Brisbane Australia: Woman evicted from watching a football game at Suncorp Stadium last Sunday evening because she was bottlefeeding her baby.
If you think this couldn't happen to you, then there's a fair chance they're coming after you next.
43 mins -- > Renee Feltz Democracy Now report on Dilley Detention Centre and interview with lawyer Barbara Hines. [VIDEO - 25/3/15]
Private Prisons for Immigrant Families Grow Despite Court Ruling Against "Detention as Deterrence" [Democracy Now - 25/3/15]:
The Obama administration continues to expand its controversial practice of detaining mothers and their children despite a judge’s order that using it to deter mass migration is illegal. Starting last summer, thousands of Central American women with kids as young as a few months old crossed into the United States seeking asylum. Even though many were later found to have a "credible fear" of violent persecution, they found themselves rounded up and put into detention, with little chance for freedom until they were deported. But last month, a federal judge ordered immigration authorities to begin releasing the women and children. He found the Obama administration’s policy of detaining them in order to deter others from coming was illegal. Since then, more families have been granted bond and released, while others who are unable to afford the bonds remain locked up. They are held at one of two new family detention centers run by private prison companies in southern Texas. We air an on-the-ground report from Texas by Democracy Now! producer Renée Feltz, who speaks to a recently released mother and her son. We are also joined by Barbara Hines, former director of the Immigration Clinic at the University of Texas Law School. Hines’ affidavit in a lawsuit challenging detention of women and children as a method of deterrence to mass migration was cited by the federal judge in his order to halt the practice. ...
Federal Court blocks government from detaining asylum seekers as tactic to deter others from coming to US
ACLU Media Release [20/2/15]
A federal court today granted a preliminary injunction putting an immediate halt to the Obama administration's policy of locking up asylum-seeking mothers and children as a way to deter others from coming to the United States.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed the case on behalf of mothers and children who have fled extreme violence, death threats, rape, and persecution in Central America and come to the U.S. for safety. Each has been found by an immigration officer or judge to have a "credible fear" of persecution, meaning there is a "significant possibility" they will be granted asylum.
The Department of Homeland Security has been denying release of these families as part of an "aggressive deterrence strategy." In rejecting the U.S. government's argument that detention of the women and children was necessary to prevent a mass influx that would threaten national security, the court wrote that the “incantation of the magic words 'national security' without further substantiation is simply not enough to justify significant deprivations of liberty."
"The court held that it was illegal to detain families based on deterrence. It made clear that the government cannot deprive individuals of their liberty merely to send a message to others," said Judy Rabinovitz, deputy director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project. "This ruling means that the government cannot continue to lock up families without an individualized determination that they pose a danger or flight risk that requires their detention."
The lawsuit was brought on behalf of asylum-seeking mothers and children who are being detained at facilities across the country, in places such as Karnes and Dilley, Texas, and Berks County, Penn. Named plaintiffs in this case — all of whom cleared credible-fear screenings and are now seeking asylum — include:
•A mother who, along with her son, fled from Honduras after years of physical abuse at the hands of her son’s father. After he raped her, she escaped with the help of members of her church.
•A mother who fled El Salvador with her 5-year-old and 8-month-old daughters to escape brutal and unrelenting abuse by the children's father.
•A Salvadoran woman who, with her young son and daughter, escaped to the United States after her common-law husband physically abused her and threatened to kill her children.
The case, RILR v. Johnson, was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. Lead counsel are the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project and Covington & Burling LLP. Other counsel are the ACLU of the Nation’s Capital, the ACLU of Pennsylvania, the ACLU of Texas, and the Immigration Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law at Austin.
The order is at: https://www.aclu.org/immigrants-rights/rilr-v-johnson-order
More information about this case is at: https://www.aclu.org/immigrants-rights/rilr-v-johnson
The Citizen X Disclosures:
Australian Guantanamo on Manus Island:::: wednesday 25.March.2015. TAS051 Shamarke the Somalian asylum seeker who fled insurgency and terrorism in his country and was in Lorengau prison, Chauka, and then Charlie compound has been taken to Isolation (Green Zone) yesterday after he was told that his mother was killed in a terrorist bomb explosion in Somalia. He is a very poor mental condition ''the report says''.
March 20 at 12:16am · Australian Guantanamo on Manus Island::Friday March 20th PIM053 M.T attempted suicide today. This has been his third attempt in 2 weeks. The report says that he's been taken Green Zone so called ''isolation''. over 80 stitches were required on his previous wounds. .
Tweed Council says bridge painted rainbow colours in honour of a dead child is graffiti
Letter to the Editor [Tweed
Daily News – 25/3/15]:
I am disappointed in Tweed Shire Council staff's recommendation to repaint the rainbow-coloured bridge on Kyogle Road bridge over Smiths Creek at Uki.
The bridge was painted in rainbow colours in honour of a child who died two years ago.
In spite of a large survey response from the local community, Council has disregarded the community's wishes.
Over 70% respondents said leave the rainbow coloured bridge as is and only 22% wanted it repainted, yet Council regarded this smaller percentage as 'significant' (as if 70% was not significant).
Council has a 'zero tolerance' for graffiti vandalism.
While the bridge is regarded as council infrastructure, it's paid for by the ratepayers so therefore it should be our bridge.
Why not keep it as is and add a plaque dedicating the Rainbow Bridge to all local children who have died?
Why must we fit inside Council's definition of acceptable memorial tributes such as roadside flowers or crosses?
Those unhappy about this decision please write to council and complain - alternatively organise a big protest and send photos to the media.
Greste's brother takes umbrage at Police Commissioner
Freed Australian journalist Peter Greste's policeman brother has hit out at Queensland's top cop for failing to support him during his sibling's imprisonment.
Senior Constable Mike Greste used an open letter in the Queensland Police Union's journal to thank his colleagues for their support while Peter was detained in Egypt.
But he said this didn't extend to the commissioner, Ian Stewart.
"I was truly flummoxed at the lack of interest and support I received from the head of our organisation," he wrote.
"Particularly given the notoriety that the story received and the extra efforts, and lobbying the QPU put in to support me."
Mr Greste refrains from elaborating for risk of tarnishing the good-natured spirit of his open letter, which singles out his Toowoomba Scenes of Crime office colleagues in particular.
While he was often at work physically, Mr Greste said his brother's ordeal often took a mental toll.
But his colleagues had demonstrated "tremendous compassion" towards him.
Some even helped him mow his lawns to ease the burden of his Al Jazeera journalist sibling's internment.
This support helped him keep up his campaign to free Peter - a goal achieved earlier this year when he was finally released after 400 days in a Cairo jail.
"It was something that I will be forever grateful for and will value for the rest of my life," Mr Greste said.
Peter Greste: 'Address to the National Press Club of Australia' [26/3/15]
Imaginary Australian journalist asks Peter Greste: What was it like working in Egypt - where the press is more daring, and less of a sycophantic propaganda tool of power and government - as it is in Australia? Do you see any parallels between Egypt's outlawing of the Muslim Brotherhood and Queensland's anti-association laws?
Egypt court adjourns trial of Al Jazeera journalists [Al Jazeera - 25/3/15]
Christian motorcyclists to rally against Queensland's anti rights law this Sunday
… Christian motorcyclists are planning to take to Brisbane's streets to protest against Queensland's controversial anti-bikie laws.
More than 100 pious riders - including members of God's Squad, Tribe of Judah and Saints - are planning to rally in the city on Sunday to draw attention to the hard-line legislation brought in under the former Liberal National Party government.
According to God's Squad member "Macca", the laws unfairly penalise people for who they know, not what they do.
"What we have seen in Queensland is the persecution and harassment of the motorcycling community, including members of Christian clubs, in the name of fighting crime," he said.
But there was a growing trend for governments to punish riders' associations, rather than personal behaviour, he said.
Macca, who would not give his full name, said he'd been with his club for two decades and simply enjoyed riding with people who shared similar beliefs.
Fellow Christian riders shouldn't be penalised for how they look, he said.
The rally is scheduled to follow a conference of Christian motorcycle clubs, where they plan to develop a unified response to the anti-bikie laws.
"We would like to draw the new government's attention and offer our suggestions for how states can fight crime without criminalising innocent people," he said.
Sunday's convoy will ride to Emma Miller Place in the CBD at noon.
Anti rights arrests, Redcliffe [QPS Media - 25/3/15]
Knife-wielding carjacker jailed after driving to NSW from SA
A Queensland man who stole a car at knifepoint so he could return home after spending all his money on drugs and alcohol in South Australia has been jailed.
Mt Isa man Paul Weston, 32, pleaded guilty in SA's District Court to an aggravated charge of committing theft using force.
The court heard that Weston and two friends found themselves broke and homeless in November last year after travelling to Adelaide.
At the time, Weston had been recovering from a long-term relationship breakdown and had been using drugs and alcohol regularly.
The group unsuccessfully tried to hitchhike back to Queensland and then robbed the woman of her car at a McDonald's outlet at Darlington.
"Any money that you had was soon spent on drugs and alcohol," Judge Paul Muscat told Weston.
"It wasn't long before you found yourself homeless and living rough on the streets of Adelaide.
"You were broke, hungry and desperate. You tried unsuccessfully to hitchhike to Queensland.
"You and your friends found yourself in the car park of the McDonald's restaurant, and on the spur of the moment and in an act of desperation you robbed the lady of her car so that you could return to Queensland."
Weston was arrested days into his journey while in New South Wales, and the judge said he admitted his actions when interviewed by police.
"You accepted that you were holding a knife when you told the lady to hand over the keys to her car," Judge Muscat said.
"You told the police, and I accept, that if she did not hand over the keys you would not have stabbed her, but of course she wasn't to know that.
"You told the police that the lady would have been traumatised by what you did and indeed she has been. You said that you felt bad about robbing her."
Judge Muscat told Weston the crime had had a profound impact on the victim.
"She now no longer feels safe and is unable to go anywhere on her own. She now looks at others suspecting they may be out to harm her," he said.
"Whilst she accepts this is an overreaction, she cannot help feeling like that and it is because of what you did to her."
The judge told Weston his limited criminal history, early guilty plea and prospects of rehabilitation made him a good candidate for a suspended sentence.
But he rejected that option, saying others had to be deterred from similar offending, and handed Weston a three-year head sentence.
Weston can seek parole
in 12 months.
Brisbane Times [25/3/15]:
Detectives investigating how a toddler ended up in a Queensland hospital are reportedly speaking with a man about the incident.
The 18-month-old boy was taken to the Moranbah local hospital in central Queensland early Wednesday morning before being transferred to the Townsville Hospital.
It's understood police are now speaking with a 29-year-old man as they try to figure out how the boy was injured.
Police have not released details of the injuries but some media reports suggest he suffered head injuries.
The Criminal Investigation Bureau is investigating.
A former Catholic priest told his alleged abuse victim to "move on" and stop living in the past when she asked for an apology during a covertly recorded phone call almost 20 years later, a court has heard. ... [Canberra Times - 25/3/15]
Man poured petrol over woman, threw a glass table at her
[Morning Bulletin – 24/3/15]
Mt Maria College locked down during police chase
A man has been arrested and police are searching for a second man after a chase sent a Brisbane school into lockdown.
Police were chasing the wanted men around midday on Tuesday when one of them ran onto the grounds of Mount Maria College at Mitchelton.
The other escaped into nearby Brookside shopping centre.
The students were allowed to venture outside at 1pm after police arrested one of the men.
Rape charge, Mornington Island
QPS Media [25/3/15]:
A 15-year-old boy was today charged over the alleged assault of a young girl on Mornington Island.
It will be alleged the assault occurred on April 15, 2014.
The boy has been charged with rape and will be dealt with under the provisions of the Youth Justice Act.
Investigations into this matter are continuing.
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.
Suspended Victoria Police officer charged with rape
A Victoria Police officer from the western district has been charged with rape following an alleged incident in January.
The officer, a leading senior constable, was initially charged with two counts of recklessly causing injury in February following an investigation by Professional Standards Command.
Following further investigation the officer has now been charged with rape.
Police allege the incident occurred while the member was off-duty at a private residence on January 26.
He has been suspended without pay and will appear in the Geelong Magistrates Court on April 9.
Ex-AFL player jailed then bailed for abuse
Nine MSN [25/3/15]:
A remorseless former AFL player who smashed his ex-girlfriend's face into a kitchen wall and threatened to kill her has been jailed, then bailed, all before lunch.
Former Carlton midfielder, Nick Stevens, is fighting his conviction and sentence for 12 charges for abusing his former partner, including inflicting serious injury, making threats to kill and five counts of assault.
In one instance in 2013 he smashed his victim's head against the exterior wall of her parents' house, in another he smashed her face into the kitchen wall in the Victorian home the pair shared.
The attack left a permanent scar on her cheek and, after police laid charges, he called twice her and threatened her again.
In sentencing on Wednesday, Magistrate Nunzio La Rosa said Stevens and the woman had been dependent upon each other, and in love.
However, the 2,500 text messages sent to the woman by Stevens in 2013, in breach of an intervention order, showed he was manipulative.
"It became evident that you would not hesitate to manipulate the victim both psychologically and emotionally," Magistrate La Rosa said.
He said Stevens had shown no remorse for his actions.
Stevens, 35, was sentenced to eight months prison and ordered to complete a 12-month community corrections order that includes 90 hours of community service.
He was also fined $400.
"Violence by men against women, particularly in a domestic setting, should be dealt with in the strongest possible terms," Magistrate La Rosa said.
Within 35 minutes of Stevens being taken into custody, defence barrister Serge Petrovich had filed an appeal and bail application.
Stevens is appealing his conviction, his sentence and the sentence for the intervention order breach.
Police prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Mark Sontag opposed bail but Magistrate La Rosa said there was no reason not to grant it.
Stevens was released and will return to court in April for a directions hearing.
Speaking outside the Ringwood Magistrates Court, Stevens said he was disappointed with the outcome but he respected the court's decision.
Stevens played 231 AFL games for Port Adelaide and Carlton from 1998 to 2009.
Gloucester residents told not to tap drink water after chlorine overdose
Residents in the town of Gloucester, north of Newcastle, have been told not to drink tap water because of a chlorine overdose in the town water supply.
Water supplier MidCoast Water has issued an urgent alert to residents not to drink the water until further notice.
There have been reports of some people burning their throats.
MidCoast water said it had alerted schools, preschools, the hospital and local nursing home.
One woman has posted on social media that her daughter has a burnt throat.
Others have complained about burns to their eyes and migraines.
Dumping dredge spoil on land may still threaten Great Barrier Reef, report
An independent report into the effects of dredging has warned on-land disposal of spoil could still threaten the Great Barrier Reef.
The report, commissioned by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, compiled all current knowledge about dredging and was written by a panel of 19 scientists and experts.
It said previous assumptions about the effect of "dredge plumes" on the Great Barrier Reef might have been underestimated.
The report found acids and salts could leech back into waters if not monitored correctly and that sediment could change the biological values of the World Heritage Area.
Researchers said the information should send a warning to governments, given the upcoming expansion of the Abbot Point coal terminal near Bowen in north Queensland.
Dredging around the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park has been one of the most controversial environmental issues of recent years.
Under intense pressure, the Commonwealth and Queensland governments promised to ban dumping in the World Heritage Area.
But the new report found the alternative of disposing of the dredge spoil on shore could still be of concern.
One of the report's authors, Dr Britta Schaffelke from the Australian Institute of Marine Science, said fine sediment could still be transported into the coastal marine environment.
"There can be acid sulphur soils involved and they might produce acid into the marine environment," she said.
The panel of experts said evidence showed the dredging had severe impacts at the dredge site, but less of an impact further away where most coral reefs were.
However, it said it now believed dredge plumes travelled further than previously recognised.
Dr Schaffelke said more research was needed.
"We don't really understand well enough how far the material that is released from dredging travels in the marine environment," she said.
Wendy Tubman, from the North Queensland Conservation Council, said when dredge spoil was suspended, it still moved around in the water column.
"It has the potential to damage the ecology, the grasses, the corals and so on," she said.
The report also highlighted the failures of on-land disposal during the Gladstone Harbour development in central Queensland.
It warned the threats remained for the next big expansion at Abbot Point.
The Queensland Government recently decided to dump dredge spoil from the Abbot Point expansion on vacant land at the coal terminal site in north Queensland.
But the report said dumping on land was risky, and an attempt to contain spoil behind bund walls in Gladstone had failed.
It said piles of spoil could take decades to dry.
However, Queensland Resources Council chief executive officer Michael Roche said the mining industry had learnt from the Gladstone experience.
"I'm very confident that what we do at Abbot Point will be environmentally very sound," he said.
The report's authors acknowledged on-land dumping was better than disposing the spoil at sea, but remained an expensive and risky option.
Mount Isa Mines auctions equipment [North West Star – 25/3/15]
Senator Lazarus calls for health testing for CSG mining [VIDEO - 25/3/15]:
Senator Lazarus calls for the Abbott Government to send medical teams to rural and regional Australia to assist people affected by CSG mining and to set up an independent testing centre to test for contamination resulting from CSG mining.
Paid approach for volunteer firefighters not viable - QFES
Morning Bulletin [25/3/15]:
A Queensland Fire and Emergency Services boss says the use of volunteers in fire brigades is a proven system used internationally.
Assistant Commissioner of the QFES Ewan Cayzer said the number of volunteers was stable, and a paid approach was not viable.
"When emergencies occur you need a lot of people in a short time period that's why its particularly suited to volunteer work you wouldn't be able to employ enough people regularly to do the job," he said.
Mr Cayzer said the perceived proportion of aging volunteers wasn't a generational shift away but rather an indication of the area.
"There are older people; it is more reflective of society in general, areas with younger populations have more young members."
The commissioner said Cr Adam Belot's concern over the potential risk of fire, liability was misplaced.
"He isn't recognising the responsibility (of unattended fuel) falls to land owners. It is their job to make sure they clean up properties themselves and manage that risk," he said.
Chile has declared a national alert because of wildfires in three national parks and reserves threatening trees, some a thousand years old. ... [BBC - 24/3/15]
Iningai bulk-billing GP clinic in Longreach closes temporarily due to staff shortage [ABC – 25/3/15]
Densus 88 Arrests Two Men in Malang Over Alleged ISIS Links
Jakarta Globe [25/3/15]:
The National Police’s anti-terror squad Densus 88 have arrested two men in Malang, East Java, on suspicion of terrorism offenses related to their alleged connection to Indonesian-born ISIS fighter, Abu Jandal, who also goes by the name Salim Mubarok Attamimi.
One of the men arrested, Abdul Hakim Munabari, 44, is suspected of having returned to Indonesia after joining ISIS with Abu Jandal.
“Abdul just got back from Syria. After arresting him we will begin to question him. We will do all we can to prevent IS ideology from spreading in Indonesia,” Acting National Police chief Badrodin Haiti said on Wednesday.
The other man arrested is alleged to have had a role in a video featuring Abu Jandal.
In the video uploaded on YouTube, Abu Jandal threatened the National Police, the Indonesian Armed Forces, Densus 88, and Banser, the security wing of Indonesia’ biggest Islamic organization, Nahdlatul Utama.
Abu also called on other Indonesians to join him in the fight for a caliphate.
Densus 88 last week arrested six people in South Jakarta, Bekasi, and South Tangerang for allegedly helping recruit and fund Indonesians to travel to Syria and Iraq to fight with ISIS.
FM visits death-row Filipina in Yogyakarta
Jakarta Post [25/3/15]:
The Philippines Foreign Minister Albert del Rosario visited death-row convict Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso at the Wirogunan Penitentiary in Yogyakarta on Tuesday.
Veloso is currently awaiting a Supreme Court decision on a case review.
"The foreign minister came at about 1 p.m. He came with his entourage and visited her until 2 p.m.," Wirogunan Penitentiary warden Zaenal Arifin said as quoted by kompas.com
Zaenal said the entourage wanted to know Mary Jane's latest situation.
"The foreign minister expressed his gratitude for being allowed to visit MJ," he said.
He said he did not know what was discussed due to language differences.
"I don't know how long he is staying in Yogyakarta or whether he will visit the penitentiary again," Zaenal said.
"The visit ended with a prayer session."
Bali Nine pair's lawyers to present evidence for fresh appeal [Guardian - 25/3/15]
US allows drug trafficker to serve jail term in Spain after six-year legal battle
El Pais [24/3/15]:
After a six-year behind-the-scenes diplomatic entanglement between Madrid and Washington, the US government has agreed to allow a convicted Spanish drug trafficker to serve the remainder of his prison sentence in Spain.
David Mendoza Herrarte, who is being held in a New Jersey prison, was granted a prisoner transfer request, according to court papers filed Thursday in a US federal court.
The announcement came just days after the Spanish Supreme Court called on the government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to intensify its pressure on Washington to allow Mendoza to serve out his term close to his family in the Basque Country.
The Mendoza case is just one of many extradition and prisoner-transfer disputes that has Madrid and Washington at loggerheads.
Mendoza, 51, claimed that the US prosecutors reneged on their original deal to allow him to serve his sentence in Spain if he waived extradition and pleaded guilty following his June 5, 2008 arrest in Gernika on US drug charges. He filed complaints in both the Spanish and US courts after his transfer was denied.
After he was sent back, the United States maintained there was no such agreement but instead a verbal pledge that prosecutors would do what they could to recommend a prisoner transfer.
Behind prison wire on the sparse flats of western Florida, Russell Moore, an Aborigine born in North Fitzroy, passes slow days crafting little mechanical gadgets, warming himself in late autumn's fading sun and hoping his return to the land he left as a seven-year-old will soon come.
Better known in Australia as James Savage - the name given to him by the white Victorian Salvation Army couple who adopted him as an infant before taking him to Florida - he has spent 30 of his 41 years in the US locked away in institutions, beginning with reform school when he was 15. In between jail stints, he wandered the Atlantic Coast, buried in drug and alcohol abuse.
The years have weakened him. He is now a rising cost in Florida's overcrowded, ageing jail population. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 29/11/10]
PNG PM's office denies reports of Wenda deportation
The office of Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has dismissed reports that the West Papuan leader Benny Wenda has been deported after arriving in the country yesterday.
Mr Wenda had flown to PNG enroute to Vanuatu from the United Kingdom where he is based, however PNG Immigration authorities would not immediately clear him for entry.
A spokesman from the Prime Minister's office says Benny Wenda arrived without a visa which, as a person on an Immigration alert list, was necessary for him to enter PNG.
Despite various media reports that the leading West Papuan independence activist had been detained or deported, the spokesman says it is merely a procedural issue and that Mr Wenda is still in PNG.
The spokesman says that although he failed to lodge a neccessary visa application, Mr Wenda is being treated respectfully by authorities and has been allowed to stay with his sponsors while Immigration works through the issue.
It's unclear whether Mr Wenda will still travel on to Vanuatu.
Public Prosecutor Pondros Kaluwin is recovering from injuries he suffered when he was attacked by five armed men outside his home in Port Moresby on Sunday evening.
Kaluwin was yesterday nursing injuries to his head, right cheek and both arms, which were heavily bandaged.
But he ruled out the possibility that the attack was related to the position he holds.
He told The National at his home that it was more of an “opportunist crime” – someone who was just trying to steal his vehicle.
He has been in the limelight recently having handled several leadership referrals, including that of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill. ... [The National - 25/3/15]
Surfers Paradise [25/3/15]
MAR 29 Palm Sunday Rally Declare Peace on Refugees:
Sunday, March 29 at 1:00pm
King George Square Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Speakers: The Very Rev. Dr Peter Catt, Dean of St John's Anglican Cathedral, Brisbane.
Dr Mohammed Abdullah, Qld Council of Imams.
Ros MacLennan, assistant general secretary, Qld Council of Unions.
Dr Penelope Mathews, Dean of Griffith University Law School.
Octavianus Mote, Head of United Liberation Movement of West Papua.
CLOSE MANUS ISLAND. CLOSE NAURU. NO TO THE WARS THAT CREATE REFUGEES.
A message from Manus Island detention centre as we prepare for Palm Sunday gatherings around Australia [AUDIO - March 2015 - Walk for Justice for Refugees - Adelaide]
No opposition to my secretive, unproven policies of murder, torture and the repudiation of refugee convention: Dutton
(PS Thx for not holding me to account Australian media!)
It's a small museum, but it really captures the Australian spirit.
Image: @Drew_Bowie [24/3/15]
Minister for Immigration Media Release [23/3/15]:
Richard Marles still won't confirm Labor's position on abandoning turn-backs.
Since Tayna Plibersek’s comments, Labor has refused to deny that they would change the Coalition Government’s highly successful solution to saving lives at sea and stopping the boats.
Just over five months ago Mr Marles stated that the Labor Party would consider adopting turn-backs and then on the 18 month anniversary of Operation Sovereign Borders last week he back flipped on this.
In a press conference on the weekend he was highly critical of the Government’s response to the Moss Review even though his government was the one that opened the centre in the first place.
Perhaps Ms Plibersek and some of her far left colleagues have been applying some pressure for him to back her up on her irresponsible comments.
It is irresponsible for Labor to say that they would abolish turn-backs. Mr Marles claimed the most important aspect of stopping the boats was Labor’s RRA, which was little more than a blank sheet of paper.
All of this is despite the evidence that 534 boats arrived under Labor in their last 18 months of Government and 1 arrived since the introduction of turn-backs.
Cost, chaos and tragedy at sea was the order of the day under Labor.
This is no longer the case under the Coalition Government. We’ve stopped the boats and we are getting on with the job of resettlement, once again cleaning up a Labor mess in partnership with regional governments.
We asked Bill Shorten to state his position publically again and again and got nothing.
Labor are totally conflicted on the issue of border protection. A Labor Government would bring the boats, cost and tragedy at sea back, just like they did last time.
Why aren't more Australian leaders and human rights groups calling for this?
For goodness sake, #CloseNauru now. Leaked transcripts from Moss review reveal Nauru at risk of 'dramatic meltdown' ...
"tweeted" by @DeanPeterCatt - Chair, Aust Churches Refugees Taskforce; Pres, A
Progressive Christian Voice; Dean, St John's Cathedral, Brisbane; Chair, Social
Responsibilities Committee [25/3/15]
Trafficking and exile of refugees ‘not a priority’ for discussion during Cambodian officials' Australian visit
Penh Post [25/3/15]:
High-ranking Cambodian officials will discuss the possible transfer of refugees from Nauru during a three-day visit to Australia this week, officials said yesterday.
But the Interior Ministry officials, speaking at Phnom Penh International Airport as the delegation prepared to leave, said the visit would focus on signing a new immigration and border protection agreement and that discussing the refugee deal was “not a priority issue”.
Last week, a spokesman for Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton told the Post that a Cambodian delegation was expected to visit Nauru over the coming days to speak to refugees “about their resettlement options in Cambodia”.
But General Khieu Sopheak, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, said the officials headed for Australia would not be travelling to the Pacific island as no refugees had said they would be interested in a move to Cambodia.
“So far, there are no people or families that have expressed a willingness to come to Cambodia,” he said. “We are not going to campaign for tourists. If they don’t want to come, it doesn’t matter.”
Minister of Interior Sar Kheng, who is leading the delegation to Canberra, said the refugee deal was not on the official agenda for the visit.
“The two parties will build on the matter responsibly, and so far, we have not seen any progress with the deal,” he said.
Cambodia signed the controversial pact with Australia on September 26. Last month, the International Organisation for Migration formally agreed to oversee the resettlement [trafficking and exile.]
Rights groups, the UN refugee agency, the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party and Australian Greens party have repeatedly criticised the agreement, under which Australia would pay $35 million in additional aid money and fully cover the costs of resettlement.
Despite the Cambodian officials’ apparent decision not to go to Nauru, a refugee living on the island said that the community had been told that officials from Cambodia would hold meetings with them this week and that “about 25 people” were interested in hearing what they had to say.
Kheng will also meet with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who first broached the possibility of a refugee transfer in February last year in a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen.
On National day of student protest against @LiberalAus , Students want Christopher Pyne to resign.
Image: @HamiFaraj - Hamid Farajollahi - Press TV journalist, Sydney [25/3/15]
@HamiFaraj [25/3/15]: Students are now staging a sit in at #Sydney #townhall voicing their discontent with the Education minister ...
Indian Court Strikes Down Section of Law Punishing
The Indian Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down a section of a law that allowed the authorities to jail people for offensive online posts, in a judgment that was regarded as a landmark ruling on free speech in India.
The law stipulated that a person could be jailed for up to three years for any communication online that was, among other things, "grossly offensive," "menacing" or "false," and for the purpose of causing "annoyance," "inconvenience" or "injury."
The provisions, which led to highly publicized arrests in recent years, had been roundly criticised by legal experts who called them vague and argued that they had been used in some cases to stifle dissent.
Calling the wording so vague that "virtually any opinion on any subject would be covered by it," the court said "if it is to withstand the test of constitutionality, the chilling effect on free speech would be total."
Sunil Abraham, the executive director of the Center for Internet & Society, which is based in Bangalore, called the decision "amazing."
"It is in continuation of a great tradition in India: that of apex courts consistently, over the years, protecting the citizens of India from violations of human rights," he said.
India is considered by some to be one of the world's most freewheeling democracies, but the law reflected the ambivalence with which Indian officials have sometimes treated freedom of expression, occasionally citing the Constitution's allowance of "reasonable restrictions" on free speech in order to ban books, movies and other material about subjects like sex, politics and religion.
The government recently blocked the screening in India of the BBC documentary "India's Daughter," about the Delhi gang rape in 2012 that made international news.
The law, the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, was passed by parliament shortly after the three-day terrorist attacks on Mumbai in 2008.
It granted the authorities more expansive powers to monitor electronic communications for reasons of national security. That section was not a part of the court case.
In the past, critics have been particularly worried that the section of the law that was struck down was ripe for misuse at the hands of police officials often beholden to political parties.
Last week, a young man in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh became one of the latest people to be arrested under the law when the police said he incorrectly attributed a polarizing statement to the lawmaker Azam Khan on Facebook.
Other highly publicized cases include the arrest in 2012 of a professor accused of sharing cartoons mocking the chief minister of West Bengal state on Facebook and the arrest of two young women after one shared a Facebook post criticizing the virtual shutdown of Mumbai following the death of a revered right-wing political leader there.
The professor is still contesting his case in court, while the case against the two young women was dropped in 2013, according to the Press Trust of India.
In a separate part of the Supreme Court judgment, the justices made it harder to force websites to take down content, although a legal expert said it remained to be seen how much of an impediment the ruling would be to blocking content.
Something to ponder as the LNP and ALP stitchup on mass surveillance enters its end game
Bipartisan Bill Would Repeal Patriot Act To End Government Spying On Americans [Huffington Post - 24/3/15]:
A bipartisan bill introduced in Congress Tuesday would end government spying on ordinary Americans by repealing the Patriot Act as advocates rush to reauthorize the law's most controversial provisions before a June deadline.
The Surveillance State Repeal Act, introduced by Reps. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), would overturn the 2001 Patriot Act that allowed for mass government surveillance in the name of anti-terrorism and the destruction of any information collected under it.
The bill also would repeal the 2008 FISA Amendments Act, which allows Internet spying, and would stop the government from forcing tech manufacturers to compromise encryption or privacy features to allow spying on their devices.
Whistleblowers like Edward Snowden, who exposed the National Security Agency's mass surveillance in 2013, would have additional protections.
"Revelations about the NSA's programs reveal the extraordinary extent to which the program has invaded Americans' privacy," Pocan said in a press release.
"I reject the notion that we must sacrifice liberty for security -- we can live in a secure nation which also upholds a strong commitment to civil liberties. This legislation ends the NSA's dragnet surveillance practices, while putting provisions in place to protect the privacy of American citizens through real and lasting change."
The bill faces an uphill battle in Congress, The Hill notes, as milder bills aimed at the Patriot Act in recent years haven't mustered enough votes to move forward.
Meanwhile, the provision of the Patriot Act that gives the NSA legal authority to carry out its phone data dragnet is set to expire June 1.
While anti-surveillance members of Congress likely don't have the votes to extinguish the program, they may be able to shift the collection of phone records to communication companies from the NSA.
Boy hit by bus, Margate
A 12-year-old boy has been hit by a bus in Margate just north of Brisbane.
Queensland Ambulance Service said paramedics were attending a "serious traffic incident" at Joseph Street and Oxley Avenue in Margate.
The accident happened about 10:30am.
He has been taken to Royal Brisbane Hospital with serious injuries.
Appeal for public assistance: Hit and run, Mermaid Beach
Police are appealing for public assistance following a hit and run in Mermaid Waters on Wednesday March 18.
Around 4.30am a 22-year-old male pedestrian was located on the Gold Coast Highway, unconscious and suffering from head injuries and a broken leg.
Police believe that the man’s injuries were consistent with being hit by a vehicle.
The 22-year-old man is described as being Caucasian in appearance, 180cm tall, brown hair and was wearing a black cap, black shirt, black pants and black and white shoes.
The man attended a convenience store on the Gold Coast Highway prior to the incident.
Police are urging anyone who may have witnessed the incident or saw the man on the night on the incident to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
The Forensic Crash Unit is continuing to investigate.
Electrical work in question over death of young worker
Daily Mercury [25/3/15]:
The electrician who powered a residential development where a young man was fatally electrocuted admitted he took shortcuts to save money.
Cold Spark Pty Ltd director Nathan Day was accused of knowingly completing sub-standard work at the Clermont building site.
Mr Day told a Coronial inquest he always tried to make sure his work was as safe as possible.
However, an inspection of the cabling used to power the site revealed it had been placed directly into the ground without conduit in a number of locations, the inquest was told.
Counsel assisting the Coroner John Aberdeen said Mr Day "sneakily and cunningly" brought the conduit down from the switchboards, bent the end of it and then stuck it in the ground about six inches so it looked like the cables were covered in conduit, to which Mr Day replied "correct".
Jason, 20, died after receiving a fatal shock while moving a temporary switchboard on February 27, 2012.
The court was told Mr Day continued to complete electrical work on the project even after the electrocution death occurred.
Workplace Health and Safety inspectors, who inspected the 81-building development, identified more than 30 serious electrical breaches across 13 buildings, which could have resulted in single and multiple fatalities and fires, the court was told.
Mr Day agreed he'd taken on too big a job when asked by Coroner David O'Connell.
Expert witness and electrical engineer David Browne, who gave evidence yesterday, said it was his view there was no safety switch in the main switchboard protecting the upstream circuit that fatally shocked Jason.
Mr Browne told the court the fatality wouldn't have occurred if the electrical wiring on site had met the appropriate electrical standards.
Morayfield woman accused of trying to kill grandsons (and relentlessly pursued by Murdoch media jackals) bailed
Brisbane Times [25/3/15]:
A woman accused of trying to kill her step-grandsons in a house fire has been released from custody almost three months after being granted bail.
The 58-year-old woman, who cannot be named, was given bail in early January after an appearance in Maroochydore Magistrates Court.
She is facing two counts of attempted murder and one of attempted arson over allegations she held the door closed after setting fire to the bedroom of two brothers, aged nine and 11, at Morayfield in early 2014.
The bail was granted on the condition she find accommodation where she would not have contact with children.
Her lawyer, Michael Bosscher, said her preferred residence had finally been given court approval.
"She's extremely pleased to be out of custody," he told 612 ABC Brisbane on Wednesday.
"There are a number of complicated issues involved given the complicated nature of the charges so ideally it would have been preferable to have her on bail at an earlier time but we can't look back."
The woman is also facing a further two charges of attempted murder over allegations she tried to smother the older boy in his bed, as well as a charge of interfering with a corpse relating to the death of a seven-month-old baby from the same family.
She will reappear in court next month.
Bikie refused bail as three walk free from court
Gladstone Observer [25/3/15]:
One of the four men arrested during Taskforce Maxima's Operation Mike Flute on March 14 was refused bail yesterday, while the other three walked free.
Odin's Warrior gang member Dean Jerome Sanderson, 56, is facing eight charges including supplying drugs and possessing drugs.
The evidence against Sanderson was strong enough to refuse him bail, Magistrate Penelope Hay said.
Magistrate Hay told Gladstone Magistrates Court Sanderson had admitted to police to being a current member of the Odin's Warriors criminal organisation.
She said he had been under surveillance by police from November to March.
"Most of the information gathered and communications from Sanderson's phones could best be described as benign," she told the court.
But, she said, the prosecution believed there was an apparent pattern in the use of code words to traffic drugs.
Magistrate Hay told the court the intercepted communication was enough to deny Sanderson bail.
As his bail application was announced he signalled to his partner, who was crying in the gallery, to keep her chin up.
His partner turned and bowed out of respect to the magistrate as she was leaving the courtroom.
The prosecution's case against two other Odin Warriors, Rodney John Keating and Gregory Terrence Toby, and an alleged connection, Matthew Raymond Fennell, wasn't strong enough to deny them bail.
Toby and Keating both face at least six months behind bars if the prosecution can prove they are guilty of meeting at the Beach Break Bar in Agnes Water with other members of a criminal organisation.
Fennell could face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty of trafficking drugs.
If he beats the trafficking charge and is found guilty of his two other charges, he may not serve time at all.
Sanderson and Fennell will have their committal mentions on May 26.
Keating and Toby will face their single charges on April 14.
Anglicare CQ's domestic violence case manager Jo sees the physical and emotional scars victims of abusive relationships suffer on a daily basis.
But nothing has scared Jo, whose surname has been withheld, more than seeing the statistics of domestic violence in CQ rise by 20% since last year. ... [Morning Bulletin - 25/3/15]
Figures reveal nine cases of family violence in Canberra every day of the year [Canberra Times – 24/3/15]
Within a decade, 238 homicides in NSW occurred in domestic violence context: report [ABC - 24/3/15]
Passage of another LNP and ALP stitchup facilitates ongoing torture and persecution of refugees
Migration bill reduces protection, puts refugees at risk [Greens Media Release - 25/3/15]:
Genuine refugees will be denied protection and forcefully returned to danger in their home countries following the passage of the Abbott government's Protection and Other Measures Bill, the Australian Greens have said.
"The Abbott government's obsession with punishing refugees is putting lives at risk," the Greens' immigration spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
"The cheap and nasty politics that has surrounded the passage of this bill has been extremely disappointing. Fear mongering about false documents and national security has seen the Labor Party fold and wave this legislation through the Senate.
"The fact is, when fleeing from an oppressive regime, refugees often have to use fake documents. This bill will see those genuine refugees returned to their oppressors.
By removing schedule two of the bill, the Australian Greens were able to stop one of the most dangerous aspects of the legislation from passing.
"Increasing the risk threshold required to qualify for 'complimentary protection' would have been disastrous," Senator Hanson-Young.
"Trying to deny protection to women fleeing from honour killings and girls who face female genital mutilation was a low act, even for this government. Thankfully we were able to stop that from happening."
PNG: West Papua leader to be deported
PNG Loop [25/3/15]:
West Papua leader Benny Wenda is still under the control of PNG Immigration and will be deported today at 1pm, back to England where he came from yesterday.
The co-ordinator of Free West Papua PNG Chapter Freddy Mambraso, said his group, with the support of NCD Governor Powes Parkop, were still negotiating with the government to allow Mr Wenda to stay for a while in the country.
Mr Wenda, an international symbol of the Free West Papua cause, has been denied access into the country.
He was waiting with Immigration officers at the Jacksons International Airport in Port Moresby yesterday afternoon until 6pm when he was released to stay with Mr Mambraso last night.
Sources told PNG Loop yesterday that Mr Wenda came into Papua New Guinea at NCDC Governor Powes Parkop’s request.
Mr Parkop has a long history of involvement in human rights issues including the Papua issue.
Governor Parkop told Loop yesterday that Mr Wenda was “not locked up” and was awaiting clearance for him to officially enter PNG and then travel on to Vanuatu.
Wenda has been travelling from the United Kingdom.
Loop attempted to speak with Mr Parkop this morning regarding this issue but could not get through.
Indonesian police shoot Papuans fundraising for Vanuatu after Cyclone Pam [Free West Papua – 21/3/15]
Ban marks International Day by stressing need for concrete action to pursue human rights
UN Media Release [24/3/15]:
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today recalled, on the 35th anniversary of the assassination of Archbishop Óscar Arnulfo Romero of El Salvador, that the United Nations has over the past year supported commissions of inquiry on the Central African Republic, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Eritrea, the recent conflict in Gaza and Syria to further the icon’s work to see that truth prevails.
“The best way to honour Monsignor Romero’s legacy of fighting for human rights and human dignity is by taking concrete action to fulfil the right to truth and other fundamental human rights in our time,” Mr. Ban said in a message marking the International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims.
The Day, observed on 24 March, was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly five years ago to honour in particular the Roman Catholic priest’s work and values as a human rights defender.
“Earlier this year, I had the honour of paying my respects at the gravesite of Monsignor Óscar Arnulfo Romero, who was murdered in El Salvador on this day in 1980,” Mr. Ban said. “Monsignor Romero was an icon for human rights and social justice.”
After witnessing numerous violations of human rights, Monsignor Romero began to speak out on behalf of the poor and the victims of repression. On 24 March 1980, an assassin fired from the door of the chapel where Romero, then Archbishop of San Salvador, was celebrating mass and shot him dead.
“The right to the truth – which is both an individual and collective right – is essential for victims but also for society at large,” Mr. Ban said. “Uncovering the truth of human rights violations of the past can help prevent human rights abuses in the future.”
“That is why,” he said, “the United Nations supports fact-finding missions, commissions of inquiry, and truth commissions to uncover the truth about gross violations of human rights and serious violations of international humanitarian law.”
The UN works to promote justice, propose reparations, and recommend reforms of abusive institutions.
In addition to the numerous commissions of inquiry supported by the UN, the world body is also providing advice and assistance to a number of transitional justice processes, including in Cote d’Ivoire and Tunisia, the Secretary-General noted.
“I once again call for the full implementation of recommendations of commissions of inquiry and truth commissions,” he said.
He went on to say: “On this vital day, let us together pledge to help victims, their families and societies realize their right to truth and protect all who strive to see the truth prevail.”
United States, “allies” continue bombing Iraq and Syria
On March 23, Coalition military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists in Syria, using fighter and remotely piloted aircraft to conduct six airstrikes.
Separately in Iraq, Coalition military forces conducted eight airstrikes approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, using fighter and attack aircraft against ISIL terrorists.
All strikes took place between 8 a.m., March 23, and 8 a.m., March 24, local time.
The following is a summary of the strikes conducted since the last press release:
o Near Kobani, six airstrikes struck four ISIL tactical units and destroyed five ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL checkpoint.
o Near Bayji, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL shipping containers.
o Near Fallujah, an airstrike struck an ISIL vehicle.
o Near Mosul, two airstrikes destroyed two ISIL excavators.
o Near Sinjar, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL building.
o Near Tal Afar, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, an ISIL IED and VBIED storage facility and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.
Airstrike assessments are based on initial reports. All aircraft returned to base safely.
Canada to Extend Airstrikes on Iraq, May Go into Syria [Naharnet – 24/3/15]:
Canadian airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq will be extended one year to March 2016 and may see sorties into Syria, the government said Tuesday.
But no ground combat troops would be deployed under the plan, which is to be debated in parliament Thursday. ...
Syrian rebels have launched a major offensive in a bid to seize control over the northwestern city of Idlib from government forces.
Abu Yazid, a spokesman for Ahrar al-Sham - one of the country's largest rebel groups - told Al Jazeera that his forces were part of a coalition of seven armed factions involved in the ongoing "Operation to Free Idlib". ... [Al Jazeera - 24/3/15]
Pentagon: US to study Iraqi request for military assistance in “liberating” Tikrit [IraqiNews.com – 24/3/15]
3 mass graves found south of Tikrit [IraqiNews.com – 24/3/15]
A bomb exploded in Zafaraniya area of southern Baghdad on Tuesday evening.
Security source told IraqiNews.com “The bomb explosion, which took place in Ma’had St. of Zafaraniya area, killed a civilian and injured seven others.”
“The dead body was transferred to the morgue, while the injuries due to the explosion were sent to hospital for treatment,” the source added.
@IraqiSMCEn – Iraqi Spring Media Center [24/3/15]:
Breaking news: Shuhada'a and Hayakil neighbourhoods have been shelled by mortars and artillery of government's army..............
Baghdad: Agencies: 8 persons have been killed and wounded in roadside bomb explosion in Mada'in district south of Baghdad............
Anbar: Ramadi Jazeera people suffer of moving from one place to another after exploding of Ali Al-Hatam Bridge by government forces. [VIDEO – 23/3/15]
Anbar: The war planes have shelled Street 20 area in Ramadi............ [VIDEO – 23/3/15]
US, Pakistan discuss military-to-military engagements, exercises [Centcom – 24/3/15]
2 soldiers, 47 insurgents killed in military operations
Two soldiers from the Afghan National Army have embraced martyrdom while 47 insurgents were killed during military operations across the country, officials said on Tuesday.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Defense states that two soldiers embraced martyrdom due to a landmine explosion in past 24 hours.
The statement does not contain information about the exact location of the incident.
The statement adds that 24 insurgents were also killed during the operation conducted in past 24 hours in Ghazni, Logar, Oruzgan, Badghis, Herat and Helmand province.
15 insurgents were also wounded and four arrested and their weapons seized by the army.
248 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were also discovered and defused by the military, the statement states.
In the meantime, a statement issued Monday by the Ministry of Interior states that 23 insurgents were killed in police operations conducted in coordination with Afghan National Army and personnel from the National Directorate of Security (NDS).
According to the statement of the Ministry of Interior the operations were conducted during past 24 hours in Kandahar, Helmand, Farah, Herat, Sar-e-Pul, Takhar, Ghazni, Jowzjan, Faryab, Logar and Kunduz provinces.
24 insurgents were also wounded during confrontation with security forces and five IEDs defused, the statement adds.
Boko Haram militants have kidnapped more than 400 women and children from the northern Nigerian town of Damasak that was freed this month by troops from Niger and Chad, residents said on Tuesday. ... [Reuters - 24/3/15]
Palestinian political leaders reject Netanyahu apology
Daily Star [25/3/15]:
Palestinian political leaders in Israel rejected Tuesday Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s apology for controversial comments he made in last week’s national elections, saying the premier’s words made him unsuitable to return for a third consecutive term on the job.
The spat has touched on longstanding claims of discrimination by Israel’s Palestinian minority, which makes up 20 percent of the Jewish state, and signaled that the rift will not be healed anytime soon. An Arab advocacy center in Israel said the country’s national elections brought an “unprecedented level of racist incitement” against the minority community.
In the heat of a close race last week, Netanyahu posted a video on his Facebook page where he implored his hard-line supporters to head to the polls, saying that “left-wing organizations” were bussing Arabs to the polls “in droves.” The comments drew accusations of racism from 1948 Palestinian voters and a White House rebuke.
Netanyahu told a gathering of Arab dignitaries Monday, “I know that what I said a few days ago offended some of Israel’s citizens, offended Israeli Arabs. I had no intention of doing so. I am sorry for this.”
But Arab politicians from the Joint List – a new coalition of mostly Arab parties – said they were not invited to the gathering at the prime minister’s residence. “Why didn’t he call us? Why didn’t he invite us?” said Ayman Odeh, head of the Joint List.
There was no immediate comment from Netanyahu’s Likud party.
Senator Lazarus reaffirms support for RET
Media Release [24/3/15]:
Independent Senator for Queensland, Glenn Lazarus, today reaffirmed his support for Australia’s current Renewable Energy Target (RET) of 41,000 GWh by 2020.
“If the Abbott Government is successful in reducing the RET, we will become the first country in the world to reduce a renewable energy target. We will become the laughing stock of the world,” Senator Glenn Lazarus said today.
“I am firmly opposed to the Abbott Government’s desire to cut the RET.
“I am deeply concerned that the Abbott Government is seeking to cut the RET significantly.
“The majority of Australians want the Government to pursue renewable energy and to encourage investment in the sector.
“Australians do not want our electricity powered by dirty coal. Australians want our nation to move towards renewable energy.
“The RET has been very successful in reducing emissions in Australia.
“In fact, it is time we started thinking about a stronger RET for the future. I call on both the Abbott Government and the Opposition to start this process for a higher 2030 target.
“New Zealand has a 90% renewable energy target for electricity by 2025. Denmark has a 50% renewable energy target for electricity by 2020. South Australia has a 50% renewable energy target for electricity by 2025. Germany has a target of 35% by 2020.
“According to the Australia Institute, Australia is lagging behind the world’s major economies when it comes to renewable energy generation despite having enough renewable energy resources to power the country 500 times over.
“Globally, renewable energy is now considered to be cost-comparative or cheaper than fossil fuels for generating electricity.
“There is a strong economic case to keep the RET. In 2011, the RET provided incentive for investments totalling more than $5 billion in renewable energy. To date, the RET has created $20 billion in investment and is predicted to generate another $14.5 billion up to 2020 if it is left unchanged.
“In 2012, the RET was responsible for creating 24,000 new jobs and will create an additional 18,400 new jobs by 2020 if left unchanged.
“In Queensland alone, the renewable energy sector has created some 6,600 jobs.
“I am the only independent Senator for Queensland representing the state of Queensland in the Senate. I am not dictated by party policy. I answer to the people of Queensland and the people of Queensland do not want the RET cut.
“Queenslanders want Australia to invest in renewable energy for the sake of our future and our health.”
Warruwi residents to return home after cyclone weakens
Residents evacuated from Goulburn Island because of Cyclone Nathan are today expected to return home.
Nathan crossed the NT coast east of Goulburn Island yesterday before weakening to a tropical low.
About 400 people from the island's community of Warruwi were evacuated to Darwin on Monday, with officials now declaring the island safe for residents to return.
That is why we need a national ICAC. We will not have a break in the corruption that goes on in this country, and let us not pretend that corruption ends in New South Wales.
Senate Hansard [24/3/15]:
Senator MILNE (Tasmania—Leader of the Australian Greens) (16:24): I rise this afternoon to comment also on the oil-for-food inquiry into the closure of the Australian Federal Police task force. It is my view that, if ever a case demonstrates the need for a national independent commission against corruption, it is this one. Justice has absolutely not been done here. I say that because the Australian Wheat Board declared throughout the royal commission that it did not know that the fee it paid the Alia trucking company went to Saddam Hussein. It declared that throughout the inquiry. However, when the shareholders took a class action, in the subsequent court case to settle that matter—it was a civil case—the AWB admitted that it knew all along, and that was part of its agreement to settle. The issue then becomes: the Wheat Board lied. It knew that the money it was paying to the Alia trucking company went to Saddam Hussein.
There was an investigation by the Federal Police into what corruption might have occurred. The Federal Police task force was shut down before it could finish that work. Why was it shut down? It was shut down on the basis of legal advice, supposedly, from Mr Hastings QC, but that legal advice has never been provided or made public. We still have no idea about that legal advice. My view is that it was shut down for political reasons and for this reason: we had a situation where ASIC had been to Iraq, had interviewed people from the trucking company and had interviewed others, all making it very clear that the evidence that ASIC had would have demonstrated that not only did the AWB know the money went to Saddam Hussein but DFAT knew. The allegation through the inquiry was that it went right up to a federal minister who knew. They all knew. If the AWB had been absolutely nailed by the Federal Police, then the next question is: what would the Wheat Board's defence have been? The Wheat Board's defence would have been: they had not committed a fraud; they had not done anything wrong because they knew that the money to the trucking company went to Saddam Hussein but so too did DFAT and so too did this federal member of parliament, and therefore they could not be found guilty of a crime because they had not deceived anyone and everybody knew.
It all came unstuck. ASIC had that information, but ASIC could not just straightforwardly provide that information to the Federal Police. So it went to court. The Wheat Board, of course, appealed the judgement that came down to say that, yes, the information should be provided. Of course the AWB objected to that—they did not want that information provided at all and they objected to it. However, it was heard again and the judge reserved his decision. Before it came down, the task force was shut down. There was a small window of opportunity. Before the ASIC information could be provided to the Federal Police, which would prove that the AWB knew and DFAT knew and it was known even as high as the minister, the task force was shut down. So that information never went from ASIC to the Federal Police because the Federal Police task force was shut down. It is clear to me, and it was clear from the evidence that was provided, that it was not legal advice that there was unlikely to be a successful prosecution but that a political judgement was made that the Federal Police task force had to be shut down so that it would never come out that the AWB not only knew but that DFAT and the government of the day knew.
Of course it is hugely serious because it goes to the whole issue of Saddam Hussein, what people knew and the breach of all the sanctions that were in place. It would have shown that the Australian federal government knew that they were breaching the sanctions, because that would have been the defence of the Wheat Board if this had come out. I believe that is why the task force was shut down, which begs the question: who in the Federal Police forced the task force to close down and who directed the then head of the Federal Police, Mick Keelty, to close down that task force?
Those questions were never answered. There has never been an investigation into that. We still do not know. That is why we need a national ICAC. I find it absolutely appalling to be standing here in the federal parliament and not have the documents that you need to prove it.
Then I asked ASIC why it did not take the AWB, because they had misled the stock exchange. They had breached their corporate responsibilities by lying about what they knew and what they did not know. ASIC would not say at the time why it did not take that action, just that there was no clear view why the name of a federal politician was taken out of the ASIC brief, who should be investigated or why ASIC did not take on AWB as a corporate entity for having lied to the stock exchange. They are very clear and serious allegations that should have been followed up. So I can only conclude that this whole thing was covered up because it went to the heart of government, that the Australian government knew at the time that the AWB was breaching the sanctions and it would have all come out.
The Federal Police task force being shut down was a political directive to avoid all of that coming out, and I want to thank the whistleblowers who came forward in this inquiry. As my colleague Senator Wright, the chair of the committee, has said it is very clear that because this covered two periods of government, two different sides of the political spectrum, the Liberal government and then a Labor government, there was no interest in having Australia exposed in this way in the international forum. The world would have been looking at this level of corruption. The OECD is already looking at the extent to which Australia takes international corruption seriously, and I think that it is an absolute disgrace. I want to put on the record my appreciation of the courage that Mr Fusca showed in coming forward and raising serious questions as to why he was essentially frustrated in his ability to do his job in that task force and the task force was closed down.
It is a very serious issue that the Australian parliament still to this day does not have the documents it needs to prove the case. That is why we will be moving for the legal advice on the basis of which that task force was shut down. We want that legal advice provided because I do not believe that it will prove the point that the government has always claimed it proved. If it is so clear then why not release it and let the community see it? The whole thing has been a cover up from start to finish.
Quite apart from the AWB case, as I indicated, we need a much more serious approach to foreign bribery and corruption. The Federal Police now has a much more significant unit to do that work.
But, frankly, no unit will be able to do the work if ultimately they are leant on politically to shut down investigations. That is why we need a national ICAC. We will not have a break in the corruption that goes on in this country, and let us not pretend that corruption ends in New South Wales. ICAC has made it fairly clear in New South Wales what the story is. We now need to make sure that we get a national ICAC, that we expose this and that the people responsible for the cover ups are held to account.
Fatal traffic crash,
Emu Creek (near Crows Nest)
QPS Media [25/3/15]:
Police are investigating a fatal traffic crash that occurred yesterday in Emu Creek.
Between 4.30pm and 5pm a motorcycle and a white sedan crashed while travelling in opposite directions on Pierces Creek Road, between Brothers Road and Woolshed Road.
The male motorcycle rider, believed to be in his 50’s died at the scene.
The female driver of the sedan was transported to hospital.
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 crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.
Not terrorism when a good ol' boy or ex-professional footballer wanders into an army or SAS barracks
Update: Security breach, (Murray) Townsville [QPS Media - 25/3/15]:
Police have charged a man who allegedly breached security at the Lavarack Army Barracks yesterday.
A 24-year-old Kelso man has been charged with one count each of going armed so as to cause fear and trespassing on Commonwealth land.
He is due to appear in the Townsville Magistrates Court this morning.
A man has been arrested after entering Townsville's army barracks with a replica gun.
The Lavarack Barracks was briefly in lockdown at 5:10pm amid the breach.
No threats were made during the incident and a defence spokesman said no-one had been hurt.
Police said a 24-year-old man had been taken into police custody.
Investigations are continuing.
Indonesian Terror Cells Get Help From Down Under: PPATK [Jakarta Globe - 25/3/15]:
Indonesia’s anti-money laundering agency announced on Tuesday that it had detected funds believed to support terrorist activities flowing from Australia into the country.
“We have discovered funding activities from Australia to [terrorist] networks in Indonesia,” said Agus Santoso, deputy chief of the Financial Transactions Report and Analysis Center (PPATK).
He declined to elaborate, saying only that the matter is still under investigation and the agency is cooperating with its Australian counterpart.
“I can’t reveal the exact figure, but it’s not in the millions [of dollars]. We can only confirm that the funds came from Australia to support known radical organizations in the country,” Agus said.
He declined to name the group or any specific incidents the funds may be related to. He also declined to comment on whether the case is connected to the recent wave of Indonesians seeking to join the radical group Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria.
“We plan to reach out to agencies [PPATK counterparts] abroad with efforts to cut terror-related funding across the region, including those connected to IS,” Agus said. “We will work with agencies from the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia.”
The government has previously expressed concerns over the hundreds of Indonesians fleeing the country to join IS’s cause, including 16 citizens arrested by Turkish authorities earlier this month for trying to cross the border to Syria, reportedly to support the militant group. They are scheduled to be deported back to Indonesia this week.
[US and Australian funded and trained Densus 88] Police arrested five suspects over the weekend in Kebayoran Baru (South Jakarta), Bogor (West Java), Tangerang (Banten) and Bekasi (West Java). The suspects are accused of recruiting and financing Indonesian fighters for IS.
Among the five still in custody is a man identified as Amin Mude, a resident of the Legenda Wisata housing estate in Cileungsi, Bogor, who was previously arrested in December for a similar case but was released a day later.
Amin had been accused of aiding and abetting 12 Indonesians trying to reach Syria via Turkey and is now believed to be the main financier for the 16 scheduled to be deported by Turkish authorities.
The five were found with firearms, passports, plane tickets and a combined $6,000 in cash at the time of their arrests, according to Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Unggung Cahyono.
At least Rp 7 billion ($ 540,189) is believed to have aided Indonesian IS fighters to travel to Iraq, or Syria, the PPATK said.
“The network is expanding exponentially. The funds raised reached at least Rp 7 billion. They are using all sorts of methods to raise cash, from selling herbal medicine, books and even chemicals,” Agus said.
The Sting: How the FBI created a terrorist [The Intercept - 16/3/15]
Al Jazeera Investigates - Informants [VIDEO – 20/7/14]:
Al Jazeera's Investigative Unit takes you inside the shadowy world of FBI informants and counterterrorism sting operations. Following the 9/11 attacks, the FBI set about to recruit a network of more than 15,000 informants. Al Jazeera's investigative film tells the stories of three paid FBI informants who posed as Muslims as they searched for people interested in joining violent plots concocted by the FBI.
Saint Ignatius' College, Riverview sexual abuse allegations known to
Jesuits for a decade
Allegations of child sexual abuse at a prestigious Sydney boys school, which were reported to police this week, have been known about by the body that governs the school for more than a decade.
The allegations have been made by a former student of Saint Ignatius College, Riverview on Sydney's lower north shore and date back more than 30 years.
The ABC understands the allegations have come to light now because the alleged offender is facing charges over similar matters in South Australia.
The principal of the private school, Paul Hine, wrote to the old boys yesterday informing them a former student had made the allegations.
But the Australian Province of the Society of Jesus, which governs the school, learned of the complaint from the former student over 10 years ago.
In a statement, the head of the Australian Jesuits Father Brian McCoy said the body encouraged the former student at the time to go to the police, but he chose not to.
He said the complainant was referred to Towards Healing, an agency of the Catholic church which was developed to support those who have been victims of child abuse.
"When the complaint came up in Sydney, we - my predecessors - referred the complainant to Towards Healing, which the Jesuits joined about the same time," Father McCoy said.
"We encouraged him to go to the police but the complainant, as I understand it, chose to not press charges."
The school was told of the allegations four weeks ago by the Professional Standards Office of the Australian Jesuits and the principal, Mr Hine, took the step of informing the students and alumni yesterday.
"Rather than sit on that, we thought it necessary to go out to our community in the event that anybody else had been adversely affected in the past by anybody involved in this school," Mr Hine said.
Mr Hine said the school's policies mean no current students are at risk.
"The current environment, it's absolutely inconceivable that anything like this could happen," Mr Hine said.
Mr Hine said the matter had been reported to police and the school was assisting the Jesuits' professional standards office with its investigations.
In the letter sent out to students and alumni on Monday, Mr Hine wrote he would also tell the boys at the school about the allegations.
"I am also communicating with all the boys today, in an age-appropriate manner, so that they do not hear about this matter in a piecemeal way or in a situation where they have no reassurances," he wrote.
He said the school took its duty of care seriously and he believed procedures at the school to safeguard students were of the highest standard.
$100bn NATO claim: Serbian NGOs seek compensation for 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia
Two non-governmental organizations have said NATO should be required to pay compensation for the massive damage inflicted during the 1999 bombing campaign against Yugoslavia.
A meeting of the Belgrade Forum for the World of Equals and the Club of Generals and Admirals in Belgrade presented an initiative to hold 28-member NATO financially accountable for the damage that Yugoslavia sustained in the attacks.
Serbian experts put the price tag of the devastation between $60 and $100 billion.
Retired General Jovo Milanovic said that NATO’s military offensive, which was unsanctioned by the United Nations, represented "a violation of all norms of international law that caused enormous material damage to Yugoslavia and huge human casualties,” Tass quoted him as saying.
The participants supported Milanovic’s proposal to pursue the legal options involving financial compensation, as well as the possibility of opening criminal proceedings against western leaders who expressed their support for the aerial attacks.
Sixteen years ago, between March 24, 1999, and June 10, 1999, NATO aircraft flew over 38,000 combat missions in Yugoslavia, mostly concentrated on the capital Belgrade and in Kosovo, the flashpoint of the conflict.
Using fighter jets as well as long-range cruise missiles from warships in the Adriatic Sea, NATO destroyed vital strategic infrastructure, including bridges, government buildings and factories. The NATO campaign also targeted critical civil infrastructure, including power plants and water-processing facilities, causing substantial environmental and economic damage to the country.
On May 7, NATO forces bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, killing three Chinese journalists. Washington and NATO apologized for the bombing, blaming it on an “outdated map” provided by the CIA.
The NATO campaign resulted not just in the destruction of infrastructure but the death of hundreds of civilians as well.
Human Rights Watch reported that “as few as 489 and as many as 528 Yugoslav civilians were killed in the 90 separate incidents” in the US-led NATO campaign.
Serbian sources report a much higher fatality rate, saying more than 2,000 civilians and 1,000 servicemen were killed in the NATO bombardments, while more than 5,000 people were wounded and over a thousand went missing.
Deutsche Lufthansa AG (ADR) Flights Back To Normal After Four-Day
The management of Deutsche Lufthansa AG (OTCMKT:DLAKY) said that its services are back to normal.
The four-day strike was called due to planned changes in the employees’ pension agreement to put an end to their early retirement plan by the management. On Monday, all the flights services came back to operations, except few long haul flights.
The labor union spokesperson, Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) has warned the management for a likely strike during Easter holidays in April, as there was no settlement made on the dispute over early retirement plan age. He said: "There has been no movement (on this) so far."
The Germany's largest airline reported that four-day strike had caused many flights cancellation, and had affected 220,000 passengers. On Saturday, airline cancelled about 74 long haul flights out of its 160 planned flights. There were some 700 flights cancelled on Friday, aside from the 90 flights that were cancelled due to some air traffic controller strike in Italy.
The strike started on March 8 due to the concern of around 5,400 pilots over the change of age limit in the retirement plan. The company management was planning to change the policy by increasing the age limit. The company's recent retirement policy has a 55-year age limit with the benefit of receiving 60% of their pay till the age of 65, which is the normal retirement age.
The airline pilots were also concerned about the company's policy to cut cockpit cost through moving flights from Lufthansa to Eurowings brand and its joint venture SunExpress. The airline’s operating profit for the year 2014 was hit by $226 million loss due to similar strike in last week of December 2014.
Already, atmospheric turbulence injures hundreds of airline passengers each year, sometimes fatally, damaging aircraft and costing the industry an estimated 115 million euros (£97.8m), scientists said.
"Climate change is not just warming the Earth's surface, it is also changing the atmospheric winds 10 kilometres (six miles) high, where planes fly," said Dr Paul Williams of the University of Reading's National Centre for Atmospheric Science, and the co-author of the study.
"That is making the atmosphere more vulnerable to the instability that creates clear-air turbulence," he told AFP by email.
"Our research suggests that we'll be seeing the 'fasten seatbelts' sign turned on more often in the decades ahead."
Turbulence is mainly caused by vertical airflow - up-draughts and down-draughts near clouds and thunderstorms.
Don't believe the hype: Angelina Jolie is a Hollywood actress and the Australian media are obsessed with eugenics
Around 3% of ovarian cancer cases occur in women with a family history of ovarian cancer
Ovarian cancer risk factors [Cancer Research UK]:
Risk factors for ovarian cancer are discussed here. Find out more about the definitions and evidence for this data. ...
Angelina Jolie’s faulty gene: newspaper coverage of a celebrity’s preventive bilateral mastectomy in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom - Kalina Kamenova, PhD, Amir Reshef, MBA and Timothy Caulﬁeld, LLM, FRSC [Academia – July 2014]:
This study investigates the portrayal of Angelina Jolie’s preventive bilateral mastectomy in the news media. Content analysis of print news was conducted to identify major frames used in press coverage, the overall tone of discussions, how journalists report broader questions about testing and hereditary breast/ovarian cancer, and whether they raise concerns about the impact of celebrities on patients’ choices and public opinion.
The Factiva database was used to collect publications on Jolie’s preventive mastectomy in elite newspapers in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The data set consisted of 103 newspaper articles published in the ﬁrst month of media coverage.
The results show that although the press discussed key issues surrounding predictive genetic testing and preventive options for women at high risk of hereditary breast/ovarian cancer, important medical information about the rarity of Jolie’s condition was not communicated to the public.
The results highlight the media’s overwhelmingly positive slant toward Jolie’s mastectomy, while overlooking the relative rarity of her situation, the challenges of “celebrity medicine,” and how celebrities inﬂuence people’s medical decisions. Future research is required to investigate whether the media hype has inﬂuenced demand and use of testing and preventive mastectomies.
The Biological State: Nazi Racial Hygiene, 1933–1939 [United States Holocaust Memorial Museum]:
Nazism was “applied biology,” stated Hitler deputy Rudolf Hess. During the Third Reich, a politically extreme, antisemitic variation of eugenics determined the course of state policy.
Hitler’s regime touted the “Nordic race” as its eugenic ideal and attempted to mold Germany into a cohesive national community that excluded anyone deemed hereditarily “less valuable” or “racially foreign.”
Public health measures to control reproduction and marriage aimed at strengthening the “national body” by eliminating biologically threatening genes from the population.
Many German physicians and scientists who had supported racial hygiene ideas before 1933 embraced the new regime’s emphasis on biology and heredity, the new career opportunities, and the additional funding for research.
Hitler’s dictatorship, backed by sweeping police powers, silenced critics of Nazi eugenics and supporters of individual rights. After all educational and cultural institutions and the media came under Nazi control, racial eugenics permeated German society and institutions. Jews, considered “alien,” were purged from universities, scientific research institutes, hospitals, and public health care. Persons in high positions who were viewed as politically “unreliable” met a similar fate.
Angelina Jolie undergoes further preventive surgery [Jakarta Post – 24/3/15]
Mastectomies on the rise in Venezuela amid economic crisis [Jakarta Post – 24/3/15]
Kelvin MacKenzie referred to attorney general over
Kelvin MacKenzie has been referred to the attorney general over an article he wrote about the Hillsborough disaster in the Sun, it has emerged.
It was considered for possible contempt of court because it included comment on the ongoing inquest into the Hillsborough disaster and the deaths of 96 people.
In the piece, published in his new column in the Sun, MacKenzie dedicated several hundred words to the testimony of former chief superintendent David Duckenfield.
A spokesperson for Jeremy Wright said: “I can confirm this office has been asked to consider a number of articles, including the one written by Kelvin MacKenzie, regarding the evidence heard in the Hillsborough inquest and last week we issued a media advisory that urged restraint when publishing, including by way of social media.
“The office is monitoring coverage, and whilst the law officers do not think the coverage they have seen requires action for contempt of court, we do urge everyone to read and adhere to the media advisory.”
The media advisory was issued on 16 March, five days before MacKenzie’s piece was published in the Sun. It is understood that none of the articles so far referred are going to result in any legal action.
Last year the previous attorney general, Dominic Grieve, warned the public to take care when commenting ahead of the inquest.
He also warned editors and publishers “that the inquest proceedings are currently active for the purpose of the Contempt of Court Act 1981”.
Contempt of court bars comment on ongoing trials and inquests to avoid the risk of influencing the jury in one direction.
The MacKenzie article was brought to the attorney general’s attention by a supporter of the Hillsborough families campaign for justice.
The attorney general’s office told him in an email: “We will consider it and take action as appropriate.”
MacKenzie was the editor of the Sun the night of the Hillsborough disaster and his paper’s coverage led to the title being boycotted in Liverpool.
Separately, the Guardian has issued clarification about a column penned by MacKenzie in the paper on Tuesday about his change of heart over immigration.
A Guardian News & Media spokesperson said: “Kelvin MacKenzie has not been hired as a columnist by the Guardian. Rather, he was commissioned to write a single article explaining his change of heart on immigration: he used to oppose it, now he supports it. Every day we publish a range of voices on our opinion pages, voices from all over the world and across the entire political and ideological spectrum. Naturally not all of these opinion articles, or their authors, always reflect the Guardian’s own editorial position.”
Paying the price: The cost of dealing with The Sun [Hacking Inquiry - 24/3/15]
Sweden to Add Gender-Neutral Pronoun
The pronoun “hen” can be used to refer to a person without indicating their gender or because the person does not identify as male or female.
The Swedish Academy announced Tuesday that it will be adding a gender-neutral pronoun, “hen” to the Swedish Academy's dictionary in April. It will be one of the 13,000 new words to be officially introduced to the Swedish language.
“Hen” is used to speak about a person without referring to their gender, either because the gender is unknown, the gender is unnecessary information, or because the person does not want to be gendered as male or female.
The pronoun was first created in 1960s, when society first began questioning the use of “han” (he) as the universal pronoun for humanity. The word gained widespread recognition in the 2000s, with the advent of the internet. It began to be used in books, magazines, and newspapers, as well as online.
In 2012, a children's book by Jesper Lundquvist was published, in which the author used “hen” frequently. This sparked a national conversation about language, gender, and children's education. In the past few years, “hen” has been used in political debates and even in governmental manuals.
According to the World Economic Forum, Sweden is the world's fourth most gender-equal nation.
Lann Hornscheidt, a professor of gender studies and linguistics at the Humboldt University’s Center for Transdisciplinary Gender Studies said to Newsweek, “Sweden is really the pioneer. No other country has made such an effort to break down gender barriers among children.”
Hornscheidt added, “The gender gap creates poverty among women. Initiatives like hen are all part of an effort to create a more just world.”
Court decision ends privatization of water in Jakarta
Jakarta Post [24/3/15]:
The privatization of Jakarta’s water, which has spanned 17 years, has come to an end as judges at the Central Jakarta District Court have approved a lawsuit from the Coalition of Jakarta Residents Opposing Water Privatization (KMMSAJ).
Presiding judge Iim Nurkhoim said during the verdict on Tuesday evening that the court had granted half of the demands of the plaintiffs.
“The defendants have been negligent in fulfilling the human right to water for Jakarta’s residents,” he said.
KMMSAJ filed a citizen lawsuit against the city administration in November 2013, demanding that the court annul an agreement between city owned water operator PAM Jaya and two private water operators – PT PAM Lyonnaise Jaya (Palyja) and PT Aetra Air Jakarta (Aetra).
It claimed that the cooperation had failed to guarantee an adequate supply of clean, portable water in the capital.
“The defendants have also breached the law by handing over water operations in Jakarta to private firms by signing a cooperation agreement on June 6 1997, which was changed on Jan. 28, 1998 and Oct. 22, 2001,” he said.
Iim said the cooperation, made and signed by PAM Jaya director and Thames PAM Jaya, was null and void.
“The court orders the defendants to end the privatization of water in Jakarta and return the operation of water distribution in Jakarta to city owned water operator PAM Jaya, in accordance with Bylaw No. 13/1992,” he said.
KMMSAJ lawyer Arif Maulana said he was glad that the demands of Jakarta’s residents had been granted.
"We call on Jakarta Governor Basuki ‘Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama to take control of water operations immediately," he said.
Ukrainian Politician Sought for Rape in Cambodia
Cambodia Daily [24/3/15]:
A Ukrainian member of parliament and former television executive is being sought by Cambodian authorities for allegedly raping a minor in Phnom Penh in 2011 and has been placed on Interpol’s list of most-wanted criminals.
Mykola Kniazhytsky, 46—who was elected to parliament as a member of the People’s Front party in November and previously served as CEO of Ukraine’s TVi channel—is “wanted by the judicial authorities of Cambodia for prosecution/to serve a sentence” on charges of rape, according to Interpol’s website.
The website does not say where or when the rape allegedly took place, and offers no other details about the case. Lim Sokha Raksmey, acting director of Cambodia’s Interpol office, could not be reached.
The English-language Kiev Post reported Monday that Mr. Kniazhytsky is accused of raping a minor in Phnom Penh on September 9, 2011, citing Ukraine’s Interpol bureau, but said he was added to the global police force’s wanted list just Monday.
Mr. Kniazhytsky could not be reached Monday, but his research assistant, Anastasia Melnyk, said she did not believe her boss was a child rapist.
“For me, that sounds completely not true because I’ve known him well for a little bit more than a year now. We met a little bit before the revolution,” she said by telephone from Kiev. “That sounds ridiculous for me.”
In an email last night, Mr. Kniazhytsky’s press office called the accusations against the lawmaker “defamatory and rigged.” The email says he could not possibly have raped a minor in Phnom Penh on September 9, 2011, because he hosted a television talk show, “Evening with Mykola Kniazhytsky,” on the night of September 8.
“The difference of time between Kyiv and Phnom [Penh] is 5 hours,” the email says. “Flight time from Kyiv to Phnom [Penh] – 12 hours. There is no direct flights between these cities. According to the Border Guard Service of Ukraine, MP Mykola Kniazhytsky was in Ukraine at the time when the alleged crime took place,” the email says.
“MP Mykola Knyazhytsky is convinced that these pressure is an attempt to discredit him by Moscow authorities and is organized by Russian special services because he initiated the ban of Russian propaganda television series, which reviled Ukraine and Ukrainians,” it continues.
In the Kiev Post article, Mr. Kniazhytsky accuses Russian businessman Konstantin Kagalovsky of attempting to frame him.
“I will prove that the accusation is falsified,” he is quoted as saying.
“Kniazhytsky says that the accusation was adulterated by Kagalovsky, who was an owner of Ukrainian TV channel TVi until an ownership dispute over the station in April 2013,” the article says.
“Kagalovskiy has accused Kniazhytsky, then CEO of TVi, of orchestrating a takeover of the TV station.”
It says Mr. Kniazhytsky admitted to traveling to Cambodia once for two days, but that he did not specify when.
Deputy Phnom Penh police chief Chuon Narin said he was unfamiliar with Mr. Kniazhytsky’s case.
“I do not know anything about that, but I will check with Mr. Raksmey,” he said, referring to the head of Cambodia’s Interpol office.
25 March 2015