... What's that they're selling you?
Of lotions, potions, selling you?
Well, they're gonna pick your pocket or two ...
'Palace of Bone', Peter Doherty 
Mystery sand artist strikes again! Surfers Paradise [25/3/17]
ALP cancels their Melbourne pro-Shorten rally ---> Melbourne’s March in March event has been cancelled. We would like to thank all the people who took the time to contact the page. Your support has been amazing. To those who have chosen to attack us, start vicious rumors, and try and discredit us. I’m sorry that you feel so angry and disappointed. Know that we do to! It has been weighing heavily on all of us. Thanks to all those who have offered to help out, if we call out again – that is really appreciated as organizing and holding a March is really hard and time consuming, and having hands on deck on March day makes it a whole lot less stressful The Storm is Coming!!
Trump is Obama’s legacy: Will this break up the Democratic party? [Counterpunch - 24/3/17]:
... When Trump was inaugurated on Friday, January 20, there was no pro-jobs or anti-war demonstration.
That presumably would have attracted pro-Trump supporters in an ecumenical show of force.
Instead, the Women’s March on Saturday led even the pro-Democrat New York Times to write a front-page article reporting that white women were complaining that they did not feel welcome in the demonstration.
The message to anti-war advocates, students and Bernie supporters was that their economic cause was a distraction. ...
Teenage Singaporean blogger Amos Yee granted asylum in the US [South China Morning Post - 25/3/17]
French President Francois Hollande will make a two-day state visit to Singapore starting Sunday.
This is the first state visit to Singapore from France, and reciprocates President Tony Tan Keng Yam’s state visit to France in 2015, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a media statement on Saturday evening. ... [Channel News Asia - 25/3/17]
Okinawan governor attends rally to protest US base relocation [Japan Today - 25/3/17]
... Cho Cho San was her name
And this is her tale of woe
Take it away Cho Cho ... ---> US Court rules against soldier, returns baby to Okinawa mother [Military.com - 24/3/17]
100s killed as US submarine torpedoes refugee boat [Ryukyu Shimpo - 20/3/17]:
The monument commemorating the evacuation boat “Tsushima Maru,” which was sunk by a torpedo attack from an American submarine in August, 1944, had its unveiling ceremony March 19 at Funoshi beach in Uken, on Amami Oshima in Kagoshima.
Around 100 attendees, among which were 20 survivors and descendants from Okinawa, prayed for victims while looking out over the ocean.
According to a person involved with the monument on Amami Oshima, where a large number of victims floated ashore, “We created a place where descendants can memorialize [the event]. We hope that this place will tell later generations about the Tsushima Maru.”
There are two other memorials for the Tsushima Maru. The first is “Kozakura no To” in Wakasa, Naha; the other is in Akusekijima, part of the Tokara Islands in Kagoshima. Because there was no monument in Amami Oshima, up until now when descendants and survivors visited the island they lamented that there was no place for them to offer their prayers.
As the number of people who lived through this experience grows smaller, one person from Uken who was rescued at the time, Antoku Oshima , 90, said that, “The event must not be forgotten.”
The people of the town listened, and formed a “Construction Executive Committee,” received funding from the town, and completed the construction.
Uken Mayor Nobuari Motoda said, “I hope this monument passes down the memory of the war, and is useful in educating the area about peace. Our mission is to continue sending this message.” ...
About 50 crows were found dead in a park in Tokyo on Friday afternoon, police said Saturday.
According to police, a woman walking her dog in Johoku Chuo Park, which is located in both Nerima and Itabashi wards, went to the park administration office to report that she had seen a crow die after eating what looked like a piece of bread.
Park officials subsequently found about 50 crows lying dead within 40 meters of each other in the park, Fuji TV reported.
No bread or any other food scraps were found near the crows’ bodies.
Police said health officials will examine the contents of the birds’ stomachs to find out if they were poisoned. [Japan Today - 25/3/17]
China, Australia agree to promote trade liberalisation [Xinhua - 25/3/17]
Equipment collapse kills 9 at China power plant [Xinhua - 25/3/17]
Papua to get 5 percent, Luhut says on Freeport divestment [Jakarta Post – 25/3/17]
Indonesia says nearly 19,000 square meters (204,000 square feet) of coral reef was damaged by a foreign cruise ship that ran aground in the pristine waters of Raja Ampat in West Papua province earlier this month. ... [Jakarta Post - 23/3/17]
Billionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson touched down in Auckland on Saturday.
He's here to raise cash for his global philanthropic organisation.
He spent the day touring Auckland's conservation hotspots, but he's got some high-profile catch-ups planned too. ... [Newshub - 25/3/17]
Virgin Care sues NHS after losing Surrey child services deal [Financial Times - 16/3/17]
Former opposition leader Sam Rainsy’s hopes of having energy giant Chevron release surveillance footage of political analyst Kem Ley’s murder at one of its gas stations dissipated on Friday as the company said all the recordings were in the hands of the Cambodian authorities. ... [Cambodia Daily - 24/3/17]
Man blows self up near Bangladesh airport, Islamic State claims attack [Reuters - 24/3/17]:
... The blast was the third incident involving explosives in the capital in a week.
Police shot and killed a suspected militant who tried to cross a security checkpoint on a motorcycle armed with explosives in Dhaka's Khilgaon area on Saturday.
A day before that, a suicide bomber blew himself up at a security forces base, again near Dhaka's airport, injuring two police officers. ...
Relatives of a deceased man are demanding answers from the Police Department.
Community leaders say the youth was bashed by police at the Gordons Market after swearing at a police officer.
The victim was admitted to the Port Moresby General Hospital, but died yesterday.
Eye witness, Junior William told EMTV news, police assaulted Late Eric Maiya without properly questioning him.
The victim was arrested and held at the Gordons Police Station. Upon his bail, relatives took the late Maiya to the hospital for medical treatment.
Community leader, Thomas Yago said the Police hierarchy must do something to stop these brutal killings.
“We are seeking answers from the Police Department, and such rogue officers must be removed from the force”, said Yago.
The victim is 29 years old, and is from Kopiago in the Hela Province.
This is the second death for the Hela Community at Erima.
Early this year, a youth was also bashed by police and died later at the Port Moresby General Hospital. [EMTV - 25/3/17]
Firefighters struggled with low water pressure yesterday in Port Moresby as they battled to put out a fire that burnt down a fast-food shop at the Boroko Shopping Centre.
Boroko Fire Service Station commander Superintendent Leo Ovia told The National that they endured difficulties with low pressure to bring the fire under control. ... [The National - 24/3/17]
@ggreenwald [24/3/17]: One also wonders whether Mubarak's release will revitalize one of globe's most inspiring international friendships
Egypt's ex-Press Syndicate head handed one-year suspended prison sentence [Ahram - 25/3/17]
Tanzania's President John Magufuli warned the country's journalists on Friday that there were limits to their press freedom, comments that will add to opposition concern that his government is further narrowing the space for public criticism.
Magufuli made the remarks during the swearing in of new Information Minister Harrison Mwakyembe, who was appointed in a reshuffle.
Critics said Mwakyembe's predecessor Nape Nnauye was sacked as retribution for ordering a probe into an alleged raid on a private television station by a senior government official. ... [Reuters - 24/3/17]
A young Bahraini man died in hospital on Friday, nearly two months after he was shot in the head by gunmen in civilian clothes outside the home of the country's top Shi'ite Muslim cleric, activists and a local newspaper said.
Tensions have been high in Western-allied Bahrain since last year over a government crackdown on the opposition that had included the banning of a main Shi'ite Muslim group, plans to ban another secular society and the trial of the spiritual leader of the kingdom's Shi'ite Muslim community.
Mustafa Hamdan, 18, had been in a comma since a Jan. 26 raid on the home of Ayatollah Isa Qassim, the spiritual leader of Bahrain's Shi'ite community, in the village of Duraz, near Manama. ... [Reuters - 24/3/17]
Central Congo militia decapitates 40 police officers in ambush [Reuters - 25/3/17]
At least 50 people have been killed and dozens more injured since Tuesday after armed men attacked three villages in the central Bambari region of the Central African Republic, local residents who fled their homes told AFP.
Prosper Tchoulekrayo, who escaped from Yasseneme village, said the attackers had "fired indiscriminately on the inhabitants". ... [Yahoo - 24/3/17]
US turns down Russia invitation to Afghan peace conference [Times Colonist - 23/3/17]
In a press briefing at the Pentagon today, African Command leader Gen. Thomas Waldhauser announced that the US intends to keep ground troops in Libya for the foreseeable future to support “friendly forces,” and to “degrade” the ISIS forces that remain in the country.
Waldhauser hinted that the US operations in Libya would primarily be airstrikes going forward, saying that the US needs to have troops on the ground for “precision airstrikes” and “close-air support operations.” ... [Antiwar.com - 24/3/17]
International Criminal Court awards reparation for war crimes for the first time [The National - 25/3/17]:
The International Criminal Court on Friday awarded reparations to victims of war crimes for the first time since it was founded 15 years ago.
The tribunal ordered that a "symbolic" amount of $250 (Dh918) be paid to nearly 300 people who lost relatives, property or livestock or suffered psychological harm in a deadly attack on a Congolese village in 2003.
Judges also awarded collective reparations in the form of projects covering "housing, support for income-generating activities, education and psychological support" for victims.
The court found that the Congolese warlord Germain Katanga was liable for $1 million of the total material, psychological and physical damage caused, which it estimated at $3.7m.
Katanga was sentenced by the ICC to 12 years in jail in 2014, after being convicted on five charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for the February 2003 ethnic attack on Bogoro village in Ituri province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
He was accused of supplying weapons to his militia in the attack in which some 200 people were shot and hacked to death with machetes. ...
Delegation of the Syrian Arab Republic arrives at UN in Geneva to hold talks with de Mistura [SANA - 25/3/17]
Influential Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called upon the government on Friday to disband paramilitary forces fighting Islamic State militants on its side after the end of operations in Mosul.
Addressing supporters during a protest in Baghdad’s central Tahrir Square, Sadr called for disbanding al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units), an alliance of Shia paramilitary groups formed in 2014 to combat IS, which also won government recognition in November as a national armed forces under the prime minister’s command.
He said the law passed to recognize al-Hashd makes Iraq a country “under the rule of militias”.
In his speech, Sadr said he had received death threats from “many parties”, which he did not name, urging his supporters to keep their protests peaceful if he is assassinated.
“I am not going to appease an occupier, a sectarian or a partisan,” he said. ... [IraqiNews.com - 24/3/17]
United States continues bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 24/3/17]
@HumanityCrew [24/3/17]: 16 Y. refugee girl tried to commit suicide by jumping in the sea, she was saved by locals and transferred to Mytilene hospital #Refugeesgr
@LighthouseRR [24/3/17]: Long rescue mission y-day with all teams collaborating as smuggler dropped 20 ppl incl children & elderly in isolated rocky beach on Lesvos.
Boat carrying 22 refugees capsizes off Turkey's Aegean coast, 11 dead [Daily Sabah - 24/3/17]
An increasing number of Turkish nationals have been finding their way to Greece since the failed coup attempt in the neighboring country and the mass purges that followed.
More specifically, 236 Turks requested political asylum in Greece from last July until February. ... [Ekathimerini - 24/3/17]
French and British volunteers arrested for giving food to migrants in Italy [The Local - 23/3/17]:
A British and two French volunteers were arrested in Italy while distributing food to migrants which is banned in the town of Ventimiglia near the border with France, their association and police said on Thursday.
The three voluntary workers were charged with violating a city order.
"We were about ten people but they took the two drivers of the vehicles which had the food and Simon, a Briton who had forgotten his passport," said one of them, Gerard Bonnet, 64.
"They took our fingerprints, a photo and released us," he said.
The arrested volunteers were with the Roya Citoyenne (citizen) rights group in the Roya valley on the French-Italian border.
On the night of the arrests the group distributed 160 food bags including, apples and cans of tuna as well as some clothing for the migrants. ...
UNHCR, Refugee Council, prominent "advocates", legal "experts" and human rights sector still silent on deportations from Australia's concentration camp on Manus Island.
... Why do people set themselves on fire in front of UN? Because they remind us how human rights is a big business in this country and there is no real action. ... Mina Taherkhani - political prisoner of the Australian government and opposition, Nauru [Guardian - 7/11/16]
... DIRTY POLICY!...
Political prisoners of the Australian government and opposition protest on Nauru, May 2016
How is it that Australia can host a conference about refugee trauma featuring speakers who endorse anti-refugee torture policy? ---> How do you set refugees up to thrive when they resettle? Managing trauma is key #DontMiss ... @OzRefugeeCounc [22/3/17]
... We are living in a camp in the jungle. This is where they ‘re-settled’ us. This is no place to live. If we are refugees why are we not living in community? We have no neighbours here. Our ‘neighbours’, our ‘relatives’ are mosquitoes and flies and dogs. Please listen to our issues. We want to tell you that we are here like animals. ...
Statement and questions from the more then fifty refugees exiled by Australia on Nauru [4/8/14]:
... We want to tell you that we are here like animals. In a zoo there is different animals from different countries and people go to look at them.
Nauru is a zoo.
We are just different animals from different countries. People come to visit here and then asks some questions then they note it down.
But we know from experience that they are doing just paper work and nothing will happen.
They just come to look at us.
Recently one man called Paris Aristotle came to our accommodation and he said he was from a NGO in Victoria. He said he is here to help us and to listen to us.
On that first day we asked him to take our problems to the media and he said that he cannot because he has good relationship with the minister!
We are confused. Is this man here for us or immigration?
The second day when he came, he came with Mark who is the deputy chief secretary of immigration and, as he told us, he is in charge of all detention centres of Australia.
When we were talking Paris was supporting Mark, not us.
When we tell them some things they laughed at us.
We are confused, is this man, Paris, here for us or for the DIAC? ...
Asylum seeker deported from Manus Island concentration camp fears for his life in Lebanon [Sydney Morning Herald - 22/3/17]
Men face deportation after 4 years illegal imprisonment and sham "assessment" on Manus Island - Australian media, Amnesty, UNHCR, Refugee Council of Australia etc silent [RNZI - 17/3/17]
Nepalese asylum seeker in hiding after refoulement from Australia's illegal refugee prison on Manus Island [ABC - 3/3/17]
Why did Obama deport 85 Muslim asylum seekers to Bangladesh, India and Nepal? [Democracy Now - 8/4/16]
Trial of refugee who attempted escape to Fiji from Australia/PNG illegal "resettlement" regime begins Monday 27 March [PNG Loop - 14/3/17]
After their failed attempt to use Sawari's case for partisan point scoring, Australian "advocates" and Fairfax media dumped him ---> Loghman Sawari is now stateless thanks to the inaction of the UNHCR [ABC- 23/2/17]
25 March 2017