Terror attacks continue across Syria and Iraq

 

 

 

US Department of Defense [22/1/16]:

 

 

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.

Strikes in Syria

Attack and fighter aircraft conducted two strikes in Syria:

-- Near Raqqah, a strike struck an ISIL gas and oil separation plant.

-- Near Manbij, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

Strikes in Iraq

Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 17 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Albu Hayat, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Fallujah, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle and damaged an ISIL-used building.

-- Near Kisik, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Mosul, six strikes struck an ISIL-used bridge and two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

-- Near Ramadi, six strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL vehicle bomb, two ISIL staging areas, three ISIL front end loaders and an ISIL weapons cache and denied ISIL access to terrain.

-- Near Sultan Abdallah, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions.


...

 

 

 

 

 

@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center - 23/1/16]:

 

 

 

 

Baghdad: A roadside bomb exploded in Turath neighbourhood southwest of Baghdad today afternoon killing a person and wounding 5..

 

 

 

 

 

Baghdad: A roadside bomb exploded in Khannasa area in Mada'in district south of Baghdad today morning killing a person and wounding 4..

 

 

 

 

 

 

US Special Forces join Iraqi troops to "flush out remaining ISIS from Ramadi" [RUDAW - 22/1/16]

 

 

 

 

 

The U.S. military said on Friday two civilians were likely killed and four others wounded in air strikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria between July 4 and July 17, 2015.

...

 "I do think its worth mentioning ISIL's culpability as they continue to operate and hide among innocent civilians and populated areas in an attempt to avoid being targeted,” said Air Force Colonel Patrick Ryder, a spokesman at Central Command. ...  [Reuters - 22/1/16]

 

 

 

 

@EncabomY [23/1/16]:  Esto ocurre!!! Esto está pasando !!!esto es real !!!Una realidad que nos llama al amparo y protección de #refugiados

 

 

 

@EncabomY [23/1/16]:   Esto está pasando #refugiados Lo sientes Europa ??

 

 

 

 

‏@MSF_Sea [23/1/16]:   ... A woman has died near #Miratovac while crossing from #FYROM to #Serbia. The cold is deadly like the sea. We need #SAFEPASSAGE now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

@MSF_Sea [22/1/16]:   At least 42 #people drowned today. They'd all be alive if the #Turkey #Greece land border was open. #SAFEPASSAGE


 

 

 

 

 

‏@MSF_Sea [22/1/16]:   ... 1 man lost his pregnant wife & 2 kids, a 17 y/o lost his brother an entire family was swallowed by the sea...

 

 

 

 

 

US escalates battle to keep Guantánamo force-feeding tapes hidden [The Intercept - 22/2/16]:

 

... U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler originally ordered the videos released in October 2014, but the government has pushed back with appeals and delayed with arguments over redactions.

“It’s disappointing that — yet again — Obama’s lawyers have suppressed the evidence that shows most eloquently why the president is right, and Guantánamo ought to close,” Cori Crider, an attorney with the human rights group Reprieve, said in a statement.

Crider, who has seen the tapes, said they “would make your blood run cold.” ...

 

 

 

 

A former Guantanamo guard, who says he witnessed hunger strike “leaders” being brought to a secret CIA “black site”, is accusing the agency of having staged their suicide to get rid of the “problem”. At the time, the US said the men hanged themselves. ... [RT - 23/1/16]

 

 

 

 

 

... Our hearts might break, just thinking about it. But the perpetrators don’t worry about that.

They have a simple solution: blame and punish the victims.

Nauru is an isolated island but not an isolated case.

If I seem to be picking on Australia and its hell-hole of a concentration camp of Nauru, it’s only because it’s so representative of what is happening on a worldwide scale, of something putrid at the heart of humanity, the same humanity that produced a Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirming in its Article 14 that “everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.” ... [Nauru: What reality is this? - Counterpunch - 22/1/16]

 

 

True courage is like a kite; a contrary wind raises it higher.    

 

 

Jean Antoine Petit-Senn

 

 

Surfers Paradise [22/1/16]

 

 

 

 ... “And every four years both of them get worse, because if you’re a least worst voter you don’t pull the least worst candidate. You’re desperately supporting the least worst candidate because the other guy is worse. So you lose your bargaining power, and they don’t have to give you the time of day the minute you indicate you’re a least worst voter.” ...

 

Ralph Nader [Raw Story - 23/3/13]

 

 

 

The seven stages of establishment backlash: Corbyn/Sanders edition [The Intercept - 21/1/16]

 

 

 

 

 

 

... A Sanders victory would nonetheless mark an important prerevolutionary moment. As Che Guevara observed, people will not resort to armed struggle before they exhaust every last opportunity to nonviolently reform the existing system by casting their votes in elections.

A Sanders Administration would be our best, last, 100% doomed shot at fixing a rigged regime.  Bernie Sanders and the Failure of Propaganda [Counterpunch - 20/1/16]

 

 

 

The media, LNP, ALP and "new and improved" Greens' (who said nothing about the Julia Creek derailment) attacks on Clive Palmer are very revealing [North West Star - 22/1/16]:

 

 

A Federal Cabinet Minister has used the financial woes of Clive Palmer’s Queensland Nickel to justify why people should not vote for minor parties. 

Christopher Pyne told Channel Nine this week that Queensland Nickel’s voluntary administration was; “an example of why people shouldn’t play with independents and minor parties, because of the instability they create.” 

The comment angered Katter’s Australian Party State Member for Mount Isa, Rob Katter. 

Mr Katter said; “I had steam coming out of my ears when I heard that.

“It is absolute nonsense and it’s part of the game for the major parties to really remove proper debate from the parliaments and operate as it’s intended to. 

“Christopher Pyne sadly confuses simple government with stable government now.” 

Mr Katter said a parliament kept to only two parties was not necessarily stable or effective. 

For example, the Queensland Labor Government has been spending the first 12 months of its term undoing policy decisions made by the former LNP government.  ... <---- Actually, they haven't done that, but the people of Queensland deserve better than unrepresentative, unicameral, duopoly fascism.

 

 

 

Logan bookseller and thought crime suspect denied access to evidence while in prison [Yahoo - 21/1/16]:

A man facing terrorism-related charges in Queensland has had his bail hearing postponed as a judge considers whether he has adequate access to case material in prison.

Former Islamic bookstore owner Omar Succarieh is accused of fundraising for the Jabhat al-Nusra terror group in Syria, and arranging to send associate Agim Kruezi to join the fighting.

Supreme Court Justice Jean Dalton on Thursday adjourned a bail hearing for Succarieh for one week, saying she needed more time to decide whether the 32-year-old has being given enough access to the evidence against him - hundreds of hours of covertly recorded conversations.

Justice Dalton suggested prison authorities should be called in to explain why they refuse to let Succarieh have a computer in his cell.

"If I come to a conclusion that there's not sufficient access to the brief of evidence in prison, and I'm still concerned about whether or not bail should be granted, the obvious practical solution is have the Department of Corrective Services justify their position," she told the Brisbane Supreme Court on Thursday.

A $600,000 surety has been offered for Succarieh's bail, and he has agreed to submit to GPS monitoring and a curfew if released.

In his submissions, Succarieh's lawyer Saul Holt QC said his client needed to decipher 840 hours of conversations - which are peppered with Arabic and slang - to properly defend the allegations against him.

"This is simply a monster brief with a very large quantity of material which Mr Succarieh needs to carefully consider, and on the access that he has, he can't," Mr Holt said.

He added that the case against Succarieh was highly contestable, and the risk of him fleeing was not unacceptable.

"He has the support of a highly respected imam who is prepared to work with him while he's on bail, who can be described as anything other than radical," Mr Holt said.

Succarieh is charged with making funds available to the Jabhat al-Nusra group, facilitating associate Agim Kruezi's passage to Syria, and causing money to be given to Kruezi in preparation for an offence against the Crimes (Foreign Incursion and Recruitment Act).

Both he and Kruezi, 22, have been behind bars since their arrest in a series of counter-terrorism raids in September 2014. [Following a Murdoch beatup.]

Succarieh's case is due to return to court next Thursday.


 

 

Former Bandidos motorcycle gang president Brett Pechey handed extra parole time over drug dispute [ABC – 21/1/16]

 

 


A man charged over an elaborate bomb hoax in inner Brisbane will undergo psychiatric assessment.

Nicholas Aaron Roccisano faced the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Friday after a device with wires and batteries forced parts of Kangaroo Point into lockdown on Thursday night.

The 28-year-old's legal counsel Neil Lawler requested the case return to court in three weeks so his client can undergo medical and psychiatric assessment.

There was no bail application.

"All I can say is I need to get my client medically and psychiatrically assessed and in those circumstances, it's probably not appropriate to say more than that," Mr Lawler told reporters outside court.

"We'll have a doctor and psychiatrist attend upon him and make some assessments and see what can be done."

Parts of the well-populated riverside suburb were locked down after the device was found in a public toilet block at Captain Burke Park.

The emergency was reportedly sparked when Roccisano and another man allegedly burst into the Jazz Club venue about 8.30pm and shouted "there's a bomb inside the toilet".

Police declared an emergency situation shortly before 11.30pm, but later revoked it when the item was examined and found to be a fake.

"Police received a call that there were two male persons running around calling out 'there is a bomb inside the toilet'," Inspector Sean Cryer told Fairfax Media.

"The toilet revealed a suspected improvised explosive device with wires coming out of it, with batteries coming out of it."

Roccisano was charged with placing an article and falsely stating a bomb was present.

His case is due to return to court on February 12. [Yahoo - 22/1/16]

 

 


 

Reported incident, Arundel [QPS Media - 22/1/16]:

 

Investigations into a reported incident involving a man being placed into a vehicle at Arundel continued throughout last night.

Police received reports of the incident occurring on Kendor Street around 8.10am.

Following police inquiries, detectives located the man safe and well and are satisfied the incident was non suspicious.

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.

 

 

 

 

Multiple shots fired at Southport home [Yahoo - 21/1/16]

 

 

 

 

 

A 38-year-old man with a history of domestic violence has been sentenced to six-and-a-half years' jail for unlawfully killing his de facto partner in the West Australian town of Meekatharra. ... [ABC - 23/1/16]

 

 

 

 

Man arrested after pair injured - Oatlands [NSW Police - 22/1/16]:


A man has been arrested after a man and woman were injured following an alleged stabbing in Oatlands this morning.

Just after 4am (Friday 22 January 2016), emergency services were called to Blairgowie Place following reports of a stabbing.

NSW Ambulance Paramedics attended and assisted a 53-year-old woman with facial injuries, and a 55-year-old man suffering stab wounds.

The pair was taken to Westmead Hospital, where the man remains in a serious, but stable condition, and the woman in a stable condition.

A crime scene has been established at the home, which will be forensically examined.

A 21-year-old man was arrested at the scene by officers attached to The Hills Local Area Command and taken to Parramatta Police Station, where he is assisting police with their inquiries.


 

 

 

PSPA declaration, South Toowoomba [QPS Media - 23/1/16]:

 

 

 Police have declared an emergency situation under their powers granted by the Public Safety Preservation Act in South Toowoomba.

Just before midnight police attended a disturbance at a unit complex on Stephen Street.

It is believed a male in his early 30s entered the unit armed with a knife, barricaded himself in and made several threats.

He is alone in the unit. Police negotiators are at the scene.

A declaration under the PSPA Act was made by a Commissioned Officer at 4.25am for the area within Stephen, Louise, Long and Ruthven Streets.

Residents are asked to stay away from the area.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cole Miller death: Accused's bail hearing delayed again [Brisbane Times - 22/1/16]

 

 

 

 

Brisbane police officer who repeatedly shoved woman faces an "internal independent review" [Yahoo - 22/1/16]


 


 

A former Oklahoma City police officer convicted of raping four women and sexually assaulting several others while he was on duty was sentenced on Thursday to 263 consecutive years in prison, the maximum allowable sentence.

In December, an Oklahoma City jury found Daniel Holtzclaw, 29, guilty on 18 of 36 charges of sexual assault, including rape.

The sentence was given by District Judge Timothy Henderson and came after victims told the court on Thursday that the former officer had destroyed their lives.

Prosecutors said Holtzclaw preyed on women who had trouble with the law and forced them into sex, hoping their word would not hold up against his in court. ...  [Reuters – 21/1/16]

 

 

 

A mobile phone video taken by a teenage boy as his young mate was allegedly assaulted by two policemen was mysteriously deleted on the night of the attack, but could now provide damning evidence when the officers face court in May.

The footage was only recovered when the father of one of the boys paid $4000 to an IT consultant, but its disappearance raises serious concerns about the handling of the internal investigation into the officers' conduct.

It is understood the family of one of the alleged victims will ask the Office of Public Prosecutions to examine the case, while the matter could also be referred to the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission. ... [The Age - 13/1/16]

 

 

 

Six people hospitalised, two in critical condition after crash during Gosford police pursuit [ABC - 23/1/16]

 

 

 

 

Dangerous driving charges following police pursuit, Beenleigh [QPS Media - 23/1/16]

 

 

 


Pregnant woman killed in head-on crash, unborn child survives following dangerous, resource wasting class and race based police attempts to "intercept", Hobart [Examiner – 22/1/16]

 

 

 

 

Gold Coast bus driver questioned on cyclist crash [Nine MSN - 22/1/16]:


A Queensland bus driver is being questioned by police after a collision with a pack of cyclists that left one rider injured.

Police investigations indicate the cyclists were struck by the bus at the Gold Coast suburb of Palm Beach at 6.15am on Friday.

The bus driver then left the scene.

A 54-year-old rider sustained a suspected broken collar bone and was taken to hospital.

Two other cyclists suffered minor grazes.

The man who was driving the bus is now assisting police.


 



Three children and two women are lucky to have survived a head-on car crash in Queensland's Darling Downs.

The collision occurred on the Cunningham Highway at Tregony around 5am on Friday.

A 21-year-old woman, initially trapped in the wreckage by her ankles, was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries.

The other female driver in her 40s, reportedly the childrens' mother, suffered back and neck pain. [Yahoo - 22/1/16]

 

 

 


Fatal traffic crash, Woolloongabba [QPS Media - 23/1/16]

 

 

 

 

Compensation offered for stolen wages in Queensland a 'slap in the face' [ABC - 22/1/16]

 

 

 

 

Parramatta Girls Home abuse victims told by NSW Government to repay past compensation payments [ABC - 22/1/16]

 

 

 

 

Catholic church lawyer demands child sex abuse victim repay compensation after speaking to media [ABC - 22/1/16]

 

 

 


Air-pollution checks needed in Queensland mining towns, doctor treating allergies and illness says [ABC – 22/1/16]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nuclear waste plant "consultations" underway in Queensland's Southern Downs [ABC - 22/1/16]

 

 


Just weeks after selling its northern rivers CSG licences to the state government, Metgasco’s trucks have been spotted at its former Corella site at Dobies Bight,

CSG Free Northern Rivers spokesperson Dean Draper returned to the scene of one of the group’s earliest confrontations with the gas explorer yesterday to witness the company capping off its test wells there.

‘Metgasco is here closing off wells. Apparently they have two drill rigs onsite although only one is apparent,’ Mr Draper told Echonetdaily yesterday afternoon.

‘They seem to be pumping cement down the wells to close them off,’ he added.

But Mr Draper said he was not convinced of the longevity of the method the company was using to close the wells. ... [Tweed Shire Echo - 22/1/16]

 

 


400kg dugong lands at Gold Coast airport [MYGC - 21/1/16]:


A rare and rather heavy passenger has just touched down at Gold Coast Airport.

A 400kg sick dugong captured in Merimbula Lake on the south coast of NSW, has been flown back to its home in Queensland to live in warmer waters.

The dugong was rescued this morning after previously being spotted in the area two months ago.

Cold water in the area and a lack of sea grass prompted the relocation of the 2.7m animal as its health had deteriorated rapidly.

A RAAF Hercules plane landed on the Gold Coast just after 2.00pm, with the Dugong expected to be transported to Sea World for rehabilitation this afternoon.

 

 

 

Sweden asked to reapply over questioning of Julian Assange


Nine MSN [21/1/16]:


Ecuador has asked Sweden to submit a new application over the questioning of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in London.

Swedish prosecutors say Ecuador has informed Sweden in a letter it will conduct the interview of the Australian and has asked for a list of questions they want answered.

"At the moment, we consider if it affects the possibilities to conduct the investigative matters and, if that is case, we shall submit a renewed request," Director of Public Prosecution Marianne Ny said in a statement on Thursday.

Assange, 44, took refuge at Ecuador's embassy in London in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over allegations, which he denies, that he committed rape in 2010.

Assange says he fears Sweden will extradite him to the United States.

Ecuador's president Rafael Correa said on Wednesday he expected Assange to be questioned by Ecuadorean authorities in the next few days.

Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino added that Swedish judicial authorities had shown "real lack of respect" by sending a questionnaire with some sections crossed out by hand, and a new version had been requested before the case could proceed.

 

 

 


A group of researchers has released a paper that analyses the economics of the free trade deal, and they say the government should reconsider.

The report is part of a series of analyses - funded by the New Zealand Law Foundation and New Zealand Public Service Association - on the potential implications of the deal.

An economist and co-author of the paper, Geoff Bertram, said the TPP would provide only modest economic benefits.

Mr Bertram said the government only spoke of the positives of the agreement but did not acknowledge the negatives, which were "significant".

"If you are to accept the modelling work that the government prefers, it's rather like saying 'would you like a wage rise of 1 percent in 15 years' time?

"It's all expressed in terms of enormous numbers of dollars, billions of dollars, but the fact of the matter is it is a very small shift," he said.

Mr Bertram said the TPP's investor-state dispute provisions, which gave foreign investors the power to sue the government for introducing legislation that harmed their investments, would have a "chilling" effect.

He said the provisions would deter future governments from a raft of regulatory and industrial policies that would be in the public interest. ... [RNZI - 22/1/16]

 

 

 

Malaysia:  Anti-TPPA protesters to gather at five points tomorrow [Malaysiakini - 22/1/16]

 

 

 

Indonesia broke ground Thursday on a joint project with China to build Southeast Asia's first high speed rail service, linking Jakarta with Bandung in West Java.

The 142.3 kilometer railway worth US$5.5 billion is being constructed by PT Kereta Cepat Indonesia-China, a joint venture between an Indonesian consortium of four state-owned companies and China Railway International Co. Ltd.

The groundbreaking ceremony was presided over by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, who signed an inscription on a large stone in Walini, a West Java town and location of one of the railway's eight stations.

The rail deal was signed in October after Indonesia selected China over Japan for the three-year project. ... [Jakarta Post - 21/1/16]


 

 

China warns Filipinos against second trip to Spratlys [Channel News Asia - 22/1/16]

 

 

 

The U.S. military has stepped up discussions on converting its Aegis missile defense test site in Hawaii into a combat-ready facility that would bolster American defenses against ballistic missile attacks, according to sources familiar with the discussions.

The proposal, which has been discussed sporadically for several years, was given fresh impetus by North Korea's fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6 and by recent strides in China's missile technology capabilities, said current and former U.S. military officials, congressional aides and other sources.

A Chinese official in Washington suggested that Beijing would see such a U.S. move as counter-productive to relations. ... [Reuters - 21/1/16]

 



‘American Pie’ singer Don McLean charged in Camden with domestic violence [Press Herald – 18/1/16]

 

 

 

Anywhere but Australia or New Zealand:  UNHCR play along with regional exceptionalism and racism, say Montagnard refugees will go to Philippines [Phnom Penh Post - 22/1/16]

 

 


 

 

 

Prime Minister Hun Sen's youngest son, Hun Many, says parallels exist in Cambodian, US history [Cambodia Daily – 22/1/16]


... During questions that followed Mr. Many’s speech, a man identifying himself as Michael Duong, a Cambodian refugee who said he grew up in the U.S. and had, like Mr.

Many, graduated from the National Defense University in Washington, pressed Mr. Many on his liberal credentials.

“My question is how can you lead Cambodia into the future with rule of law when the CPP and your father is known to be a strongman where he has ruled Cambodia for almost 40 years, where your cronies are ruling Cambodia under terror and deny some basic freedom and democracy?” Mr. Duong asked. ...

 

 

 

Indian police arrest and imprison 6 Sri Lankan refugees who attempted to sail to New Zealand [Times Of India - 21/1/16]:

 

 

The Q-branch police on Tuesday arrested six Sr Lankan refugees from Trichy and Karur for allegedly conspiring to illegally sail to New Zealand from Velankanni in Nagappattinam district.

The arrested were remanded and lodged in the Puzhal prison in Chennai on Wednesday.

Acting on a tip-off, sleuths of the `Q' branch police nabbed Jayaraj, 36, Chandrakumar, 36, and Deva, 34, of Rayanur refugee camp in Karur, and Pradeep, 21, Pradeepan alias Babu, 25, and Pradeepan alias Deepan, 27, of Kottapattu refugee camp in Trichy.

Police arrested the refugees when they were about to board a bus to Thanjavur from a temporary bus stand in Cantonment. On interrogation, the refugees revealed that they were conspiring to set out to New Zealand by a boat without valid documents. The refugees were daily wage labourers.

The arrested refugees said they were approached by a sub-agent Jayaraj with a promise to take them to New Zealand by boat illegally. The refugees had paid Rs 7 lakh each to Jayaraj believing his words.

"The refugees had paid the entire amount to Jayaraj. We arrested them when they were about to board a bus to Thanjavur. As per the plan, they will set out to New Zealand from Velankanni by a boat arranged by an unidentified main agent," said an official in `Q' branch requesting anonymity.

Police booked the refugees under section 120 (b) of the IPC and a few sections of Foreigners Act and Passport Act. All of them were produced before the judicial magistrate court -2 in Trichy on Tuesday night.

They were remanded in judicial custody. They will be lodged in Puzhal prison in Chennai till February 2.

Tuesday's arrest reveals the poor condition of Sri Lankan refugees who are more than willing to take a treacherous journey looking for green pastures in Australia and New Zealand.

An official of the `Q' branch said it would not be a safe voyage in an unsafe boat.

"The chances of reaching the destination safely are less. Once the refugees reach Australia or New Zealand, they will be arrested," he said.


 

 

Sri Lankan Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe confirmed that enforced disappearances were carried out on the island during the previous government led by Mahinda Rajapaksa, in a press conference on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters Mr Samarasinghe said “we don’t know whether they were abducted in white vans or black vans or brown van… but there are people who had been made to disappear.”

“I don’t know the modus operandi for such abductions” continued the minister.

“Sometime, some of these people may be living in foreign countries,” he added, stating that Western countries had refused to share the names of those who had sought fled Sri Lanka and sought asylum. ... [Tamil Guardian - 21/1/16]

 

 

 

... Meetings-after-meetings have failed to break the impasse on owning responsibility of the community. While the impasse between nations, continues, Rohingyas continue to live in destitution and become victims of state policies and societal exclusion. They remain to face a raw ordeal.  [The Rohingya ordeal:  Persecution, enslavement and maritime ping-pong based on regional exceptionalism and racism - CADTM - 21/1/16]

 

 

 

 

Rohingya boy killed by driver in possible race motivated attack in Kyawktaw township [Burma Times - 22/1/16]

 

 

 

Rakhine IDPs told to leave monastery shelters [Myanmar Times - 19/1/16]

 

 

 

Burma’s Upper House of Parliament approved the Presidential Security Bill on Thursday, a controversial proposal that would offer immunity to former heads of state.

The bill, which was provisionally approved by the Lower House in late December, has been sent back for re-approval with minor revisions. ... [The Irrawaddy - 15/1/16]

 

 

 


Ex-Christmas Island concentration camp detainee 'lost' after exile to New Zealand [22/1/16]:


A former Christmas Island detainee has applied for 50 jobs since he was deported back to New Zealand and is having a tough time just surviving, he says.

Peina Clarke moved to Australia when he was 18, and served seven years in prison for assault and domestic violence.

He spent three months on Christmas Island before being deported to New Zealand at the end of last year.

Mr Clarke said he had been honest with potential employers, but as soon as people understood he was one of the deportees they did not want to know about him.

He was getting a sickness benefit of about $310 a week but after paying $230 for accommodation at a boarding house he was left with very little money - all of which he spent on food.

His father was dead, and his mother - and his children - were still in Australia, he said.

"It's tough. It's tough as, because I don't know anything about New Zealand. I'm lost here," he said.

"Every day, I try to stay positive and try to move on. I try to deal with it but I can't. I'm strong but there's only so much more I can take as a man, I suppose."

Mr Clarke said the organisation PARS helped him when he first arrived in Auckland, but the only one checking on him now was his parole officer.

He felt the Australian government dumped him in this country, and the New Zealand government did not want anything to do with him.

Mr Clark said thanks to Māori Party MP Marama Fox, who had passed on a contact, he was going to start work as a builder's labourer next week.

Almost all the other people in his situation back in New Zealand were finding it tough, he said.

"We're all trying to get a job. We're all trying to move on but it's not that easy. It's inevitable that people are going to turn to crime if we don't get the help."

Australia toughened its immigration rules in late 2014, changing the threshold for the cancellation of visas or revocation of permanent residency.

Previously, only non-citizens with serious criminal records were targeted for deportation.

Under the new approach, visas are cancelled for those serving prison terms of 12 months or more - including as a cumulative total - and those convicted of a sexual offence against a child.

PARS operations manager Rachel Ngatai said the organisation may need extra funding to cope with the influx of New Zealand detainees being deported from Australia.

The $100,000 the government gave her organisation to help detainees may no longer be enough, she said.

"A hundred thousand was a start and, yes, it is a matter of us needing to discuss further as to whether it is going to continue to be enough.

"We know, with it covering from Auckland way down to the bottom of the South Island, it needs to be revisited."

Ms Ngatai said the Corrections Department was providing some oversight for detainees arriving in New Zealand.

 

 

 

... [Melissa] Parke argued a properly resourced regional arrangement would be better than maintaining “the convenient lie that our Pacific gulags are hard but necessary”. ...

 

BUT.

 

... Burke and Parke said they would continue to work for the election of a Shorten-led Labor government at this year’s election.   <--- Only a fraud or a fool stays in - and/or supports - a party whose policies they disagree with. [Labor alibi Melissa Parke won't recontest seat - Guardian - 22/1/16]

 

 

 

How much longer does Australia think it can get away with pushing back asylum seeker boats and detaining and torturing refugees?

 

 

... give ear o my good people, my law

incline your ears to the words of my mouth

save me for the trouble

i sink in deep mire i am weary of my crying

mine eyes fail while

i wait for my freedom ...

 


Ravi [on Nauru - 2013]

 

 

The best way to deal with all the emotions, Shanmuganathan Nagaveeran [Garland - Issue #1]

 

 

 

From Hell to Hell: A Refugee's Story [AUDIO - 2SER - 20/1/16]:

 

Imagine fleeing from your country and your loved ones for fear of your life. You risk everything, get on a boat and travel to Australia, in hope of a better life. But when you get there, you are imprisoned in a detention centre.

Shanmuganathan "Ravi" Nagaveeran suffered through this, but used writing and art to sustain himself through three years in the Nauru Detention Centre.

He has written a book, called "Hell to Hell: Poems from Nauru", which is being launched tonight at Berkelouw books in Paddington at 6pm.

He joined us this morning

 

 

 

 

 

Writing Through Fences

 

 

 

 

Worried about refugees being raped on Nauru? Call Lifeline [Independent Australia - 22/1/16]

 

 

 

 

 

Manus MP Ronnie Knight has another whinge about the impact of Australia's refugee death camp on his community [AUDIO - ABC - 22/1/16]

 

 

 

 

PNG police continue to investigate alleged gang rape of Manus Island woman by Australian refugee death camp workers [PNG Loop - 4/8/15]:

 

Police in Manus continue to investigate the alleged rape of a local woman by three expatriate men at the Regional Processing Centre in Lombrum.

Provincial Police Commander (PPC) Alex N’drasel says a request for the men’s return from Australia has been made however it is up to the government to ensure they come back to answer to a crime they are alleged to have committed.

N’drasel says according to their report the woman was drinking with the men at their accommodation area when she was given two pills shaped like capsules.

He says the woman claims she immediately fell asleep after taking the pills.

The three men are said to be employees of Wilson Security, the company providing security services at the asylum seeker centre.

N’drasel says the investigators will take two weeks to complete their work and a report of their findings will be sent to the Police Commissioner.   

 

 

 

A Papua New Guinean security guard at the Manus Island detention centre was allegedly murdered over the weekend and another had his hand chopped off in a machete attack. ... [SBS - 27/7/15]

 

 

 

 

CLOSE DOWN MANUS DETENTION CAMP:


RISE supports the call for JUSTICE and FREEDOM by our communities in Manus Island detention camp.


1. #ShutdownManus


2. Bring the asylum seekers in Manus onshore to Australia


3. Process their claims fairly & humanely in the community



RISE condemns the dire situation faced by asylum seekers in the Manus Island asylum seeker internment camp created by the Australian government, outsourcing and dumping its responsibilities to a less wealthy country like Papua New Guinea.

The re-opening of this camp in 2012 by then Prime Minister Julia Gillard and immigration minister Chris Bowen has resulted in two asylum seeker deaths. Yet Australia continues to keep it open and a private Australian company Transfield Services [Broadspectrum] is being paid 1.22 billion dollars to run this camp.

At present there are approximately 926 ( previously 1050) asylum seekers refouled by the Australian government to Manus Island, indefinitely detained and blocked from resettlement in Australia.

There are 50 million displaced refugees around the world. Many are languishing without proper protection in interim camps. Australia’s discriminatory, human rights violating “offshore” processing system for asylum seekers who arrive by boat adds tally to the interim camps and keeps refugees in isolation.

Deterrence measures may lower the number of asylum seekers in Australia, but it is not a just and arguably illegal in the context of international refugee and human rights law and also humanitarian solution for people trying to cross borders by boat, or any other form of transport, desperately seeking a place where they can be safe.

We urgently request the public to resist Australia’s xenophobic government policies by demanding greater transparency, fairness and humanity in the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees who are human beings seeking protection from persecution and #ShutDownManus and including other detention centres offshore and onshore.

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When will the Australian media, crossbenchers, professional associations, human rights groups and NGOs start holding Peter Dutton to account? [Refugee Action Collective (Victoria) - 22/1/16]:

 

 

 Please tune in to the social media campaign run by RAC Vic this afternoon ‪#‎photosforfamilies‬

After more than 900 days imprisoned on Manus Island, how does Broadspectrum or DIBP expect men to look?

Do the families of these men really want to see those sorts of changes in their sons, fathers and brothers? Some men no longer have any living relatives due to war. Many men have had their fathers killed by the Taliban. Many men have families struggling in refugee camps.

Please follow @racvictoria this afternoon.

 

 

 

 

About the sculpture "Off to Christmas Island", Van T Rudd, visual artist and social justice activist, Melbourne:

 

... "Off to Christmas Island" is a sculpture of a young refugee child being handcuffed by an Australian Border Force officer.

The child had just been playing football before the sudden arrest on the Australian mainland and transportation to an offshore detention centre controlled by the Australian government. In this case, the detention centre is the one called Christmas Island, far off the northern part of the West Australian coast.

Refugees, particularly those who arrive by boat are treated very harshly by the Australian government (and mainstream media) and many are forcibly sent to offshore detention centres before they even reach Australia's coastlines.

Some are also forced back to the country from which they escaped - to face more terror, even death.

This sculpture aims to highlight that reality, and the struggles of millions of refugees who face racism in Europe as they escape the poverty and war in the middle east and North Africa.

The 'hyper real' sculpture is one of many that I have made using cheap materials such as packaging tape, newspaper and second hand clothes.

It was exhibited recently in Northcote Gallery window space, Northcote, Victoria, Australia, and the reponses have been great, and many people had viewd it on the street and continue to share it on social media.

One of the best ways to expose "Off to Christmas Island" is to place it in more exposed spaces such as shop front/gallery windows and in the streets.

I've seen these Myer Centre Christmas Windows on many occassions and marvelled at the amazing artistry on display each Christmas. And so have my children. The windows have gained much notoriety in Melbourne over the last 15 years and are indeed attractive displays for childrens' story telling and gain the usual traction in the mainstream media.

They have the advantage of being run by a very wealthy corporation, where they do have the power to purchase centralised public space. People travel far and wide to view the windows during the pre-Christmas festive season because they're exposed and you don't have to 'pay' or enter a building.

Would that popularity wane if the stories were of refugees in Australian detention centres?

Wouldn't you like to see what happens to refugees during this period? Or should we hide those stories the way the government does? I'd really like to know.

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The Guantánamo parole board on Thursday approved the release of a Yemeni “forever prisoner,” dismissing U.S. intelligence that imprisoned the man for 13 years at the Navy base in Cuba as “discredited.”

The so-called Periodic Review Board heard the case of Mustafa al Shamiri, 37, on Dec. 1. His story captured the world’s attention because he was a victim of mistaken identity.

Intelligence analysts wrongly cast him as a captive of consequence, an al-Qaida facilitator or courier, rather than a run-of-the-mill jihadist — because his name was similar to actual extremists. ... [Miami Herald - 21/1/16]

 

 

 

Australia's protected and unaccountable Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull "raises eyebrows" in Washington with support for Yinon Plan [Counterpunch - 25/4/06]:

 

 

... A premise, which many in the Arab world believe, should also be dissected. Is the US manipulating and remoulding the area so that Israel can remain the only regional superpower in perpetuity?

This is not as fanciful as one might imagine on first glance. Read the following strangely prophetic segment from an article published in 1982 by the World Zionist Organisation’s publication Kivunim and penned by Oded Yinon, an Israeli journalist with links to the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

Yinon’s strategy was based on this premise. In order to survive Israel must become an imperial regional power and must also ensure the break-up of all Arab countries so that the region may be carved up into small ineffectual states unequipped to stand up to Israeli military might. ...

 

 

 

 

22 January 2016

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