Kununurra welcomes @TonyAbbottMHR ...
Image: @I_stand_for [23/8/15]
@DerschowB [23/8/15]: Broome protest against Abbott ...
Revelations of torture and rape of refugees prompt Nauru police crack down on petty theft/noise violations
The Nauru Government says it is improving opportunities to make complaints by posting two police at the Australian run detention camp for asylum seekers.
The acting Police Commissioner, Superintendent Kalinda Blake, says the officers are the first point of contact for any incident requiring police investigation.
She says it is not a response to the allegations of sexual abuse at the Australian Senate Inquiry, but is designed to make it easier for those who want to file a complaint, whether they are asylum-seekers or workers.
Superintendent Blake says a woman officer, trained in dealing with sexual assault investigations, is always on duty at the camps.
She says the deployment, now in its second week, has so far dealt with misdemeanours ranging from petty theft to noise violations.
Beyond hypocrisy: US Embassy in Port Moresby claims PNG highlanders engaging in public displays of torture
PNG Loop [23/8/15]:
The United States Government has spoken out in protest at an alleged sorcery torture public show in the Southern Highlands in the past week.
Four people were put through a public session of beatings and torture as they were alleged to have caused the deaths of other people through sorcery.
The US Embassy in Port Moresby last night issued a denunciation of the event.
The statement “deplores the brutal violence inflicted on three women and one man over the last week in Mendi. The public humiliation, beating, and burning of these individuals with hot rods following accusations of sorcery in the villages of Kave and Kumin in the Southern Highlands Province is reprehensible’’.
The statement issued by the embassy said: “We call on the provincial police authorities to investigate and prosecute those responsible for these senseless acts and for the appropriate resources and attention to be dedicated to addressing these crimes.
“Too often this sort of violence goes unreported and occurs without the perpetrators being held accountable. Adequate and timely response by the police and judicial system is needed to deter future crimes and hold perpetrators responsible for their actions.
“The United States calls for the strengthening of Papua New Guinea’s criminal justice system to allow for enhanced prevention and response efforts and proper enforcement of existing criminal laws. Furthermore, we ask the Papua New Guinean government, public, and civil society to say no to violence in their communities and put an end to the stigmas that lead to it.
“Our thoughts are with the victims’ families and
children during this difficult time.’’
"Guantánamo of the Pacific": Refugees hunger strike at Australia's offshore detention site [VIDEO - Democracy Now - 22/1/15]
Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney [14/8/15]:
... “The use of force is designed to coerce people into signing to return ‘voluntarily’.”
The action against the ‘double-negatives’ also comes on the eve of final directions hearings for Supreme Court challenge in Port Moresby, scheduled for Monday 17 August.
“The Immigration Department is trying to pre-empt the Supreme Court challenge, “ said [Ian] Rintoul.
“We will seek injunctions in the Supreme Court to prevent any removals from Manus Island, before there is a final consideration of the Supreme Court constitutional challenge to the detention centre,” said Rintoul.
“The Australian and PNG government have been abusing asylum seekers human rights since they were first moved to Manus Island. The Immigration Department would like nothing better that to remove some of the evidence by getting some of them to sign to return to their countries.”
Who is provoking the brutal attacks on women in PNG?
Fear of witchcraft 'spreading like wildfire' in PNG: police [RNZI – 28/5/15]
American missionary launches Tok Pisin Bible [The National – 27/5/15]:
The King James Version of the Bible has been translated into Tok Pisin by an American missionary and launched last Friday at Pangia station, Southern Highlands.
Hundreds of Christians flocked to the station to thank missionary Chad Wells from the Baptist Church and to view the Bible.
It is the first time the King James Version Bible had been translated into Tok Pisin. The small Bible is being sold for K35 and the bigger one costs K52.50.
Deputy Secretary for the Department of Community Development, Religion and Youth Leo Tulumbu gave K5000 to the church as an appreciation for the work done.
He said semi-educated or illiterate people would benefit from the Tok Pisin Bible to easily understand the word of God.
“The Government and churches are working in partnership and Christians must pray hard so that the word of the Lord will change this nation and people’s lives,” he said.
Michael Wilson, deputy chairman of the Body of Christ, said every parliamentarian must have a copy of the Tok Pisin Bible by September this year.
Woman accused of sorcery in Papua New Guinea axed to death, missionary says [ABC – 23/5/15]:
... The victim, identified only as Misila, was one three women saved by missionaries and police in January after being accused of practising sorcery. ...
Magical, mystical, secretive and exclusive "citizenship listening tour" gets under way
Nine MSN [20/8/15]:
Australians are about to get their say on the federal government's plans to strip citizenship from terror suspects with dual nationality.
A community listening tour will hold hearings in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Darwin, Adelaide, Perth and Tasmania during the next fortnight.
"There is strong support for mechanisms for suspending privileges of Australian citizenship from people ... who would stand against Australia," parliamentary secretary Concetta Fierravanti-Wells told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.
Bigoted Australian government review of Halal certification greenlights bigotry [Sydney Morning Herald – 21/8/15]
Counter-terrorism related sanctions listing
[Foreign Minister Media Release – 20/8/15]
Seven men carrying large sums of cash have been stopped from boarding flights out of Australia allegedly to join terrorists in the Middle East.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said more than 350 people had been stopped from departing Australia in 2014-15 and this was the largest single group. ... [Nine MSN - 20/8/15]
Nine MSN [20/8/15]:
A man accused of plotting a "grave" terrorist attack in Australia is being treated as a convicted felon by being held in Goulburn Supermax with prisoners of "ill-repute", his barrister says.
It was an awkward few moments when Omarjan Azari appeared on video link at the Supreme Court on Thursday to make his bail application and refused to speak.
Instead, when asked if he could hear, he gave Justice Peter Garling the thumbs up.
"This is most unusual ... why should I hear an application of someone who doesn't want to speak?" Justice Garling asked.
"If there had been someone there to give him proper advice we may well know the precise reason and advise him as to the silliness of that behaviour," Azari's barrister Winston Terracini SC said later.
But he said the Legal Aid grant Azari had been awarded was not sufficient for lawyers and counsel to visit him in Goulburn and properly prepare his case.
Both he and barrister Steve Boland were making the bail application pro bono.
Mr Terracini said Azari was the first person to be held in Supermax while on remand and that he could have served almost three years in custody under these harsh conditions by the time his matter comes to trial.
"There is only one other remand prisoner in that institution (now)," Mr Terracini said, referring to Sulayman Khalid, who was caught up in anti-terrorism raids last year.
"All others are persons of ill-repute, sentenced to either life imprisonment or other lengthy sentences ... It is simply unfair to have an accused kept in this way."
But barrister for the Commonwealth Peter Neil SC said Azari was involved in a "gravely serious plot" to kill innocent people.
"There is no suggestion that what was being plotted in September (last year) was not going to take place when the time was ripe."
Azari, who has been charged with a number of offences including conspiring to commit murder and doing an act in preparation for a terrorist attack, was allegedly urged to "pick a random unbeliever" and them, and then film the body next to an ISIS flag.
In one conversation, Azari was allegedly instructed by Islamic State member Mohammad Baryalei to choose backpackers or tourists from America, France or Britain as "that would be better".
Justice Garling adjourned his decision on the application until September 3, saying it would help if he knew why Azari was being held in Supermax.
"I'm particularly concerned that any person who is on remand is unable to have free and effective access ... to their lawyers to prepare a defence."
PSPA declared, Molendinar
QPS Media [23/8/15]:
Police have declared an emergent situation under the Public Safety Preservation Act following an incident in Molendinar this evening.
The declared area takes in Rosegum Drive, Sugargum Court, Crestwood Drive and Lilydale Place.
Police are asking motorists to avoid the area if possible.
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.
Drug seizure, Molendinar [QPS Media - 23/8/15]
Melbourne car park shooter still at large [Nine MSN – 20/8/15]
Nine MSN [20/8/15]:
An exclusion zone around a disused petrol station on South Australia's Yorke Peninsula has been lifted.
Police were called to the Marno Street property at 2am on Thursday following reports of suspicious activity.
Homes and businesses within a 300-metre radius were evacuated and people were only able to return about 7pm.
Three local men have been arrested and police allege they poured an unknown substance into two underground petrol tanks, each containing about 200 litres of fuel.
The trio - two aged 27 and one aged 31 - have been bailed to appear in the Maitland Court on November 10.
No action over East Perth Watch House strip search
Nine MSN [20/8/15]:
The West Australian police officers who punched a woman and broke her finger during a strip search at the East Perth Watch House will not face criminal or disciplinary action.
Joanne Therese Martin, 33, was arrested for disorderly behaviour in April 2013 after she was attacked while trying to help her boyfriend during a fight.
A Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC) investigation found that when Ms Martin refused to remove her underwear during a strip search at the watch house because she believed it was a violation, she was punched with "distraction strikes" to her arm and had "hammer fist" blows to her shoulder blades.
Officers also tried to remove Ms Martin's ring, leaving her with a broken finger that later required the insertion of a rod.
But Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan said the officers - two of whom were no longer on the force - would not face criminal or disciplinary action because of the amount of time that had passed.
"We believe that Ms Martin escalated the use of force that was required in that incident, which is one reason why we believe that the process used by the police was lawful," he told reporters.
Mr O'Callaghan denied claims Ms Martin was walked through the reception area naked while being relocated to a padded cell, saying she was covered in a blanket.
He said strip searchers would soon start to be replaced with scanners, which would be less invasive.
While the CCC said the case was the result of "institutionalised failure" by the WA Police to correctly apply the law and procedures, Mr O'Callaghan said it was an old incident at a watch house that was now closed.
"Many of the issues which were raised in this particular report and which were problematic back in 2013 are no longer problematic because in about April 2014, we moved to the new watch house," he said.
"The new watch house has better access, it has areas where people can be properly searched, it is easier to keep an eye on prisoners (and) we have a different management structure."
Former Queensland police officer misused database: CCC
A former Queensland police officer will face court for allegedly misusing the service's internal database.
The Crime and Corruption Commission alleges the 49-year-old former officer unlawfully accessed the QPrime database on 50 occasions for his personal benefit.
He'll front Brisbane Magistrates Court on September 9 on 50 counts of misconduct or computer hacking.
Training dogs to attack human beings is not good policing - it is fascism - as is relentlessly promoting savagery --> Police dogs like Diesel are highly trained to assist officers with arrests, and as a result they too face danger in the line of duty. ... [ABC - 21/8/15]
Man arrested for defending himself while being savaged by police dog [West Australian – 20/8/15]
Man charged with unlawful wounding after stabbing, Gladstone [Yahoo 23/8/15]
Four charged after police seize 1.5kg of cannabis and ammunication in car, Gold Coast [Yahoo - 23/8/15]
10-year-old boy charged with arson after fire destroys police beat shopfront, Mt Isa [Yahoo - 23/8/15]
A Brisbane private school boarder arrested over a drugs scandal has been let off with a good behaviour bond but now has to finish his studies elsewhere.
The magistrate did not record a conviction.
"(It was a) terrible mistake that he made once," Mr Bale said outside.
"A demonstration of how young people have to be very careful about what they're doing these days." ... [Yahoo - 20/8/15]
16-year-old charged with robbery, Surfers Paradise [QPS Media – 19/8/15]
There has been a $16.7 million blowout in the cost of running Queensland's youth boot camps, with Attorney-General Yvette D'ath announcing they will be shut. ... [ABC - 20/8/15]
Children under 12 among growing homeless [West Australian - 20/8/15]
Armed robbery, Inala [QPS Media - 23/8/15]
A man and a woman will face court on Saturday after they allegedly broke into an Ipswich home and threatened the homeowner with a gun. ... [Yahoo - 22/8/15]
Police are searching for two men wanted over a Gold Coast high-rise shooting.
The pair barged into a room at the Mantra Crown Towers resort at Surfers Paradise on Friday. ... [Yahoo - 22/8/15]
Burglary with violence, Burleigh Waters [QPS Media – 22/8/15]
Armed robbery, Woody Point [QPS Media - 22/8/15]
Armed robbery, Clontarf [QPS Media - 21/8/15]
Assault and attempted robbery, Slacks Creek [QPS Media - 21/8/15]
Robbery with violence charge, Gympie [QPS Media - 20/8/15]
Assault charge, Rockmount
QPS Media [20/8/15]:
Detectives from the Forest Hill Stock and Rural Crime Investigation Squad have charged two men in relation to an incident involving a 59 year old woman at Rockmount on the 6th of July 2015.
Police will allege that the two men unlawfully entered the victims Rockmount property whilst pig hunting in the area. It will be alleged that when discovered by the victim, a 34 year old man has assaulted the victim and stolen her mobile phone.
A man has been charged with Assault with intent to Steal, Stealing and Unlawfully Entering Farming Land. A second man has been charged with Unlawfully Entering Farming Land.
Both men will appear in the Gatton Magistrates Court on the 7th of September 2015.
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.
Attempted murder charge, Sunnybank
QPS Media [22/8/15]:
A 31-year-old man has been charged with attempted murder following an incident that occurred in Sunnybank on Thursday morning.
Police were called to an address on Dixon Street around 6am following reports that a woman had been assaulted.
It will be alleged the man stabbed a 23-year-old woman, known to the man, a number of times.
The woman had stab wounds to her chest and the back of her neck and was taken to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in a serious but non-life threatening condition.
The 31-year-old man was also treated for stab wounds and taken to the Princess Alexandra Hospital.
The man was charged with one count each of attempted murder, acts intended to cause grievous bodily harm and wounding.
He is due to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court today.
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.
Husband makes emotional Facebook plea over missing Perth mum [WA Today – 21/8/15]
Firearms charges, Sunnybank
QPS Media [21/8/15]:
Police have charged two people with various offences after locating an alleged stolen vehicle yesterday.
At about 3:50pm police observed a Mercedes sedan on Compton Road Sunnybank Hills. The vehicle was allegedly stolen from a Parkinson home on Wednesday.
Whilst it was stationary in traffic police approached the vehicle and arrested the driver and passenger.
It will be alleged that a search of the vehicle and two people located a quantity of drugs, cash and a 22 calibre handgun.
A 33-year-old Lowood man has been charged with one count of unlawful use of a motor vehicle, unlawful possession of a weapon, possess dangerous drug, possess property suspected of being proceeds of an offence under drugs misuse act, supply dangerous drug and carry weapon in public place.
A 21-year-old Greenbank woman has been charged with two counts of unlawful use of a motor vehicle, two counts of possess dangerous drug and one count each of burglary and possess utensil.
Both are due to appear in the Richlands Magistrates Court today.
Stealing, Sunnybank Hills
QPS Media [19/8/15]:
Police are investigating two stealing incidents that occurred in Sunnybank Hills this afternoon.
Initial investigations indicate about 5.25pm a man entered a hairdressers in a shopping centre on Compton Road and stole a cash register by cutting the power cord.
He was apprehended by members of the public but he broke away and left in a white Holden utility.
The cash register was left behind.
Police believe the same person has then entered a bakery in another shopping centre across Compton Road and stolen another cash register and placed it in the back of the white utility.
The business owner was able to retrieve the register before the man drove away from the shopping centre.
There were no injuries to members of the public.
Police are appealing for anyone who may have information that may assist their investigations to contact Crime Stoppers.
Police investigate after seriously injured man found in Perth suburb of Bentley [ABC - 20/8/15]
A man has been charged after threatening a female driver with a handgun during a road rage incident on the Gold Coast. … [Yahoo – 20/8/15]
The death of a man found outside a set of Bentley units yesterday afternoon is now a homicide investigation with police wishing to speak to another man seen arguing with the victim. ... [West Australian - 21/8/15]
Update, missing teen, Gatton
QPS Media [21/8/15]:
Police are continuing to appeal for public assistance to help locate missing 16-year-old Jayde Kendall, who was last seen in Gatton last week.
Jayde was last seen at around 3.15pm on Friday, August 14, in Highview Avenue.
Police have released images (pictured) of a vehicle of interest, and would like to speak with anyone who may have seen the car in the Gatton area.
The red 2003 model Toyota Corolla hatchback is believed to have travelled in the Gatton business district and surround on Friday August 14 between 3pm and 6pm.
The car may have been driven by a man described as being Caucasian, around 18-years of age, 180cm tall, with dark hair.
Anyone who saw the car, or has information which may be of assistance is urged to contact police.
Entrapment is not good policing and it doesn't keep the community safe [QPS Media - 21/8/15]: ... The man was unaware he was in fact, communicating the entire time with a Task Force Argos investigator. ...
Police have charged a 35-year-old man with carry exposed weapon in a public place after an incident in Varsity Lakes last night.
It will be alleged that about 11.45pm the man was seen in the car park of a licensed premises on Christine Avenue with a long bow.
The man did not enter the premises or make any threats or demands.
Police located the man in Lake Orr Drive shortly afterwards.
The Varsity Lakes man is to appear in the Southport Magistrates Court on September 7. ... [QPS Media - 22/8/15]
Australian Federal Police raid two properties as part of fraud investigation into charity Titans 4 Tomorrow [ABC – 21/8/15]
Stalking and fraud charges, Brisbane
QPS Media [20/8/15]:
Police have charged a 30-year-old New South Wales man following an investigation into alleged stalking and fraudulent activity in Brisbane earlier this year.
It will be alleged a man stalked a 33-year-old woman between July 31 and August 19 this year, including harassing her through telephone calls, text messages and emails.
It will be further alleged the man changed her personal details and information through official records and engaged the services of private investigators.
It will also be alleged between May 28 and August 14, a man attended a Kallangur address and provided a quote for fence work after the resident responded to an advertisement.
The victim provided a deposit, however it will be alleged the man failed to return to carry out the work.
A 30-year-old New South Wales man has been charged with one count of unlawful stalking, and three counts of fraud.
He is expected to appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court today.
Wilful damage, Narangba
QPS Media [20/8/15]:
Police have charged a man with wilful damage after a Golden Wattle Drive business allegedly had cement blocks thrown at several windows.
A 23-year-old Burpengary man has been charged with one count of wilful damage is due to appear in the Caboolture Magistrates Court on September 10.
The second man remains outstanding and was wearing a white cap with a black brim, black short sleeved shirt and black jeans.
No property was stolen and police investigations are continuing.
Fatal traffic crash, Oakview [QPS Media - 23/8/15]
Serious traffic crash, Mia Mia [QPS Media - 23/8/15]
Two pedestrians seriously injured after being hit by car, Adelaide [West Australian – 23/8/15]
Serious injury crashes on rise in Queensland over past 15 years [Yahoo – 21/8/15]
Man sentenced to at least 18 months' jail for hitting seven cyclists in Sydney's eastern suburbs [ABC - 21/8/15]
A bicycle advocacy group boss has slammed Brisbane City Council as "negligent" after failing for nearly a decade to address cyclist safety on a major feeder route for students commuting to the University of Queensland.
Cyclist numbers along Annerley Road and Stanley Street in Brisbane's south increased dramatically after the opening of the Eleanor Schonell green bridge connecting the city's southside with the university's St Lucia campus in 2006.
But Bicycle Queensland chief executive Ben Wilson said council had only this year taken steps to address long-standing safety issues, causing many student cyclists to continue risking their lives riding unprotected in traffic. ... [Brisbane Times - 21/8/15]
Woman speaks out after being left for dead by Melbourne hit-and-run driver [Nine MSN – 21/8/15]
A pedestrian has been struck down, possibly by two cars, in Sydney’s north.
The woman, believed to be 60 years old, was hit on Victoria Road at Gladesville shortly after 10am.
She was treated by paramedics at the scene for suspected head injuries but was conscious and breathing. ... [Nine MSN - 21/8/15]
NT Police car hits two elderly men [Nine MSN – 20/8/15]:
A police car is believed to have reversed into two elderly men after dropping them off at a Darwin home.
One man suffered minor injuries and was taken to hospital for observation while the other man was uninjured in the incident, which is now the subject of an internal review.
NT Police say they believe the car reversed into the pair after returning them to the home of one of the men in Darwin about 4.30pm on Wednesday.
A 14-year-old boy has died after being hit by a car in Perth. ... [Nine MSN - 20/8/15]
V8 Supercars star James Courtney has been taken to hospital after being hit by debris blown over by a low-flying Navy helicopter at Sydney Motorsport Park.
The driver was struck in the chest and ribs by a piece of hoarding outside the Holden Racing Team's garage barely 10 minutes before Friday's second practice session.
The helicopter was flying over pitlane as part of a military demonstration. ... [Nine MSN - 21/8/15]
Nets kill over 600 sharks off Queensland coast in past financial year [ABC – 21/8/15]
The Queensland mining community of Blackwater has been rocked by the announcement that BMA plans to outsource 306 more positions.
Of those employees, around 150 are currently permanent and they will be redeployed at BMA sites or offered voluntary redundancies.
The remaining are contract workers whose future is uncertain. ... [ABC - 21/8/15]
Broome TAFE lecturer keeps job after threatening to break student's legs [WA Today – 21/8/15]
A former government scientist who says he endured a "brutal campaign of bullying and harassment by CSIRO management" has won his bid for compensation. ... [Canberra Times - 21/8/15]
A man is in a stable condition in hospital after suffering serious neck and back injuries from a fall at a construction site in Sydney's inner west.
The man, believed to be in his 30s, fell about two metres down a half-constructed stairwell at the Mascot site on Thursday morning. ... [Nine MSN - 20/8/15]
Defence fined over soldier's death in SA [Nine MSN – 20/8/15]
Hearings conclude in Grantham flood inquiry
An inquiry into the devastating 2011 Grantham flood that claimed 12 lives has finished hearing public evidence.
The Grantham Floods Commission of Inquiry has spent four weeks hearing evidence from witnesses including residents, emergency services, the mayor and experts to determine what happened when the small southeast Queensland town was inundated by unprecedented flooding on January 10, 2011.
One of the last people to give evidence at the inquiry was civil engineer John Macintosh.
He spent four days on the stand answering technical questions about a report he completed considering the effects a quarry on the town's outskirts and a railway embankment had on the flooding.
The fresh inquiry came about after residents disputed the findings of a broader probe in 2012, the Queensland Floods Commission on Inquiry, which found the quarry, then owned by prominent businessman Denis Wagner and his family, didn't have an impact on the flooding.
Surprisingly, Dr Macintosh's report found the quarry actually slowed the flooding because water flowed into its large pit before breaching bund walls nearby.
His report did find, however, that the railway embankment increased the flood's intensity in some areas.
But Dr Macintosh was quick to point out the weather event causing the flooding was so extreme that Grantham would have been heavily impacted whether the railway embankment and quarry were there or not.
The inquiry also heard from Mr Wagner, who denied his quarry contributed to the flooding, and spoke about the hardships he and his family had suffered because of the incident, including a trial by media.
"There are some terribly vindictive people in media, particularly radio media, that have very little regard for the truth," he told the inquiry last month.
Several residents, some who came close to losing their own lives, also gave tearful testimonies, using the inquiry for cathartic purposes just as much as they were to provide vital information.
"You could just see the terror in his eyes," resident Marty Warburton recalled as he described the moment he helplessly watched a man be swept away in the floodwaters.
Lawyers for various parties involved in the inquiry, will provide written (August 28) and oral submissions (September 14-15) to Commissioner Walter Sofronoff QC in coming weeks.
Mr Sofronoff will provide his findings and recommendations to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk by September 30.
Lazarus establishes Senate Inquiry into establishment of national registration system for paramedics
Senator Lazarus Media Release [20/8/15]:
Queensland Senator Glenn Lazarus today secured the support of the Australian Senate to establish a Senate Inquiry into the establishment of a national registration system for Australian paramedics.
“I have undertaken extensive consultations with paramedics across Queensland and national registration is one of the most important issues facing the sector,” Senator Glenn Lazarus said today.
“I promised paramedics that I would take the issue on board and do whatever I could to assist them.
“Today I delivered on my promise.
“I am extremely pleased to have secured an inquiry into the issue and have no doubt the inquiry will result in findings to support the need for Australia to establish a national registration system for paramedics.
“There are some 13,000 paramedics working in Australia and they are one of the few health practitioners who can administer drugs and deliver babies and yet they are not registered as healthcare professionals.
“Paramedics are usually the first people to arrive at vehicle accidents and the first people we call when we need emergency assistance.
“They save lives every day.
“Paramedics deal with complex medical situations across a diverse range of challenging and emergency settings without direct supervision.
“Despite this, the paramedic profession is largely unregulated.
“Clearly, national registration for paramedics is essential. It will ensure paramedics are nationally recognised and professionally registered as per other healthcare professions.
“It will also ensure paramedics hold nationally recognised qualifications enabling them to move from job to job across state borders on a national basis. This will improve job mobility for paramedics and improve health care services across the country.
“Achieving national registration is essential for paramedics. Paramedics deserve to be recognised nationally as registered professionals. National registration will provide the same level of public protection and support for workforce mobility as for other health professions such as medicine and nursing,” said Steve McGhie, President, National Council of Ambulance Unions.
“I am extremely grateful for Senator Lazarus’ work in progressing the interests of paramedics across the country.”
“As a footballer who has been taken from the field to hospital in an ambulance and as a father who has taken several of my children to hospital in the back of an ambulance, I have only the utmost respect for the work that paramedics do,” Senator Lazarus added.
“I look forward to heading up the paramedics inquiry and working hard to achieve results for paramedics across the country.”
Senate fails to call for investigation into Montara oil spill six years after the tragic event [Greens Media Release – 20/8/15]
China rocked by second deadly chemical plant blast in two weeks
A huge explosion ripped through a chemical plant in eastern China, killing one person and injuring nine, Xinhua news agency said, less than two weeks after two deadly blasts destroyed a warehouse storing chemicals in the northeast.
The fire on Saturday night in Huantai in the eastern province of Shandong was put out after about five hours and authorities said no contamination has been detected, Xinhua said.
But the disaster is bound to raise more questions about safety standards in a country where industrial accidents are all too common following three decades of fast economic growth. A blast at an auto parts factory killed 75 people a year ago.
Windows shattered in the village where the blast occurred, state media said, and tremors could be felt 2 km (1 mile) away. Some 150 fire fighters and 20 fire engines were sent to the scene.
The explosion destroyed a factory belonging to Runxing Chemical, a subsidiary of the Runxing Group with 200 million yuan ($31 million) in registered capital, Xinhua reported.
The factory produced adiponitrile, a colorless liquid that releases poisonous gases when it reacts with fire, according to Xinhua.
On Aug. 12, two explosions at a warehouse storing dangerous chemicals devastated an industrial park in the northeastern port city of Tianjin, killing at least 121 people, including 67 fire fighters. More than 700 people were injured and thousands were evacuated because of the risk posed by chemicals stored at the site.
The Ministry of Public Security, China's police, said in a statement posted on its website that investigations into the Tianjin blasts were continuing and more time was needed before any conclusions could be reached.
Public anger against the government has surged in Tianjin among residents of apartments near the blasts who believed authorities neglected to police the firm, Tianjin Dongjiang Port Ruihai International Logistics, which owned the warehouse.
@Pearson_LM [23/8/15]: #stoptheTPP: human rights not corporate rule! [Martin Place, Sydney]
Trans-Pacific Partnership: Nothing sweet about free trade deal for Australian sugar growers [ABC – 19/8/15]
Christchurch cleaning company Minions and Me has captured the attention of lawyers for Hollywood's Universal Pictures.
The film studio is unhappy the cleaning firm has used the name of the animated characters featured in the movies Despicable Me and Minions, and has included images of the little yellow men in its advertising.
Universal has given the Christchurch company 14 days to stop using the name and the images or potentially face legal action.
Minions and Me Cleaning owner Bridgit Veenings said she was happy to remove the little yellow men from her website and the side of her van, but could not see why she should have to change her company's name.
She said she registered the name before the movies came out and no red flags were raised.
"We specialise in builder's claims, move-outs and hoarders - we're not the movie. Nobody thinks that little round yellow people are going to turn up to do their cleaning."
Ms Veenings said the word minions had been around a lot longer than any of the movies and she should be able to use it.
They don't want a "rail trail". They want their fucking train back. [Tweed Shire Echo - 19/8/15]:
A Tweed shire councillor is pushing for an even bigger rail trail project for the shire, just weeks after the state government knocked back funding for a pilot rail trail in the town.
The $1.2 million rail trail from Murwillumbah’s disused railway station to its popular regional art gallery was part of a grand $75 million regional rail-trail bid. ...
China Railway will hold a week-long exhibition in one of Jakarta's most upscale shopping malls to gain local favor as the company competes against Japan to win the first high-speed rail project in the archipelago nation, from Jakarta to Bandung. ... [Jakarta Globe - 13/8/15]
7 killed as typhoon hits northern Philippines
Channel News Asia [22/8/15]:
Seven people were killed while thousands fled to higher ground as powerful Typhoon Goni brought torrential rains to the northern Philippines, triggering landslides and floods, officials said Saturday.
Six people died in the highlands of Benguet and Mountain provinces after they were buried in rocks and mud. A man was killed in nearby Ilocos Norte province after he was hit by a falling tree, according to Alexander Pama, executive director of the national disaster council.
Two others were reported missing in flooded areas while four people were injured, according to a disaster council report. Roughly 1,200 people had been evacuated by Saturday, the report said.
Typhoon Goni was 140km northeast of the northern province of Cagayan on Saturday morning, with winds of up to 195kph, according to the state weather bureau.
In the northern province of Abra, two straight days of heavy rains caused a major river to overflow, governor Eustaquio Bersamin said. "We've been hit hard by rains. The Abra river has turned into an ocean," Bersamin told DZMM radio.
At least six families were trapped in riverbank villages and will be rescued, he said. "The rains were much stronger than we expected," he said.
The storm is the ninth out of an average of 20 that hit the Philippines each year and is now heading to Taiwan, the weather bureau said.
Taiwan has evacuated people from outlying islands and troops are on standby for disaster relief as it takes precautions against heavy rains expected this weekend.
Towering waves crashed against the island's eastern coast Saturday morning, although people were still on the beach in the southern region of Kenting.
Sweden asks Amnesty to study its prostitution legislation
The Local [20/8/15]:
Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallström has said that she would like Amnesty representatives to look more closely at her country's pioneering prostitution law, amid disappointment from Swedish members of the human rights group who wanted Amnesty to call for similar initiatives worldwide.
In a highly controversial move, Amnesty International delegates voted in favour of supporting the legalisation of prostitution for buyers, sellers, pimps and brothel owners, in direct contrast to the strategy in Sweden, where paying for sex is illegal.
Sweden was the first country in the world in 1999 to make it illegal to pay for sexual services in a bid to quash demand.
Wallström told the AFP news agency in an interview late on Wednesday that she was "very surprised" by Amnesty's decision.
"They've lost a lot and not gained very much by doing so. There are a lot of people who have left Amnesty," she said.
"We think there is good reason for Amnesty to come here and look at our system," she said.
She said the foreign ministry planned to invite Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty to Stockholm.
Last week a spokesperson for Amnesty Sweden was unable to tell The Local exactly how many members had quit the Swedish arm of the organization, but estimated the figure was “around 500”.
The Swedish model has been followed in Norway, Iceland, Northern Ireland and Barcelona.
... There are important reasons why it is a gigantic misstep for Amnesty to advocate for the decriminalization of sex buyers.
First, the empirical evidence of potential benefits from making it permissible to purchase sex is weak while the costs may be enormous.
New Zealand decriminalized prostitution in 2003 and yet the country’s Prostitution Law Review Committee found in its evaluation that a majority of prostituted persons felt that the decriminalization act “could do little about violence [in prostitution].”
t the same time, several studies have found that countries where buying sex is decriminalized, sex trafficking is more prevalent. ... [The Globe and Mail - 14/8/15]
United States, "allies" continue bombing Syria and Iraq
US Department of Defense [22/8/15]:
U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Airstrikes in Syria
Attack and fighter aircraft conducted five airstrikes in Syria:
-- Near Hasakah, an airstrike destroyed four ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Hawl, three airstrikes struck an ISIL bunker and destroyed two ISIL excavators.
-- Near Kobani, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
Airstrikes in Iraq
Attack, bomber, fighter, fighter-attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 22 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with the government of Iraq:
-- Near Baghdadi, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL weapons cache.
-- Near Beiji, four airstrikes struck one large and one small ISIL tactical units and terrain features denying ISIL a tactical advantage and destroyed five ISIL buildings, two ISIL heavy machine guns and two ISIL vehicles.
-- Near Habbaniyah, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Haditha, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL boats, an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL mortar system.
-- Near Kisik, two airstrikes struck two ISIL staging areas.
-- Near Mosul, four airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, two ISIL rocket firing positions and an ISIL mortar firing position and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Ramadi, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL weapons cache.
-- Near Sinjar, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Sultan Abdallah, an airstrike struck an ISIL mortar firing position and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Tal Afar, two airstrikes struck two ISIL mortar firing positions and destroyed an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL heavy machine gun.
-- Near Tuz, three airstrikes destroyed 11 ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL vehicles and ISIL engineering equipment.
Kabul car bomb kills 12 including NATO contractors [Naharnet - 22/8/15]
At least 14 militants were killed and nine others wounded in southern Kandahar and central Maidan provinces in different security incidents, officials said on Saturday. ... [Pajhwok - 22/8/15]
More than 200 international naval personnel are working to make a difference in the world’s newest nation in landlocked South Sudan.
Among them are three Australian Navy maritime logistics officers serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan in support, admin and logistics roles. ... [Navy Daily - 23/8/15]
We Come As Friends explores the beautiful nightmare of South Sudan [The Intercept - 22/8/15]:
As a filmmaker, Hubert Sauper does not take the road less traveled. That would be far too easy. He doesn’t, in fact, take roads much at all. First he spent two years on his French farm building his own ultralight plane out of tin and canvas and lawnmower wheels. Then, in 2010, he flew it from France to southern Sudan. And then things got interesting. ...
The Austrian-born Sauper spent the next two years flitting around the country in his rickety, two-seat, single-engine prop plane, keeping his eyes open and his camera rolling.
The result, We Come As Friends (which opened in New York on August 14 and will screen nationwide throughout the fall), is an improbable, cinematic magical mystery tour of a documentary: a portrait of a new nation being born out of the ashes of civil war amid a swarm of self-professed do-good American evangelicals, expat humanitarians, Chinese oil workers, and South Sudanese power brokers — most of whom seem to do anything but good.
... Its plane is expected to arrive in Sierra Leone's capital Monrovia in coming weeks and the evacuation service will be available to calls from Liberia, Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana.
"You can imagine how important a medical evacuation service would be in north-west Africa and at the moment there is a need for a commercial service that doesn't yet exist," Aspen medical co-founder Glenn Keys said.
"We expect there to be an enormous demand as organisations start to come back to Africa after the Ebola outbreak, particularly the oil and gas and banking companies." ... [Canberra Times - 22/8/15]
US Court rejects rule on labeling goods containing "conflict minerals" [Democracy Now - 21/8/15]:
Since 1998, more than 5 million people have died in the Democratic Republic of Congo in what has been described as the deadliest documented conflict in African history.
Much of the fighting has been over precious minerals including tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold.
Tantalum has become a precious commodity in the digital age — it’s found in cellphones, DVD players, laptops and hard drives.
Human rights groups have long pushed for mandatory labeling of so-called "conflict minerals" in order to allow consumers and investors to avoid fueling the bloody conflict through the purchase of their products.
The mandatory disclosure policy became law as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act.
But this week a federal appeals court ruled the Securities and Exchange Commission cannot force companies to disclose whether minerals come from the Democratic Republic of Congo because the mandatory labeling would violate the companies’ freedom of speech.
We speak to Zorka Milin, senior legal adviser with Global Witness. ...
... When the Iran-Iraq war began, over a million very young men lost their lives in that war. Henry Kissinger said at the beginning of that war, eight years the war, “I hope they kill each other”. And that was exactly our policy. What could be better – have them kill each other – then who has to worry about that region anymore, you know? And don’t think that is not exactly our policy all over the world where there are poor peoples living today. That’s the solution to over-population – call it triage, whatever you want to call it. Let them kill each other, let them die. And they are dying all over Asia, Africa, and Latin America, where the masses of poor people live. They are expendable there as they are expendable here. ...
Ramsey Clark, Former US Attorney General 
What I've learned about US foreign policy: The war against the third world:
SEGMENT 12 Ramsey Clark, former US Attorney General Former Attorney General of the United States speaking in 1998 in Los Angeles.
I was there that night and it was a very memorable evening called "Save the Iraqi Children."
Ramsey's talk is very powerful as he conveys the sorry truth about U.S. foreign policy.
He quotes Martin Luther King Jr. saying, "The greatest purveyor of violence on the earth is my own government."
The entire evening's event was filmed by Ralph Cole of Justice Vision.
Italian navy rescues 3,000 refugees in Mediterranean
The Italian navy rescued 3,000 migrants aboard more than a dozen boats in the Mediterranean on Saturday after receiving requests for help from 22 vessels, the coast guard said.
Operations are continuing and it is still unclear where the people will be taken, a spokesman said.
@guardiacostiera [22/8/15]: Nave Fiorillo e le motovedette CP285 e CP319 della #GuardiaCostiera portano in salvo ulteriori 680 migranti
@MSF_Sea [22/8/15]: This man and his wife ran a hairdressing salon in #Nigeria but they had to leave it all behind to flee Boko Haram
"We think the price is worth it"
Former US Sectretary of State Madeline Albright on the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children.
New York Times [ 21/8/15]:
... Everything seemed O.K. — until the storm hit. Winds, rain and waves pounded our weak wooden boat. A vessel full of people who had escaped terror at home found that once again our lives were on the line.
We screamed and cried. Someone deep inside the crowd shouted in Farsi, asking if anyone could speak English. I yelled out that I could, and I was hustled forward to the bridge. The captain had already called for help. I was handed a satellite phone. Seconds later I was talking with someone from Australian search and rescue.
“Hello. Can you hear me? Hello? ... We are asylum-seekers in distress on a boat. Our boat is broken and we will drown!”
Rescue: “Could you read me your G.P.S. location?”
I didn’t know how to do that. I had never used a satellite phone before, but I was guided by a voice in my other ear.
Rescue: “What do you wish us to do for you?”
“We are in a real bad situation, sir. We will drown. Our boat is broken. We are nearly 100 people on board. Could you please rescue us?”
Rescue: “What do you wish we do for you?”
“We wish to be rescued, sir! I repeat, sir, we wish to be rescued!”
We stayed low in the boat, helpless, counting every second. They’d said 15 to 25 minutes. Seventeen hours passed. It appeared that the Australians didn’t believe our plea for help.
In desperation, I called an Australian journalist I knew in Jakarta to ask if he could alert the Indonesian authorities.
Nine hours later, a warning bell heralded the arrival of Indonesian search and rescue. We were given first-aid and water. It felt like a miraculous act of kindness. ...
Naqsh Murtaza is a former television news presenter writing a book about his experiences as an asylum seeker.
The Australian Defence Force Nordic Ski and Biathlon competitors had their resilience tested as Mother Nature turned on extremes of wind-driven snow during Exercise Cool Shot 2015.
The annual competition held at Mount Hotham, Victoria, combines the independent disciplines of Nordic skiing and small bore sports rifle shooting into the challenging sport called Nordic Biathlon. ... [Navy Daily - 20/8/15]
Benefits of hosting Australia's billion dollar refugee death camp: Manus fears typhoid outbreak with water shortage
PNG Loop [23/8/15]:
Saving and using water wisely is what village elders are telling women and children as water sources dry up on Manus Island.
In Hahai village of Pak Island people are rationing water after a two month dry spell.
Water levels in tanks are going down and people are using water only in the mornings and in the evenings.
A villager elder told LOOP News that people use well water for laundry and other household chores but not for consumption.
This is because of high salinity levels in the water taken from dug out wells.
They fear fresh water will run out in the next two months if it doesn’t rain.
Meanwhile the Manus Disaster office has reported that 12 Local Level Government areas have been affected.
Bush fires and the lack of rainfall have created a shortage of food and water.
They also fear diseases like typhoid as a result
of water shortage.
Fascism 101: Ignore the "Guantanamo of the Pacific" human rights atrocity [PNG Loop - 22/8/15]:
The Western Island of Manus has been identifed as the potential tourism destination for both local and overseas tourists.
Manus Governor Charlie Benjimen said K200,000 has been allocated to market the destination to investors.
The funding will be for a Corporate TV documentary on the island and travel magazine to be circulate to travel agents. ...
... DIBP workers in the refugee program would often refer to the refugees as ungrateful animals due to their protests. DIBP staff would maintain that they ‘do not give in to terrorists’, and negate the requests and demands from refugees of better conditions or more of a response. ...
Submission 80 - Nauru Senate Inquiry
Submission 97 - Nauru Senate Inquiry:
... The very processes in place within the camp appeared to me to degrade clients.
These processes included referring to clients by their allocated number as well as scanning men, women and children anytime they entered a new area.
Other concerns were more subtle including the tones of voice used with clients which I believe could often be viewed as being aggressive or condescending.
I recall one woman crying at the gates requesting that she be able to access a phone as she believed a family member had passed away at home and was told to “be quiet” by security staff.
Another incident occurred when a number of clients were seated by the main gate requesting informing about when the power to fans would return as they had been off for most of the day and clients were extremely uncomfortable with one man having a sick child with him.
They were told in what I viewed to be an aggressive manner “sit down and wait” with the security worker devaluing their concerns by saying to other staff “god- you’d think it was the end of the world”.
When are refugees on Nauru to be given the opportunity to provide evidence to the Nauru Senate Inquiry?
Not one woman from Nauru detention camp has been interviewed by Senate committee.
Are Lib&LabSenators afraid of the truth?
"tweeted" by @pamelacurr [22/8/15]
India's PM pledges to fund solar power projects, distribution of generic medicines to Pacific Island countries
India's prime minister has pledged to fund solar power projects and the distribution of generic medicines to Pacific Island countries.
Narendra Modi's pledge comes at the end of a summit with the leaders of 14 Pacific countries in the western state of Rajasthan.
India will fund solar power to thousands of homes, and extend help to build human resources and space technology for disaster management and to mitigate the effects of climate change.
He also pledged a greater Indian Naval presence, as well as the expansion of trade and development of health services.
"Supply of generic drugs from India is presently routed through third countries and they are therefore very expensive. We are ready to set up a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant and distribution centre in the Pacific islands region and are please to offer a line of credit for this project."
India has been trying to increase its profile in recent years as it jostles with China's growing presence in the Pacific.
This week's summit follows Mr Modi's visit to Suva for a similar meeting last year.
Why is lying and cheating being explained to us by a bunch of liars and cheaters?
Spotting spin - the lies before your eyes - 28 tricks of the trade:
… Bandwagon Effect
•The Bandwagon technique attempts to persuade the target audience to take a course of action because "everyone else" (or a given percentage) is taking it or doing it. "Join the crowd."
•Statistics are presented (which may be partly or entirely made up) that imply that the majority of people support a certain government policy or a certain product that is for sale etc .
•The subconscious psychological manipulation that occurs with this technique is to convince the audience that a program (or product) is supported by large numbers of people (whether it is or not) - and that it is in the interest of the audience to join in because if they don't they may lose out.
•There is also an unspoken psychological message that the majority of people will follow the winner. An invitation to "inevitable victory" (by joining the majority) lures those not already on the bandwagon to join those already on the road to apparent success. This type of spin also serves to reassure those already, or partially on the bandwagon - that staying aboard is the best course of action.
•When confronted with bandwagon spin, we should weigh the pros and cons of joining in - independently from the numbers of people who have already allegedly joined the bandwagon. As with most types of spin, we should seek more information.
23 August 2015