Columbia University to divest from G4S, Corrections Corporation of America [Columbia Spectator - 22/6/15]
Steering corrupt cash into Australia from PNG: a how-to guide [The Age - 23/6/15]:
Australia has been exposed as a safe haven for corrupt funds from overseas after a pair of top lawyers were caught on video explaining how regional leaders steal money from their own people and park it in bank accounts here.
Fairfax Media has obtained recordings of an undercover sting that show one Papua New Guinea lawyer, Harvey Maladina, explaining how a "prestigious" law firm and a well-known Queen's counsel issue inflated invoices to conceal the movements of corrupt money.
And his law firm partner, former Queensland crown prosecutor Greg Sheppard, is shown on camera saying that the "only way" to bribe foreign politicians and avoid getting caught is to pay "small dribs and drabs" disguised as commercial transactions.
Both Mr Sheppard and Mr Maladina are considered to be close to PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill and senior ministers and advisers, upon whom Canberra relies heavily for providing the Manus Island immigration detention centre. Mr Sheppard was appointed in 2014 as a "resident" director of the company that provides security to the centre, but resigned in January.
But covertly-filmed footage using operatives posing as Australian businessmen opens an unprecedented window into how Australian lawyers, accountants and migration agents enable corrupt politicians to undermine their impoverished home countries and shift billions of dollars into the relative safety of Australian bank accounts and real estate.
The footage filmed by anti-corruption NGO Global Witness exposes deep complacency among Australian politicians and enforcement agencies, as well as large holes in Australia's regulatory regime.
... Greg Sheppard is the father of three members of the popular Brisbane band Sheppard, and owns the business behind it.
He was until recently a director of Wilson Protective Services, a subsidiary of Wilson Security, which is the company that runs the Australian detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru.
His resume also says he’s a former Queensland Crown Prosecutor and his website says he was awarded an OBE and the Companion of the Star of Melanesia for his distinguished service to PNG.
He’s lived and worked in PNG for more than 25 years. ... [SBS - 23/6/15]
Myanmar returns 195 captured Rohingya to Rakhine [UCA News – 23/6/15]
Rohingya boy safe with adoptive parents in KL [Channel News – 23/6/15]:
The story of four-year-old Rohingya boy Ajis, who miraculously turned up at the UNHCR office in Kuala Lumpur in May, has stunned many.
Ajis who was travelling with his mother survived a treacherous journey across the Andaman Sea and mosquito-infested jungles in the Thai-Malaysia border, but sadly his mother did not.
She died in one of transit camps run by smugglers, now known as death camps. After her death, Ajis was sold for RM2,000 (about US$530) and smuggled across the border into Malaysia.
Now living in the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur with his adoptive parents, Ajis looked well. It was a relief because the recent disappearance of Ajis, who was said to have gone to stay with relatives, had triggered alarm bells.
Aegile Fernandez, director of Tenaganita Women's Force, said: "We hear of so many stories of this kind of border sales - children brought all the way from Myanmar and kept at the border being sold to someone with the highest bidding.
"Where did they get the money to buy the child? Survival is so tough in Malaysia - they are not allowed to work and they hardly have much money. Is the child to be taken to be resold? We don't know. It does happen because a lot of families are looking for children (they can adopt)."
But Ajis' adoptive father Hamid Hussein said he would never give Ajis away or trade him for money.
"I will not give him to anyone, he will stay with me until he grows up," said Hamid, a Rohingya refugee registered with the UNHCR.
Hamid and his wife Fatimah already have two girls of their own, but Hamid is glad to be able to put a roof over their heads. However, working between odd jobs of driving garbage trucks, the money he earned is not going to be enough, he said.
"With the money I earn, it's hard to support my family. All my money goes to children's expenses," he added.
His priority, he said, is to get Ajis registered with UNHCR as soon as possible so that he is accorded some protection as a refugee and receive medical benefits and access to schooling.
Rwandan spy chief Karenzi Karake arrested in London
Rwanda's intelligence chief Karenzi Karake, who is wanted in Spain for war crimes, has been arrested in London.
Gen Karake, 54, was arrested at Heathrow Airport on Saturday, and remanded in custody ahead of a court hearing on Thursday.
He is accused of ordering massacres while head of military intelligence in the wake of the 1994 Rwanda genocide.
Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwanda's foreign minister called the arrest "an outrage".
Gen Karake is also accused of ordering the killing of three Spanish nationals working for Medicos del Mundo.
In 2008, a Spanish judge indicted him for alleged war crimes along with 39 other current or former high-ranking Rwandan military officials.
He was arrested by Metropolitan police officers under the European Arrest Warrant.
But the Rwandan government is said to be puzzled by the timing of Gen Karake's arrest, as he had travelled to the UK several times since the indictment was issued.
Williams Nkurunziza, Rwanda's High Commissioner to the UK, called the arrest "an insult".
"We take strong exception to the suggestion that he's being arrested on war crimes," he told the BBC World Service.
"Any suggestion that any of our 40 leaders are guilty of crimes against humanity is an insult to our collective conscience."
Gen Karake is director general of Rwanda's National Intelligence and Security Services and a member of Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF).
Nicknamed KK, the Rwandan government hail him as one of the people who stopped the genocide. He went on to be deputy commander of the country's first UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur before returning to his role as spy chief.
During the genocide an estimated 800,000 people were killed between April and June 1994 by ethnic Hutu extremists.
Most of the dead were members of the minority Tutsi community and politically moderate Hutus.
The killings ended when the RPF, a Tutsi-led rebel movement that entered Rwanda from Uganda, seized control of the country.
But Human Rights Watch reported that in their drive for military victory and to control the population, the RPF killed thousands, including government troops, members of the militia and some civilians in numerous executions and massacres.
Phillip Gourevitch, a leading writer on Rwanda, told Newsnight that Gen Karake's arrest was the equivalent of the head of the UK's MI6 or the US's CIA being arrested.
He said the Spanish indictment had been criticised as highly politicised by many, including US diplomats.
In a statement the British High Commission in Rwanda said the arrest was a "legal obligation" carried out on behalf of the Spanish authorities but stressed the UK had a "close relationship" with the Rwandan government.
"We co-operate closely on a growing range of regional and international issues," the statement said.
"Her Majesty's government greatly values the close relationship with Rwanda and is committed to that relationship for the long term."
Andrew Mitchell, former secretary of state for international development, told the BBC he thought the arrest was "completely wrong".
"I think it is reprehensible that the European Arrest Warrant is being abused in this way," he said.
"It's being used for political reasons and not judicial ones."
He added that he agreed with the American view that the indictments were "un-researched, politically motivated and lacking in facts."
A panel of experts commissioned by the United Nations is about to unveil fresh evidence on the mysterious death in 1961 of UN secretary general Dag Hammarskjöld, who some claim was murdered for supporting African decolonization.
The evidence could spark a new official probe into the incident, which has been called “one of the enduring mysteries of the 20th century”. … [Intel News - 22/6/15]
Scandinavian ships rescue almost 1,000 refugees in 24 hours [Guardian – 23/6/15]:
Ships from Norway and Denmark have picked up nearly 1,000 migrants from small boats off the coast of Libya in the past 24 hours.
Svein Kvalavaag, the captain of the Norwegian Siem Pilot vessel, said on Monday he picked up 671 people from two wooden boats north of the Libyan capital, Tripoli. Late on Monday night, it was asked to take 99 more migrants that had been rescued by a Russian tanker.
Kvalavaag told the Norwegian maritime industry websitemaritime.no that the 770 people included 140 women, of whom three were pregnant, and 45 children. They were all taken to Sicily.
The Norwegian supply vessel had recently joined the EU’s border protection agency, Frontex, the Norwegian news agency NTB said.
Dozens of would-be migrants are reported to have drowned between Libya and Sicily, the latest tragedy in the Mediterranean this spring. The increasing numbers making the perilous journey on overloaded boats has brought the issue of migration into Europe to a head. But what can be done about it?
Jesper Jensen, a spokesman for the Denmark-based Torm company, said its Singapore-flagged oil tanker Torm Arawa on Monday responded to call from the Italian coastguard after two boats carrying migrants were reported in distress off the Libyan coast.
Jensen said on Tuesday that it picked up 222 people, gave them food, water and blankets and took them to a port in Calabria in southern Italy.
In the past months, thousands of migrants have been crossing the Mediterranean to reach Italy and Greece. Two thousand are feared to have died.
Greek coast guard: 1,161 refugees rescued from sea [Yahoo – 22/6/15]
Afghanstan: Taliban gunned down a local Mullah in Nimroz [Khaama – 23/6/15]:
Taliban militants have gunned down a local Mullah in southwestern Nimroz province.
Haji Hakim, Mullah of Noori Grand Mosque and his nephew were going back to home after offering prayers at the mosque when they came under the attack of unidentified gunmen in Chakhansor District last night.
Mohammad Afzal, governor of Chakhansor District said that Haji Hakim died on the spot but his nephew survived.
Unidentified armed men have gunned down three people including a former Jihadi commander in Khost province. ... [Khaama – 23/6/15]
Mosul, Iraq: US drone kills “ISIL operative linked to Benghazi” [USA Today – 22/6/15]
… “I will not stand for another news cycle of ‘poor little boy gone wrong because of mental illness/dysfunctional family/drug use etc’ while victims like Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner are painted as thugs and criminals,” said Emma Quangel, one of the two pseudonymous sleuths who found Roof’s site.
“The media and the police didn’t seem to find the manifesto. So when HK suggested a way, I bit.” … Meet the anonymous online sleuths who dug up Dylann Roof’s deranged manifesto [Washington Post – 22/6/15]
Saudi fighter jets have bombarded various areas across Yemen, killing and wounding a number of people.
The warplanes carried out over 20 airstrikes in the northwestern province of Hajjah on Monday, the Yemeni al-Masirah television network reported.
Saudi jets also targeted the Haydan district in the northwestern Sa’ada Province, killing two women and a girl, according to Yemen’s state news agency, Saba.
Another Saudi raid in the al-Salbah neighborhood of Haydan claimed the lives of two children and a woman, and injured three other civilians.
Also on Monday, a booby trap exploded in the city of Ataq in Yemen’s eastern Shabwah Province, killing one and wounding two others.
Saudi warplanes also targeted a car in the Midi district of Hajjah. Two people were killed and two others were injured in the raid. ... [Press TV - 23/6/15]
Israeli forces shoot, injure 2 Palestinians in southern Gaza [Maan – 23/6/15]
At least 19 people were arrested after clashes erupted between police and hundreds of Ethiopian Israelis who took to the streets of Tel Aviv to protest against racism and police brutality.
Angered by the recent decision by Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to close a criminal investigation into a police officer who beat up an Ethiopian Israeli soldier back in April, hundreds of Ethiopian took to the streets to speak up against the police’s racist attitudes.
The demonstration that began in the Sarona area of Tel Aviv at 3:00pm, proceeded peacefully to Tel Aviv’s centrally-located Rabin Square. … [RT – 23/6/15]
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon pledged Tuesday to track down Druze rioters in the occupied Golan Heights responsible for the "lynching" of a wounded Syrian being transported to a hospital.
Two Syrian men were being taken to hospital late Monday when dozens of Druze in the town of Majdal Shams stoned their ambulance, forcing it to stop and dragging the wounded men from the vehicle.
The mob then beat one of the men, who was later pronounced dead, and seriously wounded the other. An Israeli soldier and another officer with the ambulance were also lightly wounded.
Israel has a policy of providing humanitarian assistance to wounded Syrians who seek help by crossing over to the Jewish state and has vowed to maintain the practice. … [Naharnet – 23/6/15]
WikiLeaks Sony Hack Reveals Hollywood’s Hand In Repairing Israel’s Broken Image [Mint Press – 1/5/15]
Germany releases Al Jazeera journalist Ahmed Mansour [Al Jazeera – 23/6/15]
The Obama administration fought a legal battle against Google to secretly obtain the email records of a security researcher and journalist associated with WikiLeaks.
Newly unsealed court documents obtained by The Intercept reveal the Justice Department won an order forcing Google to turn over more than one year’s worth of data from the Gmail account of Jacob Appelbaum (pictured above), a developer for the Tor online anonymity project who has worked with WikiLeaks as a volunteer. The order also gagged Google, preventing it from notifying Appelbaum that his records had been provided to the government.
The surveillance of Appelbaum’s Gmail account was tied to the Justice Department’s long-running criminal investigation of WikiLeaks, which began in 2010 following the transparency group’s publication of a large cache of U.S. government diplomatic cables. ... [The Intercept - 20/6/15]
Cholera Outbreak Kills at Least 18 in South Sudan [Naharnet – 23/6/15]:
... More than two million people been forced to flee during the war, with over 137,000 civilians sheltering in U.N. peacekeeping bases, including over 34,000 civilians crammed into camps in the capital alone.
Two-thirds of the country's 12 million people need aid, with 4.5 million people facing severe food insecurity, according to the U.N. ...
Ukrainian rebels Tuesday accused government forces of killing three civilians in attacks launched hours before the start of talks in Paris on ways to stop the 15-month separatist war.
Commanders and political leaders of the self-declared "People's Republic of Donetsk" said the strikes started on Monday evening and continued through the night.
One death was reported in a village on the outskirts of Donetsk city -- a pro-Russian bastion the insurgents have turned into their de facto capital. ... [Naharnet - 23/6/15]
Nauru opposition MPs remanded in custody for 9 more days
Two Nauru MPs, one a former president, have been remanded in custody for a further nine days after a court appearance today.
The two, Sprent Dabwido and Squire Jeremiah, who have been charged in connection with a protest outside the Nauru Parliament last week, were taken into custody at the weekend.
The government has dubbed the protest a riot but the protestors say it was largely peaceeful.
Both MPs have been suspended for the past year along with three colleagues and the lack of a meaningful opposition in the parliament prompted the protest.
Mr Dabwido and Mr Jeremiah are both from Nauru's Menen district which means that area has had no parliamentary representation for a year.
Another of the suspended MPs, Mathew Batsiua, is on bail following the crackdown on the protest and a fourth, Roland Kun, has had his passport cancelled, so he cannot return to his family in Wellington, where he lives.
News Zealand: Investigation into radar fault's cause
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) says it will investigate what caused a radar fault that affected nearly 200 flights this afternoon.
Airways, which monitors New Zealand's airspace, said it noticed a fault at about 2.40pm.
The fault meant that planes already in the air could land, but those yet to depart were grounded.
The radar went back into full service at about 4.30pm but delays to flights continued tonight.
The CAA said the fault was caused by an internal system network error at Airways.
It said its investigation would also focus on trying to prevent the fault from happening again.
It said the scope of the investigation would depend on whether the Transport Accident Investigation Commission also decided to review the incident.
Flight Centre's Graham Turner takes $90m hit as shares slump after profit warning [Canberra Times – 23/6/15]
Freeport Indonesia, a local unit of US mining giant Freeport McMoran, has sunk $4 billion to support its underground mining activities in Papua while it awaits certainty over its contract extension after its concession ends in 2021, a top executive at the company said.
Freeport has built a 500 kilometer long tunnel and other facilities for its underground mining to support its current activities and exploit the 10,000 hectares of its concession area in the Grasberg mine in Papua.
Freeport sealed its basic agreement with the government of Indonesia in 1967 under the regime of President Suharto, which was inked under the second generation of contract of works before renewing the deal in 1991. ... [Jakarta Globe - 23/6/15]
Jakarta Post [22/6/15]:
Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi revealed that her ministry had approved eight applications for foreign journalistic visits to resource-rich Papua in the past six months.
In 2014, similar approval was given to 22 requests and only five were turned down.
“The refusals in 2014 were made because of incomplete procedures or warnings regarding the security situation in the areas in Papua where they wanted to go. Otherwise, from the data we have, there have been no deliberate actions to restrict foreign journalists’ access into the province,” Retno said in a hearing with the House’s Commission I on information, defense and foreign affairs at the House compound on Monday.
She explained that she has already conveyed the specific procedures for how the restrictions will be eased.Head of the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) Marciano Norman said the government’s move to ease foreign media’s access to the country’s easternmost province would be beneficial for Indonesia in international eyes.
However, he said the Papua coverage should be conducted responsibly and fairly.
“It (the policy) is actually beneficial for us because their reports can help us see where we need to improve the development in the region. However, they must be responsible and give fair and balanced coverage,” he said.
Man questioned over Armadale death
West Australian [23/6/15]:
A man is being questioned over the death of a woman at an Armadale property this morning.
Police were called to the Eighth Road residence about 8.30am.
Major Crime Squad detectives are investigating.
Police have not released any details about the circumstances of the incident.
Eighth Road is closed between Armadale Road and Gribble Avenue while police investigate.
There is limited access to the Haynes Shopping Centre. ...
The ex-husband of Melbourne woman Teresa Mancuso has been charged with her 2013 stabbing death.
The 49-year-old mother-of-two's body was found by a family member in the garage of a house in Reservoir, in Melbourne's north, on July 15 2013 at around 9.45pm.
Ms Mancuso shared the Massey Avenue house with her mother Rosina following her divorce. ... [Nine MSN - 23/6/15]
Police hope an autopsy will help them piece together what happened to a woman found with neck injuries at a north Queensland home.
Paramedics could not save the 39-year-old after being called to the property at Beaconsfield, near Mackay, on Friday night.
Police are treating the death as suspicious until foul play can be ruled out and the home remains a crime scene.
A man who knew the woman was questioned by police and released without charge.
"We anticipate the post mortem will be done over the next couple of days," Detective Acting Inspector Jeremy Novosel has told reporters.
"We're certainly spoken to a lot of witnesses ... we're very reliant on forensic procedures to assist us."
Grievous bodily harm charge, Goodna [QPS Media - 23/6/15]
Person found dead in Brisbane CBD [Brisbane Times – 22/6/15]
Update: Disturbance, Sinnamon Park [QPS Media - 22/6/15]:
A 41-year-old man has been charged following investigations into an alleged disturbance at Sinnamon Park last night.
It will be alleged at 5.30pm, two men became involved in a physical altercation in which one man was repeatedly punched and kicked at a Hercules Place residence.
A 42-year-old man sustained life-threatening head injuries and was transported to the Princess Alexandra Hospital.
A 41-year-old Pioneer man is scheduled to appear in Richlands Magistrates Court today charged with grievous bodily harm.
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.
Burglary with violence, Bundaberg South [QPS Media – 22/6/15]
Police are investigating after a man attempted to steal a car from another man at Hamilton yesterday afternoon. ... [QPS Media - 22/6/15]
Teenage boys charged with armed robbery of service station, Acacia Ridge [23/6/15]
Armed robbery, Acacia Ridge drive- thru [QPS Media – 22/6/15]
Teenagers charged with armed robbery, Marsden [QPS Media – 22/6/15]
Firefighters extinguish blaze in Murarrie [Yahoo – 22/6/15]:
Emergency workers have extinguished a blaze in Brisbane's east which was sparked by burning containers.
Twelve fire crews were sent to the site in Murarrie on Monday morning after reports industrial drums at the back of a Queensport Road property were alight.
The fire has been put out and scientific officers are on scene trying to figure out how the drums combusted, a Queensland Fire and Rescue spokeswoman told AAP.
Pair escape burning boat off Stradbroke Island [MYGC – 21/6/15]
Fatal traffic crash, Balnagowan [QPS Media - 23/6/15]
100 Sheep die in ACT truck crash [Yahoo – 22/6/15]
Ex-police officer admits sex with teenager
West Autralian [22/6/15]:
A former policeman this morning admitted charges of having sex with a teenage girl.
Dean Matthew Tapper, aged in his 40s, entered last minute pleas of guilty to three counts of sexually penetrating a girl aged 13 or over and under 16.
The pleas came at the scheduled start of a District Court trial.
The offences were committed between May and December 2012 in Midland against the same girl.
Tapper, a former senior constable, resigned from WA Police in April 2013 after being stood down from operational duties.
This morning, Tapper's defence lawyer sought an adjournment to obtain a pre-sentence report.
The court was told the issue would be whether the offences warranted an immediate or suspended term of imprisonment.
But Judge Patrick O'Neal queried why a report was needed, given Tapper had no record of similar offences and youth was not a factor.
Judge O'Neal adjourned sentencing until Wednesday. Tapper was released on bail, which was not opposed by the State.
An officer from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services has been sacked for sexual harassment and behavioural misconduct. ... [Yahoo - 23/6/15]
Jehovah's Witnesses face Royal Commission into child sexual abuse [West Australian – 22/6/15]
... Hibbert, she said, invited her up to his room in the Gallipoli block. Once inside, they began having consensual sex.
But prosecutors say she asked him to stop when the sex became rough and painful.
Prosecutor Shane Drumgold said she clearly withdrew consent, repeatedly telling him to stop, but Hibbert told her he wasn't finished. Hibbert is accused of pinning her down by her arm and her neck.
"He could obviously tell I was panicked," she said.
"All the lights were on. He was looking directly at me and he would have seen the terror in my eyes." ... [Canberra Times - 22/6/15]
Anti rights "Operation Lima Interlude" concludes today [QPS Media - 23/6/15]
… Rob Stary, a criminal lawyer who has
defended several people accused of terrorism offences, said that since the 9/11
attacks in New York and Washington in 2001, Australia had passed more than 50
terror-related laws and spent more than $30bn on the “war on terror”. He said
the result had been a polarisation of the community as the government used the
fear of terrorism to pursue wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
“What we are seeing is a sophisticated and coordinated pattern and attack on the Islamic community … to ensure there is no dissent, no examination of our role in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.” ...
Australian Muslims in trauma over politics of 'war on terror', forum hears [Guardian – 31/6/15]
WA Today [23/6/15]:
Civil liberties lawyers warn plans to strip citizenship from dual nationals accused of terrorism could see more people spend years trapped in the legal limbo of indefinite detention in Australia's immigration centres.
A total of 18 refugees judged a threat to national security under secret ASIO assessments are being held - without trial or right of appeal - in Melbourne and Sydney, some for more than six years, according the the latest figures from the Immigration Department.
The number held has gradually whittled down from 54 individuals in 2012 after ASIO decided to change its adverse finding - again, with no explanation.
Confidential ASIO assessments are likely to play a key role in any decision to strip a person of Australian citizenship under the proposed anti-terror changes.
Asked on Tuesday whether indefinite detention might be an option for people stripped of citizenship, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said this was "a bridge that we would cross if and when we came to it".
Prominent barrister Julian Burnside said that ASIO can adversely assess refugees who can then spend years in immigration detention was "worrying but understandable".
But Mr Burnside said it was "beyond understanding" that no explanation was provided for the adverse assessment - and that it could be reversed by ASIO with no explanation was "almost impossible to justify".
"All these causes for concern may seem unimportant to people who are not refugees, or are not otherwise affected by ASIO's powers," Mr Burnside said.
"But we should all worry. The fact remains that there is an agency in Australia which can, in secret and without explanation, make a decision which results in a person spending years in detention."
The Abbott government is expected to release draft legislation on Wednesday to provide powers for stripping citizenship from dual nationals who "engage in terrorism-related conduct".
Stephen Blanks, from the NSW Council of Civil Liberties, said if people in Australia had their citizenship revoked, it will inevitably lead to them being placed in immigration detention.
All Australians should be concerned their liberty could be extinguished.
WA Today [9/6/15]:
The lawyer for a 39-year-old man who has been locked up in a detention centre outside of Perth for days despite being an Indigenous Australian has labelled the mix-up as 'scandalous'.
Refugee Rights Action Network spokeswoman Sally Thompson said Mr David has been illegally detained in the Northam Immigration Detention Centre since Friday, after going to Centrelink last week to get funding for some classes.
"They questioned the validity of his passport and when he voluntarily went in to the passport office to sort it out, immigration detained him," she said.
"They insisted he was an Indian man and showed him a picture of an adolescent Indian they said was a picture of him as a child...a man they claim arrived in Australia over 30 years ago.
"He is being detained under that name at Yongah Hill."
She said it was the second time immigration had detained Mr David after confusing him with the same Indian man more than five years ago after he attended a Centrelink Office.
Ms Thompson said at that time he was detained for several days at the Perth Immigration Detention Centre and released with an apology.
"The staff at the WA South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council confirm they know the man as an Indigenous and member of the stolen generation," she said.
"He is recognised by them as a Torres Strait Islander man that hails from Eddie Mabo's country, the Murray Islands in the Torres Strait. He says he spent much of his life in missions, including Davenport Mission outside of Port Augusta."
South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council community development officer Michelle Nelson-Cox told Radio 6PR on Tuesday morning Mr David's case was not uncommon.
She said she couldn't understand why the Department of Immigration thought his passport was fake because she had seen the document with her own eyes.
"We find this bizarre as this young fellow was in possession of an Australian passport since early last year," she said.
"On receiving his passport he brought it in to us and showed us with pride and glee, because he's saying he finally had some closure in his traumatic life."
Ms Nelson-Cox said the council had not been told by the Immigration Department when Mr David would be released.
"We hope they exhaust all avenues around his identify and do some research and investigation through his Murray Islands origins," she said.
"I said they should do DNA testing with some of the clan groups over there - that's one way you can identify he's of indigenous origin."
Mr David's lawyer George Newhouse from Shine Lawyers said he had written to the Australian government solicitor demanding Eddie David be released from the Yongah Hill Immigration Detention Centre by 5pm Tuesday.
If Mr David was not released by that time, Mr Newhouse said he would take the matter to the High Court.
"He is being falsely imprisoned - I think this is scandalous," he told Fairfax Media.
Mr Newhouse was the lawyer for Cornelia Rau - a mentally ill woman who was detained for 10 months in a Brisbane jail and Baxter detention centre in 2005 before her identity was discovered.
Mr Newhouse said he couldn't believe another Australian citizen was being detained without having the chance to proof his identity before a judge.
"All Australians should be concerned their liberty could be extinguished," he said.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection said it had undertaken a thorough investigation and was fully satisfied that Mr David is an unlawful non-citizen.
"As part of this investigation, the Local Aboriginal Council did not affirm his claims to be Aboriginal," a department spokeswoman said.
As part of the investigation, the Department used fingerprint analysis and facial recognition comparisons.
The Department also contacted the Local Aboriginal Council, who did not affirm his claims to be Aboriginal.
People who have exhausted all outstanding avenues to remain in Australia and have no lawful basis to remain are expected to depart.
The Refugee Rights Action Network said the department did not contact any of the missions he claims to have lived in.
Greens label reports of ASIO spying on protesters an outrage [ABC - World Today - 12/4/12]:
KIM LANDERS: Outrageous, unthinkable and a misuse of ASIO's resources - that's the reaction from Greens leader Bob Brown to reports that Australia's spy agency is conducting surveillance on anti-coal mining protesters and Senator Brown is now calling on the Prime Minister to intervene.
But a security analyst has told the ABC that ASIO's activities may be justified.
Liz Hobday reports.
LIZ HOBDAY: Greens Senator Bob Brown says spying on protesters is not on.
BOB BROWN: It's totally outrageous, what's more that the Minister Martin Ferguson, a Labor minister at that, is complicit in having ASIO spy on farmers, eco-tourism venturers, wine-growers, the people who are really wanting to protect their lands from this rapid expansion of the fossil fuel industries in farm lands and community precincts around Australia - it is just not on.
LIZ HOBDAY: The revelations of ASIO spying on protesters were reported in Fairfax newspapers this morning.
They're based on a Freedom of Information request by Fairfax to the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, that was reportedly rejected because it involved "an intelligence agency document".
Senator Brown says the Federal Energy Minister Martin Ferguson should release the documents in question.
BOB BROWN: So that the public can see just how much he is complicit in having ASIO spy instead of on people threatening this country, on people who have a right to democratically express their opinion.
LIZ HOBDAY: The Fairfax reports have voiced concerns from security officials, that anti-coal activists pose a greater threat to energy security than terrorists.
But Athol Yates from the Australian Homeland Security Research Centre says that's not the case.
ATHOL YATES: The simple answer to that is absolutely not unless they are engaged in very destructive behaviour. In the case of most coal protests, it's much more about raising a political awareness of the issue, and the costs that are incurred by their behaviour really relate to the delay in coal production or coal transport.
LIZ HOBDAY: He says depending on the way the activities of environmental activists are defined, surveillance by ASIO may be justified.
ATHOL YATES: If they are classed as a terrorist risk, then it is justified. The question is on what basis is that assessment made? If there is concern that they are going to be involved in physical destruction or inflicting physical harm upon people, then they would be totally justified in continuing in surveying them.
LIZ HOBDAY: Cam Walker from the environment group Friends of the Earth was involved in an occupation of the coal conveyor belts at Hazelwood Power Station in Victoria's Latrobe Valley in 2009.
He says he's not surprised by the news that ASIO is involved in the surveillance of activists.
But he says protesters have never had much of an impact on energy production.
CAM WALKER: There has never been any significant impact on energy supply. There is no essential services argument here. This is really about silencing dissent. The primary focus of direct action has been against the State Government; it has been against infrastructure but has not intended to shut down the systems. It has been intended to apply political and public pressure so I think the essential services that is shutting down the grid argument is an entire furphy that has been run by people with their own political agenda.
LIZ HOBDAY: Senator Brown agrees with Cam Walker that anti-coal protests are non violent.
BOB BROWN: This is always a fit-out by industry. The violence of course occurs when the bulldozers and the heavy machinery moves in and prime farming land or neighbourhoods which were once settled and peaceful are subject to massive mining operations. If there is some sort of violence in the offing, bring in the police. That's what the police are for.
LIZ HOBDAY: The Federal Energy Minister Martin Ferguson was not available for comment this morning.
ASIO says it can't confirm whether it has conducted surveillance of anti-coal protesters but it says it does not target particular groups or individuals unless there is a security-related reason to do so.
KIM LANDERS: Liz Hobday.
The Australian government can't be trusted to adhere to obligations and responsibilities under treaties.
The whole world knows it.
Australia is seeking to restart trade talks with Indonesia, Trade Minister Andrew Robb said, after diplomatic spats left the negotiations in limbo.
“I would certainly like to get things back on track by the end of year,” Robb said in a phone interview on Monday from New Delhi. A 200-person business delegation that was shelved amid a dispute over Indonesia’s use of the death penalty for drug crimes is now planned for November, he said.
Australia’s bid to sign a comprehensive economic partnership agreement with Indonesia, a potential stepping stone to a free trade pact, has floundered for two years. Friction between the two nations include the disagreement over the execution of Australian citizens, a spying scandal and tension over Australia sending boatloads of asylum seekers back to Indonesian waters.
Robb’s comments reflect Australia’s efforts to shield its economic relationship with its northern neighbor from ups and downs in political ties and expand trade from the A$11.8 billion ($9.2 billion) reached last year. Indonesia is Australia’s 11th-largest trading partner, with the Asian nation buying wheat and live animals while Australia purchases crude petroleum.
“There’s a geopolitical context where we’ve had a few things happening but I think underneath that there’s a sensible recognition on both sides that we’re linked in lots of ways,” Robb said.
“It’s critical that we maintain the commercial relationships and then critical that we accelerate them quite significantly.” ...
A Nauru opposition MP Roland Kun has several more days to wait in a fight with the government over his passport. ... [RNZI - 23/6/15]
Australia's protected and unaccountable Foreign Minister silent on what is happening in Nauru
Two opposition MPs in Nauru are due to appear in court today in relation to anti-government protests last week.
Sprent Dabwido who is a former president of Nauru and Squire Jeremiah were arrested on Friday night.
Another opposition MP Mathew Batsiua who was arrested and bailed last week following the protests says the two men have been remanded at Nauru's correction centre and are due to appear in court for a bail hearing.
Mr Batsiua faces charges of disrupting the legislature and he says he expects Mr Jeremiah and Mr Dabwido to face similar charges.
Mr Batsiua says he is next due in court on July the 8th.
Malaysia buries, bids sombre farewell to nameless dead Rohingya found in jungle camps [The Straits Times - 22/6/15]
Senate Hansard [22/6/15]:
Senator Hanson-Young to move:
That the Senate—
(a) expresses concern at the disturbing reports aired on the Four Corners television program on 22 June 2015;
(i) that only 412 Rohingyans have been resettled in Australia through Australia's humanitarian program since 2008, and
(ii) the Government's recent refusal to provide assistance or resettlement for Rohingyans currently in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, and stranded at sea off these three countries; and
(c) urges the Government to:
(i) contribute to the search and rescue mission for thousands of migrants, including Rohingyans, currently stranded at sea,
(ii) resettle some of the Rohingyan migrants rescued by Indonesia and Malaysia, and
(iii) resettle an increased number of Rohingyans in the 2015 humanitarian program, increasing the number of the program if necessary.
United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria
Coalition military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists in Syria and Iraq June 21. In Syria, coalition military forces conducted seven airstrikes using attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft.
Separately in Iraq, coalition military forces conducted 22 airstrikes approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense using attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft against ISIL terrorists.
“The coalition struck Daesh in northern Syria,” said Col. Wayne Marotto, CJTF-OIR chief of public affairs. “Anti-ISIL forces in northern Syria have proven to be an effective and dependable force.”
The following is a summary of the strikes conducted since the last press release:
* Near Al Hasakah, one airstrike destroyed an ISIL VBIED.
* Near Aleppo, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL excavator, an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL mortar system and an ISIL vehicle.
* Near Tal Abyad, five airstrikes struck one large and four small ISIL tactical units, destroying three ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL vehicle.
* Near Baghdadi, two airstrikes destroyed an ISIL excavator and an ISIL vehicle.
* Near Habbaniyah, one airstrike struck an ISIL rocket firing position.
* Near Haditha, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying two ISIL vehicles.
* Near Hit, one airstrike destroyed an ISIL structure.
* Near Makhmur, three airstrikes struck an ISIL VBIED factory.
* Near Mosul, five airstrikes struck one large and two small ISIL tactical units, an ISIL rocket firing position and an ISIL mortar firing position, destroying three ISIL heavy machine guns, an ISIL building, an ISIL motorcycle and an ISIL vehicle.
* Near Ramadi, one airstrike destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL vehicle.
* Near Sinjar, five airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and two ISIL staging areas, destroying three ISIL tunnel systems, two ISIL bunkers, an ISIL heavy machine gun, an ISIL cache and an ISIL mortar system.
* Near Tal Afar, three airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and an ISIL tunnel system, destroying an ISIL building and an ISIL mortar firing position.
Airstrike assessments are based on initial reports. All aircraft returned to base safely.
An unofficial adviser to Hillary Clinton when she was U.S. Secretary of State told her during the 2011 rebellion that ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi that history had "vindicated" her and the "successful strategy" of the United States, emails released on Monday showed.
Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime Clinton ally and friend, heaped praise on her in the emails while making snide remarks about lower-level White House officials whom Blumenthal apparently feared would soft pedal what he considered to be a moment of U.S. triumph during the NATO-led intervention. ... [Reuters - 22/6/15]
23 June 2015