Greek farmers decide to continue road blocks as Tsipras calls them for dialogue [Greek Reporter - 23/1/16]
Thousands of self-employed took to the streets of Athens on Thursday morning to protest the Greek Pension Reforms. Layers, doctors, engineers, pharmacists, notaries, accountants, young scientists and other self-employed professionals move to downtown Athens to express their opposition against a so-called Reform that will swallow up to 80% of their income in social security contributions and taxes. ... [Keep Talking Greece - 21/1/16]
New Zealand government taken to task over TPP at Ratana [RNZI – 24/1/16]
How far away are we from Dr Mengele Australia?
Scores of medical experiments on primates are being conducted in secret at a number of Sydney hospitals and universities including an apparent cover-up of a kidney transplant from a pig to a baboon.
Fairfax Media has uncovered evidence during a six-month investigation about what has been dubbed Frankenstein-like surgical experiments undertaken on primates using taxpayer funds. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 24/1/16]
Did NSW Premier Mike Baird mean ALL refugees, or just the handpicked ones who don't come by boat and/or are being tortured in Australian concentration camps? Why doesn't he release the full recording and/or transcript of his speech? ---> New South Wales Premier Mike Baird says Australia has reached a fork in the road in its refugee policy and will be denying its history if it closes the door on new arrivals. In an Australia Day address given on Friday [to the Corporate Club Australia], Mr Baird warned of the dangers of what he called anti-immigration politics in Australia and around the world. He said the country owed much of its success to migrants, and he feared what would happen if refugees were turned away. ... [ABC - 22/1/16]
Australia is no longer accepting UNHCR refugees [Guardian -11/12/15]
Deep Racism: The forgotten history of Human Zoos [Popular Resistance - 18/2/14]
Australia's day for secrets, flags and cowards [John Pilger - 21/1/16]
@MSF_Sea [24/1/16]: With the weather improving, 3 boats have arrived to #Lesvos so far today.
@PROACTIVA_SERV [24/1/16]: Intenso frío hoy #Lesvos .Duele ser testigos de cómo sufren para cruzar a este lado del Egeo.
How many refugee boats did the Australian "Fuck your mothers ... fuck your family ..." Navy push away and/or abandon in the last 24 hours? ---> @ItalianNavy [23/1/16]: #Ultimora #SAR sono 119 i migranti soccorsi da nave Bettica #MarinaMilitare e trasbordati su CP904 @guardiacostiera
Norway halts return of asylum seekers who entered via Russia [Guardian - 24/1/16]
French Jews leaving in record numbers - but not for the reasons you think [Times of Israel - 6/1/16]
@MSF_Sea [24/1/16]: ... 3000 #people slept at the gas station last night, 700 at #Idomeni camp. The border opens & closes often & the anxiety is palpable.
@GemLouGillie [23/1/16]: This isn't a pile of blankets, this is a families' bed for the night at #Polykastro gas station where it's minus 9!
Voices from the road [22/1/16]:
Haben is a 20-year-old man from Eritrea who loves farming.
He dreams of running his own business one day.
"I come from Eritrea. I am sure that most people on Earth do not know anything about our crazy dictator regime who is drafting all citizens into the army for unknown periods of military service. No matter who you are or what you want to be in life, in my country, everyone is stuck in the army.... My father was a farmer and I want to be like him, working on my own farm. I just don't want to be part of the regime. I want to live free like anyone else in any civilized country. I left home four months ago to Sudan, then Libya and Italy by boat. Then I came to France. I have been here in the Calais Jungle for 40 days and I want to go to the UK to join my friends and relatives but it seems that it is very difficult to cross".
One Syrian woman was shot dead and another was wounded Sunday morning after they attempted to enter Lebanon illegally from Syria, the state-run National News Agency reported.
The NNA said that the Lebanese Army found L.G., the deceased, and R.D. on a road used for illegal entry along the Syrian border and transferred them to a hospital in the central Bekaa town of Chtoura.
It did not mention who was behind the shooting. [Daily Star - 24/1/16]
Terror attacks continue across Syria and Iraq
US Department of Defense [23/1/16]:
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
Fighter and attack aircraft conducted four strikes in Syria:
-- Near Ayn Isa, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.
-- Near Manbij, one strike cratered two ISIL-used roads.
-- Near Washiyah, one strike struck an ISIL headquarters.
-- Near Hawl, one strike destroyed an ISIL bunker.
Strikes in Iraq
Attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 20 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:
-- Near Kisik, six strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units, destroying 11 ISIL rockets, three ISIL vehicles and five ISIL assembly areas and suppressing an ISIL mortar position.
-- Near Makhmur, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Mosul, one strike struck an ISIL improvised explosive device factory.
-- Near Ramadi, six strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units, and destroying an ISIL front end loader, two ISIL vehicle-borne IEDs, an ISIL staging area, three ISIL fighting positions, three ISIL heavy machine gun positions, an ISIL building and an ISIL vehicle and denying ISIL access to terrain.
-- Near Sinjar, four strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed five ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL mortar tube and two ISIL light machine gun positions.
-- Near Sultan Abdallah, one strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Tal Afar, one strike suppressed an ISIL light machine gun position.
At least 63 people, including nine children, have died in air strikes believed to be carried out by Russian warplanes on a town in eastern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday.
The raids on Khasham near the city of Deir al-Zor on Saturday were among a series of strikes that also hit two other town in the past 48 hours, killing scores of people. ... [Reuters - 24/1/16]
259 killed in Iraq as heavy clashes take place in Anbar [Antiwar – 23/1/16]
US-led drone strikes kill over three dozen in eastern Afghanistan [Press TV - 24/1/16]
Victim of Obama's first drone strike: 'I am the living example of what drones are' [Guardian - 23/1/16]
… Three former Gitmo detainees were among dozens of people who staged a protest demonstration in front of the US Embassy in Kabul on Saturday, calling for the detention camp to be closed.
They chanted “death to America,” “Guantanamo is a black spot on humanity face,” death to dramas of democracy” and “close Guantanamo prison as soon as possible.” Few of the protestors had worn orange uniforms like Guantanamo inmates with their hands tied behind their back.
One of the rally participants, Sharifullah Sherzada, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, said he had no connections with the Taliban, but he spent seven years in the detention centre in Cuba.
“When the Americans first came to Afghanistan, they bought many persons including me and shifted us to Guantanamo where barbarism was ongoing. Prisoners would be beaten up, tortured and bitten by dogs and other tactics which I cannot even say in public.”
The former prisoner said he endured the torture for seven years and then he was told that he had been found innocent. He said still he could not understand why he was detained and why released.
A 60-year-old protestor, Omar Khan, said his son was detained nine years ago and remained in Guantanamo prison for an unknown crime. He said many “dark rooms” the US-prison had been filled with innocent people. “Our demand is that the prison should be closed.”
The protestors issued a resolution letter titled “close Guantanamo,” in which they urged the US government to treat Guantanamo inmates in line with international conventions on human rights.
It also asked the US government to allow the prisoners to have access to defence lawyers and courts.
The protestors said they wanted all overt and covert US-run prisons including Bagram should be closed and their inmates treated in line with human rights conventions.
They said all innocent prisoners should be compensated and crimes committed against them by US officials should be registered and produced before the International Criminal Court. ... [Pajhwok - 23/1/16]
Footage shows devastation in Yemen as Saudi 'double tap' strike hits rescuers [Middle East Eye - 22/1/15]:
... The graphic footage posted to YouTube on Thursday night, which Middle East Eye is unable to independently verify, claims to show the aftermath of Saudi-led coalition bombing raids in Dhahian.
It was filmed by 17-year-old Hashim al-Homran, who on Friday died of injuries sustained in the strikes.
The five-minute video opens with shots of people, who appear to be civilians despite some carrying weapons, searching for survivors of an air strike.
Women and children can be heard screaming. The rescuers are seen to drag several injured people into the back of trucks.
A jet or jets can be heard in the sky during a sequence where an injured man is loaded into a truck.
The jet engine noise become more prominent before an explosion hits a building surrounded by rescuers.
A shorter clip of the raid, which is not graphic, was posted to Twitter and shows the moment the bomb was dropped.
After the explosion, the cameraman drops to the ground, but continues to record the scene. ...
... But how many corners do I have to turn?
How many times do I have to learn?
All the love I have is in my mind? ...
'Lucky Man', The Verve 
Social commentary, Southport [24/1/16]
not high ri$e
Social commentary, Brisbane [24/1/16]
Only the Australian media still unquestioningly present thievery, bullying and anti-human policies as anything but right-wing. (Cue unions, professional organisations and snouts in the trough NGOs and charities chiming in their support for these latest installments of blatant class warfare.) [Sydney Morning Herald - 24/1/16]:
The Baird government is promising a $22 billion construction boom will flow from an historic decision to privatise public housing in NSW.
The construction of tens of thousands of private dwellings is expected to help ease Sydney's housing affordability crisis by putting downward pressure on rents. ...
Prep to be compulsory in Queensland by 2017 [Brisbane Times - 24/1/16]
#AustraliaDay, a day where white people drink to celebrate the destruction of my culture, people and home lands #InvasionDay #getitright
"tweeted" by @ruby_wharton [23/1/16]
@IndigenousX [22/1/16]: Brisbane #ClaimTheSpace in the lead up to #InvasionDay2016
@IndigenousX [22/1/16]: Cities everywhere getting ready for #InvasionDay2016
A 13-year-old Palestinian was shot dead Saturday after reportedly attempting to stab an Israeli security guard outside of an illegal West Bank settlement northeast of Jerusalem, Israeli police said.
Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said the girl approached a gate leading into the Anatot settlement, also known as Almon, and attempted to stab a security guard.
The guard immediately fired gunshots at the 13-year-old, injuring her critically, al-Samri said.
The child died on site shortly after. ... [Maan - 23/1/16]
United States President Barack Obama is expected to attend a Holocaust remembrance ceremony in an “unprecedented” visit to the Israeli embassy in Washington D.C.
Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer said in a statement on social media that the US president would make an appearance at the event which will posthumously honor four non-Jews who saved Jews during the Holocaust.
The event is the first of its kind to take place at the D.C.-based Israeli embassy, Dermer said, adding his “deep appreciation” for Obama’s acceptance of his invitation to speak. ... [Maan - 23/1/16]
A group of British doctors is pushing for the World Medical Association (WMA) to expel the Israeli Medical Association (IMA), the IMA’s chairman said on Wednesday during a meeting of the Knesset Science and Technology committee.
In a discussion dealing with the academic boycott of Israel, Zeev Feldman said that 71 British doctors recently called on the WMA to remove the Israeli medical group from its ranks due to allegations of torture by Israeli doctors on Palestinians.
Israeli doctors in prison facilities have long been accused of standing by or abetting the torture of Palestinian detainees. ... [Maan - 23/1/16]
Protest shuts down Israel lobby group at Chicago LGBTQ conference [Electronic Intifada - 23/1/16]:
... Shams said that large numbers of Chicago police came to the hotel, but as far as he knew there had been no arrests.
He said that protesters chanted against Israeli apartheid and pinkwashing and against the US government’s policies of mass deportation of immigrants implemented by ICE. ...
Up to 20 people were killed when al-Shabab suicide bombers and gunmen attacked a seafront hotel and restaurant in the heart of the Somali capital.
A car packed with explosives rammed into the Beach View Hotel on Lido beach in Mogadishu on Thursday evening, after which several al-Shabab fighters opened fire at the hotel, witnesses told Al Jazeera.
"After the blast, I saw at least four armed men run into the hotel, shooting everyone inside and around the hotel," Mustafa Elmi, a beach visitor, told DPA news agency.
"I managed to escape with minor wounds, but there were people who were shot dead on the spot," he added.
At least six people - and eight attackers - were killed, the intelligence agency told Al Jazeera.
Other reports, citing police and officials, said up to 20 people may have been killed in total.
Locals said the death toll was likely to rise because some families had earlier collected bodies for burial. ... [Al Jazeera - 22/1/16]
MSF ambulance driver, civilians killed in Yemen by Saudi airstrikes [Albawaba - 22/1/16
A Yemeni boy inspect the damage at a sports hall that was partially destroyed by Saudi-led air strikes in Sanaa
Image: @AFPphoto [19/1/16]
Sickened by gangrene in Utah immigration concentration camp, Guatemalan father now faces deportation [Democracy Now - 22/1/16]:
... RENÉE FELTZ: Right. And he was simply trying to go to his check-ins. It appeared that he was trying to follow the rules of his release. So I started to wonder, you know, why exactly is he being targeted now. I tried to confirm as much as possible about what we’ve reported so far. We’re the first ones to do so. I was able to speak with ICE, two immigration spokespersons, yesterday, and they were unable to tell me anything in terms of confirming what we’ve reported, because he hasn’t yet signed a privacy release form. It’s hard for me to get that to him while he’s in the Cache County Jail. I also spoke with a researcher of Human Rights Watch. She’s looking into this issue of medical neglect and medical care in general for immigrant detainees. And she interviewed Angel Rosa in September last year. And briefly, he told her that his infection first developed when he was placed in the solitary cell after his toilet broke in his cell. And so, I do have to some extent confirmed from Angel directly what happened to him, not just through his daughter and through his attorney.
I want to say one other thing. You know, when I started looking at this facility, it’s in Spanish Fork, Utah. It’s the Utah County Jail. People may wonder why is he in a cell, why is he in a jail. It’s a facility that ICE contracts with, and so there are immigrants held there. Interestingly, to keep out timeline straight, he was ill in 2014. I looked up ICE’s own death records for detainees. And this facility, actually, in Spanish Fork had a death. In fact, I can read a little bit here about it. On July 12, 2014, ICE records show that Santiago Sierra-Sanchez died after he was detained in the Utah County Jail in Spanish Fork, Utah. The cause of death was Staphylococcus aureus infection. He actually died at the Utah County Regional Medical Center, but he was held previously at this facility before he was taken there. He was a 38-year-old Mexican national. And interestingly, when he was entered into the facility where Angel Rosa also was, just like everybody, they’re supposed to receive a screening when they enter, a medical screening. And either they didn’t catch this infection, if he had it when Angel went in, or the staph infection that Mr. Sanchez had—either they didn’t catch it, or they caught it after they were there. ...
Haiti: UN chief concerned at postponement of polls; calls on all sides to refrain from violence [Media Release - 23/1/16]
Services from the port of Calais have been disrupted after 50 migrants briefly boarded a ship, the city's mayor Natacha Bouchart has said.
It is understood that about 50 migrants in Calais boarded a P&O ferry named the Spirit of Britain, while it was unloading.
The incident happened during a protest at the port, in favour of migrants. ... [BBC - 23/1/16]
US relies heavily on Saudi money to support Syrian rebels [New York Times - 23/1/16]
24 January 2016