Great Barrier Reef: Oil washes up on three beaches after last week's spill

Brisbane Times [24/7/15]:

Palm-sized clumps of oil have washed up Hinchinbrook Island, Great Palm Island and a third beach near Ingham after an oil spill near Townsville last week.

Maritime Safety Queensland and Townsville Water Police on Friday afternoon confirmed clumps of "weathered oil" had been found in three locations.

Oil has washed up on Forrest Beach near Ingham, on beaches on Palm Island and on Mulligan Beach on Hinchinbrook Island.

Hinchinbrook Island is a national park with no permanent residents.

North Queensland Conservation Council co-ordinator Wendy Tubman said she was concerned that oil had now washed ashore on three pristine beaches.

A 800-metre diameter oil spill was first reported by a Townsville fisherman last Thursday and broke up to an oily film spreading over 30 kilometres south of Townsville.

Ms Tubman said she was concerned issues had been downplayed by authorities and the clean-up was slow.

"It seems a bit slow, it's now a week later," she said.

"It seems like it was downplayed for a long time."

"Now they are saying they have actually found bits of it on land that you can see.

"But what about all the rest of it, that you can't see .

"How far has that dispersed and what has been the impact?


Townsville Water Police confirmed late yesterday a report of weathered oil clumps, or patties, drifting west of the Palm Island group.

"This is understood to relate to a report of oil in the water off Cape Upstart late last week with patches of oil sheen sighted during aerial surveillance on Saturday," a Maritime Safety Queensland spokesman said.

The clumps of oil are restricted to "one or two kilometre long stretches" at each beach.

Clean-up plans are being put in place now.

"Maritime Safety Queensland has trained shore-line clean-up personnel in Townsville who will assist local councils on shoreline operations.

"It's expected first clean-up crews will start Saturday morning.

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and National Parks and Wildlife Services officers are also involved in the clean-up.

Oil samples have now been taken from 10 ships that were in the area near Cape Upstart last Thursday and Friday, an MSQ spokesman said.

Samples will be used to track down the vessel which released the oil.

Anyone finding unfamiliar material on the shore can report it to either GBRMPA on 0427 969 384 or to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection on 1300 130 372.




Man seriously injured after falling 3 metres during arrest, Surfers Paradise



QPS Media [24/7/15]:



A 30-year-old man is in hospital after he was injured during an arrest at Surfers Paradise yesterday afternoon.

Around 5.25pm police responded to reports of a man and a woman involved in an altercation at Hanlan Street.

Police detained the man and positioned him against a screen wall for a physical search. During the search the wall gave way and the man fell approximately three metres to an underground carpark.

The man was transported to hospital with serious head and spinal injuries. He is in a stable condition in hospital. Investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.






Anti rights arrest, Mt Gravatt East [QPS Media - 24/7/15]






Boys charged with armed robberies, Parkinson, Graceville, Runcorn, Forest Lake [QPS Media - 24/7/14]





A chemical threat that forced the evacuation of homes in a Cairns suburb has been resolved.

Police revoked an emergency situation warning about 6pm, three hours after it was issued when a man made threats and claimed to have highly toxic chemicals.

Officers established an exclusion zone in Mooroobool after the man told police he had cyanide.

Authorities have left the scene, but police investigations are continuing. [Yahoo - 24/7/15]





Cape York couple convicted of murdering gold prospector Bruce Schuler in far north Queensland three years ago [ABC - 24/7/15]






Fatal traffic crash, Home Hill




QPS Media [24/7/15]:




Police are at the scene of a single vehicle, fatal traffic crash which occurred in Home Hill this afternoon.

At around 2pm a single vehicle carrying five people, rolled on the Bruce Highway, approximately 4kms south of Home Hill.

Two men and one women have been declared deceased at the scene and one man and a woman has been taken to Townsville Hospital in a critical condition.

One lane of the highway remains closed as emergency services tend to the scene.

The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating.

There is no further information available at this time.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.





Fatal traffic crash, Calliope



QPS Media [24/7/15]:



Police are investigating a fatal, single vehicle traffic crash that occurred on the Bruce Highway, north of Calliope last night.

Initial investigations suggest that just after 8.15pm a prime mover towing a trailer jacknifed and travelled off the highway.

A man believed to be in his 40s was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating the incident.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.




Fatal traffic crash, Bowen



QPS Media [24/7/15]:



Police are investigating a fatal traffic crash that occurred on the Bruce Highway 10km south of Bowen early this afternoon.

Initial information indicates around 12:30pm, a car and a utility have impacted head-on.

Emergency services attended the crash.

A 15-year-old girl, a passenger in the car, died at the scene as a result of injuries received in the crash.

The 45-year-old female driver and two other passengers were treated for injuries and transported to Bowen Base Hospital.

The driver and sole occupant of the utility was transported to Bowen Hospital and later released without injury.

The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.



Serious traffic incident, Caloundra



QPS Media [24/7/15]:



Police are investigating a serious traffic incident which occurred in the early hours of this morning in which a man has received life threatening injuries.

Preliminary information suggests just after midnight, police responded to reports of a man lying on the roadway at Bullcock Street, Caloundra near the intersection with Minchinton Street.

Upon the arrival of emergency services, the man was observed on the road with a serious head injury and was transported to the Nambour Hospital.

Witnesses reported seeing a small silver sedan on the road at this time and police are appealing for the driver of the car to come forward.

Additionally, anyone who may have footage of the area or information which may assist with the investigation is urged to contact Crime Stoppers.

The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.



Serious traffic crash, Redbank Creek



QPS Media [24/7/15]:



Police are investigating a serious, single vehicle traffic crash which occurred on Esk Hampton Road at Redbank Creek.

At about 3.15pm, a vehicle travelling towards Esk left the roadway and collided with a tree.

The male driver and two passengers, a male and female, sustained serious injuries and were transported to Toowoomba Base Hospital for treatment.

Traffic control remains in place and the Forensic Crash Unit is investigating.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.







UPDATE: Serious traffic crash, Chermside [QPS Media - 24/7/15]





Woman injured after being hit by car, Southport



MYGC [24/7/15]:



A woman has been hit by a car on the Gold Coast this morning.

Emergency services rushed to the scene on Nerang St at Southport  around 11.15am following reports a pedestrian had been struck.

The 30-year-old woman was taken to the Gold Coast University Hospital with bruising.  







Teenage boy hit by car, Victoria Point



Yahoo [24/7/15]:



A teenage pedestrian is being treated for possible head injuries after being hit by a car at a busy Brisbane intersection.

 The 15-year-old boy was walking at the corner of Benfer Road and Cleveland-Redland Bay Road at Victoria Point when he was struck.

Paramedics are treating him for a head injury, but the condition of the boy is unknown.





Armed robbery, Mackay



QPS Media [24/7/15]:



Police are investigating the armed robbery of a convenience store in Mackay today.

At around 6pm, a man entered the store on Napier Street, produced a knife and demanded money from two staff members.

The man was handed money from the cash register before he fled the scene on a pushbike. The employees were not physically injured during the incident.

Investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.



Armed robbery, Mackay



QPS Media [24/7/15]:



A 37-year-old man is assisting police with inquiries following the armed robbery of a bottle shop in Mackay yesterday.

At around 4.30pm a man entered the bottle shop on Evans Street and threatened a female attendant with a knife before stealing products from the shelf.

The man then left the store but was tackled on the street by a member of the public and restrained until police arrived.

The man was taken into custody and transported to the Mackay Base Hospital where he is receiving treatment for a leg injury sustained during the tackle.

The employee was not physically injured during the incident.

Investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.






ABC publishes new images of refugee boat that made it to WA this week and which Australia has disappeared



ABC [24/7/15]:



New pictures have emerged of the asylum seeker boat that was discovered off Western Australia's North West coast earlier this week.

The boat was first spotted by crew members on an oil tanker on Monday morning, about 150 kilometres from Dampier.

The pictures, obtained by the ABC, show people inside the vessel.

Water police were called in to help locate the boat, followed by a Navy ship.

The boat was not brought in to dock at Dampier port and the Federal Government has refused to provide any details, citing operational reasons.

A Vietnamese advocacy group said earlier this week that it was worried the Government would unfairly dismiss the refugee claims of the asylum seekers.

VOICE said it believed up to 30 of the people on the boat were fisherman caught up in a territorial dispute between Vietnam and China.





Video shows testing of fake refugee boats used for refoulement? false flag? decoy? [Guardian - 6/3/15]:




In the presence of lies and obfuscation from our rulers, speculation is warranted and justified.




Guardian Australia has obtained footage of the new boats Australia will be using to forcibly return unwanted asylum-seekers to source and transit countries. The boats are understood to have been tested in Vietnam in December. Ten boats, manufactured by Dragon Industries Australia, will be used to replace the controversial orange life boats occasionally used to tow people away from Australia.






Ron Tandberg




Early morning raids at Yongah Hill Detention Centre in Northam




WA Today [23/7/15]:



A number of detainees at Yongah Hill Detention Centre near Northam have been transferred to prison, according to refugee advocates.

The move seems to be a reaction to fighting at the centre on Tuesday, when a number of guards were injured.

Refugee Rights Action Network spokeswoman Sally Thompson said a number of detainees were rounded up in early morning raids on Thursday.

"One of my contacts there called me at 6.00am and told me about the raids. They were carried out around 4.00am by police officers, or security guards, in black uniforms with shields and who used chemical sprays on the detainees," she said.

Other media reports quote a statement from the Australian Border Force confirming the raids and transfers took place.

Sally Thompson said most of the detainees who were transferred were being detained under Section 501 of the Immigration Act and faced deportation for serious criminal offences.

 "RRAN is very concerned about the different groups being held together at Yongah Hills," she said.

"There is tension between groups of asylum seekers, visa overstayers and section 501 detainees, a number of whom have serious criminal backgrounds."







New Matilda lays bare Labor for Refugees' shallow cynicism [New Matilda - 24/7/15]:



... Speaking to New Matilda today, Co-Convenor of Labor for Refugees Shane Prince, refused to confirm whether the group would even move a motion calling on the party to take an anti-turn back stand.

Instead, Prince argued that as turn backs were a breach of international law the party platform was in fact already opposed to them. The draft platform prepared for the conference says Labor will treat asylum seekers in accordance with Australia’s international obligations.

“Something we have to weigh up is whether we have to move such a motion to make something abundantly clear which we say is already abundantly clear,” Prince said.

“We’re not in the business of moving motions just for the sake of doing it. What we do not want to do, for obvious reasons, is to move a motion that then fails.

“Because that will confuse the party, it will lead to internal divisions on an ongoing basis, and it will be used as an argument to say that the platform allows turn backs and we say it doesn’t. We don’t want division within the party.” ...









As immigration and incarceration issues become central to the 2016 presidential campaign, lobbyists for two major prison companies are serving as top fundraisers for Hillary Clinton.

Corrections Corporation of America and the Geo Group could both see their fortunes turning if there are fewer people to lock up in the future. ... [The Intercept - 24/7/15]






Two attempted suicides on Nauru follow sexual assault cover-up

Refugee Action Collective, Victoria [24/7/15]:

The mother and brother of a 23 year-old Iranian woman, who was viciously sexually assaulted and bashed two months ago on Nauru, attempted suicide last night on Nauru.

Controversy has surrounded the assault and the treatment of the family since the attack in May.

Initially the immigration department and the Nauruan police denied the sexual assault had taken place.

It took three days for the Australian and Nauruan authorities to admit that the assault had taken place.

The woman, her brother and mother, have been held incommunicado in the staff accommodation area, formerly the original detention area, called OPC 1, since the woman was assaulted.

It is understood from refugees on Nauru, that the attempted suicides were precipitated by anger and frustration with the on-going treatment and isolation of the family, and in particular the separation of the victim from her mother and brother.

One refugee told the Refugee Action Coalition last night (Thursday night) that, “The family needs help. No-one knows what is happening to our friend and her family. No-one can talk to them.”

The attempted suicides come at a time of escalating sexual assaults alongside inaction and indifference by police and authorities on Nauru.

The escalating number and impunity associated with the assaults has created a climate of fear on Nauru.

Somali women at the Ewa refugee camp on Nauru have become the latest victims of what are becoming regular assaults.

Last week, one Somali woman was threatened by three masked men armed with a knife.

Last night (Thursday night) police were called to Ewa when men approached the accommodation huts of the single women.

“Nauru is unsafe. The asylum seekers and refugees must be brought to the mainland,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“The Moss review and the Senate enquiry have revealed the scale of sexual and physical abuse against women and children in detention.

“Female refugees are being terrorised. Many of them have fled such abuse from their home countries only to find they are the victims of sexual crimes on Nauru.

“Some refugee women are so terrorised they have appealed to be placed back into detention.

“There must be an independent inquiry into the cover-up and continuing mistreatment of the victim of the May assault.

“Former Ministers and the Australian government has tried to cover up the assault and abuse that is endemic on Nauru. That is the main reason the Coalition government introduced the Border Force Act. That secrecy has led to a situation in which sexual assault happens on with impunity. The Australian government is complicit in the reign of terror on Nauru.”


Sydney Morning Herald [25/5/15]:

...The 23-year-old asylum seeker has told Fairfax Media that she was leaving the detention centre on a day release last Saturday when she claims that someone jumped out from behind her, put his hand on her mouth and forcefully pulled down her top.

She said she was then forced to give violent oral sex for over an hour as her assailant bit her breasts and shoulders.

After her attacker fled, the naked, distressed and disorientated woman managed to find a local police unit who put her in the back of their truck.

"They didn't take me back to the police station, they decided to take me with them to watch the fireworks for Nauru's constitution day," she said in a statement.

"It was not until hours later that the police asked for an interpreter".

She claims that she was asked to repeat the story of her assault three times without receiving medical attention.

Last week Nauruan police said that there was no suggestion that anyone had assaulted her.

In a statement they said the woman was found walking in a nearby street naked after failing to return to the the detention centre on Saturday night.

"There is no injury to her or any sign of other physical force or trauma," the Nauru Police Force said.

In an about face last week, the police force have since launched an investigation and promised to "find the person who did this".




... 7:30 didn’t actually air the allegations Adeang claims it did. The program did, however, point out the following facts: when the Justice Minister’s wife burned to death on her own front lawn no evidence was collected from the scene, and the police said they were too scared of Adeang to investigate.

Oh, and the nation’s coroner was kicked off the island by Adeang before he could investigate. ... [New Matilda - 27/6/15]


Nauru opposition MP hopes to meet with Pacific Islands Forum head [RNZI – 24/7/15]



Australia has accepted 25 Rohingya refugees since Abbott was elected.


Now Australia accepts ZERO refugees, but the major parties and media establishment keep lying that children will be released from detention (and the refugee intake will double) if refoulement continues.



Sydney Morning Herald [24/7/15]:


A child has been held in immigration detention for at least 1113 days and the Abbott government has accepted just 25 Rohingya refugees despite thousands fleeing persecution, official figures show, raising fresh criticism of Australia's hardline asylum-seeker stance.


Information supplied by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and released by a Senate estimates committee this week showed that as of late May there were 136 children in immigration detention.

The longest had been held for 1113 days, or more than three years.

The department said one of the child's parents was subject to a "serious law enforcement issue". It said officials had offered to split the family so the children could be moved out of detention, but the parents declined.

The number of children in immigration detention has dropped substantially under the Abbott government, from a high of almost 2000 under Labor.

The average time a child has spent in detention under this government is 335 days – up from 295 days under Labor.

Claire Hammerton, a spokeswoman for ChilOut, which lobbies to free children from detention, said the human rights of every child should be met "no matter how they come to this country and … irrespective of the actions of their parents".


Meanwhile, figures to May show the Abbott government had accepted just 25 Rohingya refugees since it came to power.

Thousands of Rohingya, an ethnic Muslim minority, have been abandoned by human traffickers and pushed back out to sea by Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. Hundreds have died attempting to cross the Bay of Bengal.

The UN has described Rohingya in Myanmar as among the world's most persecuted people.


Green senator Sarah Hanson-Young said the government had "done virtually nothing" to help Rohingyan refugees", describing the stance as "utterly shameful".

A department spokeswoman said Australia's humanitarian program "responds to humanitarian situations, and cohorts selected for resettlement will vary from year to year". [IT'S BEEN ZERO SINCE OCTOBER 2014.]


Thai general among 72 indicted over human trafficking
[Seychelles News Agency - 24/7/15]





Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya children at high risk of infantile-mortality, enslavement and disabilities - coercive atrocities bear the hallmarks of genocidal clamp-down  [South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation Media Release - 23/7/15]





ALP and LNP vote against Greens Senate motion to save Rohingya [Senate Hansard - 24/6/15]:

Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (15:39): I move:

That the Senate—

(a) expresses concern at the disturbing reports aired on the Four Corners television program on 22 June 2015;

(b) notes:

(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.

The PRESIDENT: The question is that the motion be agreed to.


The Senate divided [15:39]

(The President—Senator Parry)


Ayes ...................... 13

Noes ...................... 33

Majority ................. 20


Di Natale, R

Hanson-Young, SC

Lazarus, GP

Ludlam, S

Madigan, JJ

Milne, C

Rhiannon, L

Rice, J

Siewert, R (teller)

Waters, LJ

Whish-Wilson, PS

Wright, PL

Xenophon, N


Back, CJ

Bilyk, CL

Brown, CL

Bullock, J.W.

Bushby, DC

Cameron, DN

Canavan, M.J.

Colbeck, R

Edwards, S

Fawcett, DJ

Fifield, MP

Gallagher, KR

Heffernan, W

Ketter, CR

Leyonhjelm, DE

Lindgren, JM

Lines, S

Marshall, GM

McEwen, A (teller)

McGrath, J

McKenzie, B

McLucas, J

Moore, CM

Nash, F

O'Neill, DM

Parry, S

Peris, N

Polley, H

Ruston, A

Ryan, SM

Urquhart, AE

Wang, Z

Williams, JR

Question negatived.





Israeli forces injured eight Palestinians in the occupied West Bank town of Beit Ummar Thursday as clashes erupted after the funeral of Falah Abu Maria, who was shot dead in his home at dawn during an Israeli arrest raid, witnesses said.

Spokesman for a popular committee in the Hebron-area town, Mohammad Ayyad Awad, said that Israeli forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas at funeral attendees. ... [Maan - 23/7/15]



Israeli authorities have warned Bedouin community in occupied West Bank of imminent demolition of their makeshift homes. ... [Al Jazeera - 24/7/15]


Israel advances new settlement plans in occupied West Bank [Al Jazeera – 23/7/15]




Israel has given retired U.S.-supplied Cobra combat helicopters to Jordan to help the Hashemite kingdom fend off insurgent threats on the Syrian and Iraqi borders, a U.S. official with knowledge of the deal said.

The handover, initiated last year, was approved by Washington, which provided mechanical overhauls for the aircraft before they were incorporated free of charge in Jordan's existing Cobra fleet, the official said. ... [Ahram - 23/7/15]





Libya: UN mission calls for immediate ceasefire as fresh violence erupts across country's southern region [Media Release - 23/7/15]





Somali government troops backed by African Union forces on Friday captured the Shebab stronghold of Dinsor, the second town seized from the Al-Qaida-affiliated Islamists this week, the defense minister said.

While Dinsor fell without a major fight, with Shebab gunmen fleeing ahead of the assault, witnesses have reported heavy casualties in the week-long offensive with civilians caught up in the fighting. Village elders reported that dozens of bodies have been buried.  ... [Naharnet - 24/7/15]





Saudi airstrikes in Yemen claim lives of three civilians [Press TV - 24/7/15]



Yemen: The world’s newest humanitarian catastrophe, and how Britain helped to create it [Middle East Eye - 4/7/15]





Military school knew of doctor's macabre ways for decades
[Reuters - 23/7/15]:

The president of the U.S. military’s medical college said he took swift action after learning in 2013 that John Henry Hagmann, a former Army doctor teaching there, was injecting students with hypnotic drugs, inducing shock by withdrawing their blood, and performing rectal exams in class.

Hagmann was escorted off the Uniformed Services University campus in Maryland, and the college quickly offered students blood tests to determine if they had been exposed to any diseases, school President Charles Rice said.

The college also launched an internal investigation into Hagmann’s conduct, and it forwarded information to law enforcement authorities and the Virginia Board of Medicine, which revoked Hagmann’s license last month.

“We took immediate steps,” Rice said.

But records reviewed by Reuters, including the university’s own investigation, show that school officials had known of Hagmann’s teaching methods for more than 20 years.

The records also show that three faculty members sat in on Hagmann’s course in 2012 but did not alert their superiors, despite witnessing practices that the school has since banned.

One former dean even pushed to have Hagmann court-martialed in 1993 over similar allegations, records show.




Turkey launches airstrikes against Syria [Al Jazeera - 24/7/15]



United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria




Reuters [23/7/15]:



The United States and its allies carried out 18 air strikes on Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria on Wednesday, the Command Joint Task Force said in a statement on Thursday. E

leven strikes were near the Iraqi cities of Habbaniyah, Haditha, Makhmur, Mosul, Ramadi, Sinjar and Tel Afar and hit tactical units, vehicles, weapons, bunkers and other Islamic State assets.

In Syria, four attacks near Kobani hit tactical units and fighting positions, while similar targets were hit in three strikes near Al Hasakah, the statement said.



US defense chief makes surprise trip to Iraq [Reuters – 23/7/15]





Turkey has agreed to allow U.S. planes to launch air strikes against Islamic State militants from the U.S. air base at Incirlik, close to the Syrian border, U.S. defense officials said on Thursday. ... [Reuters - 23/7/15]



The mainstream Milliyet daily announced on Wednesday that it has parted ways with columnist Kadri Gürsel over a tweet in which he criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as being responsible for the presence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Turkey. ... [Todays Zaman - 22/7/15]







Turkish media have faced over 150 gag orders in the last four years, according to Hürriyet reporter Zeynep Gürcanlı. Here are 10 of them.  ... [Hurriyet Daily News - 27/11/14]





Today I announce the appointment of Mr Christopher Langman as Australia's next Ambassador to Iraq. ... [Foreign Minister Media Release - 20/7/15]





Three people, including the gunman, were killed and seven others were injured in a shooting Thursday night at a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, police said.

Some of the wounded were in critical condition, said Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft, who said the gunman, a white man in his 50s who used a handgun, killed himself.  ... [NBC - 23/7/15]








Sandra Bland left voicemail before death in Texas jail [BBC – 23/7/15]






Transgender woman India Clarke found dead near Florida playground in suspected murder [New York Daily News – 23/7/15]



One day after Sandra Bland’s death, 18-year-old Kindra Chapman was found dead in jail [Raw Story - 22/7/15]

Why wasn't Dylann Roof charged with terrorism? [The Intercept – 22/7/15]








Afghanistan:  Governor of Central Logar asks US to compensate families of Afghan troops killed and wounded in airstrike




Pajhwok [23/7/15]:


The governor of central Logar province on Thursday asked US forces to compensate the families of Afghan National Army (ANA) troops killed and wounded in their airstrike in Baraki Barak district.

Monday’s airstrike that involved two US helicopters targeted an ANA outpost and killed eight soldiers and wounded six others, prompting President Ashraf Ghani to order an investigation into the incident.

A press statement from the Logar governor’s office said the president-appointed investigation team had held a meeting with Governor Haleem Fidai and other officials in Pul=I-Alam, the provincial capital.

At the meeting, Fidai demanded the foreign troops pay US $50,000 each to families of the slain soldiers and US $15,000 each to the injured ones in compensation.

Ground Forces Commander Gen. Murad Ali Murad, who headed the investigation team, said they had held detailed meetings with ANA soldiers, other military and civil officials and local residents . The delegation would present its report to the president after completing its investigation.

Fidai called for a thorough investigation into the airstrike and suggested allotting land plots to families of the slain and injured soldiers in their respective areas. The governor asked the Ministry of Defence to increase its own compensation to the families of the victims.

He also urged the Ministry of Interior to support children of the slain soldiers in getting education.



A civilian was killed and six policemen were wounded in a bomb explosion in Baraki Barak district of central Logar province, an official said on Thursday.  ... [Pajhwok - 23/7/15]





Beirut’s mounting trash reflects crisis of government

EURO News [23/7/15]:



The stench of uncollected refuse in the streets of Beirut is a stark reminder of the crisis of government afflicting Lebanon, where politicians divided by local and regional conflicts have been unable to agree on where to dump the capital’s rubbish.

Mounting piles of garbage festering in the summer heat are triggering health warnings and protests by residents furious their government failed to avoid a crisis ignited by the long-scheduled closure of a major landfill site last week.

For lack of state planning, the tip at Naameh south of Beirut had already been kept open well beyond its planned closure date. The date set for its final closure – July 17 – was known, but the authorities had no ready alternative when the day came.

“We got to this point – this crisis – because of the political struggle in Lebanon,” said Mohamad Al Machnouk, the minister of environment. He blamed procrastination among politicians for the refuse now piling up in the streets.

A plan to dump rubbish from Beirut – where more than half the population live – at locations around Lebanon is meeting resistance from the regions. The front page of the French language newspaper L’Orient Le Jour on Thursday declared Lebanon the “Trash can Republic”.








... Following the footsteps of Domino's (a competitor to another Yum! Brands chain, Pizza Hut), KFC India has now officially partnered up with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, IRTCT, in a new venture that will allow those who travel through this medium to try the chain's fried chicken menu on trains. ... [Food World News - 22/7/15]







21 dead as cargo ship hits party boat north of Cairo

Naharnet [22/7/15]:

At least 21 people celebrating an engagement were killed on the Nile north of Cairo late Wednesday when a cargo ship hit their chartered boat, medical and security sources said.

Five of the party were rescued from the river but at least six were still missing early on Thursday.

Security sources said the search for them had been hampered by the darkness.

At least two children were killed. Family and friends of a young couple had hired the boat to celebrate their engagement. It was not clear whether the couple were among the dead.

Police said they had arrested the captain of the cargo boat and his deputy after the accident, one of many that happen on the Nile and off Egypt's coast each year.

In the deadliest such accident in February 2006, an Egyptian ferry sank in the Red Sea, killing more than 1,000 people.


Wildfires in Montana, California scorch thousands of acres, trigger evacuations

NPR [23/7/15]:

Fast-moving wildfires in Montana and California have scorched thousands of acres and triggered evacuations.

"The Reynolds Creek Wildland Fire was first reported about 6 p.m. ET on the east side of Glacier National Park, according to a news release by the National Parks Service.

"Within hours the inferno prompted evacuations of a park inn and campground. Officials also closed a portion of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, a nearly 50-mile roadway that runs through the park."

The AP reports that the weather forecast calls for low humidity and wind gusts, increasing the risk of fire.

"These conditions may create explosive fire growth potential," Glacier National Park spokeswoman Denise Germann told the AP.

"The blaze first broke out about 2:30 p.m. near Highway 128 and Greaves Road, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Flames spread swiftly through the steep, rugged terrain near the borders of Napa, Solano and Yolo counties, Cal Fire officials said.

"Erratic winds posed a challenge to the 400 firefighters deployed to battle the blaze, which has prompted the closure of Highway 128, according to the state fire agency.

"Evacuations were ordered for the Cold Canyon, Mix Canyon and Quail Ridge. Three hikers in Cold Canyon were rescued, said Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant. Campers in the Canyon Creek and Lake Solano campgrounds were also evacuated, officials said."




Paedophile brother gets nine month minimum prison term

Herald [23/7/15]:

A paedophile who preyed on boys in Maitland in the early 1970s before going on to become one of the Marist Brothers’ most senior educators was jailed for a minimum of nine months on Thursday.

Brother Peter Pemble was not long out of teachers’ college when he was sent to Marist Brothers High School at Maitland in 1971, Judge Peter Berman said.

The following year, Pemble selected a boy to help him organise sporting activities before isolating him on at least two occasions and indecently assaulting him.

The victim, who attended Thursday’s sentencing hearing in Newcastle District Court, told how he withdrew from sport completely after the attacks and went on to fail his school certificate before changing schools and completing his education.

He said he carried the shame and disgust of the attacks for decades before widespread reporting of paedophile activity within the Catholic Church began to affect him greatly.

He told his wife in 2013 what Pemble did before alerting police.

Judge Berman sentenced Pemble to 18 months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of nine months.

He said he was forced to apply sentencing principles from the 1970s, which were flawed and far more lenient compared to today’s standards.

Pemble, now 67, went on to become a school principal at Trinity Catholic College Lismore and St Gregory’s Campbelltown.

Now retired, he has spent time studying and working at a university in Belgium, the court heard.

His lawyer, Greg Walsh, said Pemble would be vulnerable in jail because of his age and a number of ailments including having undergone 15 operations, among them multiple hip and knee replacements.

The Marist Brothers’ Province of Australia released a statement saying: ‘‘While nothing can undo the harm done, we will provide [the victim] with ongoing support and redress.’’

‘‘It is a source of great shame to the Brothers and the church that such actions could have been perpetrated against young people at a time in their lives when they were vulnerable and in need of nurturance and guidance,’’ the statement said. ‘‘The trust that they and their parents gave Peter Pemble, the school and the Brothers was betrayed.’’

Pemble will be released from prison next April.





 Central Coast mums deliver 50 baby formula cans to @LucyWicksMP protesting the treatment of babies on Nauru.



Image: @TahliaRoy - journalist - Channel 9 [24/7/15]





Nauru:  Australia funds a billion dollar refugee concentration camp.  USAID does some propaganda for empire. Neither see their role in causing human suffering.





PNG court grants bail to man charged over murder of Reza Barati at Australia's refugee death camp on Manus




SBS [24/7/15]:



A Papua New Guinean man charged with the murder of asylum seeker Reza Barati has been granted bail.

Joshua Kaluvia was charged over the death of the 23-year-old Iranian man inside the Australian-run asylum seeker detention centre on Manus Island in February 2014.

Kaluvia was a Salvation Army worker at the detention centre.

Manus Island MP Ron Knight confirmed a local court had released Kaluvia into the community.

Refugees in the transit centre on Manus Island have claimed Kaluvia has made contact with them and threatened to go after eyewitnesses who gave statements to police.

Two asylum seekers, who witnessed the bashing of Mr Barati, have been granted refugee status but are refusing to leave the detention centre because they fear for their lives.

Mr Knight said if anyone had complaints about Kaluvia's conduct they should call the police and his bail could be revoked.

"People can be so stupid and do things like that," he told AAP. "But I don't believe he should be doing that, I don't believe he did but if he has done that ... there should be an official complaint."

Kaluvia led police on a five-month chase from Manus Island to the country's mainland and finally over the sea to Kimbe, the capital of West New Britain province before his arrest in August last year.

Another man Louie Efi has also been charged over Mr Barati's death and police are still looking for three more suspects - a PNG man and two others believed to be from Australia or New Zealand.

The duo are expected to face trial in September.

Comment has been sought from Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.





Member for Manus Ronny Knight has been granted leave by the National Court to review the decision of the leadership tribunal that recommended his dismissal from office.

Knight was found guilty to misappropriation charges on March 20, 2015 by the tribunal on four of the five allegations brought against him.

He was recommended on May 01, 2015 for dismissal from office by tribunal members led by chairman Judge Salatiel Lenalia and senior magistrates Ignatius Kurei and Rosie Johnston.

The Member for Manus was found guilty of misappropriating funds from the District Services Improvement Programs (DSIP) with the purchase of the Manus district vessel MV Trader Star and the engagement of a consultation firm, Pokarop and Morton Company Limited in its purchase.    ... [PNG Loop - 22/7/15]




Did Australia's Border Force Commissioner break the law by tweeting information about Nauru's refugee concentration camp?




@ABFComm - Australian Border Force Commissioner, Roman Quaedvlieg [22/7/15]:   Day 1 inspecting Nauru. 1st impressions: v. committed Oz and Nauruan staff; Transfield et al are professional; atmospherics reasonably +tive





See Part 6—Secrecy and disclosure provisions:   Australian Border Force Act 2015






Newcastle health workers to rally against Border Force Act [ABC - 24/7/15]








... "And what it does is [it] will prevent professional groups, international human rights bodies, doctors, counsellors, teachers, anyone who's working in immigration detention centres who raises concerns about the treatment of asylum seekers and conditions in those centres, if they don't have the authorisation of the department to reveal that information to the media or any other person or organisation then they can go to jail for up to two years, so it will have a chilling effect."  [Greg Barns]

The Act was passed with bipartisan support, with only the Greens opposing it.  ...   [ABC - 1/7/15]








‏@pamelacurr [23/7/15]:  



Families dragged out w dogs to Don Dale Decommissioned Youth Prison [Berrimah],stripped naked-children too&forced to shower by guards then toNauru hell




 #Nauru transfers conducted with dogs &riot squad Into rooms at 1am- men dragged out bed- stripped to underpants only- shoved into vans.








Refoulement a "no brainer" as Australian establishment media types continue their anti refugee hard sell with a dubious poll.






Not in Cox's Bazaar, Nauru or Manus [Australia for UNHCR - 24/7/15]:


Happy Friday Queenslanders! Sampada and Safi are in Toowoomba today and tomorow ready to let you know about the life-saving work of UNHCR's Emergency Response team. If you're in the area drop by and say hello!






Several minority groups and human rights bodies have come out in support of Rohingya Muslims who have found settlement in India after fleeing persecution in Myanmar.

These organisations, some of which have written to the [National Human Rights Commission] Centre seeking protection and Indian citizenship for Rohingyas, have decided to hit the streets. ... [Indian Express - 24/7/15]








Taking cues from Australia's "deterrence" lie, Bangladesh exiles refugees to a barren island (UNHCR mumbles something)  [Economist - 24/7/15]:




... Last year the Bangladeshi prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, ordered officials to resettle the 30,000-odd refugees living in camps near Cox’s Bazar, a tourist spot with the world’s longest unbroken beach.

The chosen location is a barren island in the Bay of Bengal, called Thengar Char.

It was formed about a decade ago by the sediments of the Meghna river, the confluence of the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers.

The island is exposed and prone to flooding during spring tides. It does not appear on most maps.

“It is prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s desire that we rehabilitate the Rohingya people,” says Mohammad Nazrul Huda, the local police chief of Hatiya, the nearest inhabited spot to Thengar Char.

The town lies about 90 minutes away by speedboat.

Mr Huda places a map on his desk and draws a circle representing Thengar Char. It is, he says, a “very excellent” site for the Rohingyas, and he has recommended it to bureaucrats up at the home ministry in Dhaka, the capital.






Keep up the good work little buddy: California congressman Dana Rohrabacher acknowledges Bangladesh’s efforts to thwart trespassing Rohingya refugees [ -24/7/15]:




... The ambassador cited Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s bilateral visit to Myanmar in 2011, and said Bangladesh was “always proactive with Myanmar for repatriation of Rohingya refugees and stop further influx”.

“But unfortunately the resolution of the problem is still awaited,” he was quoted by the embassy as telling Rohrabacher.

The ambassador said “the systematic push-on of the Rohingya Muslims also contributed to the illegal trespass through the Bay of Bengal”.

The California congressman acknowledged Bangladesh’s support to Rohingya refugees.








As a Jew in Budapest, I too was a Rohingya, George Soros [Newsweek – 31/5/15]






Australian Embassy in Myanmar [23/7/15]:


Did you know that Australia has its own unique type of football, which is played in the Australian Football League? The Australian Embassy is proud to support our local AFL club, the Fighting Cocks, who are bringing this great Australian sport to Myanmar. Our support to the Club will focus on local player development and sponsoring local players’ participation in overseas games as part of the Indo-China Cup. Through sport, we will strengthen the links between Australia and Myanmar. ‪#‎SportsDiplomacy





In partnership with the Australia-Myanmar Chamber of Commerce, McConnell Dowell is helping upskill Myanmar's engineering capability through the Austrade funded "Networks Through Skills Development Project." ...   [Media Release - 16/7/15]




Australia-Myanmar Chamber of Commerce [12/7/15]:


Congratulations again to Australia Myanmar Institute on hosting a great three days on Myanmar and the Sustainable Development Goals. Australia-Myanmar Chamber of Commerce proudly sponsored this conference and is looking forward to seeing both communities build on the strong links developed at the conference.





Appears to be enough people outside the ALP Conference to start their own political party





At what point of being ignored (and used) by the ALP will they do this? 





‏@ANMFvicbranch [24/7/15]:   One 3rd foreign electrical workers were found to be in breach of safety regulations - #TPP exploits all #ALPConf2015





‏@unionsaustralia:  Make free trade fair ...






‏@FoEAustralia:   Noonan @CFMEU_National Unions represent workers from all country. #ChAFTA concerns not xenophobic ...





@akaWACA:   Community at #ALPConference calling on ALP to #ReleaseTheText #TPP





Party registration process [AEC]:  ... Have you reached 500-550 members checked on the electoral roll? ...




New Zealand: Waitangi Tribunal questions Solicitor General about TPP secrecy [RNZI – 24/7/15]







Japan and the United States are negotiating a bilateral scheme to counter vehicle trade pact violations with tariff hikes under the planned Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, according to sources. ... [Japan Times - 23/7/15]







The politics of austerity:  COAG explores ways of discouraging citizens from using their health care system [West Australian - 24/7/15]:




... "What that would do importantly is that people would be confronted with a bill and that would tend to drive people away from emergency departments towards GPs," Mr Barnett said. ...





Australian political, media and medical establishment say health care is a privilege which Syrians don't deserve [Nine MSN - 24/7/15]:


... Mr Brookman has told Fairfax Media he went to the war zone to do humanitarian work in 2014 but was forced to join IS when he was injured in a hospital bombing and taken to IS-controlled territory.

Fairfax says he surrendered to AFP officers after fleeing IS and hiding out in Turkey since December.

The AFP wouldn't confirm whether or not its officers were escorting Mr Brookman on the flight home, saying only that an Australian allegedly involved in the conflict in Syria was voluntarily returning.





“The continuous bombing of civilian targets here by the coalition has done nothing but disappoint me of the country I once loved so much.”



Mashable [21/6/15]:

Notorious Australian doctor Tareq Kamleh — sometimes known as Abu Yousef Al-Australie after he travelled to Syria to join the Islamic State — has declared on Facebook he will never return to Australia and doesn't care if authorities cancel his Australian passport.

Dr. Kamleh, who is believed to have grown up in Perth, came to Australia's attention in April when he was featured in an ISIS propaganda video. In the clip, the doctor appears to be working in a paediatric hospital in Raqqa, Syria and urges other medical practitioners to join him.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) and South Australia Police issued a warrant for Dr. Kamleh's arrest on Thursday. He is wanted for membership of a terrorist organisation, recruiting for a terrorist organisation and for entering, or remaining in, an area the government has deemed a no-go area due to terrorism, according to joint statement issued by law enforcement.

Addressing the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) on Facebook Sunday, Dr. Kamleh wrote he was unconcerned if the medical association cancelled his registration and said that he intended to stay in the Middle East. "I have no concern if you cancel my passport," he added.

"I anticipated an arrest warrant, hence why I left in secret," Dr. Kamleh wrote in response to the move by the AFP.

"None of the case you put forward has indicated to me a malicious character on my behalf and it is this injustice within the Australian judicial system that was a catalyst for me to leave."

Dr. Kamleh's statement comes amidst a furious debate in Australia over whether alleged terrorists should lose their Australian passport. Prime Minister Tony Abbott wants to give the immigration minister the power to strip suspected terrorists of their citizenship, even without trial, if they are a dual national.

Concerns have been raised by members of the legal profession, however, who say the plan may be unconstitutional. Some government ministers within Abbott's own Liberal Party have also indicated they are concerned about the proposal's legality, Fairfax Media has reported.

In May, Dr. Kamleh posted an open letter on his Facebook account denying he was brainwashed into joining ISIS and countering reports from former colleagues and friends that he had been a heavy-drinking womaniser. He wrote that his choice to travel to Syria had been a thought-out, calculated decision and said he had "finally returned home."

He has since posted an image of an x-ray on Facebook, writing that the "Pathology here is incredible," as well as a photo of an underweight baby apparently in hospital.

Dr. Kamleh will be "immediately" arrested if he returns to Australia, according to the AFP.





Rasmiyya, 65, said she knew she finally had to escape Fallujah after the operation to amputate her right leg.

Months of Iraqi government bombings aimed at targeting militants had made the once 15 minute journey to a doctor's office a life threatening trip.

Without the routine appointments to regulate her diabetes, the disease ate away at the blood vessels in Rasmiyya's leg and the limb had to be surgically removed above the knee. 

"I couldn't get any treatment," Rasmiyaa said looking away from the bandaged stump tucked under her abaya.  ... [UNHCR Media Release - 23/7/15]



Darwin double fatal road crash victims were Tamil asylum seekers, friends say




ABC [24/7/15]:


The two men who died in a crash in Darwin on Wednesday night were Tamil asylum seekers from Sri Lanka who came to Australia for a better life, their friends have said.

Close to a dozen friends of the pair last night returned to the area where the crash happened on Trower Road in Nakara, trying to make sense of the accident for themselves.

"We've just come to have a look at what happened to my friends," Thakshan Murugesh told the ABC.

"We are all from the same country so I'm feeling very sad.

"I am feeling very, very bad."

He said the two men, aged 32 and 35, were close friends and shared a house together in Nakara.

The men were both Tamil asylum seekers and arrived in Australia from Sri Lanka three years ago by boat.

They lived in Melbourne before moving to Darwin this year.

The men died when the Toyota FJ Cruiser they were travelling in lost control and slammed into a tree outside Dripstone Middle School.

Neighbours who went to investigate found two dead bodies on the ground.

A third man, 26, survived the crash and was taken to Royal Darwin Hospital with minor injuries.

A police investigation involving the major crash unit is now underway, with officers trying to determine if drugs and alcohol were involved.





24 July 2015