United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq - Syria gets a reprieve

 

 

 

US Department of Defense [24/10/15]:

U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Airstrikes in Iraq

Attack, bomber, fighter, ground-attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 21 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the government of Iraq:

-- Near Baghdadi, one strike denied ISIL access to tactical terrain.

-- Near Qaim, one strike struck an ISIL logistical facility.

-- Near Albu Hayat, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Rutbah, one strike struck an ISIL staging area.

-- Near Fallujah, one strike destroyed an ISIL rocket rail.

-- Near Kisik, one strike suppressed ISIL mortar fire.

-- Near Mosul, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL mortar position.

-- Near Ramadi, seven strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL improvised explosive device cluster, two ISIL vehicle bombs, an ISIL vehicle, two ISIL weapon caches, an ISIL building, two ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL structure and denied ISIL access to terrain.

-- Near Sinjar, three strikes struck an ISIL staging area and destroyed an ISIL headquarters building and seven ISIL fighting positions.

-- Near Sultan Abdallah, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Tal Afar, two strikes struck an ISIL vehicle bomb facility and destroyed 19 ISIL fighting positions.

...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Syrian President Bashar Assad is ready to take part in early presidential elections, Russian Communist Party [KPRF] deputy Alexander Yushchenko told TASS over the phone on Sunday.

Yushchenko is staying in Syria as part of a delegation of Russian parliamentarians with a humanitarian mission.

According to Yushchenko, Assad is ready to hold parliamentary elections "on the basis of all political forces that want Syria’s prosperity."

The Syrian president is also ready to discuss the Constitutional reform and, if necessary and upon the people’s wish, hold the presidential elections but only "after the victory over terrorism on the territory of Syria and the country’s liberation." ... [TASS - 25/10/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair says he's sorry for "mistakes" made in the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, but he doesn't regret bringing down dictator Saddam Hussein.

"I can say that I apologize for the fact that the intelligence we received was wrong because, even though he had used chemical weapons extensively against his own people, against others, the program in the form that we thought it was did not exist in the way that we thought," Blair said in an exclusive interview on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS that airs Sunday. ... [CNN - 25/10/15]

 

 



Libya finds 29 bodies of apparent migrants on beach [Yahoo – 25/10/15]

 

 

 

 

 

Crisis de migrantes en Eslovenia y Croacia se agrava por invierno [VIDEO - teleSUR - 24/10/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The leaders of Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia huddled together on Saturday in Sofia to develop a common position on the migrant crisis that has upended the Balkan region, ahead of a mini-EU summit on Sunday.

"The three countries, we are standing ready, if Germany and Austria close their borders, not to allow our countries to become buffer zones. We will be ready to close borders," Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said after meeting with his Serbian and Romanian counterparts. ... [Deutsche Welle - 24/10/15]

 

 

 

Australia tortures refugees while the media lies

 

 

 

 

Refugee Rights Action Network WA [25/10/15]:


Khodayar's friend and house mate just sent me this photo.

This is the sight that the 5 people who shared a house with Khodayar have been confronted with for the past week. An empty bed that speaks of incredible tragedy, loss and grief.

Last night I was talking to one of his housemates, who had been friends with Khodayar since they were 15 years old. He said "...my childhood friend left me alone here last week....Still I can't believe it".

I asked if there were other guys with him and he said,

"Yes we are 5"

I asked how the other guys were coping and he replied,

"They are alright...But we were 6 one of us left us forever..."

He told me how incredibly difficult it is for him to open his bedroom and see this empty bed.

The Saturday Paper has also spoken to Khodayar’s friends and roommates, some of whom had known him for several years. They described him as “a good guy” with no threatening behaviours, and said he was getting along with everyone very well. He was deeply frustrated by the claims made against him.

They said “He was a very nice guy. My heart ached when I heard about him. I have not slept for few nights.”

Khodayar is more than a mere statistic; he is more than another name on the growing list of people abused and failed by this system; he was a human being, who despite feeling incredibly alone and isolated had friends who cared about him and will forever mourn his tragic end.

This is his bed; a place where maybe, for a short time, he was able to escape from the cruel world in slumber, or maybe he lay suffering sleepless nights, haunted by the abuse and tragedy he had suffered.

We'll never know for sure, but I imagine he would have gone to bed at night hoping that tomorrow would be more bearable.

The policy of indefinite mandatory detention killed this man.

The limbo and uncertainty associated with bridging visas killed this man.

The inability of Red Cross to understand an appropriate way to interact and respond to mentally vulnerable people killed this man.

The Department's continual abuse and violence killed this man.

The killing must stop.

The 'list' of deaths must end here.

‪#‎nomoredyingforfreedom‬

‪#‎endmandatorydetention‬

‪#‎freetherefugees‬

‪#‎DIBPbloodonyourhands‬

 

If you or someone you know are experiencing thoughts of suicide or significant distress requiring support please call Lifeline for help- 13 11 44

For non-English speakers requiring the help of an interpreter please follow these steps:

1) Call TIS on 131 450 and ask to talk to Lifeline on 13 11 14 in the language required.

2) TIS will call 13 11 14 on behalf of the caller.

A call to TIS is the cost of a local call from landlines (additional charges apply for mobiles).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australian government propaganda video continues placing blame on refugees for their torture and detention in Manus Island death camp [Guardian - 24/10/15]

 

 

 

 



... “We have shared values: faith, family, respect for diversity and a love of liberty. ... US Ambassador to PNG Walter North in an address at the Divine Word University on Friday 23rd October [PNG Loop - 24/10/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Australian media aren't reporting this because it interferes with their lying "we stopped the boats" narrative [PINA - 5/10/15]:


A panel of five judges will preside over the case filed by Vanimo-Green MP Belden Namah challenging the legality of the Manus regional processing centre in Papua New Guinea.

It will be heard by the Supreme Court on 29 October.

Justice George Manuhu, presiding as a single judge, set the matter down for hearing after parties appeared for directions in Waigani Monday.

He said a panel of five judges would preside over the case.

Lawyer Asher Chillion, representing the respondents, did not have any objections to the matter being set down for hearing.

Foreign Affairs Minister Rimbink Pato, the National Executive Council and the State are respondents in the proceedings.

Namah’s lawyer Loani Henao obtained the hearing date from the court after he filed the application on Sept 25 and served it to the respondents.

Namah on Aug 1, 2013 began the proceedings challenging the constitutionality of arrangements made between the PNG and Australian governments on the transfer of asylum seekers from Australia to Manus for processing.

Namah argues that the arrangements between the governments were unconstitutional as they have resulted in asylum seekers being detained for long periods at the facility on Manus.

He argues that the asylum seekers have been detained without authority of a court contrary to their rights under Section 42 of the PNG Constitution. .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Afghan refugees moved from Yogyakarta to Semarang [Jakarta Post - 22/10/15]:

 

 

The Yogyakarta provincial administration has bowed to pressure from the Islamic People’s Forum (FUI) and moved dozens of Afghan asylum seekers to Semarang after the FUI accused the Afghans of spreading Shia teachings.

“We have advised the immigration office to not let the Afghans remain in Yogyakarta any longer,” Yogyakarta Social, Manpower and Transmigration Agency head Untung Sukaryadi said on Wednesday.

The asylum seekers were being housed in Ambarbinangun Youth Hall in Bantul until FUI members went to the hall on Tuesday night and dispersed them while they were reportedly observing Ashura Day, which marks the anniversary of the death of Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Hussein, who is considered a Shia imam.

 The Law and Human Rights Ministry’s Yogyakarta office head, Pramono, said the Afghans had been moved to Semarang as they wait for a third country to accept them.

 

 

 

Hadi Ahmadi - And the Myth of the 'People Smugglers' Business Model' [2012]:

 

The case of Hadi Ahmadi is one of the highest profile prosecutions of people smuggling in Australia.

Convicted in August 2010 for bringing over 500 asylum seekers to Australia, Mr Ahmadi’s case is one of only a small number of prosecutions involving an organiser of migrant smuggling ventures — unlike the hundreds of cases before Australian courts which involve Indonesian captains and crew working on migrant smuggling vessels.

This article explores the case of Mr Ahmadi to shed light into the so-called ‘people smugglers’ business model’, which successive Australian Governments from both sides of politics are determined to ‘crush’.

The article examines the facts of Mr Ahmadi’s offending, the criminal proceedings against him, and draws comparison to other organiser cases and to the general patterns of people smuggling prosecutions in Australia.

Findings of this research cast doubt over the Government’s rhetoric and its strategies to prevent and suppress migrant smuggling.

 

 

An interesting Masters Thesis tracing the roots of the Australian political and media establishment's "stop the boats" lies:

 

The Political Origins and Development of Australia’s People Smuggling Legislation: Evil Smugglers or Extreme Rhetoric?  Jack H Smit - Edith Cowan University Social Justice Research Centre School of Psychology and Social Science [2011]

 

 

 

 

 

Australian media suddenly concerned about Myanmar nationals being disenfranchised.

 

 

Continue invisibilising Rohingya.


Myanmar: How the Rohingya and other resident minorities became disenfranchised [EUDO CITIZENSHIP – 17/7/15]:

 

 

... Until recently the Rohingyas – as other stateless minority populations, such as the Burma-born ethnic Chinese and Indian - at least had ID cards (“white cards”) that allowed them to vote in two occasions.

Allegedly, the ruling party, Union Solidarity and Development Party, chaired by the current President Thein Sein, coerced or bought Rohingya votes to secure a majority in parliament in the 2010 elections.

Other reports have suggested that the Rohingyas were successively given and deprived of their ID cards at their own will. In these circumstances, the fact that few support the extension of voting rights to the Rohingyas and other noncitizen minorities in Myanmar comes as no surprise.

The President’s position has been particularly ambivalent, as he personally advocated their enfranchisement for a referendum on a constitutional amendment, only to declare the white cards invalid when protests erupted in several parts of the country to prevent their participation in any kind of upcoming election.

Alarmingly, the protesters were not rallying behind opposition parties to demand clean, transparent elections, but rather behind Buddhist monks with nationalistic and openly racist slogans demanding their expulsion from Myanmar.

By now, the Rohingyas have been disenfranchised by the Burmese Parliament, President, and Constitutional Court, successively. ...

 

 

 

Feeling safer with no rights Australia?

 

 

The Age [25/10/15]:

 

 

... It was the first they knew of him being on any terrorism watch list.

"Everyone was calling us, everyone was calling [the boy], we couldn't believe what was happening. His mother ended up in hospital," his aunt said.

The 12-year-old lives in western Sydney with his little brother and mother. He is close with his eight aunts and uncles.

He started at a public high school this year but was bullied for being overweight and is now home-schooled, spending most of his time with his mother.

When Fairfax Media spoke to him this week with the consent of his family, he was shy and softly spoken. He said he wanted to be an engineer one day.

"I don't care, it's silly," he said, when asked about his inclusion on the watch list. "I'm not a terrorist, I haven't been radicalised."

Asked by his aunt what radicalised means, he said "umm I don't know".

The boy's family believe he has been named in the Naizmand Group because of his relatives.

One is in Goulburn SuperMax for an ATM ram-raid and a telephone threat to kill an ASIO officer. Another is also in SuperMax for the ram-raid, which authorities believe was an attempt to source money for foreign fighters.

One prison source has described the two men as charismatic and incredibly influential among Muslim inmates.

When asked by Fairfax Media, the AFP wouldn't elaborate on why the 12-year-old was included in the group, which includes other SuperMax inmates and men accused of conspiring to commit terrorist acts.

Over the past weeks, the family had noticed increased attention on him. When they went for a weekend away recently to Leura, followed by a trip to Goulburn, some of his friends received calls from ASIO asking what the boy was doing in the Blue Mountains. ...



 

 

Danielle Miller: police appeal for witnesses after body of 44-year-old woman found in home [ABC - 25/10/15]


 

 

Thomas Lang faces court over Maureen Boyce murder [Brisbane Times – 24/10/15]

 

 

 

A staff member from the electorate office of the Queensland Treasurer has resigned over domestic violence allegations.

In a statement issued this morning, Curtis Pitt said the man was issued a domestic and family violence protection order in May, subsequent to the initial employment screening process, but the information was not disclosed to him. ... [ABC - 24/10/15]

 

 



Cairns bashed woman 'may have been dead before Police were called': Coroner [Brisbane Times – 24/10/15]:

 

... During the inquest, Grannigan agreed he had caused Ms Robertson's injuries by punching her with his fist. Forensic pathologist Paull Botterill found Ms Robertson likely died from "blunt force trauma to the head".

The inquest heard housemate Anne Conway, Ms Robertson's aunty, called the police from a nearby phone box.

The delay between police being called on March 6, 2013 (9.04pm) and actually arriving at the Edge Hill address (10.20pm) had already been deemed "unreasonable" in an Ethical Standards Command investigation.

A transcript of that call was provided as part of Mr Ryan's report.

"She just been screaming out 'stop hitting me' all day, she had pain and what he doing it's annoying me he won't let she come out of the room out of my unit she goes for the toilet and he carry her back in the room and then belts her all day long and just gets away with the crap," Ms Conway said in the phone call.

"And now I just heard a couple big bangs on my back room wall and then no answer."

QPS admin officer Penny Topp: "OK."

Ms Conway: "Then I standing at my unit door saying 'you there Elsie? You right? This is Mum Annie.' There's no answer."

Ms Topp: "OK, we will get someone to go and have a look."

Ms Conway: "Alright, thank you, bye. How long that be?"

Ms Topp: "I'm not sure, sorry."

Ms Conway: "Alright, bye." ...


 

 

 

A mother from Merredin has appeared in court charged with threatening to kill her three-year-old son with a knife and using a shovel to threaten other family members.

The 20-year-old appeared before Perth Magistrates Court on Saturday morning. 

The police prosecutor told the court that the woman's relatives had called the police on Friday afternoon when they became concerned about her behaviour. ... [WA Today - 24/10/15]

 

 

 

 

Broome Magistrate shows mercy to mother of murdered baby [WA Today - 23/10/15]

 

 

 

 

 A Palm Beach man has faced court accused of bashing his ex-girlfriend after breaking into her Southport unit.

The woman told Police she was confronted by the 29-year-old around 10pm on Thursday and tried to flee, but he forced his way inside the High Street unit and began punching her in the face.

He is accused of stealing her phone before running off and was found by Police in Palm Beach a short time later. Southport Court today heard, the female victim has a domestic violence order against the man in New South Wales, but not in Queensland.

That means the incident is not considered a breach of the order. He has been refused bail to reappear on November 19.

The woman has been treated for injuries to her face and head in Gold Coast University Hospital. [MYGC - 23/10/15]

 

 

 

 

Queensland soldier charged over possum attack [Yahoo - 23/10/15]:

 

A north Queensland soldier is set to face court over claims he smashed a possum against a concrete floor before being photographed with the injured animal.

The RSPCA alleges the 23-year-old had been drinking when the incident happened at the army barracks in Townsville on April 30.

The man will face Townsville Magistrates Court on Monday charged with animal cruelty, an offence which carries a maximum fine of $220,000 and three years in jail.

An RSPCA spokesman said a photo of the man holding the bleeding animal was sent to a number of people.

The possum, which was also hit against a tree, was eventually released but it is not known whether it survived.

 

 

 

 

Residents from a mining town in central Queensland have been warned to flee as a large bushfire rages towards them.

The fast-moving fire in Homeland National Park, southwest of Mackay, is expected to reach the community of Mount Britton on Sunday morning, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services warns. ... [Yahoo - 25/10/15]

 

 

 

 

Suspicious fire, Townsville [QPS Media - 25/10/15]

 

 

 

 

Suspicious fire, Redcliffe [QPS Media - 24/10/15]

 

 



Detectives from the Southern Crime Group Gold Coast District today attended an address in Labrador to make investigative inquiries at a dwelling within a unit complex.

When they approached the residence, they heard a disturbance inside and entered to unit to find it well ablaze.

Concerned that there may have been people upstairs, they quickly cleared the unit, before retrieving a garden hose which they used to contain the fire to the kitchen area, before QFRS arrived.

The matter was then dealt with appropriately. The downstairs area of the dwelling was badly burnt out with some damage to the upstairs area. ... [QPS Media - 22/10/15]

 

 



When superheroes go bad –--> Men dressed as Santa Claus and Spider-Man hold up service station at Helidon [ABC – 25/10/15]:

 

 

Men dressed in Santa Claus and Spider-Man costumes have held up a service station west of Brisbane in one of many armed robberies committed in Queensland this weekend.

Investigators said the duo held up the business at Helidon in the Lockyer Valley about 2:00am Saturday armed with a sword and a hammer.

The employee retreated to a nearby vehicle while the pair stole a quantity of cigarettes from the store.

The pair were last seen in a white station wagon travelling east on the Warrego Highway.

No one was hurt.

In a separate incident two men robbed a bottle shop at Banyo about 6:45pm Saturday.

The men entered the bottle shop on Nudgee Road where one of the men threatened an employee with a screwdriver and made demands for money.

The male staff member complied and the pair left the scene with a sum of cash and a quantity of liquor.

In a separate incident, a man confronted a female staff member at a donut shop on Nudgee Road at Nudgee about 6:47pm.

He pushed a key against her torso and demanded she hand over cash from the till.

The woman complied with his demands and the man fled the food court area with a sum of cash.

Detectives are investigating whether the two robberies are linked.

At Inala about 8:00pm, three men, who intimated they were armed, entered a Rosemary Street service station and demanded the attendant open the door to the counter area.

When he refused, the group left the store.

About 15 minutes later, the same men attended a service station on Rudd Street where they confronted the staff member at the counter with what appeared to be a firearm wrapped in material.

They demanded he hand over money from the till and cigarettes.

The attendant complied with the demands and the group fled the scene.

No one was physically hurt in the incidents.

Meanwhile, a pizza shop employee fought off four masked armed robbers after running at them with a broom.

Just before 9:30pm four masked men threatened staff at the Brisbane Road shop with what was believed to be a replica firearm wrapped in material.

Three of the men jumped over the counter and directed staff to get on the ground while they tried to access the till.

One of the employees ran at the trio with a broom and the group left the store empty-handed.

No one was physically injured during the incident.

Investigations are continuing.

 

 

 

 

Robbery, Ferny Hills [QPS Media - 24/10/15]

 

 

 

 

Armed robbery, Underwood [QPS Media - 24/10/15]

 

 

 

 

Fatal traffic crash, Moranbah [QPS Media - 25/10/15]

 

 

 

 

Fatal traffic crash, Tingalpa [QPS Media - 25/10/15]

 

 

 

 

Police investigating a serious traffic crash at Mutdapilly yesterday are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

Around 5.40pm, a red hatchback was travelling north on the Cunningham Highway when, for unknown reasons, it veered onto the wrong side of the road and rolled down an embankment near Coleyville Road.

The 21-year-old male driver and sole occupant of the vehicle sustained serious injuries and was airlifted to the Princess Alexandra Hospital.

The highway was closed for several hours while crews attended the scene.

Investigators from the Forensic Crash Unit are appealing for any motorists who may have seen the crash occur or saw the red Nissan Pulsar hatchback travelling in the area at the time to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. ... [QPS Media - 25/10/15]

 

 

 

 

 

Elderly pedestrian critical after being hit by a car in Clayton South [The Age - 24/10/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two teens charged over Audi hit and run at Taylors Lakes [The Age - 24/10/15]

 

 

 

Toddler hit by ute in Geraldton [West Australian – 24/10/15]


 

 

 

Man in serious condition after being struck by cane train south of Mackay [ABC - 24/10/15]

 

 

 

 

A cyclist has reportedly been hit by a car on the Gold Coast this afternoon.

Paramedics have rushed to the scene on Marine Parade at Labrador after receiving reports a cyclist had been struck just after 12.30pm. ... [MYGC - 23/10/15]

 

 

 

 

Warrant issued for former Gold Coast police officer facing 100 misconduct charges [ABC - 23/10/15]

 

 

 

 

Cairns doctor loses appeal against $6.7m payout to patient left blind, deaf [ABC - 23/10/15]

 

 

 

 

Gladstone Ports Corporation has announced a plan to dredge a shipping channel to allow for larger ships to service the new Wiggins Island Coal Terminal. ... [ABC - 23/10/15]

 

 

 

 

Outrageous amounts of money have been spent on Australia’s foreign and local counter terrorism policies under the “War on Terror” banner.

But how does the incredibly disproportionate attention on terrorism actually compare to very real threats that Australia and its people face? ... [GIMC - 24/10/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Korea:  US Air Force activates five nuclear-monitoring squadrons [UPI.com - 23/10/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Silence is too often the only safe option left” – New UN report on sources and whistleblowers


UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Media Release [22/10/15]:

Governments and international organizations are failing to ensure adequate protections to whistleblowers and sources of information, according to a new report* by the UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression, David Kaye.

“Countless sources and whistleblowers around the world are intimidated by officials, co-workers, and others, depriving everyone of information that may be critical to public debate and accountability,” Mr. Kaye told the UN General Assembly during the presentation of his study.

“All too often, those revealing allegations of wrongdoing lack effective protection,” the human rights expert warned.

“Silence is too often the only safe option left to them, with the public left in the dark and wrongdoing left unpunished.”

In the first major UN report devoted to the subject, the UN Special Rapporteur reviews national and international norms and practices and presents recommendations to establish or improve available protections.

“The problem of source protection extends beyond traditional journalists to bloggers, citizen reporters, NGO researchers, authors, academics, and many others,” the expert noted.

“How can they carry out investigative work if they cannot extend the basic assurances of confidentiality to their sources?”

“While there are major gaps in protections, there are also important advancements in norms protecting sources and whistleblowers around the world. Yet they are often riven with loopholes or, even with strong legal protections, not enforced in practice,” he said.

The study also emphasizes that the right of access to information – central to Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – requires that authorities take into account the public interest of information disclosed when adopting measures against unauthorized disclosures.

“States may restrict access to information in specific areas and narrow circumstances, yet the disclosure of information relating to human rights or humanitarian law violations should never be the basis of penalties of any kind,” Mr. Kaye underscored.

The study notes that the UN and other international organizations also frequently fail to protect their own whistleblowers.

“The UN, as most international organizations, have adopted rules for enabling whistleblowing and prohibiting retaliation. Yet allegations of wrongdoing and retaliation are rarely protected effectively,” the human rights expert noted.

“Without protection against retaliation, few would disclose wrongdoing. Protections should be detailed explicitly in law, providing clarity for whistleblowers and others on the nature of the protection they may seek,” the Special Rapporteur said, calling upon Governments and international organizations to strengthen protection mechanisms for sources and whistleblowers.

(*) Check the Special Rapporteur’s report to the UN General Assembly: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/FreedomOpinion/Pages/ProtectionOfSources.aspx


 

 

 

 

Germany investigates new case of US spying [The Local - 24/10/15]

 

 

 

 



Court chooses to ignore overwhelming evidence of NSA’s mass internet spying [ACLU Media Release – 24/10/15]



 

 

Female Genital Mutilation: People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones

 

Labiaplasty and Female Genital Cutting: Not So Different:

 

Archive 2011-12 / News / No. 6, Vol. 58 (2012)

Renee Griffin

... On a western-centric website, body modification is described as being performed for “motivations (such) as sexual enhancement, a rite of passage, aesthetic reasons, denoting affiliation, trust and loyalty, religious or mystical affiliations, shock value, and self-expression”. Interestingly, these are the exact same reasons that certain body modifications such as the oft-criticised Female Genital Cutting (FGC, also referred to as Female Genital Mutilation) are performed in non-Western states.

Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of the labia majora, usually with scissors or a scalpel. Despite the grim images such an operation is likely to conjure, it has been rising by over 100% each year in Australia and can often even be subject to Medicare rebates.

There is a belief that the proliferation of the ‘designer vagina’, or the vagina that 0.7% of the female population have, can partly be attributed to other types of vaginas being deemed too rude by the Australian Classification Board. According to their guidelines, “Realistic depictions may contain discreet genital detail but there should be no emphasis”. What this has been reported to mean in practicality, according to Brad Boxall, ex-editor of People Magazine, is that “they basically consider the labia majora too offensive for soft porn”.

Female Genital Cutting on the other hand describes a variety of procedures from the removal of some of the labia majora to a practise known as infibulation, which constitutes the total removal of much of the outer vagina, including the clitoris, with the organ sewed up with a 1 cm hole to allow urination and menstrual blood to flow. The reasoning behind the clitoridectomy is that a woman will be less likely to be unfaithful to her husband is she is unable to feel any sexual pleasure. It is also used to prove virginity and so maintain the economic value of a woman to her husband. On the wedding night the husband will have to rip open the sewed up vagina, to perform intercourse.

The justification for both labiaplasty and FGC is to increase their desirability. If all motivations are stripped to their rudimentary reasoning, female genital surgery in and out of the West both stem from an identical basis. ...

 

 

 

 

BBC Panorama Documentary:  The Train that Divides Jerusalem [July, 2015]

 

 

 

 

 

@RaniaKhalek [24/10/15]:   John Kerry proposes 24-hour video surveillance to fix problem rooted in brutal US-financed military occupation [Reuters - 24/10/15]

 

 

 

Israeli gunfire leaves two more Palestinians dead [Al Jazeera - 24/10/15]

 

 

 

 

A Palestinian youth was shot dead Saturday near al-Jalama military checkpoint north of Jenin in the occupied West Bank after he allegedly attempted to stab an Israeli security guard, eyewitnesses and the Israeli army said.

Eyewitnesses told Ma'an that "there were no stabbing attempts" at the time that Israeli forces opened fire at a 16-year-old Palestinian at the crossing.

The forces then dragged the injured youth inside of the checkpoint preventing Palestinian Red Crescent ambulances from reaching him for treatment, eyewitnesses added.

The teen was identified as Ahmad Muhammad Said Kamil from Jenin. ... [Maan - 24/10/15]

 

 

 

 

An Israeli human rights group has released security camera footage showing the beating and violent wrongful arrest of a Palestinian onlooker by Israeli soldiers during clashes earlier in October.

The video opens with Ansar Aasi, 25, standing at the entrance to the storage room of the cleaning company where he works in al-Bireh, a town near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. Aasi, wearing blue jeans and a red T-shirt, is seen bringing boxes inside the narrow room before being spotted by Israeli troops.

Suspecting him of stone throwing, the soldiers storm in and start to kick and beat him, before arresting him. ... [Al Jazeera - 24/10/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Egyptian policemen were killed in a roadside bombing in Sinai on Saturday, the second such attack in 48 hours in the peninsula where Islamic State jihadists are waging an insurgency. ... [Naharnet - 24/10/15]

 

 

 

Egyptian police conscript commits suicide after killing colleague [Ahram - 24/10/15]

 

 

 

 

25 October 2015

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