-old man has died following a serious, single vehicle traffic crash at Gailes early this morning.
Police were called to the Ipswich Motorway just after midnight following reports a water truck had collided with a concrete barrier.
Upon arrival, the male driver and sole occupant of the vehicle was located unconscious however he later died at the scene.
Three Brisbane-bound lanes remain closed and traffic is being diverted onto the Logan Motorway.
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.
Three vehicle crash at Chelona, Bruce Highway
Daily Mercury [20/2/15]:
A three vehicle crash has occurred at Chelona on the Bruce Highway.
Police received the call around 2pm and attended the scene just north of Sandy Creek Bridge where a collision between two cars and a truck had occurred.
A female driver sustained minor injuries.
[The] Bruce Highway was temporarily closed across both lanes, but is open again now.
A Toowoomba District Court jury took just over 10 minutes of deliberation to acquit a man accused of indecently treating an underage girl at a city workplace. … [Chronicle – 21/2/15]
Don't buy icecream for kids in Queensland. ----> Police hunt man offering ice cream to kids [North West Star - 20/2/15]
At the same time, create a major media hysteria if kids steal a few bottles of plonk from an unsecured shop. [QPS Media - 21/2/15]:
Two juvenile boys and a young man have this afternoon been charged after allegedly breaking into a bottle shop in Yeppoon following the impact of Tropical Cyclone Marcia.
Around 2am this morning police will allege that whilst conducting patrols they found a 17-year-old male and two juvenile boys with 11 bottles of alcohol in their possession.
Police will be alleging that around midnight the boys and young man broke into a liquor store on Rockhampton Road, Yeppoon.
A 17-year-old Kawana man was charged with one count of enter premise and commit indictable offence and will appear in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court on the 9th of March.
A 14-year-old boy has been charged with one count of enter premise and commit indictable offence and stealing.
He will be dealt with under the provisions of the Youth Justice Act.
A 16-year-old boy has been charged with one count of enter premise and commit indictable offence and will be dealt with under the provisions of the Youth Justice Act.
Additional police resources have been brought into Yeppoon and Rockhampton to ensure that property security is maintained in these areas.
17-year-olds in jail is a ‘human rights issue’ - barrister [Morning Bulletin – 21/2/15]:
A barrister has described current Queensland legislation allowing 17 year olds to be sent to adult jails with hardened criminals as a "human rights issue".
Craig Burgess said the state should change the age to 18 in line with the rest of Australia.
The criminal law PhD candidate said jailing teens made them vulnerable to exploitation - physically and sexually.
Mr Burgess said most credible evidence indicated harsher sentences did not deter crime.
He believed it exacerbated youth crime rather than curb it.
"(Older prisoners) school them in how to be better criminals," Mr Burgess said.
He believed social issues needed to be tackled rather than creating more laws.
Rockhampton's water supply is expected to be fully restored this evening. The Glenmore water treatment plant was back online this afternoon. ... [Morning Bulletin - 21/2/15]
Rockhampton: Call for volunteers to clean up Cooberrie Park tomorrow [Morning Bulletin – 21/2/15]:
The animals at Cooberrie Park are safe and sound, but the entire area has been devastated by Cyclone Marcia.
The park are asking for volunteers to help them clear debris, trees, and fix cages tomorrow.
Volunteers are asked to bring shovels or any tools that may help, and arrive at the park any time after 9am Sunday.
Significant piece of Rockhampton's history destroyed [Morning Bulletin – 21/2/15]
Waiting out storm all Curtis Island worker can do [Gladstone Observer – 21/2/15]
Fraser Island movement restrictions rescinded at 5pm today [QPS Media – 21/2/15]
Gympie, Maryborough set to flood [Yahoo – 21/2/15]
Sunshine Coast Daily [21/2/15]:
The Mary River is now expected to peak as a major flood at 17m Sunday morning.
A 17m peak is less than the 2013 peak of 19.98m, but will flood businesses in the Jaycee Way area of the CBD.
The latest warning issued at 11am said major flood levels are expected at Dagun Pocket and Gympie overnight Saturday into Sunday.
Rainfall totals of 120 to 200 mm have been recorded over the catchment in the past 24 hours.
Wet weather brought on by ex-tropical cyclone Marcia caused several roads across Ipswich to flood. [Queensland Times – 21/2/15]
... World champion Mick Fanning led the way on Saturday as teams of local surfers carved up the best waves on the southern points at Snapper Rocks, Burleigh, Currumbin Alley, Kirra and Greenmount. ... [Yahoo - 21/2/15]
In the wake of power cuts as a result of Cyclone Marcia, local councils are calling for affected residents to conserve water.
These residents should also be aware that their drinking water may be contaminated from the breakdown in amenities such as power, sewerage and water supply. This can increase the risk of disease during clean up and recovery operations. ... [Queensland Health - 21/2/15]
The Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) will remain activated to monitor predicted heavy rainfall today as a result of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Marcia. ... [Gold Coast City Council - 21/2/15]
Red Cross steps in to fill void left by fascist, neoliberal governments
Red Cross Australia - Disaster Relief and Recovery:
In the Northern Territory as Tropical Cyclone Lam swept across Arnhem Land, Red Cross teams were sent to provide psychological first aid to people evacuated to Darwin and to advise and support those setting up the Darwin evacuation centre.
In Queensland and the NT, we've also launched the Register.Find.Reunite. service to help reunite friends and families separated by the storms.
You can register online at register.redcross.org.au.
If you live in either region, take a look at these resources to prepare yourself and your family deal with an emergency.
@RedCrossAU [21/2/15]: Some 18 staff n volunteers are running our logistics and planning HQ in Brisbane
@RedCrossAU [21/2/15]: We’ve some 140 volunteers on alert. As roads and airports reopen our specialist teams are heading to help #cyclonemarcia
@RedCrossAU [21/2/15]: Map in our Brisbane HQ of cyclone shelters along the Queensland coast ...
@senorschubert - Steven Schubert - ABC [21/2/15]:
Damage in #Galiwinku from #CycloneLam
"We are not bad people, we are Australians," says #Galiwinku shop worker David Djalangi - says #CycloneLam forgotten
Flying over #Ramingining - big trees down but can't see any roofs off ...
Trees stripped bare near #Ramingining by #CycloneLam
Greek Debt Vastly Overstated, Investor Tells the World [New York Times - 20/2/15]
Far more newsworthy reading than Abbott and Murdoch BULLSHIT about Iraq ----> Inside Senator Cory Bernardi’s business web [The Saturday Paper - 21/2/15]
Reports Accuse Bill O’Reilly of False "War Zone" Claims [Democracy Now - 20/2/15]:
Fox News host Bill O’Reilly has come under scrutiny amid reports he fabricated claims about reporting in Latin America.
O’Reilly has blasted suspended NBC News anchor Brian Williams for his false reporting about his helicopter coming under fire in Iraq.
But Mother Jones has uncovered problems with an oft-repeated O’Reilly story about the war between Britain and Argentina over the Falkland Islands, off Argentina’s coast.
Bill O’Reilly, in 2013 broadcast:
"I was in a situation one time in a war zone in
Argentina, in the Falklands, where my photographer got run down and then hit his
head and was bleeding from the ear on the concrete. And the army was chasing us.
I had to make a decision. And I dragged him off, you know, but at the same time,
I’m looking around and trying to do my job, but I figure I had to get this guy
out of there, because that was more important."
At the time, O’Reilly was working for CBS, and it turns out no CBS reporter got into the Falkland Islands during the war. O’Reilly’s own book, "No Spin Zone," which recounts his time in Argentina, makes no mention of witnessing any combat.
O’Reilly denounced the Mother Jones report, saying he never claimed he was in the Falklands.
O’Reilly does write in his book about a protest he covered in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires, after the fighting was over, where he claimed "a major riot ensued and many people were killed."
But multiple news reports, including the CBS News report from the time, which used O’Reilly’s footage, did not report any fatalities.
Meanwhile, The Nation has published footage from O’Reilly’s reporting in El Salvador in the early 1980s, just after the El Mozote massacre, when some 1,000 civilians were slaughtered by U.S.-trained Salvadoran forces.
Instead of reporting on El Mozote, The Nation notes, O’Reilly went to nearby Meanguera, the site of a supposed attack by leftist rebels.
In his book, O’Reilly wrote Meanguera was "leveled," with "no one live or dead." But his own news report from the time shows several people walking around while the town remains largely intact.
Peter Greste's speech to the Royal Television Society [VIDEO – 19/2/15]
Mohamed Fahmy - Free Press Battle
Flogging of Saudi activist Raif Badawi has been postponed for the sixth consecutive week, Amnesty International posted on its Twitter account Friday. ... [Al Akhbar - 20/2/15]
Australian refugee concentration camps would not exist if not for Murdoch propaganda. Watch the BBC Fariba Sahraei'S BBC Manus report online, NOT on Foxtel.
BBC Persian [VIDEO - 19/2/15]
UNHCR investigating whether Australia breached international law with Sri Lankan asylum seeker boat refoulement
ABC, AM [21/2/15]:
ELIZABETH JACKSON: The United Nations is investigating whether Australia breached international law when it sent four asylum seekers, found at sea, back to Sri Lanka nearly two weeks ago.
The men were interviewed on board a border protection vessel through the Government's new enhanced screening process.
The UNHCR's Geneva-based spokesman for Asia and the Americas Babar Baloch has told Danuta Kozaki it's concerned that Australia might have acted illegally.
BABAR BALOCH: We have been in touch with the Australian authorities.
Our colleagues have conveyed that there have been notes of assurances from the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection yesterday that all persons were individually interviewed to determine whether they engaged Australia's non-refoulement obligation under international law.
But UNHCR's point of view is that seeking asylum is not illegal and it's a fundamental right under international law. Whenever vessels assumed to be carrying asylum seekers are intercepted or when there are indications that there are people who are in need of international protection on board, we ask for individual screening and a swift asylum or refugee status determination procedure.
And in UNHCR's view, such screening is best carried out on land, given safety concerns and other limitations of doing so at sea.
DANUTA KOZAKI: Do you think this breaches international law?
BABAR BALOCH: I can't say that for now, but that's the reason we are seeking more information on that. And we are saying that the obligation of non-refoulement, which means that people who are in need of international protections shouldn't be sent back when their lives are at risk: so it applies to Australia.
And wherever Australia intercepts these vessels that have people who are in need of international protection - whether it's inside the Australian waters or beyond that - that obligation applies on Australia.
DANUTA KOZAKI: We've heard from the Immigration Minister Peter Dutton who said that the interviews were conducted and they were determined not to be refugees and that Australia wants to send a strong message to the people smugglers?
BABAR BALOCH: I think people in need of international protection shouldn't be victims in this case because, as we have seen, a lot of people who take these risky journeys in the sea: they are actually running away from persecution and they already have their lives in danger.
So if it's done in a hasty manner it could further put them at risk. And we have conveying these concerns to Australia for time and time again.
ELIZABETH JACKSON: Babar Baloch, the UNHCR spokesman for Asia and the Americas, speaking there to Danuta Kozaki.
@senorschubert - Steven Schubert - Digital Producer, ABC [21/2/15]:
… 9yo boy. Stable condition. Flown to RDH re #Milingimbi electrocution
#BREAKING: reports child electrocuted by downed power lines in #Milingimbi - hearing he's in the clinic now #CycloneLam
#Galiwinku lost @1057darwin 5pm Wed; very disappointed with media coverage after that in #CycloneLam
Talking #constitutionalrecognition WesternSydney with @NovaPeris @senbmckenzie @StephenJonesMP ...
Image: @KenWyattMP [21/2/15]
@senorschubert - Steven Schubert - Digital Producer, ABC [21/2/15]: Damage in #Galiwinku from #CycloneLam
@senorschubert [21/2/15]: Damage in #Galiwinku from #CycloneLam
@senorschubert [21/2/15]: Damage in #Galiwinku from #CycloneLam
@senorschubert [21/2/15]: People lining up at the shop in #Galiwinku after #CycloneLam
@senorschubert [21/2/15]: "These trees should all be green," says pilot. #CycloneLam stripped them bare.
@senorschubert [21/2/15]: Wetlands smashed from #CycloneLam
Tropical Cyclone Marcia: Almost 60,000 without power across central Queensland [ABC - 21/2/15]
Israel says its own investigations into war crimes in Gaza “should be enough” [Al Akhbar – 20/2/15]:
The Israeli army’s top legal officer, Major General Dan Efrony, said the military was running 15 criminal investigations stemming from the summer offensive on Gaza, expressing confidence that they would head off a parallel probe by the Hague-based court.
"It should be enough with our quality and professionalism, and if it meets our professional standards then it should meet that of any others," he told journalists at a military legal conference near Tel Aviv.
The Israeli army has conducted investigations into crimes by some of its own members in the past, which has led to criticisms that its lack of objectivity in the matter would lead it to dismiss allegations of wrongdoing.
Efrony denied the Palestinian move to join the ICC had put pressure on Israel to open its own investigations.
"All my decisions are unconnected to the ICC. There has been no change because we are professionals," he said.
"When we decide to launch a criminal investigation, it's a full and thorough criminal investigation — it's not just to counteract the ICC— never."
The PA sought ICC membership after the UN Security Council rejected on December 31 a resolution calling for the establishment of the state of Palestine within the 1967 borders.
On January 1, Abbas signed onto 20 international conventions, including the ICC, giving the court jurisdiction over crimes committed on Palestinian lands and opening up an unprecedented confrontation with the Zionist state.
On January 16, the ICC announced "a preliminary examination" into Israel's actions over a period including its latest offensive on Gaza.
"Our agenda is not set by the ICC, we examine and investigate what should be investigated. We are a state that is willing and able to investigate and indict anyone that does something wrong," Efrony said.
"When I get up in the morning, I can look in the mirror without any qualms of conscience," he added.
Efrony's office has so far opened 15 criminal investigations into incidents which took place during the assault on Gaza and has heard testimonies from 17 Gazans.
Among the cases are the shelling of a UN school on July 24 that medics said killed at least 15 people, and the July 16 bombing of a beach where four children were killed.
Ten investigations were opened for clear-cut criminal acts, while the rest were the result of a probe by fact-finding assessment (FFA) teams looking into "exceptional incidents.”
So far, no indictments have been filed.
There are also a number of other high-profile cases under investigation for Efrony to rule on whether or not to open a criminal probe.
One relates to an incident on August 1 after the suspected capture of an Israeli soldier by Palestinian militants.
At the time, the military implemented the so-called Hannibal Directive, a controversial procedure which allows for an intensive military response to secure the rescue of a captured soldier.
The resulting bombardment of Rafah and the surrounding area resulted in the deaths of 114 Palestinians in just 24 hours, Palestinian medics said.
Efrony confirmed he was examining the case but refused to be drawn on what he would decide.
"It's on my table and I have to make a decision," he said.
Last month, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon expressed his firm opposition to any criminal probe of what happened on August 1, but Efrony shrugged it off, "I don't feel that I'm under any pressure," he said.
Efrony said that if the FFA findings indicate "reasonable suspicion of committing a crime or a severe breach of the laws of armed conflict, then a criminal investigation will be opened."
The Palestinian leadership’s resolution to end Israel’s occupation through negotiations failed to pass the United Nations Security Council this evening. While Palestinian leaders had hoped to garner the nine votes needed to be approved by the 15-member council, only eight countries supported the measure. The United States and Australia voted against it while five others abstained. ... [Mondoweiss - 30/12/14]
'Recognising' The Artful Con That Is The Constitutional Reform Debate, Amy McQuire [New Matilda - 12/12/14]:
The great academic Noam Chomsky once wrote: “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum”.
This quote perfectly encapsulates the current debate around constitutional reform – where there is a bipartisanship backed by reams of PR spin as a “positive”, while in reality it demonstrates one of the most insidious developments in black policy today – a dangerous “Canberra consensus”, as described by Indigenous policy expert Jon Altman.
How can two white leaders agreeing on the best way to shortchange blackfellas, at the expense of Aboriginal opinion, be a good thing?
The debate around ‘Recognise’ is made worse by the fact even the Greens are snuggly in the fold, leaving the opposition to a growing chorus of disenchanted and disenfranchised Aboriginal people, who are vilified for their justifiable and commendable cynicism.
Don’t fall for the Con in Constitutional Recognition [Aboriginal Tent Embassy Canberra - July 2014]:
As the world watches Israel mercilessly slaughter the unarmed civilians of Gaza under the apparent pretense of self-defense the world mourns for the countless life’s lost in the ongoing massacre.
The mainstream news fails to mention the extreme crimes against humanity taking place on our planet as an oppressed and occupied people of Palestine are bombarded with weapons of mass destruction claiming innocent civilians who have nowhere to go and hide from the explosions as the borders are closed on both sides.
The terror of a bomb being dropped on their homes come in the form of a telephone call, telling them to RUN they have 48 seconds to get out of their home.
Where are they supposed to run one asks, as the ground invasion of Gaza shoots them in the streets?
It the most inhuman thing I have ever witnessed in my life and it’s totally heartbreaking to see such blatant cruelty and savagery towards fellow human beings. Why is this happening? Has the human race learnt nothing from the mistakes of the past? Why are world leaders so eager to wage and support war and drop bombs on unarmed people? It totals insanity. When will peace prevail?
While all the carnage happens and with a death toll continuing to climb with over 500+ Palestinian civilians killed from attacks this Statement on the 14 July 2014 from the Zionist Federation of Australia, which Mark Leibler is the Executive President, states: "The Zionist Federation of Australia strongly condemns the continued indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip."
Rockets that have not claimed any lives and are no doubt in the name of true self defense from the cruelty and ongoing oppression of Israel towards them.
The author Nima Shirazi asks, why is Leibler appearing to be an avid campaigner and advocate for Australian Indigenous rights yet works for numerous Zionist organisations that are activity oppressing the rights of Indigenous people of Palestine and systematically cleansing them from their land?
He mentions that his biography reeks of hypocrisy entitling his article: The Hypocrisy of Mark Leibler: Indigenous Rights Advocate Denies Indigenous Rights to Palestinians.
From an Original Peoples perspective here in Australia we can see that Mark Leibler does not appear so hypocritical in his advocacy of denying Original land inhabitants their sovereign human rights and that what he is doing in Australia is part of a well-oiled government process and propaganda machine that has been in operation for many years in this country since the Original Peoples begun in the 1970’s to lobby and campaign for their Land Rights.
NZ reshuffle for Israel, Palestine [RNZI - 20/2/15]
PNG PM sign deal with Israel for defence, security boost [PINA - 17/10/13]
Greece denies U-turn in EU bailout talks
Daily Star [20/2/15]:
Greece denied Friday having performed a U-turn in negotiations with its European creditors, as it struggles to stave off a bailout crisis and keep sweet an austerity-sick electorate at home.
"We have not abandoned our red lines," government spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis told ANT1 television in reference to the country's non-negotiable demand as officials prepared for crunch talks Friday with eurozone partners on a renegotiation of the Greece's bailout terms.
Although he said he was "optimistic" about a deal with Brussels, he "could not be sure" one would be reached.
Athens' formal request for a loan agreement to end the standoff was swiftly rejected by EU paymaster Germany Thursday, despite Greece having offered what many analysts saw as major concessions to its demands.
"If the government had done a 180 degree turn, we would have signed [a deal] 10 days ago" during previous attempts to negotiate a deal with the eurozone, Sakellaridis said.
Athens' request for a six-month deal was "not a request to extend the program or the assessment" carried out by the so-called troika of creditors, the EU, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, he said.
In the leaked proposal, however, Athens had said that it was ready to accept EU, ECB and IMF "supervision" and would "refrain from unilateral action" that would undermine fiscal targets, economic recovery and financial stability.
Germany said the proposal submitted to Brussels Thursday, which will be examined Friday at a high-stakes meeting of eurozone finance ministers, is too vague on details on how far Greece is prepared to give ground.
In what was seen by some as an olive branch, the government pushed back a parliamentary vote scheduled for Friday on social measures it wants to introduce to counter austerity policies it says has driven the Greek economy into the ground.
But Sakellaridis said it had been postponed solely because of a delay in the creation of parliamentary commissions.
Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras's radical left government swept to power at the end of January after a campaign based on pledges to renounce the current bailout deal signed by the previous conservative government.
Several editorialists in Greek newspapers claimed the ruling Syriza party was going back on its word.
"The Greek government has distanced itself greatly from its promise to drastically reduce debt, reject the memorandum [rules] in its entirety cancel reforms, and not recognise the troika", the Kathimerini daily said.
The centre-left Ethnos newspaper said "people are worried they feel the government has begun to give in to German pressure and have the impression that it could go even further."
United States, “allies” continue bombing Iraq and Syria
On Feb. 19, U.S. and Coalition military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists in Syria, using attack, fighter, bomber and remotely piloted aircraft to conduct five airstrikes.
Separately, U.S. and Coalition military forces conducted 10 airstrikes in Iraq, using attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft against ISIL terrorists. All strikes took place between 8 a.m., Feb. 19, and 8 a.m., Feb. 20, local time.
The following is a summary of the strikes conducted since the last press release:
* Near Al Hasakah, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL mobile oil rig.
* Near Kobani, four airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL building.
* Near Haditha, an airstrike destroyed three ISIL boats.
* Near Kirkuk, an airstike struck an ISIL fighting position.
* Near Mosul, five airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL armored vehicle, an ISIL building and an ISIL excavator.
* Near Sinjar, two airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL buildings.
* Near Tal Afar, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, an ISIL culvert, an ISIL bunker and an ISIL fighting position.
Airstrike assessments are based on initial reports. All aircraft returned to base safely.
UN rights experts describe ‘unconscionable’ suffering of Syrians in
four-year conflict [Media Release - 20/2/15]
US and Turkey sign deal to equip, train Syrian rebels [France 24 - 19/2/15]
2 American helicopters land in Mowilha area north of Babylon, reason
unknown [IraqiNews.com - 20/2/15]
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [19/2/15]:
The names of killed persons in shelling of coalition planes on Albu Haiyat masjid in Hadeetha are :
Suleiman Moslih Asabahani ,Ali Suleiman Moslih Asabahani ,Hamdi Suleiman Moslih Asabahani ,NimaSuleiman Moslih Asabahani ,Adnan Bedewi Ali Asabahani ,Udei Bedewi Ali Asabahani ,Salah Salim Muslih Asabahani ,Abdul Same'e Abid Salih Asabahani ,Yasir Rafe'e Bedwi Ali Asabahani ,and omar Rafe'e Bedwi Ali Asabahani in addition to large number of wounded persons.............
If we can take—if we could find Nazis in the United States who have committed atrocities, certainly we can find people in Walton County, Georgia.
An Unsolved Case of Racial Terror: FBI Probes 1946 Moore’s Ford Bridge Lynching in Georgia [Democracy Now – 20/2/15]:
Federal authorities are reportedly investigating whether people who carried out one of the worst mass lynchings in recent history are still alive and can be brought to justice.
It was July 25, 1946, when a white mob in rural Georgia ambushed a car carrying two African-American couples, dragged them out and shot them to death.
One of the men, George Dorsey, was a military veteran who had recently returned from serving five years overseas in World War II. His wife, Mae Murray Dorsey, was also killed.
Dorothy Malcom, the other woman in the car, was seven months pregnant. The mob cut her open and removed her unborn child.
Her husband, Roger Malcom, had just been bailed out of jail after he was accused of stabbing a white man.
A coroner estimated people in the crowd fired more than 60 shots at the two couples, at close range.
The horrific attack was carried out near Walton County, Georgia, not far from Moore’s Ford Bridge.
It became known as the Moore’s Ford lynching, and sparked a national outcry, prompting President Harry Truman to push for civil rights reform.
The FBI also investigated, but no one was ever convicted of the four murders.
But a relative of one of the men allegedly involved in the attack has come forward in a videotaped interview with the NAACP.
Wayne Watson says his uncle and several other men he named were members of the Ku Klux Klan. We speak to Edward DuBose, a member of the NAACP national board and former president of the Georgia branch of the NAACP, and journalist Herb Boyd. ...
Video shows St Louis police officer 'telling colleagues to turn off dashboard camera' as cops drag man out of car [Independent – 19/2/15]
Around a dozen people were wounded when a car bomb detonated by remote control ripped through a karaoke bar in Thailand's Muslim-majority deep south on Friday, officials told Agence France Presse. ... [Naharnet - 20/2/15]
Twin explosions followed by heavy gunfire were heard Friday from a hotel in the centre of the Somali capital Mogadishu, a police officer said. ... [Naharnet - 20/2/15]
At Least 25 Dead in Triple Bombing in East Libya [Naharnet – 20/2/15]
Afghanistan: Kidnapped NGO worker found dead in Faryab [Pajhwok - 20/2/15]
8 Soldiers Killed in Yemen’s Dawan Region Oil Field [Al Akhbar – 19/2/15]:
... Meanwhile, a man was killed and three others were injured on Thursday by a bomb that went off in Yemen's central al-Bayda province, a government source said.
The explosion was caused by an explosive charge that had been planted in a police officer's car. ...
Indian workers win $14 million in US trafficking case
A New Orleans jury on Wednesday awarded $14 million to five Indian men who were lured to the United States and forced to work under inhumane conditions after Hurricane Katrina by a U.S. ship repair firm and its codefendants.
After a four-week trial, the U.S. District Court jury ruled that Alabama-based Signal International was guilty of labor trafficking, fraud, racketeering and discrimination and ordered it to pay $12 million. Its co-defendants, a New Orleans lawyer and an India-based recruiter, were also found guilty and ordered to pay an additional $915,000 each.
The trial was the first in more than a dozen related lawsuits with over 200 plaintiffs that together comprise one of the largest labor trafficking cases in U.S. history.
Signal recruited about 500 Indian men as guest workers to repair oil rigs and facilities damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, according to plaintiffs.
The workers paid $10,000 apiece to recruiters and were promised good jobs and permanent U.S. residency for their families, according to the suit. When the men arrived at Signal shipyards in Pascagoula, Mississippi, they discovered that they would not receive promised residency documents.
Signal also charged the men $1,050 per month to live in guarded labor camps where up to 24 men lived in single 1,800-square-foot (167-square-metre) units, according to the suit.
An economist who reviewed Signal's records for the plaintiffs estimated the company saved more than $8 million by hiring the Indian workers.
"The defendants exploited our clients, put their own profits over the lives of these honorable workers, and tried to deny them their day in court," plaintiffs' attorney and Southern Poverty Law Center board chairman Alan Howard said in a statement.
The center identified plaintiffs as Jacob Joseph Kadakkarappally, Hemant Khuttan, Andrews Issac Padaveettiyl, Sony Vasudevan Sulekha and Palanyandi Thangamani. Most of them are from Kerala.
Signal said in a statement that it is weighing an appeal.
"Signal strongly disagrees with rulings from the court in the case which impacted its ability to present defenses and is disappointed with the verdict," the company said.
Separately, a suit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging that Signal retaliated against its workers is slated for trial in June.
In March 2007, Signal's private security guards detained several workers during a pre-dawn raid of their quarters, including two the company planned to deport for complaining to workers rights advocates, according to the suit.
Lost in a black hole after ASIO branded refugee a threat [Sydney Morning Herald - 21/2/15]:
... "I was genuine to the government in the interviews," Ragav says of his asylum application, in English and with the help of a translator.
He tells me how he worked as a cameraman for a media organisation supportive of the Tamil Tigers in regions under Sri Lankan army control.
He says how he came to have a profile as a contact for local and international media about university student resistance, having his camera equipped smashed, until eventually in 2006 a "military intelligence officer" warned him to leave the country.
Fearing an "accident" he flew to Malaysia and joined UN camps in the country. But denied work rights or a future, he paid $16,500 – almost three times the going rate he later discovered – for an October 2009 passage to Australia.
He provided documents, he says, and after 18 months on Christmas Island, was sent to a camp in far north Queensland, where after another year he was told ASIO had made an adverse finding.
He was moved to Melbourne in 2012 in the months before an April 2013 hunger strike among the more than two dozen refugees held with negative findings.
"We did that hunger strike not to hurt the Australian people or government," Ragav says. "If there was inconvenience, I apologise."
But as much as a cry for help, he says, the aim of the protest was to bond desperate group together rather than sit alone in their rooms crying – and for some, attempt to end their lives.
Asylum seekers refouled by Australia to Sri Lanka to face court [Guardian - 20/2/15]
Whereabouts of 700 Tamil prisoners detained in Trincomalee Sri Lanka Navy Complex questioned in Parliament [Tamilnet - 20/2/15]
PNG: Knight’s Tribunal continues next week [PNG Loop – 20/2/15]:
The leadership tribunal into suspended Manus MP Ronny Knight will continue next week Friday, says Chairman of the tribunal Justice Salatiel Lenalia.
Next week Friday will see final submissions before a decision is made on the misconduct allegations against Knight.
Knight is facing misconduct allegations over the purchase of Manus district vessel MV Trader Star and the engagement of a consultation firm Pokarop and Morton Company Limited in its purchase.
This morning Justice Lenalia adjourned to Monday another leadership tribunal hearing for North-Fly MP and Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Boka Kondra .
The tribunal is led by Judge Salatiel Lenalia, who is assisted by senior magistrates Ignatius Kurei and Rosie Johnston.
POSTPONED: Brisbane rally - Justice for Reza Barati! Shut Manus and Nauru! [21/2/15]
Refugee Action Collective Queensland: Hi all, Due to the inclement weather both in the city and also the impact on people being able to get into the city, RAC has decided to postpone our event. Watch this space for updates.
Former G4S security guard, Steve Kilburn, speaking at the Perth vigil for Reza Barati. [VIDEO - 20/2/15]
21 February 2015