Myanmar stock exchange begins trade [Reuters – 25/3/16]

 

 

 

Rakhine curfew still in place [Myanmar Times - 24/3/16]:

... U Kyaw Min, head of the Democracy and Human Rights Party, whose members identify as Rohingya but are called Bengalis by the government, said the existing security forces posted to the area were enough, and the curfew was no longer necessary.

He said the curfew had a broader impact than forcing residents to remain indoors at night.

“We want the curfew to be lifted so we can breathe more easily,” he told The Myanmar Times.

“At the moment we are in a difficult situation. We can’t go to the mosques in the town because it was closed under the curfew order.”

...

Marmuh Hartu, 56, a gold shop owner in Maungdaw, said he was worried that a medical emergency could occur during the hours of darkness.

“It would be better if we didn’t have the curfew so we can go anywhere at any time,” he said.

“But the curfew is just one of the many rules we have to follow,” he added, referring to the restrictions on movement applied by the government against those without citizenship.

 

 

 

Rakhine community people have staged demonstration in Sittwe demanding the appointment of ANP leader as Rakhine state minister on 23 March 2016.

According to source, the Rakhine community people have staged demonstration to appoint the Rakhine state minister from the party, ANP which won with large numbers of lower house MP seats in the 8 November 2015 election. ... [Burma Times - 23/3/16]

 

 

 

Woodside, as a participant in the Browse Joint Venture, advises that following completion of front-end engineering and design (FEED) work, the Browse Joint Venture participants have decided not to progress with the development at this time considering the current economic and market environment. ... [ASX Announcement - 23/3/16]

 

 

Taiwan has demanded an explanation from Indonesia after two of its fishing boats were allegedly fired on by an Indonesia government vessel near the Strait of Malacca. ... [Jakarta Post - 24/3/16]

 

 



Sri Lanka: Government sets goal to close all IDP camps in North, East [Colombo Gazette – 24/3/16]:

 

The Government says it has set a goal to close all IDP camps in the North, East and resettle the remaining war displaced families.

Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella said that the Government, during the last Parliamentary elections, gave an assurance that all the war displaced people will be resettled and IDP camps closed.

He said that since such a promise was given, the Government is determined to complete that process soon.

 

 

 

 

Philippines releases impounded N. Korean ship [Rappler - 25/3/16]

 

 

 

Around 30 citizens in central and southwestern Japan have filed lawsuits with regional courts, demanding the government suspend the use of identification numbers under the newly launched My Number social security and tax number system. ... [Japan Today - 25/3/16]

 

 

 

The United Nations is assembling an informal working group to help reduce the risk of disasters in the Pacific.

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction said it was partnering with other UN agencies, NGOs and organisations such as the Fijian government and the Institute of Fiji Engineers.

Its Sub-Regional Coordinator for the Pacific, Timothy Wilcox, said the group's focus was to share information and make sure people incorporated the concept of 'build back better' into reconstruction efforts. ... [Fiji Times - 25/3/16]

 

 



A complaint has been laid with the United Nations about proposed changes to Māori land laws.

Waitangi Tribunal claimants have sent a letter to the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights.

It accuses the government of breaching the Declaration of Rights of Indigenous People in its review of the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act.

The review aims to make it easier to use Māori land but claimants say the process is flawed and their sovereignty is under threat.

National Māori Women's Welfare League president Prue Kapua said they had been left with no other options. ... [RNZI - 25/3/16]

 

 

 

 

Former editor of website The Real Singapore (TRS) Ai Takagi, 23, was sentenced to a 10-month jail term on four charges of sedition over the publication of articles promoting racial hatred.

She pleaded guilty to four of seven counts of sedition charges. ... [The Online Citizen - 24/3/16]

 

 



Singapore Press Holdings takes S$6.8m stake in video content firm Brand New Media Singapore [Mumbrella - 25/3/16]

 

 

 

 

A man is due in Beenleigh Magistrates Court on Saturday, accused of pulling a shotgun on Police.

Officers tasered the 21-year-old on Thursday morning, saying he would not do what he was told.

He allegedly threw the weapon into the air during a struggle with police, but was eventually arrested. 

Earlier it was alleged that he had threatened people at a home in Marsden.

Police were called to Windsor Street in Slacks Creek where they spotted the man getting out of a car and the drama unfolded. [MYGC - 25/3/16]

 

 

 

 

 

Unlawful wounding charges, Robina [QPS Media - 25/3/16]

 

 

 

 

 

 

A man repeatedly stabbed on the Gold Coast has told a court hearing he can't remember the attack or identify those who stabbed him.

Matthew Chivers, 32, and Mitchell Hinde, 35, are both accused of stabbing Jason Wood at a Nerang address in May 2014.

At a committal hearing for the pair at Southport Magistrates Court on Thursday, Mr Wood conceded he couldn't verify the veracity of statements he'd given to police in the wake of the alleged attack.

Mr Wood repeatedly said he had no recollection of the incident beyond the arrival of an ambulance at the property.

When asked by Chivers' defence barrister Angus Edwards if he knew who had attacked him, Mr Wood said he could not due to being under the influence of the drug ice before, during and after the date in question. ... [Yahoo - 24/3/16]

 

 



A son of motor racing champion Jack Brabham has been found guilty of raping a six-year-old girl.

Gary Thomas Brabham, 54, was convicted in the Brisbane District Court of one count of rape and one count of the indecent treatment of a girl under the age of 12.

The offences occurred between 2003 and 2007.

The girl's mother took her daughter to police after she told her of the abuse in October 2013.

Brabham was found not guilty of another five counts of indecent treatment.

After the verdicts were handed down, the court was told Brabham had a criminal history. ... [ABC - 24/3/16]

 



 

Disappearance of outback nurse Gayle Woodford declared 'major crime' [ABC - 25/3/16]

 

 



Mother-of-four Nicole Upton is the only registered nurse working at the Rolleston Health Centre, 300 kilometres south-west of Rockhampton in central Queensland.

Having led the community's campaign for years to make the centre a reality, she is passionate about the service.

Ms Upton is paid to work just one day a week, but due to the high demand for her services in the bush community she works Monday to Friday, volunteering the rest of her time.

"I'm always called from morning 'til dusk 'til night time," she said.  ... [ABC - 23/3/16]

 


 

Collinsville residents fight Hillside Haven nursing home closure [ABC – 24/3/16]:

 

... Local resident Stacey Jones said news of the closure was upsetting for the whole community.

"There's residents there that have lived in Collinsville their whole lives and even the thought of having to leave is terrifying them, they'd be expected to leave a community that they helped build, families that they love," she said.

"They're frightened, they're feeling almost bullied into making a decision.

"They don't want to leave."

...

 

 

 

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, visited Mount Isa’s Laura Johnson Home last Tuesday to view the redevelopment and visit the residence. ... [North West Star - 25/3/16]

 

 

 

 

Schoolgirl refused bail [Yahoo - 24/3/16]:

 

 

A schoolgirl charged over an alleged plot to send thousands of dollars to Islamic State sat stony-faced for hours, hunched over in the dock of a Sydney courtroom on Wednesday as prosecutors detailed the elaborate investigation that led to her arrest.

But she was overwhelmed with emotion on Thursday when she learned she may spend several months behind bars.

The 16-year-old, who cannot be named, burst into tears and covered her face in her hands as Magistrate Paula Russell refused her bail application in Parramatta Children's Court. The decision came two days after she was charged with collecting funds for a terrorist organisation.

The girl appeared to gesture towards her mother - who the court heard she had not seen since Tuesday, and is said to have taken ill over the stress of her child's arrest - before being led from the courtroom.

Her mother sobbed as her daughter disappeared from view, flanked by juvenile justice officials.

Defence barrister Michael Pickin had urged the magistrate to release the Year 12 student, who is months away from sitting her HSC exams, because of her prior good character and precarious mental health.

...

 

 

 

 

Serious traffic crash, Guthalungra (Bowen) [QPS Media - 25/3/16]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Police are investigating a serious traffic crash this afternoon in Esk that has left a motorcycle rider with serious injuries.

At around 12.30pm, a male motorcyclist was travelling on the Esk Hampton Road toward Esk when it is believed that he hit a rock on the road.

At this point, the rider left the road and came to a stop down an embankment.

Assisted by the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, the man was retrieved and transported via helicopter to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in a serious but stable condition. ... [QPS Media - 25/3/16]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A 68-year-old man has died following a single vehicle traffic crash that occurred in Townsville last October. ... [QPS Media - 24/3/16]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A woman is being treated for minor injuries after her car ploughed into a house in Southport this morning.

An Ambulance Service spokesperson says the car crashed through the front fence of the home after an accident with another vehicle on Benowa Road just after 8.30am.

The woman, aged in her 70s, is currently being treated for a knee injury. [MYGC - 24/3/16]

 

 

 

 

 

A cyclist has life-threatening injuries after a head-on collision at Lake Wendouree early on Friday morning.  ... [The Courier - 25/3/16]

 

 

 

 

 

Truck and car collide at Helensvale [MYGC - 24/3/16]

 

 

 

 

Truck drivers told to attend minimum pay hearings over Easter or 'face jail time' [ABC - 24/3/16]:

 

 

... The new minimum pay rate is due to come into effect in April. Owner-operators have fears it will put many of them out of business.

That is because it would not apply to trucking companies, which employ drivers.

 Those companies will therefore be able to charge clients a cheaper rate than owner-operators.

...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clarke and Dawe - It’s the Planet, Stupid [24/3/16]

 

 

 

 

Back to the Future and the Fraser Island dingo [Fraser Coast Chronicle - 24/3/16]:

 

Long before World Heritage listing the dingo lived in harmony with the Indigenous people on Fraser Island and later with European residents and workers, some dingo families even whelped their litters under the verandahs of residents.

There was a mutual respect that many visitors today do not understand and, unfortunately, this has lead to instances of human/dingo conflict.

Like most members of the canidae family, the Fraser Island dingo is an opportunistic hunter and scavenger, whilst their native diet consists mainly of small mammals, also wallaby, reptiles, fish and fruit, as scavengers they will enter tents and take food that is not properly stored, again resulting in human/dingo conflict.

Dingoes are not aggressive by nature but are extremely curious and notorious thieves , it is not unusual or atypical for the animals to be attracted to the aroma of cooking food, bait buckets or open eskies.

This behaviour should not be considered a sign of aggression or treated as an 'incident', the term implies the animal is acting out of character, which is not the case.

As the Easter holidays approach the dingo will again be put under pressure by the enormous influx of tourists, over 15,000 vehicle permits were issued for Fraser Island between December and the end of February - an increase of more than 2,500 vehicles for the same period the previous year.

Easter is also the commencement of the dingo mating season, the chances of a dingo encounter over this holiday period is likely, if tourists abide by the guidelines and do not attempt to interact with or feed the animals, then Easter on Fraser Island can be a positive and safe experience for both tourists and wildlife.

Education, respect and understanding are crucial if we are to preserve and protect the future of the Fraser Island dingo.

 

 


W
e are diverse, we have different cultures and religions, but we are brothers and we want to live in peace.



ANSAmed [24/3/16]:

 

 

 Pope Francis washed the feet of 11 asylum seekers and a reception-centre staffer on Holy Thursday, repeating the humble act Jesus performed on his disciples at the Last Supper.

During his homily at the Mass preceding the ceremony near Rome, Francis said the mercenary greed of arms traffickers was behind the bloody March 22 Islamist terror attacks in Brussels.

The pope's decision to wash refugees' feet demonstrated once again the centrality of the plight of migrants and refugees in his papacy.

Three women and eight men living at the reception centre for asylum seekers (CARA) at Castelnuovo di Porto north of the capital and a young Italian woman who assists them were chosen to take part in the Holy Thursday ritual.

The group was made up of three Muslims, one Hindu, three Coptic Christians and five Catholics (including the staffer).

They are all waiting for their application for international protection to be processed by the Italian authorities and have been at the centre for between two months and two years.

Almost all arrived in Italy by boat after making the dangerous sea crossing from north Africa.

"Behind the act of war and destruction in a European city...there were others...the arms manufacturers and traffickers," Francis said in his homily. In the same way, those behind Judas paid him 30 pieces of silver to turn Jesus over, Francis said.

He pointed to two contrasting actions to drive home the importance of believing in peace and brotherhood.

"All of us here together - Muslims, Hindus, Catholics, Copts, Evangelicals - are all brothers and children of the same God who want to be integrated and live in peace: one action," he said.

"Three days ago an act of war and destruction in a European city was carried out by people who do not want to live in peace - but behind that act as behind Judas there were others...the arms manufacturers and traffickers who want blood not peace, war not brotherhood".

Francis went on to explain the significance of his act of washing the feet of asylum seekers as Jesus washed his disciples' feet.

"In this moment when I will carry out the same act as Jesus in washing your feet, we are all of us together making an act of brotherhood and we all say: 'we are diverse, we have different cultures and religions, but we are brothers and we want to live in peace'".

"May each in his own tongue pray the lord so that this brotherhood becomes contagious in the world, so that there will no longer be 30 pieces of silver to kill one's brother, so that brotherhood and goodness will always remain".

Francis then washed the feet of the 11 refugees and the staffer at the CARA.

After the Mass Francis met with three families of asylum-seekers living at the centre, including one originating in Palestine whose members span four generations.

In total 892 people from 25 countries are currently living at the CARA at Castelnuovo di Porto.

Of these, 849 are men, 36 are women and 7 are minors.

Of the total 557 are Muslim, 333 are Christian and two are Hindu.

Some 80% of the asylum seekers are aged between 19 and 26.

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday, March 23, in front of the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles, outside the very courtroom where Central American children defend their cases for asylum, 21 faith leaders and allies, myself included, got arrested for protesting the detention and deportation of immigrants, specifically U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids targeting Central American refugee mothers and children who have come to the U.S. to flee extreme violence and to seek asylum.  ... [People's World - 24/3/16[

 

 



DHS and State Department prepare mass deportation of hundreds of Muslims [#NOT1MORE – 24/3/16]:

 

 

Immigration authorities have begun transporting South Asian detainees to Florence, Arizona, as a staging ground for impending mass deportation.

Many of the Muslim migrants from Bangladesh being transported were participants in the #Freedomgiving hunger strikes at the end of 2015 that roiled a dozen detention centers across the country and brought attention to the prolonged, unjustified, and discriminatory detention of Muslim and South Asian migrants.

One of the detainees, who gave a name of Manik and is scheduled to be deported as well, said that “they are gathering all of us here from across the different jails, but none of the men here want to be sent back. Most are terrified and crying about what will happen to them if they are sent back.”

As Candidates Trump and Cruz stir anti-Muslim sentiment calling for the surveillance, ban, and deportation of Muslims — the Department of Homeland Security under the Obama Administration is already racially profiling and discriminating against Muslim migrants, by holding detainees for indefinite and extended periods of time, setting unusually high bond amounts, and now preparing to deport Muslim detainees en masse to their potential deaths.

“It is alarming that the State Department is getting involved in matters of immigration, detention, and deportation, and so recklessly jeopardizing the lives of asylum-seeking migrants who are escaping repressive and dangerous conditions,” said Fahd Ahmed, Executive Director of DRUM (Desis Rising Up & Moving).

DRUM has coordinated hunger strikes and advocacy efforts for the detainees over the last 6 months. He added that “their lives have been further endangered by the mishandling of their cases and confidential information by the U.S. government.”

In violation of international law, the names and personal information of the detainees were given to the Bangladeshi government by the U.S. Embassy in Bangladesh, and their names were then leaked and published by the Bangladeshi media.

And in violation of their own protocols, the detainees may be expelled despite being witnesses and victims to civil rights violations that are under open investigation by the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties within DHS.

“While many have rightfully condemned the anti-Muslim rhetoric spewed during ongoing presidential campaigns, our current policies are just as terrifying. We call on the State Department and DHS to immediately halt these deportations and for administration officials to end these policies that single out Muslim migrants,” adds Linda Sarsour, Director of MPower Change.

Activists raise grave concerns for the men’s safety and have begun using the hashtag #Deported2Death to highlight the consequence of their potential removals and are calling on the State Department and Department of Homeland Security to cancel their removals and allow them to pursue their asylum claims.

The petition is hosted by the #Not1More Campaign at:  http://www.notonemoredeportation.com/portfolio/state-dept-bangladesh/

 

 

 

Congress members weigh in against immigration detention bed quota [Center for Constitutional Rights - 22/3/16]:

 

... The public has the right to understand the economic incentives that are driving government detention policies and devastating thousands of families on a daily basis.

As public awareness of the cruelties of immigration detention grows, Congressional representatives have taken action to stop the influence of the private prison industry, in the last year introducing bills to end “guaranteed minimum” payments to private immigration contractors and proposing the end of private prison contracting altogether. 

 That 56 House members have called for an end to the quota altogether – striking not just at private contractors but at the entire immigration detention system – demonstrates the increasing public concern about our senseless immigration enforcement and deportation policy. 

 

 

 

The war on memory begins in Argentina, Arturo Desimone [Counterpunch - 24/3/16]:

 

 

... An absurd-seeming executive order from Macri also commanded the change of the images on the currency: using images typical Argentine wild animals to replace the human faces of past Argentine presidents, whether of the political right (often genocidal, Custer-type 19th century rulers like Roca) as well as of the political left (the face of Eva Peron, which was minted on the 100 peso bill by command of Kirchner-era treasurers) The measure of readapting the currency is called part of the ‘’de-ideologization’’ of the national money.

Part of the campaign of de-ideologization, or of ideological purification, was the use of executive presidential power to take the first political prisoners in Argentina since the apparition of Democracy in the mid-1980s.

The Jujuyan indigenous activist Milagro Salas is incarcerated for enacting the right to protest, a right formerly defended in the Argentine constitution before Macri’s hurried amendments which he enforced while Congress and the courts closed for summer holidays (arriving in December in the Southern hemisphere). ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Hedges, Michael Hudson discuss junk economics [VIDEO - Truthdig/teleSUR - 24/3/16]

 

 

 

 

... AMY GOODMAN: Well, didn’t President Obama say, "We tortured some folks"?

GLENN GREENWALD: Right. And so, you know, I think if you look at the reaction to Donald Trump and this kind of horror that even Republican elites and conservatives are expressing when reacting toward him, to call it hypocritical is really to be generous. It is true that he doesn’t use the language of political diplomacy. He doesn’t really use euphemisms. He speaks like ordinary people speak when talking about politics at their dining room table, which is one of the reasons for his appeal. And in that sense, he actually provides an important value, which is he’s stripping away the pretense of what the American political system and American political culture have become and describing it in a much more honest way. And that’s the reason that so many Republican elites and other media figures, who have no problem with Republican politicians or even Democratic politicians who advocate similar policies, why they’re so offended by Donald Trump, because he sort of renders the entire system nakedly candid about what it actually is.  ... [Democracy Now - 24/3/16]

 



 

When the feminist establishment candidate is further right than Trump, Mahroh Jahangiri [Feministing – 23/3/16]:

 

 

... And then she lambasted Trump for the only thing he’s probably ever said for which he shouldn’t be criticized, that he’d try to be neutral in heading up negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

This was perhaps the greatest absurdity of the entire spectacle—and perhaps the clearest example of the debasement of mainstream feminist politics – that Clinton tried positioning herself as the feminist candidate while at the same time running to the right of Donald Trump when it comes to U.S. foreign policy. ...

 

 

 

 

 

In Arizona, voters are calling on Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell to resign, following widespread accusations of voter suppression during Tuesday’s primary election.

At multiple polling sites, voters waited in massive lines that topped more than five hours. Some sites also ran out of ballots.

The voting fiasco comes after Maricopa County, which contains the city of Phoenix, cut the number of polling places from more than 200 sites to only 60.

Phoenix is one of the most racially diverse cities in Arizona. On Wednesday, dozens of voters gathered outside the county elections office to call for Purcell’s resignation. ... [Democracy Now - 24/3/16]

 

 

 

 

‏@Snowden [21/3/16]:  Reporters: Look back on those first two days of reporting based on #FBI claims. They exploited trust in pursuit of precedent. #AppleVsFBI

 

 

 

 

Wednesday 4 September 2013 at 1600 UTC, WikiLeaks released 'Spy Files #3' - 249 documents from 92 global intelligence contractors. These documents reveal how, as the intelligence world has privatised, US, EU and developing world intelligence agencies have rushed into spending millions on next-generation mass surveillance technology to target communities, groups and whole populations. Read the full press release here. ... [CELLEBRITE]

 

 

 

 

UK seeks review of UN Julian Assange 'arbitrary detention' finding [Guardian - 25/3/16]:

 

 

... Responding to the government statement, Melinda Taylor, a legal adviser to Assange, told the Guardian:

“The fact that they have submitted this request for reconsideration undermines their previous assertion that they weren’t in any way bound to comply with its opinion.”

She said that all the points made by the Foreign Office had been known to the working group before it gave its original opinion, and the UK had every opportunity to make its case and correct any factual errors before the opinion was published.

“In the absence of any objective basis to seek reconsideration, this rebuttal appears to be an attempt to publicly undermine the working group’s opinion,” she said.

The panel’s decision on whether or not to review its opinion will be made during its next session, beginning 18 April, the Foreign Office said.

 

 

 



They have no need of our help

So do not tell me

These haggard faces could belong to you or I

Should life have dealt a different hand

We need to see them for who they really are

Chancers and scroungers

Layabouts and loungers

With bombs up their sleeves

Cut-throats and thieves

They are not

Welcome here

We should make them

Go back to where they came from

They cannot

Share our food

Share our homes

Share our countries

Instead let us

Build a wall to keep them out

It is not okay to say

These are people just like us

A place should only belong to those who are born there

Do not be so stupid to think that

The world can be looked at another way



(Now read from bottom to top)

 

 

Brian Bilston

 

 

[Huffington Post - 24/3/16]

 

 

 

 

… As I travelled through the city on the back of an army truck you could no longer tell who was rich or poor … all I could tell was the war had stolen everything from them but the will to survive.

...

Today, politicians have turned their backs on humanity, which is as brutal as averting your eyes from a sinking ship. …  We welcomed refugees in 1945. We can't abandon them today,  Harry Leslie Smith [VIDEO – Guardian – 23/3/16]



 

 

... After five days at sea, their boat reached Australian waters, but the engine failed as they struggled to make their way closer to Christmas island.

The Rohingya desperately waved to the crew of a passing Australian Navy vessel, which Mr Abdul said did not respond.  ...  [The Straits Times - 1/2/16]

 

 

 

 

Karadzic guilty of Bosnia genocide, jailed for 40 years [Reuters - 24/3/16]:

 

... Outside, Hatidza Mehmedovic, who lost her entire family at Srebrenica, said she was enraged by the verdict, and no punishment could have been harsh enough.

"He can live in a cushy prison while I have to live in Srebrenica, where his ideology is still in place," she said.

"I have no sisters, no brothers, no husband."

...

Serge Brammertz, the court's chief prosecutor, said he hoped the ruling would make populist politicians in the region more reluctant to hail convicted war criminals as heroes.

"There is nothing heroic about raping persons, about sexual abuse in camps," he said.

"There is nothing heroic about executing 7,000 prisoners which have been detained in impossible circumstances. There is nothing heroic to kill with snipers children who are playing."

...

 

 

 

 

 

Israeli soldier filmed shooting Palestinian on ground [Al Jazeera - 24/3/16]:

 

 

Israeli forces killed two Palestinians who allegedly stabbed a soldier in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, as video emerged of one of the attackers being shot in the head as he apparently lay wounded on the ground. 

Israeli rights group B'Tselem published the graphic video on Thursday morning, after the suspected stabbing incident took place in Tel Rumeida, a Palestinian neighbourhood situated near several Jewish-only settlements in the heart of Hebron.

...

The B'Tselem video shows an Israeli soldier step forward and shoot Sharif in the head. He was already splayed on the concrete, ostensibly unable to move, as Israeli medics treated the injured soldier nearby. 

...

 

 

 

 

Nigerian troops "clear Boko Haram" in Kala Balge, rescue 520 hostages [PM News - 25/3/16]

 

 

 

 

DETENTION OF LEFTIST RISING STAR DESTABILISING GOV #WikiLeaks Easter surprise

 

 

 

 

Who's paying for this? And what would Jesus say?  ---->   Surfers Paradise [25/3/16]  ... Professor Nelthorpe said in one case, a 14-year-old turned up to school two months late after he had several thousand dollars in public transport fines.

"His parents required him to go to work for a period of time to pay off fines," he said.

The report said another 16-year-old student, whose parents were not eligible for Centrelink benefits due to visa restrictions, missed school after he was issued fines up to $2,000.

This student worked as a labourer to pay off the penalties. ... [ABC - 22/3/16]

 

 

 

 

... A lot of ink has already been spilled on the complexity of the jihadist networks operating in Belgium, as well as the social factors — discrimination and alienation — luring some Belgian youths toward groups such as the Islamic State. It’s also worth considering, though, an older history.

Analysts point to the inroads made in Belgium by the more conservative, orthodox brand of Islam espoused by the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This is the consequence of actual policy. In 1978, the Saudi-backed Great Mosque of Brussels opened its doors; the elegant building and land where it sat had been a gift by Belgium’s then-king to his Saudi counterpart a decade prior.

It became the seat of Islamic activity in Belgium. A 2007 leaked U.S. diplomatic cable, published by the anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks, detailed how the Saudi Embassy in Brussels has continued to provide Korans to myriad mosques in the country and help pay for the upkeep of the structures. Saudi Arabia also invested in training the imams who would preach to a growing Muslim diaspora in European countries, including in Belgium.

Observers say the Salafist dogma of the Saudi-funded clerics active in many mosques in Belgium stood in contrast to the traditional beliefs of the mostly working-class Moroccan and Turkish immigrants who first arrived in the country in the 1960s and 1970s. ... [Washington Post - 24/3/16]

 

 

 

 

‏@SpanglishKid [24/3/16]:   RIP Akai Gurley

 

 

 

 

 

In New York, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office has said it will not seek prison time for former NYPD officer Peter Liang, who was convicted of second-degree manslaughter for the fatal shooting of 28-year-old unarmed African American Akai Gurley.

Liang’s conviction carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, but Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson instead recommended Liang perform community service, be confined to his home for six months and be on probation for five years.

In response, the family of Akai Gurley said, "Officer Liang recklessly had his gun out and pulled the trigger that night, took no steps to assist Akai as he lay dying, and because of that our family has lost Akai forever.

The District Attorney’s inadequate recommendation diminishes what Peter Liang did. It diminishes Akai’s death." Protests are planned for outside the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office for noon today. [Democracy Now - 24/3/16]

 

 

 

 

A transgender woman was fatally shot Wednesday afternoon on skid row, and the alleged gunman was taken into police custody, authorities said.

The shooting occurred shortly before 2 p.m. in the 500 block of South San Pedro Street, Los Angeles Police Officer Tony Im said. ... [LA Times - 23/3/16]

 

 

 

 

5,000 US troops in Iraq, far more than previously reported [Democracy Now - 24/3/16]

 

  

 

 

25 March 2016

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