An unmanned American aircraft crashed at an airfield in southern Afghanistan less than three months after an identical drone went down in November, a U.S. Air Force spokesman said on Sunday.
After ending its combat mission in 2014, the U.S. military still uses air strikes by drones and other aircraft in Afghanistan to target suspected members of al-Qaeda and Islamic State and back up Afghan forces battling a Taliban insurgency.
There were no injuries or civilian damage in the crash of the state-of-the-art $14-million MQ-9 Reaper late on Saturday night, Captain Bryan Bouchard of the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing said in a statement. ... [Reuters - 21/2/16]
Russia pulls back from cooperating with US on Afghanistan [New York Times - 20/2/16]
Seven people killed in random Michigan shootings, suspect in custody [Reuters - 21/2/16]
Bombs continue raining down upon Iraq and Syria
US Department of Defense [20/2/16]:
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.
Airstrikes in Syria
Attack, ground-attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted nine airstrikes in Syria:
-- Near Hasakah, four strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Ayn Isa, a strike destroyed an ISIL armored front-end loader.
-- Near Dayr Az Zawr, a strike struck an ISIL main gas and oil separation plant.
-- Near Manbij, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL anti-air artillery piece and three ISIL fighting positions.
Airstrikes in Iraq
Fighter, attack, ground-attack, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 16 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:
-- Near Baghdadi, a strike destroyed an ISIL weapons cache and three ISIL rocket systems.
-- Near Huwayjah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Albu Hayat, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.
-- Near Fallujah, a strike destroyed an ISIL anti-air artillery piece.
-- Near Habbaniyah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Hit, a strike destroyed an ISIL tunnel entrance.
-- Near Mosul, four strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed four ISIL fighting positions, four ISIL assembly areas, an ISIL petroleum site, and two ISIL command and control nodes.
-- Near Qayyarah, a strike destroyed four ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Ramadi, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL anti-air artillery piece, an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL vehicle bomb making facility, five ISIL staging areas, and an ISIL bed-down location.
-- Near Tal Afar, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL tunnel system.
At least 46 people were killed in twin car bomb blasts that hit Syria's Homs on Sunday in one of the deadliest such attacks in the city in five years of civil war, a monitoring group said, and state media confirmed the explosions.
At least 100 others were wounded by the explosions in the city center's Zahra district, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. ... [Reuters - 21/2/16]
The media are misleading the public on Syria [The Boston Globe - 18/2/16]
1/2 From today men,women&children from Afghanistan are not permitted to cross into FYROM.Afghani's represent 30% of those arriving to Greece
2/2 @MSF is very worried about these new restrictions on such vulnerable people. Where will they go? What access to services will they have?
An Afghan photo journalist has drowned off Turkish coast along with his family members as they tried to reach Europe, putting the number of journalists to 9 died since the start of the year.
An organization supporting open media in Afghanistan, NAI, reported that the photo journalist, Feroz Muzafari’s boat capsized as he was on his way to Europe. ... [Khaama - 21/2/16]
@MSF_Sea [21/2/16]: 200 people arrived on Leros this morning including 6 children with hypothermia. How many more will be forced to take this dangerous journey?
How many refugee and asylum seeker boats did the Australian "Fuck your mothers ... fuck your family ..." Navy push back and/or abandon in the last 24 hours? ----> @EUNAVFORMED_OHQ [21/2/16]: #OpSophia this morning the Spanish aircraft VIGMA D-4 has spotted two rubber boats in distress. Watch the video..
Award-winning Australian journalist, John Pilger, speaks out at Politics in the Pub in Sydney this month, about the UN Working Group's decision on the arbitrary detention of Julian Assange... [VIDEO - Cathy Vogan - 20/2/16]
UN Victory in Assange Case: Decision has big implications for refugees and whistleblowers [Center for Constitutional Rights - 5/2/16]
People power secures community detention for Asha.
Now FREE ALL THE 267, CLOSE THE CAMPS and BRING THEM HERE (if they want to come here).
... Their stand and the support from other hospitals and medical staff will make it easier for other workers and staff to take a similar stand in support of the 267 threatened with return to Nauru. ...
[Refugee Action Coalition Sydney - 21/2/16]
Stacey Morrison on day ten of the vigil supporting #LadyCilento doctors and nurses. ...
Image: @kasunubayasiri [21/2/16]
@kasunubayasiri [21/2/16]: ... Ann Holmes from Kinkin "just got in her car and drove down to be part of the vigil"
@ARTilleryBNE [21/2/16]: the atmosphere at #LadyCilento #Brisbane is hopeful&infused with bravery&pride #LetThemStay #CloseTheCamps
The Australian Jewish Democratic Society demands, #LetThemStay! [21/2/16]
Politicians from pro detention, pro torture, pro refugee boat turnback ALP try to take credit for non partisan people power at Lady Cilento #LetThemStay vigil eg. ---> Annastacia Palaszczuk MP [21/2/16]:
The decision by the Federal Government to place Baby Asha and her mother in community detention was too slow and lacked empathy.
Watch Ros McLellan from the Queensland Council of Unions let Shorten and Marles off the hook <---- 50 seconds in @7NewsQueensland [VIDEO - 21/2/16]
@alanalentin [21/2/16]: On #LadyCilento #LetThemStay #BabyAsha
Recounting her time on Christmas Island, Professor Elliott said children lived in a physically and emotionally toxic environment, where they suffered flashbacks to their journey at sea or atrocities witnessed at home.
Wryly, she recalled one detainee noting that Australians seemed more concerned about Christmas Island’s crabs than they were about the welfare of detainees held there.
Why would that be I wonder? (Hint - it's the media's job to inform the citizens in a democracy what is being done in their name by their leaders).
Report on AMA Forum [Croakey - 21/2/16]
... “Every doctor and every nurse needs to ask are they comfortable with witnessing abuse, physical assaults and harm to children and not speaking out about it,” she said.
“The Australian public needs to know what is happening in these centres.”
Paediatrician David Issacs accompanied Maycock to Nauru and said doctors confronted a “horrible conflict” – duty of care to patients versus obligation not to condone torture.
“I think we need to say that prolonged immigration detention is torture, that the AMA does not and will never condone torture under any circumstances,” he said.
“Doctors must examine their conscience.”
“I don’t think a boycott works, but I do think we have to say to the government ‘you shouldn’t be putting us in this position’. And the only way they can do that is by closing detention centres both onshore and offshore.”
@qldhealthnews [21/2/16]: #LadyCilento will discharge baby Asha to a community dwelling within the next 24 hours. Great care from a great hospital. <--- But we still don't know under what authority Serco guards are permitted to intimidate patients in a Queensland public hospital.
A patient from the Nauru detention centre will be discharged within the next 24 hours from the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has advised that the child and her family will be moved to a community dwelling.
The Department further advised that there is no imminent plan for the family to return to Nauru and the family's case is under consideration.
Children's Health Queensland is currently working with the Department on finalising arrangements for the safe relocation of the family.
The child was treated for burns sustained in the Nauru detention centre and has recovered well.
In recent days, the child and her mother moved to family accommodation within the hospital because the patient no longer required treatment in the burns unit.
Thankyou to all those involved in caring for Baby Asha and her family in recent weeks.
AMA Speech - Prof Owler, AMA Asylum Seeker Health Forum [21/2/16]
Tweeted by @SandiHLogan - National Communications Manager, Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Canberra [19/7/13]
"I don't believe I'm here in [Canada]. Nauru is a black hole. You never get out.
"I don't know how I escaped from there, I really can't believe it."
Australia continues treating refugees like human trash [ABC - 21/216]:
Two asylum seekers who spent three years living on Nauru have been resettled in Canada, in what is believed to be a first for boat arrivals sent to the Pacific.
Syrian man Ali Kharsa, 18, and his father Ahmed, 47, are understood to be the only refugees on either Nauru or Manus Island to be given permanent protection by a Western country.
They left the Pacific country in November after a year of legal wrangling.
Their relocation was made possible under a family reunification visa after Ali's mother, Doha, was accepted as a refugee by Canada.
... Anyone if you can hear me now,
Won’t you open up your heart towards the sea
Anyone, please help us out
All we ever wanted was a safe place for our family ...
'Oh Canada' Missy Higgins 
The Coalition and Labor have joined forces to vote down a motion to grant amnesty to almost 270 asylum seekers currently in Australia.
The 267 people, including 37 babies, are facing the prospect of being sent to Nauru in the wake of yesterday's High Court judgement which upheld offshore immigration detention.
Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young today moved a motion in the Senate, asking for the Federal Government to allow the asylum seekers to remain onshore.
In full, the motion read: "the Senate calls on the Turnbull Government to grant amnesty to the 267 men, women and children in Australia as part of the M68 High Court challenge, and allow them to stay."
It was defeated 10-40, with independent senator John Madigan siding with the Greens.
ALP helps LNP lock in offshore detention [ABC - 24/6/15]
Australia has not "stopped the boats", and the political and media establishment do not care about drowning babies.
Australia is stopping people from seeking asylum, and the racist LNP and ALP don't want refugees coming to this country.
Peter "protected and unaccountable" Dutton wedges Richard "I'd be worse" Marles again because there is no "opposition" to treating refugees like human trash [Guardian - 21/2/16]:
Australia’s immigration minister has confirmed Baby Asha will be allowed to stay in the country under community detention arrangements after doctors and campaigners fought to prevent her return to the asylum seeker detention centre on Nauru.
However Owler said he did not support a boycott of the offshore processing system, which is being pushed by some in the medical profession, saying that it would not stop Australian doctors from going to treat people, and would just encourage the centres to hire more doctors from overseas.
In a statement on Sunday, Labor’s immigration and border protection spokesman, Richard Marles, said Asha’s care “must be in accordance with treating doctors’ advice” and called on the government to handle the case “with sensitivity” and in accordance with its international obligations.
“The government must give an assurance to the Australian community that it is caring for Baby Asha in this way,” Marles said.
He did not comment on the possibility of her return to Nauru.
THE LEVEL OF "FREE THE CHILDREN", "WE NEED TRANSPARENCY", AND "COMMUNITY DETENTION BEING NEGOTIATED" MEDIA SPIN, CRISIS MANAGEMENT AND DAMAGE CONTROL INDICATES THE PEOPLE ARE WINNING AND THE ESTABLISHMENT ARE LOSING.
INDEFINITE, MANDATORY DETENTION IS TORTURE.
CLOSE THE CAMPS.
FREE THEM ALL.
STOP THE LIES.
@DonSinnamon [21/2/16]: Day 10, 10.30 Brisbane is still out in force supporting #BabyAsha and staff of #LadyCilento #LetThemStay
Brothers Joseph and Brandon camping out for another long night outside #LadyCilento hospital ...
Image: @kasunubayasiri [20/2/16]
Pro detention Australian media censors outcome of boycott motion at AMA Forum:
@ABCNews24 [21/2/16]: The AMA is calling for a moratorium on returning children to detention and the release of all children from detention
If the boycott proposal was rejected, were doctors warned that they risk future liability by continuing to work in Australia's refugee concentration camps?
@ljLoch: "this is not what Aust stands4.Asylum seekers r like me & u. Detention is indefensible"@amapresident ...
@ljLoch ... He went on to make the strong case that #DetentionHarms everyone
@ljLoch: AMA Pres Brian Owler calling out Govt and ALP for narrative of blurring asylum seekers w security issues ...
@ljLoch: "We're v lucky no child has died yet" Prof David Isaacs ...
@venessb: "Detention is not just harmful for children" - Brian Owler. Kids may be the catalyst for #LetThemStay, but ALL refugees deserve protection.
@venessb: "When you go to Nauru, there is a dark, chilling feeling of lawlessness," describes nurse Alanna Maycock. ...
IHMS psychologist said an alleged asylum
seeker rape victim "should have cried out"; "wore provocative clothing" ...
Greens persist with pissweak, small target politics ---> @RichardDiNatale [21/2/16]: As doctors, we have a duty of care towards these babies, children and families....
And still no Australian politician or journalist can tell us under what authority Serco guards can be placed in a public hospital to intimidate staff and patients:
@DASSAN12 [20/2/16]: #LadyCilento update. Tried to call Asha's mother at 9am. Informed by Serco that she is unable to make or receive phonecalls again today.
@DanielHRLC [20/2/16]: Tried to speak with our client today. Access was refused. #LadyCilento
Who's worse in a system that's rotten? ---> Federal election won't help, both major parties shame Australia ... @phillipotake [21/2/16]
@JorgeBrancoBNE [20/2/16]: Brisbane-raised popstars @TheVeronicas and Labor MP @RobJPyne lent their support #babyasha #LadyCilento #letthemstay
@GetUp [21/2/16]: Incredible community response 2 #LetThemStay + #LadyCilento vigil particularly union movement @QLDUnions, + @Qldcommalliance
When are Australian unions going to Divest from detention? ---> @GedKACTU [21/2/16]: Wonderful Baby Asha protesters block police cars, promise to continue 24/7
Did the CIA interfere in 1970s Australian politics? Former spy Christopher Boyce speaks out in an explosive new Dateline interview. [VIDEO - SBS - February 2014]
Not concerned about Serco guards in public hospitals intimidating refugees?
The LNP and ALP will expand this if they aren't challenged.
A journalist would ask Brandis and/or Dreyfus under what authority Serco are present at Lady Cilento - as well as other hospitals - across the nation.
IT'S TIME TO MAKE THESE PROTECTED FASCISTS SQUIRM.
Asylum seekers shower in full view of three male guards ...
"tweeted" from today's AMA Forum by @jmslwlr [21/2/16]
21 February 2016