... About one in nine of the world’s children lives in a conflict-affected zone and UNICEF knows that children living in countries and areas affected by conflict are twice as likely to die of mostly preventable causes before they reached the age of five, than in other countries.   

“In the past few months I have seen with my own eyes children pushed beyond the boundaries of human suffering in Burundi, northeast Nigeria and along the migrant and refugee route in Europe,” Ms Khan said. ... [UNICEF - 25/1/16]



Saudi aircraft have bombed an area in the northwestern Yemeni province of al-Jawf, killing an entire family of 11 people.

The fatalities occurred on Tuesday, Yemen’s al-Masirah television network reported, identifying the head of the family as Sheikh Saleh Hadi Herman.  ... [Press TV - 26/1/16]




Afghanistan:  5 killed in US drone strike, Nangarhar [Pajhwok - 26/1/16]




Local officials in northern Baghlan province told TOLOnews that a large-scale military operation was launched in three parts of Dand-e-Ghori area in Pul-e-Khumri city on Tuesday morning in order to clear the areas of militants.

Local officials said that more than 2,000 Afghan security force members have taken part in the operation.

The officials said the Afghan Air Force will have an active role in this operation. ... [TOLO News - 26/1/16]




10 policemen killed by colleague In Uruzgan [TOLO News - 26/1/16]




Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has met with his Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani in Beijing.

Rabbani is visiting China from Monday to Thursday to boost bilateral ties. ... [CCTV - 26/1/16]




An Israeli injured during a stab attack in the illegal West Bank settlement of Beit Horon died from her wounds Tuesday, Israeli police said.

Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said in a statement that the 24-year-old woman succumbed to stab wounds in the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.

The woman, identified in Israeli media as Shlomit Krigman, was one of two Israelis to be targeted in an attack carried out by two Palestinians on Monday, both of whom were shot dead by an Israeli security guard while fleeing the scene. ... [Maan - 26/1/16]




At least five migrants were found dead off Turkey’s western coast on Jan. 26 after their boat capsized as they were trying to reach the Greek coast.

Fishermen in the Didim district of Aydın province in Turkey’s Aegean region informed coast guards of the dead migrants upon noticing their bodies floating on the water.

The Turkish Coast Guard removed the five bodies from the water and rescued one migrant, who was not reported to be in a life-threatening condition.

The rescued migrant said there were another 16 migrants on the boat. Turkish coast guards have begun search and rescue operations to locate the other migrants. ... [Hurriyet Daily News - 26/1/16]




Iraqi police have found a new mass grave in the western province of Anbar, containing the remains of scores of people believed to have been executed by Takfiri Daesh militants.

A police source said security forces uncovered the grave as they were combing the Jamiah district of the provincial capital of Ramadi on Monday, Arabic-language al-Sumaria television said. ... [Press TV - 26/1/16]




The Syrian army has captured a key southern town from rebel forces after weeks of fierce fighting, a Syrian activist group says.

The fall of Sheikh Maskin on Monday means government forces will strengthen their hold on Deraa province, while cutting off rebel factions from key supply lines. ... [Al Jazeera - 26/1/16]



Terror attacks continue across Iraq and Syria



US Department of Defense [25/1/16]:


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.

Strikes in Syria

Fighter, attack, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted three strikes in Syria:

-- Near Abu Kamal, a strike struck an ISIL-used earthen bridge.

-- Near Raqqah, a strike destroyed three ISIL cranes and damaged a fourth ISIL crane.

-- Near Hawl, a strike destroyed two ISIL buildings and an ISIL vehicle.

Strikes in Iraq

Coalition military forces used rocket artillery and attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft to conduct 16 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:

-- Near Baghdadi, two strikes destroyed two ISIL weapons caches and an ISIL bunker.

-- Near Kisik, two strikes destroyed three separate ISIL fighting positions and suppressed an ISIL light machine gun.

-- Near Mosul, four strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun, an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL communications facility, and four ISIL fighting positions.

-- Near Ramadi, six strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units, cratered an ISIL-used earthen bridge, and destroyed an ISIL barge, an ISIL sniper position, two ISIL bunkers, two ISIL mortar positions, an ISIL weapons cache, three ISIL buildings and three ISIL tactical vehicles.

-- Near Sinjar, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Tal Afar, a strike destroyed seven ISIL fighting positions.





19 people killed, over 100 injured in twin bombings in Homs, death toll expected to rise [SANA - 26/1/16]




‏@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [25/1/16]:



Baghdad: News agencies: A roadside bomb attached to a bus has exploded east of Baghdad resulted in 6 deaths and injuries...................




Baghdad: News agencies:A roadside bomb has exploded southwest of Baghdad resulted in 9 deaths and injuries.................




Iraqi citizens are now being asked for fees at healthcare facilities around the country, a source at the Ministry of Health has informed Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

The oil-rich country has offered a free healthcare system since 1970.

The source said the ministry sent letters and a 10-page report to hospitals and clinic asking them to collect fees from patients to cover the cost of treatment after the deficit caused by the sharp decline in oil prices. ... [Middle East Monitor - 25/1/16]



How many refugee boats did the Australian "Fuck your mothers ... fuck your family ..." Navy push back and/or abandon today?  ---> @ItalianNavy [26/1/16]:   #UltimOra #SAR nave Aliseo #MarinaMilitare inizia intervento di soccorso ad un natante con numerosi #migranti al largo delle coste libiche



@ItalianNavy [26/1/16]:   #Ultimora #SAR nave Bettica #MarinaMilitare inizia soccorso a gommone con numerosi #migranti a bordo



@ItalianNavy [26/1/16]:   #Ultimora #SAR nave Bettica #MarinaMilitare ha completato il soccorso al gommone imbarcando 122 #migranti Tra loro 39 donne e 6 minori


@PROACTIVA_SERV [26/1/16]:   Amanece #Lesbos .A pesar de las temperaturas gélidas, avistamos botes. No hay freno para quien huye del infierno.



‏@iwatnew [26/1/16]:  Many rubber boats #refugeesGr arrive this morning #Lesvos #FerriesNotFrontex #safepassage only advantages for all!




The Australian media's censorship of the concept of #SAFEPASSAGE is a manifestation of its slavish adherence to the demented "stop the boats", "deterrence" ideology ---->  At least 31 refugees drowned in the Aegean Sea while rescue workers looked on unable to help because they reportedly feared being charged with people smuggling.

Australian national Simon Lewis says he and a team of rescue workers were sailing in international waters near the Greek island of Lesbos when they spotted a refugee boat in trouble.


ABC said the reason Mr Lewis' team were unable to intevene is because rescue workers can be charged with people smuggling if they help refugees cross international borders. ... Rescuers watch 31 refugees drown in the Aegean Sea because they feared being charged with people smuggling [Independent - 26/1/15]





PM Najib cleared after returning 'personal donation' to Saudi royal family: Malaysia AG [Channel News Asia - 26/1/16]




Police have found the bodies of 13 Indonesians – four men and nine women – thought to be migrants, who drowned after the boat in which they were traveling capsized in the South China Sea, the Straits Times online reported Tuesday.

The bodies were discovered by members of the public at Tanjung Kelisa beach in Bandar Penawar town in Johor, in the country’s south, near the border with Singapore.

It is believed the victims had been leaving Malaysia and heading towards Batam in Indonesia when the vessel sank, as a result of strong winds and seas, according to local authorities.

People had seen the corpses floating in the ocean near the beach at 8:40 a.m. (0040 GMT) and contacted the police, Kota Tinggi district police chief Superintendent Rahmat Othman told The New Straits Times.

Local and marine police conducted shortly afterwards a search and rescue operation.

The bodies have been taken to the Sultan Ismail Hospital in Pandan, Johor Baru for post-mortem examination, according to the Straits Times.

The South China Sea and the Malacca Strait is an important area of maritime traffic between Malaysia and Indonesia where it is believed vessels regularly transport undocumented migrants.  [Latin American Herald Times - 26/1/16]




Australian media exploit new arrivals to invisibilise the ongoing atrocity of pushing back, imprisonment and torture of boat refugees ---->   ... His wife thanked everyone who helped them settle into their Yokine home and said she was so happy her youngest child was born in Australia.

"She's very happy, very pleased that he was born here in Australia so he's now officially an Australian citizen," the interpreter said.

"She's just absolutely thrilled that he had a chance to be born here."

Federal Social Services Minister Christian Porter said just more than 20 Syrian refugees had arrived so far but it was a slower process than anticipated because many people were sponsored humanitarian arrivals and the security checks were so rigorous. ... [SBS - 26/1/16]





They - along with the human rights establishment, professional associations and NGOs - are whitewashing a regional human rights scandal ----->   At just two months old, little Abdullah Kujah has no idea how lucky he is to be an Australian.

But for his grateful parents who recently fled the horrors of war-torn Syria, the gift of citizenship has meant a chance at a new life free from fear and persecution.

“Here we feel safe and at peace and we are certain we can provide a better, safer future for our children,” Abdullah’s father Bashar Kujah said yesterday.

Abdullah was born in Perth just four days after his family arrived in November as part of Australia’s commitment to resettle 12,000 Syrian refugees. ... [West Australian - 26/1/16]








Australia stopped accepting UNHCR refugees in late 2014 [Guardian - 11/12/15]





Australia has not resettled UNHCR approved refugees since October 2014 [SBS - 10/7/15]





Syrian man returned from Manus Island gulag by Australian government injured - and his father killed - during shelling [ABC - 20/10/15]





The lengths to which the Australian immigration department has gone to facilitate the repatriation of traumatised Syrian asylum seekers detained in offshore detention centres has been extensively revealed in departmental emails obtained under freedom of information laws. ... [Guardian - 19/8/14]




Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee Recommendations re "Incident at the Manus Island Detention Centre from 16 February to 18 February 2014" [December 2014]:


4.70 In specific evidence about actual incidents of encouragement to return home, a former employee of Playfair suggested that staff from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) were 'speaking to transferees, trying to convince them of the benefits of returning home'.

4.71 In contrast, government representatives re-confirmed their view that any returns from Manus Island RPC were strictly voluntary. For example Lieutenant General Campbell stated that '[i]t is really important to note these are voluntary returns'.

 4.72 In terms of the number of returns from the Manus Island RPC, the department provided information that:

As at 1 August 2014, 203 transferees have been voluntarily returned from an Offshore Processing Centre (OPC) and 174 transferees from the Manus OPC since 18 February 2014 with the assistance of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).






“Australia Day” message by ex-detainees, asylum seekers and refugees at RISE [23/1/16]:

RISE does not endorse any movement or individuals who claim to be pro-refugee but celebrate “Australia day”.

To link our refugee community to such events and white-wash this history is not just insensitive to the Indigenous communities of Australia but also to most of us from ex-detainee/refugee/asylum seeker communities who are ourselves victims of colonisation, occupation and imperialism, and many of us who are also victims of genocide.

To parallel the 1788 arrival of white occupiers who came with the purpose of colonising this land and its people, with the arrival of refugees who come to seek protection, is offensive and disingenuous.

As refugee communities seeking protection and freedom, we acknowledge that we live on colonised land where Indigenous peoples are the traditional owners and where sovereignty has never been ceded.

The racism that pervades this country’s institutions and public spheres – the racism that our community members are subjected to in the form of mandatory, indefinite detention – has its foundations in the systemic and structural violence that Indigenous peoples in Australia continue to experience to this day.

RISE: Refugees, survivors & Ex-detainees, acknowledges that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the original owners and custodians of the land that we live and work on.





Australian doctor challenges Malcolm Turnbull, Bill Shorten on torture at refugee concentration camps [ABC - 25/1/16]:



Professor David Isaacs has been an outspoken critic of the centres, but under the Border Force Act, contractors working in immigration detention — including doctors and aid workers — face two years' imprisonment for revealing details of what happens in detention centres.

The paediatrician visited Nauru in December 2014.

Professor Isaacs said he had now written to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton and Labor leader Bill Shorten challenging them to prosecute him under the Act, or to repeal the legislation.

"Long-term immigration detention causes major mental health problems, is illegal in international law and arguably fits the recognised definition of torture," Professor Isaacs said.

"The conditions we witnessed typified those in institutions such as asylums, prisons and concentration camps.

"There was constant bullying and humiliation, and children and adults coming to the medical centre were referred to by their boat numbers."

Professor Isaacs recently published a paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics detailing his experience.

"The average length of detention of the children and families was 14 months and they were still not told when applications for asylum would be processed," he wrote.

"Doctors and nurses have a moral duty both to serve and to speak out."







...  Mr Burke said Australia would not resile from sending unaccompanied children to detention centres in Nauru and Papua New Guinea, and said asylum seekers would be sent to Nauru soon. ...  [Sydney Morning Herald - 15/8/13]



And just before Australia was plunged deeper into the quagmire of US imperial wars, the people believed that Peter FitzSimons was on their side.



Cow [verb]:  Cause (someone) to submit to one’s wishes by intimidation: the intellectuals had been cowed into silence




... Brisbane! Invasion Day rally and March ...



Image:  @Riss_Bundjalung [26/1/16]




‏@cheriegrace15 [26/1/16]:   Strong crowd at #brisbane #invasionday #rally




‏@BradynCaneris [26/1/16]:  Brisbane #InvasionDay





‏@EmilyPrain [26/1/16]: 'Invasion Day'. Hundreds prepare to march to Southbank, protesting for Indigenous rights. ...  




Anti-Australia Day posters and graffiti have been plastered across Melbourne's CBD as hundreds of people rally outside Parliament House over Aboriginal rights. 

The large posters featuring the Aboriginal flag, which read "Sovereignty Never Ceded" and include the slogans #InvasionDay2016 and #NoPrideInGenocide, have been placed over existing advertisements at tram stops and train stations in the CBD.

Two posters have been placed inside AdShel advertisement display screens outside Southern Cross Station. One of the posters at the station suggests Australians are "celebrating 228 years of genocide". 

Meanwhile, the words "Happy Invasion Day" have been sprayed on the walls of Parliament Station.

The graffiti appeared shortly before hundreds of people gathered on Spring Street to protest against Australia Day celebrations. ... [The Age - 26/1/16]







A brilliant 1986 satire of Australian colonialism which won the 1987 UN Media Peace Prize.




Where were the media, MEAA and tedious opinionators BEFORE the bipartisan stitchup metadata laws were passed? [ABC - 25/1/26]:



Campaigners for press freedom have expressed alarm at the appointment of two retired judges with no background in media law as the sole defenders for journalists facing police warrants seeking their information under data retention laws. ...




Sydney teenager arrested for thought crime [ABC - 26/1/16]





Woman, child rescued after car plunges into pool during dangerous, resource wasting, class and race based police pursuit [Sydney Morning Herald - 26/1/16]





Police have charged four people after a police officer was injured during an arrest earlier this morning.  

Around 1.45am, police were responding to a fight at the corner of Shields and Grafton Streets in Cairns between a number of people.  

As police were attempting to break up the fight, a man was being handcuffed and it will be alleged that he has bitten a male Acting Sergeant on his finger.  

It will be further alleged that the group then turned on police and attempted to assault a number of officers, causing the officers to use OC spray. ... [QPS Media - 26/1/16]




Police have revoked an emergency situation declared at Garbutt earlier this evening.

The declaration under the Public Safety Preservation Act was made at 7.20pm and was revoked at 8.40pm. A man and a woman have been arrested without incident.

Two children at the house at the time are unharmed and are currently being cared for.

No one was injured with investigations into the incident 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. [QPS Media - 26/1/16]





The death of a man whose body was found at a Sunshine Coast unit is being treated as suspicious.

Queensland detectives found the 33-year-old's body at a Buddina unit on Sunday following reports that a man had died.

The property is now a crime scene and police are appealing for anyone who heard or saw anything suspicious around the complex on Sunday to contact them. [Yahoo - 25/1/16]





Man dies after fall from Q1 building on the Gold Coast [Brisbane Times - 26/1/16]




Queensland's 2016 road toll is already six above last year, following the deaths of three elderly men in hospital on Monday following separate traffic crashes.

Two pedestrians in their 70s died after crashes on the Gold Coast and near Cairns on Monday, while a third man, aged in his 80s, died in a Brisbane hospital the same day, following a Darling Downs crash on January 19.

The Queensland road toll stands at 19, compared with 13 at the same time last year. ... [Brisbane Times - 26/1/16]





Rescue teams will search through the night for a 16-year-old boy reported missing after jumping into a water-filled quarry in Ipswich, west of Brisbane. ... [ABC - 25/1/16]





A 72-year-old woman has been threatened at knifepoint by a pair of teenage car-jackers near a Gold Coast train station. ... [Yahoo - 25/1/16]




Almost a year on, the matters of four young men accused of raping a male teenager with a glass bottle at an Australia Day party have returned to court.

Police allege the 19-year-old victim was violated with a glass bottle while passed out at a party in Kedron, in Brisbane's north, on January 26, 2015, and found out about it only after a video was uploaded to Facebook.

The four Brisbane men charged with rape include two aspiring Australian Rules footballers. Their matters were mentioned in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday.

The cases were adjourned until February 22. [Brisbane Times - 25/1/16]





A man charged with the attempted murder of a former Big Brother contestant on the Gold Coast has been denied bail.

Anthony Soong, 23, was charged with two counts of attempted murder after allegedly shooting Sam Wallace multiple times in the legs in the car park of a Merrimac restaurant last month.

Soong's application for bail was denied when he appeared in the Southport Magistrates Court on Monday. His case was adjourned until May 10, when his committal hearing is expected to begin.

Soong also faces a charge of assault occasioning bodily harm, and another charge of burglary, in relation to the alleged shooting. [Yahoo - 25/1/16]





The fifth anniversary of Egypt’s 2011 popular uprising on Monday saw the arrest of 37 protesters and the death of three people at the hands of security forces, according to a local human rights activist.

Ezzat Ghoneim, head of the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms, a local NGO, told Anadolu Agency that 37 people had been arrested by the Egyptian authorities on Monday in the provinces of Cairo, Minya, Qalioubiya, Dakhaliya, Sharqiyah, Kafr al-Sheikh and Beheira. Ghoneim noted that the total number of Egyptians arrested this month alone stood at 872.

He said they were arrested for staging "unlicensed demonstrations", belonging to an outlawed group (the Muslim Brotherhood) and planning demonstrations marking the uprising’s anniversary. ... [Anadolu Agency - 25/1/16]




Sisi's latest crackdown proves Egypt is far from stable [Middle East Monitor - 25/1/16]




Libya parliament rejects UN-backed unity government [Al Jazeera - 25/1/16]




The United Nations Security Council should place an arms embargo on South Sudan, while the oil-rich country's President Salva Kiir and a rebel leader qualify to be sanctioned over atrocities committed in a two-year civil war, U.N. sanctions monitors said in an annual report.

The confidential report by a U.N. panel that monitors the conflict in South Sudan for the Security Council stated that Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar are still completely in charge of their forces and are therefore directly to blame for killing civilians and other actions that warrant sanctions.

A copy of the report was seen by Reuters on Monday. ... [Reuters - 25/1/16]




Suicide bombers kill 26 in three attacks in Cameroon far north [Ahram - 25/1/16]




Kandahar police department confirmed late Monday that a group of five attackers stormed a security check post of the Afghan border police, killing two security officers.

The attack happened in Spin Boldak district of the province, the heartland of the militants in the south. Security sources including police in the province have confirmed that the security forces gunned down the attackers in less than 30 minutes. ... [TOLO News - 25/1/16]







A girl was killed and five women and a child were wounded when a mortar shell the children had found and brought home exploded inside their home in Arghandab district of southern Kandahar province, police said on Monday.

The incident took place in Naghan area and the victims belonged to the same family, Kandahar police spokesman Zia Durrani told Pajhwok Afghan News.

He said children of the family had found the previously undetonated shell while collecting firewood in nearby mountains and brought it home. ... [Pajhwok - 25/1/16]




Pentagon expands airtrikes to Afghanistan [Mint Press – 23/1/16]


26 January 2016