UK is not doing enough to help refugees coming to Europe, says Lampedusa mayor
The mayor of the Italian island of Lampedusa has criticised Britain for not doing enough to help migrants as she lashed out at Europe for its failure to agree on a redistribution plan for migrants.
Giusi Nicolini delivered an impassioned speech in front of some of the world’s most powerful politicians at a Vatican conference on climate change and human slavery, and attended by dozens of mayors from around the world on Tuesday.
She urged Europe “to open its eyes” to the “boats of death” that sail from northern Africa to Lampedusa, Italy’s southernmost territory.
Mrs Nicolini initially appeared slightly star-struck as she took to the stage in front of dozens of the world’s most important mayors including New York’s Bill de Blasio and Paris’s Anne Hidalgo but her nervousness soon turned to anger as she recalled a failed EU meeting on Monday night.
EU ministers agreed to start relocating 32,000 of the arrivals among the EU's 28 members in the autumn, falling around 8,000 short of the target agreed by EU leaders at a summit in June.
Mrs Nicolini described the target as “laughable”. The political powers in Europe are “still so tragically far from realising that what they’re doing is not enough", she said.
“Europe has a duty to open its eyes and put an emergency humanitarian plan into action."
Following the conference, she told the Telegraph she had “hoped Britain would have done more” to help with the relocation of refugees after the country participated in several rescue operations.
“I was hoping the UK would understand the situation better having taken part in the rescues. Just because you say you’re not accepting them [the migrants], it doesn't mean they stop coming,” she said.
Britain has sent three ships, including HMS Bulwark, a 19,000-tonne assault ship, and three helicopters to the Mediterranean. One just one day in June, the Royal Navy assault ship rescued 1,000 migrants off the coast of Libya.
However Britain has said it will not participate in any EU plan to resettle refugees using country quotas.
Her comments came as more than 400 migrants, including four newborns and one young child, were rescued on Tuesday.
Three Italian ships rescued the migrants from four boats, according to the Italian Coastguard, who also said 1,400 people were rescued at sea on Monday.
More than 60,000 refugees have made the journey across the Mediterranean to reach Europe so far this year.
Suicide bomber kills 15 in Afghan market [Naharnet – 22/7/15]
Boats used by Australia for refoulement appear in Darwin storage yard
Evidently the bodies have been removed. [ABC - 22/7/15]:
Two orange life boats of the type used by Australian Border Force for asylum seeker turn backs have been returned on the back of semi-trailers to a storage yard in Darwin.
The boats were off-loaded by crane at the boatyard in Darwin's light industrial area alongside another 10 boats that were covered with tarpaulins.
A member of the public who spotted the boats on the trucks said they appeared worn and had barnacles on them.
Local fisherman have speculated for some time about the orange rafts since they appeared in the Immigration and Border Protection service yards late last year.
A spokesperson for Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said the Australian Border Force used a "variety of vessels to prepare for and perform its maritime tasks".
The spokesperson would not disclose details about operational activity or the location of its assets.
It was reported in March that the Federal Government had built Indonesian wooden fishing boats under commission to replace the orange life rafts and the vessels have been regularly spotted by locals in Darwin Harbour undergoing maintenance.
The fishing boats built by Dragon Industries Asia for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, are being stored at Spot On Marine in Darwin.
The Federal Government confirmed last year it purchased orange life rafts identical to the ones seen by the ABC, for the purpose of pushing asylum seekers out of Australian waters, but in a seaworthy vessel.
The first turn back using an orange life raft is
reported to have happened in January 2014.
Dundee man on the run with up to seven children after firearms incident [ABC – 22/7/15]
Man pleads guilty to dousing partner in petrol and setting her alight in Hobart [ABC – 22/7/15]
Murdered Sri Lankan refugee's wife fears for her children's future following husband's death [ABC - 22/7/15]
A man accused of murdering a gold prospector on a remote Queensland property denies he and his wife were in the area when the missing man's friends heard gunshots. … [Yahoo – 22/7/15]
Broadbeach tapas bar table tipover sentencing postponed until 14 August [Yahoo - 22/7/15]
Woman charged after police smash passenger window [West Australian - 22/7/15]
Darwin man sentenced over hit-and-run death of eight-year-old boy fined over separate charges [ABC- 22/7/15]
Toddler hit and killed by car, Manoora [ABC – 22/7/15]
Break and enter, Marian [QPS Media - 22/7/15]
Armed robbery, Inala [QPS Media - 22/7/15]
Armed robbery, Acacia Ridge [QPS Media – 21/7/15]
Hong Kong shipping company fined $4,000 for dumping rubbish on Great Barrier Reef
A Hong Kong shipping company that dumped food waste onto the Great Barrier Reef has been fined $4000.
The illegal dump was detected when Australian maritime inspectors scoured the ANL Kardinia's Garbage Record Book and found an entry noting staff had thrown food scraps onto the reef on February 13.
One Armania Shipping Ltd was fined $4000 in the Townsville Magistrates Court and the ship's master was fined $300 for the illegal discharge.
Man issued with notice to appear for trespass following act bigotry, Maroochydore
Brisbane Times [22/7/15]:
A man has been ordered to face court after allegedly putting up offensive posters on an Islamic prayer room on the Sunshine Coast.
Police said the 64-year-old Yaroomba man put up two A4 sheets with "offensive remarks" on the building in Church Street, Maroochydore about 1.45pm Tuesday.
He was issued with a notice to appear for trespass and will face Maroochydore Magistrates Court on August 26.
Last month, the Sunshine Coast Regional Council approved plans for a mosque to be built at the same site.
Angry protesters later gathered outside the building, calling on the Muslims to denounce their religion.
Sunshine Coast District Inspector Mike Miley said Tuesday's incident was the first alleged criminal act to occur since the council approved the mosque.
"Police have been in consultation with all differing groups, and they understand where police currently stand," he said.
"We're working together with the members of the mosque so that it is a safe place for them.
"I don't think police will tolerate anything that interferes with the peace and tranquility of the community members."
Inspector Miley said a Reclaim Australia rally held in Maroochydore during the weekend was without incident, apart from two people who were temporarily detained for breaching the peace. [i.e. Most people ignored them.]
However unlike tense rallies in capital cities, the Maroochydore rally only had one group of protesters and did not have an anti-Reclaim Australia presence. [Probably because ALP operatives - masquerading as anti fascists - saw no mileage engaging in partisan point scoring in LNP heartland areas.]
UK: The SNP says it should be the official opposition after Labour abstained on welfare cuts [Independent - 21/7/15]:
The Scottish National Party have said that they should be the official opposition in light of Labour’s abstention on the Government’s welfare cuts.
Pete Wishart, the SNP’s shadow leader of the House of Commons, raised an official point of order with the Speaker of the House of Commons.
“Is there anybody that could help me … rearrange the furniture of this House so that we become the official opposition?” he asked.
The Speaker John Bercow cracked a small smile at the gag, responding:
“Notwithstanding the earnest expression on the face of the honourable gentleman, his point of order was cheeky and tendentious,” Mr Bercow said.
The SNP voted against the Government’s Welfare Reform and Work Bill. Labour abstained on the main vote for the second reading of the bill.
The main changes in the Bill are reducing the household welfare cap from £26,000 to £23,000, abolishing legally binding child poverty targets, cuts to child tax credits, cuts to Employment and Support Allowance, and cuts to housing benefit for young people.
"There's no fires anymore" Things people really said [Wings Over Scotland - 21/7/15]
Leaked John McTernan emails reveal aggressive approach of Julia Gillard's spin doctor [ABC - 11/12/13]
Australia: Disabled woman waited 8 weeks for someone to help her have a shower after abusive husband finally removed
A disabled woman has given a harrowing account of how she was repeatedly raped in her sleep by her husband, who was also her carer, before Victoria's Royal Commission into Family Violence.
The woman told the commission she endured a decade of abuse, culminating in an attempt to kill herself when her husband assaulted her four times in one week.
"I took an overdose. I didn't feel that there was any other way out from the relationship that I was in and the situation I was in, and I couldn't handle it any more," she said.
"He left me knowing that I'd taken an overdose and left me on the floor to die."
The woman said her son was the one who called for help.
She told emergency department doctors why she had tried to take her life, but said she could not leave her husband for fear she would never see her children again and would no longer have a carer.
The woman told the commission her husband was allowed to pick her up from hospital.
She said child protection workers eventually came to the family home, where her husband admitted abusing her.
"He just said, 'Yeah, I've done that. So what? All husbands do this and I can't guarantee that I won't do it again,'" the woman said.
She said her husband used her fragile mental health as an excuse for his abuse.
The woman said she was shocked when police applied for a family violence intervention order on her behalf and begged them not to do it.
But in hindsight, she said, she was grateful.
"The only way out would have been I killed myself or he killed me," she said.
"I didn't realise that I was a lot stronger than I thought I was."
They could have saved me possibly five years of abuse by my husband if something had been done sooner, if they had been under obligation to report it.
The woman told the commission the doctors and support workers she saw in the mental health system should have reported the abuse.
"I felt I was let down," she said.
"They could have saved me possibly five years of abuse by my husband if something had been done sooner, if they had been under obligation to report it.
"I wish they had been able to report it."
The woman said reporting of sexual assault should be mandatory, regardless of a person's age.
She told the commission she had to wait eight weeks for someone to help her have a shower when her husband was first removed from the house.
"That's pretty degrading, so I was desperate for him to come back," she said.
The woman also described the ordeal of attending many court hearings and the consequences of her husband repeatedly breaching intervention orders and bail conditions.
She said he would harass her through Facebook and other social media, using his parents' phones.
The woman told the commission she felt intimidated being forced to sit in a court corridor with her husband and sometimes went without legal representation.
The man is now serving a jail term.
Son charged with manslaughter of disabled mother in Perth suburb of South Lake [ABC – 22/7/15]
They need a new market, and there's no better salespeople for this kind of health care than your local ABC!
Ireland: Forced use of ECT to end after review of mental health law [Irish Times - 5/3/15]:
The controversial practice of administering electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) to patients with mental health problems who refuse to consent to the treatment is to end.
The move follows a major review of mental health legislation, due to be published on Thursday by Minister of State for Health Kathleen Lynch.
The expert group report contains 165 proposals that seek to strengthen patients’ rights, extend the remit of watchdog bodies and place a greater emphasis on children’s services.
Existing legislation is regarded by many campaigners as outdated given the growing emphasis on care in the community and demands for greater autonomy by patient groups.
The proposals seek to move away from a paternalistic interpretation of patient rights to one where individuals have a much greater say in their own treatment.
At present, the mental health Act states that ECT may be administered where a patient is “unable or unwilling” to give consent once it has been approved by two consultant psychiatrists.
Under the proposals, it will no longer be possible to administer the controversial therapy to a person who has capacity and does not consent to the treatment.
Ms Lynch has confirmed she intends to change legislation shortly to reflect the recommendations on ECT use.
Teamwork ----> Dutton, unions, media working together to make sure NO refugees arrive in Australia
The Immigration Minister says industrial action within the Border Force agency is not the reason a suspected asylum seeker boat was able to come within 100 kilometres of the Australian mainland.
The Federal Government launched the combined Australian Border Force agency at the start of the month.
Some staff have been involved in industrial action this week to protest against the Government's decision to remove thousands of dollars in allowances for Border Force staff.
Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) national secretary Nadine Flood said the industrial action included a ban on a range of activities such as loading and unloading stores, rubbish and equipment, pre-departure checks and maintenance activities.
"These actions are causing some in-port delays," she said.
But Ms Flood denied the arrival of a suspected asylum seeker boat off the West Australian coast this week was a result of the protected action.
"We emphatically reject any suggestion that the protected industrial action our members are taking has resulted in an asylum seeker vessel being located off the Dampier coast," she said.
The court case involving Nauru's Roland Kun is to resume next week after the Nauru government moved this morning to have it struck out.
The opposition MP is fighting to get his passport back after the government cancelled it a month ago in the wake of anti government protests.
After the government presented detailed oral submissions in court on the strike out motion, the court ordered it to provided written submissions to Mr Kun's legal representative. ... [RNZI - 22/7/15]
ANZAC painting likely to stay in New Zealand [3 News - 22/7/15]
UN ship brings food aid to Yemen's Aden as Saudi airstrikes continue, fighting rages [Yahoo - 21/7/15]
Afghanistan: 3 children killed in mortar fire incident in Kunduz [Pajhwok - 21/7/15]
Pentagon spent $15million on Afghan warehouse it never used [RT - 22/7/15]
Israel navy shoots, critically injures Gaza fisherman [Maan - 21/7/15]
Nigerian refugees move from volatile border zone in Cameroon [UNHCR Media Release – 21/7/15]
African Union troops gun down unarmed civilians in Somalia [Al Jazeera - 21/7/15]
Iraqi security forces and Sunni tribal fighters have launched an offensive to dislodge Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group fighters and secure a supply route in Anbar province, police and tribal sources said.
The offensive came as bomb attacks claimed across the country killed at least 32 people - just days after an ISIL attack in the eastern province of Diyala, left more than 100 people dead. ... [Al Jazeera - 21/7/15]
Three Spanish journalists missing in Syria: Press federation [Ahram - 21/7/15]
Myanmar journalists fined for defaming President Thein Sein [BBC - 21/7/15]
Turkish police on Tuesday fired tear gas and water cannon against hundreds of protesters who took to streets to condemn the deadly suicide attack in a border town, an AFP photographer reported.
A crowd of 800 demonstrators gathered at Kadikoy on the Asian side of Istanbul to denounce the attack in the Kurdish majority town of Suruc near the Syrian border. ... [Ahram - 21/7/15]
Up to 6,000 supporters of Ukraine’s ultranationalist Right Sector movement gathered in central Kiev on Tuesday, calling on authorities to resign.
The rally marks a “new stage of Ukrainian revolution,” the extremists' leader Dmitry Yarosh announced.
The radicals marched through the center of the Ukrainian capital on Tuesday evening, gathering on Maidan (Independence Square). The rally largely consisted of people wearing camouflage clothes, waving the red and black flags of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). They were chanting “death to enemies,” TASS reported. ... [RT - 21/7/15]
Texas releases dashboard video of Sandra Bland arrest [TIME - 21/7/15]:
... “You seem very irritated,” he says. She responds by saying that she only changed lanes because she felt the officer was speeding up behind her.
The officer then asks Bland to put out her cigarette, and when she refuses, he orders her to step out of her car. When she refuses, he opens her car door and orders her repeatedly to step out, while she argues that she did nothing wrong.
The encounter soon turns physical.
“Step out or I will remove you,” he says repeatedly. “Get out of the car now, or I’m going to remove you. I’m going to yank you out of here.”
Japan demands China halt oil exploration in part of East China Sea [Japan Today - 22/7/15]
Australia opens door to barbaric live cattle trade with China [Naharnet 21/7/15]
Think you (or your friends and family) will never be displaced by US wars of aggression and/or economic tyranny?
US Army News Service [19/7/15]:
As Exercise Talisman Sabre 15 wrapped up in Australia this past weekend, the land component commander of that 15-day exercise said the United States' involvement signifies commitment to partner nations in the Pacific region.
From Brisbane, Australia - his headquarters for a little more than two weeks during Talisman Sabre 2015 - Lt. Gen. Stephen R. Lanza, I Corps commander, said the United States' presence at the exercise reassures Americans, Australians and allied nations in Pacific that the United States means it when it says it's committed to the stability of the region.
"It conveys to people in America our commitment to re-balance in the Pacific," he said.
"The second thing is our commitment to a tremendous ally in Australia. It also conveys to Americans just how ready and trained we are to prevent and shape and win as a military. And it also conveys to our allies the commitment that we want to have, not only to military security, but also to sustaining economic security for all, and creating an environment that's productive, and where we de-escalate conflict and avoid miscalculation for the future."
Muhsin al-Fadhli, a longtime al-Qaida operative, was killed "in a kinetic strike" July 8 while traveling in a vehicle near Sarmada, Syria, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, the Defense Department’s press operations chief, said today.
Fadhli was the leader of a network of veteran al-Qaida operatives, sometimes called the Khorasan Group, who are plotting external attacks against the United States and its allies, Davis said in a statement. ... [US Department of Defense - 21/7/15]
Work moves ahead on TPP “free trade” stitchup, but nations still divided [Pew Research – 21/7/15]:
... In the U.S., public backing for the treaty, which the Obama administration regards as a key element of its “pivot” to Asia, is tepid at best. Americans support TPP by a 49%-29% margin, though nearly a quarter offer no opinion.
The strongest support for the agreement is found in Vietnam, where 89% of the public backs the potential accord. The weakest support is in the U.S. and in Malaysia (38%). The greatest outright opposition is in Canada (31%), Australia (30%) and the U.S. And about one-in-ten Americans (12%) and 31% of Malaysians say they haven’t heard of the negotiations. ...
"Call your Labor Senator!" say Australian Greens. Why not "Call ALL senators"?:
Call your Labor Senator to make sure that they know that Australians don’t want to hand over our sovereignty, our health care and our environment to big corporations.
Citigroup Inc's consumer bank ordered to pay $770 million over credit card practices [Reuters – 21/7/15]
... "What would you do if you were in my shoes? I am counting the hours until we leave," she lit a cigarette.
"All we have left are beautiful memories of rose blossoms and cherry trees," she said.
Hanan can no longer be reached on her phone line.
[Syrian refugee in Lebanon decides to head to Turkey to risk flight to Europe - UNHCR Media Release - 21/7/15]
@MSF_Sea [21/7/15]: I left Syria 4yrs ago. I ran away with my family. I am married and this is my 2month old baby. - Khalid (27). ...
@MSF_Sea [21/7/15]: UPDATE: a 4th rescue by #Dignity took place late yesterday. There were 114 ppl on the vessel in distress.
Italian coast guard rescues 414 refugees including 4 newborns [Reuters - 21/7/15]
Greek authorities say a boat carrying 150 to 200 migrants has been located adrift in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, and two merchant ships have reached it to offer help or evacuate the vessel if necessary.
The Merchant Marine Ministry said late Monday that the migrants did not appear to be in immediate danger and weather conditions were good. The vessel was some 95 miles southeast of the Greek island of Karpathos, in international waters. ... [Yahoo - 20/7/15]
European leaders fail to reach agreement on refugees [Democracy Now - 21/7/15]
… Night, night after day
Black flowers blossom …
'Teardrop', Massive Attack 
And you thought it might have been time to stop being polite and making wisecracks
Australia's protected and unaccountable Minister for Immigration holds another presser safe from scrutiny: No opposition and a silent human rights establishment allows Dutton to surround himself with establishment media types and play with a puppy.
There are refugees being tortured and sexually abused in Australian concentration camps.
There are refugees being exiled, refouled and disappeared by the Australian government.
Australia stopped accepting UNHCR refugees in October 2014.
I don't find this stuff amusing anymore, do you?
@MarkDiStef: Australian Border Force dogs are bloody adorable searching for drugs
@MarkDiStef: The Border Force sangas: - Avo, tomato, ham - Cheese, tomato, rocket, ham - Beef, tomato, rocket - Chicken, rocket
The lies are so large and have gone on for so long - has Australia reached the end of truth?
Another HUGE story being ignored by the Australian media [Guardian - 22/7/15]:
Australia’s healthcare provider for asylum seekers in detention accepted that fraud would occur within its own ranks and expected to fail a series of healthcare benchmarks set by the immigration department, leaked internal documents have revealed.
One presentation suggests ways the firm, International Health and Medical Services, can “grab from ‘the excuse bag’” when it misses government targets.
An investigation by Guardian Australia into IHMS has exposed serious concerns about the medical organisation and its relationship with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in caring for asylum seekers held in detention in Australia, Papua New Guinea and Nauru.
Leaked internal presentations show the tension at the heart of the company as it grappled with meeting professional standards of clinical care, balanced against its commercial interest in maintaining its contract with successive Australian governments and avoiding financial penalties.
The feedback notes also contain comments from an IHMS business analyst.
As a final note to the document he wrote:
“If we want we can get very tricky and tactical about this, attributing performance in a way that will minimise the financial impact. ie try to attribute bad performance to smaller sites with a smaller at risk fee. If one site is guaranteed to fail anyway you can stack on more bad performance.
“If one site is almost certain to pass then you can give them some bad performance and they will have a sufficient buffer to still pass. All of this however is driven by client movements and we do not control that.”
Compromised care and fraud acceptable to Australian doctors, nurses, health unions and professional associations?
... Instead, the association was largely concerned with appeasing the Pentagon, managing media perceptions, and deflecting questions from Capitol Hill, the report said. The motive, investigators said in the report, was to “curry favor” with the Defense Department so that psychologists would remain deeply involved in intelligence-collection activities. ... Psychologists linked to Harvard defend work with Pentagon [Boston Globe - 20/7/15]
PNG Law Society begins investigation into Young and Williams trust account
The National [21/7/15]:
The Papua New Guinea Law Society says comments made by two senior lawyers on ways that suspect funds could be transferred to Australia to bribe Papua New Guinea politicians will be thoroughly investigated.
This includes allegations about a certain Queen’s Counsel in Australia.
Law Society president Peter Kuman told The National yesterday that the society had been under pressure since SBS Television in Australia broke the story last month using secretly-filmed footage.
He said the society had resolved to appoint an independent inspector under the Lawyers’ Act to carry out investigations into the trust account in the past five years of Young and Williams, the law firm owned by lawyers Greg Sheppard and Harvey Maladina.
“That process was signed off last week,” Kuman said.
“We are waiting for Deloittes, PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG to get back to us with a quote. That investigation will look into any foreign exchange transactions done through the Central Bank, as well as look at tax returns through the IRC (Internal Revenue Commission), and so forth.
“That has been done.”
Kuman said the society had written to the lawyers’ statutory committee, which was a different body, to look into possible breaches of lawyers’ conduct rules.
“The statutory committee will investigate alleged breaches of the professional conduct rules which brings the profession into disrepute,” he said.
“The comments made (by Sheppard and Maladina), in our view, amount to possible misconduct. These two processes are underway and are ongoing at the moment.”
Sheppard and Maladina made headlines in Australia and PNG last month over the television footage in which an undercover investigator interviewed them on ways that suspect funds could be transferred to Australia by politicians in Papua New Guinea.
Engineers from InterOil and the Petroleum and Energy Department (DPE) will be leaving for Brisbane today to attend a short course on stuck pipe prevention. ... [The National - 21/7/15]
22 July 2015